Friday, December 23, 2011

Sewing Lessons

One of the fifth graders became interested in a couple of quilty things I had in my upstairs classroom.  She was more and more curious about some of my table runners.  She wondered if she could come after school and learn to do some piecing and quilting.  She ended up coming for a total of 6 sessions and by then she had a cute little mug rug that she wrapped up for her mom as a surprise Christmas gift.  I bet she will be back for more lessons.  I think she said she wants to make a pillow next!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ornaments From Seashells

This is the start of some clever angel ornaments.  I found the idea while browsing the web looking for entries to my Pinterest account. 

We will be making these sweet ornaments next week as a reward activity.  The students that signed up have used 5 reward coupons to be able to do this craft.

I have to add a few trims and hanging cords to my samples, but they are almost finished.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Haunting Around for Halloween


A few favorites from the past,  I love the way the glue line ghosts came out and the spooky color combinations they made for the backgrounds.  The other silhouettes on the orange paper are fun too.  The eyes have emphasis by applying white sticker reinforcements.  I got the idea long ago from a teacher that was using Artsonia. 

I may have some more Halloween art later today.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Three Expressive Trees

 It's been great getting to meet all the new 3rd graders to our building. You see, they are new because Kindergarden through 2nd grade is located at a separate school.

Here they are in the art room having a go at the first lesson of the year.  We did a silhouette of 3 expressive trees.  Then they added color with acrylic and tempera.  Finally they filled the sky using the do a dot markers for a very impressionistic and expressive sky.

I will give some step by step details in another post soon. 

We were very proud of the results and our school will display these at the Harvest Concert in a few weeks.  Lovely job, third graders.  You are a talented group.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Grade 3 and Facial Proportions

Last week the 3rd graders practiced portraits and drew guidelines to help with the placement of facial features.  Next week we will be working with the portrait mirrors and they will be making a self portrait to put onto a cut out backing that resembles a hand mirror.

Here a couple of finished mirrors from 2 students that were done several years ago.  I think this group of third graders will do just as well.  They seemed to really be interested in the practice we did with the facial guidelines.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

Scholastic Art Magazine

I wonder how many art teachers out there are subscribing to Scholastic Art magazine.  I have been getting it for close to 5 years and I never realized what rich resources they keep on-line for teachers to use in the art room.  I really was impressed with the section on the artist biographies too.  I now have access to a smartboard, so I will be making use of some of the projection capabilities of the articles and the bonus video clips about some of the featured artists and techniques.

I recently became aware of this when I went to the website for a different Scholatic magazine called Storyworks.   I was so surprised by the extra activities, informative videos, and the ability to project the magazine articles on the Smartboard that I went straight to the Art magazine section to explore that content too.  I am so glad I checked in on this because I just found a wealth of content for art, that I know I will use all school year. 

I especially like using this art magazine with my 5th and 6th grade classes.
We were informed about Georges Seurat  and his pointillist style when we were working on our Sunday Afternoon mural last February.

We were inspired about the flags and maps when we looked at the work by Jasper Johns in a different issue.
The article helped to create our flag painting on canvas.


Do you find this publication and its on-line resources to be helpful?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 911

Prayers for the families that were affected by the events on 9/11/2001...

We shall never forget

We shall keep this day,

We shall keep the events and the tears

In our minds, our memory and our hearts

and take them with us as we carry on.
We Remember

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My Favorite Art Shop

Wet Paint, in St. Paul is a favorite art shop.  I like to visit when I get the chance to be in the area.  Creativity is stacked to the ceiling in here!

I enjoyed shopping here and want to purchase a journal that is made out of a discarded textbook.  The covers are spiral bound and it is filled with a mixture of unique paper!

The other thing on my shopping list is some ink style colored pencils by Dewent.  The colors are more intense than regular watercolor pencils and once dry, they are more permanent.  The larger set that I'd like to purchase has a DVD on technique that I may want to show to the 5th and 6th graders to help them get inspired to use their own sets of watercolor pencil more independently.

Wordless Wednesday

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Summer Lessons in Art and other Subjects

During the summer I make time about 3 mornings a week to work with students to build and maintain reading skills.  It is an effort  to prevent the downward "slide" that often happens with so many weeks of down time. 

Livi Displays the Alley Cat Painting in the School Garden
 Livi came for 3 sessions and she was able to paint 2 medium sized canvases with her favorite subject her own cats Lovely and Junior and another about Alley Cats.  She loves this creative time.  This year she concentrated only on the art since she had just finished a reading program at a different location.  Reading is one of her strengths anyway.

Takes a lot of concentration
This year I worked with 2 students.  We had time to be creative together.

