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!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Mother's Day Teacups

For Mother's Day I wanted to do a teacup themed collage with my Draw, Paint Collage classes. I started browsing on Pinterest and found myself pinning a number of wonderful teacup themed artworks. I may just need to start a whole board dedicated to the subject. Who knew?

We started our layered works by creating a textured background with crinkled tissue paper and Mod Podge. Once dry, chalk pastel was used to add another layer of color. The children chose a piece of scrapbook paper for their table top. I found a very helpful tutorial to create the stacked teacups here at Color It Like You Mean It. For a bit of extra whimsy they topped their towering teacup stack with a bird. (Because I subscribe to Portlandia's "Put a bird on it." mantra) And last, they added some special notes to mom with scrapbook paper tags tied to their handles with twine. I had to get in on the fun and made one for my mom too.