Showing posts with label Black Forest. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Black Forest. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

In the Art Room: Chillin' wit my Gnomies

When writing about her gnomette, this sweet third grade artist said one of her hobbies was taking care of her pets when not working at the animal shelter. So sweet compared to the axe-wielding, sneaky-eyed gnome shown a little later in this post...

 Greetings from Gnomeville! Please feel free to pull up a mushroom, make yourself a tiny gnome-sized cup of tea and stay awhile. I've got many a gnome-tastic masterpiece to share with you, so make yourself at gnome, er home.
Despite the awkward placement of the fishing pole, I do love this sneaky-faced fisherman.
 You might remember we began our study of Germany and garden gnomes ages ago. I shared a very brief gnome history here and even whipped up a gnome dress for the occasion. Since then, the art room has become over run with these little dudes and I almost can't stand to be alone in the same room with all of them. They are Always Watching.
My collection of gnome books. The one in the foreground proved to be the most kid friendly. While I love Gnomeland, mooning and chest baring gnomes are just the kind of thing that principal lady of mine frowns upon. The kids were fascinated by How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack. It's important to be prepared.
 Wanna make your own gnome-tastic landscape? Here's how we did it:
  •  We started with a 12" X 18" piece of white paper. After a big fat hairy lesson on color mixing, we painted layers of color for our sky. This took us two thirty minute sessions.
  • The next week, we had a chat about Germany's Black Forrest. We learned that it got it's name from the Romans who called it such because the dense coverage of the trees makes the forest very dark. We talked about the textures of the forest while passing around objects from the photo above: wool, turkey feathers, pine needles and a brillo pad to recall how moss might feel.
  •  After that touchy-feely session, we discussed implied texture and how to create them. We spent one class using sponges or brushes to create clouds in our sky. The following class, we sponge painted green papers to imply the texture of moss. Lastly, we painted texture of tree bark on brown papers.
This is actually a grouping of first grade landscapes. They went about their sky differently by simply picking a sky color and adding clouds. They had already studying sky painting here. I'm sharing their work so you can see how the third graders also created their landscape.

  •  To assemble our landscapes, we tore our green painted papers and glued them down. In order to "plant" the trees, I asked the students to only add glue to the straight edge of the ground, not the torn one. This made it so we could tuck trees and mushrooms into the land later.
  • Another tearing sessions resulted in our trees and branches. The kids tired of the branch making business pretty early as you might be able to tell. The end result looks like some serious pruning happened in the Black Forest. Oh well.
 Disco Gnome complete with a ginger afro, funky glasses and a disco ball. The little Sweet and Sassy Gnome on the right is holding a Valentine's heart that reads "kiss me".
  •  When the landscape collage portion was complete, we set those aside for many a day to craft our gnomes. I am on a toilet paper tube project kick (see our hot air balloons here) and that's what came in so hand for the gnome bodies. Most of the kids painted them so that one color was on the top and a different one on the bottom.
  • While those dried, we began drawing the faces of our gnomes. We did our usual: draw with a pencil, trace with a sharpie, erase peek-a-boo pencil lines and add color, baby, color (don't ask me why, but I always say, "color, baby, color" like I'm Tom Jones or something). Those were cut out and glued to our tubes along with arms, shoes, hands and props.
Not sure if this is a gnomette or a princess waiting for her carriage in the distance. I do know that this artist started quite the trend among the gnomettes by requesting a "fluffy skirt" skirt (gee, I wonder where she got that idea?). My stash of coffee filters came in pretty handy. P.S., how cute is that fan?!
  • Once the gnomes were complete, the kids cut the tube up the back. Then they folded a small ledge on either side of the tube. This gave the tube a flat surface to better attach to the paper.
Okay, I'm in love with this gnome. Not only is he affectionate ("Kiss the Cook" apron, seriously?) but he's also rather handy in the baked goods department. Cookies and 1$ pies? Don't mind if I do.
  • Once the gnomes were attached to their landscapes, the kids continued to enhance their scene. Some kids requested to create another gnome from a tube, three boys decided they need tube-cars and, as you can see above, one tube was used as a pie stand. I have a very hard time saying "no" to the kids when they run their genius ideas past me. How can I deny their enthusiasm and creativity? This explains why our projects take for-evah.
The artist who created the work on the left requested a handle for his ax. We used a toothpick. And check out that fishing gnome. This artist even included a reel in the gnomes right hand.

Oh, look, it's Gnomeland's Got Talent. I'm not sure what happened to her back up singers but I'm totally diggin' the tip jar and the boom box. She's ole skool.
This work was created by the artist who affectionately refers to herself as Mini-Mrs. Stephens. She really wanted her gnome to look like the one I had on display. I'd say she did an excellent job. I especially like her addition of the fuzzy slippers.
Can you tell what this gnome is doing? He's leaf-blowing! What my photo didn't capture was the large leaf-blower he's wearing on his back. I love the wind blown leaves.
I have to tell you, I think this might be one of my favorite projects so far this year. The kids just went wild with ideas for their gnomes and they seemed to enjoy every minute. I do hope you've enjoyed your stay chillin' wit my gnomies. Until next time, as the gnome above would say, "Peace out, dudes!"





