Monday, February 1, 2016

Palm Frond Masks

We've had some strong winds here in Southern California over the past couple days. And consequently, there are a lot downed trees, limbs and branches. On my walk this morning I saw a pristine palm frond. I immediately thought of this project I did 6 years ago, creating primitive masks with palm fronds and acrylic paints. I'm thinking it might be a good time to go on a scavenger hunt and give this project another go.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Surreal Hot Air Balloon Collages

 Kate, kindergarten

 Presley, 2nd grade

 Kate, 2nd grade

 Grace 2nd

My experiment

Next month I will start my Mixed Media Collage art classes. I decided to try out an edited version of my hot air balloon lesson with my small group this week. With just a one 1 hour and 15 minute class to finish these pieces, there was no time to waste. 

I had purchased several landscape and cityscape calendars from the 99 cent store. Oh what fun I can have there! Anyone with me? Anyway, I pre-cut a variety of selections for the kids to choose from before they started painting their backgrounds.(Calendar skies will be saved for another idea and day) Based on their setting choices, they created a complimentary watercolor sky. These were put up to dry and we got started on our hot air balloons. I used a helpful tutorial from The Lost Sock blog here. Tabitha also has some Fantastic variations on hot air balloon lessons.Check them out! I had some b&b plates (bread and butter) for the kids to trace to get started. I offered markers and  colored pencils for them to add color. I should have known the metallic markers would be too irresistible to pass up. Simplified smaller balloons could be created to give a sense of depth and perspective to our landscapes. I had scrapbook paper and painted paper scraps for these. All elements were cut and glued to their dry watercolor skies. It was fun for my students to see all the components come together to make unique surreal compositions. I look forward to doing a tweaked version of this project with added shadows and highlights and minus the tight time constraints. Stay tuned!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Wolves of Winter






Putting it together:

 Birch trees made with card board pieces scraped with black acrylic

 ballpoint pen, chalk pastel and charcoal

Over Winter Break, I offer a couple of one day, two hour classes. This past Tuesday we had our Wild Animals class. I have never done a wolf project before and thought it would be the perfect animal for the winter season. Though Gray wolves once disappeared from the lower 48, they have returned to the Great Lakes, Northern Rockies, and Southwestern US. They play a key role in keeping ecosystems healthy. My group of 2nd-6th graders enjoyed creating their mixed media pieces.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

May Your Days Be Merry and Bright!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Feeling Frida

Mia, 2nd

Ella, 2nd

Reese, 2nd

Presley, 2nd

Fiona, 2nd

Kate, kindergarten

Grace, 2nd

Kate, 2nd

Sydney, 3rd

Since my 3 Draw, Paint, Clay classes this month just happened to be all girls, I thought it would be a great time to introduce my K-3rd graders to the art of Frida Kahlo. Just a few days after I set this plan in motion, my 20 year old son was badly injured with multiple broken bones and went through weeks of pain and several operations, leaving him housebound. And while these weren't Frida-like injuries, the irony was not lost on me. 

Now on to happy things. I first purchased this wonderful, age appropriate biography (used on Amazon - my favorite go-to site) by Margaret Firth with illustrations by Tomie dePaola. This gave a nice background of the artist's life story to the girls, as well as including some of her self-portraits. I informed my groups that they would be creating their own Frida Kahlo inspired portrait. Patty over at Deep Space Sparkle has a great lesson plan for Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. I purchased the lesson plan that has a wonderful portrait tutorial that helps students with facial proportions through a folded paper technique. I soon discovered that Kathy at Art Projects for Kids has a nice step-by-step Frida portrait guide as well. Thanks to you both.

Students created their portraits on large pieces of construction paper. They were encouraged to create Frida's trademark bird wing eye brows, adorn their hair with flowers and add beautiful jewelry - all favorite elements of the artist's self portraits. Colorful backgrounds incorporated leaves and or flowers in a variety of media. Beautiful artwork girls! I hope you enjoyed our time exploring the life and art of Frida Kahlo as much as I did. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Birds on Snowmen

 3rd grade

 3rd grade

 2nd grade


This was a fun little one day project for the holiday season. I had the kids create their backgrounds first with watercolors on 11x15 paper. These were put up to dry and we created our birds and cropped snowmen faces on blue construction paper, cut to the same size as their backgrounds. I offered colored pencils, chalk and charcoal to add color and shading. These were cut out and glued to their dry watercolor skies. A final snowfall was created using the backs of their paint brushes or splattering with white tempera. I think these winter projects are especially fun for my groups since our climate is so mild.

my experiment