ARTISTIC SKILL AND CREATIVE THOUGHT

The mission of the Gilbert Christian School Fine Arts Department is to develop a God-glorifying appreciation for and expression of the musical and visual arts by nurturing and training skillful excellence in each of these disciplines.

About the Program

The fine arts program is an integral part of the school’s educational process. We believe that the arts provide an opportunity to develop a student’s God-given artistic abilities. They also help students learn important skills such as teamwork, dedication, and perseverance. The focal point of the GCS fine arts department is Christ-centered promotion of the arts contributing to the overall development of our students.

Visual Arts Classes

Based on the premise that everyone can learn to draw well in a very short time, this class introduces five basic perceptual skills necessary for drawing: the perception of edges and contours, space (positive & negative), relationships (perspective & proportion), light and shadows, and unified composition. This class is designed, by the end of the first semester, to enable the beginning drawing student to see and draw “realistically” as an artist naturally does. It includes the application of the fundamental design principles such as balance, proportion, rhythm, emphasis, and unity by integrating the basic elements of visual art: light & dark, space, shape/form/mass, line, texture, and color. Once the core perceptual drawing skills are learned, the class begins to explore basic techniques & drawing media such as graphite, charcoal, pen & ink, mixed media collage, watercolor and acrylic painting. Various drawing techniques and other materials are introduced. This class ends with an introductory painting unit demonstrating basic color concepts.

Intro to Creative Design (Art 104)

This art class is a basic guide to visual fundamentals and introduces the students to two dimensional design and three dimensional creative design. It focuses on applied arts such as handmade Book Design, Ceramics, as well as fine arts such as Collage, Assemblage, Painting, and Sculpture. Students review six foundational design concepts and elements of visual art, found in the design of nature itself: light/darkness, space, shape/form/mass, line, pattern, and color, while applying five principles of design: balance, proportion, rhythm, emphasis, unity. First semester, students will apply the fundamental visual design elements and principles as they create multiple mixed media compositions–using such material as matte medium, torn and cut paper, collage elements and paint on wood panel and paper. Projects are often derived from the Genesis Creation account as a guide and inspiration to creating a series of compositions and design projects. Second semester projects emphasize the same fundamental design elements and principles applied to 3–D design, beginning with handmade book/box design, Ceramics, followed by Sculpture projects using Ceramics, wood, metal, paint, paper, pencil, and other materials. Some allusions to art history are incorporated into the class lessons.

Art 2- (ART 202)

This class expands the student’s drawing and painting skills. It is designed to enable the drawing student to continue to develop the ability to see and draw as an artist does, through engaging in more in-depth, prolonged, drawing, painting, and mixed media projects. It includes application of the fundamental design principles such as balance, proportion, rhythm, emphasis, and unity by integrating the basic elements of visual art: light & dark, space, shape/form/mass, line, texture, and color. Students explore drawing media including graphite, charcoal, pen & ink, and mixed media during the first semester; painting media such as watercolor and acrylic are introduced in the second semester. Various drawing and painting techniques are simultaneously introduced while learning the use of various media and material. As students develop artistically, students are also taught skills in sketching, preparing painting and drawing surfaces, and preparing their art for presentation. Some elements of art history are incorporated into the introduction of certain art projects.

Creative Design 2 (Art 204)

This art class further develops each student’s skills and understanding of visual fundamentals in two-dimensional design and three-dimensional creative design. It focuses on applied arts such as hand-made Book Design, Ceramics, as well as fine arts such as Collage, Assemblage, Painting, and Sculpture. 1st semester, students will apply the fundamental visual design elements and principles as they create themed, larger mixed-media compositions–using such material as matte medium, torn and cut paper, collage elements and paint on wood panel and paper. Projects are often derived from biblical passages as a guide and inspiration to creating a series of compositions and design projects. The 2nd semester emphasizes the same fundamental design elements and principles applied to 3–D design, beginning with handmade book/box design, Ceramics, followed by Sculpture projects using Ceramics, wood, metal, paint, paper, pencil, and other materials. Some allusions to art history are incorporated into the class lessons.

