Showing posts with label art class. Show all posts
Showing posts with label art class. Show all posts

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Art Room Rainbow Tree (and a New Mural)!

I have been chompin' at the bit to share my Rainbow Tree from Treetopia with y'all...and today is the big day and big reveal...so here she is in all of her Roy G. Biv glory! 
Y'all might recall that I received a Candy Corn tree from Treetopia last month that graced my dining room. I had an absolute blast creating dozens of ornaments to transform that tree into, what I dubbed, my Monster Mash Tree! When Treetopia reached out to me again for the holidays, I happily agreed...and eagerly requested The Rainbow Tree (cue angels singing...)
Because this tree is for the art room and will stay up all year, I am not calling it a Christmas tree. We have a rainbow (ahem) of beliefs at my school and I would never want anyone to feel excluded. Therefore, it's an all-inclusive art teacherin' tree that I've decorated with art supply ornaments!
I had the tree delivered to my school and it arrived in just under two days. The box, which was labeled RAINBOW TREE caused quite a stir in the front office. I had folks dropping by all day to see if I'd unboxed the tree yet. I waited until after school and had the help of my P.E. teacher buddy Ali to put the tree together. It went up in just under 15 minutes!
We got the tree up just under two weeks ago...looking at this photo, I can see just how much has changed in this area of my art room!
That's right, this tree pushed me over the decorating edge! It inspired me to spray paint my gong (which has now become such a wonderful color wheel teaching tool), tear down my jungle lounge paper'ed walls and paint my walls (more on that shortly) and wash off my window (with the help of some third grade kiddos). I'm so excited how this space is transforming! You can see more on what I've got in store for this space here
Basically, this tree now has me viewing my life thru rainbow colored glasses...and I'm 100% cool with that.
When I settled on the idea of decorating the tree with art supplies, I decided to do some recycling. I have had those large palette shape trays forever. I think they were originally party serving trays as I think that circle may have been for the drink? I've had them in my art room for the last 15 years and I hardly ever use them. So I took them outside, flipped them over and spray painted them silver. On the front, I simply added blobs of paint. When those dried, I added brushes and a fabric bow. The crayons were actually just removed (temporarily) from this display. The smaller palettes I picked up in a pack at the Dollar Tree. I simply added some paint and allowed it to dry overnight. And the brush ornaments were created this way:

Now. Let's address what the tree had me doing to the rest of this space, shall we?
 I couldn't very well keep the jungle theme going with this blazing bright baby of a tree, could I? So when Mitch suggested I paint the gong he gave me for our 10 year wedding anniversary, I went for it. Days of rain prevented me from getting that done in the timely manner I wanted...but it's complete and I couldn't be happier. It looks like art candy! I started by painting it completely white...with many layers of primer. Then I taped it off and went section by section with paint. It's such a happy surprise when you walk in the room. The kids are LOVING it painted!
 Back in the day, I used to paint my window and decorate my surrounding wall. Here, let's take a peak:
I had a lot of fun doing this...and it really set the tone for the units we studied. You can catch more views of my Paris themed room here
It's so interesting to see my room like this. While beautiful (according to me), I love that this area of my art room is taking on a new life...one that the kids can really utilize and explore. Also...seeing that Picasso painting STILL hanging in that very same place...I realize IT.HAS.GOT.TO.GO.
 When I cleaned my windows, I fully intended to repaint them. And I might very well still do that. It gets SUPER hot in this area of my room and nearly half the class gets blinded by the daylight savings time sunshine that blasts thru in the afternoon. However, right now, I'm enjoying the light...so we'll see.
 I'm telling you, I've been INSPIRED this year to make some big changes. I've heard feedback from folks that I need to rest, that I'm going a little overboard, that I need to chill...but I'm telling you, I'm excited! Inspired! And I don't wanna stop. I was going through a SERIOUS burnout at the start of the school year. I'm so over it. And I'm so glad. I don't mean to show out or show off...I'm just truly thrilled with this thing called art teacherin' and determined to be the best that I can be. 
 Sidenote: spray painting the daylights outta a very nice and very expensive gong WILL ruin the integrity of the sound. Le sigh. But it sure is pretty! 
 So, what's up next? A new floor, a possible window painting and more things added to this area for my early finishers. AND removing that Picasso painting. Puhlease. 
 As for the tree, it's not going anywhere...I LOVE it and it's staying up forever, according to me. I think it will be a super fun addition to the art room. We've already used it as a teaching tool...and already sweet kiddos are bringing in ornaments for it and drawing pictures of it's amazingness.
 I see this tree getting a new theme every now and then....but until then, it's going to remain the art supply tree. Thank you so much Treetopia for this spectacular addition to the Johnson Elementary Art Room!
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DIY: TP Tube to Paint Tube Ornament!

A couple weeks ago, I was gifted this AMAZING rainbow wreath from Treetopia. I was also given a RAINBOW TREE which I'll be sharing the big reveal of right here, tomorrow...so stay tuned. Not even gonna be modest about it, it's amazing (catch a sneak peak here if you gotta). I decided a while back that I wanted to create an art supply-themed tree and wreath. My students will also be creating art supply sculptures in the next couple of weeks. These here toilet paper tubes to paint tubes is one that I'm super excited about!
These can be ornaments, sculptures, additions to other projects, you name it! I have a BIG idea for this whole art supply sculpture project...but I don't wanna get ahead of myself (as I often do) so let me stick with the project at hand. You are gonna be amazed at how simple it is to create these bad boys! Check it out:
 That's right! All you need are the following:

* TP tube
* 4 Squares of 4" square plaster cloth
* 1 pingpong sized piece of Celluclay
* Paint and glitter
My students have been BEGGING to make these since I created the display at the start of the year. They've been collecting and bringing in TP and paper towel tubes like crazy. I think I might add this to their sculpturin' to-do list. To speed up the process, I'm thinking of having them make the sculptures, I'll spray paint them silver, they can add some painters tape to block out what is to remain silver and they can paint the colorful part. I think this will speed up the process and allow for greater success with painting neatly (which can be a struggle). My plan is to do this with either my third or fourth grade kiddos. I'm working on a sculpture art supply lesson for my 1-4th grade kids so stay tuned (and I would LOOOOVE to hear your ideas so please throw 'em my way!). 
 I have had this "plain" wreath outside my art room door for ages and, while it's super colorful and pretty, let's be honest, I HAD to decorate it. I mean, have you even met me? NOTHING gets past me without being bedazzled, tackified and/or decorated in some sort of sparkly, paint-splattery fashion. 
Y'all are gonna have so much fun making these. Please let me know if you and/or your students create some of these paint tubes!
 If I didn't already have my spray paint cans up on the wall, I'd be tempted to make bigger versions of these for a color theory display! 
I'll be sharing how I created the brush ornaments tomorrow when I do the tree reveal...be sure and pop back by!
 I will say, creating these has me LOVING and LIVING for some glitter...even if it is currently on every surface of our house. Including the cat. 
Oh and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! I'm thankful for all y'all readers, sweet comments and just general love every single day. Thank you!
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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

DIY: Picket Fence to Color Gradation

 Hi. My name is Cassie Stephens and I cannot stop painting all thing things. Hide your kids, hide your wife, stash your cats and dogs. Me and my paint brushes are comin' for ya.
Y'all might remember some time ago, I created this Tints and Shade sign for my art room. Despite the fact that it looks kinda small in size, this picket fence thingie is actually about 3' across. Asha wanted to interrupt this blog post to share her adorable adorableness with you and provide a bit of scale: 
 If you've been hanging around this blog for a pinch, you know that I'm currently on a paint-all-the-wooden-thingies-found-at-the-craft-store bender. Just to give you an idea, I've painted letters...
A cabinet covered in paint stir sticks painted to look like pencils
And, probably the thing that started it all, the color wheel brushes:
And that's just the wooden stuff I've painted...I've also been on a redecorating bender and I can't seem to stop! I'm currently too lazy to link all of those posts...but just a quick scroll through my blog and you'll find some stuff. Lots of stuff. 
 Last night, I wasn't ready to go to bed...I'm on a week long Thanksgiving break, after all! It's party time! And, by "party time" I mean PAINT party time. I love late nights of watching movies and painting. Last night I watched Midnight in Paris (how is it that I had not seen that?! So good!) and started working on this bad boy.
I have Roy G. Biv decor coming out the WAH-FREAKIN'-ZOO in my art room (case in point here, here and here) so, as I painted this sign, I knew I didn't want another Roy G. Biv moment. We talk a lot about analogous colors and gradation so I thought that this sign would be perfect. I did toy with the idea of making a monochromatic sign...but that's pretty much what the tints and shade sign is. 
 This photo is simply here for you to admire this face. 
 The question I get every time I share something I plan to hang in my room is this: HOW DO YOU GET IT TO STAY ON THE WALL?! Yes, the age old art teacherin' question. Here's my trick: Command Velcro Strips. Get the ones that hold up to 16 lbs. This sign is heavy...and those strips work. I've been using them on everything and I've not had anything fall yet. 
 I am so enjoying redoing my art room. Having been in the same space for so many years, I just felt like it needed a fresh look. And it's making me happy and excited to work on it. The kids have fun coming in and noticing something new and different. Stay tuned for a BIG reveal on Friday...I'm so stoked about that one!
 This will hang in my art room near my tints and shade sign. I'll have to share a photo when it's up!
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Monday, November 20, 2017

In the Art Room: Britto-Style Selfies!

