Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Our Visit from James Warhola

Yesterday we had the tremendous honor of having a visit from James Warhola. He read to us from his books, and talked to us about the process of planning and making a picture book. He brought original art for us to see including finished watercolor illustrations and sketchbooks and prototypes that showed the steps in making a book.

After talking to the elementary kids, Mr. Warhola visitted some junior high and senior high classrooms. He encouraged them to develop their own creativity and express themselves through writing and art.

The Daily Review wrote a really nice article about this visit, which is here.

Tribute Sculpture of Andy Warhol

Fifth graders wanted to make a special project to welcome artist James Warhola, so they made a pariscraft sculpture of his uncle Andy Warhol (who is also the main character in some of his picture books).

Friday, March 19, 2010

Giant Tales

Third graders heard the story The Brave Little Tailor (illustrated by James Warhola) and then drew giant pictures (on 18x24 paper!) and wrote stories of how they would outsmart a giant.

Many gave their pictures titles like The Brave Little Hairdresser or The Brave Gumball Destroyer. I called mine The Brave Little Art Teacher.

Here is one third grader's story and picture.

My Giant Story
Written by Jamie Welch

One late evening I was planting flowers in my front yard. Suddenly, I heard a loud, booming voice. "You there!" the booming voice shouted. I cowered in fear.

"" I whispered.
"Yes, you! Come closer!" the voice commanded. In fear, I walked to my lake. There, sitting on my wooden bench, was a giant. "Come closer," the giant said. I walked towards the giant on my shaky legs. "Yes...," the giant said. Out of nowhere, the giant scooped me up in his over-sized hand. "What's your name?" the giant boomed.
"J...Jamie," I stammered.
"I'm Mario, the only Italian giant," Mario boomed, laughing. I began to cry, for I missed my mother and father. "Stop!" Mario commanded.
I wiped my tears. "Stop what?" I asked.
"Stop your crying! It makes me sick," he replied, sighing. I began to think more sad thoughts. I cried hard, and I cried soft. Soon after, Mario's face turned blue, and he exploded. Then I went home and lived a normal life once

The End.

If You're Happy and you Know it (Scratch your Fur)

First graders had a good time hearing this story (and singing along!) You might thing you know If You're Happy and You Know it, but this is the Jungle Edition! After singing, we made drawings and paintings inspired by the book.

Fresh Pop Art, Popped Daily

We've been looking at the art of Andy Warhol, some of which was created using printmaking techniques. Fifth graders are now printing multiple images of the blocks they carved. We will create many prints on many different types of surfaces using different colors of ink. Then we can combine them to create works of art that have both unity (through repetition) and variety.

Printmaking is great, because you can have many copies of your art and each one is one-of-a-kind. At the end of the unit, some kids trade prints with friends, and we all contribute one print to put in our auction. Each kid will be given millions of dollars (of play money, of course) to bid on their classmates' prints. It remains to be seen who will set the record this year for the highest price paid for a print.

Picture Books of Trips we Took

Second graders have been making picture books. We have been using Uncle Andy's by James Warhola as a mentor text. This book is about a family trip, so we're all making books about trips we've taken. Each story starts at home, the author finds out they're going somewhere, they prepare for the trip, travel to the destination, and then arrive there. Each step is described in the story and illustrated. Everybody's story is different, even though it follows the same general template.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Pop Cats

After reading James Warhola's book Uncle Andy's Cats, we were inspired to make "Pop Cats" -- art that combines paint with found objects and collage created by images from popular culture.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Our Fifteen Minutes of Fame

Andy Warhol predicted that "In the future, everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes." That's where we get that expression, "fifteen minutes of fame." Just for fun, fourth graders made drawings and creative writing about their own imagined fleeting stardom. Below is a really creative piece by Alexis...

Here are some of the other illustrations of students' fifteen minutes of fame: