Thursday, June 23, 2016

Mixed Media Bird Collages

 Isabella


 Ethan


 Mia


 Grace


 Sydney

My Wild Animals and Birds group kicked of class with these mixed media collages. These were created in a similar way to these fish collages a few months ago. The base was done with Gelli printing using ferns. The children could add more vines or plants on top, using acrylic paint and brushes.I encouraged the kids to make their own unique tropical habit Parrots were done on black construction paper using oil and chalk pastels. Finally, branches were painted to give their cut birds a place to perch. 


Miss Mary had to join the fun as well

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Clay Texture Pendants

Kinder pendants using acrylics on air dry clay


In the above two photos my students used Sharpies and Watercolors on "wet" Model Magic
as it was our last day of class. This seemed to work fine and can now be left to air dry.
*Miss Mary's Asics sneakers were very popular. The kids thought it left "the best pattern" so consequently my shoe was passed around and used by everyone. :)


Plastic texture plates

This would be a fun project to add to your summer list! My kinder girls really enjoyed making these. I had never made textured shoe pendants before and thought I'd give it a try. The girls stepped lightly on small balls of air dry clay and lifted their shoe to see a very cool texture left behind. To create other pendants they pressed their clay onto plastic texture plates. (I found these on Amazon) They made a hole with the backside of their paint brushes. The following week, these were painted with craft acrylics and a coat of glitter Mod Podge, I added some colored twine to make necklaces to give to friends and family.

My summer art class series starts in two weeks. (School lets out next week) This year's themes are Wild Animals and Birds, Mixed Media Art Fun and Art Experiment Lab. I'll be posting student work throughout the next few months. I hope you all have a fun and relaxing summer!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Recycled Cardboard Birds














I was inspired by this post from Krokotak and this from the Crafty Crow. Birds and recycled cardboard?! You have me at my happy place! The children could choose to create their own bird using bird almanac illustrations as inspiration or they could create a basic bird (perfect for my kinders) from a direct line drawing lesson and and add their own little special details. Beyond the acrylic paint, oil and chalk pastels offered, I had all sorts of finishing touches to add character: sequins, buttons, feathers and stick legs. (Miss Mary cut the cardboard with an X-acto knife and used the glue gun for heavy pieces.)
Thanks to the guys at Arnold's Hardware for creating (last minute) dowel bases to showcase these extra large birds. It made all the difference! Birds average between 2-3 feet tall.



I had to join the fun and create a couple birds as well

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Abstract Cardboard Masks

Ella, 2nd grade


Raya, kindergarten


 Charlize, 2nd grade


 Kiran, 1st grade
(This shape reminds me of Keith Haring's dogs - Love it!)


 Harper, kindergarten


 Kate, kindergarten


 Thalia, 3rd grade


Katherine, kindergarten
(My kinder girls were very adamant about wanting their masks to be "cute")
Love the blond locks


Mira, 3rd grade



Scott, 5th grade

It's been six years since I have done an abstract cardboard mask project inspired by artist, Kimmy Cantrell shown here. Recently I saw some Fantastic masks over at Handmakery. They inspired me to give it another go with my Unique Materials Art Fun classes. I loved the way they layered facial features on separated pieces of scrap cardboard, so I had the kids create their masks in a similar way. The bases were created on squares cut from large cardboard boxes. (I've earned my black belt as a dumpster diving ninja) ;) We looked at examples of Cantrell's clay work before creating a unique face shape. These were divided into sections with permanent marker and painted with acrylics or shaded with pastels. 

I then handed out thin pieces of cardboard from boxes of cereal, oatmeal, soda ect... It prompted a funny discussion about grits. (My husband is from the south, but none of these west coast kids had ever heard of them.) I encouraged the kids to make their features, bold and unique. They added color with oil pastels and cut them out. They played around with their arrangement before gluing these down.

Kimmy Cantrell uses unique hardware accents in many of his masks. So I provided a variety of fun embellishments to use in their masks. Key earrings were all the rage. (My mom works at a hardware store in case you were wondering) Miss Mary used a glue gun for these heavy pieces.

This was a lot of fun for my wide age range groups. Everyone felt successful and it was a great way to teach the children that they could create art from a variety of recycled materials.


  Recycled food and beverage boxes for facial features - easy for the kids to cut out


Sunday, May 15, 2016

Moonlit Fireflies


Last summer my students created these beautiful firefly collages. I was thrilled to be asked by Arts and Activities magazine to write an article for the lesson. It will be in next month's June issue.

Here's the link:


Friday, May 13, 2016

Chameleon Experiments








This was a fun one! After creating their chameleons and adding elements for a tropical habitat on watercolor paper, my students had the opportunity to play with three different media techniques to create their colorful chameleon compositions. (points for alliteration?)

Chalk pastel on wet paper
Oil pastel blended with baby oil using cotton swabs
Salt and Watercolor

Students had their choice of using any combinations of these techniques throughout their artwork. I look forward to trying this again with another subject matter. It offers a great sense of play.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Thank You Mom!

 Mary and Janice - 1967 
(Got to love a 60's shift dress)

In honor of Mother's Day, I would like to thank my Mom for all the efforts she put forth to foster creativity, learning, and expression. She has always cheered me on and celebrated any of my successes, no matter how trivial.


 My Mom saw early on that art and creative play made me happy. She did her best to encourage and foster this passion through art and painting classes as well as coming up with her own creative ideas. One day, she brought out a box of items and odds and ends she had bought at a thrift store. She encouraged me to put together an assemblage piece. I don't think she was even aware of Louise Nevelson or Robert Rauschenberg, but just thought it would be fun to explore a new 3D format.


I was a horrid sleeper as a toddler. My Mom tried everything! One night in exasperation, she gave me a stack of books, left the light on and went to bed. (worked like a charm) I Love children's books to this day. Here are some favorites from childhood that I treasure. I enjoy incorporating children's book illustrations in many of my art lessons. 



Every summer my family went for a week's vacation to Oceanside, Ca. Obviously, most of my time was spent in the surf and sand. But during the down times, my Mom kept me busy and entertained by packing this suitcase with a stash of loot: markers, typing paper, stickers and even items from the office supply store like receipts and adhesive letters. It was a thrill to open it each summer and play with creative ideas. Collage art projects are a favorite of mine to this day.



She is a Wonderful Grandma as well! My kids know just how special she is and lucky they are to have Her as their Grandma.

Thank you Mom for all that you have done for me and the continued support you and Dad give me!

Love you Momba!