Monday, December 23, 2013

The Holiday Break Challenge or Let's Keep Drawing

Google image

Wow!  It's already Christmas Break.  I'm sure all your homes are a buzz at the current time with last minute preparations before the big unwrap begins.  No time for boredom yet and new gifts will keep you busy for at least a few days after the big day.  When you do get to the "there is nothing to do stage", here are a few ideas to fill your time until we are back together at school.

Grab some paper and a drawing tool and.....

Cover a  page with shapes, all of one type or a variety.   Let them overlap or let them float free and touch nothing!   Make them a variety of colors or limit yourself to only one.  Now color in a few or not.  Use different types of lines to make your shapes, curvy, broken,zig zag,etc.

Grab a page from the newspaper and draw a picture on top of it.  Use lots of detail and ignore the newsprint.  Add some color.  Try a new medium if you have it available.

Illustrate a passage from a book or a poem.

Divide a paper by folding it five times.  They do not have to be perfect folds and can be horizontal, diagonal, vertical, etc folds.   Now, use line and pattern to fill in the spaces.   Google Zentangles if you want some ideas.

This is the most fun idea, yet!   Grab the entire family.  Give everyone a paper and something to draw with.   Set a timer for five minutes and tell everyone to draw anyway they want on the paper.  When the timer goes off, pass the paper to someone new and continue to draw on the new paper.  Continue in this manner until everyone has contributed to every paper.  When you are finished, add color to the paper you started with.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Artsonia newsletter

News & announcements from your child's school art room.October 11, 2013
Student statements and welcome to our new art endeavor!
from Mrs. Hyman
Students recently began writing artist statements during their art class time.  This is a slow process as I would want every child to be able to create a meaningful statement about their art work.  With only two electronic devices in the art room, only about four statements can be created during their art time.  With that said, students have been given the opportunity to write statements outside of class and may create them at home.

I thank your for your support of this exciting new endeavor in the art room.  I am really pleased with the response I am receiving from the students and families alike.  I would appreciate your joining your child's fan club, leave encouraging comments concerning their work and follow their progression with their art growth this school year.

As I have told them all, this is not intended to be a fund raising venture.  Please do not feel pressured into spending any monies on products if you are not interested.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Berkshire Museum

Origami workshops and Paper plane challenges are still ongoing at the Berkshire Museum if you missed the opportunity this summer.  I've been to visit the Paper Works galleries three times already.  This exhibit should not be missed.  You will be amazed by some of the projects.  There are also two hands on stations.  Yes, I did them both, they were fun!!!!

Do make plans to visit the museum November 1st from 5:00 - 7:00 for a repeat of last years WeeRead Pajama Party.  Guest readers will be sharing children's book and you will take home a copy of the book that you hear read.  The best part of it all is that it is a FREE event.
This is TY, we heard him read to us at school last year!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Berkshire Museum Fun Activity coming up!

Paper Plane Challenge
Saturdays, September 14, 28 and October 12, 26, 2 p.m.
Fold and fly your own paper airplane! Each week features a new design and a new challenge. Instructions will be available as well as paper to develop and experiment with your own paper plane creations. Free with Museum admission.

Remember: you can pick up a free admission pass with your library card at the Berkshire Athenaeum.  It's a good idea to call ahead to reserve the pass.   

Friday, August 16, 2013


We are winding down the days until we are back in the Art Room together.  Don't forget that you can complete your sketchbook for a square on the Free Art Chart.   I have some new ideas for this years sketchbooks in the works.  Change is always good and usually fun.   Keep on drawing and enjoys these beautiful days of August!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Still time for fun and free activities this summer!

Don't forget about all the wonderful summer programs at the Berkshire Museum.  Thursdays are Paper Airplane making workshops at 1:00 pm.   Tomorrow is Free Friday!  Grab Mom, Dad, your grandparents or the babysitter and head to the museum for a really fun experience!  Here is the museum calendar!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

For all my Duck Tape loving friends

I recently discovered this blogger and this post for a duct tape watch.  This will take you away from your wallets and bows for the day but I thought you might find these to be fun.  Click HERE for the link.  I wonder how you might be able to use this band technique for other things?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Crayola Hue crayons

Just found these fun boxes of crayons at a local discount store.  The boxes are by color families, so all the hues of the same color are in one box.  These are "Keen green", "Playful purple," "True blue," "Red hot," "Hello sunshine" (yellow) color combinations.   I immediately thought warm and cool colors so was disappointed to not find any box to represent the oranges.  They also have boxes of neons and pastels.   So much fun!   Think about creating a piece of art using only one color box family.  Experiment and let me know how it goes.   I'll be enjoying my boxes of color hues, too!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Recycled materials to make a mobile like Calder

Calder Mobile
I've talked about Alexander Calder with a few of you over the years but he is not an artist we have regularly learned about.  What makes him especially interesting is that he once lived in the Berkshires and the Museum has many of his early works in an interactive exhibit.  You can learn more about the exhibit by clicking this link. Along with his early work with toys, Calder is best known for his sculptural work with stables and mobiles.   Stables don't move, mobiles are sculptures that move.  Here is a photo of one of his works.

