Friday, October 31, 2014

Self Portraits and One Unhappy Art Teacher

Fourth grade is busy at work, drawing their self portraits like Frida Kahlo.  We're still adding our details, but their drawing skills are so very good this year:

I thought about having them color with colored pencil, but it takes forever and I was really happy with the painted ones from a few years ago, so we'll stick with outlining in ultra-fine-Sharpie and paint.
Fifth grade is also working on self portraits.  After making Queen Elizabeth I, we're making ourselves as president (except one student who's making her mom as president, and doing an AMAZING job).  This year, we took notes comparing monarchies and democracies, focusing on art's role.  Like, with a portrait of royalty, they need to look noble, (ie better than us), smart, powerful and wealthy.  Presidents need to look smart, approachable and in control (but not all-powerful).  We drew with pencil and are starting our oil pastel:

We'll work some symbols of America into the backgrounds.  I also want them to do some writing when they're done, a sort of narrative about themselves as president, what they accomplished during their presidency, etc.

We had to add her eyelids in, she had a bit of a wicked look without them!

Student's mom as president, I can't wait for her to see it,
as her daughter really captured her likeness!
(The chin's a bit long, but we'll work on it)
As for the unhappy art teacher bit, I had a total meltdown in sixth grade yesterday.  Picture it: I had half the room working with gelli plates and our faux gelli plates while the other half was making stamps for adinkra printing when I look over and see students using brayers like paint rollers, just covering their whole papers and LOST IT. "WHY are we doing this?? WHY am I busting my behind dragging all this stuff out and cleaning it up if you're just DOING THAT?"  I explained the possibilities AGAIN and then a student looks right at me and paints his paper with his brayer, using his gelli plate as a pallet, and friends, I had to leave the room.  Get out in the hall for some fresh air.  They're a nice group of students, so it was DEAD SILENT in there and I was losing my mind.  We all survived the class period, (at least I can say that) and when I talked to the classroom teacher at the end of the day she said they came back and said "We made her really mad." When their classroom teacher said "Did you apologize?" they replied "No, we thought it'd make it worse."  Smart kids.
We'll soldier on, and I'll narrow it down some more with the gelli printing to get some decent prints out of this if it's at all possible.  I just LOVE gelli printing so much.  Maybe I should take a day off to gelli print for eight hours. . . .hmmmm, that's really something to consider!

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