Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Paper Roses

I have been keeping my hands busy during virtual faculty meetings and family movie nights with this simple process for making paper roses. Now it is my student's turn to contribute to what will hopefully a stunning tribute to Helen Keller and those with visual impairments at the upcoming community Festival of Trees. The steps below 

Each paper rose requires four squares of paper (the same color.) A normal 8 1/2 X 11 sheet of paper will get you 4- 4 1/2 squares, or 2- 5 1/2 squares.  Or you can get 6- 6 inch squares from an 12 X 18 piece of construction paper.
 Fold each of your 4 squares in half, diagonally three times to create 8 triangle shapes radiating from the center. Snip the very tip of the folded triangle, and then cut the non-folded edge to be a rounded petal shape. You can cut the petal edge with a simple rounded shape. I like making three bumps with the largest in the center.

Open up these up and you'll have four flower shapes.

Cut one petal out of the first flower, two from the second, three from the third, and the fourth will be cut in half for two four-petal sections. This will leave you with eight parts in the following sizes: 1 petal, 2 petals, 3 petals, 4 petals, 4 petals (again), 5 petals, 6 petals and 7 petals.

Use a pen to curl the petals back.
Start with the largest piece and glue the ends together, overlapping the end two petals.
Then repeat with each section working from largest to smallest, and nesting each one on top of the other, gluing each  of the eight layers. You'll end with the tiny one petal curl in the center.
 It's that simple! I played Marie Osmond's Paper Roses once to inspire me. Enjoy the process and the product. 


Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Shape and Line Elements of Art Collage Project

It has been fun to figure out how much media I can cover before letting go of the Element of Art: line, and moving onto shape. This project was a good bridge, as students choose simple shapes. I have foam stencils for things like an apple or butterfly. Anyone who wanted to pick something else like a house or heart, I could draw and cut out of Braille book cover plastic, which is indestructible and easy to work with. A few students were able to do their own drawing, like this bald eagle. Students used glue stick to attach strips of magazine pages to cover the entire thing before trimming up the lose edges.

The finished shapes were glued to pieces of mat board or paper, and a couple of them fit into small frames I had. Thinking about how lines can use to add color and texture to shape really incorporates a lot of elements of art, but when discussing subject matter, shape was king. It was such a simple assignment that most students were able to make several pieces, and the finished products were crowd pleasers.

Line Play and Monotype Prints


As we continue to explore line as an element of art, my younger students drew lines in chalk on the patio outside my classroom. They used yarn on a flannel board to create pictures. 

They also drew lines into finger paint. But instead of working on paper, I put the finger paint on a piece of plexiglass and children drew lines with their fingers on that. Those with sensory issues (which is most of my multiple complex needs students) drew with a Q-tip. Then we gently placed a piece of paper on top and pulled it back up. The paint was squishy enough that rubbing the back of the paper just made everything into a big blob. I could give the students a chance to work longer and more intentionally on the plastic before committing, and it was a chance to discuss monotypes and ghost images in printmaking.

Students also used tempera paint to draw their lines onto the plexiglass, or yarn, dipped into paint to lay on the plexi before making a print.

 The majority of the students who did this assignment have multiple complex needs; they can't speak, and can't see. So, even though the under-drawing and some of the monotype images aren't focusing on line as much as I had hoped, I'm happy that they are exploring media and working as independently as possible.