Friday, February 25, 2011

William the Hippo Sculptures

I recently taught a lesson about William the Hippo, who is the unofficial mascot of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He is a small sculpture found in the Egyptian galleries, and is quite a popular artifact with museum visitors. William was found in an ancient tomb from about 4,000 years ago. Among many other objects, the hippo helps one on his journey to the afterlife. His blue color and lotus flower decoration represent the Nile River. It can also represent the celebration of the hunt. I thought, what a great idea for a sculpture project!

We worked in air dry clay, and started by forming a large fist sized ball of clay for the body, one about half that size for the headand neck, and then rolled a coil and cut it into four sections for the legs. The children then scored and wet the pieces to fuse them together and worked on forming a realistic hippo shape. After the clay was dry, we painted our "Williams" with Cerulean Blue acrylic paint. The last step was to draw on the lotus decorations with Sharpie marker. Here are images at work and of our final projects. I love them all!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Blue Dogs Inspired by George Rodrigue

Color has been an important topic lately in the studio. This lesson had the children create tempera paintings inspired by the Cajun artist George Rodrigue. His Blue Dog series has always been popular among my young students. We talked about his use of color, and how only the nose of his blue dog was left white in the paintings we viewed. The children were each given a palette to try to create colors beyond the ones poured out of the containers. They created tints and shades of blue, light greens, dark reds, browns, and yellowy oranges. The environment that their dog sat in was their choice, but it had to be filled with color as well. I can't stop looking at their lively, colorful paintings!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Inspired by The Scream

I have seen lots of lessons for Edvard Munch's The Scream, but my favorite was done at Art Projects for Kids. I loved the idea the student actually being the subject of their scream image. I had each child pose for me and I took their 'screamiest' scream picture. I then changed the images to black and white and elongated them slightly for a more expressive look. They had the choice of colored pencil or oil pastel to render the background image for their artwork. I then let them them color their figures and cut them out. We attached them to the background with foam dots to have them pop off of the page slightly.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Balloon family

Sometimes I wonder whether I am 'arting' the heck out of my own two girls, who help me experiment  with art lessons, attend some of my classes and assist with others. But lately they have been putting my concerns to rest, and just making things on their own, together and with the family. I mean really, shouldn't every family come in balloon form? Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Van Gogh Sunflower Weaving

The idea for this lesson plan came from Family Fun Magazine online. I was interested in the project for its application of weaving and 3-D art. It is also nice for my small studio because the children make and take their looms home as part of the sunflower. I had a template for them to trace and cut to create the petals of the flowers on their paper plates.

We read the book titled 'Van Gogh and the Sunflowers' to learn more about his life and inspiration. Then I used the lesson to help them create their own sunflowers. They got to decide when they had weaved enough to create the centers. I also had photo reference available for the shape and color of the leaves. 

I gave this lesson to my older and younger students, and have to say that it was more appropriate for the older kids (grades 4-8.) But since my classes are small, I was able to guide the younger ones to create great flowers too! It was also just a great project to send home to brighten up this cold, snowy winter we are having. Have a look:

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Google Art Project

 I am completely blown away by the Google Art Project just released online! I frequent museums and believe that viewing paintings in person is a worthwhile experience. But when I can use Google to walk into the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, and view one of his paintings so closely that I can melt right into the brush strokes, it is a good day to be alive! And imagine the people who don't have the mobility or means to travel the world for the luxury of these experiences. If you haven't visited yet, make sure you do! Check out the Visitor's Guide and Behind the Scenes offerings as well.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

New Year, New Studio

New classes, new opportunities, and new students are getting 2011 off to a great start. A couple of new year resolutions seemed to be in order as well. I've started to finish up the final stages of completing the studio I teach in— with lots of help from my husband. I will finally have my utility sink back, hurray! There are now shelves to hold supplies on hand like brushes, water jars and such, which frees up my counter space. We are replacing the wall to wall carpet (warm and comfy, but not good for dropped paint brushes and spills) with a more durable floor. A final cabinet was ordered, and there are a few last places to paint. I also started an art corner with art related books, puzzles and games.

The best part about the studio is it being full of children to teach!
I am so thankful for this Positive Space.