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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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!

Warm & Cold landscapes with Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

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When we were talking about warm and cold colors last week, we visited one of my favorite German expressionist painters: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner.

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We have learned about German expressionism: about the way the artists painted emotions rather than reality, how they distorted or exaggerated objects and used vivid and shocking colors. We talked about all the emotions they were trying to capture, from anxiety and fear to peacefulness. We even mentioned Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (click here to watch this 1920s marvel)!

We explored Kirchner’s landscapes and looked how he used warm and cold colors to express his emotions.

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Then we looked at pictures of different landscapes for inspiration.

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Then kids got a big black paper and used white chalk pastel to sketch their landscape. Then they divided it into segments and started coloring them in. They used only warm colors for the land, cold for the sky – or vise versa – but did not combine them. When they were done (it took them a little bit over an hour) I sprayed it with a hair spray to help the chalk pastels stick to the paper. Stunning results, don’t you think?