Today’s Story Time read aloud was “The Rainbow Goblins” by Ul de Rico. This is a stunningly illustrated book that tells the story of the Valley of the Rainbows and the greedy goblins who want to steal all the beautiful colors.
Rainbows are magical and even the scientific explanation for their origin is the stuff of wonder. Light streaming through water molecules at just the right angle to bend light? Amazing. White light that actually carries the spectrum of colors? Incredible. Nature and science really are magic and so is art.
Rothko was an abstract artist who expressed emotions with color. he also tried to make viewers feel certain emotions only using color.
When I was playing with lipstick, eye shadow and nail polish to blend and combine colors, I was reminded of Mark Rothko’s abstract color paintings. Just trying out different color combinations and blending the different pigments together made me happy. I thought I knew what result I would get but was pleasantly surprised every time.
Here are two great sites to visit to learn more about the artist Mark Rothko and to make your own rainbow experiments.
You can also visit his house on the east end of Long Island in NY or virtually at Pollock-Krasner House. His wife, Lee Krasner was also an amazing artist.
Pollock’s paintings are not only colorful and lively, they also contain fractals, which is another example of how math can be found everywhere in art.
Today we will make our own action painting using yarn and paint.
Project Steps – the steps for this project work best being viewed but I will give you the abridged version here.
gather your materials – I used acrylic paint, pieces of yarn and embroidery thread, clothespins, cups, paper and paint.
cover you work space with an old sheet or tablecloth or even a garbage bag.
pour paint into cups, add a splash of water if paint is too thick
clothespins are used to pick up yarn pieces and dip them into the paint cups. Make sure to coat the yarn as much as possible with the paint.
once your yarn is ready, lift it out of the cup with the clothespin and drop it onto the paper that is your canvas. You can also drag the yarn on the paper or shake it so it create splatters.
I would suggest leaving the yarn on the paper until you have completed your piece so that the paint has time to soak into the paper. This also creates a more cohesive finished piece.
once you feel your piece is done, remove the yarn using the clothespins or your fingers. You can even use chopsticks or tweezers!
You can lay your finished masterpiece flat to dry or hang it. If you have runny paint on your piece, your painting will change as the paint drips while it is hanging. Just be sure to place some newspaper or another garbage bag under the hanging painting to catch the drips.
I mentioned the word fractals earlier. A fractal is a never ending pattern. They can be found in math equations and in the world all around us from tree branches to snowflakes. Scientists who have analyzed Pollock’s seemingly random placement of paint, have discovered these never ending patterns in his work. Can you think of how that would happen when he was dripping and dropping paint and lots of other objects into his paintings without any obvious intentional placement? I have my own theory but you have to watch the project video for that!
Here are some links to really interesting articles about their theories and what they found –
I hope you enjoy getting messy and exploring the wonderful world of fractals and art.
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Although I have been presenting Professional Development workshops for teachers for quite a few years, I just recently started offering them as an independent presenter. I was thrilled to have been able to offer this workshop for Long Island teachers via the Huntington Arts’ Journeys in Education Program, which brings multicultural programming to Long Island schools.
The Path is Made by Walking: using Proverbs to Develop Cross Cultural Competence –
An introduction to cross-cultural competence in the classroom. Cultural competence is the ability to successfully teach students who come from a culture or cultures other than our own. By participating in activities that connect the cultures that shape us personally and professionally, we can begin to develop personal and interpersonal awareness and sensitivities that lead us to understanding certain bodies of cultural knowledge, to begin to acquire a skill set of effective cross-cultural and culturally responsive teaching.
Every culture passes down proverbs in the oral tradition. These traditions cross cultural lines by connecting us in a way that is personal and human. Participants will share proverbs and sayings that they remember from their childhood or adolescence. In choosing proverbs, we understand the commonality of cultures. In this workshop, participants create mixed media collages using a chosen proverb, followed by sharing time, discussion and Q&A.
It was a fantastic experience to meet 24 enthusiastic, engaged and talented teachers from many different backgrounds and disciplines. It was really special to know that not all were art teachers since this workshop is designed as a multidisciplinary project.
I am happy to see more core curriculum teachers embrace the idea of an arts integrated lesson and explore their own creativity.
Here are some in-progress and finished pieces from that day and some super nice quotes from participating teachers.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact form below, if you are interested in bringing Art Out of Anything classroom or PD workshops to you school or organization.
“I love the idea of having kids choose a proverb that means something to them and illustrating it.” “Super engaging and insightful! ”
“Presenter was very knowledgeable and easy to listen to and understand.” “I’ll do some of the activities she demonstrated.”
It’s great to collaborate with other organizations and fantastic artists. I had so much fun presenting a workshop with Milestales founder AmaYawson in Far Rockaway.
We started the workshop with a few breathing exercises to get us in a calm, focused state. Arts as meditation is not a new concept and many of us achieve state of relaxed, focused concentration without even realizing it, most people commonly refer to it as being “in the zone”. Here are just a few of the amazing landscape paintings the students created using 1 point perspective. They were great!
We have been so busy, it’s been a while since our last post. I would like to showcase some of the amazing work the students have created at a few different venues with traditional and non-traditional materials. We have everything from giant food to insects.
Bacon and Eggs
Exploring line and textures with PK and K. Printing, color, sand, glitter, paint and more.
Cardboard, paint and wire create our own version of Calder’s mobiles.
Paper bag hand sculptures capture the student’s personalities using symbols and color.
Hand soft sculpture
Handmade paper using tissue paper scraps
Handmade paper using tissue paper scraps and Mod Podge.
This week my little ones used Puncinello aka Honeycomb ribbon, to begin creating texture for their “bricks”.
This is what happens when you stumble into the huge roles of metallic ribbon on the floor of your classroom closet! My PreK classes have begun their Building unit, so what to do in art class? Make bricks of course.
Here they are using Bingo markers to create a textured pattern on poster board, using the holes in the ribbon. The challenge was not to bang the markers (usually their favorite part) but instead to apply the color as evenly as possible and combine colors without ending up with a shade of PreK Rainbow mud. If you are an early childhood teacher, you are familiar with this color 🙂
Once dry, I will remove the taped on ribbon and cut the decorated poster board into brick shapes which they can then use to create their 2D houses. I love the melange of colors they were able to put together. Thirty-six 4 year olds did a great job, can’t wait to see what kinds of houses they come up with.
Musical accompaniment – Parachute Express playlist on Spotify. Ended class with a singalong to “When I Build My House”.