Showing posts with label art class. Show all posts
Showing posts with label art class. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Art Teacherin' 101, Episode 43: QUIET CRITTERS!

 I've been teaching for many a year and it's always just been my assumption that kindergarten is loud. Like REALLY loud. It wasn't until recently, when I popped into a kindergarten classroom, that I noticed that they aren't ALWAYS this way. I walked into this room and they were working...calmly. Quietly. Like, frighteningly so. As if they were up to no good or plotting the next time they were coming to art and going to drive me bonkers with their incessant jib-jab. When I asked the teacher why they were so quiet, she was all, "what do you mean? They're working. They always work this way." 

Not long after that, @art_with_mia who I love and follow on Instagram, shared that she recently started using something called Quiet Critters in her art room. Now I've heard of teachers using stuffed animals as quiet incentives before...but these small sparkly pompoms seemed like an easier alternative. With the noise level in my art room with kindergarten on the rise, I was determined to give it a shot. And, you guyz, IT WORKS.
If you read my last post, you know that I've named each of these critters after an artist. Every other art class, I'm introducing that artist to the kids. This one is Andy (Warhol). When a student earns a critter, I simply place them in their table caddy. I do think this would work with slightly older grades...but my older kids already use the clip system (which is what the clothes pins are all about. You can read about that here.) Since it works for them, I'm not about to reinvent the wheel, you know. However, I'm super stoked to find something that works for my wee ones, yay! Finally, I can hear myself think! 

Do you use something like this in your art room? I'd love to hear how it goes!
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Sunday, March 11, 2018

In the Art Room: Your Face Here Famous Paintings!

If you are looking at my blog right before bedtime, lemme just go ahead and apologize for this nightmarishly frightening image. But I had so much fun creating this mess-terpiece from a $1.50 thrift store frame, that I just had to share it with you! Here's the process:
The idea started last week when I introduced my kindergarten to something called "Quiet Critters"...I'll be sharing more about those magical beasts later this week (tomorrow, I hope but we'll see how life goes). The short story is that my Q.C.'s only come to the quietest and hardest working tables in kindergarten. Here's what they look like:
Giant pompoms with eyeballs, feet and antennae glued to the them. I JUST started using this system with my kindergarten as they are my noisiest crew...and, so far, they are working wonders! Each Q.C. is named after a famous artist with the plan being that I'll introduce one of those artists every other art class. Last week, we met Mona Lisa! Here's a short video of that I shared on my IG:
It went over so stinkin' well that this weekend, I knew I'd need to create another Your Face Here painting. This time 'round, I went with van Gogh! We've been talking about him and perseverance a lot he seemed like the obvious choice. Here's a snippet from our most recent chat:
I've been sharing short clips of myself teaching over on my IG. One of my most favorite things in the world is to watch others teach...I thought I'd share a little glimpse inside.
When creating these frames, here's what I look for: something cheap, without glass and with a heavy card or foam board that I can paint directly on. This allows me to just "gesso" over the painting (and by gesso, I mean just paint it white) and go to town on the new one. It's super fast, super fun and I'm so excited to bring van Gogh to my students. I won't be painting myself a beard as I just don't feel like wearing a beard for several days straight. I am the proud owner of a nice red fake beard that I can easily slide on before introducing van Gogh to the kids. 
I plan to make many more of these. My friend Ashley made a ton for her students' art show and I LOVE that idea! I think I might have to have them out as a photo op for the big night. 

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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

In the Art Room: Second Grade Kindness Prints!

I have been oversharing this lesson so much on my Instagram because I LOVE IT! My second graders learned so much in the making of these kindness prints: how to create a printing plate, make marker prints, pull ink prints, burnish their printing plate with spray paint, steel wool and aluminum, use Model Magic to mix colors and create a heart and...last but not least, pick a word of kindness that best resonates with them. DID I MENTION THAT THIS LESSON PACKED A PUNCH?! Holy cats! But, y'all. I'm in LOVE.
 So, how did we create these masterpieces? I created a video to share the process. I thought I'd break it down class-by-class what we worked on. Keep in mind that I have 30 minute art classes with my 2nd I'll be breaking down my lesson in baby bites for those of you that have hour long classes. Just combine my two days and you'll know what you can accomplish in one class of an hour.
Day One: Chatted about Robert Indiana, looked at his LOVE sculpture. From there, we switched gears and began drawing the designs on our printing plate. First with one color ink pin and then a different color to insure that we made the lines deep enough.

Day Two: Continued tracing and then started coloring our designs with water soluble markers. Early finishers pulled the first of the marker prints.
 Day Three (week two): We spent the class pulling marker prints. Once you print one, you simply recolor and print another! 
Day Four: EVERY ONE'S FAVORITE: INK PRINTING! These kids loved ink printing...and pulled a million amazing prints. The key is having a tray that is rectangular (so the kids only roll up and down; I'm using the lid from my tempera cakes) and using ink. Sorry, no skimping here, paint just won't cut it.
Every two kiddos shared an ink tray and a brayer. I used the same ink and brayer for two classes, back to back. No issues with the ink drying...prints pulled were still beautiful!
 Day Five (week three): I've had the idea of the kids doing something with their printing plates for some time now...and I really thought they would be great embossed. Here's the key: the prep is a little on the heavy side. I laid all of the plates on a large sheet of paper, gave them a shot of 3M spray glue and covered them with inexpensive foil. Then I sprayed them all with the $1 a can matte black spray paint from Home Depot (this is the ONLY paint to use when doing this kind of project, it burnishes off the easiest!). Then the the kids burnished off the spray paint and they were amazed with the results. Some even wanted to add color:
 While pretty, I would recommend skipping this step. It just about killed my Sharpies as the tip of the marker was ruined by the spray paint particles. 
Day Six: We made Model Magic hearts! The kids could pick any two primary colors and white. They rolled them, twisted them until they got their desired color/design. Then they shaped them into hearts. They had to also decide upon their word of they would know where to place their heart. Their heart would act as the dot to the I or the O.
Day Seven: LAST DAY! We used strips of 4.5" X 1" pieces of paper to create our words. They were glued down. Then the kids picked a construction paper frame and decorated it with sparkle tape I found at the Dollar Tree!

A long project? YES. Did they learn a lot of new styles, methods and techniques? YES-YES! I would definitely do this again...I can't wait to hang these in the hall!

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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

In the Art Room: Kindergarten Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Painting

 Hello, friends! If you saw my post earlier this week, I said I'd be sharing a follow-up lesson to our Jasper Johns-inspired alphabet paintings. Here's a peak at that project:
 And the video lesson!
I see my kindergarteners for 40 minutes, once a week. I knew they'd zip through the alphabet I shared with them a super fun Chicka Chicka Boom Boom video from YouTube and challenged them to make a painting of upper and lower case letters. This resulted in beautiful black and white paintings of letters. We piled them on to the drying rack and were done for the day...two masterpieces complete!
 Once the ink is dry from the bingo daubers, my students are going to "hug" their letters with water soluble markers. Then they'll add just water right over their marker lines for this fabulous result!
 Another alternative to having them paint over their lines is simply spray them with water! Once class only had moments left so we did this trick and, while I like the other result better, these still look great. Just a tip: when spraying with water, less is best. The colors will bleed if given time.
And there you have it, two great literacy projects for kindergarten in one! 

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Thursday, February 22, 2018

How to Make a Paper Heart with Kindergarten!

Teaching kids how to make a paper heart can sometimes make you question your life's choices. And that is ESPECIALLY true if you teach kindergarten. The week of Valentine's Day, I wanted to take a break from our usual projects and teach this skill. Knowing that it might be a bumpy ride, I wrote this poem. It helped me so much, I wanted to share. Feel free to use in your art room with any age group of kids!
So, how does this poem work? I recited it during my demo with the kids and had them repeat after me. I do call and response ALL DAY LONG in my art room so they are used to this routine. Here's a glimpse into my art room with kindergarten:
By the end of our 40 minute art class, each student had successfully cut out many hearts. We also chatted about the artist Chris Uphues and added fun faces to these. The kids were beyond excited to create and take these home with them. Just had to share!
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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Field Trip! A Visit with Shana Kohnstamm

 Hey, y'all! During my final weeks of summer, I had the chance to hang out in the home studio of Nashville fiber artist Shana Kohnstamm. Shana is, first of all, amazing! How kind of her to take time out of her busy creative life to have me over for an afternoon of wet felting! AND she's a wealth of knowledge on all things felting, both wet and needle felting. Just hanging out with her for an afternoon made me feel like I'd just had a crash course on all things fibers...and this from someone who is no stranger to felting. 
 Shana shared with me a fun process on how to create a wet felted adjustable headband. I filmed the process so I could share it with you. I know very little about wet it was great to learn from a pro. I really enjoyed learning all about her supplies and how she sets up her space for wet felting. Here's the video!
I mean...isn't she the best? Also, she's just a fun person to be around and that totally shines through in this tutorial. BIG thanks to you again, Shana!
Shana is such a prolific fiber artist...and does things with felt that I didn't even know were possible. I've done my slight share of wet felting and a TON of needle felting. But was really blown away with the possibilities of this medium that Shana shared with me. However, let's first talk about this studio space: so tidy, organized and perfect for a fiber artist!
And you know that epic stash of wool roving had me all starry-eyed! A lot of the roving, Shana dyes herself in her backyard! Can you imagine being her neighbor and seeing those rainbows of roving hanging out on the clothes line?!
 When I first met Shana, she shared with me a necklace she'd made...which lead me to believe she was a jeweler. Then, when I got to her home which, by the way, is FILLED with her art (as well as her collection of other artist's works), I found that she's a fibers jack of all trades. 
 Sculptures, light fixtures, weavings, jewelry, you name it. In fact, if you live in the Nashville area and are interested in learning more about felting, you should look her up. She can be found teaching classes on felting!
I had so much fun hanging out with Shana. A person who understands my love of felting! Gah, I'm starring at those weavings and itching to create one, so fun. 
 The sculptural felting was what really caught my eye. Her pieces and gradients of color were just stunning. 
 Not to mention solid. If you've felted before then you'll appreciate the amount of time and patience a piece like this requires. 
A lot of Shana's work put me in the mind of Tim Burton, like this amazing light she created the shades for. Seriously, her entire house was a work of art. So much to see and take in.
Shana, thank you so much for letting me hang out with you! It was a blast and I learned so stinkin' much!
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Monday, February 12, 2018

