Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Creative Juices are Flowing...

This week they are finally stripping and waxing the floors in my high school art room so I've spent a lot of time at home working on school stuff.  I started making my to-do list for the room and the first thing I'm checking off my list has to do with critiques. A while back on Pinterest, I found this link for ping pong ball critiques and I LOVE the idea!  My husband bought me a box of 36 ping pong balls and I spent the night writing critique prompts on each ball!

Some of the questions came directly off of the free PDF download above, others came from my head and some came from other random pins.  Here's what the balls have written on them:

If I were the artist, I would have...
Are there any symbols in this artwork?  Give an example.
What would you title this artwork?  Why?
Does this artwork make you think of something else?  What?
What style is this artwork completed in?
What kind of composition does this artwork have?
Would you hang/display this artwork in your home?
What culture and/or country do you think this artwork comes from?  Why?
Can you trace movement with finger?  Where?
In my opinion...
Do you see any repetition? Where?
What art principles do you see?  Where?
What elements of art do you see?  Where?
Where did the artist use contrast?
What art medium/media is this artwork created with?  How do you know?
Does this artwork have a color scheme?  What is it?
Do you think this artwork belongs in a museum or art gallery?  Why or why not?
Did the artist create space?  How?
Where is the emphasis/focal point?  How is it created?
Is this artwork realistic or abstract?  Explain.
What is the subject matter of this artwork?
The weaknesses of this artwork are...
The strengths of this artwork are...
If I could ask the artist one question, I would ask...
Is there rhythm in this artwork?  Where?
Are there patterns in this artwork?  Where?
Does this artwork have depth?  Explain.
What do you think the artist wants you to see.
Do you think the artist was more concerned with emotion or realism?  Why?
Do you like this artwork?  Why or why not?
What creates unity in this artwork?
Where do you see texture?
Does this artwork tell a story?  What is it?
Is the balance symmetrical, asymmetrical or radial? Explain.
What emotion or feeling did the artist create?
How was line used in this artwork?

I plan to use the ping pong ball critique during class for group critiques (of personal and famous artwork), as well as for an exit slip.  I saw this pin on Pinterest and I decided to make a post-it note exit slip poster.  I have made one for both Studios, both 7th grade art classes and electives, all of which will be laminated.  There will be times I will give students a specific question for an exit slip and other times we may use the ping pong ball critique questions.  Students will get a post-it note to write their answer on.  They'll use the same post-it note until it's filled up and then they'll get a new one.  Each student will be assigned a number for the year so they don't have to put names on their slips.  
This will help ensure that I am getting students to review content before leaving class (that was something my superintendent noted on my evaluation as something I needed to work on) as well as having a closure of some sort.  Since I made a poster for each class, I won't have to look at their answers until after school during our 2:45-3:15 teacher time, thus making sure I have my 3 minutes in between classes to get between the classrooms.

The ping pong ball critique questions will also be great to use as a bell ringer too.  I think I want to plan on having students use their sketchbooks as a place to write bell ringers, notes, project sketches and homework sketches.  I envision having a famous artwork on the board when students come in, ask them to grab a ball and answer the question in their sketchbook.  As students get settled, I'll ask for some volunteers to share their responses.  I feel this would be less of a waste of paper to have students do bell ringers in their sketchbooks instead of on copied slips of paper.  Plus, it will ensure that sketchbooks are brought to class every day and not wasted.

Since all of my SLO's will be coming from high school art classes this upcoming year, my gears are drastically switching.  I am going to be more concerned with getting classroom management routines down in a way that works (such as the bell ringer and exit slip...something I haven't used before).  I would eventually like to work a bell ringer/exit slip into the elementary art room, but I don't want to stretch my time too much now that I only get those kiddos once a cycle.


On a side note, I just figured I'd share some artwork I did today...for the first time in forever!  Very rarely do I sit down and do artwork for myself.  Two years ago I did similar up-close flower paintings for Christmas gifts for my family (we were on a tight budget that year ;) ).  I usually have to be in the right kind of mood to do any artwork, or even scrap booking for that matter.  Any time I'm creating something, it's usually a project example for school or posters/displays for my classrooms.

Acrylic on preferred choice of painting medium!  It's actually kind of ironic because in college, I did not take a painting class.  I did sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, drawing, photography, digital design and the mandatory art design class.  I was never able to fit the painting class in my schedule (and to be honest, I was not very fond of the professor who taught it), so I've never been trained in oil painting, or painting for that matter.  Painting with acrylic was something I picked up and enjoyed in high school.

In this instance, my husband has been given a promotion to which he now has his own office.  He is a kitchen manager for Thatcher Kitchen at SUNY Potsdam.  Now that he has moved into his office, he's been begging me to come decorate!  I surprised him today with these paintings for his office.  Tomorrow I'll go pick out paint for him to paint his office with and decide where he needs to hang his artwork!


  1. I love the idea of the ping pong ball critique but I don't think I have a steady enough hand to write on them...I wonder what else would work and be a slightly larger writing surface....

    1. If you go to the link for the questions, you will also get sheets with the questions already on them, just cut out the paper ping pong balls.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing these great ideas!

  3. How would you like to write an article about the Ping Pong idea for SchoolArts? You can find our writer's guidelines at

  4. Hi, I love your blog! Thanks for posting the link to Expressive Monkey's Ping Pong Art Critique! I hope you are still having fun with it! (I just now saw a link to your blog on Pinterest.)

  5. Hi! Tanks for great critique idea. Can you explain your entry/exit slips? Thanks!