CBMS Choice-Based Art Studio

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

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Environmental Art: Vermont Winter Inspirations

One thing led to the next, and in the end, a duo of snow artists completed work on a new kind of snow sculpture. 

The project started over the weekend in "C's" front yard, after the two threw snowballs at a tree and noticed that it stuck – this gave them the idea of adding more and more snow and covering the tree as high and low as they could reach. Then, in the manner of environmental artist Andy Goldsworthy, "T" photographed the work from several angles and brought the photos to me the next day.

In a learner-directed studio program such as ours, this sort of independent artistic problem-posing and awareness to artistic possibility provide fruitful "emergent curriculum" which can be developed further in the classroom setting.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


The pink cloud series by "Z," Grade 7
This month, students are exploring the ancient art of encaustic painting. Encaustic, meaning "to burn in," is a very old technique and was used by ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman artists. The process is still in use by practicing artists today. In fact, as part of our exploration, we discovered an encaustic painter who lives in California. Students started a correspondence with him, and gained both information an inspiration from the exchange. Check out Ben Hecht's webpage, www.benhecht.com to see his amazing collection of giant wave paintings.
Inspired by Hecht's work, some students took photographs of our Vermont winter landscape and used these original images as a starting place for encaustic landscape paintings. 
6th grade "H" working with and from a photograph she composed from the landscape out the art room window

Students remembered that Hecht re-melts his wax pigments with an iron, to blend the colors, after initially applying colors with a brush. Students thought a hair dryer might serve a similar purpose, and be a little safer for our studio. Today  this additional technique was tested  out with favorable results.
15 panel painting by "L," grade 7
  Many thanks to those who have donated crayons for our experiments with encaustic painting, and for the recent donation of our new hairdryer!