Thursday, April 28, 2016

Fish Collages

I had the privilege of having Dr. Deb, a Psychologist and Art Therapist join her grand daughter for some creative fun and mixed media play. She used the tissue paper and Mod Podge technique from my Mother's day teacups as the base for her ocean background. Love the textured effect!

Scott, 5th grade

 Mira - 3rd grade


 Thalia - 3rd grade


 Kiran - 1st grade

This session my classes have an emphasis on collage. I love how artist, Mary Fedden described collage as putting together cut elements like a "jigsaw puzzle." To create these layered artworks, we began by creating a unique underwater background with Gelli printing. My students had the option of using some clipped weeds to mimic the look of kelp or seaweed. They created another Gelli printed paper in their choice of colors to create more collaged sea plants. For our fish, I was inspired by my daughter's pet beta fish, Sushi. I thought the beta's lacy fins and beautiful colors would be striking in their collage work. I led a basic line drawing lesson and encouraged the kids to make there fish big. I did a quick photo copy of their fish so they had 2 or 3 to use in their compositions. They used chalk pastels to add color to each of their fish. Finishing touches were added with permanent marker, pastel pencils and white gelly roll pens. I had the children play around with different compositions before gluing their cut elements to their background board. I love the uniqueness that collage art provides.


my experiment

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Sandra Silberzweig Inspired Portraits

Grayden - 2nd

Summer - 3rd

Maddie - 3rd

Thalia - 2nd

Skyler - 2nd

(This 1st grade artist may want to add some more details - but I'm Loving it at this stage)


I have done portraits inspired by Toronto artist, Sandra Silberzweig ("Synesthesia Goddess") several times with my classes. And each time I do, I'm so delighted by the results. The artist explained to me that children relate to her art and it doesn't intimidate them. I recently saw some marvelous artwork inspired by her colorful and primitive portraits over here at Small Hands Big Art. It made me excited to do another lesson with my Mini Modern Artists.

We created our art on roofing felt. This allowed my artists to work big (15"X20"). After creating the basic head shape and features with chalk, my students could use chalk pastels or acrylics to add color. Everyone was in a painting mood. To add pattern and repetition to their portraits, I encouraged them to use pencil erasers, pen caps, or even fingertips to make prints. I was so excited to see everyone go in their own direction with their portraits. They have a wonderful primitive quality. (Artwork by 1st-3rd graders)

A Big Thank you to Sandra Silberzweig for continuing to inspire me and my students with your colorful and dynamic art!

*Update - The artist was kind enough to send me the following response:
Thank you so much for sharing my art with your young ones, I really am shocked and amazed by their ability to see ‘the beyond’ in the images and work so intuitively.
I believe the appeal is basic, something instinctual and familiar, it speaks to all ages, the faces draw you in and hold your attention, even young for children.  These works are fabulous and the students really drew what they felt.

Deb - my first ever adult student