Sunday, February 28, 2010

Easter Island

You need:

  1. drawing paper A4 size
  2. charcoal
  3. black construction paper
Easter Island is a volcanic island in the Great Ocean and belongs to Chile. It has been discovered by the Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen on Easter Sunday in 1722.
Easter Island is famous for its large statues, the moai. These statues are till 10 m high and made of soft volcanic rock (tuff). The makers were the ancestors of many of the current island inhabitants. The whole island since 1995 on the World Heritage List of UNESCO.

Start this lesson by telling about Easter Island and looking at pictures. Tell about the statues and the meaning of them (Wikipedia).
Ask children to draw their own Easter Island. Show them how to make shadows in their drawing, to give a statue depth.Paste the works on a black background.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Spotted fish

You need:
  1. white drawing paper A4 size
  2. colour pencils
  3. coloured paper for background
Tropical fish are beautiful fish with often bright colors. The live in warm seas with coral reefs to shelter. Show pictures of tropical fish and discuss the anatomy of the fish (gills, fins). Point out the bright colours and sometimes strange shapes of the fish.

Students scetch a fish on their sheet with pencil. Behind the fish they scetch waves. Sketch as thin as possible, so the pencil lines won't show through the colours later. Both the fish and the waves must be coloured with 'spots', drop-like shapes that accentuate the water. About a half cm between the spots should remain white. Colour the waves with different colours blue and green. Colour the spotted fish with warm colours.

Made by children from 11-12 years old

Monday, February 22, 2010

tara o'brady: artists who blog

Tara's blog:

Why did you decide to start a blog? How did you come up with the name of your blog?

I am almost embarrassed to admit the story behind the name, as it was one of those whims that hits you like a ton of bricks and immediately means the world to you and you alone. But we’re friends, right? So here goes. One evening, I was sitting on my couch, flicking through Donna Hay magazine and talking to my then boyfriend (now husband) about the future.

Momentum had carried me on a successful career path after university, but I didn’t feel settled in what I was doing. As he left the room, he asked what made me happy. I looked down at the magazine on my lap, and thought “this.”

Food. Making it, eating it. Talking about it, reading about it. Writing about it. And of course learning, always learning.

It just so happened that in the Editor’s Letter of that issue Donna Hay mentioned her age of 34. I was 27 at the time. 34 subtract 27 gave me sev en, a number that has always seems to pop up in lucky circumstances in my life. And right there, that was it. I picked seven for my name as my little reminder of that night, that moment of complete conviction and clarity (just in case it was fleeting).

And the spoons, well “spoons” went nicely with seven, so there you go.

I’d been thinking of starting a food blog for a while by then, and having the name settled is what got me started.

How has blogging affected your work as an artist/designer?

It’s allowed me to focus on my own voice, rather than writing for others (which was my job at the time). By writing for myself on a regular basis I have further developed and clarified my perspective. It’s worked out the kinks.

As far as photography goes, I’d studied visual arts in the past, but never photography. Truth be told, my older brother has always been a great photographer, even from when we were little. I was always intimidated by that. The blog has pushed me headfirst into an area I wasn’t wholly comfortable in, and I’m better for it. I’ve become accustomed to this simple style that is my own, and I don’t think I’d have that without seven spoons.

What are some of your favorite artist/designer blogs? Why?

This could go on for days - a number of artists already included here are my usual haunts; their diverse talent offering up endless inspiration. Two ladies (and friends) that I’ll mention are the super-cool Kate of For Me, For You and lovely Nikole from forty-sixth at grace. Kate has an flawless eye for all aspects of design and she’s totally the girl I would have idolized in high school. Nikole has a breathtaking ability to capture a mom ent in words or on film, to convey its essence in the most lyrical way. It makes me happy see the world through her eyes. She (and her father) also make the most beautiful things.

Do you have any advice for keeping a blog interesting for readers?

With so many other sites out there, it is easy to become self-conscious about your work and consequently try to change to suit trend or the next big thing. But if that’s not genuinely what what moves you, your readers will notice. Always. Having a strong sense of what you’re about, or even just what you’re not about, that’s the best thing I think.

