Friday, February 29, 2008

Landscapes (tempera, art)

February 29, 2008 · art is from 2006 to 2007.

In each class, I begin this lesson with large gesture painting so kids won't freak over details. I  deconstruct several large calendar photos on the board to show the basic shapes. (KISS: keep it simple, sweetie). I laminate 2 photos back-to-back and let kids choose an image.

We air draw the shapes first before we begin painting. I don't let kids sketch with pencil because they get too caught up in it and forget to paint. And we only have about 40 minutes to paint and clean up! So making big gestures with the arm translates well.

These are, for the most part, quick 2-5 minute sketches of landscapes with tempera to demonstrate how the landscape is comprised of basic shapes (layers). Note the photo is a model. We work from calendar photos. Tempera on 80 lb white sulfite paper, 12x18" each.

We look for basic shapes to emulate. I demonstrate water and sky with wet on wet technique. Though we're using tempera, or poster paint, it can be thinned down and used like watercolor. I paint paper with water first and add color sparingly. Their palette contains only four colors: yellow, magenta (no red), cyan/sky blue and dark blue. And from that, they make all the colors of the world. Brown is made from all three primary colors. As is black.

I don't give kids little brushes. We do these paintings with fat 1" wide brushes! Harder to get details that way. We go for the basic shapes. The rest will follow.

Since I rarely have more than 10 sessions per class (sometimes I only see kids 5 times in any given year), I streamline and accelerate lesson plans to cover maximum ground. So this lesson focuses on primary color mixing and identifying simple shapes.

These sketches introduce the idea of water horizon line. Sometimes the easiest way to begin a painting is to put a horizontal stripe down the middle. I usually start with yellow and add layers of color. There are four colors in their palettes (really ice cube trays) Yellow, magenta (no red), cyan/sky blue and dark blue. Nada mas! And from that, they make all the colors. Brown is made from all three primary colors. I tried using stabillo pencil to sketch in black...I will do anything to NOT put black in the painting tray/palette (really an ice cube tray).

This is an unfinished sketch of Maui. A child was having trouble seeing the basic shapes so I did a quickie demo. I've given up on letting them sketch first with a pencil (though I did on this one to show him the shapes), because they'll spend the entire hour drawing and not painting. We usually have only an hour total to complete our work, not much time to crank out art!

I'm noticing that the longer I work with a particular group of kids, the more in depth and realistic my demos become. I worked with these kids in 3rd and 5th grade and so I was able to refine the info.

With an advanced class, I introduced the multi-color dabbing technique for shrubbery with sparing use of black and white. I also tried to introduce light direction as well, with less success. (added 3/17)

Klee Quilts (art)

In class demos. Most of these pieces were painted in January. Tempera on 80 lb white sulfite paper, each block is 12x18". So this one is 36" x 54",(3' x 4.5') and the ones at the bottom of the page are 3' x 6'. Hence the name quilt.


This bank of demo tempera images (each one is 12x18") I did in my art classes covers an entire blackboard (I teach K-5 kids). In each class, I demonstrate how to hold the brush, make fat & thin lines, circles...

It's a lesson I developed on the work of Paul Klee but my images are more analogous with Keith Haring's style. I had a neighbor, Betty Wall, who made crazy quilts. So that too was an influence.
I also wore a colorful top to teach in, that had African motifs, so many influences went into this particular style.

Kids each made their own Pall Klee style monograms based on their initials and/or geometric shapes. Start with the lightest color. Black is added last as it pollutes the water, and other paints.  Added 3/2017.




Sunday, February 10, 2008

Daffodils for St Dafyd's Day (photos)

 A potted daffodil opened in time for St Dafyd's Day. Backlighting seems to be a more interesting visual approach.

Daffodil (related to narcissus) admiring itself in a mirror.

Some garden flowers and leaves—good subjects to learn digital photography as they didn't squirm or complain too much. I've always inherited really old technology—people's cast off Macs and cameras. In 2006, I got two small KQED SPARK art grants, which allowed me to buy an iMac and 2 cheap digital cameras. That technology upgrade changed my life and it's been a huge exponential learning curve ever since. I spent off moments lurking in my neighbors' flowerbeds or grabbing photos on the fly. 

My little digital Nikons aren't all that great but they do fit into a jeans pocket and half the battle is being ready to catch the light. I find that the older CoolPix L4 4.1 megapixel camera (dropped dozens of times) is much better at focusing while my S200 7.1 MP camera captures more color info.

My $29.95 made-in-China trainer-bra camera, little better than a cell phone, was half-dead after I accidentally watered it in a creek at the 2005 Kate Wolf Festival (it was 114 degrees) in Memdocino Co. I was sad to see it go as it did such a terrffic job in full sunlight. Though I was able to kick start it on the iMac, it was never quite the same.

It was terrible grainy (3.1 MP) to begin with and had a blue color cast but it had a great macro lens. That's what got me into taking photos of flowers. So I kept it for sentimentality's sake until a fellow Freecycler coming to collect books spotted it. Last I heard, it had a new lease on life and was working perfectly.

Here's hoping the technology fairy will soon send a L14 or a D40 Nikon my way as the trusty little L4 CoolPix that I carry into every class I teach (to document student work), is having a harder time focusing these days.

© 2007-2009 Maureen Hurley All works of art and photographs in these albums is © copyright 2009 by Maureen Hurley and may not be used in any endeavor or context.

added 2/2017 from Facebook