The Morse Art Studio's Weblog

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Amate Paintings February 24, 2010

Filed under: projects — alaplante @ 10:01 am

After a trip to Mexico last summer, I have been waiting to do this painting with the 2nd graders.  Amate paper is a traditional paper, handmade from bark, in Mexico.  Ancient Mayans and surrounding cultures mastered this technique.  Today, amate paper is used for many purposes, including folk painting.  The 2nd graders studied these detailed paintings, noticing that most of them depicted celebrations or fiestas.  For their own amate painting, the students pretended they were throwing the best birthday/holiday party ever.  They had to show 4 different activities taking place at the party.  The students used flourescent tempera paint on brown paper to achieve the amate painting effect.

Many of these paintings will be hung at our Morse School Art Show, at Gallery 263, in April.


Mad Libs and Surrealism February 10, 2010

Filed under: projects — alaplante @ 10:28 am

The 8th graders used MadLibs as inspiration for their surrealist paintings.  After playing a couple games, students began visualizing the impossible situations that were being described.  They looked at many Salvador Dali paintings, noticing the transformations and surprising combinations in his paintings.  The 8th graders were challenged to write creative sentences using 2 nouns, 1 adjective, 1 verb, and 1 place that were randomly drawn from a bag.  The watercolor paintings that were the result are a combination of detailed drawing and painting; and evoke the unusual and impossibilities of Surrealism.


Camouflage Chameleons February 9, 2010

Filed under: projects — alaplante @ 5:25 am

The junior kindergarteners know all about camouflage!  After reading A Color of His Own, by Leo Lionni, the class discussed how important it is to feel unique.  They colored one lizard any way they wanted.  The next class, the students looked at photos of camouflaged animals in the wild, including frogs, birds, insects, big cats, and fish.  The students discussed why an animal might want or need camouflage.  They colored a second lizard to blend in to its surroundings.  The result is a drawing & collage of 2 lizards, one standing out and one camouflaged.  Now, the junior kindergarteners are hard at work making 3D lizards, using plastic bottles, aluminum foil, and plaster gauze.  They are learning the difference between 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional.

Some of the camouflaged chameleons:

Bruno’s camouflaged lizard is hiding in a rainbow and James’ is hiding underwater with the rocks.

Sonya’s camouflaged lizard is hiding in the flowers and Jeremiah’s lizard is hiding in the seaweed.


Evergreen Trees continued

Filed under: projects — alaplante @ 5:12 am

The kindergarteners keep exploring evergreen trees.  Looking at several different varieties of evergreen trees, the students realized the needles on trees can come in many different sizes, shapes, and colors.  Using this knowledge, the students drew evergreen needles and branches into foam plates.  First, they printed the plates using ink and brayers.  Second, they pressed clay into the foam relief drawing to capture the branch in a clay disk.

Some examples of the prints:
(the clay disks still have to be fired and glazed, coming soon!)


February Art Exhibit February 2, 2010

Filed under: news — alaplante @ 5:32 am

Four Burgers is currently exhibiting kindergarten paintings.  A small display of evergreen landscape paintings will be hanging for the month of February.  Please visit Four Burgers at 704 Mass Ave in Central Square!

Other upcoming Morse School shows:

March- Creatoyvity
April- Rodney’s Bookstore
April- Gallery 263 Morse School Art Show
May- Cambridge Open Studios
May- Cambridge Public Schools Annual Spring Exhibition


State Birds

Filed under: projects — alaplante @ 5:28 am

4th graders are constructing armatures for their paper mache bird sculptures.  Students have been inspired by John James Audubon to study a bird and how it can be recreated in art.  Every student has been assigned a state bird (plus a few other North American species).  They are just about done with the life size armature, or inside structure of a sculpture, and are ready to begin the paper mache-ing.

Below, the armatures for a loon, a sandpiper, and a seagull.