Showing posts with label mural. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mural. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

In the Art Room: It's a Small World Mural

I'm so excited to share the newest addition to the art room: my Mary Blair-inspired It's a Small World Mural! As y'all know, I'm doing a big ole art room flip. I've been changing so many things up in my art room that each time the kiddos come, they spot something new. I got hooked on painting murals when I tackled this beast a month ago: 
I had a bit of paint leftover after cranking out this mural that I started setting designs on another area of my art room. I've had my Art History Wall up for so long...and while I love it, it just never got used. Once my art room was rearranged because of my document cam, that area of my room was never used for instruction. So the Art History Wall just ended up being an abandoned and faded spot that just didn't make me happy anymore. 
Here's the before: 
Full details on this wall here. Here I am tearing it down and prepping the new space:
It was bitter sweet taking this wall down. I loved the idea of it as a resource but feel like this new area (which will be used for extra art supplies and a fibers space) will be much happier with my new mural. I know it makes me super happy each morning to see it!

 I'm not COMPLETELY done yet...the clock is currently the only 3-D element to the wall but I do plan to add more. My dream is to have little doors that open and moving parts...but for now, I'm calling it kinda-sorta done. Done-ish. Done-lite.
 Because the Art History Wall took up so much space, I had a large area of the room that was unusable for storage. I happened to find this bookcase in another room in my school and it fits PERFECTLY! I've had lots of questions on my IG about those containers with the painted faces...those are for my extra marker storage. They are cat litter containers that I painted faces on and store extra markers in by color. In fact, this entire bookcase is my "overflow" of supplies: markers, color pencils, oil pastels. It needs  A LOT of work (more shelves added would be great) but I'm excited about the idea.
I also cannot wait to use this mural to teach shapes! All the geometric shapes with just a few organic. We can talk about Klee, Blair and so much more...I'm so loving this area. Can you tell? Am I goin' on and on about it enough for ya? 
 That clock was a thrift store score...in it's past life, it was a country-fied clock with a rooster painted on it. I'm thinkin' I did alright.
My love of Mary Blair has been goin' strong for a long time. I created this Mary Blair painted bag several years ago. 
For that I stuck pretty closely to the original. For my art room, I was pretty loose. Painting on those cinder blocks is not easy...especially when you want to paint a straight line, ugh! Don't get me started! I didn't use tape, I just drew everything on the wall in a light color of chalk and just went to down. Everything had to get at least two coats (sometimes more) which was super fun (insert eye roll.)
 Several years ago, I had the AMAZING experience of meeting Richard Sherman of the Sherman brothers. He and his brother wrote the theme to It's a Small World as well as the music for Mary Poppins and so many other Disney classics. It was such a joy to meet him, his sweet wife and hear all about his work at Disney.
I was so star struck!
 I'll be sure to keep you posted on what else I add to my mural...as well as this new area of my art room. 
I've already got my Friendly Loom up (needs a little warping) and plan to place all of our fibers supplies in the Mona Lisa cabinet on the left. The rack is one I found at the thrift store and I think it will be great for holding our yarn!
 I've gotten a lot of questions on what kind of paint I used: Behr wall paint. 
 I've also been asked what my admin has to say about me painting my walls and how I went about getting permission. Permission?! What's that?! I just went at it...I live in the South, we ask for forgiveness, not permission. All kidding aside, they love it! Thank goodness. Thank you so much for letting me share!
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Monday, May 15, 2017

