Showing posts with label neuschwanstein castle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label neuschwanstein castle. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

In the Art Room: Totally Tubular Castles

Unlike most students, this fourth grade dude opted for a moody evening sky. I love how well it works with this haunted looking castle.  
I recently discovered that if I need something, all I have to do is ask. For instance, I totally underestimated how much glue we would consume, er, use in the art room this year and only ordered one gallon. When that well ran dry, I simply sent out a school-wide email and within hours I had enough glue to put back together all of the dishes I've managed to break over the years. Thank goodness! My dishwasher is simply devouring those styrofoam plates!

  This is also how I managed to acquire the four million toilet paper tubes we used for this castle building project. The only slight draw back to asking for stuff: you just might receive far more than imagined (shoot me an email if you'd like to become the proud new owner of six garbage bags of toilet paper tubes! They make great gifts -- the expression on the recipent's face is always one of pure confusion which I like to interpret as joy).

Because our castle was apart of our study of Germany, I also incorporated some of Grimm's Fairy Tales into the mix. This young artist dude obviously was inspired by Rapunzel.
Okay, I'm dying to ask the artist about the story behind this drawing. Just why is the knight in shining armor high tailin' it out of town? Did he find out just how high maintenance those Rapunzels can be? "Climb up my hair, now braid my hair, make that a french braid, ouch, stop pulling, that hurts! Climb down my hair and get outta here you big ape!"
This artist had his work on display at our local art museum, The Frist Center for Visual Arts. Pretty sweet. My mom once taped my drawing to the fridge. Okay, I taped it to her fridge.

Just exactly how where these amazing castle pieces created by fourth graders, aside from a gallon of glue and a ton of tubes? Well, lemme tell you:
  1. Like I said, this project was a study of castles in Germany. We focused on Schloss Neuschwanstein (where you can see a super brief history here) and the landscape of Bavaria. During our first couple of art classes, we talked color theory and sky painting. 
2.  Next up: Cloud painting. We use a bristle brush to create the cloud texture with an emphasis that clouds have a flat bottom (hey, just like the art teacher!) and a fluffy top (ha! art teacher wishes). I also chat about showing space by painting the clouds near the horizon smaller and have them increase in size as they climb up the page.
3. After a big fat hairy chat about the landscape of southwestern Germany, we tackle the land. The students were given three pieces of 18" X 6" paper in the following colors: white, light green and green. They were instructed to crumble each piece, smooth it out, and rub water based oil pastels over each. Then each piece of paper was given a stroke of water with a paint brush to help blend the oil pastels. I have found the Crayola Portfolio Oil Pastels work best for this.

4. Once those were dry, each of the three papers were torn lengthwise. Some students opted to create three-dimensional mountains. This was done by taking a small torn piece of paper, coloring it heavily in oil pastels, laying it on the mountain and smearing the oil pastel from the paper to the mountain. From there, the land was glued to the sky painting.

5.  After all of that landscaping, we were finally ready for our castle building. I kept the directions very basic because I was curious to see what the students would come up with. What I did tell them was to cut a slit up the back of the tube and fold each cut line about 1/4". This would be where the glue would go to attach to the landscape. This is also how the gnomes were glued down in my project posted last week.

6.  For the top of the castle, short cuts were made and every other one was folded down. Easy.

7.  The kids came up with the idea of the draw bridge. When one got the idea to glue a "chain" to hold the bridge, the rest just had to do the same.
In case you mustache, this is Mustache Kingdom.
8.  Here's how they were shaping up after a couple of days. Once glued down, they were ready to be painted.
 9.  Students were to paint a base coat onto their castles. I offered them black paint but a handful wanted something a little more colorful. And sparkly. What's a castle without glitter, after all?
 10.  After the base coat was applied, students sponge painted gray paint onto their castle for a rock like texture. When one student used the back of his paint brush to create bricks, the rest of us all had a "why didn't I think of that?!" moment.
Yes, that's a flying PopTart/Taco/cat-with-a-rainbow-shooting-out-it's-butt thing. Not sure if that's from some cartoon or imagined. Most likely the effects of glue consumption.
 11.  Once castles were complete, the real fun began. Our castle either had to have a flag and/or a shield. After a chat about Grimm's Fairy Tales, I encouraged the addition of characters to the scene. Those that decided to not include characters and finished early wrote stories about their kingdom.
I'm kinda on this kick where I add that super fine glitter to all of the paint. You can see that shine in this pair of castles.
These kids have the funniest imaginations. I love their silliness.
Last photo, I swear! This little amazing artist had the genius idea to add puffy paint vines to her castle. I'm rather smitten with her dragons.
And there you have it! Many moons, tubes and a gallon o' glue later, you've got some of the coolest castles in all of Tennessee. Now, that I've got all the glue a girl could ever want, I'm thinking of sending out an email asking for coins. Tell me what you think of this:

