Showing posts with label magritte costume. Show all posts
Showing posts with label magritte costume. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

In the Art Room: The Magritte Project, Three

Whatcha got here is the finale to the Mega-Magritte Project. This was seriously like the project that kept on giving. Aaaaaaand giving. Which I loved because I could tie in so much. But I do believe the 3rd grade and I are ready to move on.
Now if you are new to this blog, welcome! I've noticed a wee spike in my views thanks to The Art of Education's nomination of this here blog for Art Ed Blog of the Year (What?! I know, right? I'm just as surprised as you). If you've not checked out the blogs nominated, you should. So many of those art teachers work tirelessly on their blog. You can vote for multiple blogs so, if you feel so inclined, I'd love your vote! Okay...shameless self-promotion over.

Aaaaand, what was I saying?

Ah, yeah, if you're new, welcome, pull up a chair, introduce yourself, grab a snack, sit back and relax. But, please, try not to fall asleep. The snoring becomes a little off-putting and makes it hard for the rest of the readers to doze off.


Magritte! I began by introducing the dude with a coupla books, visuals and, of course, a costume...

Which was probably one of the worst artist costumes to date because I couldn't see anything; my annoying loud voice echoed off the back of the apple and hurt my ears; and, to top it all off, all I could smell was my own breath. Which smelled like coffee and the Altoids I consume to mask the smell. That I now know doesn't work.
We chatted a lot about this particular piece and just exactly what the meaning of Surrealism is. We decided that it was something that looked real but couldn't possibly be real. The book Dinner at Magritte's by Michael Garland had loads of examples of that.

I decided that the 3rd grade was going to create a Mega-Magritte Mural. You can see the full lesson and finished product here. To break it down for you, the kids painted a 12" X 18" piece of paper with a tint and shade of blue. Then they used oil pastels to add stars and clouds. On the backs of their paper, they were to trace two birds, one Day and one Night. Again, head here for clear details (I'm too tired to retype it all!).

For the mural, the kids were to donate one of their birds. Their spare bird was then used in a 9" X 12" tissue paper landscape collage. That lesson can be seen here.

We chatted bunches about analogous colors for the sky and how to decide upon a color palette that would best contrast their bird.
And then we were left with these amazing negative shaped papers after we cut our birds out. I couldn't bear just recycling them. So I turned it into a literary lesson which lead to the creation of something called The Compliment Game! Here's how it worked:
  • Each student was given a 6" X 10" piece of Rolyco's Color Diffusing paper. It has the look and feel (and does the exact same thing) as a coffee filter. The kids were to write their name and teacher code on the back. 
  • We chatted about what a compliment was. We also discussed character words. And similes. Then the kids were given one minute to fill their page with words that best described the person that they are. For this, they used warm colored water-based markers.
  • When the minute was up, they were to trade papers with their neighbors. Again, the timer was set and they were to write complimentary words that described their friend.
  • Once the timer went off, the kids swapped papers with the person across from them. They had to read the back of the paper to know who they were writing about.
  • Timer off. Swap with neighbor. One more round.
  • After the fourth and final round, the kids were given back their papers. And you should have seen them. They loved reading what their friends had written about them! It was so sweet. 
  • Then they were to chose the words that they felt best described them and make them permanent. For this, they traced the words in sharpie, still using the warm colors.
  • Lastly, the papers were placed on a styrofoam plate and painted with water. Below is the result.

Now, for the cool color paper, I tried a couple different things. We didn't play the game this time. Instead one class (the one you are seeing) wrote words that told the person they would like to become. What they dreamed they could be. Which was pretty cerebral for 'em. 

For another class, we wrote words that described what we are like on the outside since that was the opposite of the words that described our character. This seemed much easier for them. If they ran out of words, they could ask a friend. Although, you gotta be sure an emphasis compliment again as I do believe I read "stinky feet" on someone's paper. Thankfully, Senor Stinky Feet has a good sense of humor. The last paper was also traced in sharpie and painted.
For our final step, we added our wordy papers to our negative shaped birds. And, viola! We can finally close our Magritte-y Chapter. 

Until next time, kids, don't forget to go here and check out these amazing blogs and vote!
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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

What the Art Teacher Wore #82

Monday: I wore my new necklace! And totally felt like I was wearing a chain of Gobstoppers all day. It's a lotta balls but can you really have too many? necklace: DIY here; dress: thrifted, vintage; belt: from another dress; pink fishnets and blue tights: Target, maybe?; shoes: Anthro; shoe clips: thrifted
Whilst doing bus duty this afternoon, I had two interesting conversations with the under-10 set. My first was with a second grade girl. It went a little something like this:

Second Grade Gurl: Mrs. Stephens, look at me! 

