Thursday, August 30, 2012

bottle cap bugs @ WBCL

This is truly a recycled art project! The. body of the bug is a colored plastic bottle top and the wings are cut from gallon milk jugs and colored. Paint did not stick reliably to all the lids but crayon did and did well on the wings too so we used plain old fashioned crayon colors. We had some little odds and ends of chenille stems left from other projects which we cut into antenna and used small google eyes to complete the bug. 
Some of the bottle tops were hinged and resulted in movable bees. Interestingly the bugs flew threw the library for about 15 minutes before settling down and going home with their creators. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Modern art painting Jackson Pollock style @WBCL

We discussed doing this project in the spring and I tried it out at summer art camp with great success. The project is divided into 2 parts: first the painters draw and paint geometric objects with bright colors on a "canvas" then they use thinned paints to dribble and spatter the whole piece and complete the project. We went outside for the second half as it is so messy. Everyone had to leave their shoes and cover up to keep paint from spattering all over their clothes. What a fun time this was. The kids learned a little art history and made a modern art painting circa 1960.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Tissue paper stained glass is a hit @ WBCL

I have tried this project a couple of times before with kind of mixed results but thought if I could just get the right idea out there it would work and it did! I used tracing paper for the background of the design and had the kids select a design from 4 patterns I supplied: a lighthouse, a turtle, a fish, and a rising sun. They traced the design using dark crayons then selected colored tissue paper and traced the segments of the design onto it, cut out the sections, and pasted them onto the tracing paper. The finished project was placed into a vinyl scrapbook sleeve. Not only were all the kids able to do most of it but the parents seemed as engaged as their kids building this window. We tested them out to see how they would look with the light shining through them--spectacular!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Making Mosaics kid style @ WBCL

Kids love to create pictures using stones and glass pieces but they never seem to "get" why all the area around the design needs to be filled in with something. Maybe  unless you are walking on the mosaic, it doesn't. I handed out glass floral beads, glass sticks, and colored gravel along with pencils and plenty of tacky glue. Lots of stories about what their tile had on it and from the smiles, it was a fun project. It is one that almost any age can do which makes it great in the summer. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Modern art camp lets us Paint, Paint, Paint

we spent a bit of time each day talking about the various artists --when they lived, what made their art be considered "Modern." We started the week with Jackson Pollack and his sidewalk creations. The campers first drew and painted bright geometric shapes then we dribbled paints over the entire canvas. Great results!

 We looked at a Nicolas LeBeuan-Benic nature print then did a tracing of the tree onto rice paper. The campers then painted the branches. The hardest part was convincing them to leave the branch tips in colored pencil. We sponged on multiple colors for the leaves using ball pouncers. We followed his design with reddish sunlight accenting the painting. Last step was to frame it with matting and a bit of accent. 

Drawing and chalk pastels are a hit with this group. I love the vibrant color even though they are a bit messy. We looked at Picasso faces and other faces then drew a self-portrait in either Picasso style or realistic. We then used the chalk pastels to paint our pictures blending with our fingers. These are sealed with cheap hair spray which sets the chalks well.

We talked about Chagall and his paintings of scenes from places he had been and liked that were a little more than life then drew our impression of his circus. We ran out of time to do the coloration on this one but the drawings were superb! 
We finished our day off doing modern designs on a reusable bag. I love having something useful to carry the projects home in. We reviewed a number of geometric and other "modern" designs then set out to draw and paint our own. I saw peace signs, swirls, electric penguins and lots more.

I was excited to find another way to do tie dyeing a few weeks ago that eliminates the need for a microwave oven. we prepared cotton socks in the usual way then using very watery acrylic paints we saturated our socks and created wonderfully bright socks and t's. They are a bit stiff when first dried but after a wash and a bit of fabric softener they will be fantastic. video is at: tie dye socks  tie dye socks 2
We ended the week with 2 drawing and painting projects. First we looked at pictures of Georgia O'Keeffe's gigantic flowers and western scenes. Campers picked which artworks to paint with the red landscape, large flowers and giant shells being selected. They painted on over-sized blue cardstock and the results were fantastic and not caught on film. 
Our final project was a Paul C├ęzanne watercolor of a bridge in the woods. Even though the kids have painted with watercolors before it is hard to convince them to not over pigment their projects. Lots of them got demonstrations on how to remove the extra paint and get the lighter airier look. Cannot believe how well they draw and paint!

Mixed Media art camp=glass mosaics, weaving, collages, and more

 We started the week with Altoids tins and CD cases to decorate using beads, felt, sequins and gems. Some of the campers had done tins before but each one is unique and given the option of 2 surfaces some just like the tins. I just like what they do.
 Glass floral beads are fun to look at and fun to use.We had tubs of the glass beads and bottle caps both metal and plastic to use.  Each camper was instructed to take the caps and beads and create a picture with them on the foam board squares. We used E6000 which works well but smells really bad as our adhesive. It is always better when the project pieces do not fall off due to the glue. Everyone did well spreading the adhesive with sticks.
 Weaving provided a bit of a challenge for many of the campers. I had a giant pile of embroidery hoops to use for this project and lengths of floss and ribbon to serve as the base. We taught the kids how to secure their threads to a center ring and bring them around the hoop but lots of the kids cannot tie knots. With lots of help from the JCs we got them ready to weave fabric strips and yarns then add a feather or two for smashing dream catchers.
 Painting and decorating on jeans pockets was one of the favorite projects this week. The kids had a choice of front, back, full or leg cuts to use and create their designs. we had buttons, gems, cording and other trims to add once the designs were painted. At the end we glued the ends closed on the leg ends and full jeans to make carry bags and added cords. One of the campers decided to construct his own  adding a couple of denim squares to make his project larger.
 For this collage I made  the pressed paper seahorses and starfish in advance. the campers used shades of blue paper to create the impression of water then added charms and the seahorse and starfish. Some added a few confetti for bubbles. The paper pressings were easy to paint with watercolor paints.
Our last project of the week was a doozy. I thought it would be fun to do a mixed media collage and use painted areas combined with decoupaged papers and napkins. We drew geometric designs on our canvas boards then painted parts of the boards. the campers next got to shop for their papers and trims and the group really got into this. Teaching decoupage was interesting as everyone seems afraid to use enough glue and not on top of the project. Once we got going though things really worked. At the end I got out very fine glitter and we added that to the other trims. What a fabulous way to end the week!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Shell critters bring out the creative spirit

What happens when you give kids a tray of shells and a few googly eyes? They make absolutely adorable critters and tell you all kinds of stories about what the critters are. We use hot glue to assemble the critters but tacky glue might work well at home. I have several resource books for people to look at but mostly the moms and dads look and the kids seem to be able to pull ideas out of their heads and create. Really great projects this week.