Mono Print

Metallic Glue Relief

Tissue Paper Painting

Crayon Etching

Monday, February 21, 2011

Picasso Strikes a Chord at MoMA

I saw a great exhibit at MoMA today called Picasso: Guitars 1912-1914. It focuses on Pablo Picasso's many paintings, drawings and collages of guitars and violins. My favorite pieces in the show are the cardboard and paper and the sheet metal constructions of the instruments. When he first made them, no one had seen art works made from such humble materials before, and people questioned whether they were sculptures or paintings. Picasso answered, "They're just GUITARS!"

Some of Picasso's constructions and paintings reminded me of a project I did last year with elementary art students. First, I asked the children to draw a violin from careful observation. Then I gave them a wide range of materials (watercolors, oil pastels, cardboard, yarn, wire, colored papers, etc.) to add imaginary or realistic color to their drawings. I named the project, "Various Violins," because, as you can see from the photographs, the variety of interpretations was huge - which was exactly the point of the assignment. It showed kids that although each artist started out drawing the same violin, there were endless ways to interpret it, and each way was valuable.

Think about doing a painting or drawing of a musical instrument, maybe one that you play, and try adding imaginary colors or three-dimensional collage elements (yarn, buttons, cardboard) to make your drawing original. Remember, there are many ways to create a work of art. No matter what age you are, as an artist you must find your own unique way to create. I highly recommend the Picasso exhibition at MoMA as a fun family outing. It will inspire you!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Rocket Science


I love it when kids tell me that after making box sculptures, they look at boxes differently.

Instead of seeing a cereal box at breakfast, they see the possibility of a car, an airplane or a rocket ship. Box sculpture is all about possibility and imagination. This might slow down the breakfast rush a bit, but let's appreciate the creative thought process happening here - the transformation of raw material into something completely new!

Graham's rocket is made of an egg carton, a sugar box, an oatmeal box, a cracker box and a Jello box. There's no "formula" for how to invent a rocket. Each artist will find his or her own way, & that's what makes art so exciting. Someone else could have used the same boxes to make an animal or a car, or even a different rocket.

First, Graham
glued and taped the boxes together to make the rocket shape he wanted. Then he applied acrylic gesso to all the surfaces of sculpture and allowed it to dry. Next, he painted his rocket with acrylic paints. Once that was dry, he drew lines with a silver paint pen to add details. He even kept the cover of the egg carton open so he could use it as a secret compartment.

Nice job, Graham!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Brushes painting brushes

I recently worked with a talented adult student who is beginning to explore watercolor, after having done some beautiful charcoal drawings and a first time acrylic painting. Although watercolor is often described as an "unforgiving" medium, we're both enjoying its transparency and sometimes unpredictability. What better choice of medium is there to depict the transparency of colored glass than transparent watercolor?

It's not necessary to purchase expensive materials to get excellent results with watercolors. Check out the Yarka set of twelve colors. It's a good quality, inexpensive set which is appropriate for both children and adults. Using decent watercolor paper will enhance your results too.

Hurray For Box Sculptures!

What a celebration of creativity and color!