Thursday, December 15, 2011

Norval Morrisseau, AKA Copper Thunderbird Art Lesson for 4th-6th

So, my 4th-6th graders were learning about colonial America, Native Americans and Michigan history - so I introduced them to a contemporary native American artist from our neck of the woods:  Norval Morrisseau!

He was born in Canada, but is a part of the Ojibwe/Chippewa tribe that extends into our beautiful Michigan state.

The kids had some prior knowledge of that which helps peak their interest!  If you are curious about the artist, just google him :)

Basically we looked at his work, I talked about his culture and style of painting, and then they had to:
1) Pick a symbol (plant, insect, animal or abstract) that had meaning to them
2) Create a design in a similar style to Morrisseau
3) Paint using acrylics ** ALTERNATIVE: At another school I am having kids "build" their work using cut construction paper and it is also very effective and stunning!

Here is the work in progress!

P.S.  This school just opened recently, and I have hardly any supplies!  So - I have been EXTRA careful with the acrylic paint by putting small portions into condiment containers with lids (got them from GFS).  So far they have worked wonderfully at keeping them fresh and reusable!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Carbon paper transfer fun for tested-out zombie kids.

So, at one of my schools I found a huge pile of this stuff:

Carbon paper!  

This particular carbon paper was packed with purple ink and through some experimentation I found that this ink was extreeeemely reactive to water (it bled like crazy) as well as it STAINS really bad.  Purple sinks and counter tops.  Eep.

Anyway, my older elementary kids are in the middle of some standardized testing and I thought they could use a nice loose one-day project to unwind.

So - We read "Beautiful Oops" by Barney Saltzberg and talked about how in art (and life) if you make a mistake sometimes you can turn it around into something even better.  If you have not read this book - do.  If you do not own it - you should.  It's a real confidence booster and helps kids think of mistakes as opportunities rather than failures.

ANYWAY - I gave them 4"x6" watercolor paper, carbon paper, crayons and the option to either add water using a paintbrush or by dipping into a tub of water.  They were to create a "Beautiful Oops" by allowing themselves to simply draw on the carbon paper, not knowing exactly what their final drawing would look like (since the carbon paper covered the transfer as they drew).

On a side note:  This carbon paper sans water would be good for blind contour drawings as well...

Here are a couple pics of the results:

They remind me of Paul Klee!

That's it for now!  Thought I would share since it turned out to be a very fun project!