The Morse Art Studio's Weblog

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Sad End of Year/Happy Summer Vacation June 18, 2012

Filed under: news — alaplante @ 6:57 pm

Normally, I only have to say goodbye to the graduating 8th graders.  But, with the Innovation Agenda changes in Cambridge, the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th graders all left the Morse forever today!  It was a teary-eyed end of the year, to say the least.  Starting in September, we’ll be a K-5 school here at the Morse.  I will very much miss teaching middle school Art, but am looking forward to our new classes next year (more about that later).  Happy summer, and I’ll be posting again in September!


Winter wonderland June 6, 2012

Filed under: projects — alaplante @ 2:07 pm

Sure, it’s June; but that didn’t stop one 5th grade class for voting on “winter wonderland” as their class theme for a sculpture project.  Inspired by Alexander Calder’s Circus, students have created wire sculptures, with the help of found objects.  Included in their class display are: skiers, snowboarders, ice skaters, hockey players, a dog sled, snowman, snowflakes, ice rink, and mountain!

Here are some individual characters from the group:



Symmetrical butterflies June 5, 2012

Filed under: projects — alaplante @ 2:59 pm

The 2nd graders are watching their caterpillars turn into chrysalises, turn into painted lady butterflies.   While studying life cycles in science class, they have been learning how to draw realistic butterflies.  When we started this project, this is how they drew butterflies:

We looked at photos of real butterflies and noticed that a. the antennas are not curly, b. the wings are more triangular shaped, c. there are simple lines and patterns on wings, definitely NOT hearts.

After drawing butterflies, the students transferred their images onto clay tiles.  Adding and subtracting clay resulted in beautiful relief sculptures.


Calligraphy June 4, 2012

Filed under: projects — alaplante @ 2:51 pm

Ms. Zink’s class got a mini-lesson on the art of calligraphy.  They had read a text on Chinese culture in the classroom, and we thought it would be fun to let them experience writing with traditional tools.  During an Open Studio session, with bamboo brushes, india ink, rice paper scrolls, and handouts of fancy lettering, the students set off to write their names.


Starry Night and Messy Hands June 3, 2012

Filed under: projects — alaplante @ 7:49 pm

11 days of school left!  Sorry for the lack of posts lately, the end of the school year is always a busy time.

The Junior K classes have been learning about the artwork of Vincent Van Gogh.  They have already finished a drawing based on van Gogh’s sunflowers.  With Starry Night, the students noticed the swirly lines, the glowing stars.  They also commented that the swirly lines must be the wind.  And they noticed that the stars aren’t really stars at all, just glowing yellow spots.  Great observations!  Finally, we discussed van Gogh’s very short lines he used to create the sky.

The students used chalk pastels to draw their swirly, windy sky.  They switched to oil pastels to practice van Gogh’s short line marks.


I couldn’t resist taking this picture.  Sometimes it’s just hard not to make handprints on your head when you’re busy with chalk pastels!


Papel Picado June 1, 2012

Filed under: projects — alaplante @ 7:55 pm

The first graders came back for more Mexican art!  To continue decorations for their Mexican fiesta, the students came to make papel picado banners.  Once the students realized this art form is similar to paper snowflakes, they breezed through it.

Some pictures of the banners hanging in their classroom: