Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Georges Seurat

Georges-Pierre Seurat was born in Paris, France on December 2,1859 and died on March 29,1891 at the age of 31. He was a painter who spent his life studying color theories. He developed a style of painting known as Pointillism. Pointillism is a form of painting in which tiny dots of primary-colors are used to generate secondary colors. His magnificent pointillist pieces are what made him the famous artist that he is today.

One of his large works, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte,” is his most famous painting. It catches a moment in time. The result is all of Paris out on a stroll - 48 people, 8 boats, 3 dogs, one monkey - and if you can catch it, a butterfly.

Seurat made more than 50 studies before completing the painting that took two years to finish. This painting altered the direction of modern art by initiating an art period known as Neo-impressionism, and it is one of the icons of 19th century painting. You can see it at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Georgia O'Keeffe

Red Poppy

My choice for our November artist is Georgia Totto O’Keeffe. She painted flowers, rocks, shells, animal bones and landscapes. She often turned her compositions into large bold abstract images.

She was born on a farm in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin on November 15, 1887. She was the second of seven children and as a child received art lessons at home. Georgia decided at an early age to become an artist.

Autumn Leaves

She went to art school in Chicago and New York and moved to Texas to teach in the public schools there. Later she taught at a college in South Carolina. Georgia began painting landscapes and one of her paintings caught the attention of internationally known photographer, Alfred Stieglitz. He invited Georgia to come and paint in New York City. He displayed her work in his gallery. Georgia later married Alfred. She later moved to New Mexico and spent her remaining days there. Georgia O’Keeffe died in 1986 at the age of 98. She is considered one of America's greatest painters.

Cow's Skull: Red, White and blue

Friday, October 31, 2008

Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso is the artist I have chosen for October. He was born on October 25, 1881 in M├ílaga, Spain. He began drawing at an early age. His style developed from his Blue Period (1901–04) to his Rose Period (1905) and to Cubism (just to name a few). Picasso also made the first collage. He designed jewelry, did paintings, created sculptures, and made posters and pottery. He created such an amazing volume of work that I think he is the most influential artist of his time.
Picasso continued his prolific work in painting, drawing, printmaking, ceramics, and sculpture until his death on April 8, 1973.

An example from his Blue Period.

An example from his Rose Period.

An example of Cubism.

A Sculpture

A piece of Ceramics

I also like this symbol of peace he created.

If you want to create a portrait in the style of Picasso during his Cubism click:
Make a Picasso head
and have fun!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Romare Bearden

The artist I have chosen as our September artist is Romare Bearden. He was born on September 2, 1911, in Charlotte, North Carolina, and died in New York City on March 12, 1988, at the age of 76. When he was young, his family moved to Harlem in New York City. Here he learned to appreciate jazz music. He experimented with many different mediums but is best known for his collages. Collages are pictures or designs created by pasting flat elements such as newspaper, wallpaper, printed text, illustrations, photographs, cloth, string, and painted or drawn pictures to a flat surface.
The Metropolitian Museum of Art has a great Interactive Romare Bearden Page called "Let's Walk the Block". Here you can learn about the artist, the history and inspiration behind "The Block", and examine this large scale collage more closely. You can also follow the directions to make your own collage about your own neighborhood.
If you want a quick preview of Romare Bearden's life and works click here.
At the MOMA you can watch a short video showing Romare Bearden discussing how he came up with his ideas and created his collages and paintings. Just click on:
Romare Bearden.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Andy Warhol

I have chosen Pennsylvania born Pop artist, Andy Warhol, as my choice for August.

He was born Andrew Warhola, August 6, 1928, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is best known for his exploration of Pop Art, an art movement that emerged in America and elsewhere in the 1950s to become prominent over the next two decades.

This art period mass produced images of mass produced objects. Pop artists focused their attention on familiar images of the popular culture such as billboards, comic strips, magazine advertisements, famous people, and supermarket products.

Some of his most famous works depicted Campbell's soup cans. These were enlarged, hand-painted or silkscreened, framed, and hung in art galleries.

Andy Warhol died in 1987 after establishing himself as the most well known Pop artist. If you want to see how the silkscreen process works or try and create a Pop art e-card, click on POP ART.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Alexander Calder

Alexander Calder is the artist I picked for our July birthday artist. There were many artists born in July, but Sandy Calder is no doubt, my favorite. He was born in Lawnton, Pennsylvania (that’s close to Philadelphia) on July 22, 1898. His father and grandfather were both sculptors. Calder’s mother was also a professional portrait painter.

