Showing posts with label flat stanley. Show all posts
Showing posts with label flat stanley. Show all posts

Saturday, August 25, 2012

In the Art Room: Jes in Paris!

La Tour Eiffel: The Eiffel Tower has got to be the most iconic symbol for Paris and France. Named after the engineer who designed and built the tower, Gustave Eiffel, The Iron Lady was the tallest structure in the world until 1930. That's when our Chrysler Building overshadowed her. The tower was built in 1889 for the entrance of the World's Fair. Do we still have those?
Well, would you look at who is in Paris, France! That's right, our school mascot Jes. In case you aren't in the loop, I created this little stuffed dude to take on my trip to Europe this summer. I snapped photos of him in Germany and the Netherlands with the intent of sharing his adventures with my students in art class. You know, like the concept of Flat Stanley. Only cuter. 

My students are currently creating passports in art class and packing their suitcases (which entails the kids writing an item on a  Post-It and sticking in our paper suitcase. Best one so far? "My family")  Our first stop? Well, if you've seen my art room, you know it's the City of Love.

In preparation for our adventures, I've been doing my homework. So I thought I'd share a little history behind each Parisian monument. I also rediscovered the art of my Favorite-Artists-at-the-Moment: Brothers Jean and Raoul Dufy.

Special thanks to Sophie who traveled with Jes and snapped all of these marvelous photos. And to Sandy, the wonderful parent that put me in touch with Sophie. Merci beaucoup!
 Raoul Dufy was the older and more famous of the two artist brothers. Raoul said:“What I wish to show when I paint is the way I see things with my eyes and in my heart.”  La Tour Eiffel, 1935
The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris or Sacré-Cœur Basilica. This Roman Catholic church sits high on hill of Montmartre, a popular artsy district. Because of it's height, it can often be found in the background of paintings of Paris. In fact, I included it in my own Parisian landscape
L’église Saint-Pierre de Montmartre et le Sacré-Coeur, 1953, Jean Dufy. Both brothers were considered Fauvist painters. The Fauves, which included artists like Henri Matisse, where given their name by an unflattering critic that found their colorful style akin to that of a Wild Beast. These painters loved the term and it is now associated with their bright works.
Notre Dame de Paris translates Our Lady of Paris. This Roman Catholic cathedral suffered some damage during the French Revolution (gah, I just spent entirely too much time reading about that revolution, fascinating!). Thankfully it has been restored and it's one of the best examples of Gothic architecture.
You know those people that take great ideas and totally claim it as their own? Well, you do now. Meet Pablo Picasso. What a guy. Did he ever have a single original thought? Here is he doing is best Dufy brothers impression. Notre Dame de Paris, 1954
Statue Equestre d'Henri IV, Pont Neuf, Paris. Henri IV was one of the most popular of the French kings whose reign lasted from 1589 to 1610. Equestrian statues are quite popular everywhere. I've heard that “when one of the horse’s hooves is raised it indicates that the rider was wounded in battle, when both of the horse’s hooves are up it indicates that the rider was killed in battle and when all four hooves are on the ground, none of the above.” I'll have to do some digging to find out if this is true of Henri IV.
Raoul Dufy's La Vert Galant, 1926
Jes at L'Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile. Designed by Jean Chalgrin in 1806, this monument honors those who fought and died in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.
So it turns out Raoul Dufy was also a textile designer. I can see that. And I see a pin board on his textile designs in my future. I absolutely love this chair, L'Arc de Triomphe, 1933
I know there are some serious mixed reviews of I.M. Pei's pyramid outside the Louvre, but I love it. I.M. Pei also designed the art museum at Indiana University (the best college on the planet...not that I'm biased or anything), so I have a soft spot.
Spring in Paris poster by Raoul Dufy. I was really hoping I'd come upon one of these on my garage and thrifting adventures. No dice.
Don't you just love this sweet photo Sophie captured? She did such an amazing job taking Jes around...I can't thank her enough! Not to mention how excited the kids are to see the photos and hear about his adventuring.
So while Jes is off galavanting around Paris, I'll just sit here and dream. About the sights, the sounds and what I'd wear. This adorable Dufy-inspired number outta do the trick. You can see it and more vintage goodness here, you like.
I hope you enjoyed this little history lesson. Putting this post together helped me learn so much more about Paris. Jes will next be traveling to sweet Katie over at The Little Red Squirrel in the UK! How exciting, thank you, Katie! From there, I'd love for him to travel to Italy...but I have no connections. If you happen to have a contact, I'd love to send Jes that way. Thank you!

