Friday, November 7, 2014

The Great Wave

We just started a new project this week. We are going to do watercolors of The Great Wave.

The Great Wave off Kanagawa
by Hokusai

The Great Wave off Kanagawa is woodblock print by Japanese artist Hokusai, published sometime between 1830 and 1833 in the late Edo period as the first print in Hokusai's series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji. It is Hokusai's most famous work, and one of the best recognized works of Japanese art in the world. It depicts an enormous wave threatening boats off the coast of the prefecture of Kanagawa. While sometimes assumed to be a tsunami, the wave is, as the picture's title notes, more likely to be a large rogue wave. As in all the prints in the series, it depicts the area around Mount Fuji under particular conditions, and the mountain itself appears in the background.

Hokusai was born in 1760, in Katsushika,a district in the east of Edo (now Tokyo) . His birth name was Tokitarō, and he was the son of a mirror maker to the shōgun.

He started painting when he was six years old and at twelve his father sent him to work at a booksellers. At sixteen, he was apprenticed as an engraver and spent three years learning the trade. At the same time he began to produce his own illustrations. At eighteen he was accepted as an apprentice to the artist Katsukawa Shunshō, one of the foremost ukiyo-e artists of the time. After a year, his master gave him the name Shunrō, the name he used to sign his first works in 1779.

Shunshō died in 1793, so by himself Hokusai began to study distinct Japanese and Chinese styles and some Dutch and French painting.

Look at Reference Questions:
Why do you see in this painting?
Do you see Mount Fuji?
What kind of lines do you see?
How does this painting make you feel?
This painting is a woodblock print. Do you know what that is?

Happy Halloween :)

Me as the White Witch from Narnia.

3rd Grade classes in costume!

Q-tips Skeletal Systems 


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Kandinsky finished artworks

Our master artist's artwork. 
Wassily Kandinsky
Squares with Concentric Circles

Student artworks in pastel on watercolor paper.
The center two circles on the left side are complementary colors - colors that are across from each other on the color wheel.
The center two circles on the right side are analogous colors - colors that are next to each other on the color wheel.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Today for our Wednesday class we made pumpkins!
We wrote something we were thankful for on our pumpkins.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Wayne Thiebaud - Let them eat cake!...well draw cake anyway

We are beginning our new project this week. We will be talking more about shape and line. We are practicing "seeing".
We will be drawing a cake with a slice cut out of it.

Wayne Thiebaud
Oil on canvas
60 x 72 in
National Gallery of Art, Washington

Wayne Thiebaud - pronounced the word "Tea" (like in a cup of tea) and the word "bow" (Like in a bow and an arrow). Tea-bow. Wayne Thiebaud (born November 15, 1920) is an American painter best known for his colorful works depicting commonplace objects—pies, lipsticks, paint cans, ice cream cones, pastries, and hot dogs—as well as for his landscapes and figures. He is associated with the Pop art movement because of his interest in objects of mass culture, although his early works, executed during the fifties and sixties, slightly predate the works of the classic pop artists. Thiebaud uses heavy pigment and exaggerated colors to depict his subjects, and the well-defined shadows characteristic of advertisements are almost always included in his work.

Questions we will discuss:
What shape is a cake?
Is the image of the painted cake a circle?
Is a circle perfectly round?
The cake top is and oval. Why isn't the shape perfectly round?
Are all the curves of the cake the same or are they different?
Is this a still life, portrait, or landscape?

Friday, October 10, 2014

Ms. Martinez's Quarter 1 Parent Conferences

Parents will meet with Ms. Martinez in the Art Room to discuss their child’s progress in Art over the course of the first quarter. Specials conferences are optional. We recommend scheduling a conference only if a parent has particular question, concern, or love for one of our Specials. Conferences last 10 minutes.


Tuesday, October 14th
(ten-minute slots from 2:00-6:30)

Wednesday, October 15th
(ten-minute slots from 2:00-6:30)

Thursday, October 16th
(ten-minute slots from 4:00-8:00)

Friday, October 17th
(ten-minute slots from 2:00-5:00)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Some examples of our finished works...

The Master work by Paul Klee oil on canvas.

