Tag Archives: art projects

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

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

Friday Photo

Arturo’s Art & Me goes to Mexico!

For the entire month of September, Arturo’s Art & Me is exploring the art of ancient Mexico! Families tour The Legacy of the Plumed Serpent exhibition and use the beautiful artwork as inspiration for a hands-on art-making activity in the Center for Creative Connections studio.  The kids create their own version of a codex–a special kind of book that has many folded pages–which tells a story only through pictures (just like the Children of the Plumed Serpent did!)

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Make This: Back-To-School DIY Stickers!

Ah, back to school. I remember doodling all over my notebooks and textbooks, which I thought made them look cool but was certainly not appreciated by my parents when it came time to return the latter. If your kids are anything like I was, help them add some flash to their gear without the hassle by having them create their own stickers using contact paper and sharpies. The best part about it is that they can layer the stickers they create and then peel them off when they get tired of them, without any mess!

What You’ll Need:

  • Contact paper (I used clear, but there’s a wide variety of colors and patterns to choose from)
  • Sharpie markers in different colors
  • A pair of scissors

Instructions:

  • Draw your design in sharpie on your contact paper. If you’re using clear contact paper, you can even trace over an existing drawing or design!
  • Cut out the design with your pair of scissors once it’s dry.
  • Carefully remove the backing from the contact paper and stick your design on a notebook or other surface.
  • When you want to remove the sticker, simply peel it off–it shouldn’t leave any sticky residue. And if your sticker is still intact, you could slap it on something else!

Tools of the trade

 

Draw your design

 

Cut it out…

 

Slap it on!

Other Ideas:

  • Create a collage sticker using images from magazines, decorative paper, etc.–lay your cut outs on top of the surface you want to stick them to, then cut a large enough piece of clear contact paper to cover the entire design. Peel off the backing and lay the contact paper on top of the design.
  • Running for class president? Stick a design onto some blank buttons to hand out for your campaign!
  • Celebrating a friend’s birthday? Decorate the inside of his or her locker with fun (and/or embarrassing) stickers!

Posted by: JC

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Filed under 6 to 12 year olds, Art Projects, Children’s art, Just for Fun, Parents

Friday Photo

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Next week, many children are going back to school here in the Dallas area. While you’re out shopping for your number 2 pencils, paper, scissors, and glue, pick up an extra box of crayons and turn your school supplies into a work of art! Simply arrange the crayons in a pleasing pattern on your canvas, hot glue in place, then use a heat gun or hair dryer to melt!

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