You can construct your own mobile with just a few objects you will find around your house.  Here is the list:
Empty plastic milk or water container (1/2 gallon size works best)
3 pipe cleaners or old telephone wire like the twistee wire we use at school
9 paper clips
sharpie or other permanent type marker
hole punch

Have an adult cut the spout and bottom off of the carton and discard or save for a later project.  Next cut the carton in half so you can have a rectangular piece of plastic to work with.  Use the marker and trace or draw a shape(s) of your choice onto the plastic.  I cut out hearts.   Make them big, at least 3" or bigger.  Cut out a minimum of four shapes.  If you cut more,  you will need one pipe cleaner for every two shapes you make and extra paper clips, too.
Now, using the sharpie, decorate the shapes with lines and shapes.  Make some lines thick by putting more pressure on your marker and some thinner with lighter pressure.  Use color markers and color in some of the sections if you would like.  Make the patterns and designs interesting.  You will only need to draw on one side of each shape.  Punch a small hole at the top of each shape to thread the paper clips through.
Next, fold each pipe cleaner in half and twist a small circle at the top.  You will use the circles to connect everything together.  Make an open hook at the end of each pipe cleaner.  Here are some photos to help.

The view is prettier here but no
movement because the air is not
circulating enough
Hang to get them to move
in front of the air conditioner
worked well.
Use paper clips to attach the shapes to
the pipe cleaners. A paper clip is attached at the top to hang it with as well.  Bend the ends of the pipe cleaner all the way on itself to keep the paper clips from slipping off of the end.
Just like Alexander Calder, you have created a mobile!

Paper Chain People

I recently discovered this cool print out for cutting paper chain people here.  I have created these in the past for free art days but nothing as elaborate as these.  They are really cute.  So, print one out, accordion fold (fan) and begin to cut.   After you have finished, decorate each small person in a different way.  It's going to rain this afternoon, this will be a great way to spend your time and create something new!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Great Free Activity

Berkshire Museum

A wacky and mystifying night full of fun science experiments! Spend the evening walking on water, making glow-in-the-dark slime, creating your own hover craft, plus many more family friendly experiments.
Please help us get the word out by sharing this information with students, parents, and other teachers. The event is free and open to the community.

Presented in partnership with the Transition Team of Pittsfield and Sabic Innovative Plastics. 
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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Toothbrush Art

Okay, I did not come up with this idea but it sounds like so much fun that I wanted to give you all a chance to try it anyway.  

I found it on the website: blogmemom. Just click this link to see the original post.  She sounds like a Mom with some really cool ideas for projects with her family.

Art activities: motorized toothbrush art.

If you try this art activity, you will witness some tricks an electronic toothbrush can do –  the way it can paint. Yes, toothbrush painting done by a toothbrush.
Continuing with the toothbrush art activity, we did another art project using motorized toothbrush – the battery operated one with vibrating bristles.

You will need only liquid water colors, a table (outdoor) and an electronic toothbrush. We used an Oral-b Pulsar toothbrush to make the little guy paint for us..
In case you are wondering we used an old pulsar toothbrush.
materials for the project
My preschooler dipped the brush into liquid water colors and placed he brush face down on the paper and watched it in excitement. The brush vibrates and makes a nice smooth movement around the table.
moving art actvity
 The brush would begin to form a semi-circle and she would slowly nudge it to form a full circle. Couple of times the brush moved around and did form a perfect circle all by itself. Here are the three beautiful circles we created.
circles made
She explored with many colors and tried forming overlapping circles.
concentric circles
 It was truly FUN to watch the toothbrush move around and paint by itself.  She also re dipped her brush with paint every now and then to keep the color going. You will see that the top bristles are the ones which are mostly making the marks.
moving around the toothbrush
She got the brush to make swirly lines patterns.
painting with toothbrush
The child can be as much or as little involved in this electronic painting art activity. Ofcourse most kids would want to be VERY much involved. It also showed my kid to make very minimal and gentle movements to get the best result.
lines made with toothbrush
A cool variation: Try to collect many electronic toothbrushes and let them ALL SPIN at the same time with different colors. OOh I’d love to try that!
 brush marks
Recap of notes:
Flat. smooth surface with minimal cover on the table
Thin paints- best bet liquid water colors
Dip with colors during the process to keep the continuity of colors.
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Monday, July 1, 2013