Abstract Painting in First Grade

Last week, my first graders, who I see for 30 minutes twice a week, spent one class learning as much as they could about Wassily Kandinsky, abstract art, non-objective vs. objective and painting to music...all in 30 minutes. Whew! It was fast and furious. Here's a peak into our lesson and time together. 
My students absolutely LOVED this lesson and I cannot wait to share with you what our plan is for our paintings. In the meantime, I've been asked a lot what supplies we used for this lesson. Let's start with the paper. I ALWAYS buy 80lbs paper because it's the best paper for everything: watercolor paint, tempera, collage, you name it. I purchase about 4 reams a year for my 350 students.
 My go-to watercolor pan watercolor is Crayola's Mixing Colors. I only order the refill sets, never new sets. I order the following colors: magenta, red, red-orange, yellow, green, turquoise, blue, blue-violet and purple.
 My VERY favorite oil pastels for resist are the florescent oil pastels by Sargent. All of the supplies mentioned can be found in your art supply catalog. 
 If you watch my video, you'll notice I do A LOT of call and response. It's my number one teaching tool...I probably use it to a fault! However, it's a great way for me to keep my students attention, teach vocabulary and have them retain information and directions. It also WORKS WONDERS for my English language learners...they LOVE repeating after me!
 Also...can we talk about what amazing abstract artists these guys are?! Holy cats! I am seriously thinking of printing their paintings on some fabric. I need these masterpieces as a dress, y'all!
 I'm so excited to share with you what the master plan is for be sure and stay tuned!
 What are your favorite ways to teach kiddos about abstract painting? Do you have a favorite artist that you like to introduce your students to? I'd love to know!
 Thank you for letting me share these amazing abstract masterpiece by first grade with y'all. I hope they make you as happy as they make me!
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Sunday, February 11, 2018

DIY: Needle Felted Rainbow Dress

I'm pretty certain that at some point, with all the rainbows of color, I'm going to just blend right in with my art room and the kids will no longer be able to find me. Rainbow is the new camouflage, says me.

Now, if y'all have followed the progression of this needle felted rainbow dress (that's right, this whole thing is needle felted, y'all), then you know we MUST talk about Paintbrushgate...
See, originally, I had wanted the dress to appear as though there was a paintbrush painting a rainbow. I really REALLY loved the idea and really REALLY wanted it to work but it just wasn't. And I couldn't figure out what was wrong. So I posted to my friends on my Instagram. Everyone was super sweet and, thankfully, honest when they saw what I failed to.

HOLY CATS! WHAT?! I was like one of those cartoons where the character rubs their eyes and then finally sees the giant train heading right at 'em. I immediately removed the paintbrush and the bristles (let's face it, they were the true culprit in Paintbrushgate) and decided to ditch the brush idea entirely. At least for this dress. I do still LOVE the idea and have created a more details sketch with better placement options (ahem) for next time. 
 Here's what the dress looked like with the brush removed and the new roving just tacked down. This is before I'd run the dress through my needle felting machine which further tacks down the roving. That's why the dress looks a little misshapen and lumpy. Once tacked down and ironed, the dress no longer has that stretched out look. In the end, it really reminded me of the work of Jen Stark whose image you see on the right. 
 Now the other thing that was a bit tricky with this dress was the placement of the curves. This gray dress was actually one I found at Old Navy and is a big large for me. I like it because it's different from the usually fitted and flaired dresses I wear. However, the shift shape of this dress doesn't really do much for a gal's figure. So I had to make sure that the roving kinda accented my curves. Well, let's be honest, I don't have much by way of I needed a dress to create the illusion that I do. 
 Especially when I stand like this, BAM! Don't ask, I have no idea what I'm doing. Ever. 
 I will say this, without the advice of my online buddies, I just might be wearing an accidental inappropriate dress. 
 If you've been hanging around this blog for a while, then you know needle felting clothing is my jam. If you are interested in learning more, I've got tons of info on this hear blog, including how-to videos. Just use that search bar thingie over to your right and you'll find all sorts of needle felting information.
 Of course, now that my art room is an explosion of rainbows, it makes a pretty sweet backdrop for photos. I was getting a lil tired of standing in front of that giant painting in our house anyway. 
 There are still little parts that I could go back and tweak. Places where the lines aren't as smooth as I would like. When I run it through my needle felting machine, that thing is kind of a monster as it just kind of chews the fabric. It's not for delicate work and sometimes things get moved around a pinch. 
 But I'm not one of those artists who goes back and reworks something. When I say done, it's done...and I'm all WHAT'S NEXT?! Not sure yet...but I know it won't have a paintbrush in an unfortunate place! 

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