Friday, October 2, 2015

Chalk Pastel Landscapes inspired by Wolf Kahn

"The horizon, though in actuality a dividing line, must become, in a painting, a place where sky and land meet and mesh and become seamless." 

Wolf Kahn's artwork makes me feel calm and centered.  If I can't go out for a walk in the woods, looking at his paintings and pastels of forest and mountain landscapes is the next best thing.  Although Kahn primarily lives and works in New York City, when looking at his work it is obvious that he also spends time in Vermont.  Kahn has a part-time residence in Brattleboro!

Wolf Kahn is a German-born artist who combines realism with an art style called "color field."  Color field painting is when the color is the main subject of the piece of artwork. 

First and second graders looked at examples of Wolf Kahn's trees and landscapes.  We used chalk pastels to create color field backgrounds, then add trees and other landscape elements.  

Here are some examples of first and second grade art inspired by Wolf Kahn.  In addition to the peaceful subject matter of these landscapes, many students noticed the effect that blending the chalk pastels had on them. Don't you feel calmer already?

A photo posted by Nora (@artclass_allday) on

"I'm the Art Teacher" video

Check out this hilarious "Kid Snippets" video about an art class.  What does the "art teacher" do that might help the student?  What does the teacher do that might not help the student?

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

What do you notice when you look at art?

Fifth and sixth graders used their ChromeBooks in Art for the first time this week! They were able to independently write responses to our "Do Now" prompt, look for images and watch the Elements and Principles videos that are linked to the Art Blog.

Before we began our study of the Elements of Art and the Principles of Design, I want students to think about what they notice when they look at art. They responded to the following prompts:
  • What do you notice when you look at art?
  • What catches your eye?
  • What makes “good art?”  (notice that we have quotation marks around "Good Art" because this may mean something different for each person!)

Here are some of their responses, which these wonderfully tech-savy kids shared with me via Google Drive.

i notice different emotions and feelings and mostly cool shapes catch my eye. all art is good art .

When I look at art I sometimes notice something or I notice what the thing to person is doing. I

really like illusions. I like looking at them I like drawing and making them. I think good art is art

that you really try to do and if you mess up you find another way to do it or try it again. I LOVE


*I think that good art can make you happy or sad.

*I think that good art can make your day

I notice color in art, design, and a meaning. Good art is art

that can flow. The work that is put into art, the process is

what catches my eye. Something that you thought on, that

is good art.

When I look at art I notice the little details to the small details, from one paint stroke, to what that paint stroke creates. Things that catch my eye are beautiful things that mean something, like real things happening, even if you were to draw a squiggly line, it could make it mean something to other people, as long as it means something to you. Good art is when it draws someone in, instead of glancing at it you feel intrigued to really take a chance to look at it and understand what the artist was feeling or doing. 

I notice that when i look at art i sometimes think it looks weird.  I also notice that there are usually  very bright colors.

1) I notice colors in the artwork when I look at it.

2) I think the colors also catch my eye.

3) Good art is art that someone worked hard on. 


Elements of Art and Principles of Design Photography Project

Fifth and sixth graders used iPads to photograph examples of specific Elements of Art and Principles of Design seen around the school.  We used the PhotoCollage app to create these collages. 





Friday, September 25, 2015

Kindergarten art inspired by the book "Art" by Patrick McDonnell

Kindergarten Artists read the book "Art," by Patrick McDonnell.  They were inspired by Art, the main character of the book, to create using a variety of arts media, including watercolor, colored pencils and markers.  We made art strips to display multiple pieces.