Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fantastic fall-themed children’s books

a walk down 10th st. NYC
I just renewed my library card! Yes, that’s right:  A shiny, plastic New York Public Library Card. My other one somehow got lost and it was due time to replace it. While I spend most of my days with kids, we are mostly in a classroom. It was refreshing to take some time and browse my local library, chat with the Children’s librarian, and how exciting to take out books! What better way to complement last week’s art project than with books all about fall?

Here are my 3 picks that highlight the colors and spirit of the season: (If you’d rather add these to your permanent collection, all of them have links to purchase through various retailers)
image via / courtesy of:
  1. The Magic Pumpkin by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault: With verses that rhyme, this is a Halloween treat!
image courtesy of / via:
2. Apples and Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell: A very sweet book about a little girl going to pick a pumpkin for her doorstep and apples to eat! A short read, appropriate for ages pre-K – 1st grade.
Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf Big Book
image courtesy of / via:
  1. Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert: A wonderful book with collage illustrations. It is told in the voice of a child who tells the story about a tree they planted a long time ago.
*Don’t forget! This weekend, 10/27 I’ll be reading stories and running a FREE drawing workshop at Gourmet Guild in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 

**If you are in the neighborhood on Halloween, we’ll be creating spook-tacular monster drawings! Trick or Treat! More information under the events page.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Ode to Autumn: Painted Paper Collage project

I sincerely love this time of year: cozy sweaters, apple cider, and pumpkin picking. Of course, my favorite part of autumn is how the leaves change colors! Here is a project that you can do at home. It is an ode to the beauty of trees. It can be completed in one day with small breaks in between or can be an ongoing project that you re-visit on different days.

Step 1: Work with your child to observe the gorgeous fall colors outside. Perhaps collect a few leaves. Ask them what types of colors they notice.

Step 2: Use tempera paint on 12” x 18” paper and various brushes to create and mix colors and patterns they see in the leaves. Cover the entire paper. For this demo I used red, yellow, and peach. If you have more colors, feel free to use them! Sometimes I like using a limited palette.
Step 3: Allow paper to dry. This will now be your collage leaf paper!

Step 4: If you have actual leaves look at the various shapes. Otherwise, I love the photos in the book “A Tree for all Seasons” by Robin Bernard. Carefully cut or rip lots of shapes! This book can help you with Step 5 too!
Step 5: On a separate piece of paper paint your autumn tree branches and trunk. Referencing to a photograph or looking out the window is definitely helpful.

Step 6: Once your tree painting is dry, it is time to glue down all of your handmade leaves.

Step 7: You can talk about overlapping different leaves and how leaves fall to the ground. Don’t forget to have fun! Thanks to my kid helpers ages 5 and 9!

**Ready for more awesome autumn themed art projects? Visit me for a Pumpkin Art Party at Gourmet Guild in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on Saturday, October 27, 2012 from 12pm-2pm. I’ll be reading “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” and hosting a free drawing and watercolor workshop inspired by locally grown pumpkins and gourds! Many thanks to Macaroni Kid downtown for listing this. Register by calling (718) 388-7726.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

see the world in black, white, and grey at the gugg!

Pablo Picasso's 'Head of a Horse, Sketch for Guernica,' from 1937. 'Color weakens,' the artist reportedly once said.
"Head of a Horse" by Pablo Picasso. image via/courtesy of:

So excited to see the Picasso show this weekend. It opened just a few days ago and have been counting down the minutes until I am walking into that stark white rotunda! What fascinates me about this exhibit is the focus on three colors: black, white, & grey.  

One topic you can talk about with your child is the sheer number of pieces (over 100!) that Picasso created with such a limited palette. Another conversation I always like to have with my students is the amount of time it takes to create an artwork.  We're always in a rush, so this is the perfect opportunity to stop, stand still, and observe... more importantly, to wonder about each piece!  I hope you can visit the show before January and perhaps use the DIY scavenger hunt from my last post!

The museum has fantastic programming too. Check out their offerings on Sundays: