Thursday, October 24, 2013

Spooky Halloween Trees: Art for Primary Children

Here is a quick halloween activity
 for primary students.

Firstly, grab some A3 paper in white or yellow. 
Blue could work nicely too.
Find a circular object and trace around it to make the moon.

We discussed that a centred moon
 does not make a terribly interesting composition.

Now for the fun... charcoal experimentation!
Students were challenged to try using their charcoal sticks
from all angles and create all manner of marks.
This gets a lot of their system as well as being fruitful.

Then I demonstrated how to create variety of tone
 by varying the pressure, using smudging etc. 
They filled in the background, except the moon.

Ink time!
Brushes, nibs, sticks.
More experimentation time.
When it was time to move on,
they used ink to create a tree.

Trees always look easy peasy,
 but actually can be quite challenging for some.
Its important to discuss overlapping,
and the change in the thickness as the tree branches out.

 Many students just put the tree to one side,
 but I like the way this student is playing with position and composition.

Finally, an introduction into light sources.

Turning the fluros on and off in the classroom
and noting how it changes the light on our faces and the objects around us.

We noted that in our spooky pictures

the moon was our light source.
We used a waxy white pencil and simple lines to highlight the branches and trunk of the tree.

A simple line on the underside or top side of the branch
 was all that was required to make the trees extra spooky.

What else?

Add a eerie bird. 
Take a photo of the image and play with filters.
Create a new foreground.
Or, simply put it up for halloween!

Boo everybody!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Trees, dots and colour blending :TR Mack style Yr 5 Primary art

My year 5 boys have just completed a painting unit based, 
inspired by the work of TR Mack.

There are a number of art education ideas
 floating around the internet,
 regarding this artist.
 One I particularly admire 
 so check it out too.

I have taken a slightly different approach with my Yr 5 boys.
We began with some colour wheel theory and vocabulary (building the foundations).
Eventually we turned our focus
 to monochromatic colour schemes.

The boys were set the task
 of painting a monochromatic background.
We discussed choices they could make such as blending,
or using a more textured cross hatching approach.

Monochromatic Background using a textured approach

The next step was to look at the work of TR Mack
 and deconstruct his approach to tree scapes.
The boys practiced drawing trees...
 splitting branches again and again.
We discussed styles; swirly, angular, sparse, spooky etc.
(incidentally there are real science and Maths links
 possible here, as my husband pointed out).

Fill in the trees in a solid colour such as black or navy

Before the boys were ready to draw
 up their tree(s) on their background,
we recapped some compositional concepts
 that we had covered in a previous unit.

Points such as:
  •  avoid placement in the centre,
  •  anchoring the image by connecting to the edges,
  • variety of size if there is more than one tree etc. 

Add a ground if you wish

Finally, we printed dots,
 and dots on dots,
 and dots on dots on dots. 
We used old corks, cotton buds,

 industrial offcuts, anything circular will do. 

Testing colours and objects for printing.

Spacing is important here,
and we discussed clusters,
 regular spacing, irregular spacing
 and the pros and cons of all possibilities.

These examples are only a handful of the class,
as they were all successful.
I love how each tree has its own story.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Elle and Lou in the Media

An unexpected bit of sunshine shone on me today.
A friend alerted me that my
 little vintage transit pass holder
 had made it into the winter publication of
 Peppermint Magazine.

This is exciting for me because it has never happened before and it was someone who found my work,
I wasn't actively pursuing the publicity.

The other important reason why I value this feature
 is that I love everything that this magazine stands for
which is eco-style.

I have been air punching and heel clicking all day.
I hope your day has been as good.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Vintage Tea-towel Table Cloth

A recent thrift score find
resulted in the acquisition
of 15 (ok, actually it was 17)
vintage tea towels.

The tea towels were a large chunk
 of someone's well looked after collection
 As they travelled around Australia and abroad, 
she (must be a lovely woman don't you think)
purchased a linen tea-towel.

I have great plans for my tea-towels (insert evil laugh).
Today I embarked on a desperate quest
 to rid my house of  TACKY, CHEAP
 Disney placemats given to my children by relatives.

Bloody princesses and #$*!ing BEN 10
I really hate, hate, hate
marketing to kids!

I made a tablecloth.
Here it is unironed.

Not so amazing its true,
but I'm loving the colour and the kids
can learn some geography while they
scoff their bangers and mash.

All the tea-towels feature Queensland destinations.

My all time favourite though is 
pineapple laden 
"Sunshine Plantation"
Does it get any better than the Big Pineapple I ask you?

I know what you are thinking...
a table cloth doesn't solve the need for a
 wipeable surface.
And so, the final touch....
the plastic cover.
I love how the plastic reminds me of those granny sofas protected by plastic.

Can it get more kitsch?

Well, yes I'm think of adding a red pom-pom trim.
What do you think?

Now onto the cushion.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

My Embroidery Learning curve

I have been teaching myself 
free-motion machine embroidery
and really enjoying the process.

This is my chronological embroidery journey.....

So that's is it in a nutshell.
Some of it is on Etsy and some I am putting in
Reverse Garbage's upcoming exhibition
"Thread Count".

If you want to keep up I post much more regularly on Facebook and instagram (elle and lou).

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Free Motion Embroidery: 1st timer

I've had a hankering to try my hand at something different.

So I purchased a new foot for my machine
and began to have a small play
 with some fabric sample discards.

 Not to sure where this was going,
I glued it onto some more sample fabric
from Reverse Garbage.

Working over the print with some more
stitching added some much needed detailing.

Time for framing in the hoop.

Finishing the edges.

Fabric glued.
(Note to self- but some more bull dog clips)

Amazing stories:
I'm actually happy with it!
(I might even put it on my wall)


Friday, March 1, 2013

Cancer Council Art Eggs

My boys have been doing something for others.
Its what we all need to do-
think of others a little more.

They have been decorating wooden eggs
for The Cancer Council.
These eggs are sold around Easter time as a fundraiser.
Some eggs are also given to the courageous people
 fighting the hardest of battles.

is not just an organisation.
Its backbone are the volunteers in the shops,
the researchers, the educators, the supporting carers.
Its backbone are the people,
 who search out schools and other community groups
 to help where they can.
They quietly plug away, 
doing and amazingly selfless job.

My students researched messages 
of hope that 'spoke to' them,
and used the words to decorate their eggs.

It was touching to see the boys
 approach this task with such pride and care.
 It was wonderful to use Art as a link between
the students and the community.