AVIC (Art Volunteer in the Classroom) formerly known as Picture Lady. Also known as Meet the Masters, Picture People, Art Outreach, Gallery Greats, Art Masterpiece Program, Art To Go, Art Smart, Art To Grow On, Class Act Art, Art Enrichment in the Classroom, etc.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Jackson Pollock (1912 - 1956)

Short clip of Jackson Pollock at work

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Colored Pencil, Crayon, Marker Ideas from Faber-Castell

A great resource for art project ideas is on the Faber-Castell web site. Browse through the many techniques for using colored pencils, wax crayons, oil pastels, paint and markers. Something there has to spark an idea for an art project.

Ideas for Drawing and Colouring with Pencils, Crayons, and Paint

Merging colours is one idea on the Faber-Castell web site that I thought would work for an art appreciation lesson.

Merging colours

Fibre-tip pens can be used in many of the same ways as colour pencils, and they are also useful for learning about secondary colours. For this we use a pointillist technique, with lots of little dots. Try it with just the primary colours red, blue, and yellow. If you stand back, then the individual dots are no longer perceived as such, but merge in the eye to form secondary colours. This effect is also used in colour printing, as a magnifying glass will show. Oranges coloured with red and yellow dots appear orange, yellow-and-blue leaves look green. This technique is very suitable for pictures of natural objects, sketched out beforehand with a soft pencil or a pale yellow fibre-tip pen.

History of the Pencil

Ever wonder how the pencil came to be? Faber-Castell has a great page on their web site titled Pencil Discovery and Innovation.

The beginning of the pencil is explained here from the Faber-Castell web site:

The origins of today's pencil goes back to 1565, when a grey-black glistending substance was found in Borrowdale, in the Cumberland hills of England. It was said to be a 'lead' coloured material, greasy to touch an quick to stain the fingers. This substance became known as black-lead, an was found to be more convenient for a writing an drawing than pen and ink, as it's marks could be easily rubbed out.

This would be paired great with an Escher print:

M.C. Escher, Drawing Hands (1948) 

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Franz Marc in 3 Dimensions

Love Franz Marc. This short video would be great to show after telling the students about Marc. Follow with a discussion of the elements and Marc's art.
Music is beautiful also.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Jackson Pollock in the Classroom

Here's a fantastic blog post from last week by my fellow INK: Interesting Nonfiction for Kids mate,  Jan Greenberg. My favorite art appreciation presentations have been when I read a book to a class, followed by a discussion about the artist, his or her art, and the book... and the author. At first I was surprised that reading an art-related picture book worked for all class grades. Kindergartners to Fifth Graders listened intently, asked insightful questions, and all participated in an exciting discussion about the artist. Guess what's what makes a well-written picture book.

Action Jackson in the Classroom
Jan's discussion questions work well for discussing any artwork.
Action Jackson
by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan, illustrated by Robert Andrew Parker.
Roaring Brook Press 2002

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Arne Duncan's recent comments on Arts Education

While fielding questions at a town hall forum in Sacramento, CA, September 2009, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan was asked about promoting the arts in schools. Duncan said, "It's always the arts that get cut when money gets tight, but it's often band, choir, musicals, being on a sports team, being on a debate team that keep children in school. We cannot afford to narrow the curriculum, and teaching the arts is one of the best underutilized strategies for keeping children in schools."
Arne Duncan's Letter
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan released a letter to school officials and community leaders reminding them of the important role of arts education in a student's life. This is a letter worth sharing with members of your school board, booster club, local newspaper, and the community at-large. Read the letter...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Nazi Looted Paintings Discovered at Southern Methodist University

The story and concept of all the artwork and treasures that were stolen by the Nazis during WWII continue to astound me, and once again is in the news. And, sadly, the search for the looted art continues, and will continue for a very long time.
Just this past week: "Based on new evidence about the systematic looting of art from Jewish owners in the course of hostilities in Europe during World War II, a pair of famous paintings on display at SMU's Meadows Museum created by Spanish master Bartolome Esteban Murillo (1618-1682) of Seville's Patron Saints Justa and Rufina, estimated to be worth more than $10 million, are believed to have been stolen from the Rothschild family in Paris in 1941."

Robert M. Edsel, Founder and President of the Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to completing the mission of the Monuments Men, started to question the ownership of the two paintings in 2006.

Robert M. Edsel is the author of a newly released book, The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History.   Really looking forward to reading this book!

Here's the entire news story:
Artdaily.org - The First Art Newspaper on the Net

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Why Introduce Children to Masterpieces: Great Article!

Teaching Rembrandt
Why introduce children to masterpieces?


Joseph Matthew Piro is director of “Rembrandt and Collections of His Art in America,” a project aimed at developing a teaching Web site. The project, which received $184,348 in NEH funding, is in development. 

Humanities, November/December 2007, Volume 28/Number 6

Friday, October 23, 2009

Mike Venezia: AVIC Workshop

Today is my post day on INK: Interesting Nonfiction for Kids.
This past Monday was the yearly Art Volunteer in the Classroom Workshop sponsored by the Fox Valley Associates of the Art Institute of Chicago. Mike Venezia, author and illustrator of the fabulous Get to Know the World's Greatest Artists Series, was the guest speaker. Anyone who has done any research on artists has seen his books.
Here's the link to my article: Mike Venezia Inspiring Art and Creativity