Welcome to Thursday art classes at Vista Oaks! Here you will find information about what we are working on in class, ideas for explorations at home, and links to related material. I design my art classes based on developmental needs with an emphasis on fostering creativity. Occasionally I may have students reproduce an example if I am teaching a particular technique, but usually the students are free to make their own decisions and follow their own muses.
The TK-1 class will spend the year exploring the fundamentals of art. Stories are used to introduce an art concept (the rainbow fairy has become a good friend of ours this year), and an art project is presented showing that concept. How the students interpret that project is completely up to them - I do not require that they copy the example. Many projects are introduced without an example; instead, the students are provided with materials and invited to explore them in the fashion they see fit. My approach to early art education is influenced by the Waldorf and Reggio Emilia approaches.
The elementary classes are learning about the great artists, beginning with the Renaissance, and creating an art project based on some aspect of a particular artist's life or work. We are not copying a particular style, but learning technique or perspective to apply to our own art. For example, when learning about Botticelli, the students created oil pastel drawings in the round because that is a style he often used. For Michelangelo we learned how frescos were made, then prepared our own drawings, perforated them, used ground charcoal to transfer the images and then painted them. At this age I am most concerned with developing creativity and helping each child to see that they are artists with a unique perspective to present to the world.
The middle school students will be spending the majority of the year learning drawing skills. At this age they are ready for more direct instruction on art techniques, and are required to keep a sketchbook. We focus on drawing from life, but we will also explore purely imaginative drawing as well. In the spring the students will put their skills to practical use with printmaking techniques. The students will have instruction in using graphite, charcoals, colored pencils, ink and watercolor.