Thursday, July 26, 2018

Tigers and Pandas

This week my groups of students focused on tigers and pandas in my Animals of Asia classes. I gave the children a lot of free reign in terms of media, colors, and style in creating their artwork. It's not something I always do. But I find summer the perfect time to be a little less structured and really allow a sense of play and experimentation. I had children from Kindergarten through 9th grade in the same class. And I could not have been more pleased with the way they worked together and encouraged one another. Next week we'll be "visiting Europe" on our last stop of our animal art tour around the world.











Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Blogger Interrupted

I have been absent from my blog for months. I do apologize! I have had one technical difficulty after another - crashed computer, multiple blogger issues, blah, blah, blah. If you follow me on instagram, and I hope you do (@marymakingart), you know I have been working on the #100dayproject. I have been creating a mixed media collage each day using leftover materials from my art classes. Below are a few of my pieces. I'm at day 95 - so it's come down to the final sprint! I would like to put some of these pieces to use, possibly small prints on Etsy, Society6 has come to mind and I have always wanted to write a children's book. An animal picture book appeals to me as well. It has been a great experience for me to tap back into my own creativity, beyond children's art projects, and really challenge me to work quickly and be resourceful.

As for art classes - I am at week 4 of my Animals Around the World children's art class series. We are focusing on the animals of each continent every week. We have created cheetahs and lion portraits from Africa, Pete Cromer style koalas and printed landscapes with kangaroo for Australia, and orcas and emperor penguins for Antarctica, This week we will make raccoons and red foxes for North America. It's the perfect 7 week (our school district's shortened summer this year) theme for our 7 continents.

I will get back to more regular posts and hope to evolve MaryMaking to a broader concept, including more children's art lessons, tutorials for creatives and personal art work. Thanks to anyone out there still following! ๐Ÿ˜Š

I hope you are all enjoying your summer! Talk soon!  











Saturday, February 24, 2018

Endangered Animal Art

 Amur Leopards - Acrylic on Roofing Felt
They are the most endangered member of the cat family - 
with only about 35 living in the snowy mountains of Russia and China.
In 2012, Russia declared 650,000 acres of protected land in an effort to save the world's rarest cats.

 Baby Orangutans - Chalk pastels and watercolor
These "man of the forests" spend 90% of their time in trees of Borneo and northern Sumatra.
Deforestation, to make way for palm oil plantations threaten the habitats of Asia's only great apes.

Sea Otter - Chalk Pastel and Watercolor with Salt
Sea Otters are protected in the United States under The Endangered Species Act of 1973.
One of their biggest threats today is pollution, including oil spills.

Blue Whale Tail Clay Necklace 
Blue Whales are the largest and loudest animals on the planet, 
with hearts the size of  Volkswagon beetles.
Their biggest threats today are environmental and climate changes.

Last months' Endangered Animal Art was a wonderful opportunity for my students and I to learn some interesting facts about these animals and the steps being taken to save them from extinction. And as an added bonus, my 1st through third graders created some beautiful artwork featuring these wonderful creatures.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Got Cardboard?

Recycled Cardboard Art Projects

If you're like me, you have some leftover cardboard boxes from the holidays, courtesy of Amazon. 
(I asked my friend who works for UPS, if they are bitter about Amazon Prime and the onslaught of deliveries they bring, not to mention the 2-day delivery guarantee. He just smiled politely.) ๐Ÿ˜‰
I love coming up with ideas to utilize this humble material. I think it makes a great canvas for a variety of projects. And there is something so satisying about creating "something" from "nothing". Once cut out with an X-acto knife, this tropical fish was created using some craft acrylics and magazine pages with a 2 inch circle punch for colorful scales. I raided my craft closet and used various materials to add some extra punch: puff, paint, sequins and glue combined with black paint for outlining. You could use whatever you have on hand. I glued some twine to the back so it could be hung. This would be a great project to do with the kids over the rest of your winter break.


More Cardboard Creative Fun!

Click on the links below for the original posts





Thursday, December 7, 2017

Canada Geese











For some reason, winter art lessons tend to be my favorites. And throw in a bird subject matter and I'm really in my happy place. These Canada Geese (not Canadian Geese as I have come to learn) were created on 12 x 18 black construction paper using chalk pastels. My students always ask me if they are allowed to add hats, bows or other various accessories to their animal creations. Well it is the giving season, go ahead kids!  For the backgrounds, I gave a limited palette of acrylics to dry brush on to their pieces of roofing felt from dark to light. A splattering of snowfall was added before gluing their cut geese. (1st through 4th grade artists.)

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Fall Art Sampling


 Matisse inspired Apples - Andie, 1st grade


 Process Art pieces with lots of media play -1st - 3rd grade

 Inspired by Picasso's "Sylvette" sculpture - 1st graders


 Acrylic on roofing felt - Inspired by Georgia O'Keeffe - 1st grade


Mixed media with weaving - Maddie, 5th grade


Grumpy Cats on Color Fields - 1st - 4th grade

Here are some of the projects my students have created over the past couple months. I have enjoyed visiting some old favorites, as well as incorporating some new projects ideas. I have made an effort to focus on media play and process based art fun. Up next, Winter Wonderland Art Fun. Perfect for our SoCal temps!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Revisiting Monet's Bridge


Reese - Kinder


 Emerson - 2nd


 Alexa - 3rd

 Blake - 1st


 Gwendolyn - 3rd

Charlee - 1st

Why is it life has a strange way of coinciding with the art lessons I'm undertaking? (Perhaps my subconscious is leading me) Last Wednesday, while teaching my young students about the art of Claude Monet and showing them how he painted the same bridge many times, even as he went blind, my husband was battling blindness as well. He is facing vision loss issues from glaucoma and cataracts (as Monet). I used it as a teachable moment, with a positive spin as our modern ocular technologies have improved greatly. (He just underwent his third surgery, and we are very encouraged.)

I have done this project a couple times, but I really enjoyed the textured effect of salt this time. The first step in creating these was using the wet on wet technique with liquid watercolor and salt. I offered yellow, green, turquoise and blue. The children created a light horizon line in the middle of their paper. I allowed them to use whichever combination of these colors for their sky and pond. After the backgrounds were dry they created leaves, plants, and lillies with acrylic paint and small brushes. To add depth to their plants I had them paint from darkest to light, with no rinsing of brushes. I offered pre-cut bridges for them to paint as they chose. And of course, cut photos in the middle of their bridges, were the perfect finishing touch. What a sweet gift for a parent (Mother's Day) or grandparent these would make!