Tuesday, May 31, 2011

3-D Doodles

Found this 3-D Doodle Kit from Fred Flare.  The ad says..."Make a doodle, slip on some 3-D glasses and watch as your doodle jumps off the page."
Remind me to make a set of 3-D glasses....cause I already have the red pencil, the blue pencil and a roll of tape.  

Monday, May 30, 2011

Thinking of Summer

Beach with Bathers

Jean Dubuffet (French, 1901-1985)

Passed this lovely holiday weekend visiting with friends and family, and especially with my lovely daughter who drove all the way from Virginia to spend this week with us in Vermont.  What did you do this weekend? 

Sunday, May 29, 2011


"In the late 1950’s, Jasper Johns emerged as force in the American art scene. His richly worked paintings of maps, flags, and targets led the artistic community away from Abstract Expressionism toward a new emphasis on the concrete. Johns laid the groundwork for both Pop Art and Minimalism. Today, as his prints and paintings set record prices at auction, the meanings of his paintings, his imagery, and his changing style continue to be subjects of controversy."  
Read more....http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/jasper-johns/about-the-painter/54/

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Missing Links

Help!  My links are gone.  
I don't know what's going on with the blog these days, but I have noticed that my blogroll got messed up and some of my links are gone.
What to do.  What to do.
I'd love to add them right back, but to be honest I kind of forgot who was there.

So, iIf you were linked up and notice that you are no longer, or if you would like to share a link to your art, art ed, or other blog of interest; leave a comment following this post.  I'm going to start working on the old blogroll and would love to include your blog.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Drawing from Observation

Sixth Grade used a combination of real and artificial flowers as the basis for these observational drawings.  After lightly drawing in chalk on colored paper students went over their chalk lines with glue.  Today the glue was dry and they finished up their drawings using chalk pastels.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Blackstone Tjanpi Weavers

Blackstone Tjanpi Weavers, Australia. Tjanpi Grass Toyota, 2005
                                       Grass, raffia and a discarded car frame

I came across this by chance and am posting it because I find it so appealing. Maybe I'm attracted by the  boxy form and soft lines.  They remind me so strongly of the wonderful way my students draw (thinking especially of the boys) who pass through a stage where they become so strongly engaged with drawing cars and trucks.  They often leave these little drawings behind on the art room tables.  Maybe they don't attach a lot of importance to these little drawings, but I find them entirely endearing.

This woven sculpture was created by the Blackstone Tjanpi Weavers, a group of Aboriginal women from 28 different indigenous communities in Western Australia.  It won the the Telstra Art Award--the only award of it's kind dedicated to indigenous artists.  The truck was awarded First Place in 2005. 

Here's a link to a lesson kit that includes the truck and a variety of other wonderful activities and visuals that you can use in your classroom.  This kit is designed for upper level students, but could be adapted for younger students. http://www.nt.gov.au/nreta/museums/education/pdf/2005natsiaaedkit.pdf

And here is a link to more lesson kits offered by the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Hay in Art

 Haystacks by Giovanni Fattori, a leading artist of the Macchiaioli Movement

Haystacks by Paul Gauguin

Woman and Haystacks by Andre Breton

Haystacks by Van Gogh

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

In Progress--Clay Chime Update

 Major Kiln Failure Glazing Clay Beads. Eighteen gauge wire did not hold. Found wire, and beads, and charms fused together on kiln floor.  Very disappointed.

Managed to save all of the wire, some of the beads, and a few of the charms. Mixed what remained with some glass India beads I had on hand. Came up with six 24" strands of beads and bells.

Sound great because the tones vary. Look cool. I have a second set of beads ready to be bisque fired.  Figured out I really like the mix of ceramic and glass beads.  Narrowed down the glazes a little.  Going to double twist the wires and set the kiln up a little differently for this glazing.

Working on a hang tag. 

Art Night Make-and-Take Butterflies and Bugs

I love all things animated and today I'm giving thanks to Anne Farrell over at Use Your Colored Pencils for posting her animated birds.  They use that jumping jack-style, folk art, mechanism to animate them and were the inspiration for the art activity I offered for our school's Art Night last week.
I modified her plan a bit by making a switch from birds to bugs.  I also used cardboard for bug body instead of tag board, a pop stick handle, and kid designed pre-painted papers for the wings (from my art closet stash).

I intended to mechanize the bugs on the spot, but the table was SWAMPED with kids, siblings, and moms and dads, who all wanted in on the glittery fun.  Instead of workable wings, the kids used brass fasteners or glue to attach their wings, and went merrily off into the night with their new "bug puppet" being none the wiser.

I offered the same project to my after school artists and with this much smaller group, found there was enough time to make the bugs and attach the mechanism in one session.  I was a HUGE hit.

Here's what I did.

