Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Joy of Mxing

One of the most enjoyable aspects of doing a painting is mixing up the colors that you will use. I don't need to elaborate on this. The video below speaks for itself. It shows our kindergarten working on their "Portraits with Landscape Backgrounds." Each child was given an egg carton pallet with only 5 or six colors. Enjoy the show!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Painting on Torn Paper

Painting on torn paper offers the artist a chance to add interesting texture and pattern into her painting using a unique process.
After choosing the frame for her project, each student carefully took it apart and removed the cardboard. The glass and frame were set aside and the cardboard was prepared with a coat of Mod Podge. The girls chose pieces for their background from a wide selection of papers, old books and wall paper samples. These pieces wore hand torn and adhered to the cardboard using more Mod Podge. Then the second layer was added using paint, tissue paper and even more Mod Podge. Paper towels were used for blotting, wiping and also to add texture.
The hardest part of the project was waiting for the complicated paper design to dry so that they could paint on the surface. During this time the students thought about the subject for their painting and tried out their ideas by making quick sketches in their art journals. When they were ready the girls transferred their ideas onto the prepared surface using tempera paints and collage elements.
The entire process was fun and exciting. Every unique painting is an original delight to the eyes and must be viewed for several minutes to take in all the details of both the subject and fantastic background. The results are now on display in the MHA Sculpture Gallery (located just outside the Teachers’ Room). The sample above was created by Brina Cooper.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Art of Journaling

Every year, when my older students enter the art room they each receive a shiny red art journal with the words “sketch book” printed on the front. They spend the year filling these books with all kinds of wonderful things such as; information from our lessons, preliminary sketches, ideas that pop into their heads, and even random drawings done just for fun. So why, you wonder, do you never see these shiny red books at the end of the year?

By the time these books make it home they are no longer red or shiny. Journals are personal objects. Though some of the contents may be the handouts I supply, the inside of these books reflect the journey through art that each individual student takes every year. Because these creative experieces are so personal, everyone has the chance to design his own Journal cover. This is no easy task. It requires a great deal of thought to decide what will grace the cover of these books and the students will often spend several sessions getting it just right.

We use a collage method in the art room to create our cover designs. The students begin by sorting through the visual images collection I have available and choose the ones that suit their taste. Glue sticks ad mod podge flow abundantly and so does the chatter as students discuss their ideas with each other and with me. When the images are secure and coated with even more mod podge it is time to hit the collage collection. The decisions are not made easily. The students must choose the right collage elements for their design, but also keep in mind that too many elements will weigh down the cover.

There is no scientific explanation for it, it’s just a gut feeling, but somehow, you can feel when the journal cover is done. When the images are placed just so and there is just the right amount of tissue paper and bling, when you look at the cover and see it completed you can instinctively say “That is MY art journal!” Now it is time for the art journey to begin.

I am very excited about the year ahead. I have so many exciting adventures planned for our children. You can stay updated by visiting my blog: If you can’t wait until the end of the year to see these journals, please feel free to stop by to visit and/or volunteer in the art room.

Please Help Keep The Art Room Green

I have a recycle wish list,that I’m sure some of you already heard about from your children. Each time a child brings me an item from the list she will receive a sticker. Ten stickers will be rewarded with a prize from my treasure box. The items are: Styrofoam egg cartons, paper towel tubes, yogurt containers, the tops from the yo crunch containers, apple sauce and snack fruit cups, crystal lite containers and shoe boxes. Please make sure that the items are clean and in usable condition. Thanks.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The forks were on the table but no one was eating. That’s because these forks were for painting. During their last art class, the Kindergarten students were introduced to Vincent Van Gogh. Vincent liked to use thick rich paint that he place onto the canvas with very visible strokes. He always used his paint to create texture and movement within his paintings and this gave them an exciting and mysterious quality. After viewing one his most famous pieces, The Starry Night, the students were given the opportunity to create Van Gogh like landscapes as well. They used a special paint that had been thickened up with glue and aside from brushes; they were also given forks to create swirly textures just like Vincent! The results are currently on display just outside the kindergarten room and can be viewed until the end of the month.

Leaning New Ways to Paint

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Seize The Clay Comes To MHA!!!