Sunday, November 18, 2012

What I Wore this Week #43

Matching my Mini-Me Monday: So I have this third grade student that refers to her self as "mini-Mrs. Stephens" (poor girl) and tries her best to imitate my tacky-tasticness. The day before her art class, she informed me to wear "a vest, a tie, a puffy skirt and a big bow in your hair like Lady Gaga so we can match." We were quite the sight, if only I'd snapped a photo. dress: old, Francesca's; vest: vintage, thrifted; tights: Target; boots: Hunter, ebay 
Hey there. I come to you on my wonderfully long Thanksgiving break. That's right, I've got a week off for the occasion. About which I'd be just a bit more excited if I wasn't surrounded by bottles of Nyquil, wadded up tissues and half empty cups of tea, coffee and gluhwein. Gluh-what, you ask? That's fancy German-speak for a traditional mulled-wine which is perfect on a chilly evening when you are feeling as I do. I've been using this recipe here.

Speaking of Germany, that's the country my students are going to be studying after Thanksgiving break. AND after they finish up these French-themed projects. Which seem to be taking forever. I've got my passport station set up, photos of Jes in Germany printed and now I'm onto the research of the great country of Germany and their traditional crafts. I've decided that one grade level is going to create their own version of a cuckoo clock. Since I've been doing research on these bad boys, I thought I'd share it with you as apart of this week's art history lesson. I hope you enjoy. And to my friends in Germany, please feel free to add info I'm sure to miss. Thanks for dropping by!
Cuckoo clocks hail from the southwestern part of Germany called the Black Forest (or Schwarzwald  in German). The Romans originally gave the Black Forest it's name because of the dense growth of coniferous trees that block out the sunlight. The story goes that the first cuckoo clock was created around 1730 by a clock-maker who added a moving bird to his clock that would announce the hour with it's cuckoo call. The clock maker got his idea from a church organ. 
Feelin' Squirrely Tuesday: Just a matter of days before our Thanksgiving break and the kids and I are just trying to make it. I tried very hard to get most of our Parisian projects wrapped up so we could begin our study of Germany after break. sweater: sale! right now! Urban Outfitters; skirt: vintage, gift from a friend; tights: Target; boots: Seychelles
Okay, when I think of cuckoo clocks, this is what comes to mind. However, the first clocks actually had a flat panel of wood with a floral or fruit still-life painted on it. There was a little door for the cuckoo and, of course, the clock. These clocks were usually sold door-to-door by clock-peddlers who wore huge backpacks depicting the clocks, the dials and the movements. In the year 1850, a cuckoo clock competition was held and an architect by the name of Friedrich Eisenlohr won for his design that depicted imagery very similar to what is seen above. This style is called the Bahnhausle.
Oh, Wednesday. Always the middle child: Okay, check out this new-to-me Anthro sweater. It's inspired me to root through my rarely worn sweaters and give them a new DIY life. I just love that big ole applique flower. sweater and dress: Anthropologie, picked up for cheap at Buffalo Exchange; tights: Target; boots: Frye
I totally love this style. It's called the Swiss Chalet style cuckoo clock because it originated in Switzerland in the late 1800's. These clocks feature more than the appearance of a cuckoo bird at the beginning of each new hour. Popular animated figures include beer drinkers, wood cutters and dancing couples. Notice that the weighted pine cones are also on these clocks.
Amelia Bedelia Thursday: My second graders totally had an Amelia Bedelia moment in the art room. When I gave them used envelopes to keep their small cut out shapes in, I told them to "scratch out" the other persons name and write their own. I knew I had misspoke when I heard the following convo: (kid #1)"I just can't seem to scratch out the name!"...(kid #2)"here, let me try, I have really long fingernails". Ha! sweater, red dotted top, skirt: all from Goodwill; tights: Target; shoes: Fluevog
I am totally in love with these cuckoo clocks by contemporary artist Stefan Strumbel. He's from the Black Forest region and uses some very traditional methods in his non-traditional work. I love how he plays on themes of folklore and popular culture. You can check out more of his work here.
Catching a Cold/Surprise Observation Friday: That's right, an observation of my last class of the day before break. Did I mention I was also sick? To be fair, my insanely sweet vice principal asked if it was okay and I agreed. We'll have to wait and see how it went as I've decided not to open my score results until after break. jacket: Anthro, picked up at Buffalo Exchange; skirt: vintage, thrifted; boots: good ole Seychelles
In my research, I found this adorable fabric here. It's by the fabric designer Kelly Lee-Creel and it's from her Storybook line. I promptly ordered myself a couple of yards and I am mid-way through a new dress. I can't wait to share it with you. Sadly, I made the unwise decision to include sleeves...and if you've been reading here long, you know how I feel about ... sleeves.  If you don't know, let's just say, I ain't cuckoo over 'em.
I hope you have a wonderful start to your week tomorrow! Chat with you soon.