Showing posts with label van gogh art lesson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label van gogh art lesson. Show all posts

Thursday, March 31, 2016

In the Art Room: Springtime with van Gogh and Charley Harper

So here, in middle Tennessee, we pretty much decided to do winter for about 10 days and move straight on to spring. It's been a mix of rainy, muggy and/or sunny (sometimes all in one day!) every since! For that reason, the first graders and I decided to create these Vincent van Gogh/Charley Harper mash-ups!
Now, I'm sharing this lesson with you in it's in-between/van Gogh-y stage. We started it right before I was absent for several days and then we promptly entered into Spring Break-ville. For that reason, my firsties are actually finishing their Everybody is a Star project. Once that's complete (fingers crossed that we wrap it up this week!), we'll start the Charley Harper portion of the project. 

Ah, van Gogh. It was fun sharing with the kids that I'd seen his work in Chicago while at NAEA. I left out the part about the exhibit being so crazy busy that all I truly saw were the backs of people's heads. If you are like me, you have a coupla fave van Gogh paintings that aren't The Starry Night. Personally, this Almond Blossom painting is one of mine.
You can see the influence of my good friend and fabulous art teacher Laura Lohmann in this lesson what with the painted paper and textures. She's the best! 

Here's a list of supplies we used:

* 12" X 18" paper. We recycled our messy mats but you can use construction paper for added color.
* Paint. Because I see my kids for 30 minutes, I premixed the tints of blue. 
* Brushes, texture combs.
* Sponges or paint brushes for cloud texture.
* 1" X 2" pieces of cardboard for printing.
* Scrap paper for collage.
* Scissors.
* Glue
I created a video that introduces my students both to van Gogh and Harper as well as walks them thru the process. Feel free to use it! I've been creating weekly lessons here so all y'all should subscribe. Like, now. 
Because I see these kids for 30 minutes, I break stuff down into bite sizes for them. On the first day, we were able to get about this far.
Love all of the colors in this one!
The following day, we learned more about van Gogh and printed tree branches!
We did wait a day before printing out flowers and leaves. I thought they'd smear with the brown paint. 
Now, we totes coulda stopped here. But I have a sweet college student who comes to my room every Monday. She said, "Have you seen the Portlandia skit 'Put a Bird on It?' I think they should!"
We put birds on things!
This idea lead me to the artist Charley Harper. If y'all have not been to the Charley Harper website, you need to check it out. I can't wait to share the animated version of his work as well as the studio tour he gives Todd Oldham. I also plan to play this live bird feed from Animal Planet while the kids work. 

Funny/tragic story about Charley Harper: a frame shop was going out of business about 15 years ago and gave me a TON of stuff. Among that stuff, three Charley Harper prints. At the time, I had no idea who he was but I loved the prints. Because two were duplicates...I GAVE ONE AWAY TO A FRIEND (I knoooooow). Wait, it gets better. Then I CUT THE BORDER OFF ONE TO FIT IT INTO A FRAME (TRUST ME, I KNOOOOOOOOW). His prints are worth big bucks. Pretty sure his chopped into ones aren't worth squat. Now I can't even hang them in my house because every time the hubs walks past them he says, "Aren't these the prints that are worth a lot of money? Which one did you cut up again?" UGH. These are the things that happen when you are an idiot. Moral of story: Don't be an idiot. Now, let's move along, shall we?
Grace, the sweet college student, started collaging birds inspired by Harper. This here is a teacher sample. Cuz, if you were paying attention, you'd know my firsties haven't gotten this far yet. 
And here's the one I create in the video. I'll be sure to share with you the kids' creations as y'all know they will come up with so much awesomeness. If you decide to do this lesson as well, I'd love to see! Be sure to tag me here on Twitter or there on Instagram so I can check it out. 

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Friday, January 24, 2014

DIY: A Felted Version of Van Gogh's Sunflowers

You know what, it may be 5 degrees outside but I don't care. I've decided to dress like a Big Ole (van Gogh-inspired) Sunflower-y Day regardless of the "I feel like I just walked into a freezer in Antarctica" temps (wait, do they even have freezers in Antarctica? I mean, isn't that whole place one big fridge? Shoot, I'd just be throwing my ice cream and popsicles out the window if I lived there. "Honey, where's the Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream?"..."I dunno, look outside!")

