Sunday, May 28, 2017

Mixed Media Jellyfish

We studied Guy Harvey one year after I'd seen his work at the Pensacola Museum of Art. I let the classes vote on what ocean animal they wanted to create. We used the democratic process and talked about what that meant. I wrote about the sea turtles here.  (I have GOT to get around to posting/writing about/sharing the photos of that Guy Harvey exhibit!)

Here's an example of a jellyfish from that same unit. 

It is created on medium weight cream tag board. It took two sheets for each student. They created their background by drawing circles with crayons and painting with liquid watercolor. Then, they sprinkled A LOT of salt on it to get that white sparkly texture. They used the other sheet to create the top of the jellyfish shape. They added patterns to that with crayons and markers. Then, they cut old t-shirts into strips for the tentacles/arms. Regular school glue was used to hold everything together.

These were very eye-catching and also popular with the students.



My Arts Experiences Bucket List Part 2

A few weeks ago, I posted about my arts experiences bucket list. I warned you that there would be more posts about this. I have SO many things to put on that list. I bet I could post once a month for the rest of my life and still not get them all. 

So, here I go with another post... (numbers picking up where the other post left off).

4. I want to see anything by Frida Kahlo. I'd love to see IT ALL. In fact, I'd prefer to visit her blue house. As much as I love her, though, I'd settle for seeing just one of her works. Maybe I can do that this summer while I am in Boston. Apparently, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston has Dos Mujeres. 

5. My husband talks about the art in Bangkok all the time. He is from the north of Thailand, but has spent a lot of time in Bangkok. He lived and worked there for several years. Check out this link to learn about some really cool places to visit. I think this is on my Arts Experiences Bucket List mostly because of him. I have yet to visit his home country with him. I want to do that very badly, but I also really want to see this art. He talks about how much I would love it!
Photo from link above. 
6. This may be the most attainable Bucket List item so far. Well, maybe. I think it could be attainable because it is something that happens in my hometown. I don't know if my personal artwork will ever be good enough for this juried festival or not. We will see, because I am working on this one as we speak. I'd like to have a booth of my own artwork showing at the Gum Tree Festival of Art in Tupelo, MS. From there, of course, I'd like to try to do other festivals. The Gum Tree Festival is great. You should visit Tupelo during May for this event. The link has a couple of paragraphs about the history of the festival. The Gum Tree Festival is one of my favorite things about living in Tupelo. I look forward to it every year. There's something for everyone: foodies, children, visual artists, musicians, dancers, performers, truly everyone loves it! Here is a great post by a fellow TupeloBlogger Jeff Jones about the festival. Check it out. If you only have time to check out one of these links, I recommend the Jeff Jones link! The photos are from this year's festival. SaveSaveSaveSave

As always, let me know what's on your bucket list!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Easy Peasy Fish


Here's an easy and cheap art project that would be a great end-of-the-year activity. It can be finished in a few hours all in the same day.
Use leftover construction paper, magazines, and even notebook paper. Keep the engaged while you  tidy up for the summer.

Take some left over paint, any color, and paint over a magazine pager or on newspaper. Draw fish on old paper, too. We used notebook paper for these fish. Trace them with any color marker and color them. Draw some patterns on top. Look at the red fish with purple fins. This fish was colored lightly and then the patterns were drawn on top with the same exact crayon. Draw some circles on any color construction paper to look like bubbles. Cut some sea plant shapes out of the magazine papers once the paint dries. If you use a thin layer of paint, it will dry in an hour or so. Cut it all out, layer/arrange, and glue.

Voila! 




Following Directions with Kandinsky

Do you need to incorporate the Speaking and Listening Standards into your instruction? Following Directions with Kandinsky is an arts integration lesson that does just that. 

following directions with kandinsky speaking and listening for kids


When to Use This Lesson

This lesson makes a great beginning of the semester project. You can really use this to get the feel for students in a new context such as the first day of school or the first day back from a break.

I designed this to help me get a feel for my students after coming back from maternity leave. It gave me a method to assess their skills and let them practice listening and following directions. I love how the finished products all turned out differently. 

This would probably make a good end-of-the-year project, too. I've not taught it at the end of the year, but I imagine it would be something that you could use to keep the kids engaged after all those assessments are over but before school gets out!

following directions with kandinsky speaking and listening for kids

The Lesson

Students analyze a work of art by Wassily Kandinsky and discuss it with peers according to some guidelines that meet the Speaking and Listening Standards. 

The Art Project

Students follow a set of open-ended directions to draw the lines and shapes. They add color with construction paper crayons and liquid watercolor. For an added effect, students sprinkle salt onto the wet watercolor. 

I like this brand of liquid watercolors for this project. One set is enough for an entire class, and you'll have some leftover for other projects. You can also buy single bottles of just black.

I also LOVE these construction paper crayons for this project, but they are literally my favorite crayons of all time! Seriously, you'll see me writing/talking about these constantly. 


What's Great About This Lesson

  • Builds student confidence because the directions are open-ended 
  • Engaging because students get to make artistic decisions
  • Incorporates hard-to-get-to Speaking and Listening skills
  • Easy for any teacher to implement (ZERO personal art skills needed)

Where You Might've Heard About This Lesson

I presented this lesson for Education Closet's Winter Conference. I also have this lesson available in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store. 

The purchasable lesson has everything you need to teach this minus the art supplies. 
  • Lesson plan (Just copy it and send it in to admin!)
  • Templates for discussing the artwork
  • Step-by-Step Instructions for drawing (Just read to students and let them draw!)
  • Tips and Tricks for succss
  • Learning Target posters (Just print and hang!)


 Following Directions with Kandinsky on TpT


I hope you enjoy all of these beautiful images. Let me know if you decide to try it. I'd love to see photos of your student's work. 

Also, if you are interested in learning about even MORE arts integration lessons based on the work of Wassily Kandinsky, Join the Party!






following directions with kandinsky speaking and listening for kids

following directions with kandinsky speaking and listening for kids

following directions with kandinsky speaking and listening for kids

following directions with kandinsky speaking and listening for kids

following directions with kandinsky speaking and listening for kids

following directions with kandinsky speaking and listening for kids

following directions with kandinsky speaking and listening for kids

following directions with kandinsky speaking and listening for kids

following directions with kandinsky speaking and listening for kids

following directions with kandinsky speaking and listening for kids

following directions with kandinsky speaking and listening for kids

following directions with kandinsky speaking and listening for kids

following directions with kandinsky speaking and listening for kids

following directions with kandinsky speaking and listening for kids















following directions with kandinsky speaking and listening for kids














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Crystal Wagner at Cheekwood

We visited Cheekwood Botanical Gardens in Nashville a couple of weekends ago. This was an amazing contemporary installation that was there at the time. It is by Crystal Wagner. Let's all go look her up and follow all her things. 

This was breathtaking. It is also the first time I'd ever heard of Crystal Wagner. That means nothing. As much as I follow art, I still can't possibly know all of the contemporary artists. The reason I even mention that is I'm glad I learned about her. She is doing some really amazing things. 


How might we use this in our classrooms? I can see a collaborative project created with chicken wire and plastic bags or old clothes. What are your ideas?



Let's discuss. I'm eager to hear your thoughts.

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