Kim & Karen 2 Soul Sisters

Kim & Karen 2 Soul Sisters

Friday, July 31, 2015

Whacky Art Room Art Decor

Here are a few ways to make the simple a little C R A Z Y fun in your art room.
1.  Get a mirror.  Glue random objects found in the art room to the mirror.  Paint funny comments on the mirror.  (revived brush, yucky not sharp scissors, old bracelets that Mrs. Ray made and wore for a month and UR HAPPY SMILE!)  Place the mirror by your door.  People love to look at themselves as they leave your room.  They really do.
2.  This clock was just dull.  I rounded up old art supplies and hot glued them to the clock. (pipe cleaners, brushes, scissors, bracelets, and feathers)  Unfortunately, I tend to overdo.  The clock is fun, but you cannot really tell what time it is.  Oops.

3.  My dad brought this tumbleweed back from out west several years ago.  I had some giant eyeballs from my daughter's door decoration at Halloween.  I used a few pipe cleaners for hair.  Then, I used a feather that my friend, Jesus, gave few a few years ago. 

Just trying to keep my art room a shiny, H A P P Y, place!

Here is a few fun facts about this video found at Entertainment Weekly/August 23, 1991 written by Katherine Dieckmann (music video director)
  • inspired by I'd Like 1970s Coca-Cola ad, "I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing," in which people of all races hold hands and sing "in perfect harmony" on a verdant hilltop
  •  Another idea came from Max Ophuls’ 1948 movie Letter From an Unknown Woman in which a couple goes to a carnival with a railroad car attraction. Rotating landscape backdrops roll past their ”window,” and they were propelled by an old man pedaling a stationary bicycle behind the scenes. They attempted to re-create this situation, but using a large children’s painting for the moving mural. Michael Stipe (lead singer of R.E.M.) and music video director Dieckmann contacted April Chapman, a schoolteacher in R.E.M.’s hometown, Athens, Ga., to have her fifth-grade class create the backdrop in her school's lunchroom.  Kids were told to paint a city, a suburb, a forest, and portraits of themselves at the beach.  ART!
To really get this concept, go to 39:36 and watch for a about 1 1/2 minutes.  This is really cool, if you like this sort of thing.

  • The crew cruised Athens seeking dancers for the big group scene at the end, inviting both friends and strangers. The elderly man who rides the bike is a retired architectural historian that had agreed to appear in the video without any idea of what a music video was.
  • The Gulf War was going on at the time of the filming of this video (1991) and they decided to use the little Syrian boy dancing in a red suit with a peace button on his lapel.  This was sort of a way of promoting a positive image of a Middle Eastern child
  • And of course, guest vocalist, Kate Pierson of the B-52's, is doing the crazy fun singing and dancing that would make any video full of joy and happiness
I did not intent to start talking about the Shiny Happy People video.  I actually saw someone in the video that looked like Keith Haring.  I was doing a little research to see if it could possibly be him, but I cannot find any information confirming that thought.  I enjoyed reading about the creative process in making the video. 
These things appear to have nothing in common.
1-A movie filmed back in 1948
2-The Gulf War
4-An Athens, GA, teacher
5-Kids in a lunchroom painting a mural
6-A Coca-Cola ad from 1970
7-A peace button
8-An architectural historian
But, they do. 
It is really never just one thing in life. It really is just linking little things and making connections with past memories.
That is why they say, "old and wisë".

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Thanksgiving Hand-Prints...Gobble Gobble...

This lesson is a great whole class holiday art lesson.
You can take the final project and make note cards.
We printed them out and make wallet size photos and made them in to decorations by using a laminator, wire and beads. 
Hope this spurs on some creative thoughts for your classroom =)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I Would Run 500 Miles-Running and Art

For the many parents of runners out there, here is a "plug" for all the hard work your kid has to do to compete in this rigorous sport.   Many do not realize that to be a runner, training is a year round process.  Although cross country season begins in the fall, the training in the months of May, June, July, and August, are crucial to a successful season.  Once cross country season ends, the kids have to get out there and hit the pavement again in January, to train for track season. 

On July 29, 2014, my son completed his 500 miles of running for his upcoming senior year of his cross country season.  Today is the one year anniversary of his 500th mile. 

You may ask, what would inspire a kid to run 500 miles?  Here's a story of Rob's running career.
When Rob started middle school, he decided that he did not enjoy playing football.  As parents, we knew that he needed to participate in some type of fall sport and understand the importance of being part of a team.  With a little arm twisting, we managed to get Rob to sign up for the junior varsity cross country team.
In 6th grade, Rob did pretty well in his new sport.  Coaches encouraged him during these years. He had one coach that told him to stop drinking soft drinks to enhance running.  So, Rob switched to water and Powerade to be the best he could be in his sport.
As he progressed through middle school, he became aware that he had found "IT".  He had found his niche.  By the 8th grade, Rob was able to obtain the junior varsity state championship for cross country.
During Rob's 9th grade year, he continued to excel.  The sophomore year was a somewhat disappointing and frustrating cross country season.  Track season was better due to Coach Chip Champion's intense training and dedication to Rob's running.  Rob was able to win 1st in the region in the 1600 meter run.
After much discussion, Rob decided to transfer to a school with a more established cross country team for his junior year.  Under the direction of Coach Brett Hardy, Rob's team was able to place 4th in the state.  Never had a team from Perry, Georgia, placed this high and been able to "make the stage" at state in the sport of cross country.
After running 500 miles, Rob's senior year started off with a poor showing due to bronchitis.  Once Rob recovered from his illness, he went on to being county champ, region champ, and was one of the top runners in the state of Georgia.  Hey, in cross country, it is not where you start, but where you finish that counts.

In thinking about that, I thought that I would share a little piece of artwork that evolved from Rob's running career.
For Father's Day 2015, Rob gave his dad a Nike shoe.  The shoe was a combination of important runs or races that he had conquered in his running career.  He had actually cut parts off of his Nike shoes and hot glued them all together to make one shoe.  Cool shoe art!
Notice the sharpie on the shoe?  That is actually Alan Webb's signature.  Who is Alan Webb?  He holds the American national record in the mile, with a time of 3:46.91. Webb represented the United States at the 2004 Summer Olympics in the men's 1500-meters race.
Rob and Alan Webb crossed paths here.  Fortunately, not running paths.

Here's the many shoes of Rob the runner. 
Below the 8th Grader wearing the red Nike shoe and winning the junior varsity state championship. (red Nike)
Rob's freshman year with Dad giving spirited encouragement! (green Nike)
Rob's 10th grade year running and winning the 1600 meter to claim region. (zebra shoe)
Rob's junior year running with his new team. (black shoe)

So, why did Rob decide to run 500 miles? 
Was it the many encouraging people?

Was it for the team?

 Was it so that he could encourage younger kids?
In the picture below, Rob had just finished his last race of his running career.  Do you suppose it was really just for the Coke?


Find your "IT", folks.
Work hard at IT.
Pass IT on.
And make a little art along the way.
The Proclaimers "I'm Gonna Be" (500 miles)


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Fred Babb...Good Art Won't Match Your Sofa

We have blogged on Fred Babb before see here below:
Visit Fred Babb's Webpage Here:


About Fred Babb (from the website listed above)

On a Hot, Sticky day in August, 1947, Fred Babb was born in Aitkin, a small town in rural Minnesota. He eventually became one of eight siblings positioned somewhere in the middle of the family constellation. In 1952 his family piled into their sleek Hudson and moved to California. One year later, Fred remembers picking up a drawing pencil for the first time, and, instantly he heard a VOICE from above say "Put down that pencil and do your chores." It was, of course, his dad - but he prefers to think of it as his first almost religious experience.

When Fred was a young boy, elementary school age, his mother would send him off to school with lunch money and he would return home with art supplies. Paper was in short supply in his large family, so he would use grocery bags as his canvas. During the formative years, his major influences included MAD Magazine and Soupy Sales, and later on the Kinks and Bob Dylan. He had a few bad influences, too, but we won't go into that.

