Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Art of Gongbi Silk Painting



Our  next project, will focus on China in the Middle Ages. A style of painting that emerged during this time was technique done on silk called Gongbi .  The word Gongbi comes from two words: Gong, meaning detailed and Bi, meaning writing. In this tradition of painting the brush is held in the same way Chinese characters are written and realistic details help the paintings take shape.

The Gongbi tradition of silk painting dates from 700-1900 BC and uses detailed brush work and a colorful paint palette. In class we will create our paintings using some traditional subjects found in nature in China: colorful Koi and the stunning Lotus Flower.  Here is a couple of examples:


The Lotus in design and patterns


Koi and Lotus on a shop sign 

For this particular technique only things found in nature or real life are painted, nothing from the imagination is painted in this way, according to Henry Li, of Blue Heron Arts,Co.

We will be working on silk material treated in the traditional way using a sizing solution to stiffen it and then do similar steps of back painting, then front painting and details using layering techniques and washes.

The following video should give you a wonderful appreciation for the precision and careful execution the artists takes as she prepares her drawing, prepares her silk and mixes her colors. I was mesmerized by her grace and the coordination of her brushes and brush strokes. I love how, even the movements of the artist as they paint, is done with artistry. I feel this is something I can learn from. It is very symbolic of Chinese culture and other Chinese artwork.



I hope this gets you excited about our next project! Mrs. W. 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Art of Gothic Lettering


                                                                        Morte d’Arthur, a poem by Alfred Tennyson

As we are learning the Gothic hand during class time, I wanted to give you a couple of resources and examples for you to use, in case you do some work at home. This website is a wonderful site that walks you through each stroke of a letter (in red), very helpful if you get stuck. Visit HERE. I would encourage you to poke around this site there is lots of information about calligraphy in general there too.

As we get into letter art, we see how the talent of medieval scribes and modern day calligraphists bring the letters to life! Watch this video to see what I mean.


 There is also a link HERE  for the finished alphabet set in a PDF if you wish to download and print it yourself once at the website scroll down till you find a light blue banner and the button is over the top. Letfties don't despair this video is just for you!

This is a great video for those of you who are left-handed ah-ha so this is how it is done!
 (I finally found a video for you;o)

Here are some pictures of letter art I found on the internet. Aren't they just beautiful in and of themselves. Our project for our Book of Hours will consist of a longer writing,, perhaps a verse, and an illuminated letter at the beginning.  You will have to decide what kinds of elements you will include. Will it have a scene? Knot work, flourishes, flowers, creatures? Will you decorate the letter or leave it plain? Where will you paint your letter with gold? Hopefully, I have sparked your imagination and you will have some ideas for our class time.










Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Art of Medieval Stained Glass

Stained-glass might sound like an unusual model for our next art project, but as I have studied them, I have learned that they were masterpieces in their own right! I also found it fascinating, to see over time, how this particular form evolved to become quite a complex  piece of architecture (see 2 part video). These windows became an artistic tool used to tell stories to those who gazed upon them. You see most people in Medieval Europe were illiterate. The primary language of the church, at that time was Latin. So how did theses beautiful windows tell a story? We will discuss this question in art class! But for now, continue to read and watch the videos so that you have a basic understanding of what I call "an amazing art form".


"The north transept rose (10.5 m diameter, made c.1235), like much of the sculpture in the north porch beneath it, is dedicated to the Virgin.[26] The central oculus shows the Virgin and Child and is surrounded by 12 small petal-shaped windows, 4 with doves (the 'Four Gifts of the Spirit'), the rest with adoring angels carrying candlesticks. Beyond this is a ring of 12 diamond-shaped openings containing the Old Testament Kings of Judah, another ring of smaller lozenges containing the arms of France and Castille, and finally a ring of semicircles containing Old Testament Prophets holding scrolls. The presence of the arms of the French king (yellow fleurs-de-lis on a blue background) and of his mother, Blanche of Castile(yellow castles on a red background) are taken as a sign of royal patronage for this window. Beneath the rose itself are five tall lancet windows (7.5 m high) showing, in the centre, the Virgin as an infant held by her mother, St Anne – the same subject as the trumeau in the portal beneath it. Flanking this lancet are four more containing Old Testament figures. Each of these standing figures is shown symbolically triumphing over an enemy depicted in the base of the lancet beneath them – David over Saul, Aaron over Pharaoh, St Anne over Synagoga, etc."(Chartres Cathedral, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chartres_Cathedral)

Can you see the flying buttresses? They are the external arms supporting
 the back rotunda and the sides of the chapel.

