Thursday, December 31, 2015

Wolves of Winter






Putting it together:

 Birch trees made with card board pieces scraped with black acrylic

 ballpoint pen, chalk pastel and charcoal

Over Winter Break, I offer a couple of one day, two hour classes. This past Tuesday we had our Wild Animals class. I have never done a wolf project before and thought it would be the perfect animal for the winter season. Though Gray wolves once disappeared from the lower 48, they have returned to the Great Lakes, Northern Rockies, and Southwestern US. They play a key role in keeping ecosystems healthy. My group of 2nd-6th graders enjoyed creating their mixed media pieces.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

May Your Days Be Merry and Bright!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Feeling Frida

Mia, 2nd

Ella, 2nd

Reese, 2nd

Presley, 2nd

Fiona, 2nd

Kate, kindergarten

Grace, 2nd

Kate, 2nd

Sydney, 3rd

Since my 3 Draw, Paint, Clay classes this month just happened to be all girls, I thought it would be a great time to introduce my K-3rd graders to the art of Frida Kahlo. Just a few days after I set this plan in motion, my 20 year old son was badly injured with multiple broken bones and went through weeks of pain and several operations, leaving him housebound. And while these weren't Frida-like injuries, the irony was not lost on me. 

Now on to happy things. I first purchased this wonderful, age appropriate biography (used on Amazon - my favorite go-to site) by Margaret Firth with illustrations by Tomie dePaola. This gave a nice background of the artist's life story to the girls, as well as including some of her self-portraits. I informed my groups that they would be creating their own Frida Kahlo inspired portrait. Patty over at Deep Space Sparkle has a great lesson plan for Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. I purchased the lesson plan that has a wonderful portrait tutorial that helps students with facial proportions through a folded paper technique. I soon discovered that Kathy at Art Projects for Kids has a nice step-by-step Frida portrait guide as well. Thanks to you both.

Students created their portraits on large pieces of construction paper. They were encouraged to create Frida's trademark bird wing eye brows, adorn their hair with flowers and add beautiful jewelry - all favorite elements of the artist's self portraits. Colorful backgrounds incorporated leaves and or flowers in a variety of media. Beautiful artwork girls! I hope you enjoyed our time exploring the life and art of Frida Kahlo as much as I did. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Birds on Snowmen

 3rd grade

 3rd grade

 2nd grade


This was a fun little one day project for the holiday season. I had the kids create their backgrounds first with watercolors on 11x15 paper. These were put up to dry and we created our birds and cropped snowmen faces on blue construction paper, cut to the same size as their backgrounds. I offered colored pencils, chalk and charcoal to add color and shading. These were cut out and glued to their dry watercolor skies. A final snowfall was created using the backs of their paint brushes or splattering with white tempera. I think these winter projects are especially fun for my groups since our climate is so mild.

my experiment

Friday, December 4, 2015

Air Dry Clay Creations

 Turkeys and peacocks

 Mexican Alebrijes using foam sticks

Air drying roses

This session I am doing several Draw, Paint, Clay classes with an emphasis on clay. It's a departure from my usual 2D lessons, but the kids are so enthused to be working this medium. For our first project we created these turkey and peacock tealight holders thanks to the wonderful post by Anne at Use Your Coloured Pencils here. Her students' peacocks are stunning. I like that it incorporates pinch pot, slab and modeling techniques. These were painted with watercolors and I offered sequins for added bling. They were give a final coat of Mod Podge, in lieu of ceramic glazing and I gave them flameless tealights. These will make nice holiday gifts.

Some of my kids created Mexican Alebrijes inspired by these pieces I spotted on Pinterest. Alebrijes are brightly colored Oaxacan-Mexican folk art sculptures of fantastical creatures. I found some foam sticks at Michael's that I thought would work well for the feathers. The kids decorated them with acrylics, cut them and slid them into pockets in the clay created with the end of bent paper clips. 

Up next, our roses inspired by Natalie's wonderful post and tutorial at smART Class here. This was a crowd pleaser with my all girl classes. I'm looking forward to seeing these come to life with paint and sparkly Mod Podge!