In the Art Room: A Legacy Mosaic Mural

So one day before the art show, we managed to pull together and pull off one of our biggest collaboratives to date: our Legacy Mosaic Mural!
This big honkin' mama-jama was created by my first thru third grade students. I knew that my kindergarten and fourths would need two weeks for their clay projects...and that my other kiddos would only need one. But when we work with clay, we ALL work with clay so I knew I'd need a project for that group which would carry us thru the second week. And that's when I got the idea for this big ole project. Here's the video I created months ago for the kids. Feel free to use in your art teacherin' world!
I'm a big fan of the artist and illustrator Galia Bernstein and this project was inspired both by her and by the book Who is the Beast? by Keith Baker. 
I know you can totally see the influence, can't you? I've always loved this book. When I came to my school so many years ago, I loved that a tiger was the mascot. It meant I could share this book even more with the kids!
So, who did we do it? Lemme tell ya.
First grade made the flowers, second grade made the butterflies and third grade made the birds. Everyone who finished their small piece then created a leaf or two. Before each piece was placed in the kiln, I placed the alphabet noodles of the kid's initials into the clay. These noodles burned off in the kiln and left behind the impression of the initials. 
Once each piece was out of the kiln, I created a diluted black glaze. Then I dunked just the surface of each piece in the glaze and then gave them a quick wipe on a damp sponge. This part was time-consuming (the entire thing was, honestly). But I just sat one day after school and dunked, swiped, dunked swiped until they were complete. 
These pieces were then returned to the students where they were tasked with glazing just the raised surface. I did limit the palette so that it wouldn't be too much of a sea of color. Flowers were yellow, pink and red, birds were blues, butterflies were purple, orange and yellow. Leaves were a variety of green. 
 After these were fired the second time, the workload was on me. I had acquired this huge frame last year and I'd been dreaming of a mosaic project since. I measured the inside of the frame which is 3' X 4'. I went to the local hardware store where they cut me a piece to size. I also picked up a jumbo bottle of Gorilla Glue and high gloss paint. My P.E. teacher buddy painted the board for me. From there my custodian friend glued and drilled the board into the frame.  
 I created the tiger. This literally took me 45 minutes to draw out, cut and texture-ize. With the art show looming, I was short on time which meant I was in hustle mode. That dried a matter of days. This past Sunday, I came in, laid out and glued each piece, glazed and fired the tiger. 
 In other news, does anyone know how to get Gorilla Glue off of skin? I've had it on my hands FOR DAYS now!
The tiger came out of the kiln this morning and was glued into place. This massive masterpiece will not be grouted. Before hanging it, it weighed in at 70 lbs. Grout would have only made it heavier.
 There were small empty spaces that were driving me nuts. I remembered I had a stash of decorative marbles and glued them in place. I LOVE them as they add a bit of sparkle to the piece. 
Stroke and Coat by Mayco is the best, y'all!
 This afternoon, my custodian friends worked tirelessly to get this beast up on the wall. It's drilled into the wall as well as supported by both a hanger and a beam underneath. 
 And the pieces are rock solid with that glue.
With the art show tomorrow, I'm so excited that we were able to pull this one off! It is my favorite collaborative to date!
 We do a lot of collaboratives and legacy projects. You can find out more about our chalked ceiling tiles, our You Be You mural and our JES selfies too! 
Because we do so many collaboratives, my students rarely are upset if they don't get to "take it home". I emphasize that this is their beautiful mark they are leaving behind...and for real, look how beautiful it is! I'm so happy with my sweet artists and this beast of a creation. Love to hear of any mosaics y'all have done like this! 
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Monday, September 5, 2016