Some artworks by 3rd graders. Looks pretty great! Chalk pastels on construction paper.

Paul Klee cont...

This project aims to discuss 2 of the 7 elements of art.
Line & Shape

In class we discussed these questions:

Why is this painting called “Red Balloon”?
What does this painting make you think of?  A hot air balloon? A city? An airial view of a landscape?
Are the lines random? Or do they line up?
Can you find a very long line?
What colors do you see? Are they bright or muted?
What shapes do you see?
Squares, triangles, circles are geometric shapes.
What is an organic shape?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Paul Klee, Red Balloon, 1922

We have been talking about Paul Klee and his painting "Red Balloon". Klee was born December 18, 1879 – died June 29, 1940. He was a painter born in Switzerland and is considered to be a Swiss German. His highly individual style was influenced by movements in art that included expressionism, cubism, and surrealism. Klee was a natural draftsman who experimented with and eventually got deep into color theory, writing about it extensively; his lectures Writings on Form and Design Theory published in English as the Paul Klee Notebooks, are held to be as important for modern art as Leonardo da Vinci’s Treatise on Paintings was for the Renisance. He and his colleague, the Russian painter Kandinsky, both taught at the German Bauhaus school of art, design and architecture. His works reflect his dry humour and his sometimes childlike perspective, his personal moods and beliefs, and also his musicality.

Although much of Klee’s work is figurative, compositional design nearly always preceded narrative association. The artist often transformed his experiments in tonal value and line into visual anecdotes. Red Balloon, for example, is at once a cluster of delicately colored, floating geometric shapes and a charming cityscape. –

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Mrs. Brightbill - Our Classroom helper!

We have a classroom helper, Mrs. Brightbill. Mrs. Brightbill has a long history in education. She taught for years and when she retired she worked in a library. She is now helping out when she has time. She brings with her creativity, an incredible work ethic, and great spirit. We are so lucky to have her! 

If you would like to help in our classroom please send me an email. We would love to see you :)

Here she is hanging this weeks Wednesday art project. She created this amazing tree for all of our owls to perch on. 

Owls - oil pastel on construction paper
2A Atolagbe & Peterson
3A Hervas & Welch

Kandinsky Pastels

This we we continued working on our Kandinsky pastels. We practiced neatness and accuracy as we colored our concentric circles. We began filling them in with complementary colors. They are looking wonderful!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Kandinsky's Squares with Concentric Circles

This week, continuing our study of color theory, we will begin creating Wassily Kandinky's Squares with Concentric Circles, 1918. Using complementary and analogous colors. We will create these in chalk pastels.

Van Gogh's Sunflowers

This week on Wednesday 2C & 3C made Van Gogh's Sunflowers.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Color Theory

We have begun to study color theory. We are learning about primary, secondary, and tertiary colors. And we are learning how to make them! First using colored pencils.

We are also learning about complementary and analogous color schemes. Very soon we will be making artwork featuring these color schemes :) So the fun begins!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Curriculum Night

K-2 Curriculum Night Thursday, August 21, 6-8pm
3-5 Curriculum Night Thursday, August 28, 6-8pm


Hear about our curriculum maps. Where are we going and how we plan on getting there.

2nd & 3rd Grade Arete Curriculum Map and Projects

1st Quarter
Topic: LINE: Observe and discuss types of lines and how they are used in 2‐dimensional works.
Objective: Student will define types of lines; recognize the importance of line as a tool to organize composition, convey mood, delineate space; know difference between organic and geometric lines and shapes; use varied media: chalk pastels, oil pastels, watercolor; practice seeing and making varied line marks.

2nd Quarter
Topic: SCULPTURE: Observe and discuss shape, mass and line in dimensional works.
Objective: Student will define sculpture and recognize and define the various forms; compare and speak on differences in style/appearance between ancient Greek, Post-Impressionist, and ancient Chinese sculptures; experience sculpture making with clay.

