Thursday, November 18, 2010

Art Ideas for the Thanksgiving Holiday

Express your Gratitude with Art
  • Create your own place-cards for Thanksgiving dinner - leave room for each guest to draw or write something they are thankful for
  • Draw or paint a picture for a favorite relative or friend - present this to him or her and share why you are grateful to have that person in your life
  • Create a family gratitude poster - hang it in the kitchen and let people add drawings and ideas over the course of the weekend
  • Interview a family member about what his or her Thanksgiving was like as a child - draw pictures showing then and now and see what is the same and what's different
Enjoy Family Togetherness with Art
  • Be inspired by Andy Goldsworthy and take a walk (you may not have to go farther than your front yard) collecting colorful leaves - choose a color and see how many different shades of that color you can find in the leaves
  • Look around for "found art" in nature - interesting shapes in branches, beauty in the form of seed pods, see what you can notice - the photos below are a leaf that dried in a unique shape and a leaf that left a "print" on my bumper after the rain

  • Enjoy a family drawing or building night - work individually or in pairs to draw, collage, build with blocks or create with recycled materials - share your work when finished. This is a great way to discover some of the hidden creative talents in a group and a fun way to get everyone involved.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Using 2 Sides of the Paper to Tell a Story

This is the turkey and he has to go all the way around to the back of the paper... get the candy and the noodles.
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"Oil Pastels are Like Magic!"

This artist was particularly delighted with oil pastels. She liked the creamy texture and discovered a great new surprise when she tried watercolor over top and the bright vibrant colors showed through.

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Building Inspires Drawing

An avid builder in the studio, this young man set out to create a building with a selection of different blocks from our collection.
He combined wood blocks, cardboard shapes, and light table blocks to find just the right shapes for this elaborate design. His design required attention to the structure as well as the decorations - keeping it all in balance.
He chose to draw his building as a way to record and remember it - taking his artwork from the 3 dimensional building to 2 dimensional drawing and a challenge of mapping objects and space on the paper.
He worked with great detail and persistence. Below is the final drawing (with color) in the background behind the artist and his building.
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Painting with Passion

From the artist: "If you want to do one of these you have to take your brush and believe that you can have passion in it."
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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Collage Idea Board and Long Overdue Thank you

A fall project in our studio has been to create more visual teaching and inspiration materials for our artists. In a choice-based environment, students are often working in a variety of media and with a variety of subjects. Teachers as well as peers are a great resource for technical assistance and problem solving. There is also much more opportunity for students to work independently and having lots of resources available helps with this.
One idea inspired by Teaching for Artistic Behavior is the creation of menus for use in different centers in the studio classroom. Menus provide a visual reference of the materials, techniques and vocabulary young artists will use in working with a given media.
Here is an example of an idea board for collage added to the studio this fall.

Now for the (long overdue!) thank you.
This idea board was created by a group of students from Princeton University last spring as part of a spring break trip sponsored by the Pace Center for Civic Engagement. The group's focus was to gain hands-on experience with the benefits of art-making for various populations. The Pace center is the main community service organization at Princeton and sponsors service activities, internships and Breakout Princeton trips such as this one.
Photos below show some of the process of creating the collages to show a variety of uses of media and methods.

Collage work is materials-rich and can often look like quite messy when in-progress.
Here unique edged scissors and a hole punch are combined with color and texture from a recycled painting. Rolls of colorful tape form another collage in the background.
This artist cut small shapes from different colored text pages and used these to build an image.
Many thanks to the group for sharing their time and creativity with us. One participant shared, "I learned a lot on our trip, and I have so much respect for those professionals who have dedicated their lives to imparting their love of art to others."
Many thanks to Jessica Marot for her help with background information about the PACE center.