In high school, Fred met the teacher that changed his life as an artist. This teacher, Larry "Mac" Macaray, recognized Fred's creative talent and his obvious skill. He challenged Fred to make art outside the boundaries of skill. He encouraged him to go places with his imagination and without the restriction of creating what he thought he should create, something he believed would be acceptable. 
Through this teacher's guidance, Fred was given the gift of freedom to create outside the standards of "acceptable" art and within the limitless boundaries of his own imagination. This single experience began the foundation of all his future creation process. For years afterward, Fred would experiment with a variety of styles and techniques, all of them self-discovered. Fred did not pursue art education, but rather education through his art. During what would be college years, and young adult years, he took a couple of art classes, but found his direction as an artist coming from within himself, rather than through instruction, so he left the school system and began to make a way of his own.

Fred learned early on that although art was real fun, being broke was not, so in 1982, after 22 different occupations since 1962, we find him quickly burning out as a painter / furniture refinisher in Boston, MA. Fed up with the job and his boss, Fred convinced his lovely and supportive wife, Julia, that there was GOLD--scratch that--ART out west in California to be mined - so the family: Fred, Julia, Amy, and Christopher moved to Folsom, CA - just outside of Sacramento where he began creating work to be shown in galleries. The work was well received, yet not widely received.

After 9 years of House Husbanding while Julia worked - which by the way was the eye-opening experience of his life, for it was here that he realized how men have "got it made" going off to work, hanging with their friends, and bringing home the Bacon - in 1984, Fred bought a Kiln and began making small ceramic sculptures with faces in them. Fred was selected to show one of his ceramic sculptures in a group competition at the Crocker Art Museum, in Sacramento. Before the opening of the show, while making a sculpture of 6 small heads, which he intended to call "The 6 Fizzicists", an explosion occurred and one of the heads broke off and was sent off into a spiraling orbit, ending at the bottom of the kiln. The sculpture was renamed "The 5 Fizzicists," and he made the stray face into a necklace for his wife, Julia. She wore it to the art opening where some friends and even many strangers commented on it, recognizing the artwork from the SINGLE sculpture Fred had in the show. Someone suggested it should have earrings to match, and so Fred made his first pair of Ear Heads, though they were yet to have that name. A friend recommended he design more, which she offered to sell to local art galleries and upper end stores. Fred agreed, creating several one of a kind pieces. They sold quickly and Fred and Julia together developed a line of ceramic jewelry, which they called Ear Heads, because that's what they were: Earrings and Pins that were faces.

Among all of his other wonderful features, Fred was also extremely innovative, and this was evident in the process he designed to create his Ear Heads: There are machines that can roll out a thin slab of clay for you; however, those machines can be very costly, and the Babb family just didn't have the cash at the time. Fred was searching for something that would absorb moisture upon which he could roll out his clay to create slabs. See, the clay needs water on it to remain malleable. If the clay dries out, it is no longer workable, and if it dries too quickly, it often loses its shape and/or cracks. If the clay remains wet there can be a multitude of other problems. So Fred needed something that would absorb the water, but not too quickly. He experimented with a number of different things, but it wasn't until a remodel of the Babb home that he discovered exactly what he needed: a sheet of drywall. With the drywall as a surface and some paint stirring sticks glued flat to it as borders and levels, he would use a rolling pin to roll his clay out perfectly flat between the stir sticks to give the jewelry a uniform shape. At first, he simply used an Xacto knife to cut the shapes out of the clay, but when this proved too inefficient to keep up with the demand, he fashioned his own Ear-Head-shaped "cookie cutters" out of a piece of sheet metal and 2-ton epoxy. Simply put, Fred literally could do anything he put his mind to, including invent his own personal one-man Ear Head factory. This is the process he used for years until the demand for the jewelry got so high that he had to hand the job over to his close friend and fellow artist Tony Natsoulas to create the "blanks."