Today the Kindergarten an First Grade students had some very special visitors. The people from Seize the clay came to create Autumn bowls with them. Each child cut out several shapes from huge sheets if clay using steal cookie cutters. They then used those shapes to create an awesome piece of pottery. Adam will be glazing and firing these pieces to make them food safe (breakfast just got better!) We plan to put these delectable works of art on display at the fall festival this month. I hope to see you there!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The 6th Grade Invention Convention
April 26th, 2010–04–26

Today was a very exciting day for the 6th graders. After learning about Leonardo DaVinci, and his wonderful ideas for inventions, the boys had a discussion about what inventions they could come up with to make the world a more convenient place to live in.
The class was divided into four team. Each team was asked to build a scale model of their invention and to come up with an interesting way to promote it. This afternoon, after two months of work they had the chance to present their idea at our annual Leonardo Davinci Invention Convention. Here is what they came up with…
The Voice Activated Television, invented by Shua Friedman, Aaron Wruble and Dovid Samuels, was created in answer to the question: “I wonder if we could make something that would let us change the channel on out TV without messing up the buttons?” The speakers on the side of the television respond to voice request for channel selection and an earpiece/microphone device can be used to filter out background noise. In case of laryngitis the TV does come with an old fashioned push button remote.
David Silberman and Grant Parker wondered whether they could invent something that would prepare the exact food to satisfy one’s hunger and so the Cravetron 3000 was born. It is a large machine that is attached to a table. You just attach the electrodes to your head and the dish you wish for will appear on the plate in front of you.
Aharon Merazan, Nathan Goren and Marti Lang tried to come up with an effciant way to feed the homeless. The Food Launcher 2000 can launch food capsules into any area. A thumbprint scanner on the food pod eliminates the problem of hoarding and everyone will get just what he or she needs.
Like many multi-taskers of this generation, Nachi Fleischhacker and Shaya Katz wondered if there was a way to use the computer while going for a jog. The CVG (computer, video & GPS) allows you to do just that. This bifocal glasses has a built in computer screen that is voice activated by the speaker located on the side of the glasses. While wearing the glasses the user can access all computer functions as well as watch videos and use the GPS system to find directions for the best jogging route.
The boys energy and creativity really shined through as they presented their inventions with clever skits, commercials and posters. Mrs. Gersten is having a hard time picking the winning invention. You’ll have to wait until next week to find out who that will be.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

At The JCC High School Art Exhibit

On Display

Our students are out in the real world!
The following students had their artwork on display in the Shainberg Gallery at the JCC from March 4th ‐ March 25th: Brina Cooper, Leah Fleischhacker, Shira Hirschfeld, Sam Rapp, Naomi Samberg and Ariav Schlesinger. Congratulations on all your hard work. Special thanks to Ariav Schlesinger who helped me transport everything to the JCC to set up.
The following students are currently on display until April 4th at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens Mini Masters Exhibet: Akiva Finkelstein, Ethan Morris, Dovid Freiden and Joel Weinstein.

The following students will have their art work ond isplay at the Yom Hashoah Program at the JCC on April 11th: Michelle Bouchard, Rochelle Bouchard, Racheli Brakha, Sarah Broniscer, Brina Cooper, Shifra Ehrenkranz, Nachi Fleischhacker, Avital Heching, Shaya Katz, Sarah Rapp, Eli Sadetsky, Racheli Tsuna and Rachel Winestone. Congratulations on all your hard work.
Special thanks to Avi Katz and Motti Klein for helping me bring all the work over to the Jewish Federation.
A special congratulations to Racheli Tsuna and Brina Cooper for winning first and second place in the Jewish Federation Holocaust Memorial Art Contest.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Green Art

Going green in the art room is very easy. Almost anything can be made into an art project. This past month the second and third graders have been involved in creating toys from found objects.

They were first asked to search for and bring found objects from their homes. A found object is anything that you have laying around that you no longer need. (These "useless" objects can range from bottle caps to old toys or even labels from cans of food.)

After they harvested these objects and bought them to the classroom, they were asked to think about what these things could be repurposed into. We watched a short three and a half minute video about recycled art (see link below) and then the fun began.

Each child was given $5.oo in Van Gogh Dough (fake classroom money) with which to purchase other found objects from my recycle cart. Scissors, glue, paint and collage items were on hand to enhance their projects. The children worked tirelessly to create the perfect toys. This sometimes involved a bit of experimentation until the art work was just right.

The end results were amazing! The children had a great time and I enjoyed watching the wheels turn in their minds as they created their fabulous green toys.

Click the arrow below the photograph to view your children hard at work. You can also follow this link to view the video that we saw in class.

Found Object Art

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Junior High Sculpture Experience

The junior high school girls have just concluded their unit on Patterns in Sculpture. They began by molding sculptures out of clay and continued by creating constructions out of wood. To culminate their experience we took a trip to the Brooks Museum of Art. In the galleries we viewed several sculptures made out from different mediums. Before we left we were treated to a workshop on using model magic and found objects to create works of art. If you would like to view the sculptures created by our students they are on display in the MHAFYOS Sculpture Gallery. Enjoy the show!