Picasso Monsters

Happy Halloween!

We have decided to try the Picasso-inspired monsters project this year. I saw the idea flying around Pinterest a long time ago and waited for the right moment – now it’s here!

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These amazing monsters, ghouls and witches were created by first graders (with no help at all).

I put together a short presentation, if anybody wants to use it. It is one spooky lesson about Pablo Picasso, organic and geometric shapes and faces. Here is the link:

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It was really a fun lesson and kids were so proud of their creations. They loved seeing what others came up with… from witches, cyclops and scary pirates and zombies to Egyptians, from teeth with cavities to eye patches and curly tongues… and from short hair to horns and loooong and pointy witches hats.

Matisse and Fish

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July issue of atTree was dedicated to Henri Matisse and Fish.

What could you find there? You could learn about Henri Matisse and his colorful and bold collages. You’d find out why he made them, what else he did, why he used such bold colors and more. You would paint, collage, draw and glue a lot of different fish! You’d make a 3D aquarium, musical fish and learn about mosaics. You’d have fun with tangrams and a lot more!

If you want to get this issue, you can subscribe to the magazine and you’ll get this one (and 11 others) instantly!

If you are putting together an art docent lesson dedicated to Matisse, I’d recommend the video where you can watch Matisse work in his studio: see it by clicking here.

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More art ideas? Click here to get started!

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Or you can have the kids play a Spot-the Difference game with Matisse’s art by clicking here.

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Texture and Little Artists

Little Artists explored texture this week. We have learned about Claes Oldenburg and his funny sculptures. From fuzzy Popsicle to the ice cream cone on top of a building (he is always a super easy sell to the kids, no matter how old they are).

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Then we explored different textures and created a mixed media collage of a burger. Kids loved to cut and glue all the different materials onto their super-tall burger! I pre-cut the pieces to make it easier for the kids. We had papers with punched holes for cheese, green plastic bags for lettuce, red streamer for ketchup, foil for fish… a lot of stuff for everybody!

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After that we started working on one more project: cake candle holder. I love engaging kids with clay. It is very different that play dough and I believe it is important for them to be able to explore that difference. They pinched it, rolled it, squeezed it and when it resembled a shape they wanted, they added small details with a stick and stuck a candle in the middle. When the creations dry in a couple of days, they will paint it.

If you would like to learn more about Oldenburg, clay cakes, paper food and much more food-related fun – check out October’s issue of arTree.

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?

I-Spy Louise Nevelson!

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Texture and collaborative art project based on Louise Nevelson. It was one of the most fun and (surprisingly) quiet activities.

We talked about different textures and then went through a table filled with collected treasures to find the ones kids liked. They worked in groups of 3-4 kids. They glued all of the stuff they wanted onto a big piece of cardboard and then painted over it with white or gray acrylics.

We are planning on hanging those in the school’s art show this year along with an I-Spy game. We want to engage the viewers and let them really look for the hidden objects in the Nevelson’s inspired collages. Try it out:

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Line with Little Artists

Basic Art Elements with preschoolers. Lesson one:line.

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In this lesson we made our own book about line. I put together presentation with works of famous artists, different types of lines and all of that… and after we talked about line for a while, we did a little exercise. We added wavy and curly lines (free-hand) on our sheep and straight lines with a ruler – on our hedgehog.

Then we combined all of the lines we talked about into the ‘crazy hair day’ picture.

We have also looked at Op Art and created a collage out of a stripped scrapbook paper. They all loved cutting and gluing! Some of them really got into it and did not want to give up their scissors for a while 🙂

What else? We have also played around with yarn – trying to make different lines (and shapes) out of it… we even walked on the lines to combine some art with gross movement exercise (and to let them stretch after 40 minutes of drawing and cutting and gluing).

The best part was combining all of the pictures together and making the book. They were very proud as they were carrying it home. I think now we have to do this every time…

Food, food and food!

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October issue of arTree magazine is here! And it will make you really hungry!

We will explore food and sculpture with Claes Oldenburg. There will be huge donuts and tiny clay fish, paper hamburgers and clay ones. We will conduct science experiments and play with our food. There is something for everybody, and then some. Plus, this issue has 20% more pages and art projects!

Want to start?

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You can buy just this one issue and give it a try. If you enjoy it and want to subscribe, let us know and we will offer a discounted rate $8 instead of $9.99).

Matisse, fish and preschoolers

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Yesterday was my first Little Artists class with a group of 3-5 year-olds. We talked about color and Henri Matisse. We looked how different artists used colors, talked about our favorite ones, played color scavenger hunt, read books… and created a fish.

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Each child started by drawing a fish on a colored paper. Then they cut out whatever shapes they wanted out of as many colored papers as they wanted to… and glued them onto the fish. Once they were done, they added the eye and cut it out. What do you think?

There are more ideas for Matisse, color and fish on our Pinterest board.

Make your head spin!

Bridget Riley loved to draw entirely with straight and curly lines. She tried to fool the eyes of people who looked at her paintings–to think they are moving. That is why the style was called Op Art (as in optical art or optical illusions). You can try to make one too…

Click on the images below and print out the pages.

 

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What to do now?

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Does it make your head spin?

Matisse and the Snail

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Henri Matisse grew up in Le Cateau-Cambrésis, France – a very cold village and ever since that he hated the cold. He loved warm weather and warm colors. That is why his paintings were filled with bold colorful shapes and a lot of energy. When people saw them they felt like a “pot of paint has been flung in their face.”

After cancer-related surgery in 1941 Matisse was forced to stay in bed most of the time (or to use his wheel chair) – which is why he started creating the paper cut-outs he’s so famous for. They were much easier for him to handle at that time – yet they still offered the energy and bold colors he loved. He saw the technique as a combination of painting and sculpture and called it “painting with scissors.”

The Snail is one of his most famous works from this time period. Matisse’s daughter Mme Duthuit later said that her father made many drawings of snails at that time and that the idea for this work came out of them. The concentric pattern formed by the colorful shapes in the center of the work mimicked the spiral pattern found in the snail’s shell.

It is one of those projects that kids of all ages can enjoy… to make it more understandable for the little ones, you can print them out this image of the snail (or draw your own) and  let them paste the colored paper on it – as a shell. The older ones can use only their imagination to create their stunning masterpieces. Click on the image bellow to download the template and get creative:

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