Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Monoprints with Gelli Plates

I'm excited to share a fun project/product with all of you. The first time I shared this was back in 2014. Click HERE to read about how I tried Gelli Plates for the first time and JUST HAD to buy some for my students to use. I also wrote about how it was a very entry level lesson and how I would need to step it up the next time I used these.

So with that in mind I signed up for a workshop last October at my state conference and I really learned quite a bit and I had a blast!!
 I used poster board to cut out two swirls and I just had fun inking the Gelli Plate and printing the design over and over using different color paint and paper.

I also used some bubble wrap to blot off some of the paint before printing.

And I just kept layering on the colors until I liked what I saw.

When I did it the first time with my students, in retrospect it was extremely simple. I am looking forward to trying a bunch of the different techniques that I learned at the workshop with them in the next week or so.

So basically, if you don't like how it looks, print over it!
Cut different shapes or use yarn or ribbon to block out colors.

 Create texture by blotting up paint with bubble wrap, stamps, leaves or anything that won't puncture your Gelli Plate.

This book has incredible directions and some really wonderful techniques to try and can be purchased through Amazon by clicking HERE.

You can also go to and search Gelli Plate printing for some really good "how to" videos to share with your students.

AND SOME REALLY EXCITING NEWS you can save 10% on Gelli Arts Products by clicking on my new badge, and using the code SherylD, that I added to the right side of my blog!

Oh and those poster board swirls that I kept using and printing with, can be made into some pretty amazing art all on it's own!

 Thanks for reading!!

Let me know if you have tried Gelli Plates and what techniques you enjoyed using?

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Collaboration: Calusa's Fire Hawk

I returned from the NAEA conference in New York City a week ago. It has been a hectic, crazy week filled with watching my grandson after school to attending Evita at the community theater and a visit to the doctor for a nasty cough that I seem to have developed. In other words NO time for myself!!

The conference was amazing and I will get to many of the happy details in the near future. Suffice to say I connected with so many wonderful people that it made the whole experience worth it!

Today's post will be the backstory for one of the presentations I was involved with.  The presenter, Karen Nobel is a past president of the FAEA. I am very fortunate to know Karen both from the Florida Art Educator's Association and the Faber-Castell Teacher Advisory Board. Karen sent out an email last fall to see if anyone on the advisory board would be willing to help her by doing a collaboration project with their students. 

Faber-Castell would help out by giving us their products FREE of charge! Never one to say no to free stuff, I was on board! I decided to use paint and colored pencils. But, that was all they would supply, so the principal suggested I write out a grant for the rest of what I needed.

Karen did all the paperwork to submit the proposal, she just needed some photographs for her presentation. We decided I would do a mural. Since my home school was recently renovated, I didn't really see where a mural would fit in. HOWEVER, my Monday school is an F school and when I suggested a mural to the principal she was thrilled!

Their mascot is a fire hawk, so I knew that was what I wanted to do. I also knew I wanted to put feathers on it, made by the students AND as I was thinking about that, I came across Cassie Stephen's post on Kelsey Montague's Inspired Mural. Check here to read about it in her blog!

I planned to do this on 8' x 4' plywood, so I made a pattern out of bulletin board paper. Now it was interesting to me that the point of the presentation was in collaborating - because of a definite lack of time in the art room..... because now I had to wait on the grant, then order stuff and also have students working on it to take photos for Karen........

When the plywood came, I traced the pattern onto it. (By the way, the plywood ended up being donated by parents at my other school, thank you Barnett Family!)

Now it was ready to be painted by students. Since I'm there only the one day a week the mural was in the art room with the full time art teacher, Mrs. Murphy. She had it as one of her centers, for early finishers to paint.

And while that was going on.....

I had students working on feathers. I tried to stick with the school colors of blue and orange, but also wanted to put the red and yellow in it for the fire hawk. Feathers were done with colored pencils to minimize the mess and hopefully take only one class session to do.
I wanted to tie this project together with the goal of being successful this year to motivate the students in bringing up the school's grade. So I instructed students that after they cut out their feathers they should write their goal for the school year on the back.

