Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Pinterest is great because...

Pinterest is great because it lets you pin the ideas you may spontaneously have about things but don't quite have the time to record them somewhere.  For all of us visual learners this is an especially good tool because all we need is a picture to jog our memories.  I had read a post on Art with Mr. E. where he started a pin board of books he's used in his art room and I thought to myself  "what a great idea! Why didn't I think of that?"  Now instead of keeping a list of books typed on a Word document, I have my pin board.  If you have time check it out...I've been searching around a few other books in art education boards and have posted a few books that look really interesting.  Children's books are so inspiring and what better a way to integrate art into English language arts than by using some great  'artsy' books?
Pinterest Site:


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Did I mention I was feeling crafty?

It doesn't happen too often, I do paint and draw but in terms of 'crafts' I don't usually embark on too much.  However, now that I have my own house, I find I'm doing more and more crafty things like window treatments, flower arrangements, frame decorations, photography, etc. In this instance it was wreath making....

I have a cape and its sort of country-looking to me, so I was fishing around for idea for some type of Spring themed wreaths to hang on my door, not liking most of the typical flower wreaths I came across a few yarn wreaths I thought were quite interesting and decided to try my hand at a yarn embellished wreath.  I have to give credit to Blue Sky Confections for her fantastic paper plate flower wreaths and the FANTASTIC step by step way she shows the reader how to make these nifty little blooms.  I basically took some inspiration from what I had seen from yarn wrapped wreaths and her idea and combined them.  All in all the wreath ended up costing about 20 bucks.  My only mistake was my overuse of hot glue, lol.  My house faces north and because it gets beat on by the sun all day the hot glue actually re-melted and ran a bit on spot of the wreath making it visible.  I'm going to go back in and add some beads over the glue spots that ran, but other than that I think it came out pretty dam good for a first attempt!  I'm already thinking of things I can do for a summer wreath!

If you'd like to see some pictures of wreaths that inspired this one you can click on the link to my Pinterest page entitled Home At Last

Monday, March 12, 2012

1st Grade Kustav Klimt Prints

After doing a bit of brainstorming and since I had had a bunch of my printmaking supplies out for my second graders, I decided to do a printmaking project with my first graders.  We examined and discussed Gustav Klimt's 'Tree of Life' and I emphasized a few key ideas that included:
1. Symbolism: the symbol as a picture representation of an objects and ideas.  
2. Scale: how artists change the size of objects to depict their importance in their work.
3.  The way Klimt created his tree to make it look as if the branches are growing right off the page.  

Here's how the lesson broke down: 
Day 1: I introduced the work and we examined and discussed it. I showed students how to draw a tree using swirls, wavy lines, and even concentric circles to represent swirls for students who have difficulty drawing. Students used dry erase boards and markers to practice. Towards the end of class I introduced Styrofoam plates and how to use a pen to draw 'into' them, making the lines deep and wide. 
Day2: Students practiced again (as needed) and then began drawing their trees onto the Styrofoam.  At the end of class I did a demonstration on printmaking.
Day 3: I demonstrated how to create a print and then had students make prints on their own. 
Day 4: I showed the students a brief PowerPoint on Klimt and we discussed symbols in art. Students were given metallic markers, glitter pens, and fluorescent markers and decorated the borders of their colored frame, extending the branches of their tree out past the printing surface.

In terms of the printmaking aspect of the lesson I had tried a few different printing inks in both black and brown only to be dissatisfied with the ones I had in my storage closet and ended up using black tempera which is pretty challenging to make prints with due to its quick drying time.  I have yet to find a good printing ink for Styrofoam that isn't overly sticky, doesn't flake like crazy when dry, and is light enough for students to use but bright enough to make great prints. What brand of printing ink do you use in your elementary classroom?