Tuesday, February 19, 2013

How-To Soap Resist Video and Project Examples

Last week, my students used soap resist to make artworks inspired by the molas of the Kuna people. I've written about soap resist at least twice previously on the blog, and y'all have always a ton of really great and awesome questions. . . Questions that are hard for me to answer, because describing the method is much more difficult than demonstrating!

So, I put together a quick video that explains the whole process. P.S. I mention that roofing felt costs $60/roll in the video and I misspeak. Roofing felt costs approximately $15/roll from your local big-box hardware store.

Here are the steps my students used to make their mola-inspired artworks:
1. sketch a design using either a person or animal that is inspired by molas
2. cut a sheet of roofing felt that is at least 24" wide
3. Draw design with a cut of Ivory soap onto the felt
4. Paint around the soap lines with acrylic metallic paint
5. Allow to dry
6. Wash off soap in the sink.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Record Your Demos Pt 2: Using your Document Camera

Hey everyone.  Thank you for all the positive feedback about the recorded demonstrations.  It is always a bit scary to put your real-time teaching out there for others to view.  I've had quite a few emails and comments querying about using Screencast-O-Matic, especially alongside a document camera.  I made a short (under 6 minutes) video to answer your questions.

I hope this helps!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Record Your Demonstrations!

Last week, I discovered Screencast-O-Matic (SoC). SoC is a web application that allows you to record whatever you are doing on your computer screen (along with sounds), and publish it your own drive and/or to the web!  Imagine, if you will, the possibilities!  Endless!

I have been recording my how-to demonstrations in one class (I suppose I could pre-record too), and then using those recordings for my other classes. I am also publishing my recordings on my class blog.  Students who were absent and/or need review can view my recordings and get the benefit of in-class instruction.  Additionally, viewing the demonstrations allows me to crit my own teaching style.  I'm not going to lie. . .I am SO excited about creating a virtual library of how-to's!

Here are two of my most recent recordings

How to Make a Landscape Collage (project inspired from Arteasculola -from here)

How to Make a Ming Vase (project inspired Becker Middle School Art -from here)

P.S. I should add. . .Students who viewed these demos had already participated in an Art History discussion related to the project. . .And, had viewed an exemplar. . . My point? That they already had a rudimentary idea of what was/is going on! :)

Meaningful Art without Words

My young teen students are at a crucial point in their emotional development; they are in the process of discovering and defining "who they are."  Since art is such an emotional endeavor, Art teachers who do not help students to make connections between emotions and their creation are not only missing an invaluable opportunity, but are also remiss.  As an Art teacher who relies on students building emotional meaning within their work, I know how hard it can be for students to understand how to create meaning without words.

Our students rely on words to convey meaning nearly everywhere else in their lives. . .Even the body language they use connects to a word.  So, when we ask them to use color, line, shape, texture, form etc. to create meaning. . . They are often lost.  Teaching students to create meaning without relying on words -or speech bubbles- takes time, patience, and reiteration.  It also takes trust.  The students need to know they can share their emotional ideas with you and receive helpful and constructive feedback. 

Here is a great example  (my apologies! These are phone photos!):
This student is creating a batik about how to end war.  But, the rules of the project state she must find a way to display this concept with at least 50% positive imagery.  So, her intention is to show someone in need receiving from someone with plenty.

She didn't like her first sketch because (in her words) "It looks like some creep hanging on the playground."

So, she added some contextual background clues to help the reader understand.

And, here is the finished work:

There is an animated short by Disney that has been nominated for an Academy Award. If you haven't yet seen Paperman. . .You really should (it is only 6 minutes).  The whole short has no words, and is a great example for students on how to use color/scene/context/expression to convey emotion without words.  It is also G-rated. Enjoy

P.S. Here is a great link about some of the "how" to the creation of Paperman (great if you teach any animation/or animation-based projects!)