Autumn Close Up and Venation

Yippee!  A different group of grade 4s today!  With a slight breeze, spilling the leaves off of the autumn trees on a beautiful blue-sky day, what better topic than looking CLOSE UP at autumn leaves.  I like the format, in elementary art instruction, of always reflecting, depicting, composing and expression…the full dish every afternoon!

We reflected on some images, a leaf I had picked up on the sidewalk outdoors and a few Youtube videos.

Mark Hamblin photo

mark-hamblin-close-up-of-leaf-showing-vein-structure-and-autumn-colour-scotland autumn leaf autumn-leaf-macro-291405 autumn leaf 2 hazy-close-up-autumn-leaf-2236406Autumn leaves in macro…close up!

From the reflection time, we watched a step by step video, very simplistic in nature, about the venation structures of leaves.  We then spent about ten minutes drawing our studies.

Kath's Canon, September 25, 2015, Venation 040 Kath's Canon, September 25, 2015, Venation 039 Kath's Canon, September 25, 2015, Venation 038 Kath's Canon, September 25, 2015, Venation 037 Kath's Canon, September 25, 2015, Venation 036 Kath's Canon, September 25, 2015, Venation 035I handed out a photo copy of the patterned piece that my readers can view below.  I talked to the students about how artists use view finders to eliminate some of the busy information in their subject.  I had them trace their Be Great cards somewhere on the composition below to decide on one part that they wanted to use as a reference for their own art making.  I took the students through these steps, using my own as an example.

Autumn Leaf close upKath's Canon, September 25, 2015, Venation 004 Kath's Canon, September 25, 2015, Venation 005 Kath's Canon, September 25, 2015, Venation 006 Kath's Canon, September 25, 2015, Venation 007 Kath's Canon, September 25, 2015, Venation 008I would use tempera paint blocks for the next part of the lesson, unless nice quality paper was available to you.  Using white bond drawing paper did not provide the tooth OR the body for highly successful water colour.  However, we forged ahead and the students DID practice wet-on-wet technique successfully, to cover their entire composition with a ground of warm colours; yellow, orange and red.

These little Lunchable trays have become my favourite…a bit of water in one section and a squeeze of a bit of water colour pigment in each of the others.

Kath's Canon, September 25, 2015, Venation 001

From there, they used a variety of water based felt markers to achieve a number of drawings based on their small rectangular section.  Enlarging anything at this age, is tricky!  So, rest assured, if you see only relative success in this aspect of the lesson, it is to be expected.  If the depictions in marker are very teeny, just steer the students to discovery by pointing out aspects of their reference and if still a problem, engage them in an inventive piece including many leaves instead of just a few.

Demonstrate how MACRO cell texture can be arrived by ‘doodling’ squiggly lines between the veins.  A fun learning experience for me and for the students!  Thanks, Colleen for your class!  I turned on Vivaldi’s Autumn and it all began.

Kath's Canon, September 25, 2015, Venation 010 Kath's Canon, September 25, 2015, Venation 011 Kath's Canon, September 25, 2015, Venation 012 Kath's Canon, September 25, 2015, Venation 013 Kath's Canon, September 25, 2015, Venation 014 Kath's Canon, September 25, 2015, Venation 015 Kath's Canon, September 25, 2015, Venation 016 Kath's Canon, September 25, 2015, Venation 017 Kath's Canon, September 25, 2015, Venation 018 Kath's Canon, September 25, 2015, Venation 019 Kath's Canon, September 25, 2015, Venation 020 Kath's Canon, September 25, 2015, Venation 021 Kath's Canon, September 25, 2015, Venation 022 Kath's Canon, September 25, 2015, Venation 023 Kath's Canon, September 25, 2015, Venation 024 Kath's Canon, September 25, 2015, Venation 025 Kath's Canon, September 25, 2015, Venation 026 Kath's Canon, September 25, 2015, Venation 027 Kath's Canon, September 25, 2015, Venation 028 Kath's Canon, September 25, 2015, Venation 029 Kath's Canon, September 25, 2015, Venation 030 Kath's Canon, September 25, 2015, Venation 031 Kath's Canon, September 25, 2015, Venation 032 Kath's Canon, September 25, 2015, Venation 033 Kath's Canon, September 25, 2015, Venation 034

Morning Sketch #5: Rien Poortvliet

This sketch was about texture.  Given that I own the Dutch version of the book, Noah’s Ark, I can’t translate what is written on the next couple of pages.  I thought it would be just a tad overwhelming to paint the studio image.  I would assume that this is Poortvliet’s studio.

Instead, I painted from one of the artist’s sketches of two wild boars.  I’m going to assume that on the lower image, he had decided to compose by moving the boars to the middle background instead of in the far right of the painting.  Is that why my readers suppose he has circled that section of his visual journal?  So fun.

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Gorilla House LIVE ART: Return to the Battles

My living space is still in chaos, so I’ve been piecing things together since my return from Ontario.  Bit-by-bit, the little cubbies are being gleaned for what’s to save, what’s to give and what’s to pitch.  Then, before anything is put away again, a good wiping and voila!  This process is painfully slow and I certainly can’t see the impact this process is having on the large spaces…yet!

Interspersed with such activities, I’m taking hikes with Max and pouring over my summer notes related to my family history.  Next blog post will have something to do with my trip to Hamilton where my family tree has some serious roots!

I debated whether I had the energy to paint last night, but really miss my Gorilla House community, so a little late, I threw my board and materials into the van and headed down.

One amazing artist who became my friend through Gorilla House took on a 365 day self portrait project and I was inspired to paint her Shoulder: Day 218.  Belinda Fireman is an inspiring woman and I miss sharing two hours a week with her.  She keeps a blog, Drawn From the Fire and her work has been featured in a book, Journal It by Jenny Doh. So, I tossed any of the themes that were selected before my arrival at ‘the house’ and sat and painted.  Belinda paints with brilliant colour, life and line and so I tried to incorporate those elements into my quick sketch.  I did not over-think my piece, simply slathered on the colour. Thanks to Shannon for the purchase of this piece at auction.

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Lectio Divina: John 15:5

I am the vine; you are the branches

Looking Around, Believing    
by Gary Soto 

 
How strange that we can begin at any time.
With two feet we get down the street.
With a hand we undo the rose.
With an eye we lift up the peach tree
And hold it up to the wind —  white blossoms
At our feet. Like today. I started
In the yard with my daughter,
With my wife poking at a potted geranium,
And now I am walking down the street,
Amazed that the sun is only so high,
Just over the roof, and a child
Is singing through a rolled newspaper
And a terrier is leaping like a flea
And at the bakery I pass, a palm,
Like a suctioning starfish, is pressed
To the window. We’re keeping busy —
This way, that way, we’re making shadows
Where sunlight was, making words
Where there was only noise in the trees.
 

Looking at Tree Roots

Strength

 

I think about my days living on Bridge Street and the trees, seeming ancient, that caused in me a sense of being small.  I remember nights when the wind would blow off of Quinte Bay and summer storms were gathering. I would open my window and listen to the trees move.  It was remarkable in every way, that they could move at all, given their size.  Their arms were black shadows in the night, lashing one direction and then whipping back, again and again.  Such rootedness must be required.  I am in awe.