Thursday, April 28, 2011

Folk Art Tissue Birds with Maud Lewis and Grandma Moses

DISCUSSION: folk Art: 
what is folk art? art without formal training
are we folk artists? 
Look at our two examples of folk art
how are they the same?
how are they different?
Maud lewis 
Maud Lewis  1903-1970
Nova Scotia, Canada
Born in Ohio
She suffered from disabilities as a result of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
lived most of her life in poverty with her husband in Marshalltown. 
he began her artistic career by hand-drawing Christmas cards. 
These proved popular with her husband's customers as he sold fish door to door and encouraged her to begin painting. 
She used bright colors in her paintings and subjects were often of oxen teams, horses, or cats. 
All of her paintings are of outdoor scenes. 
Her house was one-room with a sleeping loft and is now located in the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax.
Most of Maud Lewis' paintings are quite small - often no larger than eight by ten inches
She is known to have done at least three paintings 16 inches by 20 inches. 
Her technique consisted of first drawing an outline and then applying paint directly out of the tube. 
She never mixed colors.
She painted on everything in the home as she often did not have enough money to buy supplies
for additional information, please visit:
Anna Mary Robertson Moses (September 7, 1860 – December 13, 1961), 
better known as "Grandma Moses", was a renowned American folk artist
She is often cited as an example of an individual successfully beginning a career in the arts at an advanced age
She did not start painting until she was 7-0
Began painting to give as gifts she said it was easier then cooking a present.
sold her paintings for $2 and $3 dollars.
Although her family and friends called her either "Mother Moses" or "Grandma Moses," she first exhibited as "Mrs. Moses," yet the press eagerly dubbed her "Grandma Moses," which stuck." [1] 
LIFE magazine celebrated her 100th birthday by featuring her on its September 19, 1960 cover.
for additional information, please visit:
PROJECT: create folk art inspired bird drawing with tissue paper
Step1: brush onto your page a mixture of glue and water
Step2: place in pre-cut squares of all different tissue paper
slightly overlapping edges is good but don’t overlap too much
Step3: fill your page with the tissue
Step4: using squeeze bottle squeeze in a bird on top of your tissue
circle for the head
oval for the body
half circles for wings
rectangle for tail feather
triangle for the beak
small circle for the eye
add a heart in the middle if you like.
MATERIALS: tissue, water and glue mixture, black glue mixture in squirt bottle.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Chenille Stem Mesh Kandinsky Art

DISCUSSION: Line, Shape, Color.
Line: go over each and talk about how they might make us feel
Angled or curved
Shape: go over several geometric shapes again and talk about how it makes them feel? circle vs. square
Organic shapes: more free, of nature not so regimented.
Color: go over colors again and talk about how they make us feel. Red vs. blue etc.
Expressionist artwork: Expressionism was a cultural movement, initially in poetry and painting, originating in Germany at the start of the 20th century. Its typical trait is to present the world in an utterly subjective perspective, radically distorting it for emotional effect, to evoke moods or ideas. Expressionist artists sought to express the meaning of "being alive" and emotional experience rather than physical reality.
for additional information please visit:
Wassily Kandinsky 
Russian Painter
Taught art in Munich Germany for ten years
Moved to Paris in 1933 became a citizen in 1939
He was excited by COLOR as a child
He related painting to playing music
Credited with painting the first modern abstract
for additional information please visit:
PROJECT: Create chenille stem “paintings” with plastic mesh canvas
Step1: using black stems add in a strong (angles or curves) line somewhere on your canvas
Step2: now add two geometric shapes in different colors
step3: add one organic shape in a third color
Step4: think about your color choices as you begin to fill in the remainder as you see fit
add more shapes, lines, color, pattern etc.
Step5: the canvas must be filled in all the way
chenille stems in every color and black
dick blick mesh canvas

The end result is a large mesh quilt. All student art is quilted together for the art show. 

I adapted this cool project from a dick blick lesson plan:

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Slotted Sculptures with Henri Matisse

Two/Three week project

Week 1

What is pattern? What do we need to create pattern? repetition
Where do we see patterns in everyday life? clothing, wallpaper
Look at the Matisse work:  Odalisque in Red Trousers
what do you see in this piece
is there pattern, how many?
can we create a story for what is happening?
Did he use  live model for this work? or is this a still life?
what do her face and arm say about her mood?
Now look at Goldfish from 1911
        what do you see in the piece
        do you like the colors? are there complementary colors?
        do you see a pattern
        let's make up a story about what might be happening in the piece.
ARTIST: Henri Matisse 1869-1954

French Painter,
Studied law until he was 21
Mother gave him a paint box after surgery and he discovered painting
In 1891 set off for Paris. 
Matisse began his journey of studies which ultimately lead him to his love of line, shape and color. 
Matisse felt that his greatest influence had been the work of the artist Cezanne (1839 – 1906, French). 
In the 1950‘s, Matisse began creating paintings using paint and paper cut outs. 
In his last years, as he aged and fell ill, Matisse continued to paint, this time on the walls of his room, using a piece of charcoal attached to the end of a bamboo pole. He painted until his death in 1954. 
Matisse had strong feelings about only one thing, the act of painting. 
The purpose of these pictures, he always asserted, was to give pleasure. 
For Matisse, painting was the rhythmic arrangement of line and color on a flat plane. 
Light was expressed, not in the method of the Impressionists, but with a harmony of intensely covered surfaces. 
For additional information please visit:

step 1: grab one piece of tag board from the materials table
step2: with a pencil draw the shape of each side of your vase, from top to bottom on each side do not draw along the top or the bottom. 
not too skinny, but fill your page

