Middle School Art with Jill

Hello Families of My Wonderful Middle School Students!

During this time away from our usual days at VMS, I want you, the parents and students, to know that I am here to help in whatever way I can. When your children are in our weekly Specialist sessions in the Art Room, they have time to express themselves through many different mediums and avenues. I would like them to feel this sense of expression and exploration, even when we are not physically together. In this confusing time I encourage you to not only encourage you kids to create art, but to get messy while doing it, and even better, participate in the activity with them, if you so desire. I will send out weekly activities that will be available here on the VMS website. Feel free to email me with any questions or comments you might have.

In our class this year, we have been working on creating interesting designs by manipulating the principles of design: emphasis, balance, movement, proportion, contrast, pattern, unity. We have been applying these principles in our personal logos and our linoleum cuts. As of last week, we took a little break to work on our literary art gallery pieces. Since we can’t complete those art pieces until we get back to the Art Room (hopefully sooner than later!), we will continue our journey into creating creative designs. To begin, I am going to suggest some fun art activities to loosen us up. Any artist or any age can participate!

Doodle Diary
Place your pen on a page and draw a short story about something that has happened to you recently. Keep drawing and don’t take the pen off the page if you can help it. Doing this regularly trains your brain to be able to keep drawing and improvising as you draw.

Check out this great link for a whole bunch of fun doodle activities to keep your brain active and creative!

Poem Art
In line with the idea behind the literary gallery where we combine the written word with a piece of art, I challenge you to write a poem about one of the following topics and then create a drawing to go along with it. Remember, as we talked about in class, the art that you create does not need to tell the entire story, but instead refer to a part of it. In the end, the art you create should be able to stand alone as a compete, interesting piece of art. Note: these drawings do not have to be huge. I would suggest making a rectangular space under your poem in which to create your art. Select one, or many, of the following subjects, with some word associations to get the thought process started.

  • The Night Sky (stars, blackness, moonlight, midnight, pitch, constellations, glimmer, wakeful)
  • Dedication (devotion, allegiance, commit, piety, constancy, zeal, loyalty, fervor)
  • Unity (oneness, harmony, peace, solidarity, coherence, unanimity, collective, global)
  • Adventure (enterprise, exploit, undertaking, escapade, climb, dare, gamble, voyage)
  • Sleep (dream, doze, repose, torpor, trance, slumber, somnolence)
  • A walk (stroll, fresh air, pulse, footsteps, path, promenade, breeze, wander)

Plan a Plaid
We are going to practice color mixing with crayons or colored pencils, whatever you have around the house. We have done a lot of mixing of colors using acrylic and watercolor paints, but not much with colored pencils. You need to print out this Plan a Plaid Worksheet, or make one similar to it on a piece of paper. Please follow the instructions below.

  • Begin by choosing a color for each of the four circles across the top of the grid and color them in.
  • Choose a color for each of the five circles down the left side of the grid and color them in.
  • Now you are going to start combining your colors. Start by coloring in the first square with the color in the first circle on the left. Color it in making all vertical lines. Now apply the color that is in the circle directly above on the top of the first color, but in horizontal lines.
  • Repeat this for the entire cart, making sure your colors are applied in different directions.

Create a Cartoon Character
We are going to start working on a graphic novel page in the next few weeks, so I would love if you could start creating fun, unique, odd, simplified cartoon characters. Don’t get too caught up in making the character “perfect.” Think of all the bizarre cartoon characters that are on TV shows. The weirder the better. Maybe try doing a sixty second challenge with a friend on FaceTime. Make a new character every sixty seconds for 5 minutes then show each other your creations…and have a good laugh!

Virtual Art Museums
In addition to these hands-on activities, there are numerous art museums that you can tour virtually. Click here for a list of tours!

I know this is a stressful time for all of us, but I hope these activities provide you with some joy and levity. Please feel free to contact me at any time. And please feel free to let your kids know that I would love to hear from them via email! If they want to send me pictures of what they have created, that would really make my day!!

I look forward to providing you with other activities next week.

Jill Thompson

jthompson@ms.valleymontessorischool.com

jthompson@valleymontessorischool.com