Calder also became a sculptor. Kinetic sculpture probably describes his works the best. Kinetic sculptures are sculptures that actually move in space. Calder created stabiles and mobiles (his first in 1932). He also designed and built large public sculptures. He was 76 when he died on November 11, 1976.

Click on the following words to better understand and view some of Calder’s works.

Definitions of Mobile, Sculpture, and Stabile

The Circus


Object with Red Ball

The Crab

I think using some found objects you could very easily make a stabile or mobile. Just some string, wire, foam, beads, paper, whatever and you are a sculptor too. Sandy Calder made his parents a kinetic sculpture when he was in 4th grade. I hope you will give it a try.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Frank Lloyd Wright

My selection for my June artist is an American architect. I think you will enjoy learning about one of his buildings. Frank Lloyd Wright was an American architect, interior designer, writer, and educator who was born June 8, 1867 at Richland Center, Wisconsin. He died on April 9, 1959 at the age of 91. I have always been interested in architecture. It is the art and science of designing and building structures within spaces.

My most favorite Wright piece of architecture is classified as organic architecture. Organic architecture is when the architect designs the building within the natural surroundings so both work together to create the total composition. In today’s world that is a beautiful philosophy. The building is called Fallingwater and is located in Mill Run, Pennsylvania. Fallingwater is in the southwest Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands southeast of Pittsburgh. To take a short virtual tour of this magnificent structure click here.

Well-known during his own lifetime, Frank Lloyd Wright was recognized in 1991 by the American Institute of Architects as "the greatest American architect of all time.” I hope you loved Fallingwater as much as I do and go visit it soon.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


I think it is time we discuss color.
Color is one of the best art elements in our world. I love color. My favorite color is green. What is your favorite color?

How we create color and see color is quite different in art, science, and the printed page.
Let's explore color.

Click here for an understanding of color by my friend the colorworm.
To learn even more about color theory, click here.

Our May artist of the month is Keith Haring. He is another Pennsylvania born artist for you to get to know better. He was born on May 4th, 1958, in Reading, Pennsylvania. The Haring family lived in Kutztown, a nearby Pennsylvania Dutch farm community, where Keith was raised. I think you will like his art work. You can learn all about Keith and see his art work when you click on haringkids. Have fun and let me know what you think. Here is a picture of Keith Haring working on a mural. He also did sculptures as well as paintings.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Leonardo Da Vinci

Our April Artist of the month is Leonardo Da Vinci.

He was born on April 15, 1452 and died on May 2,1519 in a region of Florence, Italy. He was an Italian artist, scientist, engineer, mathematician, inventor, anatomist, painter, sculptor, architect, botanist, musician, and writer. Today he is considered an all-round genius whose paintings and inventions changed the world. Two of his works, the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper are his most famous, most reproduced, paintings of all time. Click on either to learn more about each. Click on 10 questions about The Last Supper to learn more about it.

Leonardo Da Vinci is described as a Renaissance Man. This term means a person who is well educated, or who excels, in a wide variety of subjects. The Renaissance was a rebirth or revival of cultural awareness and learning. It took place during the 14th and 15th centuries in Italy, Germany and other European countries. There was a renewed interest in ancient Greek and Roman art and design. The focus was on human beings, the environment, science, and philosophy.

If you want to try a timed two minute puzzle on the Mona Lisa click here. It took me a couple of times to get it completed on time. Try your skills.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Scherenschnitte? What is it?

Let's explore a specific PA German folk art that has been passed down from generation to generation. Yes, after exploring you can create a Scherenschnitte folk art piece too. Just follow the directions and you can create a beautiful 'one of a kind' snowflake.

1. What is Scherenschnitte?
2. What do I need to make a Scherenschnitte snowflake?
3. Make sure you start with a square of paper. It doesn’t matter what size, as long as it is a square. I like to use copy paper.
4. How should I fold the paper so I can make a six sided snowflake?
5. What shall I draw on my paper?
6. Am I ready to cut my snowflake?
7. What does the snowflake look like?
8. Are you ready to practice making a snowflake? Let’s practice here first.
9. Need some ideas before you start?

Now I think you are ready to actually get your tools and materials together and make a paper snowflake. You can go back and follow each step as you create your Scherenschnitte snowflake. Have fun. If you have any questions along the way, you can email me, comment here, or go to the Linntown Art Place wiki.