Check out this terrific interactive page

Many of you will remember following along with the video "Squiggles, Dots and Lines" during the last days of school.  Here are more ideas for you straight from the website of Ed Emberley.  Just click this link. and you will go directly to his page.  As I look out the window at the heavy rain coming down, I'm thinking this would be a great way to spend my time.  Join me!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

This post is a challenge for 4th graders

I found this image on pinterest.  It was created by an older student and was posted at the Artsonia Art Museum.  This is an elaborate example of the one-point perspective we were working on at the end of the school year.  We limited our work to 5 shapes, I haven't counted to see how many are here but you can see it is well beyond the five!
Remember all  you need is a straight edge (ruler), a pencil and to establish that one point that everything radiates from.  Grab an eraser if you want.  I know you can create something just as wonderful!  Add color if you'd like and email it over to my teacher address and I will post your finished project here!
Happy drawing.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Great things to do

We are so lucky to live here in the Berkshires, there are so many things to do.   If you pay attention, you can find many free activities as well.   Here are two that are worth your attention.  Sunday is family day at the Clark Art Museum in Williamstown.  Not only will you enjoy access to all of the museums exhibits, the grounds will be a buzz of activity.  This has always been a favorite for my daughter and I.  Grab your family and head on up to the Clark on Sunday!

The Berkshire Museum has some great programs running this summer, too.  Beginning next week, enjoy paper folding, Origami, every Tuesday at 1pm.  And, for all of you who are always wanting to fold paper airplanes during free art, they will host a paper plane challenge on Thursdays at 1:00.   Both events will run each week during July and August.  The events are free with admission to the museum.  If cost is a factor, grab your library card and reserve a admission pass at the Berkshire Anthenium.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Terrific blog link for drawing activities

Check out this wonderful drawing club link for some terrific activities to last you for most of the summer!

Be an architect, builder

Head outside into your backyard, the park or a lightly wooded area.  Collect some artifacts of nature. Don't pick anything, just gather things from the ground.  Now, sit down quietly and imagine that you are in the middle of a fairy ring.  All around you are hundreds of beautiful fairies and they are searching for the perfect house.  You will be the architect of their fairy home.  It should be beautiful yet sturdy enough to withstand wind and rain.  If you build it against a tree, a rock or other natural element it will probably become stronger.  Plan for balance as if you were building with blocks.   When you are finished, take a picture and email it to me or make a drawing in your sketchbook.  Here are a few photos for inspiration.  While you have your creative brain working, write a story about the fairies or head out to the library and check out a book about fairies such as Fairy Houses.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Elmo and friends pom creatures.

This little guy is hanging on my metal cart that holds my Elmo Document Camera. I created him shortly after purchasing the camera that I call Elmo to make certain students would know what I was referring to.  So he is an Elmo hanging on my Elmo Cart.  Students have often ask me to make these in class but honestly, there is never enough time for all that I want to do with them.  These are relatively easy to make and should be a fast, fun, summer project to do at home.  You will need the following supplies:

1 fork plastic or metal
1 set of googly eyes
1 small pom pom for nose
1 magnet for the back
a ball of yarn of choice
1 pair of scissors

This should be an easy child project but assistance may be needed from an adult dependent upon the child's age.

Start by winding the yarn around the tongs of a fork.  The more yarn you wind, the fuller and bigger you pom creature will become.  Be careful to not wind the yarn too tight.
Cut wound yarn away from ball or skein of yarn.  Cut a separate piece of yarn about 6" long.  Slip one end of the yarn in between the tongs of the fork at the handle end of your fork.  Bring the other end up between the tongs at the open end of the fork.  Tie the ends into a knot around the wound yarn.
Slide the tied yarn off of the end of your fork and cut open the outside loops.  
Fluff up your pom and glue on googly eyes, pom pom nose and a magnet on the back.  Allow time for everything to dry before you play with it or use it as a magnet.  If you want a larger pom, wind the yarn around 3-4 fingers and repeat the above process.

Change your colors to create Elmo - Red yarn,  The Grouch - Blue yarn (glue him inside of a bottle cap to look like a trash can and put the magnet on the cap) or Cookie Monster - Green Yarn.  Have fun and create an entire family of pom creatures and give them your own names!