Stage III Art Blog

Reflections on our Third Sign-Up

The Art of the Still Life

Maddie's still life dances on the page! (FYI - those are spring water bottles!)

Maddie's still life dances on the page! (FYI - those are spring water bottles!)

         While visiting my children in NYC during Thanksgiving break, I was able to spend time enjoying the Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition at MOMA. It was a joyful, inspiring and beautiful show. Wanting to share Matisse's creative process with the children, I incorporated many of Matisse's processes into our third Sign-Up study of the still life. The study was designed to encourage children to explore color theory and composition. Since emulating the art of Matisse would have limited creativity and intellectual engagement, we focused on the artist's PROCESS of investigating color relationships and other art elements. We also had fun looking at many diverse approaches to the still life. We began by creating thumbnail sketches of our large still life:

Each child chose a view and investigated various arrangements of art elements through their thumbnail sketches.

Each child chose a view and investigated various arrangements of art elements through their thumbnail sketches.

Kevin creates various arrangements and chooses the one he considers best for his final piece.

Kevin creates various arrangements and chooses the one he considers best for his final piece.

Using the color wheel, Stage III artists invented many colors as they painted papers for their cut-outs. 

Using the color wheel, Stage III artists invented many colors as they painted papers for their cut-outs. 

Bibi arranges color and shape as she constructs her composition with her painted papers.

Conor creates contrast through his uses of art elements in his composition.

Conor creates contrast through his uses of art elements in his composition.

Clara C.'s brightly colored papers POP on the black surface!

Clara C.'s brightly colored papers POP on the black surface!

Ian used space and color in unique ways in his still life.

Ian used space and color in unique ways in his still life.

Kevin's sketches come to life in his final piece.

Kevin's sketches come to life in his final piece.

Matthew S. celebrates the color red in his lively composition.

Matthew S. celebrates the color red in his lively composition.

Camryn incorporates subtle detail into her lovely composition. 

Camryn incorporates subtle detail into her lovely composition. 

Our Imaginative Structures!

      After building, wrapping and painting, our structures were complete! They are on display in the lobby of the Steward Building. First, here are a few of the diverse pieces we studied:

Thomas Houseago's Moun Room - I stumbled upon this huge installation in a NYC gallery during my visit. He created this with many of the same materials we used in our art studio!

Thomas Houseago's Moun Room - I stumbled upon this huge installation in a NYC gallery during my visit. He created this with many of the same materials we used in our art studio!

One of Niki de St. Phalle's playful structures

One of Niki de St. Phalle's playful structures

Some of our Structures:

Taye's vibrant COLOR TOWER,  created with boxes, newspaper, tape and LOTS of plaster filled gauze.

Taye's vibrant COLOR TOWER,  created with boxes, newspaper, tape and LOTS of plaster filled gauze.

Vaughn's elegant piece was made from attaching dowels and newspaper to a plastic bowl and then covering it with many, many layers of plaster and blue acrylics. 

Vaughn's elegant piece was made from attaching dowels and newspaper to a plastic bowl and then covering it with many, many layers of plaster and blue acrylics. 

Elizabeth's whimsical Toy Box for Cuddles was constructed using wooden dowels, a cigar box and many, many layers of plaster and paint.

Elizabeth's whimsical Toy Box for Cuddles was constructed using wooden dowels, a cigar box and many, many layers of plaster and paint.

Alivia invented her vibrant structure using a plastic lettuce box, wooden pieces, plaster and many thoughtfully mixed colors of acrylics. 

Alivia invented her vibrant structure using a plastic lettuce box, wooden pieces, plaster and many thoughtfully mixed colors of acrylics. 

Stage III Artists Study Ancient Roman Art!

    As the Stage begins our study of Ancient Rome, we are exploring some of the art processes of the culture. An investigation into light sources for the Ancient Romans led us to create clay lanterns. Here is the process:

First, we made pinch pots.

Next, we stuffed the pots with paper towels and created coils to attach to our bases.

Next, we stuffed the pots with paper towels and created coils to attach to our bases.

Cosey shows us how she embellishes her lantern.

Cosey shows us how she embellishes her lantern.

Our lanterns dry for a week or so before they are ready for the kiln. Look for them on Family Night!

Our lanterns dry for a week or so before they are ready for the kiln. Look for them on Family Night!

Making Paint the Ancient Roman Way!

        We studies many of the old frescoes from Ancient Roman times, and we found that the paint that has survived for thousands of years was made with eggs! Having some Italian (nontoxic) pure pigments at home, I thought it would be interesting to make our paint using this ancient technique. First, we created very small drawing of fruit and vegetables that the Ancient Romans grew and enjoyed. Many of the remaining Roman frescoes feature food. Then we broke a lot of eggs!!! It was exciting to mix the yolks with the pigments and discover how well it worked! Here are some photos of our experiences:

One of our Ancient Roman inspired arrangements. 

Alivia and Sandra crack and separate an egg!

Alivia and Sandra crack and separate an egg!

We pierced the egg yolks before mixing them with pigments.

We pierced the egg yolks before mixing them with pigments.

After mixing our egg tempera, we painted our small still lifes. 

After mixing our egg tempera, we painted our small still lifes. 

The color wheel came in handy as we mixed colors. Our pieces will be on display for Family Night.

The color wheel came in handy as we mixed colors. Our pieces will be on display for Family Night.

We ended our Sign-Up with a taste of Ancient Rome: honey on Tuscan bread!

We ended our Sign-Up with a taste of Ancient Rome: honey on Tuscan bread!

Coming up: Adventures in Reading and Art with Carmen

and 

Stage III artists create inventive clay pieces inspired by the Ancient Romans!!!