Me: Okay. I'm looking. What?

SGG: This is Thee Cutest I've been all year! (said with a flourish of the hand from her head to her feet) I NEVER get to wear cute things because, you know, I have brothers (eye roll and sigh).

I had to give the poor kid a knowing nod. Say no more, sister. I taught those brothers.

After she boarded the bus, a fourth grade girl stopped dead in her tracks and said:

I'm not getting on that bus.

Me: Uh, yeah you are. 

FGG: No! I'm going home with you!

Me: Really? And what do you think we'd do at my house?

FGG: Watch t.v.!

Me: Sorry. I don't have a t.v. 

FGG: Really? That's gross.

The kids is crazy. And with the full moon, the crazy weather we've been having and the fact that we are a breath away from Thanksgiving Break, the kids are even crazier. Which I didn't even think was possible.
If you scroll down a pinch, you'll see the Rene Magritte-inspired mural that my third grade students have been working on. What I didn't realize until I posted that photo on Facebook and it was pointed out to me, but their mural also bears a striking resemblance to some of the work by M.C. Escher. So I thought I'd share his work with you in this here post.
So Maurits Cornelis Escher (is it any wonder why he went by M.C.? Duh, because Master of Ceremonies, yo!) was a Dutch artist who lived from 1898 to 1972. Can you imagine living thru that time in history?! Wow, the changes he must have seen. Escher was a not considered a good student in elementary school and repeated the second grade. I can't imagine how he'd far in schools these days what with the constant testing and hoops to jump through. His genius would have been given a label. I wonder how many genius kids among us are going through that very thing right now. Okay, stepping off El Soap Box.
Star Wars Tuesday: So the Star Wars soundtrack I ordered for the kids came in and we blasted it in the art room. The only prob is that opening song is loud and proud which got the kids all ramped up. I had to switch back to Harry Potter for a couple classes (ya'll, that CD is THE BEST at calming the kids down) but we did listen to the Cantina Band song for clean up. Star Wars dress: made by me, DIY here; jacket: old, Modcloth; tights and boots: Marshall's
Totally Escher-esque, right? The third grade have been learning all about Rene Magritte (you can see my artist outfit here) creating these night and day birds and painting clouds for the mural. I'm hoping to have it up and ready to share with you soon. It actually looks a lot different now, this was just the kids laying out their birds.

Seriously. How did I need see the connection? So it turns out that after spending some time in Italy (which just sounds lovely. Let's go, shall we?), Escher was influenced by some intricate and geometrical designs he saw sculpted into the walls and ceiling of a castle. This sparked an interest in repetitive and interlocking patterns that would become his signature style.

Wednesday: I don't remember anything about this day. It must have been a wild one. I bet I had kindergarten on that day...which is why I remember nothing. sweater: thrifted; dress and shoes: Anthro; tights: Marshall's
Now, I'm not much of a fan of math but it appears that those that dig math, also dig Escher. And while he wasn't trained in math, Escher had a great understanding of it visually which is best seen in his tessellations. I've always been amazed by his drawing skills and the magic of his work.

Hot Pink Thursday: This dress required that hair. It was a prerequisite. dress: vintage; tight: Target; shoes: dunno, I can't see 'em and I can't remember. That's pretty bad.
I think introducing Escher to the kids will be fun. And while Escher's work appears surreal, I don't know if he really falls into that movement being that he came upon the scene later. What do you think? It will definitely be a fun follow up to our unit on Magritte. Have you art teachers taught Escher? Do you happen to have a favorite lesson that you could share because that would be totally rad.

Show Your Tats Friday: It never fails, when I wear these tights, I get the constant question: Are your legs tattooed?! Naw, kid. It's just sharpie. I got bored when the last class was in my room. sweater: vintage, thrifted; top: gift from a friend; skirt: Marshall's; tights and necklace: Target; shoes and belt: Anthro
I love Escher's work. I really dug it in high school and then went through this seriously snobby phase in college because every other dip in my dorm had either an Escher or Klimt's The Kiss hanging in their room. However, after doing some digging (and uprooting my dorm room posters, ahem), I've got a new appreciation for the dude. I'm excited to dream up a lesson based on the work of this incredible artist.

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

DIY: A Magritte Get-Up

Alright, friends, the post you've (not-at-all) been waiting for: the DIY Magritte Get-Up. This outfit is #4 in my Artist of the Month Ensembles after Hokusai's The Great Wave, A Jackson Pollock Splatter-tastic Dress and a Campbell's Soup Dress after Warhol. And I gotta tell you, this outfit was the easiest creation so far.

