Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Work of Art, The Medieval Manuscript and The Book of Hours

Illuminated lettering in Book of Hours- the colors are amazing in the artwork!

I don't know about you students, but I love books. In fact, I love books as much as I love art, seriously, I know I am crazy! I love the written word and its power to ignite or inflict. How do you use your words, spoken or written? Do you fill others with life with your words or death with your words?

During the Middle Ages, a book or manuscript, as it was called, was precious and rare! Why? Because not everyone could own one. The process to create a manuscript was painstakingly long and it passed several skilled and cleverly, creative, hands before it was finished. Please be able to tell me who these craftsmen were for class time. 

Some manuscripts were aesthetically valuable because they were often encrusted with precious and semi-precious stones and metals like gold and etched, silver. However, it also contained information that empowered the reader who owned it and could read it, This made it invaluable!

This first video is all about manuscripts as an art form.  

The next two are specifically on the Book of Hours and how they are made and used.

Here are some covers and inside pages illuminated with incredible artwork.As you look at these pictures of covers, letter art and illumination art be thinking through the design elements and page layouts that you like best.

Our assignment for this model is to create our own Book of Hours to house our calligraphy, calligraphy projects and our relic cards. How will you design your cover? Will it have a motif in the middle or something to occupy each corner? You can research on your own as well if you wish. You will be given some materials during class including: f aux leather, grommets, decorative paper and gems. I invite you to use your imagination and embellish it with things that you might have at home too.

One projects for our Book of Hours will be to create illuminated letter art. This might be used on your cover as a motif or to decorate an inside page. You get to decide, but be sure to include a space for  this in your preliminary design!

Embossed Gold and precious stones with leather binding

Tooled leather in a Celtic Knot pattern, look how small this book is about 5 in.

Leather, embossed silver, hand painted miniature medallions

 Detail photo front cover of the Lindau Gospels

the back cover of the Lindau Gospel etched and embossed gold precious stones and enameling

Marie de Medici of Italy, Book of Hours- Velvet with silver metal embroidery work 

All photos from Google images for educational purposes
Kahn Acadamy  a beginner's guide to medieval Europe for information and additional videos

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Mosaic Making

 I wanted to post this video, sent by a friend, to augment our study of  our first model Iconic mosaics. The process is a bit surprising.  Be prepared to tell me something interesting that you observed as you watched the video this week.. This video shows the process from start to finish of making middle eastern mosaics. I hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


So the first thing you need to do is go over to your online dictionary and look up what Iconography is? Yes, I am serious go, right now!

Iconic art marks an important shift in the artwork of the early Christian church and it is well worth studying. As we move along our time line in history from the Ancients into the Middle Ages there is a struggle in the empire and the Roman Empire begins to fall. This opens the way for the Byzantine Empire to reign. We see the Muslim religion find its place in many buildings that were once ruled by the Roman Catholics and Christians. Along with this we see artistic ideas reshaped and many of the beautiful mosaics of Christ, the early church, and biblical depictions of people and stories are demolished.  This lasted for more than 100 years during the Byzantine Empire.This is called the Iconoclastic period.
"Both Muslims and Jews perceived Christian images (that existed from the earliest times of Christianity) as idols and in direct opposition to the Old Testament prohibition of visual representations. The first commandment states,You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image – any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters under the earth. You shall not adore them, nor serve them (Exodus 20:3-5)." (Text by Dr. Davor D┼żalto, Iconoclastic Controversies, www.khanacademy.org)
Watch this video on one of best examples from this time period of Iconic Mosaic work. It is found inside the San Vitale Catherdral in Ravenna, Italy. It is so amazing it just takes my breath away. We will be making a paper version of a Christus iconic mosaic, which dates back to between 546-556 AD
Also make sure you know what the following words mean: Iconography,  tesserae, mosaicByzantine,Rotunda 

The Christus as a young man

Justininan Emperor of the Byzantine Empire

His wife Theodora

Mosaic tile work in traditional patterning

Monday, September 8, 2014

First Things First!

Ephemera art from the Graphic Fairy 

In the past, I have assigned vocabulary words and they have been pretty hit and miss with students. So this year, I have decided to do vocabulary a bit differently.  I want students to know, know, know, the 7 elements of art and the 7 principles of design! To this end, your first assignment will be to complete my Vocabulary Palette! You will get this handout in class on the first day. I know this will be a fun and different way to utilize your vocab. words, I hope you enjoy this assignment. I will give you further instructions in class on the first week.

