Migration and Form Line Designs

With autumn, it is easy for teachers to fall into the pattern of exploring, with their students, the changing colours of the season, with a focus on leaves, trees, and soon after that, pumpkins.

Sometimes it nice to notice the other things that are happening during the season, one being, bird migration.

Today the students looked at the stylized geese images of our first nations, living on the west coast.  Respectfully, I’m going to begin by sharing a map.

First Nations Peoples of British ColumbiaWe talked a little bit about British Columbia vacations and I showed the students where you would be heading, if you were on an Alaskan cruise.  I Introduced them to Haida Gwaii and the people’s art of Haida Gwaii.  I showed a short video featuring Todd Baker’s prints and reflected with the students about the images, colours and shapes.

I then showed  the students this image so that they could see the various form line designs included the in these particular geese depictions and then we folded a standard sheet of paper to create sketch booklets for the purpose of experimentation and studies.

goose 2For teacher background…this…(too advanced unless you are studying with middle school or high school students)

I used the word ‘simulation’ with the students, reminding them that we are looking at and simulating the types of form lines that would be used by west coast artists.

For the depiction segment of the lesson, I askd the students to draw silhouettes of Canadian geese. What is a silhouette?  It is the dark shape and outline of someone or something visible against a lighter background, especially in dim light.

Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 022 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 023 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 028 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 030 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 031 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 032 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 033 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 035 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 036 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 037 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 038

Talk to the students about migration formations.  Ask them for their narratives and memories of watching geese migrate.

Have several exemplars of silhouettes for the students to use as references, reminding them to draw the simple shapes as large as possible.  Each student will be creating their own Canadian goose filled with form line designs.

Here is an example of one of the references used to show silhouettes..

Image taken from stock photos.

Image taken from stock photos.

Once the students settled on one of their depicted silhouettes, then they began to lightly include form line designs within their white silhouette drawings, in order to capture the spirits of the geese.

The students began their depiction, using the three main form line designs; the U shape, crescent shape and trigon shape.  If the motivation is big time, then try to create other animals using the same shapes.

Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 027 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 020 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 009 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 010 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 011 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 012 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 013 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 014 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 015 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 016 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 017 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 018 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 019

As the form line designs are used, the designs may pick up something similar to North West Coast first nations art.

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Demonstrate on the white board, the crescent shape, the U shape and the trigon shape.  Students may then begin colouring in their designs, using the specific palette, red, white and black.  I think because the edges need to be clean, the scented markers would like achieve the best result.  The other option, is to follow up this lesson with a construction paper collage, using the same colours and glue stick.

The designs, once finished should not show any of the under-drawing, but be strong bold patterns of red, white and black.

Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 049 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 050 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 051 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 052 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 053 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 054 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 055 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 056 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 058 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 059 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 060 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 061 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 062 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 063 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 064 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 065 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 066 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 067 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 069 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 070 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 071 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 072 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 073 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 074 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 075 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 076 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 077 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 078 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 079 Kath's Canon, September 28, 2015 Migration of Geese 080

For teachers who are curious and really want to explore this history, I love this movie.  Thanks, to Sara for her class!

I Speak to Grade Fours about Klimt and Quatrains

I enter the class in the morning quiet, and clip my laminated image of Gustav Klimt’s Tree of Life under two clips at the front board.  We greet, sing O’ Canada, say our morning prayer, take attendance and then practice the letter O in cursive handwriting, upper and lower case.

The Tree of Life by Gustav Klimt

The Tree of Life by Gustav Klimt

First…let’s learn about Quatrains!!!

Quad, Quatrain, Quartet, Quadrant, FOUR!!!  A quatrain has four lines! FOUR LINES RHYMING!

Rhyme Schemes?  Let’s just look at the last words of each line…for now, let’s just forget about the rest!!

Mat
Snow
Chat
Flow

YES! ABAB rhyme scheme!  Now, let’s play a game…do lots of them…let’s do it until we get it!  Name the rhyme scheme!

P1150028Today it’s some where around -25 degrees, so you may stay in for your recess break!

This painting, The Tree of Life, was created by an artist named Gustav Klimt…tell me everything that you see in this painting.  Anything you see is alright with me!  And…for everything you see…try to find a rhyming word!  This will be our wall of words to choose from.  Will you write a poem for your own Tree of Life today?  A rhyming quatrain?

First…decide on a title.  Mine is The Blessing Tree!  Ideas? Whispering Tree!  Dancing Tree! Golden Tree!  All good ideas!  Now, write your title down in your notebook so that you don’t forget. This is the title for your own tree poem.  Next, choose a rhyme scheme…whatever one you want!  Print it down the right hand side. (ABAB or AABB or ABCA…whatever you like)  Pick words from your rhyming word lists and place them in the order you want, remembering always that the last word of the very first line of a quatrain will always be named ‘A’.  Now…the final challenge is to add words that come before each of your four ‘last words’.  Let’s edit…let’s look for other words…let’s look for better words.  Now, LET’S GO ENJOY LUNCH!

