Saturday, April 30, 2011

Fun Foam Mosaic

This was a really fun project, but it did take quite a long time to complete.
I had the students cover the front side of a copied black line coloring page with white chalk pastel. We then flipped the paper over on to the black construction paper and secured with blue painters tape. The black lines were visible through the regular copy paper so the students just traced the lines 
with a pencil creating a white chalk line transfer.

The fun foam was precut into small squares beforehand, but if the space required a smaller space, they had to cut those pieces themselves. Triangle shapes worked most of the time.

They were encouraged to use more than one color tone in areas like the leaves
to create a little interest and depth.

I had the students work from the inside of the picture outward by filling the space with  regular white Elmer's school glue and carefully place the foam tesserae in the space. Toothpicks were used to move the pieces to the exact space and students did need to be reminded to leave space in between the tesserae to allow the black "grout" to show through. 

I also told them that the piece would be more interesting if they did not cover the entire page with tesserae but left areas foam free.The branch area was also left foam free and created a nice contrast for the yellow claws.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Versatile Blogger Award- FInally!

I was so honored to receive this award from not just one, but two amazing bloggers;
Art at Chesterbrook Academy  
Outside the Lines Young Artists' Studios 

Being recognized by individuals whose work I admire and respect so much is truly edifying!

Of course this award does come with a few responsibilities. The first of which is to  publicly thank and link back to those who deemed you worthy of receiving it. Next up, tell seven random facts about yourself. Lastly, award 10 more recently discovered bloggers or old favorites with the same honors and high praise and make sure to let them know about it.

Since I have already completed requirement number one, let's move right on into number 2 shall we?


1. I ask my students to call me Miss Julie because if they call me Mrs. Moses I start looking around for my mother-in-law.
2. I collect quotes. I made myself a little journal of them.
3. I am a Joan Crawford like clean freak-though you could not tell that by looking at my house. Or my car.
4.  Each of my children believed that their belly button was called their "beep-beep" until they were about three years old because every time we sang "The Wheels on the Bus", when we got to the horn portion of the song, their tummy served as the sound maker.
5. I have learned more from teaching art to kids than I ever did in any of my high school or college art classes.
6. I am endlessly fascinated with neurology and current research on what is called neuroplasticity.
7. I generally ruin all crime dramas or suspense thrillers for my husband by figuring out the plot line pattern 15 to 20 minutes into the episode or movie. As such, my oldest daughter has vowed to create a patternless plot line someday in order to stump me.

Enough about me. Now on to the good stuff!


 Dilly Dally Art
Casa Maria's Creative Learning Zone
Art With Mr. E
A Faithful Attempt
Art Project Girl
Painted Paper
Art Rats
Teach Kids Art
SmART Class

So now it is their turn to honor some more of the truly deserving blogs out there!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Not just for the bathtub...

Well, I said Monday, but being it is only Monday for another hour, I am going to leave my award post for Tuesday. In the meantime, I will leave you with this...

Recently I purchased bathtub crayons for my 15 month old. Technically they are for 3 and over, but my little one doesn't put them in her mouth-much. They were an absolute hit. I know this because of the deafening screams she produced when I took them from her at the end of bath time.

Since she loves them so much, I tried to extend the play opportunity beyond bathtime. We have since found them very useful in the high chair. It wipes right off! The high chair also keeps her contained, so they don't end up on my walls. Of course there was that one time the high chair was very close to the wall-too tempting for my future muralist. Good news- it wiped right off!

I took the adventure further and invited her to use them on the mirrored closet doors and the clear glass shower door. We haven't tried the glass patio door yet, but we have to save something for tomorrow.

So what inventive ways can you think of to use bathtub crayons?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Artisitic Progeny

People often assume that because I am an art teacher, that my kids take lessons from me and that they must love having an art teacher for a mom. Kids tell me they wish their mom or dad was an art teacher. The fact of my profession is pretty much lost on my kids though. They hate taking classes with me. I did make them for a time, but then I realized I just needed to back off. They still consult me here and there for technical advice, but mostly they just practice on their own. The above photos show the results of that approach. These were done by my 9 year old son. He just got a brand new set of   48 Dick Blick Studio markers today. They are pretty much equivalent to Prismacolor Markers, just not quite as expensive. I don't know how long they will last, and Ryan seems intent on testing their longevity-TODAY! Ryan has a real intuitive sense of shading. His pencil work has floored me many times and he seems to be on the fast path to mastering blending techniques with makers as well. I would like to think that this has come from watching me and listening to the nuggets of wisdom I impart here and there. Although I am starting to think that it may be far less about me as much as it is giving him the freedom to play with quality materials as well as subject matter. You see we get a lot of guns, various explosives, and technical machinery in Ry's portfolio, but they are beautifully shaded. Would he have put so much effort into some subject I chose for him? I don't think so. Eventually he will need to learn how giving yourself limitations as an artist actually gives you more freedom to explore, but for now I will stand back and just watch- in awe.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Getting Inspired

"Good artists borrow, great artists steal." A famous quote supposedly uttered by Picasso. Whether or not he actually said it though, it is a universal truth. This article explores this and gives some other great advice for artists of all ages. Go and check it out. Bookmark it while you're there, you'll be glad you did!