Skip to main content
Leah Moss Locker

Art & Music

Art & Music

Welcome to our Art & Music page where we will keep you updated with what is happening in Art and Music at Rancho!   We are looking forward to a great year of Music and Art.


Leah Moss (Art)

Georgia O'Keeffe

After Cezanne, we moved on to look at Georgia O'Keeffe and her amazing close up depictions of flowers. Again, we discussed how much artists need to look at details. Some grades worked on a large flower painting, others worked on a landscape. The results were beautiful.


Still Life - Cezanne

Still Life - our first look at Still Life this year, focused on Cezanne and particularly his paintings of fruit. We discussed how important it was to look closely at things, and discover the details in shape and color. Then our TK, K, first and second graders worked on different fruit collages.

Inspired by the work of Alexander Calder, Sept 2017

Our next project was studying the work of Alexander Calder. We looked at his wire sculptures, jewelry and his amazing circus. Then we took his abstract paintings as our inspiration to draw lines and shapes, and then paint using tempera in primary colors.



Second Artist for TK, K, 1st and 2nd: Gustav Klimt - Sept, 2017

Our second artist this year was Gustav Klimt. We focused on 3 of his favorite things: cats, patterns, and gold! After we looked at examples of his work, we worked on silhouettes of cats, and then used construction paper crayons to add bright, colorful patterns. Finally, we added "touches" of gold paint. Lots of fun!


Starting the year with Paul Klee, August, 2017

We are off to a great start in art! Our TK, K, 1st and 2nd graders have studied 2 artists so far. Our first artist was Paul Klee. We looked at some of his paintings and talked about his use of line and color. Then we worked on our own line drawings - and added watercolor. The results were great to see!


Starting off the year with Joan Miro

We started our new school year looking at the work of Joan Miro.  This gave us a great chance to experiment with lines, and "seeing" where our lines took us.  We added primary colors for some colorful artworks.

Claude Monet - August/September 2016

Monet is always a fun artist to study - our students recognize much of his art, and love to do their own interpretations.  Our Kindergarteners and first and second graders, worked on using crayon to make water lilies, and then used a beautiful blue watercolor wash to make their own masterpieces!

Romero Britto - September 2016

This week we looked at the work of Brazilian artist Romero Britto.  It was great to study an artist who was "still alive"!  His colorful artworks and sculptures inspired our Kindergarteners, first and second graders to work on some really colorful teddy bears in the same style as his amazing statues.

Dale Chihuly with 3rd, 4th and 5th Grades

We looked at some amazing examples of Dale Chihuly's glass art, and then we worked on making our own "macchia" - using plastic, enamel paints and heat (heating tool used by the adults only!!).  It was a great opportunity to work on a 3D piece of art - and while we worked on our projects we watched an old, but interesting video of Dale working in his glass studio.   Check out some examples of the student projects below.

Van Gogh with 3rd, 4th and 5th Grade

Van Gogh is such a great artist to study!  We seem to come back to him over and over again, and one of the reasons I love to share his art is because of how much he has continued to influence artists over time.  I shared pictures of some wonderful floats at a flower festival, all based on Van Gogh, and we also watched a very cool video of Starry Night completely built from dominoes - fun!  We then practiced our chalk pastel techniques, looking closely at some real flowers and translating what we saw into our work.

Marc Chagall for 3rd, 4th and 5th Grades

Third, fourth and fifth graders switched to art for the second semester, and we started the session by looking at the beautifully dreamlike work of Marc Chagall.  After looking at his paintings, we looked at photos of his Peace Windows for the UN, and discussed how we could use symbols of our own to represent peace.  Then we worked with tissue and Modge Podge to design our own Peace Windows.  The results were amazing. 

Fabric Arts

To finish up the K, 1 and 2 session of art we tried our hands at a few different types of art: first of all, weaving.  We looked at some cool examples of weaving throughout history (rugs, kimono's etc) and then worked on our own weaving on some cardboard looms.

Dale Chihuly - December 2015

K, 1st and 2nd grade took a close look at glass artwork, particularly the work of Dale Chihuly.  We then used washable markers and starch to make our own macchia bowls in Chihuly's style.  The results were beautiful.  Check them out below.

Charley Harper - November 2015

K, 1 and 2 used lots of tools to make their own patterned, textured, painted paper.  It was very messy, but so worth it for the beautiful paper they produced.  The following week we used the painted paper to make bird collages inspired by the design work of Charley Harper.

Henri Rousseau - October 2015

Our Kindergarteners, 1st and 2nd graders had fun with the work of Henri Rousseau.  We looked at his detailed paintings of jungle life, and thought about how Rousseau put together these images, even though he had never been to any of the places he depicted.  We worked on snakes, lions and tigers and then put them in a jungle scene.  You can see some examples below.



Henri Matisse - October 2015

For our second artist we looked at Henri Matisse.  This was a great opportunity to work on collage, using cut outs just as Matisse did in later life.   For some examples of our student work check out the box below!

Marc Chagall - September 2015

K, 1 and 2 students studied Marc Chagall and his beautiful dreamlike paintings.  We looked at his influences, particularly his childhood immersed in Russian Folk Tales, and his representations of his village as he remembered and imagined it.  Students then worked on their own paintings or chalk pastel pieces to show a town or village.  The challenge was to also include a flying character to the picture, but something that would not normally fly.  We heard some wonderful descriptions of what was happening in these pictures!  Check out a few examples below.

A great start to the 2015-2016 school year!

Our Kindergarteners, first and second graders all have art for the first semester this year.  They are off to a great start - all enthusiastically studying and critiquing art works and then using them as inspiration for their own creations.

We are concentrating on working and seeing as artists, discovering different mediums and different subjects for our artwork.   Along the way we will study different artists and look at how they found subject matter for their works.

Self Portraits in May and June 2015

Our last projects of the year were all different types of self portraits.  We started by looking at various famous self portraits, and thought about why artists paint themselves, and how!  After that we got to work on our own self portraits, using collage or paint, and using mirrors to look at our face shapes and features.  The lower grades created a realistic representation of themselves (although sometimes we went wild with the colors!), and the upper grades worked on more abstract designs.  Check out some examples of their work below (more will be added during the week of June 1st as we finish up some of our two part portraits).

Still Life in March

In March we focused on Still Life.  Learning to look closely, and draw what we see - while also learning different techniques.  We looked at a variety of different styles of still life, and focused on Cezanne's many pieces.  Some classes also worked on a large Georgia O'Keefe style flower.  Check out a few examples below, more will be added soon!

Art Around the World in February

During art in February we studied art from all around the world.  We looked at similarities between art and how it can be a "universal language".  We also looked out how different some art is, and how it can unite a smaller group of people and preserve their history.  Then we tried our hand at some different projects:  Kindergarten did Aboriginal style hand prints and then Pansky style eggs from Ukraine.  First grade also tried their hand at Aboriginal dot art.  Second grade made Mola style collage (Panama) and Bark Paintings (Australia).  Third grade designed collage tiles in the style of those of the Blue Mosque in Afghanistan, and fourth grade painted colorful Ndebele Houses.  Our fifth graders worked on stylized totem animals that they felt represent them, or their family.  Rancho is also taking its turn and decorating the Boardroom at the District Office this month, so some of our artists' work is on display there too!  Check out the slide show below for some examples of our Art Around The World.

January 2015 - Alexander Calder

During January we are studying the work of American artist Alexander Calder.  His love of primary colors and organic shapes lent itself to some great painting projects that we worked on.  We also go to study his mobiles (4th graders made their own) and wire sculptures (5th graders worked on their own wire people sculptures).  Working on sculptures and mobiles really got us to think about work in 3 dimensions!  Of course no study of Calder is complete without looking at his wonderful circus.  Check out some examples of our students artwork below.  If you are interested in seeing Calder's circus in action, there is a great video on YouTube here.

December in Art

During December, rather than concentrate on one specific artists, we used the opportunity to look at different elements and techniques:  we worked on winter tree pictures to show perspective, snowmen drawings to try out value and shading, we sharpened our clay skills making snowmen, tried out printing techniques, and much more.  Check out the slide show below for examples, and check back when you have a chance as we will add new examples as we do them!

Our second Artist this year: Gustav Klimt

During late October and November we are studying Gustav Klimt.  The Art Nouveau artist, and key member of the Vienna Secession (which we discuss!) offers a great opportunity to look at art on a big scale: murals, friezes, ceilings, architecture and much more!  We are looking at works such as The Tree of Life, The Kiss, The Beethoven Frieze and his portraits of Adele Bauer.  Students are working on a variety of projects in Klimt's style.  Check out some examples below!

Our first artist of the year: Paul Klee

This month students K-5 will be learning about Paul Klee.  We looked at various paintings: “Twittering Machine”, “Cat and Bird”, “Castle and Sun”, “Temple Gardens” and then with the upper grades “The Ghost Chamber with the Tall Door” to get an idea of perspective.  We also read the book “Cat and Bird”, which is based on Klee's Cat & Bird.


Kindergarten and first grade worked on simple line drawings, adding watercolor to them, and then worked on a collage.


Second grade worked on an animal collage, and learn to identify and use line, color and form in their work,.  They also produced watercolors of buildings with geometric shapes.


Our third graders worked on a collage of a complex building based on something they see in every day and fourth grade worked on a collage of “mission” shapes, with the challenge to use “complementary” colors, and think about the “mood” they were creating.


Fifth grade created a landscape collage incorporating perspective and harmony.


Check out the slide show below to see some examples of their work.



Leah Moss Locker