Category Archives: Art Projects

Friday Photo

Arturo’s Pre-School

This week’s Friday Photo is celebrating Fall!  It is a time for the leaves to change, to bring scarves and boots out of the closet, and of course, to celebrate family, friends and food during Thanksgiving!  November’s Auturo’s Pre-School classes celebrated fall through creating magical and realistic forest creatures with felt leaves and acorns.  A great project to do as a family over the holiday!

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Filed under Art Projects, Arturo, Children’s art, DMA Programs, Just for Fun

Art in the Park

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Check out this fairy house on ActiveKidsClub.com 

This month during the Arturo’s Art and Me class, families focused on nature and were able to enjoy the newly opened Klyde Warren Park that is right across the street from the DMA. Danielle led children and their grown-ups on an imaginary journey into the world of fairy houses. Fairy houses have become quite popular in the past couple of years – many speciality garden and landscape stores now sell teeny-tiny plants and accessories just for fairy houses. Fairy houses, or fairy gardens, are small installations made completely from natural materials created with the idea that fairies and woodland creatures to visit, rest, and even inhabit.

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During the Arturo’s Art and Me classes, the children explored two landscape paintings and imagined all of the different types of creatures that could be lurking in the woods in these works of art. Danielle read Fairy House by Tracy Kane and taught the children all about respect nature.

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Using images of unicorns, skunks, trolls, squirrels, gnomes, fairies, and rabbits, the children had a discussion about which ones were real and which might be imaginary. Not all of the kids were convinced that unicorns were imaginary, but they were all glad that trolls were! Families used Model Magic to create their own creature – it could be anything, real or imaginary. There were several fairies, a couple of gnomes, many snakes, and even a puppy.

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After making our creatures, we determined that these new friends needed a place to call home and traveled over to the Park to find a suitible spot. At the Park, each family received a bag filled with twigs, leaves, pinecones, seashells, acorn tops, raffia, and rocks to construct a nature home for their creature. Families spread out in the Park to build their fairy houses.

ImageSome built their houses in the children’s area of the Park (including one fairy house built inside of a concrete tunnel!), others found a place for their house at the base of a tree trunk or in a bush, while a few families spead out on the lawn to build their constructions out in the open. When families were finished with their creation, they packed up their nature supplies so that they could reinstall their fairy house (or snake house, dog house, or bunny house) at home!

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Posted by Amanda

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Filed under Art Projects, Children’s art, DMA Programs

Drawing with Light

If you stopped by the Center for Creative Connections during the October Late Night at the DMA, then perhaps you saw or experienced the wild creations in the Tech Lab.  Visitors of all ages were given 15 seconds to create a drawing with light.  Light Drawing has been around for nearly a century, and yet it remains a fresh, fun, exercise that many photographers experiment with today.  The influx of new light and camera technologies has made this concept more accessible.

First a word about how it works.  All cameras work by controlling light in two ways –through the aperture and the shutter speed.  The aperture or f-stop determines how much light is exposed in each shot. A smaller aperture, like f/2.8 results in more light being let through, while a larger aperture, like f/22 results in less light being let through:

The shutter speed controls how long the shutter is open.  If your shutter speed is 500, that means that the shutter is open for 1/500th of a second.  If your shutter speed is 15, that means your shutter is open for 1/15th of a second, therefore capturing more light (and action) over time:

For drawing with light, it’s best to have the shutter speed set for over 1 second.  When we took our visitors photos during Late Night, we set our shutter speed to 15 seconds.  You are probably best off setting your aperature to a medium setting like around f/8 or f/11.

So, how can you bring the magic of Drawing with Light into your home?  Here are some steps to get you started:

  1. Gather materials: Digital Camera with adjustable shutter speed (all Digital SLRs are capable of this and some point and shoot cameras are as well); a tripod (or other way to stabilize your camera); a few light sources (laser pointers, cell phones, flashlights, Christmas lights, etc.)
  2. Set camera to a manual setting where you can control the shutter speed.
  3. Set the shutter speed to 15 seconds (or as slower if you want more time).
  4. Set the camera on the tripod and position it as desired.
  5. Turn off all the lights in the room.
  6. Hand the kids the flashlights, laser pointers, etc.  and press your shutter button.
  7. Now you have 15 seconds to make a drawing!

The great thing about using a digital camera to capture your Light Drawing is the instant feedback.  Take a few photos where your kids can just play with the lights, with no end product in mind.  After the picture is made, let them look at their creation.

