Monday, August 28, 2017

Marbled Paper!

This week we made marbled paper! Lots and lots of it! 

We used two different methods. The first involved shaving foam and food coloring.

Squirt the foam onto a tray to the size and shape of your paper.
Using droppers, add two or three food colors (or liquid watercolors, which we also used).

Swirl everything gently with a skewer, a comb, or a feather into gentle shapes - not just big circles. And try not to make mud! This is one of those things where 'less is more.'

Now lay the paper gently on top of the foam and pat down all over with the palm of your hand.

Lift the paper and gently scrape off the excess foam into a bowl with an old credit card. Allow to dry. Beautiful!

The second method involves liquid starch, alum, and acrylic paint. Needless to say, our older campers tackled this one - and loved the results! We used the instructions found here: 

You can use your marbled paper to make things like cards and covers or end papers for your own handmade books. Drew made these gorgeous book markers from both types of marbled paper.

Concoctions, Slime, and Sand - Oh No!

Messy, crazy fun! That's what this week was all about.

We made flubber, and then we had flubber races (which we discovered are very, very slow - like watching paint dry).

We also pounded it, squished it, and cut it with scissors. Flubber is a polymer, which we decided is a liquid AND and solid too!

Our older campers made galaxy slime!
They also made sand castings, which they then painted.

We squirted water on bleeding tissue to make tissue paintings that looked like stained glass!

The we added glitter after they were dry (just for more messy fun!)

We painted with puffy paint, then we microwaved it!

(Funny - after we were done, everyone was in the mood for pancakes!)

We also made Artists Trading Cards (ATCs), some of which are shown here.

Notice the lovely blended subtle colors and bold lines! These were drawn with Sharpies on coffee filters, then colored with crayola markers and sprayed with water! After they dried, we used the ATC template to trace a card shape over the best part of each design, cut it out, and glue to cardstock.

This is not all we did during concoctions week. The last project deserves a post all of its own! Hint: Whirls and Swirls!

Make Your Own Toys!

This week we made TOYS!!!!!

Yep, it's true. We made balancing robots that can balance on the tip of a pencil or even on your nose!

We made a fishing game... and then we went FISHIN'!!!
We made ring toss games!
We made custom designed helicopters that really fly!

We made sun visors from paper plates and wore them to play indoor balloon tennis, which we also made!

We made mazes from paper plates, pipe cleaners, and anything else we could dream up. Then we made more mazes out of recycled CD cases.

We made a floating ball toy, an origami cyclops eye, and flexagon fidget toys.

We even made pompom catapults!!!

Best of all, we had a GREAT time, playing games and having fun with toys that the children made themselves. That's what a MakerSpace is all about, and we are proud to offer it to the Blackfoot community!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Paint Like Van Gogh!

"I dream of painting and then I paint my dream."       ~ Vincent van Gogh

Dutch Post-Impressionist Vincent van Gogh's most famous painting (of many) may be his "Starry Night", which he painted from his asylum room at Saint-Paul-De-Mausole (into which he had committed himself after a nervous breakdown). Most van Gogh art lessons seem to be based on this painting, so we decided to look at some of his other magnificent works for inspiration. (I like to be different.) My personal favorite is "Irises" and since we were ready for another garden painting, that was the one we chose!

We painted this with tempera paint on watercolor paper. First we drew our irises (including leaves and stems) with black oil pastel using How to Draw an Iris in Five Easy Steps. Then, we finger painted!!! We dabbed on the paint with the tip of our index finger using two or three colors and color mixtures at a time. We smeared, we stroked, and we blotted, using our finger like a paintbrush. We found that finger painting made the flower petals super easy to paint!

After the paint was completely dry, we outlined everything again with black pastel (or black crayon) and added a few more details.

Sadly, van Gogh was never famous as a painter during his lifetime, and he constantly struggled with poverty and depression. He only sold one painting while he was alive, but because of his obsession with painting he seldom ate and neglected his health. Van Gogh died at the age of 37. 

"Paintings have a life of their own that derives from the painter's soul."  ~ Vincent van Gogh

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Paint Like Matisse!

"Creativity takes courage." ~ Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse was a French artist who worked in many different types of media, including printing, sculpting, painting, and collage. He is best known for his colorful, expressive paintings - as well as his whimsical "painting with scissors" techniques that he used in his later years while confined to a wheelchair.

I love each of the individual interpretations of this painting, including the varied shapes of the bowl, the furnishings, the patterns, the backgrounds, and most of all, the students' wonderful use of color! 


Saturday, August 12, 2017

Paint like Joan Miro!

Three Children in the Park
"The simplest things give me ideas." ~ Joan Miro

Painting like Joan Miro, a Spanish abstract artist, is just plain fun!

We took a look at his interesting, playful style and observed all of the weird shapes and humorous symbolic forms used in his work. It was so interesting to think about "playing" while working. What a great job that would be!

We drew Miro-style shapes on coffee filters that had been ironed flat. We used black Sharpies to do this, which are permanent. Then we filled in the shapes with lots of liquid watercolor, which spread into the soft filters.

We then cut a square out of the most colorful portion and glued it to a black mat (with a piece of white paper behind the filter to better show off the color)

"When I stand in front of a canvas, I never know what I'm going to do - and nobody is more surprised than I am at what comes out."  ~ Joan Miro

Friday, August 11, 2017

Paint like Modigliani!

"Woman with Red Hair"  1917
"It is your duty in life to save your dream." ~ Amedeo Modigliani

We wanted to paint portraits, but not in the usual way. We wanted to try something different - something that didn't involve capturing a perfect likeness. So we learned how to create our portraits Modigliani-style!

Amedeo Clemente Modigliani was an Italian Jewish painter and sculptor who was known for his unusual elongated faces and figures. Tp aint in his style, we divided a 12" x 18" paper into 1/4 sections for our proportions. Then we used black oil pastels to draw the main shapes, and soft pastels for the skin tones, hair, clothing, and other details. The best thing about this medium is that we could blend the flesh tones to include many different shades, tints, and colors, as well as in the hair and the fabric of the subject's clothing. I think you will agree, the results were stunning!

Modigliani became ill and died in 1920 at the early age of 35. Had he lived longer, he would likely have made many more wonderful contributions to the art world! 

"When I know your soul, I will paint your eyes." ~ Amedeo Modigliani