It is art week here at Newburn Manor, and the children are really excited to get creative. We are basing our work around the famous painting 'Men of the Docks' by George Bellows. The children had a mixed response to the painting, some thought it was beautiful, however others thought it was dark and a little 'sad'.
We have lots of fun activities planned which will enable the children to explore the painting, and discuss the themes around it. In year four, we will consider; Who were the men of the docks? What is their life story? Where do they come from? Keep checking our class page for updates on our masterpieces.
Who Were the Men of the Docks?
After conducting some research about George Bellows, we discovered that he was a kind, caring man who cared about the poor people of New York. He was fascinated by how the poorest people in society worked in one of the richest districts in the world, he was interested in their stories. During the early 20th century many people traveled to New York to find work, these people were known as immigrants and they came from countries such as China, Asia and the UK. We decided to honour George Bellows good nature and give the 'Men of the Docks' an identity - we all agreed that these workers deserved rights and to have people to appreciate the great stories they could tell. We talked about where they came from, the troubles they may have faced and then used a range of pastels to create portraits. Year Four children really are special, they are so thoughtful, kind and compassionate.
Men of the Docks
After lots of mini activities where we explored the painting; 'Men of the Docks', class four set about producing their own version of the painting. We used the colour palettes we had experimented with, the different painting techniques and tried to create a piece, which was inspired by Bellows but with our own unique twist. We used various materials to paint with, sponge being the most preferred, and stuck some tissue paper on to create the snow. We hope you like them.
Getting Our Sketch On
Today the children built on their view finder drawings from yesterday and attempted to sketch the whole painting. We talked about size, perspectives and recreating the raw, rustic style of George Bellows. It was lovely to see the children giving advice and positive feedback to each other, they really can be a supportive group.
Following this, we looked at the use of colour in the painting. We decided the colours were dull yet realistic, and set about trying to copy them by mixing various paints. The children were delighted when they managed to find an exact colour match, we certainly have some keen eyes for art in this classroom.
Our first task was to make a view finder to explore the painting in minute detail. We chose small areas to focus on, and sketched them in our sketch books. Some children find sketching quite a challenge, preferring to use hard, sharp lines. This is an area we will continue to work on throughout the week so that we can create beautiful art in the style of Bellows.
A huge thank you to all parents, grandparents and siblings who are supporting the children with homework. They have produced some amazing pieces. We have model houses, portraits and sculptures, descriptive writing and of course plenty of yummy treats! It is wonderful to see so many of the children researching the topic at home, and they are certainly keeping me on my toes with their maths problems and quiz questions. that they are bringing in.
Tuesday Morning Jazz Time
The children have now enjoyed two lessons with the very cool and talented Mr Rudkin. They are awestruck when he plays for them, it really is a delight to see. The class are all making so much progress and picking up the new songs with great ease. The 'improv' element of the lesson allows the children to showcase their creativity - they all have fantastic lungs (Mrs Reid on the other hand....)!
Happy New Year
May I take this opportunity to thank you all for your extremely kind gifts, cards and messages at Christmas time, I felt very spoilt indeed.
We are now fully back into the swing of things here in year 4. Our first week back was great fun, we began our trumpet lessons with Mr Rudkin, then of course the fantastic pantomime visit last Thursday. The children's behaviour was exemplary, and they laughed their little socks off!
We have so many exciting things to look forward to this half term, including: trumpets, swimming and our new fantastic topic all about the Gruesome Tudors! As always, if you have any concerns or comments regarding your child I am always available for a chat.