Saturday, July 28, 2018

Magical Mechanical Flying Sculptures!

This week we made 
Magical Mechanical 
Flying Sculptures!

I KNOW! Amazing, right? These young artists can make ANYTHING!!!!

How did they do it?

They started with an ordinary BOX, which they painted white (we used gesso.) 

Then they painted the box using any colors they wanted. They mixed most of their own colors.

While the paint dried, the artists created a magical CROWN from a cardboard tube. We added plenty of magic with glittery paint and gems and beads and other magical ingredients for this task.  

Then we added details to our machine such as buttons and knobs and gauges and switches and gears and portholes and warning notices and who-knows-what else. 

We also added wheels, soft landing pads, or 'boingy' things to the bottom of the machine. 

Some artists used a photo of themselves operating the machine. You could see them driving the machine through a little window.

To make the wings, we used wooden tools to engrave or "tool" the shapes into heavy gauge tooling foil with soft felt underneath. We created organic shapes, like insect or bird wings (not airplane or jet wings). Then they tooled feathers and other types of patterns and textures into each wing, and cut the wings out.

The wings were then attached with a brad through a drilled hole in each side of the box and a hole punched into the wing. 

The wings can now be swiveled and bent at will for perfect flying!

Here is my amazing flying sculpture. (Of course I made one too!)

A BIG thank you to Small Hands Big Art for this amazing project idea!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Robot Puppets!

"Contraptions and Gizmos" Week (and Gadgets and Doohickeys and so forth) started, of course, with ROBOT PUPPETS!!! This was a S.T.E.A.M. MakerSpace Camp, so there was a lot of innovation and creative thinking-out-of-the-box going on around here. 

These fun robot puppets have movable arms and legs and BIG personalities (robot-alities?)

They were made with anything found in the MakerSpace studio - along with older stored artwork, which just waiting to be incorporated in to one of these awesome robots!

Let me explain. Sometimes, when we make painted collage projects, we often paint a LOT of paper to cut and glue to our collages. Much of it is stamped with various shapes for added texture and color, and MUCH of it is left over and stacked in a box for future projects. Like Robot Puppets! BOOM!

We started our robots by tracing the square body on the back of a favorite painted paper using a 5" x 5" cardboard template. The artists cut them out, then created a head, and rectangular arms and legs proportional to the body. (I do this to ensure that they draw and design things BIG, instead of microscopically small, as they often do.) We glued the head to the top of the body, then we added fun foam shapes, bottle caps, stickers, washi tape, sparkly pompoms, pipe cleaners, and what-have-you for features and details. 

After everything was glued on, we punched holes in the body and the tops of the arms and legs and attached them with brads (kids LOVE brads!) Last step: We taped a stick to the back of the body and BOOM! 

An AWESOME puppet!

Our thanks to Meri Cherry for this great art project idea! 

We also made more ROBOTIC HANDS this week. You can see them right HERE.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Paint Like Piet Mondriaan

Mondriaan Mural Abstract

"Curves are so emotional!"  

Piet Mondriaan was a Dutch artist, known for his cubist abstract paintings. He used grid-like shapes with black, white, and bold colors. He is said to have never used a ruler to paint lines and he mixed all of his own colors, which were always variations of the primaries red, blue, and yellow.  

Mondriaan's art is very popular in the Netherlands, especially in his hometown of Amersfoort. His abstract art designs can be seen on objects everywhere; from fashions, furniture, and bags, to clock faces, buildings, and even soda cans!

There are many ways to create Mondriaan-style art. We decided on a collage. 

First, I selected as many different shades of red, blue, and yellow paper that I could find, which we cut into various square and rectangular shapes, large and small. I also cut lots of long black strips with the paper cutter. 

We selected and glued red, blue, and yellow shapes to a large piece of white paper, ensuring that the edges were always vertical and horizontal (no diagonal placements) so that we could be true to Mondriaan's style of painting. 

Then we glued on the black stripes, some of which were wider and some narrower.  Some had to be cut to fit into smaller spaces. It was like putting together a puzzle, and it was fun!

Sunday, July 22, 2018

More Matisse!


"Drawing with Scissors" 

"Seek the strongest color effect possible... the content is of no importance."

At the age of 71, Matisse became very ill. After surgery and a long time in bed, he was confined to a wheel chair. He could no longer paint so he turned to collages with a technique that he called “drawing with scissors.” He would cut  pieces of brightly colored paper that were then arranged onto large sheets of white paper and glued down.

Matisse’s collages often filled an entire wall!

To paint with scissors, we started with a piece of 9" x 18" black construction paper and many colors of brightly colored and white copy paper. I like copy paper because the colors don't fade like some construction papers do, and it is easy for younger artists to cut. 

We examined several of Matisse's collages and found lots of different cutout shapes: starbursts, splashes, splats, spirals, waves, zigzags, wavy lines, and simple organic shapes like humans, birds, animals, fish, and leaves. The goal was to take one's time and cut out interesting shapes; then to arrange both the positive and negative pieces within the composition. 

