Thursday, April 22, 2010

Drawing With Imagination

I have decided to challenge myself by working on becoming more creative. I have always wanted to draw from my imagination and to tap into my creativity in a deeper way. I found a book that I'm betting will start me off in reaching my goal step at a time. This week I started reading Keys to Drawing with Imagination: Strategies and Exercises for Gaining Confidence and Enhancing Your Creativity. In the coming weeks and months I'll be reading the book and following the exercises ...and I'll be posting all of what I create. No matter what it looks like. Should be interesting!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Reverse Oil Pastel Paintings

I wanted to introduce my students to some new materials and techniques. Since they had never used oil pastels, I thought it would be the perfect medium to introduce to them. The other materials they used were clear acetate to paint on, a variety of tools for blending (such as tissue and Q-tips), and metallic foil. This was a reverse oil painting lesson in which a painting is created in a backward fashion. Our paintings, once completed, would have the look of a stained glass window (at least that was the goal). The metallic foil (we used aluminum foil) was placed behind the painting in order for light to be reflected through the pastel. If you look closely, you'll see a shiny background texture on some of the paintings where the paint is more transparent.

Subject matter ranged from landscapes to animals to the abstract. All of the students were challenged and everyone learned how to select colors, to paint with oil pastel, and to blend. Everyone seemed to really enjoy this new (to them) medium and the process of painting with oil pastels. Just look at what great art they created!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Bookmaking - Notepads

Learning how to make handmade books, for use as notepads, was the next project for my students. They all enjoyed this one and had fun learning the bookmaking process. Again, we used a variety of our bright specialty papers for the covers, combined with some colorful ribbons for the binding. For the insides, we used plain white paper. Three sizes were made for variety ...small, medium, and large. As you can see here, the results are eye catching and funky.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Creative Ribbon Bookmarks

Valentine's Day came and went and my students were eager to began a new project. So, I gathered a bright assortment of ribbons, our favorite specialty papers, and a bunch of sparkly embellishments. I demonstrated how to cut the ribbon ends and adhere the papers and other items to the ribbon tops. What resulted were funky, colorful bookmarks which anyone would gladly mark off their favorite novel. Check out these wonderful, original creations.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tiny Totes

I found some small tote bags we had left over from our summer arts program. So, for a change from the cards they had been making, we switched gears and painted on the totes for Valentine's Day. This is just a small sampling of the many beautiful creations from my students.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Valentine's Day Countdown

In January, I worked with my students to create a wide variety of Valentine's Day items. As seen here in these pieces, we created hearts and a bird (but mainly hearts) ...many of which we printed as note cards for sale. Students made these collages using techniques they had previously learned. In planning new lessons for my students, my aim is to utilize different techniques in new ways. Specialty papers, glitter and sequins are their favorite materials to use ....these lovely designs show just how much they enjoy the collage process.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Festive Holiday Cards

Using what they had learned in previous lessons, incorporating stencil-making and collage, my students created some great hand made cards for the holidays. Check these great designs out!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Making Jewelry

Making jewelry was something I knew my students had done many times before I came along. Though the process of stringing one bead at a time was often difficult and laborious for many of them. I found a great tool for them to use that strings many beads at a time called a bead spinner. It comes battery operated or as a hand spinner. It's made for seed beads, which we had plenty of left over from past jewelry making exercises. The bead spinners worked great with the memory wire we had, so they made bracelets, necklaces, and rings. We also did some basic stringing and made lots of earrings. The students were so excited when I showed them the bead spinners ...they couldn't wait to try them out. Check out these great pieces of jewelry my students made.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Painting Pictures

My students, taking what they learned about color mixing, moved on to painting a wide variety of images such as landscapes, birds, and flowers. First, a picture tracing technique was used. The outcome looked like a page from a coloring book. You'd be surprised to learn how many artists and illustrators trace their subjects, especially now with the advancement of computers and Adobe Illustrator. For my students, who have moderate to severe disabilities, this technique made the process more gratifying. After they had their picture outline complete, they began painting. Every painting was unique. It was fun for my students to see the differences across similar subjects. We eventually turned some of the paintings into printed note cards, which the students sold to the parents and staff of their school.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Handmade Cards

We had a lot of fun creating cards using specialty papers, along with buttons, sequins, and other materials. My students learned to make their own stencils for each card they made based on a variety of images. Students used the stencils on the papers and then cut out their images. They had not up to this time learned about collage techniques, so making their own designs from the variety of papers and materials was a challenge. One that had spectacular results. Here are just a few of the many unique and beautiful cards my students created.