Friday, April 10, 2015

Mixed Media Cityscape Collages

Rylee, 5 

Parker, 5


 My new Draw, Paint, Collage classes are working on some very large mixed media cityscape pieces inspired by the art of Ezra Jack Keats (a real favorite of mine), Romare Bearden and even a little Basquiat. You'd never know it by the amount of animal based projects I do, but I Love cityscape art. The more expressive, the better. So I experimented with a variety of media and techniques and came up with this project. The kids started out choosing a well worn placemat full of paint and even doodles.


They choose a few analogous colors and white to sponge paint lightly over their poster board, leaving paint and doodles showing through. The next layer was a black city silhouette started with Sharpie and then painted in with acrylic. Once dry, ends of pencil erasers were used to make colorful prints for city lights. Next, I had the children use sponge brushes to paint over a sheet of newspaper, encouraging them to leave some words and pictures showing through. Pieces of cardboard were then used to print out building shapes and sponges were used to print colorful lit or dark windows. Once dry, they glued down some logos cut from magazines. And as if this wasn't enough (a less is more art lesson, this is not), I had them create reflected city lights using oil pastels, which they painted over with blue watercolor to create a waterfront city. (I'm wondering if the pieces look stronger without this added element - I welcome your opinion) Collage pieces were cut out a glued in layers with some help from Miss Mary. They are wild and expressive - just my thing! More finished pieces to post soon.

My experiment for the lesson

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Spring Break


No trips or big events this break.
My daughter and I have been going on long walks/bike rides and just enjoying our "neck of the woods." There is clearly a lot to enjoy.


 Both my rescue mutts are 11 years old. But Ally has all the energy of a puppy. 
So these long walks make for one Happy pooch!

Kobe on the other hand, moves like a tree sloth. I have to be a motivational speaker just to get him to walk to the corner. (what a sight to behold) So he has epic naps while we go on our long treks.

Looking forward to starting up classes next week and sharing more art!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Happy Spring!


Wishing a Happy Spring Break to all my "MaryMakers" and their families!
Best wishes to All my blog followers for a warm and beautiful spring!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Cubist Portraits with Bleeding Tissue



 I love it when a student can really go for it!
So very Thalia. (2nd grade)


Hazel, Kindergarten


Charlotte, 2nd grade
"Miss Mary, do I have to draw the other eye?"
Of course not....


Aven, Kindergarten


Ava, 2nd grade

My Mini Masters group looked at some of the cubist portrait work of Picasso before diving into creating their own. After combining a portrait and a profile into one piece with permanent marker, the children used ripped "bleeding" tissue painted down with water to add color. Since this was our last class and artwork needed to be taken home, tissue was peeled off while still wet. I gave them the option of filling in empty areas with watercolor, but encouraged them to leave bits of white showing. I think the wild and unpredictable quality of bleeding tissue lends itself well to such a unique subject matter.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Georgia O'keeffe Flowers with Roofing Felt

 This beauty was done by a kindergarten student. Lovely Aven!













(Works are 14" X 24")

Every spring I'm usually inspired to do an O'keeffe flower lesson and I enjoy switching things up and trying different media and techniques. These great posts using roofing felt definitely inspired me to give it a whirl.The blogs Artful Artsy Amy, It is Art Day  and There's a Dragon in My Art Room each have great info on using roofing felt along with examples. Lucky for me my Mom has worked for years at her local hardware and gift store (yes, it's a Mayberry kind of town) and scored me a Big roll of the stuff.

I took a page from Phyl's book and used simple white chalk instead of soap. I might try sidewalk chalk next time with my younger students to make it easier to paint in between the lines. I had some close, cropped photos of flowers to look at, along with a book of O'keeffe's art. I showed my kinder through 2nd grade group basic ways to make a "monster sized" flower, having the petals go off the page. Below is the line drawing that Aven did of the flower at the top of my blog. Gorgeous lines and composition right?


The children had lots of acrylic colors to play with and I gave them free reign with their selections. I encouraged them to mix colors and we talked about how to create tints and shades. The main direction I gave them was to try their best to paint in between the lines rather than on them. Every line that was white now would be black in the end after a quick rinse in the sink. This media is great fun to work with and I'm looking forward to experimenting with it again.

 1st grade - Ella


 4th grade - Scott
Love your organic shapes and colors Scott!


 1st grade - Jenna


 1st grade - Reese


 1st grade - Lauren


4th grade - Delaney


1st grade - Derek

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Dog Portraits with Kandinsky Circles


This looks like a pop art poster of a police line-up of pooches
(Alliteration overload)






















Yes, I realize these two subjects make for strange bedfellows. My main objective for this lesson was to hit home the difference between abstract and representational art, while combining the two in one project. This is similar to my Grumpy Cats on Mark Rothko inspired Color Fields. My kindergarten through 4th graders followed a basic line drawing lesson to create their dogs on colored construction paper with Sharpie, pastel and charcoal. We looked at Kandinksy's, (one of the founders of the Abstract Art Movement) "Squares with Concentric Circles" from 1913 and admired the play of colors against one another. On a separate board that was divided into six squares with white oil pastels, the children created a series of circles using oil pastel and watercolor. This is always an enjoyable process for all ages. Once dry, pooches were cut out and glued to their colorful backgrounds. I like the playful contrast of these two elements together.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Matisse Inspired Apples


Above works were done by 1st through 4th graders


Kinder through 2nd grade pieces


My new Mini Masters group of kindergarten through 2nd graders looked at Matisse's Apples from 1916. I had seen this lesson idea before on Artsonia, Fine Lines, and Use Your Coloured Pencils. I tried it a few years ago here. I think it's a great still life lesson for younger children. We started off by tracing a large plate and outlining it in oil pastel. We talked about this being a "bird's eye view" of a plate of apples. I gave the kids a variety of liquid watercolors to paint their plates and backgrounds. Once these were dry, we made prints for our apples using plastic cups and acrylic. These were painted in with yellow, green and red. I had a variety of apples for the kids to hold and observe the different colors and details. These were added with charcoal and chalk pastel. Last they painted shadows on one side of their apples and plates. I like their loose, expressive quality.