Monday, 31 December 2012

Happy New Year!

Wishing all of my followers, readers, fellow art ed bloggers, and anyone who intertwines art into their daily life a happy new year!

Friday, 28 December 2012

Sea Monster Sock Puppets

Art Intertwine - Sea monster sock puppet
I found these pictures from the summer, of my students sea monster sock puppets.  I had originally planned on using fuzzy socks but couldn't find any at the time.  Nonetheless, the puppets turned out really well, with my students adding all kinds of embellishments such as necklaces, capes and horns.  They even started to create elaborate back stories and personalities for their puppets.  My own puppet, that I used as a demo for the kids, was a sea monster who loved to tell and hear jokes.

If you find yourself creating your own sea monster here a few themed jokes:

"What is a pirate's favourite cookie?"  Answer: Chips Ahoy!

"What did the ocean say to the sail boat?"
Answer: Nothing!  It just waved!

Art Intertwine - Sea monster sock puppet

Art Intertwine - Sea monster sock puppet

Art Intertwine - Sea monster sock puppet

Art Intertwine - Sea monster sock puppet

Art Intertwine - Sea monster sock puppet

Art Intertwine - Sea monster sock puppet

Art Intertwine - Sea monster sock puppet

Monday, 17 December 2012

Art Activity - Gargoyles

Recently I subbed for a grade 9/10 art class that was creating clay gargoyles.  The students had to create closed sculptures of gargoyles with exaggerated features and texture.  The students were just getting started, but already there was a variety of ideas from unicorns and Cheshire cats, to owls and manga characters.

I decided to look up what exactly makes a gargoyle

A picture of Henri Le Secq near the  'Stryge'   chimera on Notre Dame de Paris. Date:1853.  Author: Charles Nègre

The name gargoyle comes from the idea of the creature's throat spouting and gurgling water.
Gargoyles were designed to direct rainwater away from the side of a building to prevent it from running down and eroding the walls.  Gargoyles are usually  elongated because the length of the gargoyle determined how far rainwater would be thrown from the building. When used for decorative purposes rather than for their function as water diverters, gargoyles are instead known as grotesques or chimeras.

Gargoyles were also thought to scare away and protect from evil or harmful spirits, which explains their exaggerated features. 

Over the years gargoyles have come to include all kinds of forms. Some gargoyles were even   combinations of real animals and people.  Below are a few examples of gargoyles.

Gargoyle at the southern façade of the church Saint-Martin in Lieurey in France. Author: Stanzilla (CC-BY-3.0)

Gargoyle, St. Mary, Astbury Author: Poliphilo

Saint Mary's Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption in Covington, Kentucky detail of the exterior - gargoyles.                        Author: Nheyob. (CC-BY-SA-3.0)

Friday, 14 December 2012

Art Fun For Fridays - Video Games & Art

This week I just found out about MOMA adding a selection of video games to their permanent collection as a new art category.  This has led to both triumphant cheers and flabbergasted criticism over whether video games are indeed art.  Click HERE and HERE for examples of the two opposing views.

What better embodiment of this debate than a bizarre mash up of Surrealist art and Frogger courtesy of artsology.  Enjoy!

Click Here to Play

Rene Margritte, Les valeurs personnelles, 1952
31 1/2 in. x 39 3/8 in. (80.01 cm x 100.01 cm)
Acquired 1998
Collection SFMOMA
Purchase through a gift of Phyllis Wattis
© Charly Herscovici, Brussels / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Art Activity - Super Simple Paper Holiday Decorations

Recently I was instructing at a Pro-D day out of school care camp.  As part of the camp the kids made holiday decorations.  I didn't know what kind of supplies they would have so I created this super easy activity that uses simple materials.

What You Need:

Paper-I used plain 8 1/2 x 11 white computer paper.  To make your decorations fancier use coloured papers, origami paper, or double sided scrap booking paper
Glue stick
Something to create your design-I used markers, but you could use just about anything such as oil pastels, acrylic paint, glitter, stamps, etc.

Step One:

Start by creating a pattern on one side of your paper. Once you've created the first pattern, flip your paper over and create a different pattern using different colours.  You want the two sides to have a strong contrast so use two very different colours. In both examples the patterns are simple.

For the first example, on the one side I created a snowflake pattern (no surprise) and a candy cane stripe on the other.

