Tuesday, August 12, 2008

More Nature Journal Class Photos

My co-teacher Melissa just posted her class photos here.

Looking through them helped me to recall and reflect on the varied approaches the kids brought to their books and boxes, and I decided to recap them here, so I don't lose them.

Hannah is one of the most patient artists I've ever seen at work. She insisted on drawing and creating everything for her book by hand, and fully embraced the complimentary colors idea. She drew a progression of a wave break on four of her book panels, and the other side of her book included flaps which revealed hand-drawn images on every panel.

Emma decided on an underwater theme and stuck to it throughout her book. She was intrigued with the vintage postage stamps I provided that had images of fish on them, and used them to great advantage on her pages. She created wonderful underwater images by sticking with a gorgeous palette of blues and greens.

Ryan was intrigued by the idea of adding texture (sand and 3D items) and scents (teabags filled with cinnamon bark and lavender) to his book. One side of his book shows a progression of views of the same beach scene: from the beach, under water, from the sky, and looking back at the beach as if from a boat. The other side shows things you can do on the beach. His box is a representation of the beach view looking out over your own feet as you lie back and enjoy!

Jenna decided to use birds as her theme, and she has clearly begun to understand the idea of effective composition. Her juxtapositions of colors and interesting layouts are a treat for the eye. She also captured the feeling of looking up at birds against tree branches and sky.

Rebecca was the only student who decided to construct her book in a vertical format. It doesn't show in the photo, but the top panel has a copper wire loop with which she can hang the book on a wall. She also chose a beach theme, and cleverly hid an image of a starfish on each panel. The colors she chose for her box include stunning purples that evoke a sunset.

Natalie chose to focus her book on her favorite animal: dogs. She depicts dogs playing on the beach, and if you look closely, you can see that she's added wings to the dog image she embossed on copper for the top of her box. She took naturally to the idea of collaging text pages with colored mulberry paper over them for depth, and had a great time adding acrylic paint to just about every page and the entire inside of her box.

Harmony has a long-standing love of bee images, and devoted her book and box to them. She used a fantastic twist on the traditional black and yellow theme for bees, using copper instead of yellow on her box and some of her pages. One of her panels includes a large image of a hand-drawn bee on a dynamic black and yellow background, and one includes a bee image from a napkin, which she made into opening doors that reveal a bee embossed into copper. She also cut out a bee image and laid it on copper mesh, then sprayed the mesh with liver of sulfer, resulting in a wonderful masked image.

Maddie's theme was the sky. Her panels depict the sky at various times of day and night. In one panel, she cleverly used colored sand to represent a sunset. Images of suns and moons are used throughout her book and a beautiful sun is embossed in copper on the top of her box. This theme gave her a chance to explore a wide range of colors, which she used skillfully to give the feel of the light at different times of day.

It was a delight to work with these kids. Teaching them is so easy; I feel like all I have to do is provide some materials and techniques, and they just take off. They truly inspire me.


Nona Parry said...

Lori, these are Absolutely Fabulous, and no surprise! Thanks so much for sharing!j

BTW, please point Harmony toward Zinnia's. Tyn is having a gallery exhibition "Bee Cause", with art all about bees. It would be so cool to have your student's work in this exhibition!

Pelicanhead said...

I'm a cousin of Melissa, Hannah, Emma and Maddie. Just wanted to say what a lovely blog you have, and it made me almost feel like I was in that class.

Good job to everyone, what beautiful art, and great use of themes and color!


ryan said...

i love your summaries about us and you really emphsized my feet.

i love you!!!


Sarah E. said...

What a neat opportunity to work with such creative folks-under-21! and what awesome art they did! Thanks for sharing...most inspiring!