Tuesday, August 19, 2014

For those that missed it: here's the Link to Last Years Summer Drawing Challenge Post HERE

Heya! And the Ox is finished

Hey everyone,
I am back from my temporary blogging vacation. I've missed writing but ultimately had some things on my plate that took up the end of my school year at Bear Tavern.
The first was matters of the heart. I spent every single free moment that I could with students (especially 5th graders before they moved on and up to 6th grade).
Every year it has been tough to let go of students and make the transition from seeing and speaking to them daily to not knowing for sure that our paths will cross again. So, I spent as much time as I could with my lovelies and wish them the best of luck in September and always. Part of that fun was watching World Cup soccer. Ok, a lot of the fun was soccer. I am a huge CBF, Selecao, Brazil through thick and thin fan. Over the years, I've realized and cherished the events and experiences that happen outside of the classroom or off (art) topic things that bond us. We spent some incredible quality time working on projects, talking soccer, thinking about summer and those sorts of things.

The second thing was our Bear Tavern ox. I blogged at the start of the spring about a project that the arts community in Hopewell Valley had been working on-- designing and painting full sized oxen for the Hopewell Valley Arts Council 'Stampede'. You all saw the "Ox Selfie Cam" of my colleagues and me posing with the blank canvas. At our art night, the school community had a great time painting the ox and then a smaller group of students, staff and I went in to finish it up.
Our ox was finished in July and I was able to view our ox along with the majority of the others at an estate in Pennington before they were placed throughout the community. Here are some pics of a few of my favorites and the oxen that my colleagues created with their schools.

Love this one AND it's on my way to and from school

Another favorite
Another fav. Loved this concept by Timberlane artists and Donna Cariola

Hopewell Elementary- cute fingerprint froggy's!
Stony Brook Elementary- intricate stars 

Toll Gate Grammar-super neat paint lines!
Hopewell Valley Central High School- gotta love the primary colors!
Soooo pretty 

Grazing in the Field
 Hopewell Valley is buzzing with the excitement of these new public art pieces. Check out the Arts Council web page for a map to find the 60+ oxen, artist bios/art statements and a ton more by clicking on the logo.

Glad to be back, I hope that you are all well and my best wishes to you for a great end of summer and start to the fall.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Grade 1 and Grade 5: Mixed Media Sunflowers

This was a fun one. When I was a child, I was OBSESSED with drawing sunflowers... and I wore a t-shirt with a huge sunflower on it and I doodled sunflowers on my Converses. Nature was a huge part of my formative years which made these two projects based on my favorite painter Vincent van Gogh a pleasure to make. 
The first is this slightly mixed media project in which the 5th graders used a dictionary page to draw a sunflower. Outlined in Sharpie and painted with a wash of color, the kids did a nice job capturing 'Sunflowers"

The second project was a ton of fun to make. We read a book about van Gogh's sunflowers and discussed the content in the story which talked about van Gogh's passion for painting and the struggles he encountered along the way.
We examined sunflowers..the center, the petals and referred to "Sunflowers" to see how van Gogh painted these top heavy flowers in different stages. 
We began by mixing colors for the background and added texture. The kids created their vases with a simple line drawing followed up with an oil pastel outline. Next up was painting the vases. Finally, we had a fun time creating the sunflowers and adding details to them after they were glued down.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Grade 1: Jasper Johns Number Paintings

I have blogged about my annual Jasper Johns 1st grade paintings in the past but wanted to share with you a few from this year. We made these back in January but this year, I saw a post where an unknown art teacher from Pinterest had the kids use their date of birth for the numbers instead of the classic 0-9 from Jasper Johns' famous painting. This was a neat new spin on one of my favorite American paintings. My first graders felt special thinking about their special day in numbers. We called their DOB their top secret code.
We explored primary colors through painting and ultimately we refreshed our memory about secondary colors as little bits mixed together. Students began drawing their numbers inside of rectangles followed by outlining and designing with oil pastels and finally tempera in the backgrounds.
0-9 by Jasper Johns

American Painters Rock!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Weekend Mornings Inspired by van Gogh

Book of van Gogh's letters in hand with acrylics and brushes, I spent a few hours each morning this past weekend sitting at the kitchen table painting...for myself vs. a lesson plan... and it felt awesome. For those of you with young children, I am sure that you are familiar with how rare it can be to find time for hobbies. 

 I started out with 'Starry Night Over the Rhone" which feels more of like a painter's sketch vs. a full finished painting because it took such a short time to paint. With each brushstroke, I pictures Vincent outside, connected with nature painting for the pure joy and desire to just paint and live.
Step 1
Step 2..done
Sunday morning brought a more challenging sketch of just an Iris. Not quite finished yet.
Step 1
Step 1.5...not quite done

Friday, March 14, 2014

Welcome to Bear Tavern You Grand Old Ox (featuring the Ox Selfie Cam)

How often do you have an ox at your school to paint? My guess is never. That's because out of the many artsy animal parade that have crossed the globe, the ox is a bit rare. You will see more dogs and horses but the ox was chosen by the new Hopewell Valley Arts Council Committee because it is " a symbol of the Valley’s agricultural heritage, teamwork and enduring sense of community, the ox, an historic reminder of Hopewell Valley’s farming tradition, was chosen as the icon of the HV Arts Council’s public art event. Today, a team of oxen is still used to plow the fields and haul heavy loads at the Howell Living History Farm in Hopewell Township, uniquely connecting the past and present."
Photo courtesy of the Arts Council (there were only 2 oxen on our delivery truck FYI)
Our ox, who is yet to be named, was delivered to the school by a team of energetic, fun people yesterday afternoon. Honestly, if they had more deliveries to make, I would have asked to go along as it really seemed like a lot of fun. The first graders were coming out of the gym at the time from recess and were the first people in the building to see the ox come through the doors.
It was quite exciting,

Ok, so there is a celebrity in the art room now... Eight feet long and weighs 75 pounds.....(tell me your secret!)....
Cast of fiberglass for the Arts Council, is hollow so therefore very light. The ox is quite easy to move around. 

The Bear Tavern students and staff have been intrigued by this special new community member. It's only white but quite interesting to look at. Stop by and see. 
We are going to paint the ox to look very earthy cool by using cool colors on one side and higher contrast blue/white on the other with zentangle designs. 
We will paint the base colors during van Gogh art night on March 31. 

Keep you posted!

The Lady who got the selfies' started!


Art Teacher Shopping Trip for OX PAINT @ Jerry's Art Supply
from Left) Gillian Beck, Gay Hong Hua and I.. Not Pictured: Kathleen Belton who was there shopping with us earlier on.

Hopewell Elementary Art Teacher, Ms. Hua with their ox on Friday