Gabrielle Gamboa finished out a summer of wonderful art-making at Marinwood Camp with four new activities. If you’d like to bring Gabrielle to your classroom this year to teach these and other visual arts activities, contact Suzanne, Director of Artists in Schools!
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Mentor Artist Suzanne Joyal met with a group of parents and teachers at Venetia Valley School in San Rafael in June, and what was meant to be a small gathering of Art Parents soon turned into a large group of families eager to explore their creative side together. Families worked side-by-side to create their own personal colograph prints.
We explored the question: “What is a PRINT?”
We used old file folders, and began by cutting a variety of shapes in different sizes. We experimented with the design by placing and moving and layering the shapes before we glued them onto a larger piece of file folder.
This is when the fun really began: we used four different colors of ink, and 10 different colors of paper, and experimented with how our choices of each affect the final design of our print. Artists of all ages were able to make many different artworks with their brayers, ink, and paper.
Amid the hustle and bustle of snack preparation and the smells of fish sticks or chicken nuggets baking, the kitchen at Castro Valley Parent Nursery School was transformed into a lively art studio with Mentor Artist Margaret Niles. The energy and enthusiasm of the three- and four- year olds made every class lively and fun, involving an element of play and experimentation. The children explored their way through a variety of projects, from printing, to drawing, to painting, to sculpting.
We began with a childhood classic: fruit and vegetable stamping. Little did Margaret know that these kids were accomplished stampers, and it wasn’t long before the colored tempera paints were mixed and blended together in wonderful new combinations with the aid of bits of corn, apple, and potato. They also modeled birds out of self-hardening clay and learned to shape a head, a beak, a body, and a tail. These creatures of flight and fancy were embellished by brightly colored feather wings, making them truly out of this world. To ensure their birds were comfortable, the little ones crafted nests out of a variety of softly textured materials. It was a community effort, as parents contributed baggies of dryer lint, and collections of small twigs their children helped gather.
The budding artists also experimented with mixing their own colors from the primaries to arrive at wonderful new creations and gained some technical practice with drawing different shapes and types of lines. They also learned to roll balls out of Model Magic to form caterpillars and to shape other animals, adding brightly colored macaroni for embellishment or dinosaur scales. It was especially fun to observe some children immediately start to play with their modeled animals, be they bird or caterpillar, and to create interactive and spontaneous games with their animals and one another. The children are accustomed to having lots of choices in their preschool, and they were true art ambassadors and model citizens.
The differences in developmental levels and concentration among the children, particularly between the three and four year olds, was at times pronounced. It was fascinating to observe some children, who could sit for an entire half hour or more, and others who were finished at a rather windy pace.
These eager artists demonstrated a natural creativity and willingness to take risks as they painted, sculpted, drew, played, and explored their vivid imaginations and the world both in and around themselves, finding joy and satisfaction in the process.
Twelve weeks of printmaking with Mentor Artist Suzanne Joyal culminated with cookies, cider, and sharing of projects. The second- through fifth- graders in Lynwood’s after-school LEAP program began the residency by learning the fundamentals of printmaking:
Colographs are made up of layers of stiff paper cut or torn, and then glued into interesting patterns and shapes. Our choices of ink and paper color made the possibilities endless. Click to continue »
Students in the after school LEAP program at Lynwood School are getting a taste for printmaking with Mentor Artist Suzanne Joyal. So far, the second through fifth graders have experimented with building their own unique chop signature marks, monoprinting in black on white paper, and creating colotypes with colorful inks and papers.
In preparation for this week’s project of printing on black paper with white ink, students practiced drawing skeletons with oil pastels and chalk pastel pencils. They experimented with lights and darks, contrast and composition. They looked at the works of Jose Posada (Mexico 1851-1913)
The students were so inspired by their drawings that many of them created accordion books and shared their stories with the entire class.
Just in time for Dia de los Muertos: students recreated their skeletons in line drawings which were then turned into etchings in foam and printed two different ways: White paper with black ink, and black paper with white ink.
Visual Arts Specialist, Ascha Drake, and Bayside Elementary 5th grade teacher, Mr. Mitchell , worked together to develop a unit on leadership.
“What are the characteristics of a great leader?”
“How are you a leader?”
The students looked at African American leaders in history, and listened to, and read many of their writings and speeches.
Then the students began to think of other leaders in the world they admire. And then the students started to consider how they, themselves, are leaders.
“How can I make the world a better place?”
As artists, the 5th graders looked at different ways people portray themselves to the world.
Students then began imagining how they would present themselves to the world, using a contour line drawing technique.
And then the students incised their lines into Syrofoam, that became the plate that they then printed using gold, silver, and white ink on black paper.
Each student made an edition of 5 prints.
Students then wrote about what they dream about as leaders, and a bulletin board was created in the Bayside office titled,
“Leaders are Dreamers”
Next Friday, December 10th, the K and 1st grade classes at Bayside school are heading out on an excursion.
They will ride on the Sausalito Ferry out to Alcatraz and back. While they are on the ferry, they will join many other school children to decorate the interior space with art work.
Presently, Mr. Scullion’s 1st grade class is in the midst of an art cycle with Ms. Brooke.
The classroom is filling up with the presence of their artmaking.
For the ferry project, Mr. Scullion’s 1st grade class worked with Ms. Ascha to create printed holiday tags.
Before Ms. Ascha came into the class, Mr. Scullion and his students created a list of words that reflect this time of year. Some examples are:
joy, peace, family, sharing, light, love, winter, happiness
The students then were introduced to the idea of making a “print” with Ms. Ascha.
Using stamps created out of foam, the artists thought about creating multiple images on the precut tags.
The tags symbolized a dreidel, a dove, a tree, a star, and an ornament (circle).
Most of the 1st graders stood as they printed using gold and while ink.
There is a physicality about the printmaking process that makes it exciting.
When the artists were finished printing, we talked about how exciting it will be to see their work displayed on the ferry along with other young artists creations.