"With flying buttresses for external support , the clerestory windows became as tall as the main arcade of the first floor. This expansion transformed the upper story into a light show of supreme beauty. The chief glory of Chartres is its 26,000 sq. ft. of stained-glass windows. ' Flaming jewelry'  the critic John Ruskin called the windows-90 % original- because of their luminous blues and reds, which soften the cold stone of the interior." "(The Annotated Arch, Carol Strickland, Ph.D.,2001) Today it is one of the oldest examples of medieval craftsmanship in stained-glass dating back to 1225. 

The following are great videos 1&2  that talk about Rose window and Medieval architecture. 





The next two Nova videos talk about How the glass was made and how Cathedrals were made both are so fascinating! 

Nova video on How Stained Glass was made

Nova video on How Cathedrals were Made

All of these videos give you a great foundation and background on stained-glass windows in the Middles Ages. However in class we are also going to talk about the art of stained glass.  We will be talking about symbolism and symbolic color. You are going to love this project because this is a chance to tell your story using symbols and color.  I wonder if the class will be able to figure out your story? See you then, Ms. W

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

For Home Study of The Bayeux Tapestry Art Project



Some of you from HIS co-op were rearing to get busy on your Bayeux Tapestry Project, so  I wanted to get you started! I was super excited to find this video tutorial on how to do the ancient Bayeux Stitch. If you decide to work on your Bayeux Tapestry motif  from home to finish this project and earn two BONUS cards  then, bookmark this video, it will be helpful in reminding you of the steps. I will also list some tips and steps to help you succeed. First watch this video.

In this video she does the outlining stitch in the beginning and I have instructed it at the end. I feel that either way is acceptable and up to you. You have pictures on your stitching instruction sheet I gave you in class to show you the back stitch for outlining and the french knot for making dots and eyes. If unsure you can watch You Tube videos HERE and HERE

Tips for Stitching:
  • MOST IMPORTANT *** Get into the habit of always leaving your needle woven into the fabric of your work and then you will never loose it. 
  • As you get started make sure you have your preliminary design pattern and stitch instruction sheets in front of you for reference.
  • Have your threads organized, perhaps wind them around a piece of cardboard or embroidery thread bobbins to keep them neat for later use. You can go to the blog Wild Olive for a cute free printable template to make your own on card stock.
  • Stitch out one color at a time. 
  • Cut your length of thread into four lengths of 18 in.. Do this for each color you will use. This way you have a shorter length to manage in your work and it is much easier. It also doesn't get tangled as easily.
  • Do the detail stitching last. Eyes, dots, Latin words etc.
If you get stuck I am a phone call or email away! Happy Stitching- Mrs.W

Monday, December 29, 2014

Normans and Saxons...How Do We Know Who Won?

Anyone who is a student of history has heard of the Battle of Hastings. But if you are an art student, you may not know what I am talking about. But it is the art student who can truly appreciate something from that history that was left behind. We will be using it as our art model for this next project, it is called the Bayeux Tapestry. What is this you ask? Like all other posts on my blog, it is my personal opinion that it should be considered a great work of art to study during this time period. Like the Book of Kells, the Bayeux Tapestry, is just extraordinary!
In the Bayeux Museum, France
And here is why: everything use to create this amazing embroidery was handmade. Everything, the copper alloy needles used,  the flax grown and harvested, the linen woven into material, to the wool spun into thread, to the herbs harvested and then used to dye it, and the the wooden frames used to hold it as it was sewn. All of these things were made by hand. That fact alone is amazing in 1066 AD, but here is the part that will make you gasp in astonishment, yes, gasp I say!

This embroidery is 229 feet long and measures 19 in. wide.*Gasp!* It is made up of nine sections sewn together to make a long banner. The design is made up of a wide center band where the main story is told and then flanked by a boarder on either side with symbols, small pictures and decorative bars. There are also simple Latin references for the person who was a novice at reading Latin.

Close up of stitching
 There are 4 different stitches used throughout the tapestry and all the woolen colors have been dyed using only 3 natural plant dyes! However, there are 10 colors throughout the tapestry! Click on this link to learn more about this amazing fiber art piece.(Pierre Bouet and Francois Neveux , Internationa experst on the Bayerux tapestry,http://www.bayeuxmuseum.com/)

 Here is what it might have looked like as it was being made

This beautiful handmade tapestry tells the epic tale of a great battle between William the Conqueror of France and  Harold the Unfortunate of England.

