Showing posts with label art teacher. Show all posts
Showing posts with label art teacher. Show all posts

Monday, February 12, 2018

Abstract Painting in First Grade

Last week, my first graders, who I see for 30 minutes twice a week, spent one class learning as much as they could about Wassily Kandinsky, abstract art, non-objective vs. objective and painting to music...all in 30 minutes. Whew! It was fast and furious. Here's a peak into our lesson and time together. 
My students absolutely LOVED this lesson and I cannot wait to share with you what our plan is for our paintings. In the meantime, I've been asked a lot what supplies we used for this lesson. Let's start with the paper. I ALWAYS buy 80lbs paper because it's the best paper for everything: watercolor paint, tempera, collage, you name it. I purchase about 4 reams a year for my 350 students.
 My go-to watercolor pan watercolor is Crayola's Mixing Colors. I only order the refill sets, never new sets. I order the following colors: magenta, red, red-orange, yellow, green, turquoise, blue, blue-violet and purple.
 My VERY favorite oil pastels for resist are the florescent oil pastels by Sargent. All of the supplies mentioned can be found in your art supply catalog. 
 If you watch my video, you'll notice I do A LOT of call and response. It's my number one teaching tool...I probably use it to a fault! However, it's a great way for me to keep my students attention, teach vocabulary and have them retain information and directions. It also WORKS WONDERS for my English language learners...they LOVE repeating after me!
 Also...can we talk about what amazing abstract artists these guys are?! Holy cats! I am seriously thinking of printing their paintings on some fabric. I need these masterpieces as a dress, y'all!
 I'm so excited to share with you what the master plan is for these...so be sure and stay tuned!
 What are your favorite ways to teach kiddos about abstract painting? Do you have a favorite artist that you like to introduce your students to? I'd love to know!
 Thank you for letting me share these amazing abstract masterpiece by first grade with y'all. I hope they make you as happy as they make me!
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Sunday, February 11, 2018

DIY: Needle Felted Rainbow Dress

I'm pretty certain that at some point, with all the rainbows of color, I'm going to just blend right in with my art room and the kids will no longer be able to find me. Rainbow is the new camouflage, says me.

Now, if y'all have followed the progression of this needle felted rainbow dress (that's right, this whole thing is needle felted, y'all), then you know we MUST talk about Paintbrushgate...
See, originally, I had wanted the dress to appear as though there was a paintbrush painting a rainbow. I really REALLY loved the idea and really REALLY wanted it to work but it just wasn't. And I couldn't figure out what was wrong. So I posted to my friends on my Instagram. Everyone was super sweet and, thankfully, honest when they saw what I failed to.



HOLY CATS! WHAT?! I was like one of those cartoons where the character rubs their eyes and then finally sees the giant train heading right at 'em. I immediately removed the paintbrush and the bristles (let's face it, they were the true culprit in Paintbrushgate) and decided to ditch the brush idea entirely. At least for this dress. I do still LOVE the idea and have created a more details sketch with better placement options (ahem) for next time. 
 Here's what the dress looked like with the brush removed and the new roving just tacked down. This is before I'd run the dress through my needle felting machine which further tacks down the roving. That's why the dress looks a little misshapen and lumpy. Once tacked down and ironed, the dress no longer has that stretched out look. In the end, it really reminded me of the work of Jen Stark whose image you see on the right. 
 Now the other thing that was a bit tricky with this dress was the placement of the curves. This gray dress was actually one I found at Old Navy and is a big large for me. I like it because it's different from the usually fitted and flaired dresses I wear. However, the shift shape of this dress doesn't really do much for a gal's figure. So I had to make sure that the roving kinda accented my curves. Well, let's be honest, I don't have much by way of curves...so I needed a dress to create the illusion that I do. 
 Especially when I stand like this, BAM! Don't ask, I have no idea what I'm doing. Ever. 
 I will say this, without the advice of my online buddies, I just might be wearing an accidental inappropriate dress. 
 If you've been hanging around this blog for a while, then you know needle felting clothing is my jam. If you are interested in learning more, I've got tons of info on this hear blog, including how-to videos. Just use that search bar thingie over to your right and you'll find all sorts of needle felting information.
 Of course, now that my art room is an explosion of rainbows, it makes a pretty sweet backdrop for photos. I was getting a lil tired of standing in front of that giant painting in our house anyway. 
 There are still little parts that I could go back and tweak. Places where the lines aren't as smooth as I would like. When I run it through my needle felting machine, that thing is kind of a monster as it just kind of chews the fabric. It's not for delicate work and sometimes things get moved around a pinch. 
 But I'm not one of those artists who goes back and reworks something. When I say done, it's done...and I'm all WHAT'S NEXT?! Not sure yet...but I know it won't have a paintbrush in an unfortunate place! 

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Saturday, February 3, 2018

In the Art Room: Romero Britto-Inspired Hearts in First grade!

Hey, y'all! This blog post is brought to you by my (and my students!) newfavorite things:

* Bingo Dotters (Daubers?) filled with India ink

We had a blast with this lesson. So much so that when I shared on my Instagram, I got lots of questions. I thought I'd create a short video tutorial for your and your kiddos! Here you go:

Please pardon my nasally voice as I'm currently losing a fight with a head cold. I blame the children.
 I have 30 minute art classes with my wee-ones. We managed to crank these out even after watching a video about Britto and reviewing lines, shapes and patterns. I was so loving the direction they were going so far.
 The following art class, we learned all about bleeding tissue paper magic. This had the kids very excited. I encouraged them to use either warm or cold colors in each section. Some did and some didn't. It's first grade, y'all. They do what they want. 

