Friday, April 5, 2019

Alpacas with Colorful Landscapes








My example

There are some really Fabulous llama and alpaca art lessons out there right now. I was inspired by these:
@iluvcuppycake on Instagram
and the Gorgeous art of Jane Newland.

Our Alpaca landscape illustrations were started creating colorful mountains using tempera paint sticks. I encouraged the children to add a variety of colors and patterns. Next they added watercolor wash grass and skies, choosing from day or night. These were put up to dry and I led them in a simple line drawing lesson for standing and sitting alpacas. They could add brightly colored details with markers.  I showed them how to create packs for their animals to carry on their backs. I had a few children concerned for the welfare of their alpacas so it was a resounding, "Nope!" 

Day 2, they added details to their landscapes and dry brushed clouds. And last, glued their alpacas to their foreground. 

Here is a link to my close-up Llamas with Peruvian Textiles:

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Somewhere Right Now

The Origins


 Pages at a Glimpse

I am thrilled to announce my children's book, Somewhere Right Now, is now available for purchase on Etsy. Just click on this link:

Somewhere Right Now parallels the daily events of a young child (brushing teeth, going to the park, taking a bath ect..) with the activities of animals and creatures around the world at that moment. Through rhyming text and bold type, it is meant to spark a curiosity and respect for wildlife and animals in places near and far. 

The collage illustrations were created using leftover painted papers made by children in my art classes. I transformed these remnants and scraps into layered collages with pens, markers, watercolor and acrylics. 

I am a children's book enthusiast and have been collecting them since I was very young. (Ezra Jack Keats and Brian Wildsmith are longtime favorites). Writing and illustrating my own book was a real passion project for me. I have been so pleased to hear the positive feedback in response.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Fairy Tales and Fantasies

 Aladdin's Magic Carpet

"My Monster and Me" inspired by
Where the Wild Things Are

Royal Self Portraits
Kinder and 1st grade

What a fun theme this has been for my two groups of young students.  We flew over rooftops on magic carpets, created out own monster friend to interact with and became a royal for a day.

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!  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 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.