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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Meet Blu

A new school year is in full swing!  Students at St. Christopher's are busy making some beautiful masterpieces and I can't wait to show you the final projects once they are done!

In the meantime, I want to introduce you all to Blu.....Mrs. Rauscher's travel companion who loves to take pictures with the art and places they see and visit.

This year, I was able to travel to Spain and Italy and brought Blu along.  Here are some of the sights we saw this summer:

The Leaning Tower of Pisa

First up: the leaning Tower of Pisa.  The tilt started when construction started in 1173 due to the soft sandy ground found throughout Pisa.  The lean continued all the way until the 1372 when the tower was finally completed.  Depending on the angle, you can see that the builders tried to correct the lean by angling the top levels making it look more like a banana.  It has since been stabilized in the past centuries but that lean is still there and put this tower and town on the map.

The Florence Cathedral

The Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore or in English, "Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower" is the main church of Florence, Italy.  And boy, is it HUGE!  Building started in 1296 and was completed in 1436.  Inside is covered in frescos and paintings as well as cavernous interior.  Unfortunately, we did not have time to wait in the long line to go inside.  But hopefully Blu and I will find ourselves back in Italy one day.  

Florence Baptistery

In front of the Florence Cathedral is the Baptistery.  The Baptistery is one of the oldest buildings in the city, constructed between 1059 and 1128.  The Baptistery is renowned for its three sets of bronze doors with relief sculptures.  This picture is in front of doors designed by Lorenzo Ghiberti.  Who won this honor in a contest between him and famous artist and architect, Filippo Brunelleschi.  Who eventually when on to design the Dome of the Florence Cathedral.  I remember seeing these in my art history books in college, it was incredible to see them in person! 

Michelangelo's David

Now if you every took a walk around Hoyt Lake in Delaware Park, you might have seen a sculpture similar to this one.  Well that is a reproduction or copy of this huge marble sculpture by Michelangelo, one of the most famous Renaissance artists and the painter of the Sistine Chapel.  
I have seen picture after picture of this sculpture but never grasped how large this artwork was!  He is taller than most people even with out the pedestal he sits on!  

The Vatican: St. Peter's Square

We visited the Pope....well where he lives.  We not see him but we did stand in St. Peter's Square and stood in front of St Peter's Basilica.  Though the Pope often holds mass inside the Basilica, for important feast days and celebrations, the Pope will have mass right in the Square.

The Pantheon

Once a Roman temple, this now serves as a church.  The present building was completed by the emperor Hadrian and was probably dedicated about 126 AD.  This is one of the best preserved Ancient Roman Buildings since it has been in constant use since its completion.  What makes this building so incredible is the Dome that was revolutionary during its time....we are taking AD here! The Pantheon still holds the record for the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome.  
The Colosseum

The Roman Colosseum or also known by its Latin name: Amphitheatrum Flavium, is built of concrete and sand, it is the largest amphitheater ever built. Construction began under the emperor Vespasian in AD 72, and was completed in AD 80 under his successor and heir Titus.  It could hold between 50,000 to 80,000 spectators for gladiator fights, theater productions and even naval battle reenactments!  

Blu and Mrs. Rauscher had a fabulous trip and saw and did lots of other amazing things including a gondola ride through Venice!  
What cool things did you see this summer?  
And where do you think Blu will turn up next? 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

From Third Graders to Centenarians

I am usually one to switch up lessons year to year often but there are some that I love to teach year after year due to their popularity, success, and wealth of learning objectives covered. This is certainly one because the results never cease to crack me up!

I believe I modified this lesson from School Arts Magazine and added a writing assignment.  Third grade students looked at portraits of centenarians and identified changes the body goes through when we age.  We review proportions of the face and add the wrinkles, and age lines that would age our self-portraits to 100 years old (Though I will say some of these guys look a few years shy of that age).  We continue with practice mixing skin color and adding shading onto a human face with watercolors.  Unfortunately these photos didn't fully pick up the subtle shading my students added.  I am always impressed by their use of watercolors.  It is a difficult medium for anyone to master!

After we finish our portraits, we discuss how 100 years is quite a while for all of us and there is a lot of time and events that can fit in between.  We brainstorm some things we will like to achieve by the time we are 100.  Students then complete an accompanying writing piece on what they want to do by the time they are 100 years old.  They often write about where they want to go to school, what they want to do when they are older and where they want to travel but every year we also have some mansions, 100s of puppies and other imaginative goals sprinkled in!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Tutorial: Egg Carton Flower Wreath

Spring has arrived and flowers are starting to bloom. Over at St. Christopher's, teachers are posting all sorts of lovely work with the theme of all things spring! I wanted to make a cheap but colorful wreath for my door. So I grabbed some egg cartons, scissors, watercolors and glue and you can too! Here's a super quick tutorial for you all (I'm sure kiddos could do this too)
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You will need:
Paper Egg Cartons
Watercolors (any kind works)
Hot Glue (craft glue might work as well
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Cut between the egg carton spots and create flower shapes: Some of mine are a bit abstract, some long and some short. Remember this is a playful wreath. Once cut, paint with watercolors. The carton will soak up a lot of the water and color in the first layer, so I did a light first coat of mostly water and then went over it with a lot more of the hue. Remember, it will dry a bit lighter!
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While your flowers dry, cut a circle from the cardboard to whatever size you want your wreath to be. Cut a center circle to create your desired width.
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Once the flowers are completely dry, hot glue them onto the cardboard form. Optional: hot glue a ribbon on the back for hanging your wreath.
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And there you have it...your wreath is done! Hang and enjoy! Super simple but super cheery. Spring: here I come!
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Saturday, December 12, 2015

