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

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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Thursday, December 18, 2014

In the Art Room: A Legacy Mural

Hey, y'all! I'm super excited to share with you a project that my fourth graders started just last week when their certifiably insane art teacher decided that they outta create a present for the principals of our school. I've mentioned before that our school is participating in a Be Nice campaign. In the art room, I've been trying to post a weekly "Give Nice a Try" idea in my room each week. A coupla times, we've actually had the opportunity to make it happen in the art room. You can read about how we wrote Thank You notes to a local art museum after our field trip, created a Gallery of Gratitude for all the faculty and staff in the school and wrote kind notes to each other. This time, our Give Nice a Try was to give a gift (especially during the season when most kids are thinking about receiving). And this here Legacy Mural is the result of their hard work.
I got the idea for this mural at NAEA during a presentation by Janine Campbell (thanks, Janine! If you guys ever have a chance to see her present, do it, she's amazing). She had her middle school students paint on black canvases that she'd taped off the words ART onto. Then, when the kids were finished painting, she simply removed the tape. So smart, right? Well, being the crazy Last Minute Lassie that I am, I didn't bother with the masking bit. I just let the kids start attacking the black canvases with fluorescent paints.
Well, okay, "attacking" is a bit of a stretch. We kinda sorta did the whole circle painting thing. You know, paint circles and more circles and don't paint over anyone's circles but enhance them with more...wait for it...circles. I did give them the chance to enhance the designs with patterns and lines of their choice. I only had a coupla rules: 

1. Don't paint over anyone's design. You can build upon their painting but you cannot cover it up.

2. Paint on dry areas. Painting over wet areas will muddy your colors because they'll become mixed.

3. This is your legacy as the out-going fourth grade! Do your very best to leave your mark behind. 
At the end of four fourth grade classes working on 17 canvases for an hour at a time, we had this. It's like an acid trip on canvas. And I mean that in the best possible way. I'm dying to get my kitten mittens on a black light, y'all. 
 Oh! In case you are wondering, the black canvases came from Blick (are they just "Blick" now? Like, are the "Dick"less? [heehee, sorry, not sorry]) and the paint was by Sax. Because I'm now in love with Sax Versa Temp. It's my jam. 
The amazing bookkeeper at my school worked out the canvas dimensions and was able to scrap together enough dinero to purchase 'em. She also was kind enough to print off the lettering. I originally had the genius idea to have a sign company print the letters. Then I could just slap 'em on top. However, that was gonna cost us well over a hundred smacks. Plan B was to use the printed letters. After the kids had completed the canvases, I traced the letters in yellow chalk and painted them in with India ink. 
Obviously, it woulda been swell to have the kids paint the letters but I was in a time crunch. In fact, these letters were painted just last night. I did notice that the India ink was cracking on the surface in some spots so I sealed it with high gloss ModPodge. The happy accident there was that it gave the letters a great shine.
 This morning, I got to school at the crack of dawn to hang the letters. My BFF the custodian helped out tremendously. Because this was a surprise to be revealed at the end of the day, he and I "wrapped" the present so the principals wouldn't see it until the unveiling.
During the unveiling time, I had all fourth grade classes gather in the lobby. The wrapping paper was removed and the principals were escorted out blindfolded. On the count of three, the blindfolds were removed, the kids shouted Merry Christmas! and the principals saw this.
To hang next to the mural will be this small golden sign. This was wrapped and given to the principals after the unveiling.

It was a super exciting event, albeit a very crazy and noisy one. I don't do well with managing a crowd of over a hundred kids so it was a pinch cray but a happy kinda cray. 

And now on to the winner of yesterday's giveaway...

Yippie, Rachelle! I'll be in touch so I can ship that stash your way!

And now...for today's goodness...
Four whole rolls of paint-splattered duck tape! Here's how you can enter to win:

1. Leave your email in the comments.

2. If you are an art teacher, I wanna know, what's been your fave group project to do with the kids?

3. Not an art teacher? Tell me what you plan to create with this tape stash!

Good luck and I'll see you with another giveaway tomorrow!

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