Art with Mrs. Jeanie
We are very fortunate to have Mrs. Jeanie. She has shared her enthusiasm and artistic talent in our tutoring program and now teaches art every week to our students. It is quite impressive as she masterfully draws out their creative side and guides them to complete beautiful art. Stressing various mediums and perspectives, Mrs. Jeanie broadens their outlook and approaches to more in the classroom than just their art.
Mothers were pleasantly surprised for Mother’s Day as they received a painted copy of Vincent van Gogh’s famous Sunflowers! Following the direction of Mrs. Jeanie Liehe, students used acrylics to paint their first Van Gogh reproduction after learning about the artist in class. Mrs. Jeanie, our volunteer art teacher, was encouraged to teach students about Van Gogh after a watercolor lesson inspired by Georgia O’Keefe.
When teaching about Georgia O’Keefe Mrs. Jeanie told them a bit about O’Keefe’s background, including that she lived to be very old and painted her entire life. The class discussed her use of colors and shadows while observing paintings by O’Keefe that emphasized whole flowers or limited parts of flowers painted on a grand scale. Looking through the large book of her work, students identified whether a painting had cool colors or warm colors, adding what they liked or didn’t like about each painting.
Students were very enthusiastic about O’Keefe’s paintings and were excited to do their own paintings of large flowers. Mrs. Jeanie directed them to draw a big flower in charcoal that would cover their paper. As Mrs. Jeanie demonstrated and discussed the use of charcoal, students learned to use their fingers to smudge the lines of the painting, softening the edges and giving dimension similar to O’Keefe’s. After the completed charcoal drawings were sprayed with a fixative, students put a light layer of watercolor over the charcoal so that the features of the drawing could be seen.
During the lesson about Vincent Van Gogh, students learned that he never sold a painting during his life, but became famous much later. Mrs. Jeanie then introduced several of Van Gogh’s paintings focusing on his sunflowers. To help inspire them, she used her acrylic painting of sunflowers on canvas and explained that hers was not like the one Van Gogh did. She continued by telling the students that each artist paints in their own way – and that we are all unique and “the boss of our own painting”. This was the children’s first experience using acrylic paint, several brushes and canvas board. Students soon realized that paying attention to Mrs. Jeanie’s demonstration and following directions was extremely important to the successful outcome of the project. After three sessions of hard work, students were delighted and proud of the excellent results, excited to present them for Mother’s Day.