Monday, February 20, 2017

Wonderful Workshop Day!

Back on Martin Luther King Day, I attended a 4-hour hands-on workshop, sponsored by my region of our state organization (NYSATA).  Actually, I didn't just attend; I was the chief organizer of the event.  Because of that, it was quite a busy day for me, and I didn't get to finish the projects that were presented.  I took home the partially completed work, and finally, over the course of the past week, I finally finished all three projects!!
The workshop presenter was Phyllis Annett, a School Specialty Art Consultant.  I first met Phyllis at our state convention several years ago, and because we share the same relatively uncommon name, we've chatted every year.  Which is how we came to put together this busy workshop!

My favorite project from the workshop was the flower pictured at the top of the post, though her sample was much more complex and elegant than mine.  We painted watercolor paper in bands of color, and when the paint was dry, we painted over it with a tempera varnish to seal.  When that was dry, we tore flower petals and leaves to assemble into a flower, and glued them onto a piece of mat board.   The painted and glossed watercolor paper was easily manipulated so that the leaves and petals could be bent and curled.  Phyllis (the presenter) used Model Magic for the center of her flower, but I just used fringed scraps of my painted paper.  Here's a closeup of the center. 
 Here's the table where we  painted our paper.
The two incredible pieces directly below were the presenter's examples.  I did my center differently because while I loved her flowers, her Model Magic centers made me think of golf balls!
 And here's a couple of pieces made by some workshop attendees.
And I love this - it's someone's painted paper that petals have been torn from.  I saw it on the floor, and I thought it looked like a mysterious landscape on another planet!

We also did a project which uses layer of acetate, drawn on with Sharpie Paint Markers, inside a box.  The layers are separated by 3 D-O's.    Participants came up with great ideas for their layered artwork, but I had left this project for last and with limited time, just did layers of colors and swirls and such. 
 Here's a closeup.  I think this project would be more effective if there were slots cut in the top of the box to allow light in between the layers.  Maybe I'll take a mat knife to my box and try it out!
Look at this!  Another workshop attendee was making a dragon lair!  I absolutely love this, and would love to see how it turned out when completed.

The third project (yes, four hours, three lesson ideas to try out, and all materials provided for us by Sax/School Specialty!) was fun and easy.  Small rectangles of black mat had been pre-cut in various dimensions, and we used the paint markers again to create a dimensional piece, by stacking small pieces of mat board under some of the pieces when it was glued together.  OOPS  this photo below is actually sideways!
Here's a couple of closeups showing the levels/layering. 
I loved all the unique ideas and solutions to this project by the other workshop attendees, so I want to share some here.  Look at this one, below.  It's an absolute WOW!!
This one below looks like a fun whimsical solution!
And I'm especially intrigued by this solution below:
And this one, which takes the rectangles and makes them into circles by the way they are colored.  I used to have a set of botanical tea mugs with covers, and these remind me of those mug covers!
And the dimensional approach to this one is very cool. 
This one below was colored with Colorsticks around the images,and I really like the vivid  turquoise color contrasting the  black, and the images drawn with paint markers. 
An interesting 4 seasons piece, made more interesting by the diagonal placement of some of the elements.  I don't think it was done when I photographed it. 
Another solution/approach:
And finally, this person took the clear acetate from the second project, and incorporated it into the third project.   Very cool.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Pizza! Pizza! Papier-mache Pizza!!

My DragonWing Arts students are in the midst of making all sorts of delicious creations with various types of papier-mache.  There's the pizza slices pictured here, plus donuts, slices of cake and pie, and ice cream sundaes!  The pizza slices were the easiest to make and therefore are the first to be done, so I thought I'd share them with you today.  In the coming couple of weeks, we will be painting the cakes, donuts, and ice cream, and I'll be sharing them here too. 
I started by cutting out a couple of large circles from some chipboard, but any cardboard would be fine.  I cut them into slices, and each student made one slice of pizza.  I'm thinking, for our end-of-session art show, that I'll either find a large pizza box that will fit all 8 slices (I have 8 students currently), or a bunch of small ones, to display the pizza. 
The kids started by building an edge of crust on the back of their slice, with a rolled up and crumpled piece of tin foil that was taped on to the cardboard.  Then, some thickness was added to their slices, with a layer of Celluclay.  It was my first time using Celluclay, but I did not care particularly for it, especially for the poofs of dust when I mixed it up with water.  Yuck!  Next time, if I want some textured papier-mache, I'll go back to simply using an old favorite, a mix of shredded paper and Art Paste.  Its easy to make, dries rock hard, and isn't dusty!  And costs WAY less than Celluclay, which we also used on our cake slices, that I will blog about when complete.  I got these wonderful foil trays at 3 for $1 at the dollar store, and each student stored all their papier-mache pieces on their tray. 

I didn't particularly care for the texture of the dry Celluclay, so we dipped pieces of toilet paper into mixed Art Paste and put a layer of it on top of the Celluclay.  It very much mimicked the texture of gooey stretchy cheese. 
When the papier-mache was totally dry, it was time to make toppings and paint.  Toppings of pepperoni, mushrooms, peppers, olives, pineapple, bacon, etc were all cut out of felt, and stuck into the wet paint as we painted, so that 'sauce' and 'cheese' sometimes got on top of the toppings.  We use acrylic paints on papier-mache for a nice permanent finish.  A variety of yellows, browns, oranges, reds, and light tans were pre-mixed and the kids then used whichever colors they wanted, and mixed them as desired, too, so some cheese and/or crusts looked a little more 'well done' than others!

The boy who made this slice insisted he wanted no toppings, because that's the way he likes to eat his pizza, and he purposely 'burned' his crust!
Below, a pizza slice is topped with pineapples, olives, mushrooms, red and green peppers, and some fresh mozzarella.  And another well-done crust!
Below, a very saucy pepperoni pizza!
The boy who made this pizza below was being pretty goofy.  He wanted to put liver on his pizza, but in the end, I think he made mushrooms instead, and added sauce and cheese to his crust.

The kids were enjoying 'eating' their pizza slices!

I'm afraid, with all my demonstrating, my sample slice (below) looks like its been re-heated in the toaster oven one too many times.  It's cheese looks rather dried out!

Below, some of the finished slices.  Now they will be set aside until we properly display them in our 'art show' during the final class of the 8-week session.  All-in-all, it's an easy and fun project, and if you are scared of papier-mache, a project like this is an easy way to get your feet wet!