Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Diwali! The Festival of Lights!

Join us to celebrate Diwali, The Festival of Lights! Next Wednesday, October 18th, we will gather as a whole school to enjoy a special Diwali luncheon.  Students at all levels have learned about this festival and created artwork and helped prepare food for this festival. 

Here's some information about Diwali from :
Many people immediately think of Halloween and Christmas when it comes to winter holidays, but in Hindu culture there’s another major winter holiday that can’t be missed – Diwali. Diwali is also known as the festival of lights, and is celebrated by millions of people around the world. This year it falls on October 19th 2017. Find out more in All About Diwali!
Diwali originated in India as a celebration of light, in fact the world Diwali comes from “deepavali”, meaning “row of lamps.” It is traditionally celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs,  although over the years it has been incorporated into many different cultures around the world. It is known as the festival of lights because in celebration people light many small clay lamps called "diyas" around their homes to represent the victory of good over evil and to invite good luck and prosperity from the Hindu Goddess Lakshmi and the God Ganesh, who represents good luck, wealth and enlightenment.

Kindergarten and first grade artists are making "Diyas," the small clay candle holders that are placed around homes during Diwali to celebrate the triumph of light over darkness. 

Third and fourth grade artists created sand Rangoli designs. Rangolis are generally circular mandala designs that are created using colored sand, rice or chalk on the ground outside of homes as a sign of welcoming. We also painted large Rangoli designs on paper with watercolor paints.  We learned about radial symmetry. 

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Fifth and sixth grade artists looked specifically at Rangoli designs that feature peacocks.  The Peacock is a symbol of beauty, glory and refinement.  We used chalk and oil pastels on construction paper. 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Kindergarten Leaf and Nature Collages

Kindergarten artists created collages using photocopies of leaves on colored paper and oil pastels.  This lesson helped practice our cutting, gluing and line drawing skills.

We also made leaf rubbings with crayons, then painted over them to experience the watercolor resist technique.  We added these leaves to our collages.

On yet another beautiful fall day, the kindergarten class headed outside to collage objects from nature for our moveable nature "collages."  We shared our materials to create temporary nature collages, which we photographed on the iPad before dismantling. 
Our nature collage station:

Zentangle Landscapes

What is a Zentangle?
Zentangle is a way of creating drawn art from repetitive patterns. It increases focus, mindfulness and creativity. This process should connect body and mind and help the artist feel relaxed and present, similar to a state of meditation.  I feel that it is an important art tool to teach at the beginning of the school year.  This technique of careful, focused drawing can help students (and teachers!) deal with stress and find focus when it is most needed.  

There are many ways to draw a Zentangle. Click here to learn more about the Zentangle Method. Click here to watch some Zentangle techniques on YouTube. 

Fifth and sixth graders created Zentangle Landscapes for their Original Works submissions. We used Sharpie markers, Crayola Super Tips markers, Crayola watercolor pencils and regular colored pencils.