Here is a History Clip to watch:


Here is a great website link on the Norman Conquest

Here is an animated version of the tapestry:



Here is a super fun interactive link where you can  make your own rendition of the Bayeux tapestry. Must print it off and bring it in for a bonus card! Just try it out and have fun. Mrs. W

**Important** Time to check your art box for your supplies and to make sure it is stocked with everything you need.  HERE is a master list for you to use. Please do this before next class time.For the next 3 weeks you will need your embroidery hoop, tapestry needle, and scissors.   

All photos are from Google and used for educational purposes



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Christmas Break Art Challenge

So who will be up for the challenge? 

This art challenge is worth 2 relic cards!   So if you are behind then you may want to consider this option for earning them and catching up.Use what you have at home. It is also super fun and a great way to do some art while on break.  I will bring in what I do to show you too. 

For this art challenge you can choose:

  • What medium or materials you will use. Use one, use many, use things that aren't in your art box!
  • Choose your subject: Holiday Family Tradition OR Winter Wonderland this can be your interpretation of these topics-use your imagination!

Here is the challenge: you must include all the following in your artwork.

  • Your substrate or what you make your artwork on, can be anything flat, measuring 81/2 x 11. Cardboard from a cereal box is great or other type of cardboard or sturdy card stock or even plain paper is fine too. 
  • Calligraphy can be borders or words
  • Metallic Gold or Silver-can be material, ribbon or trim, paint, glitter just a few ideas 
  • Something from a magazine
  • Paint
These will be due week 1 and week 2 we are back from break, to get your bonus cards. I am excited to see your imaginations and creativity at work.

 Have a wonderful holiday with your families and friends 
Big hot cocoa hugs to you, Mrs. Wombacher

Monday, December 1, 2014

Attention All Art Classes

Mrs. Wombacher with Vertigo

Hi Art Students, 
I am coming to you from my easy chair at home- crazy right!?? Well, I have had better days and I am sorry that I was unable to be with you all for our art lessons. But with technology I can come to you virtually, isn't that great!!! So pay attention because you all have something to do this week, to keep us all on track. This way, we won't miss a single thing! Hoooooray!

GeoArt and Maps: 


Okay kids get a globe or map and find the continent of Europe, now find Great Britain or the United Kingdom or England. Now look at the country south of Britain across the English Channel. Do you see it? 
Now printout this document and build it with your mom or dad. All you need are scissors and glue or tape. Do you know what this building is called? Can you be ready to tell me 2 facts about this country?  I am sure you will know which one it is. Also practice our country chant and motions in front of your mom too. You can bring your project week #6 so we can put a flag on top!

 HIS Medieval Art Class:
  • Download the worksheets from the HIS website on decorative elements. These are labeled boarder worksheets 1-4 under Art materials.
  • Look over and follow step-by- step, adding the next thing as you go. 
  • Please only use period colors-no bright pinks or neon orange etc. Stick to deep muted colors.
  • You may use colored pencils, crayons, or your watercolor crayons.
  •  Please decorate the title pages (the page the sticky tab is on or the page before your project, in your book of hours) for each section we have learned Roman and Uncial(Celtic) using the decorative boarder elements you have practiced from the worksheets.
  • You may use any combination of elements learned from the lesson worksheets. 
  • My hope is that you complete a border on one page and maybe corners or corner boxes connected a with decorative border on the second title page.
  •  When writing the title for the 2 sections we have learned, please use that hand or style of calligraphy lettering.  
  • Use your calligraphy pen, mark your guidelines with pencil. Get out your stroke instructions if you need a reminder!
  • Make sure to leave spaces and portions of elements uncolored so that we can illuminate them on the last week before break with gold paint!
  • If you are unsure how to do it in your book then do it on another piece of paper and we can cut it out and paste it in week #6. 
  • Come to class ready with a boarder to illuminate with gold.  We may even have a special guest hhhmmmm! So be prepared!
Immanuel Art Class:

We will be doing the same thing as above during class time, but Mrs. Essman may be there teaching you instead of me, if I am not better by then.  She will have all the worksheets for you.

Any questions I am an email away! Thanks for your patients I hope to be better soon! 
Mrs. Wombacher