Friday, December 2, 2011

Give the gift of ART!

Plenty of space available in the Wednesday 4:30 Elementary Class and the Thursday 1:00 PreK class. Sign up to start in January and get this cute stocking stuffer too!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Gum Ball Machines after Wayne Thiebaud

Wayne Thiebaud is a natural fit for young artists. What's more fun than ice cream and cake? With such a diverse age range (4 - 11), I often wonder how much of the lesson they retain, especially the Littles. Do they even remember who we learned about? So for this lesson, I focused on three pieces of information:
1. Our artist's name is Wayne Thiebaud.
2. He likes to draw and paint food (among other things).
3. He is still alive. (That may seem strange, but most of the artists we learn about are long dead. I think it's important that the children know that artists are creating everyday.)

We looked at pictures of Thiebaud's work in a sweet (pun intended) little book called Counting with Wayne Thiebaud. It was too young for my Bigs so we focused on the media he used to create each piece. Most were pastels or oils which fit nicely with our project.

They were fascinated that he was still alive and working. I showed them a recent picture of him and the consensus was that he looks like somebody's grandfather. But how to teach that complicated name so they'd remember?

Ta da! Worked like a charm! Periodically I'd ask them to answer one of my three questions and if they got it right they were allowed to push the little gum ball machine down which makes the gum balls fly into the air. Boy they loved that!

The Littles used crayons and  tracers for the rectangle base and circle globe, then dipped bottle caps into paint for the gum balls.

Age 4

 Age 5

Age 6

The Bigs had an additional term to learn: Pop Art. They simply interpreted their gum ball machines in oil pastels. I did point out the colors Thiebaud used for the glass because every one of them automatically reached for black.

 Age 6! Check out the shadow!

 Age 9

Age 8

Friday, September 30, 2011

Art Dudes

These guys have been hanging out in the studio for awhile now, aimlessly clinging to the cabinet, generally up to no good. When I saw them in The Chrysler Museum of Art gift shop, I had to have them. Artist finger puppets with magnetized heads? YES! As with many "have to haves" I didn't exactly know what I was going to do with them, With no clear purpose, Picasso became "jail guy" and Warhol became "the scientist". This would not do. I hatched a clever plan.

Now they are a matching game, which I introduced this week. Each dude has a corresponding name and work. These are packing tape laminated (win) and have magnets taped to the back, recycled from those advertising magnets you get all the time (win again).  One student gave a "Yay!" when I said next week I might just mix them up. If nothing else, my little artists will know these six artists. Not too shabby.

* In the interest of full disclosure I must add that the Van Gogh puppet had both his ears. I found this disappointing, so I remedied it.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

What Peace Looks Like

Today we unveiled our Pinwheels for Peace project. Yesterday was officially the International Day of Peace, but it was rainy, and I didn't want tears along with wet, smeared artwork. So with the idea that everyday should be peace day, we installed our artwork a day late.
Each artist made a pinwheel. Inside we wrote our words, ideas and wishes for peace. On the outside we did our art. When the wind blows, it sends our peace thoughts out into the world!

Before beginning our project, we read What Does Peace Feel Like? It is a lovely book that was created by children from around the world.

Monday, September 19, 2011

CP/RV Front Porch ArtWalk - Oct. 9

Mark your calendar for Sunday, October 9! Outside the Lines will be making art with young artists at the Colonial Place/Riverview Front Porch ArtWalk! Stroll or bike from porch to porch visiting local artists in these historic Norfolk neighborhoods. Outside the Lines will be on Connecticut Ave. armed with pastels and paper. It's a lovely way to spend a fall afternoon.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

First Impressions

As promised, here is a recap of our Impressionism week:

Impressionism was, in part, a reaction to the advent of photography.
 We took that one step further and painted right on the photographs!

 Magazine Impression - Age 5

You can't do the Impressionists without painting some Monet water lilies.
 Well, you can...but why? - Age 8

We painted our Monet project using only the colors he used in his palette: blue, green, purple, white and yellows (he used several). Red was added pater with oil pastel.

Plein air painting. Taking the studio outside!

Several young artists chose the same subject but interpreted them quite differently. These are hibiscus flowers. Left - Age 8  Right - Age 11

 Why, exactly, is Ms. Melanie soaking our canvases in milk?

