Archive for the ‘Drawing’ Category
Back in October, Artist and Author Susan Schwake made areturn visit to The Carle. You may remember when she led a Monster Mash Workshop in the Art Studio last October 2012? This time, we treated guests to an activity from one of her new books, Art Lab For Little Kids.
Susan has fond memories of doing buttermilk chalk drawings with her mom when she was young. I have to admit, we don’t take our chalks out very often here because I’m just not a fan of the dust they create. Dipping the chalks in a little cup of regular buttermilk frequently while drawing with them solves that!
We have various brands of chalks and chalk pastels in the Art Studio. The ones that seemed to work best are our giant round chalk pastels (similar to the Sargent Art Colorful Sidewalk Chalks) because they are richly colored, but very soft. Susan said that in her teaching experience lesser expensive chalks have worked well. For drawing surfaces we used our favorite construction paper and white drawing paper.
I had never tried dipping chalk in buttermilk before. Now, I’m hooked! As I drew, the chalks became creamy and I felt like I was painting. I loved that I could put my picture aside, return to it later and add more layers of drawing without disturbing my previous marks underneath. When my picture was dry, it wasn’t at all dusty or smudgy. Our volunteers and work-study students had fun trying it out too.
Even though this activity comes from Art Lab For Little Kids, the multigenerational groups of guests who came to meet Susan can attest to its enjoyability for all! Many families left the Art Studio with a large stack of drawings. Next time you have some buttermilk in your fridge at home, give it a try with any chalks you might already have.
Susan will return on April 19, 2014 to host Rolled Paper Relief Sculpture, an activity from her other new book, 3-D Art Lab For Kids. Mark your calendars! Her Art Lab books are a great reference for classrooms and families, and while supplies last, signed copies can be found in The Carle Bookstore. You can learn more about Susan, her artwork, and her books at her website and blog.
Have I ever mentioned how much we love birds here at The Carle? I don’t need to convince you that birds are pretty magical creatures, but we’ve especially obsessed with them lately because of the current exhibition, Seriously Silly: A Decade of Art and Whimsy by Mo Willems, on view through February 23rd, 2014.
Mo Willems, the author and illustrator of the popular Pigeon series of picture books is the latest inspiration for The Art Studio’s project, Feathered Flyers, which just ending last week. We offered a selection of large bird-inspired construction paper shapes for guests to choose from.
Paper scraps, texture rubbing plates and wax crayons added fun feathery details to the birds.
Here are many more of the beautiful birds flying around The Aviary here in The Studio!
We have birds on wires…
Birds that like to flock together….
Birds sitting in nests…
and birds with lots of tiny little shapes attached!
This was a really popular project with The Carle’s guests and I was sad to see the project end, but The Aviary will stay on display through November. When you stop by for The Fine Art of Friendship, the new Every Day Art Project, be sure to check it out for yourself!
Want to make your own texture rubbing plates? Visit our tutorial here.
Check out our other collage material and project suggestions here.
One of the best things about my job is trying out new art materials. There’s nothing like opening up a fresh box of something colorful, taking in its distinct scent, and dragging it across a piece of paper for the first time. I feel like a scientist, getting ready to embark upon a series of experiments with my students. How will they test the limits of the material? Will they enjoy its smell and texture as much as I do?
Since The Carle’s opening in 2002, The Art Studio had been able to test many materials, discovering which stand up to the creative rigors of the thousands of children and adults who visit each year, and which do not. Some materials we come back to again and again because they continually meeting our high standard of quality, value, safety, ease of use, visual feedback, potential for open-ended use, and of course fun for our guests of all ages.
The list below does not include ALL the materials we love, but those basics which we find ourselves recommending again and again. By no means are all or any of these required to help a child develop creative habits of mind . A few basics and a willingness to let them be tried and tested in multiple ways will go a long way. As the adult in your learning environment, think of yourself as a co-learner, rather than a provider of answers and supplier of lots of fancy supplies, and you will find joy and discovery in the very important job of helping a child grow and learn.
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In case you missed it, this past Sunday was International Dot Day. What is International Dot Day exactly? Well, it all began on September 15th, 2009, in the sixth anniversary of the publishing of The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds, when a teacher in Iowa, Terry Shay, shared Reynolds’ book with his classroom. Encouraging children to keep an open mind in their own art, the book inspires young artists and teachers to appreciate where just one dot can take you. The idea quickly spread to classrooms, libraries, and communities across the globe. This year we were honored that Peter H. Reynolds chose The Carle for this year’s celebration site!
Just before The Museum opened, Peter drew a beautiful mural on The Art Studio board of The Dot’s main character, Vashti, and an empty “gallery” for guests to fill with their own unique dots throughout the day.
