These girls got together to celebrate Emily's 12th birthday by painting abstract layers, starting with a secret layer of words, then adding a colorful background layer with textures, and finally adding abstract flowers and a cute 3-D butterfly. They did a great job!
I teamed with two dear friends who are also wonderful therapists to host a workshop and art project on the topic of grief. The project I chose was based on the Japanese are of kintsugi, in which broken pottery is repaired with gold instead of thrown away. The paintings have a secret layer of words, a beautiful abstract background layer, and a "broken" pot whose cracks are "filled" with gold leaf. The message is that our cracks and brokenness can be beautiful and part of our character.
We'd been looking forward to this trip all year, having studied 16 pieces of art in the vast collection and having learned about the artists and interesting history of each piece throughout the year. One of the pieces was nearly destroyed during the attacks of 9-11 before it hung in the lobby of the Gonda Building. One of the artists lost an eye. One of the gigantic pieces was moved from outside the building to inside using 2 cranes. Such a treasure trove of beauty and story! Warhol, Chihuly, Michelangelo, Miro, Mestrovic, and on and on. Checkout the slideshow from the 4 groups I took on the tour.
This class, in which we learned how to create the textures and colors of a succulent garden, was a hit! Students transferred the pre-drawn picture onto their watercolor paper, and then I guided them through the use of several technique to create these gorgeous paintings. I also loved that there were several multi-generational family groups in attendance. They are so good at cheering each other on!
Our final project of the year in my intermediate classes was painting 16x20 canvases with beautiful landscapes. The students chose their own reference photograph and synthesized much of what they had learned through the year to create the paintings, and they were lovely! They spent 5-6 hours on these.
The newest editions to my art room are black-out shades, blacklights, and fluorescent paints! This allowed us to have an awesome end of the year party, at which we painted ourselves, our papers, our plaster hands, the tables, and even the poor floor, which kids said looked like a galaxy (it came off easily!)
Why a glow party? I want kids to remember their unique art experiences when they're 80 years old with a great-grandkid on their lap. I want them to say, "I remember when I did ________ in my art class." I think this is one memory that will stick!
I have wanted to do this project with my elementary classes for a long time. It's one of my favorite art memories from childhood, except we did not cast our hands, we cast our FACES! The kids, who were initially skeptical and may have thought their teacher had lost her mind, warmed up to the idea of having their hands wrapped in gooey plaster gauze, allowing it to harden, and then sliding it off. The sliding off was the hard part! It would have helped if their hands were boneless! After they spent a week drying, the kids painted their sculptures and some added embellishments and fluorescent paint so they glowed during our Glow Parties.
Here are the winners of our 2nd Annual Flapdoodles Ice Cream Art Contest! Nearly all my students created 3-D clay relief sculptures mounted on painted canvas panels with an ice cream theme. The owners of Flapdoodles selected the winners from 3 categories: 7-9 yo, 10-12 yo, and Intermediate. The art is currently displayed at Flapdoodles South through July.
Drama students performed my original mini-musical, Unleashed!, about a writer who is typing a story about characters in an enchanted story, when suddenly the characters begin to interact with her and try to take over the story. We even had a cool slow-motion blacklight glow scene! Thanks to the over 30 friends and families who came to watch!
These ladies let me guide them through watercoloring feathers and nests in honor of the long-awaited arrival of spring!
Drama students created their own paper mâché marionettes to help them tell the story of Tacky the Penguin, based on the book by Helen Lester. The read winter poems, created voices and personalities for their puppets, and sang songs to tell the story of a penguin who just doesn't quite fit in. It was SO adorable!
Jill Pearson, owner & instructor at Riverwood Studio, Oronoco, Minnesota