CBMS Choice-Based Art Studio

CBMS Choice-Based Art Studio
CBMS Choice-Based Art Studio

Monday, March 16, 2020

Assignment: Keep Making Art!

For artists, there is never enough time to make art. 
Being stuck at home provides just what artists need:
Time, Space and Stuff for art-making. 
The only limit is one's own imagination - which is limitless! 
  • Find a box or container from around the house - Start assembling things you can use to make art (pens, pencils, papers, glue, tape, stapler, scissors, junk-mail, magazines, cardboard, string, needles/thread, fabric, yarn, mirror, recycled objects, markers, ruler, sketchbook, etc)
  • Set up a place for art making - table, desk, closet, floor in your room - someplace where you can put your stuff and think creatively
  • Some ideas to get you started: Magazine face collage, Origami (videos), Stop motion animation, Altered books, Torn scrap-paper landscape, Overlapping traced objects, Texture rubbing, Lego building, Blanket fort, Pop-ups (videos), Cereal box sketchbook cover, Food color paint mixing, Flour and water papier mache, Sock doll, Sock puppet, Potato prints, Draw to music, Flip-book in margins of paperback book, Marble run, Soap carving, Family portrait, “One-Liners” drawing
    ..or, maybe a Rube Goldberg-inspired contraption? watch

  • And now, for your listening pleasure...

Middle School Potpourri

A quick look back at some highlights from last trimester:

Saturday, October 19, 2019


October 18 Prompt: Misfit

Oh how I love this drawing! 
In the spirit of Inktober, this 5th grader has made an ink drawing each (school) day since October 1. I think this is my favorite.

During the month of October, artists from all around the world commit to making 31 drawings in 31 days. Or one drawing a week, or a drawing now and then. There really are no rules, except that the drawings are made in ink and posted. We post ours on the bulletin board. Others post at #Inktober. Prompts are offered, but not required. 
 Inktober is really just a nudge to “get drawing” and a fun way to encourage each other to practice and get better. It is also a celebration of drawing and sharing, artist to artist. 
Visit Inktober.com for more information and to get involved. 

Friday, October 18, 2019

Bill Ding

Remember these?

Fifth graders invent design-challenge games and compete for most creative arrangements while working with this classic building toy. The structures they create are marvels of balance, line, form, symmetry and asymmetry. I’m glad I’m not the judge! 

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Working in Series

Sometimes artists get an idea that is "grabby" for them, one that sticks and is worth pursuing, sometimes over and over. Think Georgia O'Keefe's enlarged flowers, for example, or Monet's bridge.   When this happens, it is said that the artist is "working in series." A series is a group or continuum of artwork, each sharing something in common. The collection of work might share a theme, a subject, or a technique. 

Working in a studio-setting, learners are free to explore themes and interests, and build a related body of work. We recently hung a series of paintings that "M," grade 8, worked on over several weeks. 

"M" has been pursuing faces, large and small, for some time now. Many of his earlier faces were made with marker. 

Sometimes he paints faces on and in magazines, creating a variation on the idea of "altered books."

For this series, "M" mostly used acrylic paint on 18" X 24" paper, although the one below is mixed-media; permanent marker and white gel pen over acrylic paint. 

And the first one in this series, the one above with the yellow hair, is double-sided, with a marker-face on the reverse. Here is the reverse side of that painting: 
Finally, "M" wrote a simple artist statement to accompany his work. The statement give a little glimpse of this artist's process. 

Friday, May 17, 2019

Infinity and Beyond

The Infinity Gauntlet

My students keep trying to make it. 
“Do we have any gems? Do we have any jewels? Do we have any gems or any jewels?” 

They try making it out of clay, papier mâché and paper bags wrapped in masking tape. Some even tried casting their hand in plaster, first one side, then the other. But when assembled, the hand won't fit back into the thing. 

Individual, articulated fingers with Infinity Stones in place. Ready for assembly.
It seems that function is lagging somewhat, and the function (you know, to control the universe...) is key. 
Nothing works. 
Until now. 
5th grader “A” is engineering an articulated glove by manipulating paper “art straws.”  The Infinity Stones are made by arranging the right color pony beads into the correct shapes. This is the first glove created in our studio that can be worn, taken on and off, and has moving fingers. “A’s” one complaint is that he still can’t snap his fingers with it on. 
And, spoiler alert: snapping your fingers when wearing the Infinity Gauntlet, is pretty important.
Finished, articulated gauntlet. Fits like a ...glove!

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Closing Centers

It’s mid-May.
I stood in the empty studio this morning and started thinking that maybe it’s time to close the sculpture center. 

But then I had another think coming.