Theme of the Month: Architecture

This year's art curriculum is all about exploring different careers in the arts.  I wanted to make sure students learned a variety of different options as well as make sure it was organized in a way I could manage all of my 10 grade levels.  So that's where my Monthly art themes come in.  Each month we have a different category to explore.  All of my classes explore this theme in different ways and different levels.

October's theme was Architecture.  Here is just a few of the projects that were created.

Students designed their own dream playgrounds after looking at some of the craziest from around the world!  They also practiced cutting out their shapes with scissors.  

First Grade:

Students made some 3D houses from boxes and paper towel rolls to create these colorful houses.

Second Grade:
Students took a look at contemporary illustrator and artist Marz Jr.  They also looked at Buffalo Architecture icons to help make these drawings.  Do you recognize any of the white buildings?

Fourth Grade:
We looked at Victorian Houses to help inspire these foam prints. Since it was close to Halloween, some of them decided to add some spooky twists.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Tutorial: Origami Sphere

I have been making these origami balls ever since my elementary art teacher taught me in 4th grade. That's right, 4th grade! I have no clue how I have remembered this for all these years but I'm certainly glad I did. I recently taught my 5th graders how to make these and many made some at home!  Since then, I have gotten quite a few requests on how to make them. So here is my attempt at showing you how through pictures. If you have any questions just shoot me an email or comment on this post and I will try and help you out! 

 -I suggest using 6in by 6in paper (traditional origami size) for the first time round because the smaller it is the harder. 
 -Try making them all different sizes and hanging them! It would make for a gorgeous arrangement for a party or event! 
-Make the edges nice a crisp by using the back of your thumbnail, and bone folder or even a popsicle stick to create a crisp fold.

Click for full post.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Miss T's Back, Back Again....

90s boy band song anyone?  No...just me?

After an extremely long hiatus, I am back to blog land! It has been over a year since I last posted and quite a bit has happened!  I survived my first year teaching full time at a new school, performed Master's research and graduated, ran two art shows for my biggest group of kids yet and much more!  I do plan on posting some of these past events, but to be honest, I wasn't the best at snapping pictures this past year.  So expect more of a round-up with plenty of pictures of last year's art show.  I do plan on photography a lot more this year.  So look out for some new lessons and shenanigans from the St. Christopher art room!

Stay tuned! 

Friday, June 27, 2014

One door closes....

It is with a heavy heart that I write, St. Leo's has officially closed their doors.  It was a bittersweet day on Tuesday as we have the last school-wide mass followed by an awards ceremony and then fun at Fantasy Island.  It was also the day that I packed up and moved out what seemed like 20 years worth if stuff from my classroom of three years.  I end this chapter of my teaching career with this update and farewell: 

Where has this semester gone! It has been a whirlwind of activity in the artroom.  The last projects have been finished and handed in and artwork from the beginning of the year has been sent home!  It was a lot!  You don’t realize all that has been made until you bring it all out.  It was memory lane for some classes who have forgotten all they have done!  And for me…I have found a lot of extra space in the artroom! 
                The highlight of this semester was not only seeing students talk about past art projects and look through portfolios but our Variety Show!   I cannot be more proud of those students who had incredible courage to perform not only in front f loved ones but the entire school as well!  The first Variety Show night was one to remember.  All of our performers did absolutely wonderful! There were tears, laughs and some very proud Drama Club advisors!  Congratulations Drama Club and Variety Show participants!  
The days are flying by as we enter the last few days of school.  I’m sure many of our hearts are heavy but also our minds full of precious memories of our time here at St. Leo’s.  These past three years have been a pleasure to see these wonderful students grow and make some incredible artwork.  This was my very first teaching placement and I cannot think of a better fit to start my career.  To the parents, thank you for all your support and instilling your children will the importance of succeeding in all subjects, even art.  It was great to have students that loved art as much as I do and to be able to run a successful art club and drama club.  We had more participants then I could have hoped for!  To the staff, thank you for keeping this part-time teacher in the loop.  It is easy to feel distant and not part of this community being here twice a week but I can happily say that I felt quite a part of this school.  Thank you for the guidance and allowing your students to get quite messy at times in the artroom.  To the students, you are what made me want to go to work every Tuesday and Thursday.   You are all so talented in your own little ways, whether art was “your thing” or not, find what you love and pursue it.  I wish you all the very best at your new school, you will all do wonderful, but just remember to keep being good friends and remember all that you learned and accomplished at St. Leo’s.  I will miss you all but I know I will fondly bring these memories with me to wherever I end up next. 

Wishing you all the very best,

         Miss Thrun