3rd Quarter
Topic: TYPES OF PICTURES: portrait, self-portrait, and still life. Introduce Landscape.
Objective: Student will recognize the difference between realistic and abstract representations. Review thoughts on how elements of line, color, and shape support/impact realism vs. abstraction; use oil pastels and watercolor; review previously learned types of 2D artworks and add landscape, recognize and verbalize the differences, be able to define the types

4th Quarter
Topic: ARCHITECTURE: Observe and discuss varied architectural forms through history.
Objective: Student will know form follows function = how architecture is shaped for its purpose, recognize and define architectural features, use pen and wash, clay

2nd & 3rd Grade Core Knowledge Curriculum

                  I. Elements of Art (line, shape, form, space, texture, value and color)
                                    Mother and Child, Picasso
                                    The Great Wave at Kanagawa, Katsushika Hokusai
                  II. Sculpture (form and space)
                                    Discobolus (Discus Thrower), Myron of Athens
                                    Flying Horse, One Leg Resting on a Swallow
                                    The Thinker, Auguste Rodin
                  III. Kinds of Pictures: Landscapes
                                    The Oxbow, Thomas Cole
                                    View of Toledo, El Greco
                                    Virgin Forest at Sunset, Henri Rousseau
                                    The Starry Night, Vincent van Gogh
                  IV. Abstract Art
                                    Young Hare, Albrecht Durer
                                    Cat and Bird, Paul Klee
                                    Bull’s Head, Pablo Picasso
                                    Baseball Players, Elaine Marie de Kooning
                                    The Snail, Henri Matisse
                                    Passenger Pigeon, John James Audubon
                                    I and the Village, Marc Chagall
                                    Bird in Space, Constantin Brancusi
                  V. Architecture
                                    Parthenon, Iktinus and Kallikrates
                                    Great Stupa
                                    Himeji Castle
                                    Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Frank Lloyd Wright

Sunday, August 17, 2014


Wednesday Atelier or “Artist’s Workshop”

Atelier noun \ˌa-təl-ˈyā\

The French word for "workshop", and in English is used primarily for the workshop of an artist in the fine or decorative arts.

Our students have art class one Wednesday a month. We are having 2nd & 3rd grade students bring in a piece of artwork that day to share with the class. This is not required and does not count towards the grade. Some students make a lot of artwork at home and this is an opportunity to share those projects. It could be crochet, clay, painting, any artwork without pop culture references.

2nd Wednesday of the month
                  2A Atolagbe & Peterson
                  3A Avery & Welch

3rd Wednesday of the month
                  2B Cook & Spriggs
                  3B Sexton & Austin

4th Wednesday of the month
                  2C Mason & Geyer
                  3C Naaktgeboren & Miller

Sitting like the Mona Lisa

We learned about one of the most famous paintings of all time "Mona Lisa" by Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo da Vinci was Italian artist and the painting was created around 1506. The painting is now on view at the Louvre in Paris.

We learned how to sit and smile like the Mona Lisa when we are paying attention. It's fun!

1st Week of Art Class

We just finished our first week of art class. It was wonderful to meet all of the new students. We learned lots of new procedures and even got o make an art project. We read a book called "Beautiful Oops" by Barney Saltzberg and learned that in art mistakes will happen and it's ok. We will figure out a creative way to fix our errors.

We even made our own oops drawings!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

August 7, 2014

Dear Archway Arete Families,

What an exciting time. We have been working hard to prepare for our first year on this lovely new campus. I look forward to our first day of school, August 11, in our exquisite new classroom. I am very excited to meet all of my new 2nd and 3rd grade art students. This year we are going to make so many discoveries and connections in art, not to mention beautiful creations! This year we will explore line, color, shape, and the many masterpieces outlined in Core Knowledge.

The visual arts are diverse yet interconnected by the Truth, Beauty, and Goodness, which are the foundations of great works. Focusing on time-proven classics in the classroom, we can learn why these works are important, how they were made, and how we can incorporate this understanding into our own artwork.

Please email me anytime at

Thank you,

Melissa Martinez

2nd & 3rd Grade Visual Arts Instructor

Young Hare
Albrecht Durer (German 1471-1528)
c. 1502Watercolor
10” x 10”
Location Albertina, Vienna 

The brand new Archway Arete art room before we decorated.

Another view of the Archway Arete art room before we decorated.