Andy Warhol, Pets and Printmaking

Andy Warhol was certainly a unique artist. The Factory,  Pop Art, his wig and crazy life-style… there are so many things one can talk about (or not like talking about). But when it comes to introducing his art to the kids, I believe his love for animals (especially his cats and his stuffed great Dane) are the easiest and the most fun way to go.

Of course, we need to print those images so that’s why I’d like to introduce:

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This is really fun and easy for the kids. You can purchase the Styrofoam plates (or use some of the ones you may have at home – from food items). Then you just need to use a pencil or wooden stylus to draw your picture (mirror image). Then spread some ink over it with a roller, put a piece of paper on top and use a roller to press down. Done.

You can learn the basics as well as some little-bit advanced option (like the one for the fish right here) in this short video.

I have taught this lesson in the 1st grade but to make it even more fun for the kid,s I asked them to bring their stuffed animal. We put them on a table and painted their portraits (just like Andy did with his stuffed dog). The results were really awesome! Each child made 4 prints onto 4 different-colored papers and we mounted them onto a large piece of paper. Here they are, what do you think?

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Of course you can use this technique and the lesson to print portraits of kids as well. One of our schools did an amazing job with self-portraits. They printed them on 6 colored papers and then cut them out and mounted them onto another colored papers. Easy and definitely fun to look at.

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Visit our gallery to see even more images and ideas!

If you want to teach this lesson to your kids, here are some links to get you started:

Northern Lights Art Project

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This is now officially one of my favorite winter lessons. I created these pictures with first-graders in about 60 minutes and it went really well. We started talking about Ernst Kirchner and Expressionism. We noticed that he uses warm and cool colors and created a bold contrast in his work. So, we looked for warm and cool colors in other artists’ paintings, talked about how the colors make us feel, and what do they make us think of.

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Then, I showed them pictures of the Northern Lights and we talked about how we could paint them like Expressionists – focus on our emotion rather than reality and to exaggerate the colors and sharp lines:

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And of course, we had to add some animals that could see the Northern Lights (the first-graders are now talking about animals, habitats and are starting to explore the world on maps… so it tied nicely to their science lessons). We got everything: from polar bears and arctic hares to musk ox and a high-jumping killer whale.

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January Issue: Kirchner and Winter Landscapes

January issue of arTree magazine is here! Have you checked it out yet? I will share some preview with you this week, for now here is a little sample of the projects:

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Don’t stay inside this winter! Explore snowy landscapes with Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and German Expressionism. Play around with cool and warm colors to create dramatic contrast and make your landscape scenes like none other. Discover the art of Josef Kote and decorate your mountains with patterns out of lines and shapes. Fill your skies with colors that will make the Northern Lights fade with envy.

Visit the polar bears and the penguins. Learn why they can never meet each other and what they do to stay warm in such cold places. Research the polar bears with us to create your very own infographic poster. Then paint your polar bear under the stunning Aurora sky.

Dress up your penguin in a warm and cozy sweater and paint him on the South Pole–using several easy and fun watercolor secrets that we will share with you. Play games, learn facts and explore the great snowy outdoors.  

Watercolor techniques and Penguins

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Watercolors are always fun with the little ones. Especially, once you show them how to explore different watercolor techniques.

  • What happens when you paint with watercolors and then dab it with a paper towel before it dries?
  • What happens if you drop lemon onto the wet watercolors?
  • What if you put salt on the watercolor before it dries?
  • What if you crumble a plastic wrap onto the wet watercolor paper and leave it there until it dries (at least partly)?

Just make sure, the kids do not use too much. The piles of salt or the puddles of lemon juice sound like a good idea but they can destroy even the thickest watercolor paper.

If you are up to it, you can even fill the whole page with only one color, add a little painted (and cut out) penguin in a cute sweater and you have a South Pole scene that is refrigerator-worthy. Learn more in our January 2015 issue (coming out early next week).

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Holiday art with lines

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What is a line? It is a dot that went for a walk.

Today we talked about Enrico Arno, a graphic designer who created  beautiful little book – with lines only. We used it as our inspiration. We talked about different lines we could you and the different holidays we celebrate. From Christmas to Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, we had a lot of creativity going.

