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Abstract Shape Collages and Artist Reggie Laurent

Shape Collages Reggie Laurent

Reggie Laurent:  Contemporary Artist Reggie Laurent is a self-taught artist living in Georgia.  He creates very intricate abstract shape paintings.  I saw his paintings online and I was immediately drawn to all of the fun patterns and colors. My first graders learned about his abstract pictures. They are filled with lots of different shapes, fitted together like a puzzle.  His artworks are highly detailed and very colorful. Student Shape Collages The students learned about and used organic (freeform) and geometric shapes … Read more…

Clay Wall Hangings: 2nd Grade

Here is a fun and easy project that I taught to my 2nd graders.  We used regular firing clay and gloss glazes. Here is a video I made for my students to demo how to make the wall hangings.  This was before I got my new camera so the quality isn’t as great. Cassie Stephens has done a similar wall hanging project with just the initials.  Next year, I might try that! 

Chicks at School

Chick Art Project

We have some chicks at school.  Chicks, like baby chickens. One of the science teachers taught the kids about the life cycle of chickens and the kids watched as the eggs were incubated and hatched. They grow so quickly! With all the excitement of the hatching chicks, the students were thrilled to create some chick artwork.  Here is a mural/bulletin board that students in grades 2-3 worked together on. Next, we did a step-by-step project in kindergarten to make a … Read more…

Showing Depth in Landscapes: 2nd Grade Drawing Project

My second graders recently learned about simple ways to show depth in an artwork. I gave a demonstration on my new document camera and showed them how rivers and roads that go back in space would be wider in the front and narrower in the back.  I demonstrated how things that were far in the distance would be smaller than things in the front.  The use of overlap is also a way to show depth.  I showed the students this … Read more…

What Do Artists Do? Signs about ARTISTS and Artistic Behaviors

What do artists do?

I have something to share with you that I’ve been working on for a long time.  Well, a couple of months.  It takes forever for me to accomplish anything lately (I have a clingy toddler who doesn’t like to sleep) so I work in short spurts whenever I get a chance. Many of you probably know of Ian and Melissa from Apex High School.  They have developed a list of Artistic Behaviors for the high school level.  I have been … Read more…

Vassily Kandinsky and Abstract Art

Art inspired by Kandinsky (11)

Vassily Kandinsky was one of the first pioneers of abstract art.   Abstract art is art that does not attempt to show things realistically, but uses lines, shapes, colors and textures to show emotions and meaning.   Kandinsky was from Russia and initially went to law school.  He was always fascinated by color and in his thirties, he decided to go to art school.   Kandinsky thought showing the inner beauty was most important.  He believed that color could express … Read more…

Paul Klee Castle Collage

Paul Klee Inspired Castle

Paul Klee was an important painter in the history of modern art.  I have always been drawn to his colorful, abstract pictures.  Children can relate to the simple geometric shapes and bold colors.  His art has been related to Expressionism, Cubism and Surrealism. Swiss artist Paul Klee painted the Castle and Sun with simplified shapes, but viewers can easily see the way the shapes form a castle or city-like scene.  For this lesson, we are going to paint colorful swatches … Read more…

Spirals, Flowers and Patterns: Learning about Hundertwasser

Dab and Dot Markers:  Hundertwasser inspired art project

“A good picture is when the picture is full of magic, when you can feel the happiness in it, when it makes you laugh or cry, or when it makes something happen. It should be like a flower or a tree. It should be like Nature. It should be that we miss it when it isn’t there.” Hundertwasser Friedensreich Hundertwasser believed that nature and beauty was the key to happiness. He was born Fritz Stowasser but created his “artist name” … Read more…

Snowman Puppets

Snowman Puppets

Ah, winter break!  It is the perfect time to catch up on blog posts.  We did a few winter themed projects before the break.  Some of my students made adorable snowman puppets. We used white poster board to cut out a body and then glued or taped a jumbo craft stick to the back. We cut out hats, arms, clothing and accessories for our snowmen.  Some of the materials used were felt, foam shapes, buttons, construction paper, washi tape and … Read more…

Dr. Seuss Art Project for Kids: 2nd Grade

Dr Seuss Style Art

I love Dr. Seuss’ art.  Did you know in addition to writing books he created over 10,000 works of art.  Amazing!  The book The Secret Art of Dr. Seuss is a must-have for art teachers who love Seuss. My students, of course, also love Dr. Seuss and read many of his books in their language arts class. We watched a YouTube video about the Secret Art of Dr. Seuss and one with a slideshow of his artwork.  The second slideshow … Read more…

Tape and Paint Pictures

Tape and Paint Pictures

I came up with this lesson after browsing the internet looking for contemporary artists to study.  I came across Fiona Curran’s‘s beautiful paintings with straight lines and geometric shapes.  Here are some of her artworks: At the end of the year, my students were losing focus and were ready for summer to begin!  I wanted a fun lesson that would involve experimentation and play.  I love using colored and patterned tape so I showed the second grade students how you … Read more…

Paper Hats with 2nd Graders

Making Paper Hats with 2nd graders

This is just a quick post to share with you a simple and fun project for the end of the year.. paper hats!  The kids started with a long strip of construction paper, drew designs on their hats with construction paper crayons, punched out shapes and added fun paper extensions from the scrap box.  The strip was placed around their head and stapled by me. We got more use out of our paper sculpture techniques poster (below).  Easy.  Fun.  Practice … Read more…

Making Talking Sticks with Kids

Making talking sticks by painting and decorating branches.

Earlier this year, one of the second grade teachers approached me about an idea for an art/social studies collaboration.  She had read a story to the children about a tribe which used talking sticks. She thought the students would be interested in making their own special talking sticks.  This could be a great project to accompany character education on taking turns and listening. Talking sticks have been used in native tribes of the Northwest Coast (North America) and in Western … Read more…

Paper Masks and Paper Sculpture Techniques

Paper Sculpture Techniques Poster

These lovely paper masks were made by my second graders.  The students learned different paper manipulation techniques including controlled tearing, punching paper with Fiskars squeeze punchers, cutting with paper edgers , crimping paper with a paper crimper, making forms, cutting spirals, folding zigzags and more. I created a poster with paper manipulation techniques using ideas that I had seen on other sculpture posters, like this one.   I should have made a poster like this years ago.  I have referred students … Read more…

Yarn Wrapped Hearts (2nd Grade)

Yarn Wrapped Hearts

Often I get so wrapped up in the curriculum, I don’t take time to do “extra” projects which are just for fun for holidays.  Kids love celebrating holidays and often ask to do themed projects.  I am fine with that.. art should be fun!  I do like to incorporate skills and art techniques into each project we do.  For these yarn-wrapped hearts, I cut cardboard circles into heart shapes.  Since they had to be cut with a utility knife, I … Read more…

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