Within a couple of years there were stores and galleries across the United States selling Fred's work. Fred's initial products were limited to images. One day he designed a pair of earrings which said "Do it" on one and "Don't Do It" on the other. That began his venture into the world of words. From that time forward Fred has used words as a means to encourage people to think for and believe in themselves. As the popularity of his jewelry line grew, stores requested other products, and the line grew to include other products such as T-Shirts, Clocks, Cards, Magnets and Mugs. These, too, were a success, and posters and framed prints were added. They have, over the years, acquired a somewhat irreverent bent, poking fun at human behavior and how it relates to art. In 1988, a wholesale outlet and retail store were opened in Cambria, California, and in 1991, the name of the business was changed to "What Iz Art."

This went on until 1996, when both Fred and Julia tired of the production and quit the business. Several of Fred's designs continued in the marketplace through a process of licensing to other manufacturers who produced t-shirts, tote bags, hats, cards, a calendar and poster book. In the year 2000, Julia took the business back into her own hands under the name of "Babb Studios," where it remained until their son, Chris, made the decision to revitalize the business in 2012, renaming it yet again, to Fred Babb Art.

Fred experienced art through the process of creating. He did not begin with ideas, he allowed them to present themselves as he worked. He rested in his work rather than laboring to bring something to fruition. As a result, he was extremely prolific. Fred Babb died May, 2006. We miss him terribly, but his words and works will live forever in the hearts of those who have enjoyed them through the years. We thank you.

Fabulous Artist to study with super results! Enjoy, 1969

Monday, July 27, 2015

Ceramic Sushi! Now That's a Mouthful!

Sushi, Anyone?
Really just an idea for students that have a love of sushi.
My daughter did this sushi/tray a few years back.
Basically, she handbuilt the sushi/tray.
Then, fired the sushi/tray.
Then, she chose to use acrylics to paint the sushi/tray because of the limited glaze colors at school.

Art teachers, you may want to keep in mind that International Sushi Day is June 18.

How about a little song with some sushi?

Barenaked Ladies
"One Week"
'I like the sushi cause it's never touched a frying pan'


Friday, July 24, 2015

Fused Glass, Ornaments

I bought Delphi Glass Class Pack
Had kids cut into triangles
Extra glass bits we glued on with Elmers
Used High Fire Wire at top
Placed in glass kiln at R3
All turned out really cool!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Watercolor Bubble Blowing

Bubble Blowing at Art Camp with 30+ Kids
Kids really enjoyed this activity.  It was fun to see how big they could get the bubble piles to be.  Also, it was fun to see the outcome of the bubble burst!
 Okay, kudos to Tiny Rotten Peanut for this cool activity.
This is one of those activities that you really are in trial and error mode.
We used liquid watercolor, bubbles, and straws taped together.
Seriously, you just have to add watercolor, bubbles, and try it out.
We had several small cups filled with watercolor and bubbles. (see pics)  This really worked great!
We let kids make decisions about the number of straws and the mixing of colors.
This was a very fun activity as you can see by the smiling faces!

Trentan is one cool, bubble-blowing dude!

Molly Gail's cousins are jelly jealous of her bubble mountain.

Mad Dog is cool with his cool bubbly art!

I just had to do a little Throwback Thursday with bubbles on the blog.  If I think bubbles and music, I think The Lawrence Welk Show.  The Lawrence Welk Show was an American televised musical variety show hosted by big band leader Lawrence Welk. The series aired locally in Los Angeles for four years, from 1951 to 1955, then nationally for another 27½ years via the ABC network, from 1955 to 1971, and first-run syndication from 1971 to 1982.

I have a very vague recollection of Lawrence Welk, but I always remembered the dang bubbles.  Look at this preview and check them out.

In 1903, Lawrence Welk was born in Strasburg, North Dakota, which now has only approximately 400 people.  The family home is now a tourist attraction. 
Welk talked his father into buying a mail-order accordion for $400.  He promised his father that he would work on the farm until he was 21, in repayment for the accordion.  On Welk's 21st birthday, he fulfilled his promise to his Dad.  He left the family farm to pursue a career in music, which he loved.  In the 1920s, he performed with various bands and started his own orchestra.
So, my point?
Find a way to do what you love and blow a few bubbles along the way.