Wednesday, February 9, 2011

ode to birdie.

Shortly after coming on full time at Zamorano, I discovered an art blog called dear ada. It provided me so much inspiration because it's author, birdie, posted about so much cool visual work from all over the world.  As I began to focus more on living artists, her blog provided a wealth of visual artists that I could tap into and create projects from for my students. Her lists of favorite sites and other blogs was another springboard into the works of even more artists who were out there making art, writing about it, or both. When I began this blog over the summer, birdie stopped writing her blog to focus on making her own work. Go birdie! She has continued posting about works on tumblr, but in a much more brief format. (I still love to see what she is digging though.)

So, as I was finishing with my kinders today and thinking about how I wasn't sold on my original idea of modifying that lesson for the 3rd graders that were coming in to my class in 20 minutes I decided to check her tumblr posts. Denied! Tumblr comes up as a social networking site at school and it was blocked. I went to her old blog and there, in her last post were images that birdie had done. Perfect. I'd do a project based birdie's work. So fitting. So overdue. A visual thank you to someone that had inspired my instruction for so long.
The first few lessons I did with the 3rd graders focused on using geometric shapes. Birdie's work was a great intro to different types of natural shapes in art. One of the main standards for 3rd graders is creating 3d space through color value, overlapping, and size change. Birdie's work has 2 out of 3, and my students have worked with size change enough to incorporate it on their own. I have only done this with 2 classes so far, but I'm looking forward to doing it with the other 8 3rd grade classes.

One of the things I love about this project is  the variety of natural shapes the students are coming up with. I have a couple plants in the room and drawings on the board, so they can sample from those sources or come up with their own concepts. I plan on changing up color schemes with each of the classes so we can have unity in subject, but some necessary variety when they get displayed at our end of the year Celebration of Art.

Thanks again, birdie.


  1. I really like the layering on these, with the black being in front!! Thanks.

  2. These look really fabulous. The layering and contrasting colours is so striking and so effective.

    I just wanted to say I love your blog and read all your posts. It's so very inspiring. I'm a primary school teacher who teaches art weekly. I have little formal education in this area so find blogs like yours invaluable. I love how you show the artists work, the work produced by your students and the discussions you have around the artwork. Wonderful!

  3. The organic shapes, minimal color palette and use of black really make these so striking! Wonderful lesson idea!