"Dear Teachers, The students will be using loose change. Would you mind sending any and all pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters to the art room? Thank you!" 

With all these generous teachers of mine, this outta easily cover my Spring Break vacay to Daytona Beach. Art Teachers Gone Wild, here I come!

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Sunday, December 9, 2012

What the Art Teacher Wore #45

Sausage-Sellin' Monday: When I was in Germany this summer, I picked up this dirndl because I knew the kids would enjoy seeing it during our study of Germany. And because I just love it. Dressing as dorky as I normally do, I didn't think twice about hitting the grocery after work in this getup. That is until the check out lady asked, "Hey, where do you work?" (before I could answer, she continued), "Do you work at the mall sellin' them sausages? What do they call that place?" Luckily the bag-gentleman was able to offer assistance, "It's called Hickory Farms, I think." Check out lady, nodding, "Yeah! That's it! You work at that place?" I hated to disappoint as they both seemed sad and perplexed that I was an art teacher. "But we're learning about Germany! And they do love sausage!" dirndl: Germany; boots: Seychelles; tights: Target
Dunno if you noticed or not, but I took What I Wore this Week off last week. Last week was a rough one that hit full tilt craptasticness on Thursday. I had gotten a late start that morning but just knew I had to wash my beyond-dirty mop of hair. Which made my late start even later. To compensate, I did minimal hair- and make up-doin' and rushed out the door. This I would regret as the following convo happened during my first class:

Kid: Mrs. Stephens, what's wrong with your hair? It's all [making an odd gesture around her head] messy.
Me: Well, um, I washed it today.
Kid: Where? [looking around the art room and then with a horrified expression] In the art room sink?!
Oh, look, it's my summer home in Bavaria, Germany. My fourth grade students are currently learning about Schloss Neuschwanstein (that'd be Neuschwanstein Castle to you English-speakin' folk) so I thought I'd include that in the artsy part of this outfit post. Hubs and I went with his boss and family a couple of winters ago. I'll share some of my photos of that trip too. This image I pulled form pinterest.
Yeah. Nice. Later I overheard a third grader say to another, "Oh, Mrs. Stephens is looking tired today." Defensively, I replied, "I'm not tired!" Looking at me sympathetically, she said, "Oh, maybe it's just your eyes then. [did I mention I had skipped my cat eye make up that day?] They look really tired."
The dashing King Ludwig II was born in 1845 and became king of Bavaria at the young age of 18. He is sometimes called the Swan King, the Fairy Tale King or just Mad King Ludwig. He acquired the first two names because his palace is near Swan Lake and the fairytale-esque castle he had created. And although his brother Otto was considered insane, the last nickname isn't accurate for King Ludwig II. He was definitely an eccentric but not insane.
But the cherry on the Super-Sucky Sundae was when kindergartenland came to my room.

We had thirty minutes to create a clay animal, get it put away, get our tables wiped down and get outta the room for the fourth grade. As you can imagine, we didn't make it. I had a coupla cryers, heads falling off animals, three-legged mutant mammals and one kid pee themself. AND we ran out of baby wipes. Which made for dusty crusty hands all around.

 When I was in the midst of the madness, I looked up at the clock and realized we just weren't gonna make it. In fact, time was already up, fourth grade was waiting at the door. Now, I have to tell you, my fourth graders are simply the best. I asked them to come in, buddy up with the kindergartener that was in their seat and help them get cleaned and lined up. And they did.

As the fourth grade and I sat down to finally begin our lesson and the kindergarteners were walking out the door, I heard one of my fourth graders say, "uh, Mrs. Stephens..." and tilted his head in the direction of a kindergartener. Who was licking the clay off his hands from the bottom of his palm all the way up to his fingertips. Before I could say anything to him, he waved goodbye with his other hand and walked out the door.

