Laurel Burch Cats
1st grade checked out the work of Laurel Burch. Laurel was an American artist who is most well-known for her brightly colored and patterned paintings of animals, particularly cats. What I find so amazing about Laurel is that she had a condition in which her bones were so brittle that they often broke/fractured doing everyday things. It is estimated that she fractured over 100 bones throughout her life. Despite the immense pain that she was often in, her artwork was still so bright and cheerful. It makes you feel happy just looking at it!
The first day was spent learning about Laurel and then drawing a cat. After drawing their cat and tracing it with crayon, they added three different patterns to the cats body with crayons.
The 2nd day of the project, we talked about tints and shades. This is the first time we have talked about them since they were in kindergarten. Our artists used tempera cakes to mix tints and shades and add them to their cat. They mixed the colors right in the tempera cake pans.
The final day was a busy one! They added a pattern to their background with markers. Then we talked about organic shapes and used those to create at least 3 flowers for the background. Lastly, they cut out their cat and glued it to the background.
I was somewhat happy with the results, however, I would like to find a better way to go about painting them. A lot of students struggled with thinning out their paint with water and not making the paint go on their paper too thick. It's something that I will have to put more thought into the next time I do the project!
Hokusai was a Japanese printmaker most well-known for his series titled Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji. Mt. Fuji is very important to the Japanese due to religious reasons. Of the series, The Great Wave off Kanagawa is the most famous. The print shows a menacing wave looking to crash down upon a small Mt. Fuji in the distance. The print symbolizes the everlasting nature of the mountain. While the waves will come and go, the mountain will always be there.
This was a project that I got from Laura Lohmann over at Painted Paper. You can check out her project details here.
Our first day, we painted using black and white. Students started with white in the middle of their paper. They painted from the middle of their paper to about halfway between the middle and the bottom of their paper. Then they used black and started from the bottom and worked their way up to where they stopped with the white. Some of the black would mix with the white and create a gradient from white to grey to black. We talked about how when a color goes from light to dark, we call that value.
The second day, they drew a large "C" shape on the top of their black and white value painting. From the top of the "C", they drew a diagonal line downward. This formed a large menacing wave. They painted their newly drawn wave with blue, as well as painting over their value painting from last class. When they painted the blue over their value painting, it made the top of the wave lighter and the bottom of the wave darker, creating a blue value scale. Then they used white paint to paint along the top of their wave, as well as some ripples in the water. Lastly, they dabbed some white paint along the top of the wave to make it look like spraying water.
Harmony and Consolidated Elementary Art Teacher in Milton, WI. UW-Eau Claire graduate. WAEA President. Apple Teacher.