We learned that lines can be used to create patterns, shapes or words… and that lines can be short, long, zig-zag, curly, vertical, etc.

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Then we used all of them in the art. Funny thing was that some kids seemed to color in the shapes. But as I looked closely, I noticed they did not color them in – they carefully and slowly drew lines next to each other – so close, they touched.

Aren’t these festive?

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Try Cézanne art lessons, videos and presentations

YAY! Our new website has launched! We have worked on it for a while now and I cannot even tell you how excited I am that it is launched and done!

Anyway, I’d love to show you how it looks! And what better way to look at our magazine, video trainings and presentations than to give you free access to at least one issue.  Here it is.

It is filled with pages of art projects for kids 5-10 years old.

I chose one of my favorite issues of the magazine. I just love Paul Cézanne. Check it out, maybe you will fall for his apple paintings as well. For me, it is always about the back story…  did you know, why he painted over 200 paintings of the apples for 30 years? You will know it in a minute…

free cezanne art lessons for kids

Just click this link and let me know what you think: https://artreekids.com/magazine/issues/2014/11/

Do not forget to check out the ‘see training materials’ to access videos, presentations and more.

And impressionism was born!

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I just came across an interesting article for kids. Do you know when an Impressionist movement started?  Now, you can find out precisely when: a Texas physicist has figured out down to the the exact minute when the Impressionism art movement was born. By his calculations, it began Nov. 13, 1872, right around 7:35 a.m. local time!

Read the article here and share it with the kids. It’s a fun way to connect the common core and art once again!

Fore more art projects about Impressionists and Claude Monet, look up the May issue of arTree (5/2014).

Dream with Marc Chagall

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September issue fo arTree magazine is dedicated to one of my favorite artists: Marc Chagall. I loved his dreamy images ever since I was little and fell for his art once more when I saw his original paintings in NYC. The soft colors, wild perspective and surrealist scenes have always fascinated me… and now, I’d like to share it with you, your kids, students and friends.

In the latest arTree issue you can discover Expressionism, monochromatic colors and the art of Marc Chagall. You get to fly over your city, play violin with goats and ride on a rooster! You can decorate your windows with stained glass just like Daniel Maher and catch your bad dreams! Bake stained-glass cookies and draw a window to your imagination.
If you want to join the adventure, click here to subscribe. If you subscribe by the end of September, you receive 12 issues of arTree for no additional cost.

Learn more about Marc

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Click here to listen to a book ‘Dreamer in a Village.’

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Looking for more art ideas? Click here to get started!

How to Avoid Mistakes When Teaching Art to Kids

Today, I was a guest blogger on Harrington Harmonies. I have written a post about common mistakes in teaching art to kids. It is accompanied by arTree digital magazine give-away so if you are interested, click here to enter it (it ends 2/24/2014).

Here is the post:

How to Avoid Mistakes in Teaching Art | Harrington Harmonies

The basics?

Don’t copy the masters but use them as your inspiration.

Mistakes When Teaching  Art- Don't copy artisits, use learning about the m teach a skill. {Artree guest post and giveaway} | Harrington Harmonies't  

Don’t help your kids too much, let them make their mistakes on their own!

Be ok with making a mess and not always creating the best masterpiece possible

Be careful how you praise their work!

And most importantly: have fun!

Visit Harrington Harmonies to read more about it and to win the give-away!

100th Day of School with a Burger

Today, in our art docent program – we have celebrated 100th day of school with Kindergarteners! And what better way to do it than to take them all for a burger? Especially since they make it themselves and then can proudly hang it on the wall.

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We talked about Claes Oldenburg and his Store (gallery where everything was for sale, even the register). We have followed October issue of arTree and discussed how he created ordinary objects in a fun new way: dropped ice cream on top of a building, huge soft fabric cake, fuzzy Popsicles, plastic fries… and a BLT that you have to build every time you want to move it.

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And then we went on creating our burgers. It is a great texture exercise as well! We used paper, streamers, foil, foam, plastic bags, cardboard and more. Don’t they all look delicious?