Friday, May 27, 2011

Comic Inspiration

This week in Under the Influence, we were inspired by Roy Lichtenstein. The students had two projects to chose from—one based on a starburst and one based on some of his "comic strip" people.

I was excited for this class because I've never taught Lichtenstein before, and I knew there were many options for the kids to take it in their own direction.
They did not disappoint.

Fun with Folding

I came up with the origami idea for PreK Art Lunch last week, when we made our crocodiles. The croc bodies were folded accordion-style, and I mentioned to the girls that that's how you would make a fan. They seemed really interested in making fans, but by the time our scheduled project was done, we were out of time.

So this week, we read "Yoko's Paper Cranes" by Rosemary Wells (the creator of Max and Ruby). In it, Yoko learned how to make origami paper cranes from her grandfather in Japan. Wben Yoko moved to California with her parents, she made some cranes on her own and mailed them to her grandparents.

Cranes were a bit too complex for our class, so we made fans and hats instead.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Klee Class

In Under the Influence this week, we studied Paul Klee. I thought it was a good transition from Kandinsky last week, as some of their styles are similar, and we learned that they were colleagues and both taught at the German Bauhaus school of art, design and architecture.
I demonstrated a Paul Klee-inspired portrait, but opened the project up to include shapes, architecture, or really whatever they wanted. They were inspired by everything from hearts to buildings to lifesavers....

Lovin' Lyle

One of my favorite books is "Lyle the Crocodile." I love the illustrations as much as I love Lyle. My daughter and I enjoy checking out all the Lyle books from the library (there are several). We've even seen "Lyle the Musical" and own the catchy soundtrack.

I picked up "Lyle the Crocodile" the last time I visited the library, along with "Lyle Walks the Dogs," (a counting book I had never seen before). In PreK Art Lunch we started by reading the original "Lyle." It's a long book, so I decided to go right to the craft when we were done. We made .... wait for it ....crocodiles! I showed the girls how to fold the paper like a fan for the body. Then I let them cut out the head, eyes and tail on their own. They added the googly eyes and then were free to dress up their crocs however they chose.

Kaylee gave hers a bow, Beatrice added a flowery hat and Madi made a nice scarf. I love how they all use their imaginations to create something unique.

The popsicle stick legs allow them to use their crocs as puppets, which they did a bit of in the final few minutes of class.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Happy Family

I felt honored to get this next job. Judy K. is friend of my mom's, and years ago she had Ed Paschke (one of my favorite artists) do a family portrait/mural in her home. This is another family portrait, yet on a much smaller scale. Judy's granddaughter drew this picture of herself with her parents, and it was so much fun to work on. Not only is it a happy family, but the sun is even happy to be shining on the trio. How can you not smile when looking at it?

Kandinsky & Color

This was the third time I've taught Kandinsky in Under the Influence. The first time, we based our pictures on his triangle/diamond color study. The next time, we did his squares with concentric rings. We used oil pastels both times (I love the way they can blend to look like paint).

This time, I opened up the project by teaching mixed media—how the children could use many different materials in the same piece. They had water colors, oil pastels and paper (to tear) to choose from.

After looking at his paintings, I let them loose to interpret his use of color and shapes through their own eyes and in their own style. What I like so much is that each one is so unique, yet they all work so well together.