Henri Matisse had a long career as an artist and worked in a variety of styles. Towards the end of his life he began to refine his work into the study of the simple shapes that made up the world around him. The students used memories as inspiration for their work and tried to use simple shapes to create an image from their memory using paper, scissors and glue. They then had time to share their work and see if they could work out what each person’s memory was by reading the shapes.
Another artist who used colours, lines and shapes expressively in his work was Joan Miro who was from Barcelona. The grade 2 students had a lot of fun reading the shapes and lines and we talked a lot about how everyone does not respond to art in the same way. Everyone can have a different perception of what a piece of art means. We all agreed that Miro’s work made us think carefully and that the more we looked the more we thought about the meaning.
The students used a game to make their artwork in this lesson. They used a dice and worked in pairs. The number on the dice corresponded to a certain shape and colour that they used in their work. They created their work in their sketch books first, thinking carefully about composition. Then when they where happy with their plan they used paint to make a larger piece of art. I noticed how carefully they are looking at whilst working now and making choices about colours, shapes, sizes to creating a balanced composition.
Now we are really beginning to dig deeper into how artists use lines, shapes and colours to express themselves in their artworks. We watched the Artist Rudy Ernst create an Action Painting. The we created our own in groups of two or three. First the students created the lines in black and then they made some choices together. They decided if they were going to paint or use pastels, chalks and crayons. Then they decided if they would colour the lines or the shapes. Finally, they decided what the colour scheme would be; cool or warm colours, primary colours or secondary colours. This choice really made a huge impact on the mood the artwork expressed.
After watching these videos about the artist Jackson Pollock we talked about how the artist says he can control the lines to create very purposeful art work. We talked about the way he used his body and the way the lines in his work moved.
“I think it would be very difficult to control your lines when working like this” Poppy
“It looks like he is dancing when he works and his lines look like they are dancing on the paper” Josua
“At first it looks like a big messy thing and then you can see all the kinds of lines in it” Lana
When the students tried they where really surprised at how they controlled their lines:
In Grade 2 we have been exploring lines and how we can control them. We used ink blowing to create these lines and they were quite difficult to control. However, we found that our lines made shapes and that if we controlled our paint to colour the shapes we could create some amazing artwork.
In Grade 2 we are learning about how artists can express themselves through the Elements of Art. We looked at the work of Kandinsky and discussed his special talents. Did you know that Kandinsky had an unusual condition called Synethesesia? This is a brain condition that enables people who have it to mix sensory information without meaning to. For example they may see a smell or taste a feeling!!! When Kandinsky heard music he saw colours and this influenced his work greatly. He always painted to music and expressed what the music made him feel through colour, line and shape. This youtube clip shows his artwork and is set to his favorite piece of music, Seelische Vibration by Arnold Schonberg.
In the first week of school it is always good to take time to get to know each other. I have a lot of old friends in my class and a lot of new ones too! We started by making collages to go on the cover of our sketch books. The students used layers, colours, textures, images and text to create collages that thought carefully about aesthetics and composition but also held some meaning about the personality of the artists. We learned a lot about each other already!
In connection with ongoing inquiry work in the homeroom about expression and communication through stories, grade two students had a visit from the shadow puppet group Anino. Don and Sig spent two session with each grade 2 class and showed the children how to create and manipulate shadow puppets. The children then used the puppets to create stories which they performed in class.
Now they understand how shadow puppetery works they have a lot of ideas about ways they can use this skill in the furture. Not only to tell stories, but to tell audiences about any subject. Perhaps you could make a shadow puppet show of your own at home. Your 2nd grader can show you how – all you need is some carboard, some scissors and a light.
Grade 2 have been enjoying learning about traditional methods of fabric dying. We watched some videos about how batik is created in Indonesia which provoked many questions which the children tried to answer by experimenting with the technique. They used hot wax and Tjantins to draw on cloth and which they then dyed with fabric dye. From their experimentation they decided that is can be hard to control the flow of the wax and so they needed to create designs that were large and simple. The designs they created will be used for their Batik Bags.
When they bring the bags home they will come with information about how to fix the colours and remove the wax. Please contact me if you have any questiosn about the process.
Watch the videos with your children and they can expain what they have leanred about this ancient craft.
Grade 2 students have been working on resist techniques. What is resist? We experimented with different substances to see what happens when you mix them together; oil and water. wax and watercolour, crayons and paint. Here is what we found out:
“The wax is like a wall, it won’t let the colours in” Callum 2 Rea
“It is like the wax crayon is marking it’s territory” Holly 2 ONeel
“The oil is like a barrier against the water” Akshat 2 ONeel
“They don’t like each other so they push each other away!” Bella 2 Duprat
Their first piece of resist art was using Crayons and watercolours. The colours really stand out in the night sky!