Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Norval Morrisseau

Norval Morrisseau was an Annishnabee who was raised by his grandparents on the Sand Point lake Reserve near Thunder Bay, Ontario in 1930. His grandfather was a Shaman and his grandmother was a devout Catholic. These contrasts played significantly in his artwork. He is one of the most well known First Nations artist. He is known for popularizing the Woodlands style. A style that shows the secrets of legends and the connections people and the natural world.

"My paintings depict my own uncorrupted impressions of Ojibwa beliefs and legends, god and creatures." Norval Morrisseau

These two pieces were samples I created based on the art of Morrisseau. If I was going to use Morriseau's art in the classroom, I would combine it with a unit on legends. Try and see what you come up with. Have fun!

Notice the artwork, it is the same art I sent  to Spoonflower and I used it as a design for fabric. See previous entry. I am still undecided on what to make with the fabric. Check back to see what I have done.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Canada Post Honours Canadian Painter Prudence Heward

Yesterday, I made a trip to the post office and came across, Prudence Heward, Canadian Representasional Figure Painter. Canada Post honoured her work by issuing two stamps. I had never heard of her so I decided to find out more about her.

Prudence Heward lived from 1896 to 1947. Montreal born to a wealthy family, Heward studied at private schools and was encouraged to study visual art at the Art Association of Montreal. She went on to study in Paris with her and friend and mentor A.Y. Jackson. She began exhibiting in 1924 and in 1929 won the Governor General Willingdon initial prize for Girl on the Hill. She exibited along side the Group of Seven and the Beaver Hall Group. It wasn't until 1932 that she had her first solo exhibit. For more information on Prudence Heward click this link to  Library and Archives Canada. To view her paintings, check out National Gallery of Canada's Cybermuse.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Our Miniature Earth

This is a really good reminder to appreciate what we have. I believe that if we live the creative life by example, we will be able to create a new generation of creative problem solvers. Here's a good reason why. Check out Miniature Earth
What will you do today?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Art Collection Posters

Yesterday, my daughter asked me if she could borrow my iPhone so she could take pictures of her stuffed toys. Then she wanted me to print each one individually.  Instead, I created a poster of her collection using Adobe Photoshop. In minutes, we made The Beanies.  It then inspired me to take some of her art and make some posters. Of course, her favourite is the Pinky bear poster.  I am planning on enlarging them and printed at a local printing shop. There are also companies out there who will take your children's artwork and scan them for you to make art books or posters. There is Artimus based in Massachussettes. They can create art books for you. To have a poster designed and printed,  try SimplyCreate on Etsy.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Scratchboards Skeletons

Yes, Halloween is more than a month away and it drives me crazy when stores start prepping their displays in July! However, September whips by so quickly that the next thing you know its Halloween. Here is an art project I did with grade 3 students a few years ago. Its easy and kids love it. I think we created skeleton dancing poems to go with the pictures. Great way to use up pastels or crayons. That Artist Woman gives an excellent art tutorial. Check it out.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Colour of Us-Self Portaits

I just received an email from a friend wondering if I had any ideas for a painting project for her grade 3 class. Here is one I always started my year off with the book The Color of Us by Karen Katz. This is a fantastic book to discuss differences based on skin colour. Its about a little girl who realizes, as she walks around town with her mother, her friends are many different scrumptious colours.

For the art project, I have the kids create large self-portraits on a 12" x 18" paper. I teach them about proportions and placement of eyes and nose. I have them sketch themselves lightly with pencil. Once they are ready to paint, I demonstrate how to create their skin tone. Here is an excellent tutorial  on eHow.

With this activity, you can also teach a mini lesson on similes. My teaching partner had our students write their own poems and we pasted it on their portaits. I wish I could find a sample, but sadly I have filed it away. If you do make one up and don't mind sharing, send it along.

I also found a list of activities on Karen Katz's website. Have fun!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Digital Fabric Services

I was introduced to digital fabric printing services by a friend living in Amsterdam. I am not much of a sewer but I love the idea of being able to take artwork and creating your own fabric. So I decided to try out Spoonflower but there are many other companies. Its easy. Once you upload your artwork, you can choose quilting weight, organic cotton sateen or knit, upholstery weight twill, linen cotton canvas, and cotton lawn. You can choose the layout and the size of the image. I uploaded these two art samples I created. They were inspired  by Norval Morrisseau, Canadian Native Artist. 
 I purchased (42"x36") for US$18 in quilting weight. I didn't have high expectations but I am thrilled with the results. If you would like to know more about other digital fabric companies and the pros and cons of each, click here.  Now I am wondering what to do with the fabric. I welcome your ideas.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Wrapping Paper

I have written about Pinky Bear before. This week, I took 2 drawings Maya made of Pinky and  I created wrapping paper. This idea is from the D.I.Y. Kids book. You must have some computer skills. I used Adobe Photoshop and the largest piece of wrapping paper I can print is 8.5 x 14.