Monday, October 19, 2015

Trend + City Art

I get regular requests to post my project design ideas sooooo: here's another one!

The girls over at Port and Quarter in Vancouver actually inspired this concept.  The 'hometown homage' has long been on my list of potential art themes and this week I introduced it in both my kid and the adult classes.

With the children, we focused on our own lakeside town, Burnaby, BC (otherwise know as BBY).  I found a comprehensive map of the city, printed off a copy for each artist (in black and white) to use as our collage base.  Then some quick practice at drawing letters, et voila!

Here is the map we used:

After the children cut the map up and arranged the bits on the black cardstock, they smeared some custom blended periwinkle acrylic paint here and there, using plastic forks for some added texture.  They drew the 'BBY' letters onto a pretty contrasting mint coloured cardstock and outlined them in black sharpie.  After they had been cut out and glued onto the page, they used some yellow and orange washi tape (sourced at none other than IKEA!) to add pops of colour.  A coat of clear high-gloss finishing medium was the very last step.

We had many different arrangements from the students.  I think the finished products turned out really well!

Do you have any home decor that pays homage to your city, or a place that you love?

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Collage Lesson: Pizza Time

After my recent field trip to Portland, OR, I knew that I wanted to be making more "food art" with my students this year.

Sometimes art is edible; food on the table that really looks too beautiful to eat (we eat it anyway!).  In the studio though, I wanted the kids to fashion our collage materials into "ingredients".  To re imagine the materials on hand.

To start the lesson, I read Secret Pizza Party by Adam Rubin and illustrated by Daniel Salmieri.  What a funny story!

Once we'd gotten excited about our favorite toppings and that we were about to become chefs (artists) in our own little kitchens (studio), the children started making their own version of the perfect pizza.

I got everyone starting by handing out pre-cut corrugated cardboard rounds.

Sauce, cheese, ham and olives...

Green peppers, anchovies, red onions, mushrooms...

I handcrafted each student one pepperoni slice (lovely wool burgundy felt dotted with creamy white acrylic paint) and one skinny, sparkly anchovy to adorn their pies.

The red onions were printed on as a last topping: paint custom mixed for just the right shade, a plastic cup as the stamp.

We talked a little bit about topping alternatives too:  "what about a pickle and peanut butter pie?" asked one girl.  "Mmmmm...I would love an apple - cheddar pizza" suggested another bright-eyed, sauce-adverse tot.   Anything goes!  One class, where parent participation was encouraged, I passed around a cookbook that included all sorts of combination ideas including truffles, kimchi, and chocolate.  This collage idea could very easily be turned into a project for adults too.  Add a bottle of wine and some snacks; it's an art party!

All in all, a project that sent everyone home hungry for the real thing!  

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Professional Development

I think every art instructor (at least: one I'd respect) should expand their own horizon - to learn a different way of looking at and making things.

Hence: a field trip to Portland for me and my family!

Ok first off:  there were donuts.  And lineups for the donuts.

Alberta Street was crazy fun for me...everywhere I looked, there was another whimsical scene!  (I'm really going to try to use the clothespin inspiration in some way this semester.)

Food is obviously a completely other scene in Portland (we hit the foodtrucks one much fun!).  This sandwich sculpture below by Jessie Weitzel was such a fantastic find.

(Check out my family as germs at the lovely Oregon Museum of Science and Industry!  We spent a wonderful day there too.)

...and more food sculptures, this time in textile form.  Oliver squealed when he saw this knitted roasted chicken at an art shop.

Another great surprise were all the street murals.  I took so many pictures, I can't possibly fit them all in here!

Anthropomorphism was the predominant genre in Portland this summer, visible in the street murals, galleries, coffee was everywhere!  I'm inspired by some of the greats (and Portland residents to-boot):  Ryan Berkeley, Stephanie Brachmann and Emily Martin to name a few!

Only a five hour drive down the I5 from Vancouver, BC, Portland was a wonderful family vacation.  The city of "beers, beards and bikes" did not disappoint!

Now I'm back and ready to get my art on with all my should all be ready for some Portland-inspired art happening this year!

Friday, September 11, 2015


The City gardeners have outdone themselves with this late-summer garden outside the Burnaby Art Gallery.

Charlotte calls this piece 'A Picky Eater's Delight'

Discovered this gorgeous mural whilst roaming in Port Coquitlam, BC recently.

Charlotte couldn't resist this brawny Captain.

A simple old-timey bakery at one of our favorite spots, the Burnaby Village Museum.

Mr. Hausfrau and I had a lovely day to ourselves a little while ago.   The riverside lunch was perfection!

Friday, August 28, 2015


I dug an old Girl Guide camp snack 'recipe' out of the vault this summer!  I remember stringing these up as a young Guide in the '80' kids had so much fun making (and eating) them!  We brought them along as a surprise for friends we met for picnics and as roadtrip treats too.

First:  Gather a few different string-able snacks.  I chose cereal, pretzels, and gummy lifesavers.

I helped the kids get started by tying one piece of cereal to the very end of the string and then creating a pointy tip on the other end by wrapping some tape as a "needle".

I didn't let them go crazy on the candy, of course (five per necklace only), and had them count out the grain snacks in fives, which turned out to be a handy math lesson for four-year-old Charlotte!

(Only after they were done did I realize that the snacklaces were counted and structured exactly like decades on a Rosary.  *Sigh*   Catholic habits...)

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Summer Summary

As every summer, I'm less in the studio, more living life with the littles who are home from school.

Galiano Island, BC - Summer 2015

Here's a sampling of my summer, so far:


 - Armistice

- Charlotte Cardin

- Egyptian


 - nectarine + tomato salad

 - grilled herby shrimp

 - the 'insanity' burger


 - The Wilder Life


 - Amy

 - The Paradise

 - The Killing


 - Galiano Island

 - The Fort Winery

 - lake canoeing

What's on your list?  What's appearing on/in your dinner table/ headphones/ nightstand this summer?

Friday, June 19, 2015

Art Lesson: Skateboarding Rabbits

I've long admired the art of UK native, Ashley Percival.  His whimsical illustrations are so cheerful!

I thought his would be the perfect style to use as inspiration for a new drawing lesson with the children in my art class last week.

We used this illustration as our prototype:

Artist: Ashley Percival

To get the children going, I created a template for the sweater.

(I find children under the age of 12 tend to draw to a very small scale.  Having the sweater at a set size forced them to stick to the larger scale!)

I had each child trace the template onto funky printed paper, cut out the sweaters and glue them into the middle of a piece of white cardstock.

From this point, they had to draw on:

- a head
- ears
- a jaunty cap
- eyes
- rosy cheeks
- nose/whiskers/mouth
- paws
- skinny jeans
- shoes
- skateboard

This was my example.

I had the kids create their own hand-printed background as well.
This one belongs to a 7.5 year old student.

Thank you for the inspiration, Ashley!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...