The Morse Art Studio's Weblog

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Jazz! January 25, 2013

Filed under: projects — alaplante @ 3:41 pm

First graders have been listening to a lot of music in the Art Studio lately.  Mostly Louie Armstrong, Miles Davis, and other jazz greats.  There are so many lovely books about jazz that we read: Jazz Baby, Bring on that Beat, Charlie Parker Played Be Bop, and I Live in Music.  Am I missing any good ones?

The students created abstract collages, inspired by the music and books.  With an array of materials: paper, cellophane, newspaper, aluminum foil, and tissue paper, students shapes that sound like music.  Included in each collage is a drawing of the student’s home, either apartment building or house.

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Celebrity portraits January 24, 2013

Filed under: projects — alaplante @ 5:40 pm

In Drawing Lab, 3rd-5th graders had a choice day.  They were offered 3 techniques, which they’ve recently learned: colored pencil blending, pencil shading, and eraser rendering.  With a half face of a celebrity, students had to finish the other half, showing the correct values and matching the black and white photo.  The drawing aspect was not part of the assignment, so a light sketch of the blank half was provided, allowing the students to focus entirely on the shading of the skin, facial features, and hair.

Here are some examples from the week: Aly Raisman, President Obama, Harry Stiles, and Taylor Swift.  Also in the mix were Tom Brady, Kevin Garnet, and Bren Bataclan!

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Line Printing January 16, 2013

Filed under: projects — alaplante @ 3:43 pm

Line printing is so simple and basic, but it’s amazing how captivating it can be!  Kindergarteners were given cardboard and black paint, and had the freedom to create anything they wanted.  The range of subjects included:  cities and buildings, flowers, stars, trains, letters, trees, animals, robots, as well as abstract designs.  This exploration day was an important warm up to our snowflake and symmetry lesson coming up.

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Popcorn and Kneaded Erasers January 15, 2013

Filed under: projects — alaplante @ 6:43 pm

In Drawing Lab, the 3rd-5th graders got to experiment with 2 new art materials last week- vine charcoal and kneaded erasers.  In general, I think the kids were excited to use such “real” art materials.  They observed and drew popcorn, a perfect subject for students just learning how to create eraser renderings.  They had a choice to work from a black and white photo or from real popcorn kernels….some kids enjoyed the extra challenge of the real popcorn.  The general technique of eraser rendering is covering the paper with vine charcoal, and then twisting the eraser into a point to draw the object.  Using a blunt side of the eraser, the light values are erased from the image.

Here are some 4th graders at work:





Fall still lifes January 8, 2013

Filed under: projects — alaplante @ 7:51 pm

The 3rd graders finished fantastic still lifes this past December.  After carefully observing the gourds and pumpkins, they drew larger-than-life still lifes with attention to line weight.  After painting the objects, students used colored pencils to bring out the shadows.

Watch out for more of these still life drawings in a future art show…they’re just too good to send home without a show!

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Fish mouths January 7, 2013

Filed under: projects — alaplante @ 7:49 pm

The junior kindergarteners learned how to make ceramic pinch pots, and transformed them into some open-mouthed fish.  They will be painting these fish this week.



Save the Date January 6, 2013

Filed under: news — alaplante @ 7:58 pm

Now that your 2013 calendars are out, make sure to pencil in the Morse School Art Show.  The show will once again be held at Gallery 263, from April 8th-13th.  The reception is Tuesday evening of that week.


happy new year!

Filed under: projects — alaplante @ 7:48 pm

One of my resolutions will be to take more photos and update more often, now that I have a more functional camera.

The 1st graders recently finished a unit on cave art.  They created these multimedia images with collaged animals, oil pastels stories, and sprayed on handprints.  I wish I had photos documenting the highlight of the unit- drawing on the ceiling of ‘caves’. I turned the lights off and taped large paper under the tables, allowing the kids to sit on the floor in the dark.  These collaborative drawings will be on display on a bulletin board at the Morse this week.

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