We started by gluing larger, simple shapes on the black background. Then the more intricate shapes were cut, arranged on top of the background, and glued to the artwork.

Drawing with scissors is so much fun! It can be done by anyone, young and old. Matisse made his collages throughout the last 12 years of his life, until he died at the age of 84. His collage works are some of his most well known pieces.

"Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs," Tate Modern exhibition (UK), 2014

Paint Like Henri Matisse

Purple Robe and Anemones, 1937

"Creativity takes courage."

Matisse had plenty of courage. He was a draughtsman, printer, sculptor, and most famously, a painter. His large paintings were filled with bold forms, rich colors, and vibrant patterns. He was considered by other artists of his time (as well as modern artists) a "master" of color. 

As we studied Matisse's paintings we found that many of his paintings shared the same still life objects. In particular, several portrait paintings contained the gray or silver vase shown in the painting above. In each painting the vase was sitting on a table, filled with various flowers, and surrounded by pieces of fruit. 

For our painting, we created this vase of flowers on a background of lively Matisse-style colors and patterns! 

First we divided a large piece of heavy paper into 4 equal sections and painted each a different color using cake temperas.

While the paint dried, we drew our vase and saucer on another piece of paper and painted it gray using any mixture of complementary colors, but not black and white. Most chose yellow and violet since these colors were also used in their backgrounds. 

Next, we created a pattern in each section of the background using oil pastels and one to three colors for each pattern. 

Then we also drew and painted a few lemons, oranges, and at least 3 large flowers or 5 smaller flowers for our still life.

We outlined and added details to our vases in oil pastel, cut them out, and glued them to the background.

Then we cut out and arranged the fruit on the saucer and table until it looked "right," and glued the fruit down. 

Finally, we cut and glued the flowers to the painting, remembering that a stem needed to be attached to the bottom of each flower, which might affect how it is positioned. The stems and leaves were then added with oil pastels, using two shades of green. 

The lovely paintings are very Matisse-like, aren't they?

Our thanks to Do Art! for this great project idea!

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Painting Like Marc Chagall

The Lovers, 1944


"If I create from the heart, almost everything works; if from the head, almost nothing."

Marc Chagall knew nothing about art as a child, living in drab surroundings of the Jewish quarter of Vitebsk in Belarus. He learned from a friend how to draw by copying  images out of books and decided he wanted to be an artist. 

Chagall developed a surrealistic style of painting that was full of scenes and imagery from his childhood. His highly personal style of modern art combined real and dream worlds into richly colored fantasies where people fly and animals cavort. 

Our Chagall-style paintings were based on these dream-paintings. We called them Life is a Dream

We drew our dreams on large, heavy 18" x 24" drawing paper. To emulate Chagall's dreamy themes, each artist drew him or herself flying, floating, or soaring through the air while carrying or holding something important to them. 

Below them are buildings of some kind, including their own house (real or imaginary). Above is a sun or a moon with a face, and the scene must include at least one or more additional things that are odd, weird, or very strange! 

Once the basic pencil drawing was completed, the objects were outlined and colored in with oil pastels and tempera paints.

The artists found that when they painted thinned tempera over the oil pastels, the resulting oil 'resist' contributed to the dreamy look of their compositions.

The last step was to fill in the sky with thinned tempera paint and a few chose to add course salt to the wet paint, which produces a strange texture in the paint and a very dreamlike sky for their dream-selves to fly through. 

Friday, July 20, 2018

Painting Like Pablo Picasso

Face of Woman, 1962


"The world today doesn't make sense, so why should I paint pictures that do?"

Pablo Picasso was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printer, ceramist, and stage designer who is considered one of the most influential 20th century artists. 

Picasso's early paintings were very realistic in style, but his painting became more angular and abstract throughout his career as an artist. He explained why above. He also said, "It takes a long time to become young," which may explain how his work evolved from carefully rendered realism to the strange, playful caricatures that we are so familiar with. 

For our artwork, we made our own "Split Personality" sculptures, similar to Picasso's paintings that seem to portray two (or more) faces in one, such as Face of Woman shown above.   

We cut an asymmetrical shape out of corrugated cardboard, divided it into three sections and painted each section a different color and we stamped patterns in some of them.

The we cut out more cardboard shapes for facial features like eyes, ears, and lips, or selected other items to glue on.  

Additional items such as pipe cleaners, craft sticks, beads, straws, and recycled objects were attached to enhance the face sculptures.

The corrugated cardboard made it easy to insert pipe cleaners and other items into the sculpture for "hair" and other embellishments. 

We created stands for our  sculptures by wrapping a chopstick with washi tape and a piece of floral foam in duct tape. Then we inserted the stick into the bottom of the face and the other end into the foam for a perfect base for our sculptures!

This project was definitely a HIT! The kids LOVED their Picasso-style "Split Personality" art sculptures!!!