The second example uses red presents and green trees-perfect complimentary colours for Christmas-to create a strong contrast.

Step Two:

Fold your piece of paper diagonally, bringing the lower right corner up to the top edge.

Step Three:

Cut off the excess part of the paper-BUT DON'T THROW IT OUT!

You should now have two pieces of paper-1 square and 1 small strip.

Step Four:

Fold the square piece in half diagonally, and then in half again to create a small triangle

Step Five:

Starting at the bottom make 4 diagonal cuts that are fairly evenly spaced but STOP before reaching the other edge

Carefully unfold your paper.  It should look like the one above.

Step Six:

Take your glue stick and glue together the points of the two innermost cuts, overlapping one on top of the other.

Flip over the paper and glue the points of the next two cuts, again overlapping one on top of the other.

Repeat the gluing process, flipping the paper over each time.

Step Seven:

Take the leftover strip of paper and create an even amount of circles about 6-10.  To create my circles I used the cap of the glue stick.  Make sure that each circle contains part of the pattern.  If you don't want to see pencil marks on the finished decoration, trace half the circles on one side of the paper and half on the other.  Cut out each circle.

To finish, hole punch the top of the decoration and thread a string through.  Glue two circles together (with the pencil marked sides facing in) while sandwiching the string between them.

The finished decorations!

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Art News - Artists For Kids

Just a quick post about an article from the Vancouver Sun the other day on Artists For Kids.  In particular, the article looks at how the foundation's Gordon Smith Gallery for Canadian Art is unique in Canada since its focus is on educating children about art.  Click HERE read the article.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Printmaking With Play Dough - Step Three: Printmaking By Making Impressions & Other Experiments

For my final foray into printmaking with play dough plates I decided to create prints by impressing into the play dough.  As before I used watered down acrylic paint and laid plain white copier paper on top to create my prints.

I used kitchen gadgets to create interesting patterns:

I then experimented with carving into the play dough with a pencil to create stylised tree designs:

I also created this cat design by drawing into the plate:

Next I tried flattening the play dough around my design.  While I really like the final print it was harder to create a print without wrecking the design.

I also did the classic leaf impressions.  For this print I used a large hydrangea leaf:

Overall, my favourite prints were the simple geometric patterns since they were easy to create and printed well.  One issue that I had was bits of the play dough sticking to the paper, because of this I would use this activity more for the process than for the final product.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

How To Make Paper Snowflakes

When I was five, I remember watching the weatherman on tv just before Christmas.  To the joy of my little kid heart I was informed by said weatherman that indeed we would be having a white Christmas.  Of course when I awoke on Christmas morning and looked out the window there was no snow in sight.  I swear that our front lawn had even become greener just to spite me.  I realized years later that I likely had been watching the weather report for a different area.  Regardless, I still get a twinge of envy towards those who get to enjoy a snowy Christmas.

Okay now for the paper snowflakes

The steps for making a paper snowflake are something that for whatever reason I forget every year.  So if you're like me, then you will appreciate the instructions below-I've included 3 different ways to fold the paper as well as some examples of how to cut the paper to get specific designs.

 Method No. 1

Start with a sheet of paper
If the paper is not square fold the corner up to create a centre line
Cut off the excess
Fold the square in half diagonally
Now fold in half diagonally again to make a smaller triangle
This is where it gets tricky.  Fold the triangle into thirds.  You will probably need to make adjustments

Your piece of paper should now look like this

Cut off the two ends.  Cut the paper at an angle so that your snowflake will have 6 points

Use the templates below to create the corresponding classic snowflake designs

 Method No. 2


Unlike in method 1, once you have created your square piece of paper fold it in half but not diagonally

With the folded edge at the bottom, fold the bottom left corner up to the top of the paper
Repeat with the bottom right corner.  This should create a point at the bottom

Cut off the two ends as in method no.1

Cut out your design

Use the design above to create this snowflake

Method No. 3

Follow method no. 1 up to where you fold the square piece of paper in half diagonally.  Instead of folding in half at this stage, fold the paper into thirds

Now fold the paper in half

Cut off the two ends, creating either a straight edge for a circular design or angled edge for a pointed design

I cut my paper to form a straight edge

Use the design above to create this lacey design

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