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

Friday, March 24, 2017

Field Trip! Doris Wasserman

I'm so excited to share the latest artist in my Field Trip! series, Doris Wasserman. Doris is a Canadian artist who lives in Nashville. I discovered her when I was searching for local artists and her beautiful paintings popped up. I absolutely love the air, space, color and radiating light that seems to shine thru her work. On a whim, I sent her an email to see if she'd be interested in taking part in this series. Not only did she agree, but she hosted me both at her showing and invited me back to her beautiful home studio. How wonderful is that? Below, you'll find the video. Art teachers, feel free to share this with your students. Doris does a wonderful job of explaining her process and sharing her journey as an abstract painter. 
Doris was originally a medical illustrator. She decided to take an abstract painting class...and the rest is history. Well, that makes it sound like the journey was an easy one. If you've ever tried your hand at abstract painting, you know that it really is a journey full of ups, downs, self-doubt and discovery. Doris likens getting into the grove of painting like meditation. When I look at her work, I can sense that peace and calm that comes from mindful breath. 
Doris and I share similar painting backgrounds in that I was once a representational artist. In fact, my degree is in painting (which got me real far working at Pizza Hut, lemme tell you). Over time, I found that style of painting to be very constrictive and I lost interest. During my college years, abstract painting was looked down upon by my professors and it was ingrained that the only real painting was realistic painting. What a pity that I missed out on learning just how incredibly rich abstract painting can be. 
Listening to Doris talk and witnessing her process was very eye-opening to me. I love her method of hanging a wall of canvases in varying shapes and sizes. How fun would this be for our students? How freeing would it be for our kids who struggle to get things "just right" as I used to do? Would't it also be great for our wiggly friends? 

Doris' method is to put a color on her palette, a heap of white and some medium that give the paint more viscosity. Working in acrylic, she applies paint with one hand and scrubs with the other, using inexpensive house paint brushes. 
As she works, Doris also will collage bits of paper into her work. Sometimes the paper is so subtle, you have to look for it and other times, it has more of a voice in her work. As Doris paints, she also uses the back of her brush to scribble and sometimes write onto her canvases.
 Over time, the paintings take on layers of color and texture. As the paintings draw closer to completion, Doris adds delicate lines and designs in a deep gray. 
Her process and her work inspired me to look more closely at abstract paintings. When I was in her studio, Doris asked me if I miss painting and if I think I'd ever get back to it. Y'all know that I piddle with painting and create silly pieces to hang around the house. At the time I told her no...but after visiting her studio, chatting with her and editing this video, I have to say, I'm feeling very inspired. 
Thank you so much, Doris, for allowing me (and my students) to get to know you, your artwork and learn about your process. You are an inspiration! 
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Sunday, March 19, 2017

DIY: The Crayon Tote

Hey, friends! I'm coming to you from the magical land of Orlando with free time provided by the amazing gift known as Spring Break! Hence the big smile and bright sunshine...tho you may have to wear sunglasses to view this post as the sunlight reflecting off my pale legs is blinding. 

Usually when I have a break, I spend the first half of my time off ignoring my To Do list and binge watching junk on Netflix...which is then followed by the end of my break where I am scrambling to accomplish at least one To Do. This time around, I decided to flip flop: before we cut outta town, I managed to edit a couple of videos (which, if you've not seen our school talent show vid, y'all are missing out. Catch me getting roasted followed by my uke debut at minute 47 here) and finish off this here Crayon Tote. All before cuttin' outta town for a few days. I'm mighty proud of my procrastinatin' self. I'd say that perhaps this is a sign of me turning over a new leaf...but I'm willing to put money on it that this is a one time dealio.
But, let's return to the subject at hand, shall we? This here Crayon Tote!
 So I started this tote MANY moons ago. It was a weekend, I'd had this idea for a crayon-themed bag in my head and without much of a plan, I started sketching, creating a paper pattern from my drawing, pinning the pattern pieces to fabric from my stash, and stitching it together. By the end of the weekend, I had completed the front and back of the bag. And I had no idea of how to proceed from there.  
And so it sat in my sewing room for months and months. Finally this past Saturday, I decided I was going to figure it out and finish it. I recalled that one of my very first sewing projects I created about 7 years ago, when I first started stitching, was a tote. I had used Lotta Jansdotter's book Simple Sewing and, following her directions, churned out a bag that I got quite a bit of use out of. The boxy nature of that tote lead me to believe that the concept just might work for this bag as well. So I cracked up the book and followed the directions once again. 
 Now, you can purchase that book used and on the cheap over on Amazon. The pattern is simple really. Create a front and back panel, a bottom panel and two side panels. With right sides together, stitch the side panels to the front and back panels creating a tube. Flip inside out and pin the bottom panel to the bottom of the tube and stitch. That part is a pinch tricky...just remember to turn those corners and you'll be fine. 
 Because I had already created my front and back panel before settling in on this pattern, I did not follow the measurements in the pattern. Instead I used my pre-created front and back panels to determine the size of my end and bottom pieces. 
For the lining of the bag, I was just going to use yellow fabric...until my art teacher friend Michelle suggested I use this vintage Crayola fabric. I've had this fabric in my stash for some time (it was gifted to me by a sweet art teacher) and had recently shared it on my Instagram. I had planned to use the small stash of fabric to create a top but when Michelle mentioned that it would be great for the lining, I couldn't have agreed more!
The lining was created in the exact same way as the bag itself. From there I stitched the handles. The pattern calls for short handles...but I knew I'd want something I could throw over my shoulder so I doubled the length. 
By the way, the first bag I created was very slumpy. In the pattern, it doesn't mention adding anything to stiffen or firm up the fabric. So whenever I would set my bag down, it would kind of dissolve like the Wicked Witch getting water thrown on her. I def didn't want that happening with this bag. I wanted it to stand up and look adorbs even when it was empty. So I sandwiched some thin quilting batting material in between each part of the bag...even the handle. And I'm so glad I did. Not only does it make the bag look more like a box of crayons but that cushion in the strap makes it much more comfortable on my shoulder.
Just a fun side pocket for pens and random other things for me to misplace and lose. 
 I love me some applique. It's so perfect for creating graphic imagery with hard lines. 
 Ah! That peak of lining! 
Of course y'all know I had to wear every color in the crayon box to coordinate with my bag. 
Whew! Another thing off my spring break To Do! Now back to my usual program of watching mindless telly. Toodles!
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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 32 CLEAN UP