Anyway, here's what I have so far, I keep adding more feathers every Monday afternoon and hopefully they will all be glued on soon!  (I used hot glue to attach the feathers to the plywood.) A wall in the Media Center has been chosen to receive it when it is finished and I can't wait to see it completed and hanging up!

Here I am at the presentation explaining my collaborative mural! It was a very well attended presentation and most of the other art teachers who provided photos for Karen were also available to say a few words about their projects. What I found really interesting is all the different ways in which people chose to collaborate.......

Thank you Karen Nobel for the chance to share! 
Thank you Faber-Castell for supplying the materials!

What type of collaborative projects have you done with your students??

Thanks for Reading!!!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Heading to New York City!

I have driven myself crazy trying to figure out which sub plans to leave this week as I attend the NAEA conference in New York City. Here I posted some sub plans I have left in the past when I have been out.

Since we just started learning about abstract art (because of that awesome cubist painting I did for the book If Picasso Went on Vacation) I thought this lesson plan would work for the 2nd-5th grade students. The Unique Drawing Experience, I found it in a sub folder that one of our district art teachers put together. However, after an internet search I believe it may have come from Lesson Planet.

The Noisy Paint Box is a perfect book to go with this lesson. It's a story about the artist Kandinsky and how his abstract art is a result of the colors and sounds surrounding him that inspires his paintings.

For kindergarten and first grade I left this lesson. I originally found this lesson here. Thank you Mrs. Haake at Apex Elementary. And if you check out my post on sub plans you will see I have used it before.

It's about a flamingo and how what they eat affects what color they are. I have students put a border around the the paper to practice with a ruler and to have a place to draw what Sylvie ate to make her the color she is. Then they follow step by step drawing instructions to create Sylvie.

Gotta get ready for my flight up to Long Island to spend the night with my sister and her family before heading into New York City.

Please introduce yourself to me if you see me at the conference! I love being with other art teachers, after all we have the best conferences ever!!

Thanks for reading!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

If Picasso Went on Vacation

 We have established that I am an elementary art teacher.  I really haven't done much in regard to making my own art. I've done crafts, lots of sewing and special requests. But, I'm NOT getting any younger ........ so I have recently decided to put my art out there in the universe.

Last summer on the Art Teacher Facebook page an art teacher, E. J. Gibbons put out a notice that he needed some more art for his 4th book in the "If Picasso" series.  This latest one titled If Picasso Went on Vacation. Since it was the summer and I was (and still am) recovering from back surgery, I decided to give it a try.
We decided I should focus on emulating George Braque and what he would see if went to Zambia to visit Victoria Falls. So I researched his work to get a feel for his style and sense of color.

 Researched images and videos of Victoria Falls. Did lots of thumbnail sketches. Which ironically, my son who decided to return to school to study art, asked me about. Guess he was checking with me, as to whether people really do that. Well I DID!

I went as far as printing out two separate photographs, cutting them apart and putting them back together all mixed up.  Because my understanding of cubism, which was developed by both Pablo Picasso and George Braque, is that the artist views his subject from a variety of angles and includes them all.

 Then I played around a bit to decide if I could actually do this.

I enlarged one of my sketches, transferred it to canvas.

 And started to paint.........
 And paint.........
 When it was completely finished I needed to turn my photo into 300dpi's. I called my son, the art student and thankfully he has Photoshop and was able to convert it for me.  Converting it created better resolution for being printed in the book.

In early November E. J. sent out a proof page for me to review.

And around the holidays he sent this out. This screen shot is actually part of a slide show and I waited for my painting to view to snap the photo.

This experience was just SO exciting for me! Today my copies of the book arrived and I can't wait to share it with my students tomorrow!! 

Thank you E. J. Gibbons for this opportunity! 
And thank you Peter Depp for your help getting the photo converted.

And NOW for a very limited, early bird SPECIAL offer click here  to purchase YOUR copy!

Thanks for Reading!