Monday, September 30, 2013

Art is NOT Cat Throw Up!

You will understand the title by the end of this post, I promise!
I like to change up my hallway displays each year. Maybe I will bring back a version of the circle tree next year. We'll see!
This is one of the showcases we have near our cafeteria. It is designated for me to display student work, but we usually don't have anything ready for the first few months of school, so I decided to decorate it. I was inspired by another art teacher's showcase, which I found on Pinterest.

The backdrop is made of 4 plastic tablecloths bought at Wal-Mart for a dollar each.

The music teacher also added some items so that it became an "Arts" showcase.

I added the bird (one of my signature birds- see the painting below) on the outside of the showcase.

Quotes about the arts complete the design.

These are the poms that were above my tables last year and some cupcake liner covered lanterns leftover from Prom.


I am sharing one of my paintings so you can see my signature bird.

The display is in the hallway outside my art room. I reuse the letters each year. The circles are recycled from the Kandinsky-esque tree I had on display a few years ago.

On the other wall outside my art room is this display. The first photo shows how it looked on the first day of school. I added the words "Art Is" and "Art Is Not" and had the kids complete the sentences on a piece of paper and hang them. I have seen this idea all over Pinterest- not sure where it originated!

 This is what it looked like at the end of the week with over 500 students' ideas added.

A closer view.

Some of my favorite thoughts from the kids.

Last, but not least... Art is NOT cat throw up. Ah, yes. There it is.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

My Art Room-The Latest Version, 2013

I am finally getting around to posting photos of my art room this year. I try to change things up each year, just to keep it fresh. You can view last year's version here. Gone are the pennants and tissue poms above the tables. The fire marshall put an end to those. However, I think this year's version turned out just fine, thanks largely in part to the bright table coverings.

 This display is to the right when you first walk in to the art room. We have to display our student objectives or "I Can" statements, which are based on the Ohio state fine art standards.

The I CANs are held up using Stikki-Clips and are easily changed. I may be blogging about the I CANs specifically soon, so keep an eye out for those.

Below the I CANs are the art project charts that I use to show the art projects we have worked on, are currently working on, and will work on next. The kids have stopped asking me what we are doing every time they enter the room! You can download the charts here. (Just scroll down a bit.)

This is obviously my desk area,  but it is also my little nook where I have just about everything within reach. It was challenging to figure out a way to stick my desk in that corner (computer hook-up is there) without blocking the kiln room door.

Many of us use the ART letters as a classroom management tool. If the class is too loud, they lose a letter. If the lose them all, no ART. I rarely take any letters away. My classes are pretty well behaved.

A panoramic view. I LOVE the bird rug my cousin bought for me.

Once I was told I couldn't have anything hanging from the ceiling, it was back to the drawing board trying to show the different table colors. I came up with this solution, but time will tell if they survive constant use. I bought bright tablecloths from the store for around $1 each. Then, I went to Jo-Ann and bought clear vinyl by the yard- two yards per table. With all the coupons and discounts, I ended up spending under $20 for all six tables!  (Side note: what a horrible photo! The yellow table is crooked, the cabinet door is is open, and there is a box leaned against the counter, but my room won't be this clean again for a looong time, so I guess this will have to do!)

I covered the tables and wrapped the edges like a gift and taped them in place. I have had some minor holes and tears, which I am patching with clear packing tape. We also use large placemats to further protect the tables. I will have to post photos at the end of the year so you can see how they wore.

I also placed a number on each corner of the table so I can assign jobs easily.

Table buckets contain the most used art supplies, all color coordinated.

And, that is about it! Most of the rest of the room remains the same, which you can view on the link posted above. I really enjoy seeing other art room set-ups, so leave me a comment with a link to photos of your room by Friday, October 4 and I will enter you in a special giveaway!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Summer Honors Academy- Lots of Lesson Ideas!


