Friday, August 30, 2013

That's it... We're Moving!!

As I pestered earlier, for some unknown reason which I have tries for three months to get resolved (thank goodness I had several scheduled posts), this blog has been disabled through Weird-right? I can post here on the Blogger App but it is very limited. I would like to change the format, add resources as I learn more about this media application, which I find I am unable to on the app. Anyway... Our new location is  and it is called Antzmaniacs....continued.
See you there!!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

All American

Here is a new take on an old favorite! Our district and city collaborate on an art-inspired month known as Artober. All the schools create displays inspired by the chosen artist that is on display that year in the city. This year's artist is Norman Rockwell. Well, I learn my lesson last year that I can only stand the same artist for so many hours per day so Rockwell is inspiring grades 3&4 while K-2 focus on Americana. Who better for Kinder than Jasper Johns!? We looked at the American flag and studied the shapes and colors. This was a great time to do it as they are learning the Pledge of Allegiance.  We looked at Johns work as well as some state flag designs with the red,white, and blue color scheme ( Tennessee, Hawaii, Texas, Georgia and Mississippi). Students were asked to design a new flag using the same colors but different shapes or composition. The results were all American! For brush practice I rescued some patriotic sheet music my music teacher was recycling an had the brush the glue on. To glue the strips onto the paper. The next week we painted our designs over the strips so that our flags had hidden messages when you looked closely. I can't wait to display them!!

Monday, August 19, 2013

We've Got the Beat!

IThis year for back-to-school in-service my principal let me do something fun and artsy with my faculty. What could I do, I wondered....then it hit me...FugleFun! 
I loved Tricia's Newsweek cover that students created on the iPad ( so she coached me a little and I came up with PPE Tiger Beat!! We are the Tigers after all. I used Doodle Buddy ( I like Sketchbook express better.) to teach them to erase the background. I used a template created in Keynote and Dropbox to store work in progress! The teachers chose a prop that told something about their personality to have in the picture. For many, it served as an inspiration for the titles. 
The finished covers graced our staff board to welcome students back with the title, "We've Got The Beat!" Needless to say, it was a hit!!

We brainstormed ways that teachers could use a design lesson like this in their classrooms. Some ideas were book reviews, all-about-me student pages, playbills for student driven productions, and even begging reports to showcase facts collected!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sorry for the time-out

Just checking in...I have had some technical difficulty with blogspot. Consider this a "test post" to see if I can post in Blogger because my blog seems to be disabled through the website. If you are reading this, more content to follow!! What can I is a love-hate relationship!!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Stand Strong with Art

This was a project I did for my church's VBS. Our theme was Kingdom Rock, Kids Standing Strong for God. So as the "art lady" I chose several activities that were somewhat medieval that we could do in 20 minutes or less. This was on the day that  "Friends and Family helps us stand strong". We talked about who gave us our names and how some children were named for someone in their family or a close family friend. Some students were named after friends from the Bible too. They created their names similar to illuminated manuscripts. 

Once they were finished we pinned them to a king size flat sheet like bricks in a wall because walls "stand strong". The wall hung in our church the week after VBS and the following Sunday students could collect their names on the way out of mass. It is a great way to show how many children participated in VBS and for the parishioners  to see what the parish children are learning and creating during VBS through art. The children were so proud of the work they did and they loved find and see his or her name on the wall! 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Summer Memories

I love Art Camp. I can teach anything I want with what ever I want.

This year one of the things we made were Memory Bottles. I discovered a book by that title and fell in love. The story is about a boy who's elderly neighbor has a mysterious shed. I love the illustrations of all the beautiful forms.

We used Cloud Clay with a form inside, such as paper cups or leftover yarn cones, just what ever I had that seemed to match the children's form. They coiled around the form to create the bottle and created a fancy "stopper" for the top (if they wanted to). Before the bottle was closed they put a memory inside. This could be done with his or her imagination ( a thought was caught in the bottle) or by writing the memory down on paper and sealing it in the bottle.

Once the bottle was dry-ish, which takes a little extra time because the moisture is trapped inside, they were painted with Acrylic Glitter medium mixed with liquid water color. 

