Artsy Fartsy

This year I am teaching art.  For those of you that know me, I am not, technically, artistic.  Certainly, I am what you might call creative.  I am… crafty (homograph intended).  What I am not is an artist.  I know small bits of information, I know what I think is pretty, and I know how to research new ideas.  I fall heavily on this non-artistic skill base to get me through.  I think our students need art in their lives, I am saddened that I am their only option, but I am willing to try.  Luckily for me, one of our classroom aides is quite artistic and helps the kids with the actual… you know… art part.

I follow a simple lesson-planning model for the art class.  I pick an artist or artistic idea, teach some information about it, show examples, and then let them at it.  My plan, over the course of the 9-week quarter, is to expose them to some basic principals of art, some artists with whom they may identify, and some ways to express their little grinchy-heart-soul thoughts.

One of our first projects was centered around the concepts of line, shading, and portraiture.  Not small ideas (admittedly, I started too big).

First we reviewed the work of Chuck Close.  I focused in on the terms “portrait” and “photorealism” and showed how many of the pieces look differently close up versus far away.  Here is a short video of me teaching the concepts of “Near” and “Far.”

Okay… not really.  Heh.  That is making me giggle more than it should.  No really.  I’ve watched it three times. Simple minds….

Anyhoo, the students picked magazine photos from my stash and drew a half-inch grid on them.  They then penciled in a one-inch grid on the drawing paper.  We showed them how to transfer the lines they saw (as opposed to what they thought the picture should be). Some students understood the concept immediately.  Some understood it part way through, a couple never quite grasped it, and one or two created some wildly abstract art pieces (“Well done kidlet, is that a… giraffe?”).  Any piece that was completed was fawned over, exclaimed upon, complimented and displayed (“I just LOVE giraffes!”).  Below is a collage of the pieces.  If you’d like a closer look click here.

or click here

*Note–it’s almost 24 hours later and I am still giggling at Grover.

One thought on “Artsy Fartsy

  1. You never cease to amaze me… you've taken on adolescent kids of all sorts, but specialized in those that need you most… you've taught them Spanish, English, P.E., Art and (at least in some ways) how to exist in this world. You really are a super teacher.

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