Thursday, January 27, 2011

Inspired by Gustav Klimt

My younger students created these works based on Gustav Klimt's Tree of Life. First we drew in pencil and had to think about how to create those swirly branches! After the drawings were finished, the children added bits of shape and color with oil pastels. We talked about adding only to the tree and the ground, to make a better composition and to have nice contrast which would highlight their trees. The final step was painting with metallic tempera, to mimic Klimt's use of gold leaf in his works. I think they are outstanding! Great job little artists.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A World of Art

Last year I hung up a world map to use in class, and told myself I would start posting pictures and locations for things we studied in class. Well, that project never came to fruition, although I did point at the map a whole lot! So I made a New Year's resolution to finally map out a world of art projects.
In retrospect I think it was more successful to complete this project all at once, rather than a couple of images every now and then. I planned out a color coded design and was mindful of including male and female artists, different time periods, native and/or cultural art, different materials etc.
The kids loved it! They got a chance to reflect on past projects, recall names and styles of art, and were curious about projects they haven't worked on yet. I can't wait for my opportunity to share with hundreds of children, instead of just dozens. I know my teaching job is out there somewhere,  but until then I'm happy to share with all who learn and create at my studio.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Turkey Pinch Pots

I saw this lesson at  Deep Space Sparkle and was thrilled to give a new pinch pot idea a try. Plus I had parents talking about not having too many pieces of art that made good Thanksgiving decorations. This project seemed to fit all the criteria!

I have finally moved on from Crayola Air Dry clay, and I will never go back! Not having a kiln has made me hesitant to push on with clay projects, but it is so important to have that tactile experience, and to work three dimensionally. For this project we used Amaco air dry clay and it outperformed the Crayola by leaps and bounds.

We each worked with a baseball sized ball of clay, gently kneading it to use the warmth of our hands to soften the clay. Then each child pushed one finger into the center of their ball to create the center of the pot. We didn't thin out the walls of the pot too much, to allow for pulling the head and neck from one end and the tail feathers from the other. The beak, waddle, and wings were added with extra pieces of clay, and the children were instructed on how to score and moisten the point of contact to get it to adhere well. The turkeys were finished off with acrylic paint after they had completely dried.