10.If you want to see the entire process to make a six sided Scherenschnitte snowflake, just watch the video below.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Pennsylvania German Folk Art

I would like to introduce you to Pennsylvania German folk art. Before we do any art work or projects, we need to know more about the Germans who settled in Pennsylvania in its early beginnings. The best way I know for you to learn about them and their art is to ask you to help me make a PA German Folk Art Museum either in school or a virtual one here on the web. I will assign you a partner in class and you will do a webquest and make a piece of art in the style of the PA Germans.

Check out the helpful links for April assignments here on the blog.
You can see the rubric for this assignment listed too.
Any time you have any questions, go to the Linntown Art Place Wiki and post them in the Discussion and Questions area. I already put some questions there for you for our three April assignments.

What is PA German Folk Art?

See some PA German Folk Art.

Assignment: Do PA German Folk Art Webquest

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Pennsylvania born Artists

I would like you to spend some time on Pennsylvania born artists and PA German folk art. As 4th graders you study all about Pennsylvania. You even visit Harrisburg, the capital and the museum there. We will be working in class on a project that will result in a PowerPoint presentation. We will use a webquest to study PA born artists and work together in groups of 4. Here is the rubric for the webquest. If you click on it, you will see a much larger version. If you want to work on the PA born artist webquest during your free time, here is the link.

You can also view the webquest in PowerPoint format.

Or you can click here to see it full screen.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Jackson Pollock

In my podcast below, I said non-objective art is where the composition contains no recognizable figures or objects. I want you to look at this painting by Jackson Pollock. He was an American action painter. This is Pollock's One: Number 31, painted in 1950. It occupies an entire wall by itself at the MOMA in New York City.
He put his canvas on the floor and threw his paint onto it.

To learn more about his non objective compositions:

Follow this link to see some of his other paintings.

Let’s look at Number 1, 1950 (Lavender Mist) at the National Gallery in Washington, DC.

Here you can see Jackson Pollock doing one of his action paintings.

Once you visit the URL below, click on the red arrow to see more photos of the artist working in his studio.

Now it is your turn to create a Jackson Pollock type action painting site. Once you click on this site, you will see a white space. As soon as you move the mouse across the space, color will appear. Every time you click, the color will change. If you want to delete and start again, just touch the space bar on your keyboard. I am using a PC, so when I right click my mouse, I can print my picture. You MAC users will have to let me know if you can print your non-objective composition or not.

If you can find some other non-objective compositions by artists, please share them with us - either the URL, name of the artist, a picture of the artwork, etc.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Vincent Van Gogh - March Artist

Vincent Van Gogh is our March "Artist of the Month."
He was born in the Netherlands on March 30, 1853.
He used color boldly with a type of painting technique called impasto.
This is a way of applying thick paint onto the canvas.
When you look at his paintings you will see a sense of urgency about his paint strokes. His use of color helped to created the mood of the painting.
He often painted a painting a day.
I want you to look at some of my favorites by Vincent Van Gogh.
Listen to the podcast below about composition before you look.

The first is at the MOMA in NYC. It is called "Starry Night"

The next is called Sunflowers and is located at the Philadephia Museum of Art.

This short video shows you some of his self portraits in an interesting way.

Would you like to try a puzzle? I made it easy for you and it is one of my most favorite Van Gogh landscapes. Just click on the puzzle and have fun!

Click to Mix and Solve

I hope you learned a little more about Vincent Van Gogh's compositions and will let me know by adding a post or comment.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Introduction to Mrs. Wagner's Blog

Welcome to Mrs. Wagner's blog. I am an elementary art teacher and an artist. In my blog I will introduce, share, and discuss different art ideas with and for my students and friends. I will talk about all kinds of art related topics - art techniques, styles, procedures, history, my favorites, and whatever else moves me. I will share my favorite websites, places to visit, hints for my students (both past and present), and advice for my friends. I have taught the visual arts to all grade levels and have many former students who are now art teachers themselves. I hope we can share art ideas as well.
But presently my students are 4th and 5th graders so most of my entries will be directed about projects we create in class. I also hope to post interesting projects and ideas for my students to try at home. Other postings will include information about my monthly art contests and requirements, details about the art show, and any other tidbits I want to share. I hope you will check in often and see what is new.