It’s the first day of Winter here in Australia. It’s not snowing ( it rarely does in suburban Melbourne) but the weather is damp and miserable, a great time for writing and reading Blog posts. While my fellow Art teacher is holidaying in Europe I have had the pleasure of taking her Grade Two classes on a Friday. Yesterday the students added some collage to last week’s stencil printed snowmen. They had a wonderful time imagining such characters as Snow families, Ninja snowmen and even famous snow people who had the red carpet rolled out for them. A piece of red ribbon inspired that idea. Next week we will complete the pictures and begin to plan our 3D snow people.
Last November I visited the Venetian hotel in Las Vegas. There were canals complete with gondolas and buildings in the distinctive Venetian style. I captured some photos of the ornate Venetian Masks which were for sale in some of the many shops. I hope that they will inspire our Grade Six students who are beginning to construct Paper Mache masks today.
Last Term our Grade 3 and 4 students looked at the abstract artworks of Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky. They used his Concentric Circles painting as inspiration for an oil pastel drawing using their own choice of colours. The completed work was coated with some clear gloss to seal the pastel and prevent smudging. You might like to try a Wassily Kandinsky puzzle which we found.
Our Grade 3 and 4 students based a circular weaving work on Mandalas ( the word comes from the Sanskrit word for circle). The students made a circular loom by cutting slits at regular intervals around a plastic or paper picnic plate and winding wool around it to create the “warp” threads. The wool ends were taped onto the back of the plate or tied. They then used a variety of different “weft” threads to weave in a circular motion until the space was filled. They could still use some additional decoration. It will be interesting to see how creative our students can be in this today’s lesson.
Are there other circular looms which could be used? I once saw an old bike wheel used as a loom. Or what about a hula hoop?
Second Term began yesterday here in Victoria, Australia and fellow Art Teacher Glenys Vella and I took a group of 21 Grade 6 students on an excursion into the City of Melbourne. We visited Victoria’s Parliament House where we were given an excellent guided tour of the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council chambers. We then walked to the nearby Melbourne Museum where we ate a picnic lunch and toured several exhibits including the Dinosaur Walk, the Melbourne Story and the Forest Gallery. The pictured 3D Coat of Arms was part of the Melbourne Exhibition. Although the kangaroo and emu are long dead they looked realistic and showed how they majestically guard our State emblems on one federal shield. The background floral emblem is our golden wattle. Can you find which emblem goes with which of our states?
It’s so sad to write that our beloved pets have died. They take up an enormous part of our hearts and when they go they leave a hollow feeling in us. I was blessed to have these two Bernese Mountain Dogs, Lexxy (left) and Henry, in my life over the past nine years. Lexxy died on December 23rd 2011 and Henry, just two days ago. Pets are something that many of us have in common and stories about them abound. Henry’s special trick was to bring in our newspaper, the Herald Sun, each morning. This was difficult on weekends because the paper was so heavy.
Rest In Peace Henry. Your cheeky character, complete loyalty and unconditional love will be sadly missed.
I would like to hear about your pet and why he/she is so dear to you.
Melbourne Art Supplier Zart is a company which cares about the teachers and students of Victoria, interstate and further afield. It is a wonderful supplier of excellent Professional Development for Teachers. At a recent New Products Workshop held after school in our Art Room we were treated to some great new books and a range of interesting new art materials. The presenter, Stacey, allowed us to try out the super new coloured pencils, the fine Posca markers and to fold some boxes using the great range of new papers. The many teachers who attended, including several of our Classroom Teachers, thoroughly enjoyed the snapshot of new products and look forward to using them soon. Zart has been around since I began teaching Art in 1986. I owe them a big vote of thanks for their role in providing such great materials and valuable learning experiences through their Professional Development Workshops over the years. Thank You Zart.
Each year our Grade 6 students make a group mosaic in Art Classes which, after presentation to our School Principal at Grade 6 Graduation, is later displayed in our school courtyard. Last year we made a larger mosaic than our usual 60 x 60cms because we felt a dragon needed extra length, as will the Year of the Snake one to be made late this year. The water dragon design was by Caitlyn from 6JS who has enjoyed drawing dragons since she was small. Our Congratulations go to Caitlyn and we look forward to seeing some interesting snake designs for this year’s mosaic.
Our Grade 5 and 6 students have been drawing in the Zentangle style over the past few weeks. We are very proud of all of our students who have been very focused on creating new patterns and enjoying the freedom that Zentangling brings. Some students have continued this style of drawing outside Art classes and have brought their completed pieces in to show us. The second task was to incorporate Zentangles into a name plaque for themselves or as a gift for someone. Congratulations on your progress so far everyone!
This past weekend I spent time with my fellow Rotarians at Echuca and Moama which are twin towns on either side of our mighty Murray River. The Murray forms the border of the States of Victoria and New South Wales. We stayed in cabins at the attractive Murray River Resort. After dark a Brush Tailed Possum came boldly up to our outdoor dining table. He was nibbling on a rice cracker and didn’t seem at all frightened by the camera flash. We realize that wildlife should not be fed or encouraged but it was hard to resist posting this photograph. Our weather has been very dry lately so, with very little fruit to be found, he may well have been asking for help. We hope you enjoy these close up shots.