I have a glossary of art terms available for you on the co-op website or you can utilize an online source http://www.getty.edu/education/teachers/building_lessons/elements_art.pdf and http://www.getty.edu/education/teachers/building_lessons/principles_design.pdf or books from the library! You may use any of your medium in your art box. This assignment is due by week 2 and will earn you a bonus relic card. Oh yea! You must bring your finished vocabulary palette to class to earn your bonus card.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Medieval Art and Another School Year Begins

As summer comes to a close, it is time to start thinking about art class again.  I am looking forward to this year's Medieval Art Class. This is a rich and important time in art and architecture, I can hardly wait! In case you were wondering about all the wonderful things we will be doing here is some but not all of what we will cover this year.

Students will learn  the importance of art in Europe during the middle ages.  Students will learn stitching, dyeing and the about the Bayeux Tapestry, illuminate a calligraphy project, the four hands of calligraphy and make a book of hours, learn about the "father of modern painting" and the importance of art in the church and medieval architecture, study stain glass, symbolism, and their role in the church. Students will study portrait art, egg tempera, and perspective from the Master, Leonardo Da Vinci.   It will be an exciting class! Students will be responsible for at least 1/2 hr. of study outside of class each week by reading teacher’s blog( check!), thinking through posted questions  and watching posted videos to prepare for class time. 

It is a good idea to start getting your art box together with all your common tools gathered from home.  Here is a list of what you should have in your box on the first day. 

Common Items and tools to Gather From Home for 2014-2015
 I will not be ordering these materials for students but students need to have these at the beginning of the year. Please include in your student’s art box. Students, please label supplies with name/initials. These items do not need to be new and can be what you have at home already or from last years pencil box. All these items are required for each student.

  • 1 - Storage box of some kind (plastic storage box, shoe box with lid, canvas bag with Ziploc baggies inside) just some container to hold all art tools and supplies. One that student can easily carry to class and keep materials organized.*
  • 2 - Pencils (regular #2 are fine)
  • 1 - Scissors (good ones that will cut a variety of materials)
  • 1 - Set of colored pencils 12 colors   OR   1- Set of color crayons (12 ct. )
  • 2 - Glue sticks
  • 1 - Black fine tip sharpie
  • 1-Reg. tip sharpie-yes you will need both
  • 1 - Small plastic container- ie: Glade Food Savers small size, with lid, that fits in box.
  • 1 - Painter’s smock or apron or big t-shirt
  • 1 – Ruler
  • 1 – 1 ½ in. Binder
  • 12- clear plastic sheet protectors
  •  5 Page dividers labeled: Terms, Medieval, Asian, Renaissance, Calligraphy
  • Tapestry needle-has large eye for threading wool thread& blunter point
  • Sm. 6 or 12 in. embroidery hoop
*I have all my artist tools and materials in a big tool box from the hardware store.
Materials fee covers specialty materials for class time projects, copies fee, and other misc. supplies used to teach class.  I order it all during the summer for the beginning of the year. Each student will receive their individual materials on the first day of class.

** Students should come to art class with supply box every Monday we will use a variety of supplies during each class time.  Teacher will not have supplies on student supply list.

***Students it is also your responsibility to keep your supplies replenished when needed. If possible keep your art supplies separate from everyday school supplies**

Saturday, May 3, 2014

More on Rome!

The Roman Column of Trajan, was erected in Trajan's Forum, Rome. It is constructed of 22 layers of carved marble, each  approx. 1 yd. wide. This is a column commemorating Trajan's victory over Dacia in 101 BC. This would be modern day Romania. Remember all those details were carved into marble. Can you believe someone from ancient times actually made it? I marvel at it every time I look at it! There is such detail! At the base there is a crown of oak leaves, symbolic of victory, and then on the square base there are depictions of the spoils of  war, the weaponry and bodies from the courageous enemy.

Here is another fascinating video on how stone is carved using simple traditional hand tools. Watch it HERE As you watch, think about the Roman Column of Trajan and how tall and intricate it was. We will also talk about how Greek and Roman architecture are different this week in class. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Friends....Romans....Countrymen! Let's learn about Roman Architecture

Our last subject of study for this year in art will be the beauty of  Roman architecture. Above is a chart from Wikipedia that shows the progression and development of the Roman column. There are three phases of development and as you can see it becomes more and more detailed and beautiful. Please watch the video
below to learn about these three phases or orders of architecture


Also please click on the link below in preparation for our last few weeks of art at co-op. As you visit this site there are two things I would like for you to do once there. First watch the short video on the Pantheon and second scroll down to the next picture. It is here that you can visit the Pantheon in real time because there are cameras set up in  and around the building. You are able to maneuver the camera and look up and around the building. Look for some artwork on the wall that is highlighted by the sun as it passes through the opening in the center of the dome. Isn't it beautiful? You can virtually visit this ancient place from your computer, isn't that so cool!

 Here are some other wonderful pictures too!

images gathered from Google images