Friday, November 8, 2013

Pollock, Thiebaud, Johns and Steeeelllllllaaaaaaaa!

I know I say this a lot, but I LOVE the projects my fifth graders are working on now.  (I also promise that if you met me in real life, you'd find I'm not a gushy/lovey/sappy person generally, I just really enjoy what I do).  

So I gave them a little overview of Jackson Pollock, Wayne Thiebaud, Jasper Johns and Frank Stella.  They took notes in their sketchbooks as I "lectured" (ie, told fascinating stories about each artist, including the very embarrassing time I met Wayne Thiebaud and found out he wasn't nearly as excited to meet me as I was to meet him).  

As we took notes on each artist, I'd show them a little one page slide about them just so they could see a photograph of the man and some of his work.  It's really not an exciting SmartNotebook file, but if you want it, you can get it here, just find the one entitled Pollock Thiebaud Johns Stella.  That was the whole first day, just background info on all four artists.  The next time they came to art, we opened the Pollock Thiebaud Johns Stella file again and watched the video of Jackson Pollock painting (it's video-pure'd linked to his slide).  The first group I did this with is WILD.  Like, crazy-behaviors-half-of-them-are-on-behavior-plans-with-their-teacher-who's-great-and-taught-20-years kind of wild.  I had them CLOSELY WATCH the video clip and watch how he poured and dripped paint rather than flung it.  Then I gave them paper with their names already on it and cups of paint with craft sticks.  We did have to water the paint down a bit. 

 I was so IMPRESSED with how well they did!  Really, they did SO GREAT! I also love how they're all so different, even though it seems so simple and like they'd all look alike.  But they really don't, and I can really see some of each student's personality in their painting.  Is that weird? 

The next time they came to art, we started Wayne Thiebaud Cloud Clay/Model Magic cupcakes.  The first day we got bottoms of cups (leftover from a third grade papier mache vase project) and used 2-3 crumpled paper towels and tape to make a sort of armature to build on top of:


The next time they came to art, we added our cupcake tops.  I'd told them to really think about and look at cupcakes before they came back, and I was so happy with the results:

And a few individual shots, so you can really see how amazing they are:

One final shot of cupcakes in the display case:

I just put them up this morning and I've already got several compliments on them (ok, OK, so I may have led people to them and sort of forced the compliments, but I'm accepting of compliments however they come).

Next art class, we'll start some Jasper Johns numbers paintings and then a really cool Frank Stella minimalist/circle/moving painting.  Can't wait!!!!

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