That afternoon, Peter spoke to guests in the auditorium about how he got the idea for his book, The Dot and some fun side stories, like about how the main character, Vashti got her name. He also shared his whimsical animation app Animation-ish, and showed everyone how to make a fun, animated drawing with a wacon tablet on the screen. At the end of Peter’s talk, guests got to view the animated versions of Peter’s books The Dot and Ish, created by the creative folks at Weston Woods, with Peter’s help of course.
Lots of dot fans got their books signed and personalized by Peter…
and filled The Art Studio windows and Vashti’s gallery with their dot drawings and collages.
At the very end of the day, Peter and his brother Paul, stopped by The Studio to add finishing touches to the mural. Twin brothers Peter and Paul founded Fablevision in Dedham, MA in 1996. Fablevision is both a Media and Interactive Development Studio as well as a provider of services and resources for K-12 educators. Click here for more information about all the great stuff Fablevision does!
Till next year’s Dot Day, continue ‘Making Your Mark’! Visit www.thedotclub.org to become a member of Peter H. Reynolds’ The Dot Club, and see where your marks take you…
Margaret, one of our summer interns, hosted a special Studio activity a couple weeks ago. Here is her report of the day:
When first coming up for an idea for my Special Sunday, I was a little stumped. The possibilities were overwhelming. There were so many! To narrow them down, I focused on my interests as an artist. What type of art do I enjoy most? Well, that was easy: illustration. I have always been fascinated by the dynamic relationship between art and words. A word may be descriptive, but it can only go so far. Pictures, however, can reinvent the words in new and exciting ways. The artist, then, must call forth the imagination.
With this in mind, I thought it would be fun to make a list of words that kids could illustrate themselves. Then I realized I could add adjectives and nouns to make more interesting combinations. This would allow kids to generate ideas that were more…atypical. With that, my idea came together – I would have a bowl of adjectives and a bowl of nouns in which kids could draw out their idea and paint them using watercolors.
I chose watercolors because they offer a playful palette and a new way to explore than merely tempera paints. Meghan helped me come up with the idea of using black gel pens in addition to the paint, which added another dimension to the pictures.
The day itself was perfect. There was a good crowd who all were very enthusiastic about the activity. I particularly loved how quiet the atmosphere was, as if the families were working very hard on their paintings. As a somewhat quiet person myself, I felt that fit my personality as well.
By the end, the results were great! I appreciated how creative the kids were with their odd combinations. Some examples included “clumsy city”, “silly sky”, or “speedy moon”.
For the little ones, it was great that they were able to explore with the paint, even if they did not choose a word. Overall, I loved my Special Sunday and felt it was a success!
This post was written and compiled by The Art Studio’s Summer Intern, Margaret Frothingham. For more information about The Art Studio Internship Program, click here.
Last Sunday The Carle had a visit from Pamela Zagarenski , the brilliant illustrator of Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors, This is Just to Say, and many others. Her most recent book, Sleep Like a Tiger, is perhaps her best so far!
Lucky for us Pamela brought some of her original paintings to The Museum for the day, so we got a rare, up close look at her illustrations. She creates wonderfully whimsical worlds in each image, where whales float through the sky or a man and a fox share a pot of tea. To make her paintings Pamela uses acrylics like water colors, layering them sometimes 30 to 40 times to get just the right effect. She also often uses collage papers to add different textures and patterns.
During Pamela’s visit to The Carle she led an illustration activity in The Studio. Guests picked a word from a fishbowl, such as day, scary, crawl or love and then illustrated the word they had chosen.
Pamela encouraged everyone to use their own experiences to help generate ideas, what makes them scared, how do they feel about the day, what do they love?
Helping one girl who was having trouble with the word grumpy, Pamela started making her own illustration as an example and talking through the process. Drawing a man she asked “Why might he be grumpy?” adding lines under his eyes she said “maybe he had a bad night sleep?” then drawing spiky uneven hair she continued “and then got a bad haircut.” Finally Pamela asked the guest, “What makes you grumpy?”
Guests used larger pieces of folded paper, with the aim of eventually binding them together into a book using a three hole punch and string.
Moms, dads, children, the whole family, sketched, scribbled, and doodled crawling caterpillars, scary Frankensteins and sunny days. After Pamela’s studio activity she read a couple of her books in the Library and signed books in the Great Hall.
Thank you for a fantastic and imaginative afternoon Pamela!
For more information about Pamela and her books, visit her website www.pzagarenski.com
This post was written and compiled by The Art Studio’s Summer Intern, Hannah Fiske. For more information about The Art Studio Internship Program, click here.