 These hearts are HUGE. We created them on 18" squares. So, by the third art class, some had a little bit more tissue-papering to do and some did not. So I introduced the idea of the paint sticks. I really let the kids do what they wanted in the background...it was a new medium for them and I really wanted to see what they would come up with.
 By our fourth and final 30 minute art class, I still had some kids wrapping up their masterpieces. My early finishers set to work with their paint makers. They added pattern to GIANT hearts that I drew on multi colored bulletin board paper.
 I hot glued their giant hearts together and added them to our heart display!
 Ugh, still need to get some signage up there!
Such a fun lesson, I had to share! Have fun!
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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

How to Teach Paper Weaving!

I'll never forget my first year teaching. It was: wonderful, traumatizing, exciting, nerve-wracking and, most of all, a HUGE learning curve! I'll never forget seeing "weaving" in my first grade curriculum and breaking into a sweat. I'd gotten a C in fibers in college (which is so funny as fibers are my favorite thing!) BECAUSE OF MY WEAVING! When warping that big ole loom, I missed a couple of warps. Instead of going back and fixing my mistake, I thought, "eh, that professor will never notice." Little did I know that it'd leave a huge run all the way down the length of my weaving that seemed to scream, "THIS SLACKER DESERVES A C!" And a C I got.

I remember introducing weaving to my first graders that year and a boy named Jonathan shouted out, "Weaving's for GIRLS and I ain't doing it!" It was then that I realized I had to make weaving (and teaching in general) fun, silly, wacky and engaging. For all my learners, boys and girls. The thing is, he turned out to be my best weaving and biggest fan of the medium. As most boys do!

Introducing kids to weaving is something that I've been doing now for 18 years...and this lesson hasn't changed all that much. I read the same book, show them how to make a loom on the first day and we weave on the next. I know so many teachers struggle with weaving. The key is, introducing them to weaving with a simple paper weaving. Once they understand the concept, they'll take off like a weavin' rocket ship. 

I thought I'd record my two thirty minute classes. Here's what we did on the very first day: creating our looms!
Here are some must-have visuals that I always use: thrift store weavings and looms; my GIANT paper loom made from laminated paper; my Goat in the Rug book.
I also love having the roving for the kids to see and touch. Normally, I'll pass it around but I had forgotten to check with the nurse for allergies so I held off on this day.
This here is my FAVORITE book on weaving and the kids absolutely love it! After we create our looms, we sign them and await the following day's weaving adventure:
If you'd like more info on paper weaving, you might enjoy this video. It will explain the process more:
Here's how we went about cutting our looms and how I explained it...

I'll keep you posted on just what we are doing with our weavings...I'm really excited and cannot wait to share. I have a TON of weaving projects both on my YouTube channel (just search my Fibers playlist) and right here on my blog. Happy Weaving!
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Thursday, January 18, 2018

DIY: Latch Hook Jacket!

In case latch hooking a mini rug and sewing it to the back of a jean jacket wasn't the first clue...I have cabin fever! I'm currently on my SEVENTH day off in a row after we got some snowy weather here in the South. Y'all know, we Southern Lilies cannot handle that white powdery stuff and it just shuts our town down. I've been knitting, needle felting, and latch hooking since. It's been GLORIOUS...but with this DIY, I'm starting to question my sanity. 
 When bad weather is predicted in these here parts, everyone makes a mad dash to the grocery store. I happened to pop in to get my staples (cat food and a bottle of wine. Pretty sure nothing says pathetic more than that!) when I was practically run down by carts filled with Wonder Bread and gallons of milk. What EXACTLY does one do with that much bread and milk? Are milk sammies a thing?
 Me, when bad weather hits, I skip the grocery and head to the craft store. My provisions are CRAFTS!! I know I'm gonna need something to occupy my hands. So I hit the craft store with the idea of knitting a rainbow scarf rolling around in my head. After piling my cart full of Roy G. Biv yarn-i-ness, I turned a corner and spotted a whole aisle of these: LATCH HOOK KITS!
I grew up in the best era: the 80's. Crafting was all the rage and I was a huge fan. One of my faves? Latch hooking. I can still remember sitting on my babysitter's couch, latch hooking a mushroom in all those horrible 80's browns and greens while watching MTV. I remember they played that video for Madness' Our House about 20 times a day. I can still see it in my head!
Even my parents caught the latch hook rug and made a huge red rug with a bright orange running tiger across it. It sat in between their dresser and their waterbed (omg! Why was that a thing?!) for years. 
I never did finish my mushroom rug but I managed to complete this guy in just a couple nights. I had EVERY intention of taking this to school, showing the kids how to do it and adding it to my early finishers fibers area...but when I got the call for another snow day, I couldn't stop myself! When I bought it, I thought it would be fun to hang in the art room as a reference for TEXTURE (and I still plan to do that!)...but, in all my cabin fever wisdom, I decided to add it to the back of a jacket instead.
The final design, only being 8" square, was not as big as I would have liked to fill the back panel of the coat. So I added 8 additional rows: two turquoise and two indigo, both at the top and the bottom. This filled the space completely. I did have to cut the yarn to that certain size to hook which was a slight drag...but not that bad. 
 
 From there, I just used a super sharp needle and some super strong thread and stitched it to the back of the jacket. Easy! Right after this photo, Asha the cat came over and planted herself right here. IT'S A COAT, KITTY! NOT A RUG! NOW MOVE, I GOTTA VACCUM IT!




Alright, be honest: is this crazy or what?!
Not gonna lie, it's warm and certainly easy on the back when I sit down. Kinda like giving a panda a piggy back ride. 
Pretty sure I'm gonna be getting a lot of back rubs from the kids for this one!
Now, don't judge...I already have designs on hooking a Mona Lisa coat! Okay...time for me to leave the house. Fresh air and human contact might do me some good. 

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