Wrapping Up

We had our last Art Around the World class of the semester this week. To wrap things up we ended the semester using our drawing and paintings skills together in a watercolor resist project. Our country for the final week was Japan. We read The Beckoning Cat, by Koko Nishizuka. And then watched a slide show accompanied by Japanese music, that I had prepared on my laptop. The kids were so fascinated with the technology I didn’t have to pause once to quiet anyone down. Computers can be magical in the classroom, but more on that later. Here is one of the examples of artwork I included in the slide show:

So using crayons we drew trees in black, brown and dark dark blue. Then, as we went to paint in the leaves with watercolor we watched as the watercolor  “ran away from the crayon!” as Hudson, age 6, put it.

And below are my two project examples. One I did before and the larger one I did for my demo:

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Wonderful Chinese Lanterns

Here are some beautiful examples of students work from my Art Around the World after-school class:

Finishing Up

This past week, December 4th, my Saturday Art School Ceramics students worked quickly and diligently to get all of there work ready for the final show, Saturday the 11th. Here you can see the two types of glazing options I gave these students. Just like the session before them we had buckets of glaze for all over dunking and plenty of fun underglaze colors, for them to paint on with brushes. Some how, by some miracle, everyone finished everything by the end of class. It’s not often you can get a whole group of students to work as proficiently as these guys did. I was really impressed.

^ Above from top to bottom: A student uses underglaze to add funky colors to her design. An amazing sculpture of a house sits on the table waiting to be glazed. A student dunks her polar bear in a bucket of glaze called “milk” that will, when fired, look… well, milky.

Canadian Colligraphs


Printmaking is inherently messy. Especially when you are conducting a printmaking lesson with young children. Young children are inherently messy even when there is no paint involved. This week, in my “Art Around the World” class, we embarked on a journey to Canada to make colligraphs. All I have to say about clean-up is that even though I had the children help me clean up, I still ended up staying twenty minutes after class was over. (See “Cleaning Up”)

We began class with the story Henry Walks by B.D. Johnson, which I choose because of the artwork. The illustrations are mostly of a bear surrounded by forest. The bear, the flora, and other fauna are all rendered using geometrical shapes. I would describe the style as cubism meets the Beranstien Bears. Since we were creating colligraphs using pre-cut, paper circles, triangles and squares, I thought this was very important as an inspiration for the kids. I wanted to show the students how one artist can use simple shapes to create an animal, which is what we were about to do.

Pinchy Animals

This project involves measuring out a  pound of clay and then creating an animal without ever detaching any piece. The objective for the student is to learn more about the possibilities of the clay and its physical properties and limitation. So what I did for this lesson was disguise the objective as a challenge to each individual student. I told them that they were being asked to make an animal as best they could without making any new attachments, only by pulling and pinching and adding texture, could they make their animals. I think they came out fantastic!

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