Puppets and Places at Abovoagogo

In Puppets and Places at Abovoagogo, we made puppets and a puppet theater, people, cars, houses and worlds. The emphasis of the workshop was on the relationship between art and play. It was exciting to watch the kids make objects that triggered their independent, imaginative play. Materials included plaster gauze, wooden shapes, toy wheels, cardboard, newspaper, paint, collage materials and lots of glue and tape. 

 Making a cardboard house

Making a cardboard house

 Making imaginary places

Making imaginary places

 Playing with what they made

Playing with what they made

 An "elevator house" in progress

An "elevator house" in progress

COLLAGE INSPIRATIONS: The Work of El Anatsui

  El Anatsui    Detail of  his work exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum

 El Anatsui    Detail of  his work exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum

When artists use collage, they incorporate elements that come from the world into their drawings, paintings and sculptures. Put within a new context, these elements take on new meanings. The image above is a detail of one of El Anatsui's amazing pieces. His inspiring work was on display in his one person exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum in 2013. Here is a link to more information about the exhibition: Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui.

TREASURE BOX COLLAGE

Treasure boxes can be made from almost any kind of box, such as shoe boxes, tea boxes or anything with a lid. The three dimensional quality of a box gives kids a great surface for experimenting with collage.  A child might be inspired to collect treasures to keep in it once it is done. This collection can consist of all kinds of things that a child might find interesting--pebbles, bottle caps, stamps, trinkets, beads, just to name a few.

VALENTINES: NOT FROM THE STORE

There is no such thing as a right or wrong way to make a valentine. Making valentines is a great way to let someone know you care about them. They are also a fun way to explore color, shape, texture and material. Lots of things can be used to make valentines: wrapping paper, construction paper, ribbons, doilies, scrap paper, tissue paper and anything else that you think might work. 

ICE INSPIRATIONS: ARTISTS

Many contemporary artists have used ice as a sculptural material.  Some fascinating examples  can be found in a 2013 article by Leigh Patterson in the Atlantic, "Melting Masterpieces: Impressive Works of Art Made from Snow and Ice"  In addition the sculptor Andy Goldsworthy, has made many remarkable site-specific sculptures from ice. Images of his work can be found in the Andy Goldsworthy Digital Catalogue.

More traditional painters have also been inspired by ice. 

 Caspar David Friedrich  The Sea of Ice  1823-1824

Caspar David Friedrich The Sea of Ice 1823-1824

 Frederic Edwin Church  Wreck in Sunset  1860

Frederic Edwin Church Wreck in Sunset 1860

 Roy Wass, Cape Split, Addison, Maine;  date and title unknown;  

Roy Wass, Cape Split, Addison, Maine;  date and title unknown;  

 Robert Clow Todd   The Ice Cone, Montmorency Falls, Quebec   1866

Robert Clow Todd  The Ice Cone, Montmorency Falls, Quebec  1866

In these cold days of winter, it is interesting to see how artists' imaginations have been captivated by the beauty, mystery and treachery of ice. This post is part of the series related to the project, Ice Ornaments.

ICE ORNAMENT VARIATION: Snow Molds

This variation of making ice ornaments uses snow as a casting mold. Casting ice ornaments in snow introduces young children to some of the basic principles that are used in casting sculpture. Casting is a process used by artists who work with materials such as glass, cement, ceramics and metal.  For this method of making ice ornaments, the mold is created by carving out a shape in the snow and lining the shape with either aluminum foil or a plastic bag. Lining the shape is necessary to prevent the water from soaking into the snow. Kids can experiment with the shape, size and depth of the snow mold.

 

ICE ORNAMENTS

Making ice ornaments is a perfect snow day activity to do with young children. Made from common household materials, they are fun, easy, and inexpensive. They can be made with almost any container that can hold water including recycled plastic, milk jugs, bags, balloons, cups, bowls, ice cube trays, and more. Ice ornaments are a great opportunity for young kids to learn about color, light, mass, volume and the way water turns into ice. Experiment and enjoy!

CREATIVE MESS

Purple strip thin.jpg
Ann Studio Shot.jpg

Mess is part of my creative process---I try many ideas at once, then edit. My studio is a messy place, but I know where everything is. When working on picture book drawings, I also make a mess, but it’s a digital one. Some of the drawings for Mr. Kitty Cleans House contain more than 50 photoshop layers. Each drawing can have as many as twenty versions. Chaos and mess are not the same.  Mess is a state of experimentation. Making art for me is about distilling something meaningful out of the mess.