So we can create vivid pastels ala Degas! - Age 8

We studied Mary Cassatt then created our own monoprints of a family schen. Step 1 - Paint the scene onto the plate (in our case, the back of a cookie sheet).

 Step 2 - Press paper onto the wet plate to make a print.

 Step 3 - Lift paper and viola! - Age 11

 What else for our Cezanne study but a bowl of fruit?

 Classic Cezanne perspective trick. Which bowl of fruit looks closer, 
the warm or cool colored one? - Age 11

 Painting a bazillion dots like Seurat can me boring. That's why we did it on a cookie first. Cookies are never boring.

Looking for inspiration for our pointillist paintings.

Lots of dots. Lots and lots and lots.

But the results are amazing! - Age 10 

 Last day of camp. We stormed the Chrysler Museum of Art, sketched in the Impressionism gallery...

...and rocked out with some interactive art! 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

2011/2012 Art Classes

Weekly Classes Begin September 13th!

Beginning Artists (Age 4 - 6)

Tuesdays 1:00 - 2:00 pmTuesdays 4:00 - 5:00 pm
Wednesdays 1:00 - 2:00 pm
Class is limited to six to provide individualized attention.

Young Artists (1st through 5th grade)

Wednesdays 4:30 - 5:30 pm
Thursdays 4:00 - 5:00 pm

Class is limited to eight to provide individualized attention.

$50 per month Sept. through May
$30 one-time materials fee due the first class.
10% Discount for Church Members OR Siblings

Room 312, Ghent United Methodist Church - 531 Raleigh Ave., Norfolk

Contact Melanie at 757/472-6483 or to register!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Every Picture Tells A Story

I promise to post a full account of this week's First Impressions Art Camp soon, but I had to go ahead and share the story we wrote about this etching by Mary Cassatt:

Mother's Caress

This activity came from a book, Monet and the Impressionists for Kids, which has lots of great info and ideas for introducing young children to Impressionism, I gave my young artists prompts to tell the story behind this painting. This is what they came up with:

This is Mary and Bob. They live in a house in Sicily. They have just finished having a bath and are thinking about putting a bow in baby Bob's hair. Earlier they were reading a book. They love to read books! What you can't see in the picture is a diaper for the baby. They are feeling sad, but we don't know why. Later they will go to the park. Maybe that will cheer them up!

Pretty great, huh? I must say they were quite concerned about the lack of a diaper. They asked to do it again so tomorrow we will try the activity with Sunday Afternoon on La Grande Jatte.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Rock Stars of the Renaissance

Seven young artists recently finished a wonderful week of learning about the Renaissance. The catchy title for camp was Renaissance Men, even though we learned about a couple of Renaissance women too. Of course, toward the end of the camp I came up wither a catchier catchy title: Rock Stars of the Renaissance. Oh well, there will be other camps.

We started with the late middle ages for background. 
This is a decidedly modern illuminated letter!

We learned about the Limbourg Brothers and used magnifying glasses for
 the fine details of our Book of Hours pages.

A Book of Hours page for the artist's birthday, including her Zodiac sign and the sun 
high in the sky because she was born in the afternoon.

 Painting on the "ceiling" is fun for a few minutes, but four years? 
How did Michelangelo do it?

 Michelangelo day means frescoes. Painting on wet plaster is careful work.

 A Da Vinci subject for a Michelangelo project? Oh my!

Michelangelo Fresco - Age 6 (Another Da Vinci subject - a battleship)

Mirror writing on Da Vinci day.

Got it right the first time!

 The Da Vinci parachute drop was a big success. 
DISCLAIMER: No plastic soldiers were harmed in the course of this project.

 How we keep track of all those pesky dates.

 Crushing "pigment" to make our own paint.

You gotta break a lot of eggs... make egg tempera.

 Experimenting with our home made paint.

Egg Tempera Painting - Age 10

 Relief in the style of Ghiberti - Age 7

 Gold Leaf Rondel in style of Fra Angelico - Age 7

On the last day we visited The Chrysler Museum of Art, right down the street.

A scavenger hunt in the European Gallery.

We were so lucky! A restorer was working on one of the Renaissance paintings.

He was very patient and gave us a lesson on art restoration.

We spent some time sketching in the sculpture gallery.

Sharing discoveries - what the Renaissance was all about!