Great Art Lessons for the Creative Soul
While we are grateful for the opportunity to highlight the contributions of amazing African-American visual artists, resources and tips throughout the year, February is one of favorite months. We begin our celebration of Black History Month 2017 by offering two new art products.
Also in time for the for the Super Bowl, our latest art lesson is inspired by the fun story, Don't Throw it To Mo! written by David Adler and illustrated by Sam Ricks. The main character is a determined young athlete who saves the day for his team. Young artists will learn about multi-media art compositions by completing this art lesson.
Make sure to explore our website to learn more. Also, share how you celebrate Black History month by commenting below.
Happy 2017!!!! We are grateful for a new year and a new picture book story time series on our Youtube page. We are excited about sharing some of our favorite picture books this year as well as new art tutorials. Our first story is in honor of the great Dr. Martin Luther King and is entitled A Sweet Smell of Roses written by Angela Johnson and illustrated by Eric Velazquez. The illustrations in this books are fantastic and also inspired our latest Red Rose Portrait Art Lesson. Share the video below in your art room and explore our website to find more creative resources that celebrate Dr. King.
Happy Holidays!!!! We are excited about this holiday season. This year we will observe the non-religious holiday, Kwanzaa. In preperation for the celebration, I decided to create a simple kinara using oven-bake clay. You're probably thinking, that a traditional kinara is usually composed of wood. While you are correct, I do not have the time or tools to carve one out of wood. Thus I used a more "elementary" medium. If you're interested in seeing how I created the kinara, check out the steps below.
Step 2: I rolled the clay into two balls and sculpted each part into rectangular prisms. I blended the two parts together and made one long base.
Step 3: I measured the area of the clay and the spaces with the plastic knife to mark the spots for the candles. Then I took the candles and placed them on top of the base. I traced around the bottom of each candle onto the clay base.
Step 4: After hollowing out a portion of the clay from the space for each candle using the plastic knife, I made sure to leave clay in the bottom. Using my fingers, I smoothed out each space.
Step 5: I carved a design into the sides of the kinara using the plastic fork, end of a paintbrush and the tip of a marker.
Step 6: I placed the kinara on the baking sheet and baked it according to the instructions on the package for the clay. Once it finished baking, I allowed it to cool completely and painted it using the craft acrylic paint. ( This kinara is for display purposes only. I will use a professionally made kinara to light the candles.)
Make sure to explore our website to find art resources for Kwanzaa. Have a wonderful Holiday Season!
As the holiday season begins with a day of gratitude, we are sharing three wonderful childrens books that we are thankful for. We also enjoy the way these stories star main characters who are diverse and interesting.
Alex T. Smith puts a fresh new spin on a very familiar story in the book, Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion. The strong family connection in this story is fantastic.
God's Dream is a beautiful story written by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Douglas Carlton Abrams.. LeUyen Pham created lovely drawings of children from around the world in this book.
The latest book from a series of best-selling childrens bookd by Andrea Beaty, Ada Twist Scientist, is a great way to connect visual art to science. The illustrations by David Roberts inspired out latest art lesson plan which are currently available. Share some of your favorite children's stories by commenting below.
Nature is an amazing source of inspiration; especially autumn, with it's lovely colors and textures. The works of art displayed below, can be used to create fall inspired art lessons. Click on the links under each picture to discover art resources that will enhance your art lessons.
This beautiful landscape painting by Robert Scott Duncanson can be used to inspire a landscape art lesson. We offer a fun art history lesson that features him.
MInnie Evans was a folk artist whose art was inspired by her dreams. The leaves and flowers in this particular painting can be tied to the colors of leaves during fall. Our Great Art Lessons for the Creative Soul resource features a portrait lesson inspired by her work.
Renowned art historian, James A. Porter painted this lovely portrait. The leaf motif and color scheme in this painting has the feeling of fall. He is featured in our Great African-American Artists Coloring & Activity 2.0 resource.
We also feature a Fall inspired Bulletin Board Trim and Banner on our website. What kind of fall inspired lessons are you teaching in your art space?