Running parallel to the Gilbert Christian School’s mission to “ Educate the mind, engage the heart, and foster faith in Jesus Christ”, Diane has developed a mission for her art class which is, “ Glorify God in young child through developing their their own uniquely creative thought processes and artistic skill.” Mission statements require strategies to accomplish them. Some of the strategies Ms. Buchanan uses in her art classes are:

  • In a positive, safe, and FUN atmosphere, nurture growth of the creative spirit and thought processes God has given to every child.
  • Facilitate developing a godly appreciation for and discernment of the visual arts that surround us while planting seeds of how God has used and can use art in HIS-(
  • Appreciating the art that surrounds us includes man made as well as God created artistry)
  • Develop artistic skill through creative hands-on training in the elements and principles of art, the study of artists by experiencing their styles, and exposure to a variety of media and materials.
  • Strive to develop the visual and verbal tools to encourage children to express themselves in their own unique and creative problem solving ways while still glorifying God in the process.

One of the first paradigms Ms. Buchanan established in her students is that God is the greatest artist of all. He has created us in His image. Intrinsic in that truth is that He includes us in His creative nature which allows us to be creative as well. Being creative is meant to be a joyful experience and Ms. Buchanan plans to involve her students in experiencing this joy by participation in various creative experiences. One of the first artists the students learned about was Joni Eareckson Tada, a paraplegic who draws incredible works of art with pencils or paint bushes held in her teeth. The children tried drawing with a pen in their mouths and found it was quite difficult. The point to that experience was that if Joni can train herself to draw and express the creativity God has placed within her, we can overcome obstacles we face and be trained to express the treasure of creativity God has placed in us. Embracing this concept as a child, Ms. Buchanan feels, is essential to living a life open to succeeding in every endeavor of life. Discouraging the idea that the only good art students are ones who can draw the most realistically, Ms. Buchanan is beginning the initial art projects geared toward the exposure to the basic elements of art, line, shape and color. The artists students are studying are Joan Miro, Alexander Calder and Paul Klee. Each of these artist have a child like quality to their work. Every student will find they can employ that same child like quality since they are already very good at being children. So far their hands-on projects are reflecting the joy of reflecting their creativity within. In the months to come Ms. Buchanan has plans for building art precepts by involving the students in some of the following ways:

  • a study of pattern by emulating Matisse or folk artist Faith Ringgold
  • learning to draw from the masters Rembrandt, Da Vinci, and Durer
  • learning to tell a story in their art in the style of Norman Rockwell or Edward Hicks
  • creating a self portrait – Nearly every artist has created a self portrait of themselves. Students will research various artists and choose a style they would like to imitate for their
  • own self portrait.
  • learning about and experience “Illuminating” scriptures or positive quotes the way ancient manuscripts were done. References will be Donald Jackson and the monks of St. Johns in Minnesota.
  • having fun with three dimensional art with assemblages and other formative sculpturing techniques

One upcoming project Ms. Buchanan is especially looking forward to sharing with the students is painting skies with watercolors. The artists she is using as reference are Helen Frankenthaler and Carol Cronin. But the preeminent artistic reference is God Himself. Using Psalm 19:1 as the inspiration, she hopes to open the students’ eyes to the vast artistry that God paints for us each day. “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” (NIV) She can’t wait to see the children’s watercolor skies! Ms. Buchanan has observed how significant parental and family involvement abounds at Gilbert Christian School. Building on that value of involvement, she hopes that parents will be inspired to join their children in investigating the artists they are studying and talking about their art experiences, visit art museums and art events with them, and mostly joining them in opening their eyes of awareness to the astounding artistry God surrounds us with each day. Not every child will become a professional artist, but Ms. Buchanan believes God wants all of us to have an ever growing enjoyment of the gift of art and creativity.

