I’m back!

After a few months’ hiatus, I am back and ready to return to my artful explorations in nature! The first few months at a new school proved to take up much of my time and creative energy—leaving little left to put into my blog. So, thank you for sticking with me and not unsubscribing 🙂

And now, onto some fun new ideas! Oh–and before I forget to mention it–my blog has officially passed the one year mark–Exciting! And now, the fun stuff—

First I’d like to share with you a project that my fifth graders recently worked on, exploring the ways in which artist Ben Heine explores the world through his cartoon illustrations!

Here’s an example of Heine’s work:

My kids particularly liked his work involving animals, such as this example:

Below are a few of my students’ examples. For this project, they chose a landscape photograph (most from calendars) and created their own cartoon, adding something new to the landscape, while making sure it still fit the composition. They were then photographed holding their cartoon to line up with the landscape. After photographed, they added more to their landscape while drawing in their border. Here are some mid-project samples:

Okay, and now…onto more news:

Over the last year, I challenged myself and anyone interested to participate in a monthly nature art challenge, exploring the natural world, one art medium at a time! This year, while continuing in that same vein, I think I will try to take my artful explorations one step further–using different art mediums as RESEARCH and INVESTIGATIVE tools! Let me try to explain…

Last weekend I attended the annual CAEA (Colorado Art Education Association) Conference (wonderful!), in which I heard Dr. Julia Marshall, a professor of art education from San Francisco State University, present on the concept of sketchbooks as “Research Workbooks” in the art classroom. As she spoke, my brain was going about 100 miles/hour, generating ways that this idea could be used in my own classroom. Marshall explained that through keeping these research workbooks, students are able to keep an artistic trail of their investigations and thought process. Thinking about research as being a sort of trail that leads to new places was definitely something that easily connected to the whole idea behind artful explorations in nature!

So, inspired by Marshall’s description of a research workbook, I plan to begin my own–exploring the things that I find interesting and inspiring in the natural world!

Let the journey begin! As always, I welcome any and all companions on the adventure!

Until tomorrow’s post…find something that will make a good “workbook.” This may be a sketchbook, notebook, or stack of papers connected in some way.

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