Saturday, February 28, 2015

Mind Blowing Artist of the Month for March!

My daughter and I at our Art Show last year- me in my Starry Night Dress!!  This year- it will have LED light upgrades!!!

Van Gogh is one of my favorite artists and I am so excited to celebrate his birthday, artwork and life during the month of March.  I found a glog from Glogster that I put on my Artist of the Month page to share with students.   I even have a fake Van Gogh 'ear' that I promise to show students if they do a great job during art time.  The fourth graders complete a Van Gogh inspired Cityscape collage that I learned from an awesome FAEA conference several years ago.  It involves having the students creating an impressionistic background (sky) similar to Van Gogh's using paint or oil pastels.  Then the students use cardboard painted black or even black cardstock to cut our a variety of rectangular shaped buildings.  They also use other colors of cardboard to make small windows and other details.

 They turn out AMAZING and this year I plan on making them even better using paper circuits so they really light up!!!  I can't wait.  I show them a few short videos and read them excerpts from the Getting to Know Van Gogh Book and also a great book called The Starry Night by Neil Waldman.  It is a book about a boy in New York City who meets Van Gogh painting in Central Park.  All the illustrations are beautiful impressionistic depictions of various places in New York City. In the end the boy sees Van Gogh's famous Starry Night painting in the MOMA and Van Gogh disappears.....mysteriously! 
There is also a great Starfall online book for younger students. If you have an iPad there is also an AWESOME app that allows you to move your fnger over the Starry Night and move the paint and brushstrokes interactively!  Really neat!
The MetMuseum also has a cool Van Gogh Interactive site that allows students to study his drawings and create their own.  The real Starry Night can be found at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.  They have a cute online art game called Destination Modern Art in which the students can look closer at the painting, review facts about the artist and complete an activity about the color in the painting and a poem.
ArtistVincent van Gogh
MediumOil on canvas
LocationMuseum of Modern Art, New York City
Dimensions29 in × 36.25 in
73.7 cm × 92.1 cm

I also just saw this really cool optical illusion trick that I will be sharing with my students- it involves staring at the black and white swirling lines for 30 seconds and then looking at the Starry Night and it REALLY looks like it is moving!! How cool!
Here are some of my students Van Gogh Cityscapes from previous years.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

"nǐ hǎo" Chinese New Year Dragons

Gung Hay Fat Choy!  February is a great time to study Chinese and Asian art because of Chinese New Year!  This is the year of the sheep and it fell on February 19th.  For several years, I have had a great lesson that I do with third grade about 'Cave Dragons'.  Most classes third grade classes have finished their Mola Collages so I introduced the dragon lesson with an emphasis on Chinese culture.  Cultural art appreciation is found in many of our state standards for art.
VA.3.H.1.1 Describe cultural similarities and differences in works of art.
VA.3.H.1.2 Describe the importance of displaying suitable behavior as part of an art audience.
VA.3.H.1.3 Identify and be respectful of ideas important to individuals, groups, or cultures that are reflected in their artworks.
VA.3.H.2.1 Compare differences or similarities in artworks across time and culture.
GSo of course I made a video and also shared with them a great online fable called, Draw Dragon Dot Eyes on Starfall.

Then I printed out some handouts that show basic steps to start their drawing.  In my video I drew my chinese dragon on black paper, traced it with glue, let it dry and then shaded it with chalk pastels.  Last year, I had students draw on white paper , trace with sharpie and paint them with watercolor paint.  So for this project I let them choose.  I think they are going to turn out great! 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Selfies! 5th Grade Self Portraits

As an artist, portraits are one of my favorite types of art.  I love the human form, figure and face.  It provides so many opportunities for expression and
One of my most recent paintings of a 'selfie' my daughter took.
communication.  I usually try to have each grade do a type of portrait. For Kindergarten- I am going to try a 'Pirate Pattern Portrait' because our school mascot is the pirate.  First grade does a Frida Kahlo style portrait with an animal.  Second grade does a Klimt Quilt type of portrait.  Third grade does the famous Picasso Style portrait.  Fourth grade is going to do a Pop art portrait.  This year I am going to show fifth grade a Chuck Close/Abstract grid style portrait but I plan on letting them choose an art style to inspire how they color/shade their portrait.  So I made the video below and adapted a PowerPoint to show them.  It goes over some popular art styles and movements.  I actually do not have a class set of mirrors but our fifth graders DO have laptops with webcams, so I had them bring their laptops and use a website called BeFunky to take a 'selfie' and use one of the artistic 'funky' filters to make theirs resemble a well known art style.  Once they finished their digital selfie- they saved them and uploaded it to artsonia for review.
Next art class they will be using a photocopy of their picture or (their yearbook picture) to create a portrait on paper.  I show them how to take their photocopy and shade the back of it with pencil.  Then they lay their copy on to another sheet of paper and trace over the contour lines.  The pencil shading from the back will show up on the front.  I encourage them to trace over their lines again with pencil or sharpie so they are more visible. But once that step is complete, they are allowed to choose a medium and a style to finish them.  I plan on showing them how to use the chalk pastels, because they are my preferred medium but students pick a variety of tools to work with.  They end up all so creative and interesting!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


Okay- maybe I am little obsessed with making art movies!  But our music teacher told me about a great opportunity through PBS learning Media to apply for their Digital Innovators Program.  All I had to do was fill out an application and of course- make a YouTube Video about how I am leading innovation in digital learning.  So - I used my two fav apps on the iPad- iMovie and Doink (green screen) to create a fake interview with myself.   Here is my interview!  I love green screen!  It's so fun!

