OJA’s first Art Intensive week was packed full of new art knowledge and challenging projects. The students were introduced to the illustrators Harry Anderson and Russell Harlan. We talked about what art illustrators do – (creating artwork to support a story or idea) and we explored the idea of being commissioned to create artwork like Michelangelo was by the Medici family in Florence or by the Catholic church in Rome.
Students reflected on some of their favorite Bible stories and texts, we looked through the beautiful The Bible Story books, by Author Maxwell, with many illustrations by Harlan and Anderson. With this inspiration, students drew their own Bible pictures, then added water color pencil to their illustrations.
Norman Rockwell, another great American Art Illustrator, served as a bridge to our study of portrait artists. We looked at pictures of Rockwell’s portraits that capture the spirit of Americans during the second half of the 20th century. The Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo and her bold, vibrant style of painting contrasted with Rockwell’s steady style. Both artists tell moving stories within their portraits that show more than a picture of a person. Both artists share the country they were from in their artwork. I challenged my art students to tell me their stories in their self-portraits! We finished these portraits with acrylic paint, watercolor and crayon. Many of our pictures are on display in student homerooms. Stop and enjoy several “Faces of OJA” on our art bulletin board across from the school library!