I was aked once again to teach Honors Academy this summer for one week. The Academy consists of students who have been nominated by their teachers to attend. They are then given several choices of classes to take for the week. My class was entitled "Fearless Art" and I had about 15 students. Here are some of the projects we created during that week.

Gel Glue Batik (as seen above)

* Cotton cloth (we used bandanas that are sold in packs of 10 from Wal-Mart), but t-shirts would work also.
* Elmer's blue gel glue- MUST be gel glue or it won't rinse out
* pencil
* acrylic paints
* paint brushes

Step 1:
Draw a design on the bandana using pencil. This will wash out later, so don't worry about leaving lines. Add patterns to any wide open spaces to make it more interesting.

Step 2:
Trace over all pencil lines using the gel glue. Allow to completely dry.


Step 3:
Paint the entire piece of cloth, covering right over the top of the glue. ALLOW TO DRY OVERNIGHT. I made the mistake of trying to rinse my first batik out too early and the paint really faded.


Step 4:
Submerge the cloth completely in water to soften up the glue- it will get gummy.

Step 5:
Rinse the batik under running water, rubbing the cloth together or with your fingers.

Step 6: Allow to dry and display for all to see!

(I so wish I had a better photo of this one because it turned out AMAZING!)

 Here is an apron (found at Hobby Lobby) that I created during last year's Academy.

 Mod-Podge Collage Canvas

* Canvas panel (or heavy cardboard)
* Acrylic paints
* Paint brushes
* Various tools for creating texture (combs, stamps, stencils, etc.)
* Mod-Podge
* Foam brushes
* Scrapbook papers/ decorative paper
* Permanent markers
* Embellishments (buttons, paper letters, stamps, foam shapes, etc.)
* Tacky glue or glue gun for older students/adults

Step 1:
Squeeze two colors of acrylic on the canvas. Be sure to choose colors that work well together.
Use a paintbrush to cover the canvas with the paint. The object is to leave the colors as unmixed as possible.

Step 2:
Using the various tools, create designs in the paint while it is still wet. Also, use other colors to stamp on top. We used wooden thread spools, tape register plastic rolls, small yogurt cups to make circles, and any found objects that can be used to make an interesting mark. Really encourage students to be fearless in their choices. We also used stencils to add more patterns on top. Allow to dry.

Step 3:
Begin cutting shapes from scrapbook paper to create a design to be decoupaged on top. Some successful ideas included birds, owls, fruit bowls, and trees. Details will be added later.

Step 4:
Using the foam brush and Mod-Podge, decoupage the pieces to the canvas. Remind students to brush glue both under and OVER the paper scraps. I encouraged them to use their fingers to smooth out the paper so there were no bubbles.




Step 5:
Embellish the design with buttons, outlining, words, etc. Be creative!






Block Out Canvas

(I used old sheet music in this piece. The tail feathers and leaves are the decoupaged background showing through.) 

* Canvas panels
* Mod-Podge
* Foam Brushes
* Scraps of paper- we used scrapbook paper scraps
* Acrylic Paint
* Embellishments
* Tacky glue
* Permanent marker or paint pens

This project is just the opposite of the one posted above.

Step 1:
Completely cover the canvas with scraps of paper using Mod-Podge (decoupage).
Allow to dry.

Step 2:
Using acrylic, paint a design leaving parts of the decoupaged canvas to show through.

Step 3:
Add embellishments and draw patterns in the background using permanent marker or paint pen.


Paul Klee Watercolor Towers
I've seen these floating around the internet and we had some extra time, so we tried them. I love the results!

* Watercolors (we used liquid)
* Paint brushes
* Permanent markers
* Old book pages or sheet music

Step 1:
Review the art of Paul Klee and point out the geometric shapes he used in his work.

Step 2: Draw geometric shapes on an old book page to create towers. They look like children's blocks all stacked up!

Step 3: Fill in using watercolor so the lettering shows through.

Easy peasy!

We also used some wood strips left over from my recent kitchen remodel to make signs for thier rooms and decorated wooden frames to put thier photos in.

A good time was had by all!