We just switched over our Public Art Project last week! In honor of the fabulously creative author/illustrator Mo Willems and his current exhibit at The Carle, Seriously Silly: A Decade of Art and Whimsy by Mo Willems, we’re making Doodle Flip Books in The Studio for the next several weeks. Below is a photo of our assembly line of colorful materials right before we put them out for this new project (sometimes it feels like we’re a little art supply factory in here!)
We have a selection of pencils, pens, collage papers, scissors, glue and masking tape to make the books. Have you ever made a flip book before? We used a heavy duty stapler to attach 18 mini pieces of drawing paper together, we are using 3″x6″ pieces of paper.
If you don’t have access to a heavy duty stapler, you could try stapling smaller sets of paper with a regular stapler and taping them all together with colorful masking tape. You can fill them with drawings,doodles or collages, or think of a fun series of images that give the illusion of a moving picture when you flip the book’s pages quickly. Check out the books below we created as examples!
On the very first day of the project, one of our regular guests, Lila, made this book called One Big Fish
Of course we had to make a Very Hungry Caterpillar flip book too!
Doodle Flip Books July 17 – September 3, 2013
Free with Museum Admission
Create a Seriously Silly animated flip book with your doodles, cartoons and cut-paper collages.
Whimsical wire sculptures, imaginative cardboard buses, silly storytimes, even visits from the real Elephant and Piggie. This weekend, The Carle welcomed families to celebrate Mo Willems, (author and illustrator of popular Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and The Knuffle Bunny). Many flocked to The Museum to meet the artist and get their books signed, and stayed to enjoy the activities in the Studio, outside, and in the galleries. I loved seeing the creative outcomes of the bus activity – and the meticulous planning that went into it (one kid spent almost 2 and a half hours on his bus!) . Everyone was so excited to make their own pigeon driving a bus, however quirky the outcome would be. Even more impressive was the giant wall in the back of the studio laden with pigeons of all sizes, shapes, and colors. Here, kids and adults alike were invited to draw their own interpretation of Mo Willems’ “The Pigeon.” Taking a peek outside, I saw kids lining up for face-paint, and making their own wacky wire sculpture designs (enduring the heat for their art!). Possibly most exciting were the appearances of Elephant and Piggie!
Here are some photos from throughout the day. Click on a picture to make it larger. Click a second time to see it full size.
First up, kids and families concentrate hard to make the very best buses for The Pigeon!
Then, tall, small, blue, black; these Pigeon doodles are anything but conventional.
And finally, the wire station outside was challenging for some, but after a little trial and error, yielded amazingly interesting results!
Thanks to EVERYONE who attended The Carle’s Seriously Silly Celebration last weekend! Mo Willems will be back on July 13th for more fun, so mark your calendars
Thank you to Studio Educator Sarah Johnston for compiling the photos for this post, and to our Summer Intern, Margaret Frothingham for writing the text.
Join us at The Carle this weekend, June 22nd and 23rd, for A Seriously Silly Celebration, two days of activities honoring artist and author, Mo Willems and the opening of the new exhibition in our West Gallery, Seriously Silly: A Decade of Art and Whimsy by Mo Willems.
Throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday (click here for weekend Museum hours and admission):
- Gallery Activities
- Draw a Pigeon and other Mo-related activities in the Art Studio
- Films in the Auditorium
- Storytimes featuring the adventures of Elephant & Piggie
- And More!
In the Art Studio we’ll be transforming cardboard boxes into a fleet of mini buses that our friend, Pigeon, desperately wants to drive. We’re also working on a Pigeon-a-riffic mural on the wall where everyone can add their doodles of The Pigeon doing silly (or serious) things.
Also stop by the terrace to turn wire into your favorite animal sculpture. This project is inspired by Mo’s The Red Elephant, the steel sculpture that now lives here at The Carle (click here to read about the day The Red Elephant was installed in 2011.)
For the full run-down of all of the events happening this weekend (Including a book signing on Sunday!) CLICK HERE!
In case you missed it, Mo was recently on NBC’s The Today Show. It’s a great segment with Al Roker and guess what?! They filmed some of the segments here at The Carle in The Reading Library, the Auditorium and The Art Studio. I took the photo of Mo with the kids making silly faces (at the beginning of this post) at the very end of the photo shoot. It was a lot of fun to be a part of the behind the scenes preparation and I love the animation they added at the end of the segment. See the full piece below!
We hope you can join us this weekend! Don’t fret if you already have plans, Mo will be back on July 13th, so mark your calendars!
Here is the link to all the information about special upcoming Mo Willems events http://www.carlemuseum.org/Programs_Events/Upcoming/#E1681