May 02, 2004

DIA trip

Today was our class trip to the DIA. It was a rainy day, but a great time. I thoroughly enjoyed myself at the museum. I could have easily spent a few more hours. I loved being able to draw and sketch the artwork. I wish I could have spent more time doing that. I spent about a half hour sketching "Eve" by Rodin.

I feel like I really connected with the piece...when Rosemary asked what my favorite part was, I have to say it was drawing that sculpture. I was fascinated by the tension and the mood...the roughness of the surface suggests the intensity of the anguish Eve must have felt when she realized the consequences of her actions. I thought the subtle details of the hand and the face were awesome. We also drew the Detroit Industries Mural which has a very interesting history. I got a chance to go to the Whistler exhibit as well. It was very fascinating. I was not planning to see it, but then decided I couldn't come all the way to the DIA and skip the Whistler exhibit. I just loved it. I did not realize that John Singer Sargent was one of Whistler's "followers." And I was not familiar with Whistler's landscapes at all, which I discovered are very similar to the way Turner painted. I enjoyed learning more about his development as an artist and seeing so many of his paintings in one place. My favorite painting was "Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket." It was quite radical for him to paint it and people criticized his painting. I loved it for it's impressionistic qualities. He painted it from his memory of what he had seen. I also had not realized that Whistler created a symbol for himself and began to sign his name with a symbol of a butterfly instead of his name.

I developed a lesson from this painting and used it with my third graders. The results were quite impressive and my students loved making the fireworks. We reviewed a little color theory by mixing dark shades of brown and green for the land and blue and purple for the sky. We painted the colors on black construction paper. The second art class we used pastels on our paintings and after a quick demo of some techniques to use for making our paintings look similar to Whistler's they were off creating beautiful "Nocturne" paintings of their own! They really turned out fabulous...I will try to post some of their work so you can see what great artists I get to teach!


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