Monday, June 20, 2011

Up High

Museo Aero Solar:  A collective artwork made of reused plastic more at Guerilla Innovation. Love this. Definitely going on the summertime "To-Do" list. Hope my neighbors don't freak out too badly.
Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Going Up!

Solar hot air balloon lifts off from the back yard today.

Three simple ingredients. Black bags from the dollar store. .5 mil or thinner    

Cut the ends off of four garbage bags.

Find the fold and slice the sides open.

Tape the panels together and fold in half.

Tape the two short sides.
To shape the balloon bring the two side seams together and refold the open end.  
Now tape closed.
Make a 10-15" opening by slicing off  a corner.  Reinforce the edge with tape.
Make a harness by layering two layers of tape together.  
Add a third layer leaving an overlapping sticky edge to attach to the balloon.
Tape  where the bridle attaches to reinforce.
Tie your string to the bridle.

Inflate your balloon with a fan or a hair dryer.
Do this outside or you won't fit out the door.

 Tie on the fishing line.
Set your balloon outside in the sun
And watch it rise up

 and up


and away.

More about solar hot air balloons here.
Tutorial here

On the Road Art

A familiar sight to anyone who travels up and down Route 7 in Vermont. This guy stands strong in front of Pioneer Auto Sales, a used car lot, near the town of Brandon, Vermont. He's a one-of-a-kind anywhere you'd find him, but especially here in Vermont due mainly to our strict regulations regarding signage, billboards, and roadside advertising. Makes me wonder how this one slipped through the cracks.  I mean, really. Did the zoning board not notice?  Or did they fall in love like the rest of us?
He was built in 1987 by T.J. Neil.  Mr. Neil had apparently done some work around the owner's pool and was invited to put something in front of the business. This is his vision.
It took three months to construct and a crane to lift the car to it's lofty perch.
You can hop up and sit  in his lowered hand, or place your babies there for a cute pic. you love it or hate it?

What's cool in your town?  

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Wesley Anderegg

Coffee and a Smoke, Wesley Anderegg, 2010
I love finding contemporary artists who possess the elusive little something that I call "kid appeal.  Today I'm featuring the work of Wesley Anderegg.  I really looking forward to sharing his work with students in the fall so I contacted Wesley to let him know just how much I enjoy his work, and ask him for permission to share his work with you here.  I especially like his head spinner series, which you can see in action by clicking here.  About the series he shared this..."The head spinner series actually started with a clay class for my daughter's 4-H group.  We were making candle sticks by stacking shapes on dowel rods and then putting a small dish shape on top to hold a candle.  And of course I started making people and I noticed their heads could spin because they were on a dowel."  Like those dolls that some of us may have had as a kid, you can change the expression on these figures by spinning the heads. 
Visit Wesley's website to see more of his narrative figures which are at once light-hearted and serious.  You can also read an interview with Wesley Anderegg on Connie Norman's Blog.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

More Portraits to Enjoy

 Sophia, John Brewster Jr. 

John Brewster Jr. was one of the most successful folk portrait painters of children, yet he could neither speak nor hear.  Great examples of Early 19th Century Folk Portraiture and info on artists here at
 Check it out.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Reverse Painting on Glass in Senegal

Young Woman of Marrying Age
                                                     Mor Gueye, Reverse Glass Painting, 2002Searing Collection 

Who would think reverse painting on glass would be so popular in Senegal, but apparently it has a longstanding and rich tradition.  Portraits are popular subjects and so are scenes of everyday life.  
Above are the paintings of Mor Gueye  He is the internationally recognized master of the Senegalese art of reverse glass painting and his paintings are held by many public collections worldwide.  At age 77, Mor Gueye continues to run an active studio in Dakar, Senegal where his work is avidly sought by private collectors. 
This link leads to more of Mor Gueyer's reverese glass paintings and some background on the art form. 

And helpful hints if you would like to try your hand at reverse glass painting, click here.

I can imagine my middle school kids would love this process!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Bayerena Group

In this Group: Tourmane, Diarry, Khady, Fatou, Bintou, Dianke
I monetized my blog last month and the money is rolling in...well, not exactly ROLLING, but, at least, trickling in.  Lots of folks like their blogs to be ad-free, but I had an idea floating around in the back of my mind.  I'm happy to share with you today that I'm cycling my ad earnings through KIVA, and I selected these lovely young ladies of the  Byerena Group from Senegal to be the recipient of the first KIVA loan.   My $25 donation will be added into a pool with other donors.  The  Bayerena Group will use their loan to buy tomatoes and dried hibiscus petals to sell.  
When they repay their  loan, my money will be returned to me and I may withdraw my money or lend it again.  

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Wycinanki: Polish Paper Art

Despite my Polish roots I have just discovered Wycinanki (Vee chee non kee), and I'm glad I did.  Wychinanki is the Polish art of paper cutting.  I guess I'm a pushover for symmetrical designs and bright colors because I find these designs so appealing, also a great way to teach symmetry and practice paper cutting skills with kids.  There are lots of examples of beautiful Wycinanki designs on the net.  You can find more designs at Inspire Bohemia.  
If you would like a pattern to help you get started planning a lesson, you can find a pattern to make the multi-colored style Wycinanki like the one above from the Lowicz region by clicking here
You can find the single colored style Wycinanki from the Kurpie region by clicking here.
Happy snipping!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Grater Divide, 2002

Mona Hatoum, Grater Divide, 2002. Black finished steel, 302 x 211 x 5 cm. Collection DA2 Salamanca.
"Through a simple expansion of scale Mona Hatoum transforms kitchen implements into threatening and terrifying architectures..."  read more. ~Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donna Regina
Time to cook diner!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Out of This World Art Mobiles

Our mobiles are finished and they are lovely.  Third graders created a set of (at least) three, 3-dimensional planets from the painted papers they created below.
We strung our planets together with floral wire and hooked all the ends together to make a mobile.  Rocket ships were added.  Kids quickly used what they learned to create 3-D fins for their rockets by notching and sliding the pieces together.
It was difficult to get good photos of this project because they didn't hang around long.  Kids took them home the same day.
If you would like to a planet mobile hop on over to Se7en.  Complete direction on how the planets are put together can be found there.

Kids Paint Paper for Out of This World Art

We're painting papers to make something special.

Leaf Skeleton

Here's a photo by Matt Whitwell the caption reads..."Skeleton leaf placed in a slide projector."  Pretty amazing and it got me thinking about leaf skeletons. You can find them in ponds and puddles at the end of the season, or you can make your own.
To make a leaf skeleton you will need...
Sodium Carbonate (washing soda)
4 cups of water
a pot
some green leaves (not dead)

Here's what to do...
Place 3/4 cup of washing soda into a pot with four cups of water and the leaves you have collected. Heat on the stove. Simmer for about 1 hour and 45 mins. Remove the leaves from the pot and gently rinse in a shallow pan of water.  Remove any leaf bits that remain with a soft paint brush.  Let dry. Frame your leaf skeletons or use them to make a homemade card. Or like Matt them in a slide projector and enjoy the show.