Rivendell Art

Famous Artwork Tableau Vivant Challenge

Have you ever heard of a tableau vivant? It translates to “living picture”, and it’s a very old form of art where people dress up and pose so that they look like a painting, or a scene from history. If you’ve every been to a big city and seen a street performer who was a “living statue” then you’ve seen a modern form of this kind of art.

For this challenge, I want you to re-create a famous painting or scene from history. Of course, you’ll have to be creative (and maybe a little silly!) and see what you can find around your house to give the impression of the painting, even though your costumes and props won’t be exact. Maybe your parents and siblings would like to join in as well!

I’ve attached several works of art below that might be easy to re-create. You’re welcome to use one of them, or to find your own piece of art to use as inspiration. I also linked a video of a small town in Italy called Modigliana, where they have a whole festival of tableau vivant every year! It’s pretty cool, check it out.

Paint with Coffee or Tea Challenge

For this challenge, you are going to create a painting using coffee or tea. I only have herbal tea at my house, so my “paint” turned out a little pink/purple colored. Use whatever you have! You’ll have to think creatively about what you’re going to paint, because you only have one color. Painting with tea and coffee is quite a lot like painting with watercolor, so think about layering it and letting it dry between layers to get cool effects.

Here’s what you’ll need.

1/2 cup of leftover coffee **or**
2 tea bags (I used Tazo, passion flavor) steeped in 1/2 cup hot water
Thick paper
Paint brush or qtips

Have fun!

Color Wheel Challenge

For this challenge, you are going to create a color wheel with objects you find around your house. Make sure you remember where you took each item from so that you can put it back when you’re done. To make collecting your items easier, grab a box, bag or basket to hold your things as you go. I can’t wait to see what you create!

Art Room News

In preschool art, we started out the year with projects exploring line, shape, texture, and warm/cool colors. Preschoolers created a shrink film fish to add to our school-wide “school of fish” display, and have also completed projects in watercolor, oil pastel, pencil, marker and tempera. In the coming months, we will continue to work on pieces for our Rivendell Art Show in December, including sculpture and collage.

Younger Kids have been working on following multi-step instructions, using tools and supplies correctly, and thinking creatively in their artwork. We have worked in watercolor, tempera, oil pastel, watercolor marker and pencil so far this year. We have discussed the concepts of warm colors and cool colors, texture, contrast, line and shape. We are also working on the concepts of horizontal (and horizon line), vertical and diagonal. Younger Kids are continuously working on investing the time and effort it takes to make a quality piece of artwork that they can be proud of.

Middle Kids started the year in Art with a shrink film project using sharpies and beads/shells/wire. We have also worked in watercolor, pencil and oil pastels. We are currently working on the concept of creating a sketch of our work before we create it with paint or other media. Middle Kids are expected to follow multi-part processes to complete their artwork, so we are working on listening carefully and asking questions before moving forward in their project. We are also discussing thinking creatively before we begin, so that each student’s’ art is unique to their vision. 

Older Kids have completed several projects since the beginning of the year. We started by creating shrink film sea creatures, and then an ink and watercolor project. We are working on following multi-part instructions, which also challenges students to think creatively about how to make their artwork unique to themselves. We talked about complementary colors and are currently working on an abstract personal portrait project. We have had a few “art analysis” discussions, where we get to talk about a piece of art and see what kinds of things we notice about it, in relation to key art terms such as color, line, light, form, etc. 


What Challenges You?

For our first collaborative project of the year, all the students (and some teachers too!) worked on a feather to be part of two giant wings, which are now on display in the back hallway near the restrooms. The students learned a little song about tints and shades (found here on YouTube, beware it’s catchy!) and then used tempera paint to color their feather from light to dark. We finished off our decorations on the feathers with white colored pencil. Because our conceptual lens this year is “challenge”, we each wrote something on the feather that we were going to challenge ourselves with this year. The finished artwork looks amazing on the wall, so be sure to stop by with your child and see if they can find their feather!

Exploring the Greek Geometric Period

We started out the year in Art classes by exploring the Greek Geometric Period and how they used their designs on pottery. Every grade level created a slightly different piece, from watercolor to mixed media to scratch board. They will be on display in the back hallway for the next few weeks if you’d like to check them out! img_1627 img_1657 img_1659 img_1663 img_1724 img_1625

Starting the year in Art

We have been working hard in the Art Room already this year. Every student in the school contributed to an analogous color mural that is now on display in the back hallway. Preschool and Younger Kids have also worked on line and color blending projects and are just finishing up a warm color, oil pastel blending project (with Egyptian pyramid silhouettes!) Middle Kids and Older Kids have been working several class periods on foil embossing Egyptian art forms and then antiquing them. They are starting to be hung in the back hallway as well, so be sure to stop by and check them out soon.

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Bodies in Motion

We stretched the boundaries of our whole-child approach in January by combining Art and P.E.! Younger Kids first created some Keith Haring inspired figures in Art class, and then followed up with a P.E. class where they examined each figure and had to do their best to recreate the “pose” or “motion” with their own bodies. Some figures presented more of a challenge than others!

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Styrofoam Relief Prints

Middle Kids finished up their South America prints this week. They watercolored a background piece and then cut a map of South America into a piece of styrofoam (backwards!), inked it and printed it onto their backgrounds. You can see them on display outside the Middle Kid classrooms. The kids were very excited to lift up the styrofoam “plate” to see what they had created. If you go see them, look for the details that make each piece their own.

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Getting started on our Central and South America unit

Older Kids worked on a quick paper batik project today and the results were pretty fantastic, so we thought we’d share a few. Here are their maps of South America, made with wax resist and watercolors. It’s a tricky technique and they worked hard to transfer the wax and use detail in their painting. Nicely done!

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