To read more about sewing the pillow
pop on over to my other blog.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Planning a Batik Unit

Batik made in Fiber Arts college course

I am planning a unit around the techniques of batik dying.  I'd like my students to become familiar with the idea of preserving the most recent color using some kind of resist.

Crayon and paper is one of my favorites!  I know I will need to emphasize heavy pressure on the crayons.  But it will be worth it.

I've been hearing so much about using blue gel glue as a resist with liquid watercolor and I'd like to explore that avenue.

Has anyone ever tried a flour paste resist?  I am curious how that might work on white paper or shiny cardstock

At the blog "A Faithful Attempt", Miss has posted several beautiful artpieces in the style of Adire batiks.   

She and her 7th graders completed them this last spring.  I really liked them and know I want to try this lesson right away this fall, so I've asked her if I might repost a link here in my blog to jog my memory a month from now.

She also had her 8th graders doing batik images with crayon, crinkled paper, and washes of acrylic.  They were beautiful too.  I really liked the strong black outlines in her students' work.   

wax crayon and paint wash

As I run across resources for this unit, I've been posting them in this blog and on my Pinterest page.  You may want to check out that website.  It is a great place to save images and they list the source for the image so that you may get back to it like any one of your favorites or bookmarked sites.  I think I am going to like it a lot for saving art lesson ideas!  I haven't accumulated too many photos yet, but I intend to make it a resource for myself and others and I anticipate making many more categories!

For example, I pinned this cute little watercolor resist piece done by one of Anne's summer school students and it enables me to quickly go back to her blog "Use Your Colored Pencils" and read more about her lesson.  When I save it in my pinterest page provides and automatic link back to the source.

What other batik ideas have you done with children for art lessons?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Footbridge Over Beaver Creek

While walking to dinner at a pizza place, a friend and I discovered the most quaint little park in Sparta Wisconsin.  Isn't it remarkable?!   It reminded us both of a Claude Monet garden.  Because it is built over a creek, there are no lily pads; but the willow tree sure helps the setting look like a scene from one of his paintings.

We have driven by this park more than 50 times and we never realized it was there.  We only just discovered it because we left the car parked up the street and decided to walk down to the pizza shop!  What a pleasant surprise.

Now I just need to find the pieces from a costume.   I have just the perfect black dress, white apron, MaryJane shoes, and the straw hat.  I think I might even be able to locate black leggings!  I dressed as Linnea for a library party at my school several years ago. 

Linnea en el jardín de Monet [Book]
I can hardly wait to find what I need and go back to that location for a better photo shoot.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

FireWorks Canvas Painting

A School Favorite!

We constucted our most recent painting on canvas.   The students were able to finish it up in the last days of school.  It was a fun way to use up some bonus round weavings that we had on hand from some ambitious fourth graders. 
Painting up the Edging of Weaving

A sixth grade boy was inspired by Van Gogh's swirled skies and he and a classmate painted out the dark blue background.  At this time, the canvas edge was covered in a mixture of blue, black, and purple.

We tape looped the weavings into positions as the students went about deciding where each firework would burst open.  When the composition was decided, I hot glued the cardboard looms to the canvas.

Fourth grader volunteers used acrylic paint in bright colors to highlight and bring extra pattern to the sky. 

Bordering the canvas Edge

Several girls finished off the edges with a repeating pattern of finger and thumb prints in the bright acrylic colors.  I think they enjoyed this step a whole lot!
Thumbs Up!

Fireworks Over the Mississippi River 2011

Monday, August 8, 2011

Chihuly, Chinese Imperial Garden Mansion and the Thunderbirds at the Lakefront

On our recent trip to Milwaukee we were lucky to be visiting the same day as the Thunderbirds were doing an airshow over the lakefront in downtown Milwaukee.  There was so much going on.  Several wedding parties were roaming about outside for photo opportunities and they were setting up for a wedding ceremony in the entry hall at the Milwaukee Art Museum too. 

It was a warm day, but the breeze was very pleasant, so we sat on a bench by Lake Michigan and enjoyed several planes in the air show.  Then we went into the museum to see the special exhibit on the Chinese treasures from the Qianlong Garden mansion.  Sadly no photographs were allowed, but I was able to purchase plenty of resources to take back to my art classroom.  I'll share those in a later post.

from Wikipedia 
This painting on silk was restored and was part of the exhibit.  It is rich in detail and very much influenced by western art.  The faces on several of the family portraits was impressive. 

I love gazing at the chandelier style glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly.  This time I had my cameral along and took several amazing photos.  I could stare at this all day and still be amazed. 
I wonder how we might be able to replicate this type of a sculpture in our school?  We have several stair landings that have a lot of window space and a hanging sculpture might just be the thing we need to add excitement to our building.
Balloons and paper mache?  Perhaps we could insert some shrink art pieces that would catch the light so nicely and better replicate the glass???  So much to think about...