Buckets of white paint to be shared with a partner…two tbsps. of white tempera should do for this!  Let’s look again at Gustav Klimt’s.  Look at the trunk of the tree.  It is pretty short compared to a lot of other trees.  Look at the limbs and the branches of the tree.  Describe the sort of lines needed to paint these. Let’s look at the word wall….and take some of our own rhyming words…COIL, SWIRL, SPRING.  This is how you dip and wipe your brush and this is how you care for the bristles of the brush.  Now, begin…touching three of your paper edges with long branches of the tree.   Gustav Klimt filled his space with the branches of his tree.

P1140994 P1140993 P1140992 P1140991 P1140990 P1140989 P1140995While you’re exchanging your books in the library, I’ll clean the brushes!

Now, let’s look at some of the repeating patterns used by Klimt. Triangles, eyes, there’s a bird!  There is a station over here with gold paint if you’d like to add some while you work.  Here are some oil pastels.  You can also use your pencil crayons.  Let’s think of a colour family though…colours that repeat some of the paper colours…pink, turquoise, blue, white, red…time to create!

P1150012 P1150011 P1150014 P1150013 P1150006 P1150007 P1150008 P1150005 P1150009 P1150004 P1150003 P1150002 P1150001 P1140999 P1140998 P1140997 P1140996And finally, in pencil first, and then traced again with a fine marker or pencil crayon, your title and rhyming quatrains!  Voila!

P1150015 P1150016 P1150017 P1150018 P1150019 P1150020 P1150024 P1150023 P1150022 P1150021 P1150025 P1150027 P1150031 P1150032 P1150033I was blessed by you today, grade four students!  What wisdom!  What engagement!

Love Art in Calgary: Herringer Kiss Gallery

At the Herringer Kiss Gallery, I enjoyed reminiscences of curling up in warm blankets.  Lauren Walker, in her collection titled Where We Sleep, melds the cultural context of her home province, Nova Scotia, with contemporary techniques, creating conceptual and patterned work under the polished sheen of epoxy.

I open to the contents of my own linen closet this morning and find the familiar patterns of my Grandmother’s quilts…my friend, Glo’s work…and think about the sense of nostalgia and memory that these conjure up for me.

P1140933 P1140935 P1140936 Lauren’s art brings to mind similar memories…for me, the white drips on subtle white background, brought to mind the nubby chenille bedspreads of the 50s.  As an adult, this becomes a reference to many childhood recollections, especially memories of recuperating from illness…being wrapped up in blankets…observing the surrounding pattern…being nurtured by my mother.

ChenilleArtist, Lauren Walker and Owner/Director, Deborah Herringer Kiss were both generously available to us and enlightened us about intent, process and history of Lauren’s work.  It was a tremendous pleasure to enjoy such insights.  A blog is available for perusal by my readers and future projects and events can be viewed on their current website.

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Lauren Walker sheds light on her process.

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Deborah Herringer Kiss describes evolution of style and approach in the young artist, Lauren Walker.

P1140791 P1140797 P1140802 P1140830Departing…after our third stop along the Love Art in Calgary tour…time for lunch and sharing of stories and ideas.

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Gorilla House Artist: Enriquito

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Known to us as Enriquito, the Gorilla House has been enjoying an exhibit of works by artist Jorge Enrique Gonzalez Hernandez!  If you haven’t seen this huge collection, add this to your list of things to do in Calgary.  Enriquito is such a positive person.  He is a joy to know.  It may be obvious through the capture of these few images just how energetic he is as an artist.  The show is exquisite.  For the next year, Enriquito is going to work exclusively in black and white, a bit of a departure.

EnriquitoIn his own words…

Jorge Enrique González Hernández

Born in Havana, Cuba on February 20, 1978. As a teenager, studying accounting and finance, Hernandez found his passion for painting. He had always liked art and its influences, but it was not until he moved to Spain in 2009, where his artistic niche began to develop. With little technical education, Hernandez has spent the last three years showing his art over many places around the world, including Vancouver, Canada, Bangkok, Thailand, and many parts of Spain. For Hernandez, his whimsical and aestheticly nice combination of colors and abstract shapes are the result of free and autonomous feelings subconscious. As his love for art grows, Hernandez hopes to continue his artistic activities in Canada, and one day obtain the means to carry more powerful inspiration, his son, to live with him in Canada.

Winter Birds

Grade one students created these winter birds twittering through birch tree branches.  It was an awesome experience watching such young children create, challenge and explore.  Credit is given to this site for their fantastic idea.  This activity would typically be geared toward a grade four, five or six class…but, heh…what the heck!  Young children are so absolutely fearless. Their marks and use of colour, innate.

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