Tuesday, March 25, 2014

What are Boroda Bucks?

Boroda Bucks are the hot new currency in Molin art classes.  About half way through the year, it became apparent that, while class-wide behavioral motivators are great, its also nice to give individual students a pat on the back, too.  At the beginning of each class, I tell the students how many Boroda Bucks are in play for the day (usually between 3-6).

Boroda Bucks are awarded for being an outstanding student- for example working hard in the midst of a unfocused table, or for being a great helper to a fellow student who is struggling, or for remembering lots of information about the artists we're studying, or for making great personal strides in their art making process.

The whole class is still working to earn "Choice Art Days" between each project, so all of my great students can see their progress towards their collective goal, but a few lucky people get the Buck for the day.  I'm happy to add that its always hard to decided who gets the extra recognition, and I love to let my students know that.
At the end of class every day, the Boroda Buck recipients update their name/Boroda Buck tally on our running list. Boroda Bucks can be spent during choice day to use special art materials, or can be saved until the end of the year to earn a choice from the grab bag.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Gustav Klimt

Our 5th grade artists are busy finishing their Klimt-inspired portraits.
Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) was a symbolist painter who very popular during his own life time and continues to be popular today.  You might be familiar with his works "The Kiss" or "The Tree of Life".  He was not only a portrait artist, but a symbolist painter.  Klimt combined these two very different generas into the same paintings, usually by painting very realistic faces, hands and arms, combined with abstracted, symbol-rich garments and backgrounds.

Our 5th grade artists began this project by learning the basic proportions of the human face (a very technical process!) and combined that with clothing and backgrounds filled with symbols and patterns significant to them.  The paintings were completed with water color and finally adorned with gold paint- a nod to Klimt's "Golden Phase".  Here are a few works in progress:

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Charley Harper

Our 4th grade students have been busy completing their Charley Harper-inspired projects.  Charley Harper (1922-2007) was a very popular illustrator who focused mainly on birds and animals.  He coined the term "Minimal Realism" to describe his own work, which was based on observational drawing but highly stylized.  While Charley was a painter, his use of bright, solid colors and clearly defined shapes almost gives the look of cut paper collage, or even of digital illustration.

Molin's 4th grade artists began this project by drawing animals from observation, just like Charley Harper.  Then, using cut paper, they created animal illustrations focusing on color, symmetry, pattern, and lines.  The results are striking.  Here are a few finished examples: