Second graders studied the works of painter Wayne Thiebaud, especially his use of surprising colors in outlines and shadows, and then created oil pastel paintings showing candy in an unusual context. Some students chose to create candy landscapes, while others chose to show their candy as a living object.
Second graders gathered leaves from various locations on the Bullis campus in order to preserve the fall through art. They arranged the leaves in symmetrical, radial patterns inside a wooden hoop and then placed their arrangements in sticky contact paper. Later, we added holes around the edge of the contact paper, and sewed our leaf collages to the handpainted wooden hoops to create decorative wall hangings.
Second graders studied various family snapshots and then did a series of sketches showing families engaged in favorite activities—camping, playing at the beach, riding roller coasters or just hanging out together. Students then made larger drawings first in crayon, and next painted over the crayon with watercolor, using a technique called wax resist.
Second graders read The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art, by Barb Rosenstock. After learning more about Kandinsky’s life, and the connection between music and abstract art, students listened to four very different pieces of music, and represented each piece through line and color. Students were challenged to represent moods in work by Janet Jackson, Miles Davis, Beethoven and Bob James.
Second graders continue their studies of radial symmetry, first started in their circular leaf project in the fall, by creating bright, chromatic paper snowflakes. Students then fill the holes created in the cut-paper snowflakes with colored tissue paper, making an effort to repeat colors and shapes to create true radial symmetry. We then placed the completed collages in a window to give the effect of stained glass.
Landscape painting comes from a long history of studying nature, light, color and atmosphere. Students worked with dry pastel and watercolor, drawing and painting images of the Bullis campus. They created compositions based on their interests in architecture, land and sky.
Pinch pots are a simple form of hand-made pottery produced from ancient times to the present and one of the most basic forms of hand built pottery. Pinching creates pottery that can be ornamental or functional, and has been widely employed across cultures and times. Students combined two pinch pots to create a clay spirit animal, a creature that embodies their personal interests and character.
Coil, also referred to as “chord,” is another hand-building technique with a long tradition. The structure of the ceramic is based on the design of the coils being layered on top of one another. Students designed and built a coil vessel by rolling each individual coil, stacking and blending to form a sturdy form.
For their final project of the trimester, students redesigned book covers. Ms. Clarke, Upper School Librarian, helped students choose books that were rarely checked out and with covers that were either dated or not intriguing. Students studied “Swiss Style Design,” which is based largely in minimalism, bold colors and use of text, and translated the content of the book into a new exciting and modern cover. Students handled all measurements, designing, printing, binding, and finishing their books, which were then placed back into the Library’s circulation.
In Adobe Illustrator, students learned how to master the Pen Tool (one of the most feared aspects of Adobe Suite!) in order to create a custom logo. Students created the outline of a shape and filled it with a pattern that they also created.
Using Adobe Photoshop, students recolored black and white photos. They learned how to create layers, adjust colors and use the brush tool to overlay color variations on top of each other.
Students imagined they were designing a sculptural frieze for the new Bullis Discovery Center. As a class, they generated a list of ideas for "A Day in the Life at Bullis." The students collaborated and created ideas for the events, people or parts of the campus that should be represented and used the bas-relief carving technique to create each piece.
A mandala is a Hindu or Buddhist graphic symbol of the universe that is used chiefly as an aid to meditation. Typically one is designed as a circle enclosing a square with a deity on each side or divided into four separate sections with repeated patterns of a particular image. During this unit, students created a personal mandala. The mandala is a symbolic representation of each student as a diverse and unique individual. They included symbols of their past, present and future goals, hopes and dreams, things that are important or “sacred” and anything that makes them a unique, diverse and important individual.