I also entered a video contest through a local business sponsor Davidson Cares.  Please click the link and vote for my video, Shake Your Art and help us win $1000 for ipad minis in art.  THANKS!

ROW Day for Fourth Grade

Today we had ROW (Resource on Wednesday) in which one grade level gets ALL their resources classes for 50 minutes each.  This week the grade was fourth.  I never know if I should have completely separate projects for ROW or just continue what the classes have been working on.  I did the latter this week because I really wanted them to finish these projects.  Unfortunately they were at varying degrees of completion and some of the classes had to be split and join another class (a class and a half) in order to fit all the groups in.  So the two projects that they were working on were their Pirate Ship Seascape Collage and their Native American Coil Pots.  Some classes hadn't even started the Coil Pots so I made a 'flipped' video to ensure that they understood the process.
  So between clay and blue paint everywhere- IT WAS A HUGE MESS in my art room!  Some of the problem was that students were 'playing' with the clay as opposed to actually practicing the coil technique.

I have been reading/listening to Teach Like a Champion on Audible and
I really wanted to try some of the techniques like No Opt Out and Right is Right with regards to the vocabulary that they needed to know. I found a Mimio Vocabulary review template that worked pretty well.  I have to admit I LOVE my Mimio Smart Board but I just don't use it as much as I 'd like .  With our Art End of Course Exam coming up soon- I will be trying to review a lot of the elements and vocabulary with my students- so this Mimio lesson will come in handy.  There's always Kahoot- as well but sometimes classes do not bring their devices so I can always have the mimio back up.  :)  I also showed and reviewed the four stages of clay with the students so that not only will they understand the process and properties of earthenware clay but also know which stage their piece is in and what to do to finish it.

  All in all- today was a busy and productive day.  I ended up loading the kiln full of coil pots that were glazed greenware- along with some bisqueware.  I know a lot of people do two firings, but honestly I haven't had many things explode and I feel like it saves so much more time and energy.  Hopefully the lovely pieces all survive the firing!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Lighthouses and Valentine's Sub Plans

Yesterday was such an awesome experience for our fifth graders in art.  We had a special guest, Dr. Boilini, the Dean of Arts and Sciences from SJRCC come and teach the four groups of fifth graders how to paint an acrylic landscape of the St. Augustine Lighthouse on canvas.  It was awesome!  They learned so much about the properties of acrylic paint, techniques like dry brushing, stippling, and 'rolling'.  It was an awesome experience that I am so glad we got to participate in!  I took pictures of all the finished pieces and uploaded them to our Artsonia gallery already.

 My example that I made (the night before in my kitchen) was inspired by Van Gogh's Starry Night (of course!)  I really wanted to emphasize how their brush strokes can create movement and how they should flow horizontally (across) the background- not vertically.  Dr. Boilini brought photos and facts that she shared with the students about the St. Augustine Lighthouse. (which legends say, is haunted oooh ooohh ) I actually watched a Bob Ross video to help me paint the sky!  I love him so much! I also made the Animoto video below to play for students as they worked.  All in all- they did a great job and most of them finished within the 50 minutes. It was like being at a painting party all day!  (<3 my job)

Unfortunately, right after we finished, I had to run to take my youngest son to the doctor because he had a low grade fever, congestion and just all around crumminess.  He was negative for strep and flu but they wanted to send his swabs to the lab to be sure.  So they said NO school for him today.  Which means I had to get a sub and my art room is a MESS!!!  Hope she doesn't mind.
So I put together a quick Valentine's day art lesson for all the classes to do.  Well I wish her best of luck today!  I will be nursing a little sick 3 year old.    

Monday, February 2, 2015

Shake your Art!

Just finished this cute 'Shake Your Art' Taylor Swift parody music video to enter in the third annual Davidson Cares Class Video Contest. We could win $1000 for iPad minis if we get the most votes- the voting should open soon- so PLEASE click on Palencia- Shake Your Art to help support our art program!!  Thanks!


So I have to admit- I did not watch the Super bowl!  I was too busy trying to prepare for our technology teacher inservice day....  But my arty teacher friends know me so well that they had to point out that Katy Perry may have worn my next art show dress during her half time performance!!!  So I guess I better get started on this beauty now - so it is ready for May!!!  Last year, I used acrylic paint to create a Starry Night Dress and I was thinking of adding LED lights and soft circuits to it since I have been working with 5th graders on making paper circuit robots.  Now I just may have to have a wardrobe change and TWO art show dresses!! WOWZa!  I think I may try duct tape for the Mondrian dress!  Can't wait to get started!!