Running parallel to the Gilbert Christian School’s mission to “ Educate the mind, engage the heart, and foster faith in Jesus Christ”, Diane has developed a mission for her art class which is, “ Glorify God in young child through developing their their own uniquely creative thought processes and artistic skill.”

Mission statements require strategies to accomplish them. Some of the strategies Ms. Buchanan uses in her art classes are:

    • In a positive, safe, and FUN atmosphere, nurture growth of the creative spirit and thought processes God has given to every child.
    • Facilitate developing a godly appreciation for and discernment of the visual arts that surround us while planting seeds of how God has used and can use art in HIS-( Appreciating the art that surrounds us includes man made as well as God created artistry)
    • Develop artistic skill through creative hands-on training in the elements and principles of art, the study of artists by experiencing their styles, and exposure to a variety of media and materials.
    • Strive to develop the visual and verbal tools to encourage children to express themselves in their own unique and creative problem solving ways while still glorifying God in the process.

One of the first paradigms Ms. Buchanan established in her students is that God is the greatest artist of all. He has created us in His image. Intrinsic in that truth is that He includes us in His creative nature which allows us to be creative as well. Being creative is meant to be a joyful experience and Ms. Buchanan plans to involve her students in experiencing this joy by participation in various creative experiences.

One of the first artists the students learned about was Joni Eareckson Tada, a paraplegic who draws incredible works of art with pencils or paint bushes held in her teeth. The children tried drawing with a pen in their mouths and found it was quite difficult. The point to that experience was that if Joni can train herself to draw and express the creativity God has placed within her, we can overcome obstacles we face and be trained to express the treasure of creativity God has placed in us. Embracing this concept as a child, Ms. Buchanan feels, is essential to living a life open to succeeding in every endeavor of life.

Discouraging the idea that the only good art students are ones who can draw the most realistically, Ms. Buchanan is beginning the initial art projects geared toward the exposure to the basic elements of art, line, shape and color. The artists students are studying are Joan Miro, Alexander Calder and Paul Klee. Each of these artist have a child like quality to their work. Every student will find they can employ that same child like quality since they are already very good at being children. So far their hands-on projects are reflecting the joy of reflecting their creativity within.

In the months to come Ms. Buchanan has plans for building art precepts by involving the students in some of the following ways:

    • a study of pattern by emulating Matisse or folk artist Faith Ringgold
    • learning to draw from the masters Rembrandt, Da Vinci, and Durer
    • learning to tell a story in their art in the style of Norman Rockwell or Edward Hicks
    • creating a self portrait – Nearly every artist has created a self portrait of themselves. Students will research various artists and choose a style they would like to imitate for their own self portrait.
    • learning about and experience “Illuminating” scriptures or positive quotes the way ancient manuscripts were done. References will be Donald Jackson and the monks of St. Johns in Minnesota.
    • having fun with three dimensional art with assemblages and other formative sculpturing techniques

One upcoming project Ms. Buchanan is especially looking forward to sharing with the students is painting skies with watercolors. The artists she is using as reference are Helen Frankenthaler and Carol Cronin. But the preeminent artistic reference is God Himself. Using Psalm 19:1 as the inspiration, she hopes to open the students’ eyes to the vast artistry that God paints for us each day. “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” (NIV) She can’t wait to see the children’s watercolor skies!

Ms. Buchanan has observed how significant parental and family involvement abounds at Gilbert Christian School. Building on that value of involvement, she hopes that parents will be inspired to join their children in investigating the artists they are studying and talking about their art experiences, visit art museums and art events with them, and mostly joining them in opening their eyes of awareness to the astounding artistry God surrounds us with each day. Not every child will become a professional artist, but Ms. Buchanan believes God wants all of us to have an ever growing enjoyment of the gift of art and creativity.

Have a question?

REACH OUT TO OUR ARTS DEPARTMENT

Visual Arts Events

GCU – Get on the Bus

Future Families Meeting

Future Families Meeting