Wait. Did I just have an imaginary conversation with an imaginary Antarctic companion about throwing imaginary Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream out the window? Wow. The effects of brain freeze are frightening.
Let's return to our convo about dressing like a crazy person unaware of seasonal changes, shall we? I got the idea for this sweater whilst creating the Starry Night Light Up Dress (yes, I just said "whilst". I like fancy words that create the illusion of intelligence like Fortnight, Dodgy and Absobloodylootely. Which actually sound more like Madonna during the late 90's when she was going through her "Oh, hey, I'm now from Bloody England, mates. Brillant!" phase but whateves.)

Oh no. What was I talking about again?

Ah, yes. Van Gogh's Sunflowers. My little friends in Kindergarten town are currently learning all about van Gogh's Starry Night. And if you ask 'em, they can tell you more than you'd ever wanna know about the following: background, middleground, frontground (tell me I'm not the only one who gets this) and landscapes. Of course, they can also fill your ear with: the-World's-Smallest-Paper-Cuts, Tooth-Losings, He-Cut-Me!s* and I-Think-I-Just-Peed-Myself's. Oh, kindergarten. They're like that kinda-funny/kinda-freaky relative you're introduced to at the family reunion that you pray isn't truly related but married to some distant cousin. Not that that has ever happened to anyone who met me at a fam reunion. Ahem.

* Just an FYI for you non-teachers, "He Cut Me!" doesn't mean that the kids are jabbing each other with scissors and other random art room shanks so frequently that I like to make light of the situation. It's their expression for someone jumping line. Which, in kindergarten, is just as traumatic as getting stuck with scissors. Yes, seriously.
Since van Gogh has so many amazing masterpieces aside from La Noche Estrellada (that's right. I'm trilingual. I speak English, Espanol {not really} and Southern. Which is seriously it's own language),  I decided to dedicate a sweater to his paintings of sunflowers. Dude painted about 12 sunflower-y paintings, ya'll! So I decided to give 'em a shout out with this little sweater I scooped up at the thrift store.
While at the thrift store, I also picked up a couple of green 100% wool sweaters. I promptly washed them in hot water which felted them nicely. SIDE NOTE: My moms-in-law just informed me that I shouldn't do that again as it can seriously mess up your washer. She speaks from experience after doing the same and having to have her machine repaired. 

At the craft store, I found the perfect sunflower yellow 100% wool felt and began laying out and planning my design. You'll notice in the photo above I cut out two layers of sunflowers and overlapped 'em a bit. In the next coupla pics, you'll see that I soon scraped that idea. But more on that in a sec (wait, did I just call you a "butt moron"? I believe I did. My bad).
Creating the center of the sunflower was easy enough. With a felting pad underneath, I applied the brown roving to the flower shape and commenced punching with that pink tool you see on the right. For a crash course on felting (as well as a lil list of my felting faves) go here and scroll southward.
For some of the leaves and the stem, I used those aforementioned felted sweaters cut into the desired shapes. And punched 'em into the fibers of the sweater.
For a little variety, I added light green roving to some of the leaves for veins.
There were two reasons I ended up ditching the doubled-up flower idea. One, once the wool was felted, you couldn't see the difference between the top and bottom layer, it all just became flat without that 3-D effect you see in the earlier photo. And the other reason was that two layers of felt and the sweater were difficult to felt though. So I just used one layer of felt (in the photo above, I had already started so I was trimming off the extra flower petals as I went along). To create a little dimension, I shaded with the brown roving.
And I think I like it. Like, I think it's finished. But I'm not sure. More leaves above the large flower on the left? Another small flower on the right?
Forgetaboutit and move on? That's what I'm leaning toward.
Outfit Details: sweater: thrifted; dress: vintage, thrifted; belt and shoes: Anthro; sunflower tights and crinoline: the way, these are FOOTLESS tights. Look closely, ya'll. I'm wearing a pair of turquoise tights underneath. Because I'm a super genius.

And there ya have it! What Not to Wear in the Wintertime Unless You Happen to Hate Winter and Wanna Pretend It's Summer. In January. In 5 Degree Temps. Whatever. I bet they dress just like this in Antarctica. 

Chat soon, ya'll!

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