I started with this little black dress from Target that I'd thrifted years ago. I picked it up because it's one of those basic things that I've heard you're supposed to have in your closet...but I never wore it because it was just too basic for my taste. Cuz, you know, if it's not glitzy, sequins-y, bedazzled or just insanely tacky in some way, I've got no use for it. 

So, whilst cleaning The Clothing Landfill, aka my closet, I decided to move the dress to my Clothing-to-be-Given-a-Makeover Closet. Yes, that's a real place. No, I never get rid of anything. Yes, I realize I have a problem. No, therapy hasn't worked. Yes, I'm willing to try meds, why you got a cheap source...? Hook a girl up, would ya?
The Great Family, 1963

When I settled on Magritte as our next artist, I was influenced by his images of birds filled with clouds. I ordered some cloud-filled fabric from my go-to place: I love this website because they have a crazy huge selection, the prices are awesome and the shipping is lightening fast. As soon as I got my mitts on the fabric, I washed and dried it (always a good idea to wash and dry new fabric to remove the sizing. Just don't ask me what "sizing" is) and set to work.
I started by ironing some interfacing to the wrong side fabric. I did this because if makes for a thicker fabric which I have found to be easier when appliqueing. From there, I sketched out a couple of birds on tissue paper, pinned that to my cloud fabric and cut.
Puh-lease don't judge me by the state of my cutting board. It used to double as a painting station...before I relocated to the dining room table and proceeded to damage that. Which is why we don't have nice things. Story of my life.
The key to applique (which your basic sewing machine can do...just read that highly entertaining thing called a manual) is making sure your needle goes on the outside of the applique piece and then the inside. And go slowly-ish. Especially around pesky corners and hard turns.
Which, as you can see, I have a hard time doing. I was totally stressing over the imperfections of it all until I held it up in the mirror I have on the other side of my sewing room. From a distance, you really can't see those flaws. Besides, ain't nobody gonna get this close to your skirt and if they's not because they're checking out your skirt. And any major errors can always be fixed with a black Sharpie. Because, in my experience I have found one thing to be a solid truth: Sharpies Fix Everything.
Not only did I luck out with already having the dress in my closet, but I also had the blouse and the black jacket. Which left the maroon tie and the apple-faced bowler hat.
The hat was an easy find at the local Halloween costume shop. Unfortunately, it's either a kid's hat or I have an elephant-sized head because that thing was tight. My custodian buddy at school suggested I wear the hat tipped forward which was genius for two reasons: I could actually see beyond the apple and I didn't end up with Hat Headache. And there's nothing worse than that.
To create the apple, I sketched it out on matte board found in my storage closet at school. I knew I had to make the stem really long as that was the part I was going to cut and insert in the brim of the hat.
Once that was finished, I cut this bad boy out with an Exacto. Then I sliced the stem in half and made a small slit in the brim of the hat. I then inserted both the top and bottom of the apple in the brim and hot glued the daylights outta it.
For the tie, I simply used a maroon strip of fabric, sewed it into a tube, turned it and ironed it. The trick was tying the thing, I'd forgotten how! I went through a Dress-Like-a-Dude phase in high school where I routinely wore a tie but sadly the memory of how to tie a tie escaped me. A little help from youtube managed to save the day. I used my gold pin for 15 years of teaching service as my tie tack. I wish I could take credit for those cloud tights but those came from ebay-land. 

And there you have it, folks! I wish I could say I knew exactly who our artist for next month would be but I don't have a firm idea yet. I'm totes open to suggestions, ya'll! So lemme hear 'em if you got 'em. 

Until next time, have a great week!
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Sunday, November 3, 2013

What the Art Teacher Wore #81

It-Always-Feels-Like-Somebody's-Watching-Me Monday: Not sure what freaked the kids out more, the fact that I was wearing pants or that my pants watched their every move. Best be behavin', ya'll. sweater: Anthro label, bought at Buffalo Exchange; necklace: vintage, gift; pants: originally purchased at Target, DIY-eyes by me; shoes: Miss L Fire
Greetings, ya'll! I do believe when the clock struck 3:30pm on Friday, a collective art teacher sigh rang out through The Universe. Was this The World's Most Wacky Week or what?! In my neck of the woods, not only did this week involve Halloween but I had my first evaluation and it was Spirit Week and our school-wide Fun Run (or, in our case, being the tigers, the Tiger Run. Which I tried to convince the kids that it was called such because tigers would be chasing them...but no one was buying it. Except for kindergarten. And they ran super fast). Needless to say, I've spent this weekend attempting to recover.