You can keep it simple or get more complicated; work as a team, with one person posing while another draws around them; make words in the air; or dance with the lights and see what happens.  Above all, have fun!

Check out our slideshow for more inspiration.

Posted by: Jessica Fuentes

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Filed under 6 to 12 year olds, Art Projects, Center for Creative Connections, Just for Fun, Late Night

Artsy Pumpkins

Halloween is just three days away—is your pumpkin ready? Carving pumpkins was always one of my favorite family traditions. It usually took us an entire evening to choose the pumpkin, scoop out the inside slimy bits (yuck!), roast up the pumpkin seeds (yum!), and then decide what kind of face our jack-o-lantern would have. I had a tendency to stick to the traditional triangle-eyed, jaggedy-tooth smiley face.

If you have yet to decorate your own pumpkin, why not take an artistic approach this year? Think of your favorite artist and imagine how his/her style would look if the artist had worked on a pumpkin rather than a canvas.

Here are a few ideas to get the creative juices flowing:

Action painting pumpkin

Channel your inner Jackson Pollock by dripping and flinging paint onto your pumpkin to create a Jack{son}-o-Lantern. For a darker, spookier effect, draw your color inspiration from the Cathedral painting currently on view at the museum. Or try a rainbow of color by following Kathy Barbro’s tutorial on her blog Art Projects for Kids.

“Cathedral,” Jackson Pollock, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Bernard J. Reis

Pollock Pumpkin from Art Projects for Kids

Color Field pumpkin

In a preschool class I taught last week, the children decided that the orange featured prominently in Mark Rothko’s Orange, Red and Red was “pumpkin orange,” so it seems fitting that Rothko becomes the inspiration for another artsy pumpkin. Create floating fields of color on your pumpkin-canvas with spray or craft paint. Sibylle at the Funkytime blog used bright neon colors, but you could also create a pumpkin using different shades of just one color.

“Orange, Red, and Red,” by Mark Rothko, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated

Ombre pumpkin from the Funkytime blog

Lines and shapes pumpkin

For an even simpler pumpkin project, just use washi tape or scrapbooking tape to create criss-crossing lines of pattern across the pumpkin in the style of Piet Mondrian. Get the how-to at Real Simple here. Or use painter’s tape to section off areas for blocks of color like Bronwyn did on the Queen B Creative Me blog.

“Place de la Concorde,” Piet Mondrian, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the James H. and Lillian Clark Foundation

Tape pumpkins from Real Simple

Mondrian-inspired pumpkin at Queen B Creative Me

If carving is more your style, check out this amazing slide show of art-inspired pumpkins at The Huffington Post.

Happy Halloween!

Posted by: Leah

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Filed under 6 to 12 year olds, Art Projects, Just for Fun

Friday Photo

Three Poster Studio artists posing with their completed posters!

During the run of Posters of Paris: Toulouse Lautrec and His Contemporaries (October 14, 2012–January 20, 2013), the Museum is offering a drop-in art-making activity within the exhibition gallery space. For the activity, visitors will create their own poster using text and images from the exhibition. Visitors will keep a copy of their poster, while another copy will be attached to the Poster Studio wall.  Come join the fun and add your artwork to the Poster wall!

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Filed under Art Projects, Art Stops, DMA Programs, In the galleries

El Dia de los Muertos

October is mostly known for the American holiday of Halloween, where people of all ages dress up in costume and trick or treat for candy and other goodies in their neighborhoods.  This holiday has its own traditions, such as carving pumpkins, bobbing for apples, trading candy, visiting spooky houses, and so on.

However, there is another Fall holiday that the Dallas Museum of Art is celebrating : El Dia de Los Muertos–or Day of the Dead! 

The Day of the Dead is a time of celebration and remembrance of loved ones who have passed away, much like Memorial Day in the United States.  Many Latin American and Mexican cultures celebrate Dia de Los Muertos on November 1st and 2nd.  The Dallas Museum of Art will be celebrating this cultural holiday as part of its Family Celebration: Ancient Mexico, on Sunday, October 28th from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Ofrendas, or offerings.

Dia de los Muertos is a joyous occasion where loved ones are honored and remembered through the creation of fantastic art and delicious treats.  Inside households, families create special altars, called ofrendas (offerings), which are decorated with breads, candies, food, drinks, and flowers, all of which are meant to celebrate the lost loved ones.

