Art Club

Tuesday, March 21

Madi and Micah taught today’s art club lesson on printmaking and forensic science!  The students learned that printmaking is simply the process of making an impression from one surface to another, and that artists initially used this process to make multiples of their art works.  There are, however, certain types of artistic prints in which only one print can be pulled and copies cannot be achieved:  monoprints and monotypes.  Madi and Micah related these types of prints to our finger prints, since each person’s finger prints are unique.  We discussed different types of finger prints and how forensic scientists can use finger prints to solve crimes.  The students also learned that “mono” means “one” as a way to help them remember the terms and definitions.  Finally, the kids got to try their own monotypes!  We used zip lock baggies for our printing plates.  The students brushed paint on (and in some cases removed it with q-tips to create white spaces) and then repeatedly printed the bags onto their papers.  They layered their prints in order to create depth and unique space, textures, and transparent colors.  Here is a video of the process, followed by some of the prints from class.  As usual, everyone did a great job!  We are looking forward to next week and studying some more astronomy!


By |March 23rd, 2017|Art Club|Comments Off on Tuesday, March 21

Tuesday, March 7

Today’s lesson was packed full of information!  Kimberly and Sarah brought a fun, mixed media lesson based on Claude Monet’s Waterlilies.  The class discussed landscape paintings, characteristics of oil paintings vs. other types of media, and some techniques Monet used in his Impressionist works, most importantly the presence of light throughout the work.  Kimberly talked a bit about how light can be bent (refracted) or reflected, and how Monet created an illusion of this in his paintings.  Sarah introduced the project – a mixed media “waterlilies” piece – and talked briefly about different types of habitats and the organisms that make up those places.  Finally, the kids got to work creating!  They used oil pastels and water color paints to create their pond “habitats,” and experimented with resist techniques, while also incorporating some collage with tissue paper – a unique material for this project because of the way light passes through!  I thought the final results were very beautiful!  Check them out below:

By |March 8th, 2017|Art Club|Comments Off on Tuesday, March 7

Tuesday, February 28

Our second art club session, taught by McKenzie and Christine, featured a historical favorite – Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night.  First, we discussed how Van Gogh uses lines and visible brush strokes in his work, and how lines can be used to create texture, value, and form.  Then, we looked at the stars in the painting to link the lesson to our theme of science + art.  The kids know a LOT about astronomy already, and it was fun to hear them share all of their knowledge.  I find it interesting that Van Gogh painted his stars to look like they are described, scientifically – ” large areas of gas and dust particles that compress to form a star”.  Van Gogh achieved the “glowing” look due to his use of brushstrokes and lines!  Finally, it was time for the kids to practice painting using only lines.  McKenzie and Christine taught them how to use the grid process to make a copy of a work of art; each kid got one small section of Starry Night to copy on their corresponding piece of cardstock.  In the end, the pieces will be reassembled to form their version of Starry Night!  They were also limited to using a q-tip instead of brushes, to make sure they understood the concept of painting using only lines.  Here are some pictures of the work in progress:

In the first picture, you can see the kids working on their 3″ by 3″ piece of Starry Night.  In the middle picture, one student decided to use her extra time to paint a reproduction of the whole thing!  Finally, in the last picture Ava D. is showing off her Starry Wars t-shirt and doing some supplemental work – practicing a drawing of butterfly using the grid method. We are having so much fun in art club!



By |March 1st, 2017|Art Club|Comments Off on Tuesday, February 28

Tuesday, February 21

We kicked off the spring 2017 semester with a collaborative sculpture project using recycled materials!  Our lessons this semester will all involve science +art, so for our first lesson we discussed ways in which we can reuse commonplace materials to create artworks.  The kids were surprised to learn that we use over 2 million water bottles every HOUR in America, and that if thrown in the ocean, a plastic bottle could float around for thousands of years!