I have fur realz been slackin' on this bloggin' thing, y'all! My apologies...I've just become COMPLETELY OBSESSED with flipping my art room around. I know you've seen pics if you follow me here where I have been shamelessly oversharing. However, I'll be posing a pretty big reveal right here on Friday so be sure and wake yourself outta your turkey-day coma and pop back by.
I've also not shared new lessons here lately because I've actually been doing some "reruns" of projects from last year! I don't often do projects more than once (and usually not consecutively) but these selfies are for our Artome art show. They were such a hit last year when my fourth graders did them that I decided to bring it back. And I'm so glad I did, they turned out amazing...even if there were some whining about color-pencil-hand-fatigue! 
Here's the lesson video I created and we used:
The reason I decided to have every kiddo in the school create a self portrait is because I know that's what I would want if I were a parent: a kid created selfie! They are so sweet and fun. You can see what my first graders created here and my third graders made here. I'll be sure to post what kinder and second are working on as they finish them. 

 The kids were super proud of these...I love that with this lesson, the background serves as a way for them to show their interests. I'd also like to add just how much I'm noticing rainbows popping up in my students art work...I take full responsibility
Swoon!
 Now, I will say this: colored pencils...NOT.MY.FAVE. Ugh, y'all. The constant pencil sharpening buzz is enough to make me wanna stab my ears. Please tell me I'm not alone in this. 
 For that reason, I also give my students art sticks to add color. If you are not familiar, art sticks are colored pencils without the wood (heehee). Crayola makes them...but my FAVORITE are by Prisma Color. Of course, they cost one million trillion dollars but they are worth it and they last. We are down to the nubs in my room...hence the Artome fundraiser!
 Eyebrows on fleek, y'all. AND, yes, the S...she managed to get that Sharpied before I could convince her otherwise. Such a beautiful drawing of a beautiful girl. I love seeing the kids write JES...we have such a strong school pride!
 AND can I just point out that this sweet girl made the end of her hair into a paint brush that is painting her shirt?! LOVE! 
 But, back to colored pencils...for the longest time, when I would sharpen colored pencils (btw, do you say "color pencils" or "colored pencils"?) they'd break. Over and over until I was down to a tiny pencil. I used to think it was because the colored pencils were cheap (and that might very well be the case) but now I have a different theory. I blame...THE PENCIL SHARPENER. 
 If you join my FB LIVE chats (you can find them archived here...I go live every Wednesday at 8pm CST), then you've heard my theory on this. A couple of years ago, I splurged and purchased a $50 Exacto electric sharpener. And it's a loud pencil eater. When my mom came to visit recently, she brought me my old Panasonic faux wood, 5 lbs workhorse of a sharpener. Y'all, this thing is BANANAS. It will sharpen anything without breaking it and leaves the pencils FRIGHTENINGLY sharp. Like, I had to establish a rule: Y'all don't have to come up to me and show me how sharp your pencil is every time you sharpen it. I know. It's sharp.
 When I found another Panasonic faux wood sharpener at the thrift store the other day, y'all better believe I scooped it up. So, long story short: if you are tired of your colored pencils breaking in your sharpener, don't blame the pencil...get you a vintage Panasonic sharpener. I just did a quick search on ebay and here she is: 
That being said, do you have a fave colored pencil brand? A long time ago, Ticonderoga made a colored pencil and they were AMAZING. They never broke, the colors were bonkers and creamy. I found them on a clearance aisle at on office store years ago and they were my everything. Sadly, they no longer make them...and I've just been using what I've got since.
 And I kinda made a promise to myself to never EVER order any more. I have 8 tables in my art room with two large trays of colored pencils at each table. I recently had a former student volunteer and she organized all of my EXTRA colored pencils by color...the idea being that my students can go there and get whatever colors that their table tray might not have. Here's what my EXTRA colored pencils look like: 
 Yeah, I'm pretty much set for life. Unless I have either a beaver or a termite infestation, I'll be sittin' pretty with these bad boys for quite some time before I need to reorder.
However, if there is one brand that you think would be worth ordering...despite my clear over abundance, I'd love to hear!
 But, back to the lesson. My kiddos worked on these for about 2-3 one hour sessions. We drew with the video one day, added patterns and designs and traced with Sharpie the next and then spent the rest of time coloring. And coloring. And coloring.
 Oh look, rainbows!
 And more rainbows....ahem. 
 I cannot wait to see these framed at the Artome art show...I'll share with you when the show rolls around!

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