“My only merit lies in having painted directly in front of nature, seeking to render my impressions of the most fleeting effects.”
Claude Monet was born in Paris, France in 1840. When he was young he did not like being confined to a classroom and was more interested in being outside. He filled his school books with sketches of people, including caricatures of his teachers.
Monet loved to set up his easel outside and paint his pictures en plein air. He even had a small houseboat and would paint the scenes he saw from that view.
Monet was a founder of Impressionist Painting. Monet would use strong colours and bold short brushstrokes. Turning away from the blended colours and evenness of classical art, he placed colours side by side to create a division of colours. The term Impressionism comes from the title of his painting: Impression, Sunrise.
Students created their own sunrise paintings using liquid watercolours and acrylic paints.
Banksy is the pseudonym of a “guerrilla” street artist known for his controversial, and often politically themed, stenciled pieces of art.
Banksy’s identity remains unknown. He is believed to have been born in Bristol, England, around 1974. He rose to prominence for his provocative stenciled pieces in the late 1990s.
He is the subject of a 2010 documentary, Exit Through the Gift Shop, which examines the relationship between commercial and street art. This documentary was nominated for an academy award.
Banksy’s artwork is characterized by images that are often combined with slogans. His work often has political themes, critiquing war, capitalism, hypocrisy and greed. Common subjects include rats, apes, policemen, members of the royal family, and children. In addition to his two-dimensional work, Banksy is also known for his installation artwork.
Students used chalk pastels to create their own wall to stencil their graffiti on to. We were inspired by the Banksy piece referred to as “There is Always Hope”. Using a stencil they applied the image of a young girl who has just let go of her balloon.
Tom Thomson was born August 5th, 1877 in Claremont Ontario. He was the sixth of ten children. Although he was always interested in the arts, he did not devote his career to painting until he was 30.
In 1904, while working as a draftsman he met members of the Group of Seven. Although Thomson was closely associated with the artists in the Group of Seven, the Group of Seven was not founded until after his death.
To offset his art career, Thomson worked as a firefighter, a ranger and a guide to Algonquin Park while living on his own in a shack on Canoe Lake. Here he produced his most famous work: Jack pine, West Wind and Northern River.
Thomson died mysteriously on a canoe trip in 1917 at 39 years old.
Students used watercolours, acrylic paint and chalk pastels to create their own landscapes inspired by Tom Thomson.
Nefertiti was an Egyptian queen and the Great Royal Wife of Akhenaten and Egyptian Pharaoh. With her husband she reigned at what was arguably the wealthiest period of Ancient Egyptian history.
We were inspired by the bust of Nefertiti, presently exhibited at the Neues Museum in Berlin, Germany.
Students used a combination of chalk and oil pastels to draw and decorate their Queens. A bit of gold paper was added at the end to add sparkle and a few hieroglyphs.
We travelled back in time to the Middle ages and learned about the Legend of St. George and the Dragon. Students drew their own dragons and then used balloon pumps to create the fire that spreads across the castle. Laughter filled our classrooms during this class…
The Ming Dynasty existed from 1368 – 1644 and during this time the Imperial porcelain factory was established in Jingdezhen, China. Dishes were manufactured for use in the imperial court and were marked by the reign mark of the emperor himself.
During this time special decorative innovations were made and the famous blue underglaze was used. The Ming period exported porcelain around the world on an unprecedented scale. Aside from supplying porcelain for domestic use, the kilns at Jingdezhen became the main production centre for large-scale porcelain exports to Europe.
The style of Ming Dynasty vases remains popular throughout the world today.
We were inspired by fall gardens and included the plant, Chinese Lanterns in our still life. Students were very creative when decorating their Ming Vases.