Ah, yes. Clean up. You know, everyone dreads clean up: the kids because they are so into what they are creating and me because I have a different idea of clean up than my students (ahem). I've come up with some things that work and I've slapped 'em together in this here Art Teacherin' 101.

Also in this video, you'll see a clip of my students participating in something I've been calling The Clean Up Contest. This has been working fabulously with all of my classes, grades kinder thru fourth. My room is left spotless, the kids all clean, working together to make their table look the "even better than how you found it". My big rule is that they must do it silently...which really cuts down on the silly and helps them focus on tidying. 

I'll also be sharing with you how I do the Smartest Artist. This is a simple game that all of my students love.

Please share your tips and tricks on Clean Up Time! I know I'm always looking for ways to make this process more streamlined. 
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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Exciting News: Free Felting Workshop!

I have EXCITING NEWS!

I have been working with Sue Bunch of Back to Back Fiber Products for the last couple of weeks dreaming, plotting and planning a free online felting workshop

Like, what?!

That's right! It all started during one of my Wednesday night Facebook LIVE chats. I host one each Wednesday evening at 8pm CST. We cover all sorts of art teacherin' topics which are archived on my page. One evening we were chatting about Teacher Burnout and I mentioned that one way I combat burnout is by hosting craft nights at my home. I don't do it as often as I would like because, honestly, when the weekend hits I usually spend the following 48 hours in pajamas binge watching RuPaul's Drag Race and making big messes. This lead to following the idea: what if we spent the month of April, during my Facebook LIVE chats enjoying a craft night? We wouldn't have to leave our house, we could spend time with folks who get us (art teachers!) and we could learn a new craft while creating something beautiful and fun. What could be a more perfect evening than that?
So, how can you join the fun?

1. Start by "liking" my Facebook page. This is how you can stay posted and join the chats. If you've never joined a FB chat, it's quite simple. If you've liked my page then at the time when I'm LIVE, I will pop up in your feed. Don't see me? Then hop on over to my page. If you happen to miss the chat, NO WORRIES! All my chats are archived on my page. I'll also be archiving them on my YouTube channel. So you can join the craft night live or think of my page as an after pass. 

2. Purchase the supplies for the workshop. Sue and I have been working very closely to put together a kit which will proved all the supplies needed for our month-long felted workshop series. She's been super kind to keep the price economical and offer free shipping to those in the continental USA. If you are outside of the US, please contact Sue for shipping information. 

You don't have to purchase the kit to join the fun! If you already have the supplies, you don't have to purchase the kit. I'm teaching this class for free because I LOVE needle felting and craft nights. This is not a money making venture for Sue or me. We are doing this because we love felting so much and want more folks to explore this craft. So don't feel obligated to purchase. Just be sure to join the fun!

Here's a peak of what is inside each kit:
What does each kit include? All of the supplies you would need for the month of April's free felting workshops. Each Wednesday evening, for the month of April, I will be introducing you to a new felting technique. Here's a peak at our fibers schedule:

Wednesday, April 5th: Learn to Needle Felt
To kick off our craft nights, I'll share with you how to needle felt! Included in the kit, Sue has provided a little list of supplies you'll need for each session. I'll provide a more detailed description of what we'll be making right here in blog post form as we get closer to the date. Essentially,  I want to share with you the basics of this craft so that you'll feel comfortable creating whatever you like! All projects will be very open ended so that you can explore what interests you. 