Perhaps the most iconic image related to The Day of the Dead celebration is the skull!

Sugar skulls are probably the most common candies made this time of year.  They can be made with plain sugar or chocolate, and are often decorated with sequins, pieces of metallic paper and colored sugar paste.  There will be a sugar skull demonstration from artist Maggie Wolters during the Family Celebration, and families will be able to decorate their own skull masterpiece.  Additionally, local master chocolatiers, CocoAndre, will be on hand during the afternoon to teach the Art of Chocolate to families, as well as lead them in the creation of a chocolate skeleton.

Artist Diego Rivera was also attracted to using skulls/skeletons in his art, portraying a skeleton lady (or La Catrina) in his famous mural, Sueño de una tarde dominical en la Alameda (dream of a Sunday afternoon in the Alameda park)

Detail from central section of Sueño de una tarde dominical en la Alameda (dream of a Sunday afternoon in the Alameda park) Fresco 1947-1948, 50 ft long x 13 ft high

Skulls and skeletons are reproduced as Day of the Dead art in almost every available material, including wood, papier mache, plaster and bread dough.  The repetition of these images in many locations and in a variety of materials , allows the subject matter to seem less scary and intimidating.  Remember El Dia de los Muertos is a day of celebration!

Here is a quick art project utilizing the skull theme that families can do to prepare for the upcoming Family Celebration: Ancient Mexico at the DMA.  All you need is:

  • paper plates
  • markers (or crayons)
  • scissors
  • glue (or tape)
  • popsicle stick (or pencil)

 

Flip the paper plate over, and draw your skull outline on the bottom of the plate.  The outer edge will act as the bottom of the skull.  Cut out the shape with scissors once your skull shape is complete.

Use markers or crayons to decorate your skull.  Be as imaginative as possible!  Sugar skulls often have floral motifs, hearts, and spiderwebs patterns.

Once your skull is fully decorated, attach it to a popsicle stick or pencil with either glue or tape.  And voila!  You have your very own Dia de los Muertos mask!  Make sure to bring your decorations to this weekend’s Ancient Mexico Family Celebration.  Click here for a full list of the festivities!

 

 

 

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Filed under Art Projects, DMA Programs, Uncategorized

Make it Yourself: Custom Skate Decks

Custom skateboard deck by Anton.

On Sunday, teens embarked on a custom skateboard deck design workshop with our special guest artist, Mark Gutting. Mark, who teaches art in Mesquite ISD, has taught summer camps at the DMA for the last several years and has led some dynamite classes focused on design. This weekend he lent his expertise to our monthly Urban Armor class, where participants had the opportunity to gain inspiration from the exhibition Variations on Theme: Contemporary Art 1950s-Present and design boards using screen printing techniques, markers, and paint.

Mark Gutting demonstrating screen printing techniques using his custom jig.

You can make your own deck at home using the same materials. Blank decks are easy to find and are relatively cheap (we bought ours from the Rec Shop in Dallas; www.recshop.net). Metallic sharpies and paint markers work well, as will acrylic or enamel paint; spray paint would be ideal. To get a nice, clean graphic, use painters tape to mask off the edges off your image before you paint it. Or, cut out a stencil to use–this is a great technique when using spray paint, especially if you want to repeat the same image throughout your design.

Max using a combination of stenciling and painting techniques on his deck.

If you want to get really fancy, try screen printing your deck. You’ll need a screen, screen printing ink, and a squeegee (all available at Michaels and Asel Art Supply, among others). To make things easier, I would use a cut paper stencil design to use with your screen but you can also transfer an image to it using emulsion fluid, etc. For the DIY enthusiast, there are several sites that have instructions for making your own tabletop jig for screen printing skate decks (YouTube is a great resource for that). This set up will not only make screen printing the board’s surface much simpler, but allow you to print multiple decks.

Printing Max’s design using Mark’s handmade jig.

After you finish, let your design dry thoroughly before using it; you’ll also probably want to give it a coat of clear finish if you’re going to be skating on it. If you don’t want to ding up your masterpiece, you could turn it into a wall art display by mounting it in your room or even add some functionality by making it into a cool shelf!

Urban Armor is a monthly program for teens. Go to http://dallasmuseumofart.org/Events/Adults/index.htm for more information.

Posted by: JC

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Filed under 6 to 12 year olds, Art Projects, Center for Creative Connections, DMA Programs, Just for Fun, Teens, Uncategorized