Saturday, March 2, 2013

YAM: Artistic Staff Development, Post #1

I am going to do this post in four, otherwise there would be too many photos.  As part of my YAM activities, my principal invited me to do some artistic staff development with the teachers to get them on board.  One of the things I have asked them to do (and my principal backed me up and made it a requirement for the teachers to do) is to read a book about an artist to their students and do a small project of some sort.  It doesn't have to be an art project...I'll do that for them in art class.  It could be a writing activity...whatever.  

As you can probably imagine, there are a few people who aren't on board.  Surprisingly, there are a few who say it's a waste of their time and doesn't pertain to them.  (My administrator took extreme offense from this, as in her eyes, it means they don't support me or the art department in their own school.  Have I mentioned that I really like this new principal that we have this year?!)

Either way, the staff development activities will still be happening, and I'm really excited.  I have some teachers on board with me who I didn't expect to be on board with this.  One of the 3rd grade teachers brought his kids to art yesterday and told me they started looking at Picasso.  "They should be able to tell you about his blue period, rose period, and identify the characteristics of his art."  Wait, what???  You did that ALREADY?  I was blown away, and VERY excited to hear this!  Once I give the 3rd graders one more day to finish their castles, we will make some slab, cubism faces in clay.

Another example that really excites me is one of our 1st grade teachers had decided to do Monet.  She borrowed this Monet book from me, and after reading it, decided she was going to attempt cooking the scone recipe that is in the book with her students!  How cool is that?!  She said that her kids are working on creative writing, so I suggested they could write a small, descriptive story about Monet painting in his gardens.

Anyways, I have chosen eight artists to cover with the staff members.  We will do five artists on Monday after school, and four artists Friday after school. (Originally, our staff meeting on Monday was supposed to go until 4:00 and we were going to rotate through all 9, but because we have conferences on Wednesday, we had to split it up.) I'm figuring about 7-8 minutes at each station (since there will be people who will live right at 3:15, when they are allowed to).

I've done and photographed each project I'm going to have the faculty do.  This weekend I'll be making some nice visuals with my photographs to laminate and have at each table so that I can circulate between groups.

1. Van Gogh:  Marbling with shaving cream:  A few days ago, Mr. E. did a post about paper marbling.  I've tried this once before myself but never with students.  Originally, when I was thinking of Van Gogh, I was just going to recreate a simple painting of a field with a cypress tree in acrylic, but then when I saw Mr. E's post, I decided to try the paper marbling on canvas board.  Here are my results.
Original idea to base off of on the left, Starry Night influence on the right...
I used drops of tempera.  I probably went a little overboard on the amount of paint I used for this demo, so I'll note that in my directions on my visual.

Here is the canvas with the shaving cream paint still on it...
And here it is after I scraped it off...Can't see much of the swirl anymore.  I used cardboard to scrap it, but I will have the staff use tag board instead.  After they scrape the shaving cream off, I'll have them paint a simple silhouette.

2. Andy Warhol: Repetitive subject.  For this, I will have the staff draw a simple object four times.  They'll paint the background one color, and then paint the objects four different colors.  I'm basing this project off of this print:

Draw the flowers...
Dab green paint in the background, and then add some black to it.

Paint the flowers four different colors, then add some tiny, black petal lines. be continued!


  1. Good luck! You have put a lot of work into this! I'm glad your principal and at least some of the staff members support you! Made me laugh when you said some said this had nothing to do with them! How many times have we as specialists sat through meetings on math,language arts,etc... that had nothing to do with us and were asked to incorporate core subjects into our lessons! ! Enjoy your YAM month! :)

    1. Funny...that's exactly what I was thinking! I have to sit through all of this common core math and English stuff...yet you don't hear me saying it doesn't apply to me! Oh, the irony. I have the feeling I know who the staff member is who said it...a sports person. Which, is in fact ironic, because if art and music were ever cut at our school, this persons sports teams, whom he/she coaches, would be cut next. You would think that they would want to support me for that reason alone!

  2. What an excellent way to enrich teacher's experiences as well as students. What you're doing is a great example of sharing your expertise in a usable way. We have experts in our schools for a reason, not everyone has to be a pro at teaching art, but the art teacher can help them incorporate it. Mrs.C's point is a good one, it isn't only the "specials" teachers responsibility to plan cross curricular lessons....I like that you're making that a two way street.

  3. I wonder if food coloring would stick better to the canvas for the marbleizing? when I have used it on paper we have gotten some really strong color

    1. Hmm...thanks for the suggestion. I'll try it out Monday. I don't own any liquid watercolors yet or I would try those.

  4. Wonderful idea! I am the "art" teacher at my school....I am just primary trained but love art...most of the other teachers are 'scared" of art! Would love to do something like this with them!


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