Wednesday, April 12th: Intro to Wet Felting
While needle felting is one of my favorite crafts, sharing needles (ahem) with your students in the classroom might give you the shakes. Wet felting however is PERFECT for kiddos of all ages and it's super fun to explore. I'll be sharing a couple of my fave wet felting techniques on this evening.

Wednesday, April 19th: Sculpting with Fiber
Felted sculptures are so much fun! This is an area that I really want to explore more as well. I'll share ways to create basic sculptures with an armature and both wet and dry felting techniques. 

Wednesday, April 26th: Felting in Fashion
Y'all come prepared to create something fashionable! We'll be creating that wee palette hair clip I love so much and felting old sweaters into masterpieces. I'm super excited about this one. 
Are you excited yet? I know I am!

Join the chat right here tonight. If you have ANY questions, either leave them in the comments or throw them my way this evening. I plan to do an unboxing of Sue's kit so you can see what you'd be receiving. 

Interested in ordering a kit? Pop on over here! If you have any questions for Sue, feel free to reach out to her at sue@backtobackalpaca.com. 

I can't wait to have y'all over for a craft night starting in April!
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Thursday, March 9, 2017

In the Art Room: Folk Art Still Life

 Hey, y'all! A handful of my second graders got really close to being finished with their Folk Art Still Life which was my sub plan while I was out last week. I am so thrilled with their hard work (as are they) that I just had to share. Many of them are still adding flowers and leaves so I'm only sharing a handful. Their next step is adding small details with puffy paint which you know I love as much as they do. Here is the lesson video that my sub used with all of my students, kindergarten thru fourth grade:
Speaking of sub, if you need any tips, tricks and/or sub plans, I just hosted a Facebook LIVE chat last night on that very topic! The chat and all of the commentary is archived on my official Facebook page if you are interested. We have been doing those live chats for the last couple of months and they are blast. Well over 100 art teachers join in each time and it's a great way to share. So if you aren't busy on Wednesday night at 8pm CST, be sure and pop by!
While they were with the sub, some of my students had one 30 minute art class while others had two. So what the sub was able to accomplish was beyond her control. What I love about having a recorded lesson (and a project that the kids are in progress) is that when I return, I don't have to scramble to slap together lesson plans. I can just pick up where the sub left off. 
 With the sub, my students were able to get their sticks done and glued down to the background. When I came back this week, my students worked on their vases and flowers. By next week, they should have all of their flowers and leaves complete and be ready to add some puffy paint. 
One thing that was not in the video was the oil pastel background. One of the kids added color to the background with the bright oil pastels and we all lost our minds...brilliant! So we all had to do the same. You know how that goes, right?!
I know they aren't complete...but I just had to share! I think these are so pretty and perfect for spring and Mother's Day. If you give this project a go, you'll have to let me know. 

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

In the Art Room: NAEA in NYC 2017

Don't forget to join me LIVE tonight over Facebook at 8pm CST. We'll be chatting about the following: NAEA in NYC! I'll share when I'm presenting and would love to hear from other presenters and attendees. The topic of organization came up as well as clean up routines. So we'll have a mixed bag! My favorite kind of chats. See you soon!

I'm so excited for the NAEA in NYC next week! I'll be presenting three times and doing a fun little meet and greet with my fellow Art Scouts. If you are attending, I'd love hear from you. If you are presenting, please feel free to share your date and time in the comments so other folks can hear about it. Here's when I'll be presenting:

Friday, 3/3/2017, 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM
Elementary Fabulous, Fun Folk Art! Energize Your Students With Contemporary Folk Artists
Laura Lohmann, Cassie Stephens, Ginger Pacer, Jennifer Alvarado

Four art teachers collaboratively created thematic units based on folk art, exciting their elementary students to create fun works of art. Leave inspired to ignite your art program and your student‘s imaginations! Lecture Sheraton/Riverside Suite/3rd Floor

 
Saturday, 3/4/2017    12:00 PM - 12:25 PM
Creating Engaging Art Videos to Change the Way You Teach
Cassie Stephens
Social media has changed how our students absorb information. We need to follow suit. Learn to create video content that engages, educates and captures the imagination using an easy method with on hand.
Hilton/Concourse B/Lower Level

Saturday, 3/4/2017   2:00 PM - 2:50 PM
Advocacy Using Social Media to Advocate the Arts

Cassie Stephens, Laura Lohmann 
There are so many social media outlets available that it can be confusing for an art teacher. Learn how to navigate and utilize them to advocate the arts and your program, and connect with others worldwide. 
Lecture Sheraton/Gramercy/Lower Level

Immediately following Laura and I's presentation, the Art Scouts will be having a meet and greet. We'll be releasing our summer Art Scouts date for Tennessee. Even if you don't plan to attend our Scouts this summer, we'd still love to have the chance to grab a cup of coffee and chat with you. Link Cafe is at the Sheraton. Laura and I plan to leave straight from our session, join Ginger and Jennifer and meet with y'all then. We're so excited!

See you in NYC, friends!

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