Sunday, June 26, 2016

Roll a Miró

I was able to return from medical leave the last student contact day of school. So in looking for something that would be fun and easy I came across this online. Here is the link: Once Upon an Art Room. Now the author of the blog, Chani, freely admits to not being able to find the original source for this and neither could I.
I was able to pair this game up with a poster of People and Dog in the Sun by Joan Miró.
I actually started off a discussion about the poster before telling students the title of it and was surprised how many children picked up on seeing a dog. Our discussion included the Elements of Art and because of the background texture students were given both markers and crayons to use.

Then I shared the following book with my classes. Click here for buying info. I actually found my copy on sale at a museum store in DC and was thrilled to tie it into a lesson.

I did this with all grade levels k-5.

Here are some examples of student work.

This would be an excellent lesson to leave for a substitute! It is also art cart friendly. But, I also wanted this to be kid friendly so I explained to my students that I was very flexible on how they used the directions. If they wanted to do it by themselves that was fine. If they didn't want to roll the dice and just wanted to pick their favorite shape that was fine. But no one was allowed to say "I don't know where to start".  Because all they had to do was roll the die.

Oh and as I read the above book to students, I noticed on the back the author also has written Draw with Pablo Picasso, click here for buying info. I ordered my book last week.

For another great sub lesson involving dice click here.

I was out on medical leave for 15 weeks. I still have healing to do and I don't always feel great. But I will say that sitting in my chair sharing an art lesson with my students just felt so perfect. Like I was exactly where I should be, doing what I love to do. I can hardly wait for fall! And since I'm staying home to heal this summer I have been busy planning! I hope to have some spectacular lessons to present to students and to share on my blog!

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Art, Art and More Art!

I have just returned from the most magnificent weekend ever! Here's the itinerary!
 I met and got to talk to Peter Max! YES, that Peter Max! There is currently an exhibit of his work at The Tampa Museum of Art, titled 50 Years of Cosmic Dreaming. The exhibit is sponsored by Park West Foundation, and The Tampa Times. I was able to attend this special event because a good friend of mine was invited as part of a VIP event held by Park West Gallery. My friend Kathy was invited because she enjoys investing in art. It started 3 years ago when we were together on a cruise and we decided to attend the art auction. Apparently depending on what you spend gets you invited on other cruises or weekends away. Who knew???

In addition to meeting Peter Max I met David Najar and David Lebo.

We arrived on Friday in time for breakfast AND the opportunity to hear the artist David Najar speak about his art and his inspiration. Najar is a former instructor of Krav Maga, Israeli Martial Arts. He is a soft spoken man with a sense of humor and paints as a way to heal and slow down his world (click above on his highlighted name to read more about him). Najar's paintings are landscapes, since he is inspired by nature, and after checking out his work I just had to have one! The photo on the left shows me with Najar and the work I purchased. It is a framed print titled Beyond the Trees. Unfortunately original paintings were priced out of my comfort zone. I did have the opportunity to speak with him and he told me he had the sense that I was involved in the arts. Chills, I tell you, chills! And then we agreed I need to get back to doing art.......... thank goodness summer is here!
Above are examples of Najar's work, I pulled from the internet.

I also had the pleasure of meeting the artist David Lebo. He gave a wonderful presentation of his work and how he thinks of himself as a visual storyteller. Wouldn't that be an amazing concept to share with students? Photos below show him telling the story of that particular painting. BTW check out his reflection to see his art on the back of his jacket! And you can click on his highlighted name, above, to read more about him!

Lebo was influenced and inspired by Mad Magazine's Spy vs. Spy, by artist Antonio Prohías, in addition to other comic books he read growing up. Lebo grew up in Miami and was doing outdoor murals when people asked if he had paintings for sale. Lebo would work on the murals by day and go home and paint at night, then sell the work out of his trunk! Lebo GOT himself out there AND GOT noticed and was commissioned to paint The Norwegian Getaway out of Miami. Let me just say, "WOW!" He is a very intelligent man with a love of history and science in addition to art. Lebo also has a very loving and supportive family that he spoke fondly of.

Peter Max was the first artist that I remember hanging up a poster of his work (I believe it was a centerfold from the Sunday paper) in my room as a teenager. So it was just amazing to be able to meet him. Because of his age and how popular he is we could not take a photo with him. However, they had a professional photographer take photos and I will get a copy in the mail. AND you just know that I WILL post it!!

If you look over the span of 50 years of art by Peter Max, in my opinion, you will see how it evolved from being a graphic commercial style art, the imagery of many of his earlier posters, to a bolder look of rainbows of color, more in style with fine arts or easel painting. Max's inspiration for his work comes from many different sources. Originally he wanted to become an astronomer and believes the universe was his greatest teacher.  He was ALSO commissioned to do The Norwegian Breakaway out of New York.
I'm not sure why the ship commissions impresses me so much- maybe it has to do with the level of recognition. Seriously, think about JUST HOW MANY PEOPLE WILL SEE YOUR ART on the side of a cruise ship!!

Anyway, while at The Tampa Museum of Art, (I love that place) I just HAD to get Peter Max t-shirts!
Thank you Kathy for letting me share such a wonderful adventure with you!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Creating Cheap Centerpieces

The Music teacher is retiring after teaching 39 years. 4 of those years with us. The Specials team did a little celebration for him after school one day last week. We bought a cake and I thought it would be fun to make some centerpieces for the tables. I really had NO budget for this, but hey, I'm an art teacher and a hoarder I can do this! 

Here's my inspiration piece that I found on Pinterest.

And here's how I did it!
I gathered up boxes, styrofoam, skewers, mylar balloons, glue dots, tape, black paint and I purchased cut out musical notes and ribbon with musical notes. 

 I painted the skewers black to blend in with the notes. I put the paint onto the foam and rubbed the stick until it was covered with paint.

I cut the sheet of styrofoam to fit inside the boxes. I actually have a styrofoam cutter at school, but of course I was at home.
Cutting styrofoam is messy, I used tape to clean up all the crumbs. 

The styrofoam was glued into the boxes. This was done so that when I put the skewer in with the musical note it would have a way to stand up.

I had some mylar balloons, which when you cut them open the inside is silver. I used them to cover the boxes.
I used hot glue to attach the musical notes to the skewers. And carefully poked a hole at the top of the box.
 I had some leftover glue dots that I used for attaching the ribbon.

And there you have it! My finished centerpieces! Now you are probably thinking it is a far cry from the inspiration piece, however it cost me less them $1.50 each and I rather like the simplicity of it.

There's only a few days left of school and I get to return from medical leave on the last day to pack up the room. I've been out so long I feel like I just want to start the new school year! Oh well.........

Thanks for reading and enjoy the summer!