Sunday, January 13, 2013

What the Art Teacher Wore #50

Rude Awakening Monday: This may or may not be my "do I REALLY have to go back to school?" face. The hardest part this week has been waking up and moving. I mean, I can be awake and lay in bed for hours but that ain't paying my thrift store bills. sweater: Anthro label, picked up at Buffalo Exchange; skirt: ancient, JCrew; shoes, gloves and hair clips: old, Anthro; tights: Target; scarf: Germany
Well, hello there. I bring to you what I wore this week along with some tales from the Brothers Grimm and illustrations by the amazing Arthur Rackham. As my fourth grade students began their castle sculptures (you can see the beginning stages of the project here and our inspiration here), a student asked if they could add a knight to their landscape. Another wanted to add a princess in a tower. When one mentioned adding Rapunzel, I suddenly knew we were on to something. 

So this week I am going to introduce to them some tales by the Brothers Grimm and share with them these illustrations by Arthur Rackham. I've always had a thing for Rackham's illustrations but I was unaware of his silhouettes until doing some online digging. I'll keep you posted on where this leads their castle creations. Until then, I hope you have a fantastical fairy-tale-esque week!
Grimm Brothers Statue in their birthplace of Hanau, Germany. Jacob (1785–1863) and Wilhelm Grimm (1786–1859), were German which ties in so nicely with our current theme of study. The brothers both had a great interest in folk tales and spent most of their adult lives collecting and recording folk stories. The brothers wrote and modified so many of the folk tales that we know and love today. Among them are Snow White, The Frog Prince, Hansel and Gretel (not the movie version), Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. 
Self-Portrait by Arthur Rackham, used in the book Aesop's Fables, 1912. Born in London, Rackham was one of 12 children. He discovered his love for illustration early in his life and it was his lifelong career. I had Aesop's Fables with his illustrations as a kid and they had a huge impact on me and my love for drawing.
The Return of the Children Tuesday: Bring 'em. I'm ready. At least that's what I've been telling myself. However, one of my New Years resolutions is to cut out coffee (I'm still drinking two cups of black tea a day for the sake of those near me) and it's been tough. I have noticed I'm a lot more chill. Probably because I'm asleep during class. sweater: Banana Republic, thrifted; skirt: vintage, thrifted; red top: some weird place in Nashville whose name escapes me; tights: Target; boots: Seychelles; belt: Anthro
I need to start scouring the thrift stores for gems like this. Rackham illustrated the work of many authors but Grimm's Fairy Tales is probably the most popular.
Rapunzel. So the story goes that a wife is preggers and has a mad craving for some rampion (a veg kinda like a carrot) that she spies in the yard of a witchy neighbor. Good hubs goes to fetch her some and promises off the first born to the witch for a bushel. The witch names the girl Rapunzel and locks her in a tall tower because she's too doggone pretty for her own good. When the witch wants to come for tea, she hollers the famous, "Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair." A hunky prince happens by, sees cute Rapunzel and hatches a plan to be together. Of course there are some bumps in the road as there always are in fairy tales but ultimately they end up happily ever after.
Arthur Rackham's style of drawing was pretty inventive. He would lightly draw in pencil, trace over with ink, add layers of wash and more pencil to give his work a lot of depth. I love the shadows of the birds flying by in this image above. Do you see it? It's on the wall of the castle.
Gnome Dress Upon Request: My friends in first grade land asked me if I'd wear my gnome dress this week. How could I deny 'em that? We are just now creating our gnomes, so we had fun looking at all the silliness the gnomes at the bottom of my dress were up to. gnome dress: made by me, DIY here; shoes and sweater: Anthro; tights; Target
The Sleeping Beauty. So Rackham also did this amazing silhouette thing that I was totally unfamiliar with.
Okay, you know this story, right? Queen has a baby, has a big party but forgets to invite that one fairy who is rather witchy and annoying. Well, you know witchy fairy came anyway and cast a terrible spell on the baby. Thankfully another fairy quickly altered the spell: that when the girl was 16, she would prick herself on a spindle and fall into a deep sleep. Forever. Or until she finds true love. Which is pretty hard to do when you are awake, let alone passed out with drool running down your cheek. The Queen demands that another spell be cast that everyone in the castle fall asleep until the Princess awakes. Not long after that, a hunky Prince stumbles upon a very quiet (except for the snoring) castle and explores the inside only to find this beautiful drooly princess. She and the rest of the kingdom are awoken with a kiss.
These are referred to as silhouette cuts which I guess means Rackham cut them out with scissors. Wow. I've always loved silhouettes.
Bang a Gong Thursday: Did you know I have a gong in my room? Yeah, it was my 10th year wedding anniversary prezzie from the hubs. Best not to ask. Anyway, it serves as our Clean Up Gong along with the Clean Up Drums and the Clean Up Chime. I have the pleasure of hearing it played about nine times a day. Advil, anyone? knights jousting dress: to inspire the fourth graders and their castles! vintage, etsy; sweater: vintage; belt: Anthro; tights: Target; shoes: Dolls by Nina

Rumpelstiltskin. So a poor dude has a lovely daughter and goes about bragging to the king that she can spin gold. The king then takes her, commands she spin some gold and locks her in a room. She can't spin gold! So she sets about freaking out when a little dude appears and promises to spin gold for her if she'll trade something valuable. For days she swaps him her jewelry for his help. When she runs out of stuff, she promises her first born. In the meantime, the King thinks he's hit the jackpot and marries the ole Gold Spinner. Not too long after, she has a baby and ole Rumpelstiltskin comes a-knockin.
Obviously, the Queen is not about to part with that baby. So old Rumpel makes a deal that she can keep her child if she can guess his name in three days time. By day two, she still has no clue as to his name until a knight comes to her with a story of how he overheard Rumpelstiltskin talk to himself in the third person (I've always thought people who do that are weird). On that third day, she says the famous, "Perhaps your name is...Rumpelstiltskin...?" and the rest is fairy tale history.
Biker Friday: I wore this dress because of the great Renaissance-esque patterns at the bottom. My fourth graders are creating totally toilet-paper-roll tubular castles so I thought I'd dress the part. I was thrilled to see several of them had checked out books on castles from the school library. By the way, I promise I wasn't going for a biker look. But it's been rainy this week and I love any excuse to bust out these Hunter boots. jacket: old, Modcloth; dress: Angie; boots: Hunter
Cinderella. Poor Cindy. She's got that rotten stepmother and evil step sisters to contend with. When the King invites everyone to a grand ball, Cindy has to help sew gowns for the sisters and is told by her stepmother she isn't allowed to attend.
It's then that her Fairy Godmother appears and with the wave of a wand, has Cindy looking fab. But you know the catch: Midnight curfew. No later.
Thankfully she leaves behind that glass slipper which is like fairy tale DNA. Once the slipper is on, the Prince knows he's found his mystery girl. I'm guessing she was one of those rare big footed gals like myself. Any other size 10 footed females wanna back me on this?


  1. I LOVE Fairytales. And their illustrators too :)
    There is even a book about a woman who goes touring England on the trail of children's story books (How the Heather Looks)... how cool is that? I bet a Rackham tour would be fun too!

  2. I'm lovin' reading this post!


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