Monday, June 28, 2010

Artwork Ornaments

I found this idea in a book by Photojojo. Its a great website to make crafty things with digital images.  I took one abstract piece of art and created an ornament with it.  Here is the
artwork and here is the ornament. You will need two brass fasteners. Print image as a 5x7. On the back of the image, use a pencil to make  strips (1.5-2 cm). Punch holes on the top on bottom of each strip. Then cut the image keeping them in order. Use brass fasteners to hold together.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Fold Play

I found the coolest website. Its called Fold Play. You upload 4 pictures and the website gives you a print out to make a photo kaleidocycle-an endless moving paper sculpture. Its a little tricky at first. The website provides a slideshow tutorial. I made one using artwork and another with pictures of my family. Put them in a goodie bag or make them for a place setting. The ideas are endless.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Elephant Art

A few years ago, I taught at a wonderful school called Adrienne Clarkson ES in Barhaven, Ontario. I was the teacher in charge of the environment club. Students in grade 2-4 came together and studied endangered animals. Each one chose an animal to focus on. We held an Endangered Animal Fair. Students showcased their research and classes came to see their projects. This was all voluntary. It was fantastic to hear club members discussing why we should save their particular animal.

It was also that year, the students decided to fundraise to help Asian elephants in Thailand. It began with this book Elephants Can Paint too by Katya Arnold. This was our inspiration. Elephants were taught to paint as an alternative to roaming the streets looking for handouts. Elephants were very useful in the logging industry but since Thailand has cleared the majority of their forests, elephants and their handlers have little work to do.

To raise funds, we held a used book sale. Each club member encouraged their classmates to each bring a book to school to donate to the sale. We had hundrends of books. We raised over $500 and as a club, we purchased a painting created by an elephant.

The painting hangs in the school as a reminder of the potential hidden talents of animals and humans. If elephants can be taught to paint "realistically" so can humans. For more information on elephant paintings, check out Asian Elephant Art & Conservation Project

Monday, June 14, 2010

Marbled Paper

I have been wanting to make marbled paper for as long as I can remember. The other day, I decided to google it. I found instructions on Martha Stewart's website calling for all sorts of ingredients that I would have to really work hard at finding. However, yesterday, I came across instructions using shaving cream and paint. That's it! So a quick trip to the pharmacy and some paint and I was able to make marbled paper in minutes. I can't wait to make more. You can find the instructions on  Art Smarts 4 Kids.  Have fun!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Line Art

I love this. I found it on Art with Mr. E. Its so simple and really nice for kids to feel success. Check out his blog for full instructions.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Barefoot Books

Shakespeare’s Storybook was my first book from this amazing publishing company Barefoot Books. I loved it so much, I was telling my stay- at- home friends to become booksellers. Then, when I relocated to London and found myself unemployed I decided to take the plunge.  Barefoot Books complements well with Budding Artists. The books are top quality-beautifully illustrated and the short story collections are fantastic. Shakespeare’s Stories is a collection of  7 folk tales popular during Shakespeare’s time. These are the folktales that inspired him to write his plays.  I have read this book to junior students and have had excellent discussions on the themes. You can also purchase this book with accompanying CDs for long car rides.

I am not actively selling these days, choosing to focus on Budding Artists instead. However, I maintain a Barefoot Books marketplace page.  Any commissions earned will be donated in books to a high needs elementary school in London, Ontario. Watch out for their free shipping promotions. Its a great deal! Beware that you still have to pay $10 for customs. Unfortunately, if you pay for shipping, this fee is added on top which makes it very expensive. If you are not in rush for a title and you live in London, call me and I will order it during the free shipping promotion and you can save the custom fee.

Alfie's Long Winter

Alfie’s Long Winter is written by Greg McElvoy. It’s a fantastic book about a leaf named Alfie who is too scared to jump off the tree when autumn comes. It’s a wonderful book to make connections on children’s fears and ways they have conquered their fears. 

I borrowed the art idea from That Artists Woman blog. I adapted it for the classroom. After reading the book, we  created our own tree with Alfie on it.  I began with teaching a lesson on drawing trees. We practiced on GOOS ( good on one side) paper.  Then I asked the students to create a background. I used a 3×5″ size cardstock paper. They have to choose a warm or cool background. They are free to anything in their background but they must use only warm or cool colours. They can use pencil crayons, markers or crayons. Some students made patterns, while others created abstract backgrounds. Once the background was completed, students had access to  thick, medium and thin black markers to draw Alfie’s tree.  Its simple and quick.   I pasted the artwork on black construction paper and hung it up. The  lesson took about 1 hour.
3×5″ Cardstock
Black Construction Paper Thick, 
Medium and thin black permanent markers
pencil crayons, crayons and markers

Leon The Chameleon

I love this book. Its about a chameleon that changes the opposite colour from his surroundings. Because of this, he is shunned by all the little chameleons. In the end, Leon proves that being different is a good thing. This book was written by Melanie Watt (of Scaredly Squirrel fame).  I use this book to  begin a discussion on complementary colours. For this lesson, we used watercolours. I ask the students to create their own animal and paint it one colour. Then I ask them to choose the complementary colour to paint the background.

The Dot

One of my most favourite books is called The Dot by Peter Reynolds. It is about a girl who believes she cannot paint. Her art teacher encourages her to sign her name and the process of creativity begins. Its a great story to make the point that if you are frustrated, take a small step and it can lead you to success. Check out this link for classroom ideas. I begin a lesson with this book then the art activity is to create our own dot(s). I discuss Wassily Kandisnky and then we proceed with the art project. I like to use different “canvases” to create art. I have done this lesson using light switches and coloured Sharpies. Light switches are cheap and kids love the uniqueness of designing something useful.
I have also done this with plasticine. I get mat boards from a local art framing business for free. Here are the results.