copyright debra bianculli 2021
There's not many things that top teaching Elementary School Art. When you have a group of students that respond to art experiences with joy, humor, enthusiasm and openness, they soon become an easy favorite group to try out new projects with. That's exactly how I feel about my third graders this year. I loved them as second graders, and now, with the ability to be even more independent, every class with them is a no-stress, fun exchange of ideas and energy.
In my need to support their curriculum with the CA state VAPA standards, I'm always looking for inspiration in books and periodicals as a starting point to my own agenda. I found this really great lesson somewhere, gosh, now I'm not sure if it was SchoolArts magazine or Pinterest, or where, but here it is. Our Art Show and studio theme this year is COMMUNITY. Sharing Chagall's artwork about village life with these students made a great sample of the different types of communities as well as the people and things that contribute to a community's identity. The students really responded to the surreal qualities and concepts, and loved his frequent star- the rooster! After discussing the 4 categories of painting: realistic, representational, abstract and non-objective, we set out to create out own roosters in the style of Chagall with pastels on construction paper. We then designed patterned feathers with oil pastels, and cut and pasted these little gems on our rooster bodies. All in all, the lesson covered a bit on shadow and form with the rooster body, as well as shape and proportion, repetition, line, and variety.
Remember that post back in September when I was opening my being to a new studio space? Well, 5 months later the universe answered. Dominic had been really on top of looking for just the right space for us. Great light, roomy, clean, part of a community, and affordable. (well, that is actually the first criteria...but I digress...) And here she is! We split this space right down the middle, so these are just shots of my area. I move in fast. I anticipate it will be brutally hot in the summer, but once I tackle that problem it will truly be our little creative shangri-la.
After a long winter, I'm back to my inspired self. When spring "springs", the promise of sunshine fuel and longer days calls me to start the seeds and plan the new beds. After spending a meaningful week in Massachusetts with friends and family, leaving is always bittersweet. But I am always excited to get back to my backyard - a place worlds away from the hibernating northeast. I snapped this flowy shot on my way up Salisbury Street hill in Worcester at sunset.