Art Masterpiece

One of my favorite parts of being a mom is getting to do Art Masterpiece projects with Superboy and his friends at school! It was so hard to narrow all the art I love down to just 9 art history lessons with corresponding crafts but I did my best to pick works that I thought the kids would like and that would also represent a range of styles, cultures and historical periods.


In September we looked at Color Study: Squares with Concentric Circles by Wassily Kandinsky and painted to music with acrylics on watercolor paper. Here is one of the results:


Superboy’s favorite flower is the sunflower (he says that is because it gets its power from the sun just like his favorite superhero) so we looked at Monet’s Bouquet of Sunflowers in October. We made our own sunflowers out of wooden dowels, cardboard, tissue paper, glue and yellow and green paper shreds for the petals and leaves. We planted them in aluminum cans stuffed with newsprint.


Our school wanted to display a project from each class at the winter music concert so I scheduled several sessions with the kids in November to make a winter village a la Grandma Moses. We painted milk cartons for houses and gave them cardboard roofs decorated with all kinds of different materials including ribbon, acorns, tree bark and twine. We added pine trees made from pine cones painted green and white and a glittery, silver skating pond filled with paper ice skaters. The whole scene was displayed on white tulle with white Christmas lights underneath to look like snow.


We looked at various works by Leonardo da Vinci in December and made our own flying machines out of cardboard, wooden dowels, glue and paper. The kids decorated them with paint and markers.


In January we did two projects. First I showed the kids photos of Aboriginies, Australian animals and dot art by various artists, including my favorite, Naiura. They painted with tempera and used the ends of the brushes to make Dreaming Dots.


Next we pretended we were Lego mini figure designers. Here are just some of the really cute results:


Many of the kids are into comic books so I thought they would get a kick out of the stories in Navajo sand paintings for February. I told the kids the stories in a few different paintings and we discussed elements such as protective borders, commonly depicted deities, the fact that males are shown with round heads and girls with square, etc. I gave each of the kids a sheet of sand paper to create a faux sand painting by coloring on it with oil pastels.


For March I finally got to use the huge tree branch I’d been storing since fall when a storm took down part of my friend’s tree! We painted the whole thing green and added flowers made from coffee filters and glitter glue so that it would look like Branches of an Almond Tree in Blossom by Vincent van Gogh. It’s as big as a couch and I could barely stuff it into my backseat!


In April I told the kids the myth of Perseus accompanied by a slideshow of black figure pottery and shards from Ancient Greece. I had some broken roof tiles from a house under construction that we used as shards and painted with black tempera. On this shard you can see Andromeda with Perseus and Pegasus in the background:


And last week was our school Art Walk where we got to show it all off!


I’m going to miss my little art buddies a ton over the summer but I’ve got a lot of fun ideas percolating for fall when school is back in session!