Step3: Let’s work together now to recreate the fish bowl
Step1: draw an oval in the middle of your vase
Step2: now draw two lines down either side of that oval
Step3: Now draw a curved line at the bottom of those two lines connecting them creating your fish bowl
Step4: Now add your fish  inside the bowl
Step5: draw a circle under your bowl for a table top that the bowl is sitting on add legs at the bottom
Step6: add a pattern behind your bowl: polka dots, stripes, etc.
Step7: You can also add plants if you like like matisse
Step8: now that you have drawn all the details spend the rest of your time coloring them in. 
Remember the lessons in color you have learned.
Step9: fill in the first vase with pattern: stripes, dots, zig zags TAKE YOUR TIME.

tag board, 
oil pastels, 

Wild Fauves: (French for "the wild beasts"), a short-lived and loose group of early twentieth-century Modern artists whose works emphasized painterly qualities and strong colour over the representational or realistic values retained by Impressionism. While Fauvism as a style began around 1900 and continued beyond 1910, the movement as such lasted only a few years, 1904–1908, and had three exhibitions.[1][2] The leaders of the movement were Henri Matisse and AndrĂ© Derain.[1]
for additional information, please visit:
Discussion: Collage
Matisse called Collage Painting with scissors
when he was 72 he was so ill he could not stand up to paint 
He would paint paper with paint gouache (gwash) (heavy watercolor) and then cut shapes from them
He then had assistants help to place the shapes on the walls of his studio
He called this last 14 years of his career his second life.
Let’s take a look:
Icarus, 1947
What do you see?
What colors did he use? and what does that help tell you about the subject?
what is the dominant color? and positive space?
What is happening in the positive space?
second piece: what is happening in this work
Very simple: what color does he choose, why?
what do the shapes tell you?
PROJECT: RECREATE matisse’s Icarus
Step1: using your vase from last week cut out a second vase from tag board
Step2: choose a background color in construction paper and cut a third vase
Step3: glue this vase onto the first vase creating a full color background like matisse.
Step4: begin to cut a shape from the black construction paper that resembles Icarus, This is where you paint with scissors. 
Step5: Glue your icarus onto you vase
Step7: Cut out the stars like matisse, think about your color choices
Step8: add the little heart accent on the chest of your Icarus
Step9: on the back Cut and glue a pattern from construction paper. Could be circles, squares, lines.
Construction paper in all colors
Scissors Glue


I adapted this project from one I found on Dick Blick. for additional information and many awesome lesson plans, please visit:

Monday, April 4, 2011

Donut Sculpture with Wayne Theibaud

DISCUSSION:  Clay: what is it? Where does it come from?
what can you make with it?
when you make things with clay are they flat like paper?
Look at Wayne Thiebaud's work Cupcakes and Donuts
What colors did he use?
What does the painting remind you of?
What might the location smell like?
Is it somewhere you would like to visit?
How many donuts did he paint? one?

ARTIST: Wayne Thiebaud 
(born November 15, 1920) 
He is an American painter 
whose most famous works are of cakes, pastries, boots, toilets, toys and lipsticks
He is associated with the Pop art movement because of his interest in objects of mass culture,
 although his works, executed during the fifties and sixties, slightly predate the works of the classic pop artists. 
Thiebaud uses heavy pigment and exaggerated colors to depict his subjects
well-defined shadows characteristic of advertisements are almost always included in his work.

Week One: roll your clay in a ball and then slowly push your thumbs through the center and flatten to create the look of a donut with a hole in the center

Before you kiln them: underglaze the donuts with a donut color. Then run a bisque fire.

Week Two: Glaze the donuts with donut glaze like colors: chocolate, strawberry, clear glaze.

Glaze fire them in the kiln

Week Three: using gloss acrylics all stripes and polka dots for details.
OR: leave them rustic
OR: add colored wire and beads to make sprinkles as in the photo example below:

donut colored glazes
gloss acrylics
wire and beads.

Pattern Flags with Jasper Johns

Discussion: what is pattern? we talked about it last time we were together. 
Where do we see it?
What makes a pattern: repetition. 
what does it mean to repeat something?
to do it again and again
Look at Jasper Johns painting of the flag
where do we see repetition?
what do you think Jasper Johns is trying to say with this piece?
        How many stars are on each flag? Why?
        How many stripes? Why?
   Is this piece Flat?
       How does it have form?

ARTIST: Jasper Johns
American contemporary artist who works primarily in painting and printmaking
Jasper Johns grew up in Allendale, South Carolina
Recounting this period in his life, he says, "In the place where I was a child, there were no artists and there was no art, so I really didn't know what that meant. I think I thought it meant that I would be in a situation different than the one that I was in." 
Johns was raised, primarily, by relatives after he was abandoned by his mother. 
He began drawing when he was three and has continued doing art ever since
Best Known for his painting of the Flag
Associated with Pop artists
He seemed to be seeking to create meaning solely through the use of conventional symbols.
Preparation: cut card stock in half and then one half in fourths to get all the paper for this project
Step1: hand each student the 3 sheets of paper in the 3 sizes ask them to put their names on each sheet
Step2: on each of you students three sheets of paper they should paint the top left corner blue
Step2: one each of the three sheets of paper, the students should paint red stripes by the blue and down the page?
set them all aside to dry
WEEK 2: 
Step1: add stars to the blue area for all three paintings
Step2: glue a craft stick diagonally across the back of the smallest flag painting
Step3: glue that craft stick to the front of the medium size painting
Step4: on the back of the med size painting, glue on three craft sticks
Step5: Add glue to those three craft sticks and glue them to the front of the largest.

Three sheets of white card stock in whole, half and fourth sizes
Blue and red paint
Paint brushes
foil star stickers
Craft sticks