Friday, January 8, 2016

Good Luck Maneki Neko!

We've all seen him... the cute little cat waving from the front desk of a store, restaurant or place of business. Meet, MANEKI NEKO!

The legend of Japan's Maneki Neko is about a stray cat a shop owner fed and care for, and in return, he waves in customers to his shop.

 My second and third graders drew precious waving cats using markers then framed them with Japanese or metallic paper "mosaics."

Too cute for words.


Although I wish I came up with every lesson plan I've ever taught, the truth is there are waaayyy too many fabulous art teachers who've made fabulous art lessons before me! This lesson was inspired by Cassie Stephens, from Nashville.... a true art teacher, extraordinaire!

Using the book, First Book of Sushi, by Amy Wilson Sanger, my students took a look at different types of Sushi, and different ingredients used.
Then the fun happened....

K-1 made fabulous flat bento boxes, while the upper grades made a origami  bento box and added more 3-dimensional elements, which looked super in our Blossomwood Art Gallery!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

America the Beautiful!

In November, I felt the need to celebrate our own country!

Inspired by a trip to New York City with my favorite boy in the world, We created some fabulous Lady Liberties....

We began with a pencil drawing AND portrait practice and followed up crayons and watercolor resist to create a beautiful patina (see what I did there? new vocabulary.... chemistry... ) for our Statues. The kids especially loved watching the video on about the Staute of Liberty and learning the history.

 Way to go, kiddos! AND psst.... an art teacher's tip: USE BLICK LIQUID WATERCOLORS! They are fantastic, budget friendly and have beautiful pigments. You'll thank me later!

Silly Skeletons!

As my schools change from year to year, so do the demographics.  I LOVE getting to know children from different cultures and embracing their festivals and celebrations!
Dia de los Muertos in a popular celebration from Mexico, celebrating the loves of loved ones who've passed away.

Inspired by Mexican folk art and ofrendas (offerings to the dead), my students made wonderful skeletons...learning about anatomy of the human body, while being challenged (or angrily struggling) with ONLY tearing the paper for bones, not cutting it.

After the basic structure was completed, we added details to the skeletons to create a personality.

Not too be left out, my kinders and first graders did a marvelous job with a slightly simpler version:

and the finale, Sugar Skulls using metallic crayons on black paper!

Stunning Skeletons!