These past couple of weeks, I've been a wee bit of a slacker when it came to my weekly outfit posts. This wasn't totally intentional...but something happened recently that turned me off to posting my outfits. Unbeknownst to me, an outfit of mine (go here and see Thursday) was the cause of some debate on pinterest. I admit, that outfit was a stinker, but the couple of negative comments really caught me by surprise (I've noticed that one commenter who called the outfit a "disaster" [it truly is, ya'll] has since removed her remark). However, the kind words of complete strangers (one being an art teacher herself) really made me feel good. So, to those like-minded, crazily-dressed artsy folk, let's ignore the not-so-nice and focus on the positive! Because, really, life is entirely too short not to wear faux-tiger-fur shoes with pocket-watch tights and be a delightful disaster, doncha think?!

Whew! With that mess off my chest, here's what I wore...and some artist love to Rene Magritte...
Rene Magritte was born in Belgium in 1898 and died in 1967. The kids have been absolutely fascinated by his work and have had many great debates on his surreal images. We've chatted about how Magritte liked to take objects that are real but combine them in such a way that they couldn't possibly be real. For their art homework, my third grade students were to combine two real things and make them into something surreal. One girl came back with a drawing of me. I know I'm weird, I didn't know I was surreal. Sur realz, ya'll?
The Human Condition, 1933  You know, in case you weren't confused by his paintings enough, ole Magritte liked to mess with you via his titles as well. After our grand debates, when the kids learn the title, they're all...Mind. Blown.
Monster Mash Tuesday: I only had the chance to wear this outfit twice before packing it up until next fall. And both of those times I was visiting the same doc's office...which means they must think I wear this get-up everyday. In fact, one nurse said, "oh! I remember you from the other were wearing that same dress!" Embarrassing. dress, sweater: DIY, go here; tights: Target; shoes: Crocs, thrifted; belt: Pin Up Girl Clothing
Not to be Reproduced, 1937 I have to share this quote by Magritte describing his paintings:
"visible images which conceal nothing; they evoke mystery and, indeed, when one sees one of my pictures, one asks oneself this simple question, 'What does that mean?'. It does not mean anything, because mystery means nothing either, it is unknowable."

Magritte Wednesday: This here is my fourth Artist of the Month outfit and it was completed just in the nick of time! Official DIY post to come. hat: DIY by me; jacket: Anthro, gift from a friend; blouse: gift from a friend; tie: made by me; tie tack: my 15 years of teaching pin!; dress: thrifted, DIY by me; cloud tights: ebay, just search "cloud tights"; boots: Lucky Brand, Marshalls
The Son of Man, 1964 Perhaps one of Magritte's most recognizable works, this was part of the inspiration behind my outfit. The kids noticed that Magritte repeats certain images in his paintings. The "balcony" appears in several of his paintings, often with a nest resting on it.
The Great Family, 1963 I was inspired my the repeating image of birds filled with clouds for the skirt portion of my dress. That image is also the inspiration for a mural project the third grade is currently working on. I cannot wait to share with you the end piece.
Eye of the Tiger Thursday: As I mentioned, it was Spirit Week and I'd failed to participate...I just couldn't wear my pajamas to work for PJ Day (holey t-shirt and stinky sweats? I think not) and don't have any sports gear for Football Team Day (like, ew) but for Dress Like a Tiger Day, I was set! dress: thrifted vintage; sweater: felted by me, DIY here; tiger tights and tiger ears: Amazon

Tiger Run Friday: Not long ago, we spent a week in the art room tie-dying our Tiger Run t-shirts our school colors. It's always exciting to see how they turn out (looks like my dying skillz are lacking) and fun to see all 400 plus students, teachers and faculty wearing their shirts. For the occasion, I decided to go all out with my tights...just don't ask me how. That'd be a TMI of epic proportions. shirt: tie-dyed and altered by me; skirt: Anthro, gift from a friend; shoes: Puma; tights: Target

Kissing Magritte, Joe Webb, 2012 So in my search for all things Magritte, I stumbled upon this amazing image, as well as many others, by the contemporary collage artist Joe Webb. This dude used real vintage magazines (no computer/photoshop images) to create his surreal collages. I'm in love. Go here and check out more of his beautiful vintage-y surreal-tastic work.
...AND another annoying plug for my Facebook page. "When will it end?!" you ask? Probs never. Sorry.
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