The results were magical! I know that the students will remember this camp long after the bottle itself is gone!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Elevating the Arts

First let me say that I am not a lover of contests when it comes to art. I do not care for poster contests and trash art contests whose themes are often shallow and superficial. But this last spring break I read about a contest that truly inspired me. It was sponsored by Americans for the Arts and American Girl Doll and the directive was to create a collaborative work of art with students that shows how art is at the center of learning, or how art is valued in your school. Five volunteer fourth grade students served as our creative core and we started creating our mural installation.

 “Our mural is about how art is all around us.” Mallory explains to a teacher as we install our work in the library. “See how the seeds spread and turns into ideas? Art is like that. It is everywhere.”

Each of the balloons show an area of life that is effected by art. Our food, technology, design of clothing and maps, music marketing, religious imagery, and so much more.

The five 4th grade students who served as the creative core of our mural team agreed that they should include a quote to better explain the impact art has on our school and our world.

“Everything you can imagine is real! The idea (of Picasso's quote) matched our picture so well.” Olivia commented during the discussion about which quote to use.  “Art gives us so much freedom to think and dream of things no one has ever seen before. Plus, it is really fun!” 

Teachers often comment about how excited learners are when they have the opportunity to be creative and expressive in the classroom. With so many high-stakes tests, most schools are pulling out of the arts, but our school is committed to making sure our students are the best, the brightest and the most creative by supporting the arts program.

The national winner of the contest will receive $10,000 for his/her school, so it was a gamble I was willing to take with my time. But, like they say, "Many will enter. Few will win." We will have to wait until October to find out the results but we already feel like winners. The principal showed the installation on the morning video announcements and recognized our creative team for their efforts.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

"You're My Hero!" Hero Portrait Quilts

This enduring theme was Heroes. I launched this unit with 4th grade to get them to look at character. At the time I taught this unit, our school had a group of students that were bused in from one of the toughest housing developments in the city. I targeted them, but I really wanted all my students to think about what made a "true hero". I wanted them to see that just because someone is famous or rich does not necessarily make them a hero. You know what I am talking about. A beautiful voice or face does not make you a hero, a beautiful soul and a giving heart does. How do you teach that?

Students made a list of people they thought were heroes. Then we came up with a definition of what a hero is, as directed by the students. Then they took another look at the list of people they had made. They were surprised to cross out their favorite celebrities and to add parents, neighbors, teachers, coaches.
Payton Manning
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

We created felt no-sew portraits by layering felt. They brought in or I printed images of the people they wanted to honor. When the quilts were assembled (I don't sew so we used tacky glue.) they hung for Youth Art (March) in the hallway that connects the Tennessee Tower (where our law makers have their offices) with the TN Capitol building (which they walk through every day that time of year). The smaller "quilts" contain coordinating paragraphs that match the portraits explaining who is depicted and why the student considered that person a hero. We were scheduled to take a field trip that March to visit the capitol and see the quilts installed but we were snowed out.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Meet Abby Fabulous!

Meet my ewe, Abby Fabulous! That's her with the pink beehive hair-do. Isn't she absolutely fabulous?

Today is her birthday as she was born at the Renaissance Center in Dickson, TN at the Middle Tennessee Art Education Association Summer Workshop. Great Job, Andrea Steele!!
As you may have guessed I took the felting workshop today, which was one of three amazing art-making opportunities. Encaustic and mixed media where the other two offerings and I wish I could have done all of them! But, life is all about choices so let me share some of my "handy work" with you. 
So this is my teacher, textile artist and really fun lady, Troy Lacey. 

 Abby and her ewe buddies. Aren't they all so cute!! We made them with needle felting.

 This is my rock. Don't laugh. I can make another ewe with this rock once it is dry. We also made beads with wet felting. They are drying now in the AC vent. 
 This is a needle felted composition. I call it Mint-Chocolate Fa-ling-go. No, it's not a type-o, it is how my 4 year old says flamingo. Isn't that cute!
This is Kim's humming bird. I love how she made the wings pop out!

 This is what my beads will look like once they dry. I can't wait to go get some spacing beads! Fun!

 So here are some of the raw materials we used as well as some the books Troy shared with us. 

 The sponge was used under the felt so we could poke it with the very sharp needles, which magically connects the wool fibers to make quite a strong connection. Plus it is really fun (I know, "fun" and "cute" should be banned after this post but is was so...both!!). The needles are ridiculously sharp so don't look away or even talk too much or you will bleed all over your project. When I figure out how to safely do this with my elementary kiddos, I will let you know. In the mean time I will be looking for another felting class to take. Yes, Troy, you have created another addict!!