Sunday, June 26, 2016

Britto Style Joy!

Romero Britto is a Brazilian artist who now lives in Miami and whose crazy, joyful artwork can be found throughout the area. Bright colors, zany patterns, cool and cute characters and critters!

We decided to try creating Britto-style art ourselves as part of our Abstract Action week. Some of our works were created with foam board, while the older artists spent all week building papier mache' creations from styrofoam sheets.

We are still in the process of completing some of these, but here are some samples of what we have done so far. I will add the others after they are completed.

Abstract Collage!

Mekina - tempera
Corban - tempera

This week we created painted abstract collages as part of our Abstract Action! theme. These were created by cutting painted paper into pieces then arranging and gluing them to a poster board.

The artists found that after the randomly painted paper is cut into squares or triangles, each piece becomes a tiny little painting by itself. Different artists could "see" different things in each piece such as tiny landscapes, giant fingerprints, ocean waves, the surface of the sun, and bubbles.

What do you see?

 Also, a few of the squares above were traded among the artists before gluing them into place, so that each piece became a collaborative work of art.
Tylee - watercolor  20" x 20"

Abstract Action!

Abstract art is non-representational art. Making abstract art means not trying to duplicate what you see, but just playing with colors, shapes, lines, forms, and patterns. In other words, just having fun! 

Abstract art is also fun to look at. You don't have to wonder what the artist is trying to say or what the art is supposed to look like or be, etc. etc. It's just visually entertaining or colorful or interesting or playful or cool or whatever comes to mind.

We made abstract art this week, starting with these interesting recycled paper weavings. These were created by all ages, from 4 to adult, and they were equally fun for everyone!

We borrowed this project idea from Art Lessons for Kids if you would like to make your own.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Howdy, Pardner!

During our first week of ART Camp, in keeping with our theme of "Westward Ho!" our ART Smart Kids designed cowboy boots!

These boot designs include some interesting stitching. Can you figure out how these stitching patterns were created?

Our younger students also made western style picture frames of themselves, which they wrapped with painted paper and gave to their daddies for Father's Day.

They also created beautiful collages of patterned teepees on painted landscape backgrounds.

Week 2: Abstract Action!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Out West! Native American Trioramas

During our first week of Summer ART Camp, our Art Adventurers designed Indian village trioramas, with miniature details. These were multi-media projects that included watercolor, cardboard construction, markers, tissue, and natural elements such as rocks, twigs, and leather - yes, real leather!

This project was a lot of fun - especially working in a 3-D format.

Westward Ho!

Our first week of Summer ART Camp was great fun! Our older students painted Indian ponies, complete with war paint and feathers! I love how they all chose a different horse breed, and I really love their horses' flowing manes!

Little Austin made one too!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Watercolor Batik!

This month we are exploring innovative ways to paint, with or without paint. For this week's project, we tried liquid watercolor with masking fluid on paper to create a batik look.

Remember batik? This technique was popular around the same time as tie dye, in the '70s. You would "draw" or stamp your design on plain colored muslin with hot wax. Then you would dye the fabric with a cold water dye so the wax wouldn't melt away. Once it was dry, you'd remove the wax by boiling the fabric, then wash and iron it to use for whatever.

Now days, new techniques using Elmer's gel glue and Rit liquid dye in spray bottles has replaced the hot wax method in many classrooms. (Sounds like fun - we may try it sometime!)

Our current project uses the same "resist" technique, but on watercolor paper.

Our subject was a school of fish, all drawn using one template, overlapped to appear as a swimming school of fish. Then masking fluid is "painted" over the pencil lines and details to resist the watercolor. Once everything is dry, the masking is rubbed off (just like rubbing off rubber cement) to reveal the lovely white paper lines and details, just like batik!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Painting with Paper!

Carolyn's lovely tropical sunset, using tissue paper
with black cardstock. Notice the bleeding colors in the water.

This week we discovered another way to paint without paint! We used paper to create our "paintings" and no real rules beyond that.

We tried everything from tissue paper, construction paper, and scrapbook paper, any of which could be torn or cut with scissors, scrunched, folded, crimped, or whatever.  We attached then it to the substrate (backing) using liquid starch, mod podge and/or glue sticks - anything that worked.

Tissue and brown kraft paper. 

The results were pretty amazing! I think it was fun to at first feel so limited (no drawing implements or any kind of paint allowed) then to feel so free to do whatever strikes you with so many types of papers, patterns, and colors. Everyone was pretty excited, once we got going, to see how their idea took shape.

Technically these would be considered collages for the most part, but we had some bleeding tissue effects as well, which were brushed like paint with some lovely results and which fell within the rules of working with the paper in any way that presents itself.

I got the idea of painting with paper from the amazing work of Barb Zimmerman. I wanted to find a method that would allow the students to try what she does on a very small scale, or at least something similar. Since she uses a variety of paper types that she collects, I decided not to limit the project to tissue paper or typical collage papers. I would like to try this one again!

Joseph's "View of the Ocean" from above.
See the waves, the fish, and the whale's tail?

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Painting with Yarn!

Traditional Huichol Yarn Painting
This month our focus is to try unusual painting techniques and art media. In fact, some of these projects do not even involve paint!  

These yarn paintings are a good example of this. We first learned a bit about the Huichol; indigenous people living in the mountainous areas of north central Mexico. Traditional Huichol style yarn painting is a type of folk art painting practiced by these people as a way of telling stories, often with spiritual significance. This type of painting involves the use of symbols and traditional materials such as tree sap to stick the yarn to its base. 

We didn't collect tree sap, however. Instead - a shortcut, which worked quite well: peel and stick floor tiles! This eliminated the normal classroom process of applying white glue as you go and the resulting sticky / hairy fingers and long drying time. 

However, we learned it is more difficult to draw the initial design on the sticky tile back to use as a guide, but we found that if we drew the basic design on the peel-off paper by pressing hard, enough of it would show up on the sticky black surface (after peeling off the paper) to start the design. You also need a toothpick or a skewer as a tool to help move the yarn into tight corners, and you need sharp scissors so you can snip the yarn just right to fit into sharp corners or short valleys and crevices. 

Of course, you also need plenty of yarn in multiple colors, so I collected yarn from thrift stores, garage sales, donations, and my own reserves. We had lots of yarn balls, skeins, and scraps laid out in trays by general color (reds, blues/purples, golds/yellows, etc.) 

This project takes planning and patience to complete, but these 6" square tiles were easily completed within the two-hour class period.

NOTE: These 6 " square tiles were cut (with a utility knife) from 12" square floor tiles. You could also cut nine 4" square tiles from a 12" square. In our case, the prevailing idea was to go LARGER; possibly cutting an 8" to 10" square or even using the whole 12" tile for a single project. 

This "Sunflower" tile was started with no preliminary drawing at all;
just an oval "drawn" and filled with brown yarn in the center.
The design was then worked outward from the oval.