Monday, March 17, 2014

Weekend Mornings Inspired by van Gogh

Book of van Gogh's letters in hand with acrylics and brushes, I spent a few hours each morning this past weekend sitting at the kitchen table painting...for myself vs. a lesson plan... and it felt awesome. For those of you with young children, I am sure that you are familiar with how rare it can be to find time for hobbies. 

 I started out with 'Starry Night Over the Rhone" which feels more of like a painter's sketch vs. a full finished painting because it took such a short time to paint. With each brushstroke, I pictured Vincent outside, connected with nature painting for the pure joy and desire to just paint and live.
Step 1
Step 2..done
Sunday morning brought a more challenging sketch of just an Iris. Not quite finished yet.
Step 1
Step 1.5...not quite done

Friday, March 14, 2014

Welcome to Bear Tavern You Grand Old Ox (featuring the Ox Selfie Cam)

How often do you have an ox at your school to paint? My guess is never. That's because out of the many artsy animal parade that have crossed the globe, the ox is a bit rare. You will see more dogs and horses but the ox was chosen by the new Hopewell Valley Arts Council Committee because it is " a symbol of the Valley’s agricultural heritage, teamwork and enduring sense of community, the ox, an historic reminder of Hopewell Valley’s farming tradition, was chosen as the icon of the HV Arts Council’s public art event. Today, a team of oxen is still used to plow the fields and haul heavy loads at the Howell Living History Farm in Hopewell Township, uniquely connecting the past and present."
Photo courtesy of the Arts Council (there were only 2 oxen on our delivery truck FYI)
Our ox, who is yet to be named, was delivered to the school by a team of energetic, fun people yesterday afternoon. Honestly, if they had more deliveries to make, I would have asked to go along as it really seemed like a lot of fun. The first graders were coming out of the gym at the time from recess and were the first people in the building to see the ox come through the doors.
It was quite exciting,

Ok, so there is a celebrity in the art room now... Eight feet long and weighs 75 pounds.....(tell me your secret!)....
Cast of fiberglass for the Arts Council, is hollow so therefore very light. The ox is quite easy to move around. 

The Bear Tavern students and staff have been intrigued by this special new community member. It's only white but quite interesting to look at. Stop by and see. 
We are going to paint the ox to look very earthy cool by using cool colors on one side and higher contrast blue/white on the other with zentangle designs. 
We will paint the base colors during van Gogh art night on March 31. 

Keep you posted!

The Lady who got the selfies' started!


Art Teacher Shopping Trip for OX PAINT @ Jerry's Art Supply
from Left) Gillian Beck, Gay Hong Hua and I.. Not Pictured: Kathleen Belton who was there shopping with us earlier on.

Hopewell Elementary Art Teacher, Ms. Hua with their ox on Friday

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Grade 4: Almond Blossoms

Almond Blossoms is one of my very favorite paintings. Vincent van Gogh painted it to hang in his nephews nursery. The flowering branches were a favorite of van Gogh's as they represented "awakening and hope". I love the color palette of this painting as well as the strength and delicacy of it. This painting, along with numerous others, were on display a few year back in Philadelphia at the museum there. Almond Blossoms is a large painting that is mesmerizing.

This month, in the art room we are learning about Vincent van Gogh. Each grade level is capturing his post-impressionistic style and imagery in a project of their own. My 4th graders have done a beautiful job of creating their interpretation of 'Almond Blossoms'.
Not to go into a weird art teacher mode here but I felt somewhat emotional watching my students progress in these paintings. We began by mixing colors for the backgrounds. The joy that these 9 and 10 year olds had in mixing paint reminded me of how beautiful the simple joys of life/art can be.

Once the branches were drawn, students blended colors to fill the branches in followed by adding the delicate flowers. I could have cried seeing how beautifully executed the branches were. I felt such a wave of emotions seeing my 4th graders, who I love so dearly, re-create one of my favorite paintings so well. Their talent beamed through in each stage of this project. Here are a few completed painting from Mrs. Miller's class.