Yeah. So. It was a bad day. But I had to share it with you because, thankfully, now it's kinda funny. Except for the clay lickin'. That's just gross.
Cut The Lights! Tuesday: So when each class came to art, I invited them in, dimmed the classroom lights and turned on my dress, much to their delight. The only problem? I had one kindergartener that was obsessed with the light up dress. She kept telling me to "cut the lights!" so we could see the dress again. Eventually we had art in the dark. light up dress: made by me; tights: Target; shoes: dolls by Nina; sweater: thrifted
A view of Neuschwanstein from Hohenschwangau Castle. When you go to Neuschwanstein Castle, you park your car at Hohenschwangau Castle, a fantasy-style castle Ludwig's father had built near the Schwansee (Swan Lake). You can either take a carriage ride up the steep hill to the castle or walk. We opted for the carriage ride.

If this castle looks kinda familiar to you, that might be because Walt Disney used it as his inspiration when creating Sleeping Beauty's Castle in Disneyland.
Light Up Wednesday: When you make one light up dress, the kids expect you to light up all the time. So this outfit was a bit of a disappointment to the kids. sweater and skirt: vintage, thrifted; white blouse: gift; tights: Target; shoes: Clarks
In 1864, King Ludwig II began sketching out his plans for his palace which was intended to be a personal refuge for the very private king. The castle was funded by Ludwig's family fortune and borrowing, not with money from Bavaria. However, now with as many as 6,000 visitors a day in the summer, the palace provides much money for Bavaria.
Growing up a prince, King Ludwig II didn't have much of a childhood. He was constantly working on his studies and future duties of becoming a king. For that reason, he had a fascination with the carefree fantasies and imaginative fairy tales he heard in his childhood. While growing up, he spent a lot of time at his father's beautiful castle Hohenschwangau.
Cat Attack Thursday: My cat loves these shoes. Loves to attack them. So when I wear them, I have to put them on in the car. Either that or deal with runs in my tights and bloody legs. By the way, everything I'm wearing has a touch of DIY: I created the buttons on my sweater from clay, added lace to the bottom of my dress and crated these shoes. dress, sweater, shoes: thrifted; tights: Target
I created these last winter with a pair of t-strap shoes I found at Goodwill. You can read more about that DIY here.
I was so excited to find this Anthropologie sweater at the thrift store. Until I noticed it was missing buttons. I couldn't find any that I liked at the craft store so I created these bad boys out of clay. I pounded the clay onto a doily, cut out the circle shape, added the button holes and glazed them a satin gray.
During the Middle Ages, there were three castles that over looked the villages. One of those was called Schwanstein Castle. In 1832, Ludwig's father King Maximilian II of Bavaria bought the  ruins and replaced them with Hohenschwangau Castle. This is the castle that inspired Ludwig II. The ruins above the family palace later became the site for King Ludwig II's Neuschwanstein. Initially, the plan was to incorporate the older castles into the design of the new one, but for whatever reasons, that didn't work. 
Hubs and I a couple of winters ago. We are standing in front of what was to be a chapel had the interior been completed. Only 15 rooms of the castle were completed before the death of the king at the age of 41. Had the castle been finished, it would have consisted over around 200 rooms and been nearly 65,000 square feet.
Candy Cane Kinda Friday: This is actually a summer dress I scored in Germany...but it just looked so candy-cane-y I had to wear it. sweater: vintage, thrifted; green fishnets: Marshall's?
Sadly, King Ludwig II's creative and eccentric ways were his downfall. Being extremely introverted, the King avoided public functions and his kingly duties. This ticked off his government ministers but not the people of Bavaria. He was known for taking trips across the countryside, chatting with the farmers and people he met.
Even though the King paid for his castle project with his own funds and money borrowed, Bavaria still suffered financially. For this reason, the government ministers decided to get rid of their King. The only way to do it constitutionally was to have the King declared insane. Not long after his removal from the throne, the King died a mysterious death. At the time, it was ruled suicide...but there are theories his enemies shot him and left him to die at Lake Starnberg.
If you've managed to get this far, thank you for indulging me this super long blog post. I have really enjoyed sharing my art history research in these posts as it helps me prepare for my lessons. 

I hope you have a wonderful week!

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