Read more »

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

DIY: A Traveling Companion

Jes getting ready to board the plane to Europe.
 Well, in case you didn't already think that I was the most geeked-out art teacher there ever was, I went and did this. I created a stuffed version of our school mascot to take on our trip to Germany and the Netherlands. Oh yes, I did. And I'm so excited about it.

Each year, I come up with a theme of study in the art room. Last year, we studied all things Egyptian-y. You can see the end result of that here, here and here. Because of this trip to Europe (I have the good fortune of tagging along with hubs who is going for work), I thought I would take the kids on a trip European adventure with our school mascot, Jes the tiger, as their guide.
 Never having created a stuffed animal before, I went at it kind of haphazardly. In case you are dying to create your own stuffed school mascot, you'll need the following:
  • two pieces of felt for the body
  • buttons for the eyes and nose
  • stuffing
  • a sewing machine
  • embroidery floss and needle
  • extra felt for parts of body 
  1. I began by sketching out the tiger. After I was pleased with the shape of the body, I pinned my drawing to my two pieces of felt and cut it out.
  2. The same process was used for creating the face and muzzle. I drew it out, pinned my drawing to the felt and cut. 
  3. From there, I pinned the face to the body and lightly drew in pencil the parts of the face.
 4. All sewing machines have a zigzag stitch. If you set the zigzag so that the stitches are close together, you get this applique stitch. This is what I used to attach the face to the felt as well as stitch the line for the muzzle, the mouth and attach the white fur on the tummy.
5. For the eyes and the mouth, I sewed some buttons on by hand.
6. The eyelashes, the whiskers and my tiger's name, Jes, were all embroidered by hand.
 7. For the last step, I layered stuffing between the two pieces of felt and, using the same applique stitch, stuffed my stuffy tiger.
Yes, I also created a passport. I told you: Geeked-Out Art Teacher.
 So, why in the world did I do this? Well, the plan is to take photos of Jes (that is the name I christened the tiger as it's the initials of my school) in Germany and the Netherlands to share with the kids. By viewing photos of Jes' explorations, I'm hoping the kids will be more intrigued and draw a greater connection to what they learn. Are you familiar with the Flat Stanley Project? It's the same thing but with our school mascot instead of a flattened dude.
When I asked hubs if I could get Jes' passport stamped at customs, he just looked at me. I suppose it's bad enough that his wife is snapping photos with a stuffed animal.
I have a large wall space in my room that I plan to create a map of Europe so we can track Jes' travels. I've got several other ideas of having Jes send postcards and small gifts to the kids. We'll see. Any ideas or suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated.
Because I'm not TOTALLY crazy and don't want to appear as such by dragging a stuffed animal around Europe, I created this bag to stuff Jes in.
 I do have a wee dilemma. My students will be learning about the art and life of the people of England, Italy and France as well. Sadly, I won't be traveling to any of these places in the near future. If you live in one of these lovely countries or know someone who does...someone that wouldn't mind snapping a couple photos with a sweet and adorable stuffed Tiger,  would you please let me know? Postage would be covered via paypal by me...and a gift of appreciation would most definitely be included.
Jes rolled up and ready to be stuffed into my carry on.
Passport in hand and ready to board.
 Because I know you are dying to be kept abreast with Jes' adventures, I'll be sure to share them with you. 

Thank you for reading and tolerating my art teacher geektasticness. 

Have a lovely week!
Read more »