Today marks the birthday of renowned artist, Romare Bearden. This multi-faceted, award-winning artist created beautiful works of art that inspire people around the world. We have several art lessons featuring this wonderful artist, including our Great African-American Artists Calendar Resource. This summer we had the privilege of visiting the beautiful Romare Bearden park in his birthplace Charlotte, NC. The park features a lovely floral garden, children's splash fountain and a free summer concert series. Make sure to explore our website to discover all of the resources we have to offer featuring this fantastic artist.
How does Romare Bearden's art inspire you?
We hope you all had an amazing summer. Recently, we've been thinking about and talking with other art teachers about creative clothes to wear to work. There is an old adage that says, "If you dress better, you'll feel better". With the sometimes very messy work that we do as art teachers, large class loads, staff meetings.....etc., our daily outfit for work is usually the last things on our minds. Some days, just getting through the day without a student putting art tools in their mouth is a major accomplishment. But, since visual expression and representation is a big part of what we do, maybe the old adage should be considered as we head into this new school year. Here are several tips to help you begin the new school year with a new look.
If you enjoy dressing up a little bit more then the average person, then check out these two lovely ladies for some fashion inspiration.
If you're like me and have more of a "yoga pants" fashion style/preference, then colorful accessories are a great way to spruce up your work wardrobe without losing comfort.
I tend to be a little bit messier in my artistic expression, so an art apron is a necessity for me. The fun thing about being an art teacher is that wearing an apron everyday is totally acceptable. You can purchase, paint or create your own colorful apron from an old t-shirt.
Make sure to visit our Pinterest page for more tips. Have a great school year and share your ideas for creative outfits for art teachers by commenting below.
We love to use great children's books in the art room to foster creativity. Two of our latest art resources are inspired by two amazing children's books. The Spider Weaver: A Legend of Kente Cloth written by Margaret Musgrove and illustrated by Julia Cairns, is a wonderful story about the origins of kente cloth. After reading the story to your young artists, they will enjoy creating our 3D Spider's Colorful Web Art Lesson.
Red Yellow Blue & A Dash of White Too! is a colorful story written and illustrated by C.G. Esperanza. This story is a great way to introduce young artists to the color wheel. They will further develop an understanding of texture by creating our Colorful Batik Elephant Art Lesson. What are some of your favorite children's books to use as inspiration for art lessons?
Also, make sure to check out our Art Library link to view more fantastic books, websites and videos.
Happy Summer!!!! We love the summer months for many reasons. While June is the month in which summer officially begins, it is also highlighted as Black Music month. Music and the visual arts go hand in hand. So this brief post will focus on several outstanding African-American artists who created beautiful art inspired by music. Click on each artist's name to see the fun art resources we offer featuring them.
Romare Bearden loved jazz music and created many spectacular works of art depicting his love for the medium.
In return, Brandford Marsalis created a jazz CD inspired by Romare Bearden's art.
Prolific artist, Laura Wheeler Waring painted this lovely portrait of renowned opera singer Marian Anderson.
Mrs. Waring painted several beautiful portraits of famous African-Americans.
The beautiful sculpture entitled The Harp by Augusta Savage was displayed in 1939 at the Worlds Fair.
Augusta Savage was a prolific sculptor who helped shape the Harlem Renaissance.
Who are some of your favorite artists who create art depicting musical themes? Comment below.
Last week, we had the honor of hosting prolific artist and illustrator, Vanessa Brantley-Newton. She is an award-winning artist, author and vocalist who dazzled our fourth grade art students and teaching staff. After sharing a history about how she was inspired to be an artist by Ezra Jack Keats and her family, she allowed the students to look at several beautiful illustrations she has created. The students were impressed with her work and excited by the fact that they had read several of the books she has illustrated. They also learned about the process of creating a book from start to finish and that she has illustrated over 60 children's book. Vanessa's grand finale included singing to and with the students. Her voice is phenomenal. Many students rushed to hug and greet her at the end of the presentation. Helping students to make real world connections through art is one of the most important things that we do. The impact Vanessa had on our students was amazing.
Alicia L. McDaniel
Alicia L. McDaniel is the author and creator of Great Art Lessons for the Creative Soul. She is also an educator, professional artist, and lover of the arts.
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