Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Winter Rabbits with Tints and Shades




These whimsical winter rabbits were a big hit with my students last year, so I made this our final art project in my MaryMaking Favorites class. This was another collage project, with children creating their tint and shade acrylics background first and then rabbits in chalk pastel. They're just begging for a short story to accompany them.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Colorful Collage Still Lifes


This week my MaryMaking Favorites Class students (K-4th) created these colorful still life collages. You can find my original post (October 2013) for these here. To be fair, I don't know if I would necessarily classify these as a favorite among my students. Not that they complained mind you, but the children tend to favor animal lessons. This was a personal favorite, so I decided to repeat the lesson. It also incorporates a wide variety of media: watercolor, acrylic, oil pastels, chalk pastels, and charcoal. I think they are bold, colorful and perfectly imperfect...everything I Love about children's art.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Snorkeling Self Portraits


The first project in my MaryMaking Favorites classes was Snorkeling Self Portraits which I originally posted back in November 2013. Because this is a collage project with separate board and papers for fish, water, and snorkelers, it was a perfect art project for the 2 hour class. I also like it because it involves a variety of media: watercolor and salt, acrylics, oil pastel and markers. Some children had snorkeling stories of their own to share which made it fun. Artwork by K-4th graders.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Abstract Re-Mix


I just finished my last class of the school year with my Kinder through 1st graders. We had a lot of fun doing abstract name collages, symmetrical tile prints, Suminagashi and Kandinsky inspired circles. Next week I begin my series of summer art classes. Themes include: MaryMaking Favorites (favorite projects from the past school year), Around the World Art Fun and Art Experiment Lab (mad science meets art). I hope you all have a Wonderful summer! Since I live at the beach, the fact that I have no vacation plans probably will win me no sympathy. I will continue to post student art work throughout the summer.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Suminagashi Minis






If you've never tried Suminagashi before, you must! But be warned, it's highly addictive. Suminagashi ("floating ink") is a paper marbling process that originated in Japan in the 12th century. My Abstract Art Fun Class (K-3rd) created mini monoprints using 4X6 photo paper. Each student had a small plastic container of water. With a small brush they floated their Sumi ink on the top of their water. When they were finished laying their colors, they gently swirled the water with the backs of their brushes and then laid their paper on top. Each monoprint is completely unique, like a fingerprint. I chose each child's best 3 and mounted them on black foam core. I've also done this project at my daughter's birthday party and the children created note cards and notepads. And my last Abstract Art Class used their Suminagashi prints in a collage.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Mixed Media Abstract Collage








 This (whip smart) 4th grade student was cutting up his textured paper with reckless abandon and gluing it to his board in a haphazard manner. I said, "Let's make sure we use some intention when we cut and glue our shapes." Without a moment's hesitation he said "I'm doing my collage like Jackson Pollock, my intention was no intention" It completely caught me off guard and I started to tell him that I believed every splatter that Pollock made had some sense of intention behind it. And then I realized, I'm debating abstract expressionism with a 10 year old who is clearly enjoying this process, let alone making a connection to Pollock who we had not even discussed. It made me pause and smile and I told him to carry on! 
Well done Matthew!










This was a very open ended project I did with my Abstract Art class. I was really trying to focus on process over product and let the children enjoy different methods of creating patterned and textured paper and finally incorporate them in a collage. I first played Pharrell's song "Happy." I said this would be the inspiration for our piece.We then made 4 different textured papers: Acrylic scraped with cardboard, wet on wet watercolor, rubbing alcohol and Adirondack ink, and Suminagashi (Japanese paper marbling). Fun and messy! Day 2, I showed them various collage art including, work by Rex Ray, artist and children's art teacher Mollie Moseley Morrison, and even the Gee's Bend Quilts. They had the option of painting their base or covering it completely with their collage work. Then I let them loose. I loved seeing the different ideas and compositions my 1st through 5th graders came up with. It was a nice departure from straightforward, subject based projects.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Abstracted Names

 Bailey


 Jenna


 Grace


 Kate


Calvin

Thank you to Janis from Dream Draw Create for this lesson idea. Her abstract name lesson was the perfect way to kick off my Abstract and Representational Art Class with my 1st through 5th graders. I was excited for this class since some children get very hung up on their art looking "right" or "okay". We discussed abstract art in its' simplest terms being a piece of art that doesn't portray a person, place or thing, but uses color, line, shapes or brushstrokes. We looked at what is considered to be the first abstract painting by Kandinsky from 1910. One of my student's reactions was priceless, "well that just looks like a bunch of colors and scribbles!" A perfect lead in to my commentary about it being possibly the most subjective form of art. ( Along these lines, if you want to have some fun, take this quiz Can You Tell The Difference Between Modern Art or Art By a Toddler? A landscape painter that I follow on Facebook posted it and asked everyone to try it and give feedback. I only missed 1, fairing better than everyone. But I know this is only because I teach children's art).

As you probably surmised, acrylic name paintings were cut up into 16 equal pieces and reassembled. I encouraged my students to think about the play and balance of color and form, rather than just putting them down arbitrarily. Yes, these are young children. But they could see that some compositions were more pleasing to the eye than others. I have another group of mostly Kinders next week and plan to do this with them. Looking forward to seeing their take on it.