Before You Begin.
Pre-cut a pile of cardboard blanks (about 21/2" X 6")--cut these ACROSS the grain of the cardboard.
Round the top and bottom of the cardboards and snip out two wedges on each side to form the body. (Save these wedges to make a cute nose for your bug)
Punch holes for wings.

Make a few cereal box templates for wing shapes.

Cut painted papers to fit wing template.

Cut long size pipe cleaners into thirds.

Lets Go!
Give each child a cardboard body.  Give wiggle eyes, beads, paper scraps, pop stick and markers first, then glitter, yarn, paper scraps, sequins etc. next.  Kids should glue stick to back and work on front while the handle is setting up.

Offer bits of wire and beads.  Wires can be stuck into the cardboard corrugations for antenna and straight through the cardboard body for legs.  When the body is finished set aside.

Offer a selection of pre-painted papers and a template to trace and cut the wings.  (Folded so they can cut two at a time).  Wings look great with sequins and paper scrap designs!

Punch the holes in the wings and attach with brass fasteners.
A needle and embroidery thread is helpful if mechanizing your bug.  Thread it through each wing just below the hole and tie.  Make sure to leave a little slack.

Tie a heavier pull cord to the thread with an overhand knot and adjust until both wings lift.  Slide the knot on the string to center it.

Tie a bead to the end of the cord.  And enjoy the love.

I'll be adapting this project further during the summer by offering glow-in-the-dark paint to create fire flies and glow bugs.    

Monday, May 16, 2011


Hope I'm not rushing the season.

Clay Animals

First, kids watched this video that I found on Art Room Videos.
They modeled their choice four legged animals by pinching out the clay.  We had dogs, cats, elephants, a horse, and the lovely winged dragon above.
Here's a link to another clay building video that I use.  

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Painted Elephant Printmaking Project

Elephants play an important role in Indian culture and are painted and beautifully decorated for Festivals and Celebrations in India.  Third graders looked at examples of painted elephants and hosted an elephant celebration of their own.

Want to thank Laura over at Painted Paper for this idea.  I adapted it by including some flower stamping.  We also used toned chalk pastel paper in place of painted paper.

These elephants were made with a template.  You can draw your own or find a drawing tutorial here.
Feel free to contact me if you would like a copy of my template.  So here's another version of painted Indian Elephants.

To make the elephant...

Use foam stickers to make your elephant pattern stamp.

Tone  a piece of paper by chalking lightly with the side of your chalk pastels.  We used pinks, blues and grays for our paper.  Blend with a tissue.

Next stamp your toned paper with your elephant pattern stamp.  Use any method you like to stamp.    

We inked the stamps with a brayer.  We placed the stamp on our elephant paper.  We rolled our stamp using a cover sheet and a clean brayer to cover our paper with  a stamped-out  design.

Trace or draw an elephant on the back of your paper and cut it out.  Save the scraps to make an ear and a tusk.

Give your elephant a fancy blanket using patterned papers, fabric, scraps, ribbon, sequins, and glue.
Use chalks and paints and a small brush to add details.

Embellish with gold paint.

The Heidelburg Project

"I strive to be a part of the solution.  I see and understand how order is needed in the world and in our individual lives.  My experiences have granted me knowledge of how to crete art and how to see beauty in everything that exists."  Tyree Guyton


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Flower Press-Make and Take

Dove into the cardboard stockpiled for the Zimoun Sculpture to make this super-simple flower press with after school kids today.
You'll need:  two pieces of cardboard any size, a stack of newspaper scraps cut 1/2 inch smaller, a couple rubber bands, and flowers or leaves.  After decorating the cover, kids foraged for wildflowers in the field.  We found violets and dandelions, a frog, a snake, and a ladybug named Billy.
Include a stack of extra papers so the kids can add to them throughout the summer.
Wanted to use the flowers for paper making next week, but the kids took them home.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Knitting Nancy Art

The Giant Knitting Nancy is a collaboration between Dan Preston (Sculptor), Holly Packer (Jewelry Designer) and the Superblue Team.  Over 72 m was knitted by over 100 visitors during the weekend of June 25-27 on the Giant Knitting Nancy to create the exciting seating structure defining the space at Jubilee Gardens, Canary Wharf, UK.  Click on the link to see it in action.

Or visit the Knitting Nancy Clock

Or make one of your own.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Koi Nobori Template Link is Fixed

Because you asked for it.  I am reposting the link to the mini-template today since it did not work yesterday.

A very special thank you to Anne Farrell from Perth, Western Australia, for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger award.  Anne has a wonderful blog called Use Your Colored Pencils .

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Children's Day--May 5th

I'm getting ready to celebrate Children's Day with some Koi nobori-making!
Join the fun.  Share your interpretation of this fun theme with a comment or a link.

Click here to download a free template to make tiny chopstick-size koi nobori and toothpick-size koi nobori, too.