December was the month of enthusiasm, jingle bells and learning the aesthetics of various holiday cultures. We continued my sequential instruction with the Elements and Principals of Design. These are our building blocks in art that also help to deepen student’s personal expression and develop their skills. Patience was our focus this past month as everyone learned to use this core value by staying calm and turning their “mistakes” into magnificence. It is actually amazing to watch this magic happen! I encourage students to be comfortable with what they don’t like and how to find effective and different solutions to every dilemma. When they practice observing art from various viewpoints they are able to develop their awareness with more opportunities to create.

Kindergaten learned how to work the color wheel as they arranged a diagonal version of Piet Mondrian selecting complementary colors as opposed to primary ones. They also worked with vocabulary words such as angles, edges and overlapping lines to enhance their beautiful coniferous trees.

First grade finalized the bright Laurel Burch cats which are featured in their classrooms. Next students learned about the art of Washi paper design and began an amazing textured paper tree. Designing a balanced triangle shape was a fun problem solving challenge. There are no right or wrong answers in art, just a chance for each student to personally solve their creation.

Second grade discovered how to observe images from the “outside looking in” inspired by Leonardo DaVinci. They used rulers for exaxt measurement to create a window opening. Next students designed coniferous trees in

a warmly lit night scene on the opposite side of stone or brick walls. The illusion of texture, value and glowing intensity was a great learning opportunity for all children.

Third grade worked on New Orleans. One class was happy to create super colorful Mardi Gras masks while the other class learned how to draw a classic French street lamp along the proportion of a street similar to the paintings of Louisiana artist Diane Millsap.

Art history was the focus for the upper grades as they closely observed the style differences between Roman and Gothic architecture and appreciate the beauty in each. They explored this aesthetic culture and then practiced how to create the curved vault ceilings using contrast with symmetry to design a stained glass shape.  Fourth grade deepened their color theory by generating ideas based on repetition and unity. Fifth grade did their version of this historical milestone by manipulating colorful acetate and tin foil for stained glass art.  This gallery collection is on the windows outside of the art room and is absolutely exquisite.

January will be filled with seasonal white and blue as students study the art of perspective. They will view winter imagery such as a snow-person from various angles learning about birds eye, worms eye, and the vanishing point in art. Winter landscape scenes will be explored by learning multiple watercolor techniques for upper grades inspired by the artists Andrew Wyeth and Zoltan Szabo, both American artists.