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February 29, 2012

oil

Each year for the last 4 years I've been teaching adults and teens with cognitive disabilities a six- week art program.  Each week I come prepared to teach them a new art concept, technique, or learning about a specific artist. For the last two week I've been taking a look back at some of my favorite lessons (that I've taken pictures of-- I didn't always bring my camera).


Of all the lessons I've taught, and all the art we've created together-- this piece is my favorite. It was created with no direction ( from me). She was done with our lesson and asked for an extra canvas to paint again.  


The results were amazing!


February 28, 2012

Painting with Scissors

Each year for the last 4 years I've been teaching adults and teens with cognitive disabilities a six- week art program.  Each week I come prepared to teach them a new art concept, technique, or learning about a specific artist. For the next two week I'll be taking a look back at some of my favorite lessons (that I've taken pictures of-- I didn't always bring my camera).

For this week I was excited to share with the participants about the life of Henri Mattise and specifically the art he created out of paper. After he was diagnosed with cancer he used a wheelchair and was often confined to his bed, "The cut out was not an renunciation of painting and sculpture: he called it “painting with scissors.” Matisse said, "Only what I created after the illness constitutes my real self: free, liberated.” Moreover, experimentation with cut-outs offered Matisse innumerable opportunities to fashion a new, aesthetically pleasing environment: "You see as I am obliged to remain often in bed because of the state of my health, I have made a little garden all around me where I can walk... There are leaves, fruits, a bird."

The Snail:

File:Matissesnail.jpg

Black Leaf:
File:Black Leaf.jpg
I was happy to share his art with my students and demonstrate how we could paint with scissors.










February 27, 2012

Piet Mondrian

Each year for the last 4 years I've been teaching adults and teens with cognitive disabilities a six- week art program.  Each week I come prepared to teach them a new art concept, technique, or learning about a specific artist. For the next two week I'll be taking a look back at some of my favorite lessons (that I've taken pictures of-- I didn't always bring my camera).

For our second year I wanted our first lesson to be a rather simple concept as we studied primary colors and we learned about the artist Piet Mondrian.



Here's two examples from my students. I wish these were better photos.




February 24, 2012

Clay

Each year for the last 4 years I've been teaching adults and teens with cognitive disabilities a six- week art program.  Each week I come prepared to teach them a new art concept, technique, or learning about a specific artist. For the next two week I'll be taking a look back at some of my favorite lessons (that I've taken pictures of-- I didn't always bring my camera).

For every year I've taught these art classes I've always incorporated self-hardening clay for our last lesson. The first year I taught with the class I pretty much let the participants explore the clay and I went around and helped them with whatever they wanted to make.








The next year I was excited to teach with clay again and decided I better do a better job making sure I had a more solid lesson planned.  Enter this really neat lesson I found on Kinderart.

I came prepared with pictures of superheros and Disney characters that the participants could look at to design their head after.  This lesson turned out So awesome!  I was really proud of everyone's work.

Here's Snow White:

This one's Batman:

(This might be my favorite) This is the Hulk:

And here's two Sheriff Woody's:


After a week of drying we painted the heads.






I loved how they turned out. Here's my group of artists.

February 23, 2012

Still Life Fruit Basket

Each year for the last 4 years I've been teaching adults and teens with cognitive disabilities a six- week art program.  Each week I come prepared to teach them a new art concept, technique, or learning about a specific artist. For the next two week I'll be taking a look back at some of my favorite lessons (that I've taken pictures of-- I didn't always bring my camera).

This lesson was from my first year.  This was part of a two-week lesson.  The first day we spent the entire time observing our still life of a fruit basket, we studied the angles, and the light, and then we drew what we observed in pencil.  I gave them specific directions to make sure they used the entire paper.

The second day we had acrylic paints and we painted our fruit basket still life.

Here's some examples of their work.












I'm very fond of this last one.

February 22, 2012

Drawing the Mona Lisa

Each year for the last 4 years I've been teaching adults and teens with cognitive disabilities a six- week art program.  Each week I come prepared to teach them a new art concept, technique, or learning about a specific artist. For the next two week I'll be taking a look back at some of my favorite lessons (that I've taken pictures of-- I didn't always bring my camera).

To get this art party started, I wanted to share with you first my favorite art lesson.

"Do you think it's too much to ask these participants to draw the Mona Lisa?"
"Yes."
"Do you think it'll be too hard for them?"
"Probably."
"Hmm, I'm still going to do it but I'll take it super slow and make sure they stay with me."

This is the conversation my husband and I had an hour before my Mona Lisa lesson.

For the last three weeks we had been learning about different artists and creating art in the style of the artists.  I had decided for this week I wanted to teach the class about Leonardo Da Vinci.  In my opinion, he is Utterly fascinating. I spent a lot of time in college reading books about him and learning about what an Amazing man he was.  He was an absolute genius and a brilliant innovator, scientist, and artist.

I wanted to teach my class all about him and do a project in his art style.  This seemed tricky and I spent a really long time looking for something that I could teach and we could do together.  Eventually I decided I would get the class really nice pencils and paper and we would draw The Mona Lisa.

I started out by teaching them about the wonderful Leonardo by pointing to all his paintings which I had borrowed from the library and had all over the front of the room.  One, which was of the Mona Lisa.

I asked the class, "Look around at these paintings.  Does anyone know which artist we're going to be learning about today?"

"Jesus!"  Yelled out one individual, pointing to the picture of The Last Supper.

Uh-oh, we're in trouble. 

I then explained all about Leonardo and his influence on the art world.  I then passed out items for us to study and practice drawing.  That went okay.  Then I geared them up for our big task.

"We're now going to draw the Mona Lisa" I told them, "And I want these to look really good.  I don't want them to look scribbled and sloppy.  I want someone to look at your picture and say, 'That's the Mona Lisa'."

Easy enough, right?


 I told them they Must stay with me and pay attention to everything I was doing.  I would draw a shape on my paper in the front and I told them to do the same on their papers
 They did AMAZING!


 I was So thrilled with the results! Every one tried really hard and had a great time.  Again that night I learned another lesson.

Never underestimate someone's abilities.










I know they would have made Leonardo proud.