In the Art Room: Monochromatic Selfie Mural

Oh, y'all. Murals. Every time I have the kids create the pieces for one I think to myself: THIS HAS GOT TO END. The crawling on the floor, the hot glue burns, the accidental stapling of flesh (in my thigh? For real tho?). Then I hang it up and immediately forget the pain and suffering. I just stand back and absorb the awesomeness that is the work of my wee artists. 
Like awww, y'all. These selfies created by my first through fourth grade students (with about a dozen missing as they still have some finishing up to do) are just about the best thing ever. And it already has me plotting and planning our next collaborative project. Because I'm a glutton for punishment. 
In case you missed it, we started our school year with a monochromatic self-portrait project. You can see the finer details here. The above is the video that I shared with the kids. 
And here is a look-see as to my set up. The covered tables signify the colors available at that table. The kids could use any ONE color they wanted (which meant for that first day, they sat where they liked) but if a table was filled up, then move along, Little Doggie. On the tables there were two bins filled with markers and colored pencils of one color in a range of values. There were also mirrors on each table. 
At the end of the first week, I had a stockpile of these lovelies that I organized by color. Initially I was going to do something COMPLETELY different with these selfies. However, tried as I might to make the idea work (I was going to make a big ole peace sign), it just wasn't coming together. So I shelved the idea, allowed myself to let it go and I flipped my flop... 
And went with this idea instead: The Many Faces of J.E.S. 
Our students have a STONG sense of school pride. They are happy kids who truly love their school. Our school colors are yellow and blue. I think they are gonna totally dig this mural when they see it tomorrow!
But, like I said, the gluing, mounting, plotting and planning is what completely wears me out. I did this on a Sunday just so I could knock it out with plenty of uninterrupted time. And so no child could witness giant extension cords and hot glue guns on the ground. Is it any wonder why I am so accident prone? I set myself up for disaster. I truly am my own biggest enemy!
Next up: kindergarten still needs to create selfies. AND I had the posters that the kids created in this post laminated. I can't wait to hang them up alongside this mammoth masterpiece. 
I'm also stoked that this is up two whole weeks before Open House! Now I just gotta get three grade levels of Dot Day artwork up...whew. That outta be a good time. 
In the meantime, I'll just be hanging out with some colorful kids.
Who are so uniquely different. I love seeing the variety of creativity!
By the way...I may be a little spotty this week as I'm having a ROOT CANAL tomorrow. Be thinkin' of me y'all. And floss. A lot.
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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

In the Art Room: Mini-Monochromatic Self-Portraits

Well, hello there. This big toothy grin is brought to you by our mini-monochromatic self-portrait project! Our first project of the new school year is a collaborative one. Each of my four hundred-ish students will be making a 3" square selfie to contribute to a large mural. Y'all might have seen the rainbow portrait mural that was all the rage on Pinterest a couple years ago (in case you missed, it's the same process as what I'm sharing here. When complete, the portraits are hung in Roy G. Biv order which makes for a beautiful display). The last time I did a project like this (back in 2012), we hung the pieces to create a large world map. This go-round I have something different in mind which I hope to have ready to share with y'all real soon. In the meantime, let's chat monochromatic self-portraits!
 I have my older students, third and fourth grade, for an hour. After watching the start of the video below, I allowed the students the choice of either participating in the guided drawing in the video or working on their own. My classes were pretty evenly split between those who preferred guided vs. independent. Some kids would draw along for a while until they felt comfortable then migrate to their chosen table (more on that in a sec) while others would decide they'd like a little guidance and join the kids on the floor.
Creating this video was great in that I could add vocabulary pop-ups when needed. I also think that the intro would work great with a variety of self-portrait projects. Feel free to show it in your art room, that's why I'm sharing it here! You can find many more videos like this on my YouTube channel. I add more videos weekly so if you subscribe, you can stay tuned. 
My third graders (seen above) were able to bust these bad boys out in no time. I had only one rule when coloring: only use colored pencils on the face. I learned from experience that the dark markers will often cover too much of the face and the kids lose their beautiful details. 

So, who did they know which colors to use? 
I color coded the tables! I told the kids that the table cloth signified which color was available on the table. Inside those plastic bins were markers and colored pencils of only one color. I also had mirrors and "idea sheets" (with a variety of faces and facial features) drawn on them.
So on the first days of art, the kids sat where they liked, no assigned seats. This gave me a chance to see who would migrate together and who would not be able to sit with their buddy (more talkie than workie means new seatie for sweetie). 
 AH!! First grade! Their selfies made me smile! 
 For the wee ones, we did a guided drawing activity. We spent one day learning about self-portraits and drawing them together.
I love this activity because it's such a great assessment of student skill level at the start of the year. It also is gonna make a super sweet mural that I can pop up on the walls right away. And, who doesn't love a selfie? Especially when they are this cute. 

Love to hear what y'all are doing for these first weeks back to school! 

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