Since we would be using the water bottles in a group piece, the artist we discussed was Dale Chihuly, who works with a collaborative team to create large-scale public glass sculpture.  We looked at Chihuly’s project “Over Venice” and learned about the features of the city of Venice and how the artist incorporated those into his works.  The kids watched two short videos, one about the Chihuly works in Venice and the other about the glass blowing process, which is truly fascinating: – Video about Chihuly’s work in Venice, Italy – Watch how glass blowing works and learn more about the process!

Finally, it was time to get to work!  The kids were each given a water bottle and instructed to color a design of their choice in permanent marker.  Then, they cut the bottle into a spiral and the college students helped them attach it to a wire structure that was hanging in the classroom.  We filled the sculpture with over 40 bottles, but we hope to add more as the semester progresses and we have extra time after other lessons.  Check out some pictures of the process below!

By |February 22nd, 2017|Art Club|Comments Off on Tuesday, February 21

Tuesday, May 3

Today was our last Art Club session for the spring semester and we finished up the art/math unit by doing some review and creating some wearable art!  Victoria Rutlege and Maddie Fletcher presented a lesson on weaving and functional art.  We reviewed parallel and perpendicular lines and looked at Crochet III by Louise Bourgeois in the Jacobs Gallery.  We discussed why an artist might choose to use weaving or fiber art as an artistic process – Victoria and Maddie introduced the ideas of creating art for certain purposes (functional) or art serving as decoration.  The kids worked intensely on this project and many incorporated various principles of design that we have talked about all semester, such as balance and repetition to create an interesting pattern in their bracelet.  Not only was this a great lesson to review math terms and introduce new visual art concepts, but it is also great for the kids’ fine motor skills and problem solving!  Check out some of the pictures of their work below, and don’t forget about our reception and exhibition next Tuesday, May 10 at 4:45pm, same building where class is held.  See you then, and thanks for a great semester!


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By |May 4th, 2016|Art Club|Comments Off on Tuesday, May 3

Tuesday, April 26

This week’s lesson, taught by Whitney Bryan and Rylee Joiner, was all about circles and lines!  The students learned about a prefect circle and how you could create it using a compass.  Then, they learned about right angles, created by two lines through the use of a protractor.  The math department at GC was kind enough to loan Whitney and Rylee 20 plastic compasses and protractors for our project today!  But first, the girls took the kids up to the Jacobs Gallery to look at a painting which uses all circles and right angles in the design:  The Clash, by Russ Bellamy.  In Bellamy’s paintings, his use of circles represents life, and the “labyrinth” of lines and arrows creates a sort of puzzle that may have many different paths from one point to another.  Whitney and Rylee pointed out that some of the circles are larger than others, and in art, this is called “proportion.”  Proportion can be used to create emphasis, or a focal point in a work of art.  Back in the class room, the kids were instructed to choose two colors – with one color they would paint circles with their compass, and they would use the other color to paint lines at right angles with their protractor.  They were encouraged to use a lot variety in proportions to create an interesting design and they did a great job! We are always trying to get the kids to think and make decisions that are purposeful during the art making process.

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By |April 28th, 2016|Art Club|Comments Off on Tuesday, April 26

Tuesday, April 19

Today’s lesson was on tessellations, a good old art+math favorite.  Anna Clements and Karla Diaz showed the kids an awesome video of some of the artistic uses of tessellations in every day life:

Then, we reviewed some math terms that are applicable to the lesson – congruent and polygon – since tessellations are supposed to be composed of all congruent polygons.  The students were instructed to fill their whole sheet of paper with one or more polygons (semi-regular tessellation in this case) without there being any spaces between the shapes.  First, they had to make a stencil out of cardstock!  Since they have already learned about geometric and organic shapes this semester, they came up with some really creative stencil designs.  They also could color their design any way they wanted to, but no two colors or patterns were allowed to be touching.  We really had their brains working in this lesson!  Check out some of the pictures of the projects, below:



By |April 20th, 2016|Art Club|Comments Off on Tuesday, April 19

Tuesday, April 12

Today we learned about abstract art with Cody Elbert and Ethan Edwards.  Total abstraction results in non-representational images – meaning, there is no identifiable object in the composition.  The guys explained that this abstract art is made up of different elements such as line, shape, color, and texture.  We looked at three different abstract pieces in the gallery and discussed how different each one was from the others.  Here is a picture of Ava doing some analysis of a Judy Pfaff collage piece:



Back in the classroom, we reviewed some math terms that relate to the element of art, line, and the way line can be arranged, such as:  line segment, vertical, horizontal, parallel, and perpendicular.  Then, the students were given verbal instructions in order to create their own abstract design.  The instructions were:

  1.  Draw a vertical red line that touches the top and the bottom of the paper.
  2. Draw a black circle.
  3. Draw a horizontal blue line.
  4. Draw a straight green line inside the circle.
  5. Draw four dots: red, orange, blue, and green.
  6. Draw a wavy line.
  7. Draw a line perpendicular to the green line.
  8. Draw a line parallel to the red line.

Here are some of the initial results.  Notice how different each art work is from the next, despite the fact that the kids were given the same instructions.

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We had fun comparing and contrasting the 23 very different abstract pieces.












Next, Cody and Ethan talked about two principals of design that we learned about in the gallery: emphasis and variety.  We learned that we can create emphasis by making objects different sizes and colors so they stand out and draw the viewers’ eyes.  We also learned that some of our lines could be thick, and some could be thin, which would result in more variety and more visual interest in the composition.  Then, we went through the 8 steps again and tried to incorporate these design ideas into our work:

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This was a really cool project with some difficult art and math concepts, and the kids did a great job!  Three more art/math lessons to go this semester prior to our exhibit – stay tuned!

By |April 12th, 2016|Art Club|Comments Off on Tuesday, April 12

Tuesday, April 5

Today Mikayla Gray and Randy Bloomfield taught a wonderful lesson on Piet Mondrian and the art movement, De Stijl.  The movement, in case you are unfamiliar with it, originated in the Netharlands in the first quarter of the 20th century and was characterized by total abstraction, simplifying objects down to the basic elements of line and color.  Artists used the primary colors along with black and white, and simple shapes with horizontal and vertical lines.  Here is a neat video that shows the progression of Piet Mondrian’s artistic journey:

And here is one of the paintings we studied as a class:


The kids learned about simple math terms such as horizontal and vertical lines, as well as the principle of design, balance.  Specifically, we talked about asymmetrical balance and how to create it in a work of art; i.e. through the use of repetition of shape and color as in a Mondrian painting.  We also looked at Sonia DeLaunay’s work Venice in the Jacobs Gallery on campus and discussed how it was both similar and different from Mondrian’s work.  Finally, the kids got to created their own “Mondrian animal” using their new knowledge of asymmetrical balance.  Check out some of the results below.

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By |April 6th, 2016|Art Club|Comments Off on Tuesday, April 5

Tuesday, March 22

It was a long two weeks without art club and we were happy to be back today, learning about geometric/organic shapes and the artist Paul Klee.  This lesson was taught by Amanda Brown and Ciara Rogers.  First, students reviewed both art elements line and shape.  Then we looked at different ways that shapes can be used in art work to represent certain objects.  We looked at Paul Klee’s Castle and Sun and talked about how the structure was represented through the use of simple geometric shapes.  Then we walked up to the Jacobs Gallery and saw a collage piece by Tom Wesselmann that used more organic shapes.  The kids did a great job comparing and contrasting the two art works and the different ways shape can be used in a representational or non-representational way.



Next, Amanda and Ciara introduced the project:  a crayon-resist watercolor painting in the style of Paul Klee.  Ask your kids if they remember why the crayon shows through the paint in this technique!  They did a great job drawing out their structures using simple shapes, mostly geometric, and then making sure to apply color so that it was evening balanced throughout the painting.  Check out some of their awesome work!

Finally, don’t forget that we will be off again next Tuesday, March 29, for Scott Co. spring break.  This is our last off day!  Starting April 5 we will have five straight weeks of art club followed by our closing reception.  Can’t wait!




By |March 23rd, 2016|Art Club|Comments Off on Tuesday, March 22