If you’re honestly enthusiastic about something, chances are your readers will be too.

What have been the most positive aspects of publishing a blog for you?

The chance to be a part of so many amazing communities; it’s a wonder u to experience the interconnection of various disciplines, from food to design to art to writing. The exchange of ideas between those worlds, the way they overlap and shape each other, it’s brilliant to see.

I have met friends I never would have known otherwise, and it is a gift to know people whose work consistently floors me. It’s enabled me to grow creatively to an exponential degree, more than I could have ever imagined.

What do you find to be the greatest challenges and rewards of having a creative profession? How do you maintain a healthy work/life balance?

Encouraging a constant flow of creativity. There’s always a moment of terror when you wonder if one day you will wake up and have nothing to say. It’s just me and the page, and if I lose that relationship, I’m done.

I try not to give too much thought to those monsters under the bed, and remind myself that wh en I’m the most present in my life - paying attention to the details and not getting too caught up in things, that’s when I’m at my best in both my life and my work.

What would you most like to accomplish in the upcoming year?

As for my creative projects, I am lucky to be in a good place right now. I simply hope to continue. Not overthink things, not burden myself with expectation. I want to move forward with a sense of possibility, keeping myself open to opportunities as they may come.

It’s plan that’s empowering and utterly terrifying at the same time.

Do you have any personal New Year’s resolutions for 2010?

I think I could always say “write more, read more, explore more.” That’s my yearly hope. I can be shy at times, I’d like to work on that.

Thank you Tara! Your beautiful photographs, your articulate voice, and your delicious recipes are always a joy!

Friday, February 19, 2010

pixie campbell : artists who blog

Pixie's blog: pink coyote
Pixie's website:
Pixie's shop:

Why did you decide to start a blog?

It was two months before my son was born in 2005, and I'd left my job behind to prepare for his arrival. The stories were starting to bubble up and I received enough encouragement from a blogging friend to take what felt like a leap at the time. Sharing myself virtually was something I wanted to do but had to learn how. I wanted to talk about motherhood and birth and share pictures of what I saw everyday, to add it to the pool of what was a small, energetic community at the time.

How did you come up with the name of your blog?

I felt like I was learning all of my lessons the accidental way, the long way around. This is what Coyote teaches: humorous foolishness which occasionally results in chance victory. Pink gave it a playful twist and reminded me to keep the content fun and from my heart.

How has blogging affected your work as an artist/designer?

Very much! I don't know that I'd even be a working artist if I hadn't jumped into the swirl of brilliant blogging creatives and then asked myself the crazy question of where I fit in to all of it. While I've always been creative, I'd never been surrounded by artists and inspiration as when I began adding my two cents to the communal cauldron.

I recall the feeling of arriving at a potluck, to which I needed to bring my favorite colorful dish. In the beginning, it was my words and vulnerabilities, and later, some visual art. The ongoing conversation of blogging prompts me to dig for words and pictures that demonstrate what holds meaning in my little world. Also, I enjoy sharing the dailiness of my work and life on a personal level.

What are your favorite artist/designer blogs? Why?

I love The Handmade Artist for their rustic prettiness, and Mustard and Sage for the romantic quality of her picks. There are squillions of beautiful ones!

I love to read the softhearted images and words of Imagine and Create's Annie Patterson.
I religiously escape into the brilliant sarcasm of Kirstin Cram of Tollipop.
I can't live without Anne Wood's beautiful animals and ships.
I adore the wordy inspiration at Artsyville.

With artists who blog, I find it so fun when the artist's personality is accessible and I love their work even more when I know a bit about their process and what the meaning of the work is for them.

Do you have any advice for artists/designers who are starting a blog?

Stay relevant to your message and post thoughtfully + often. Create interest in your blog by jumping into the conversation. At this point, with blogs being so abundant and distinctive about content, it's very easy to find the people with whom you really resonate with and forge connections.

What has been the most positive and inspirational aspect of having a blog for you?

The most positive aspect is that I feel at home there. It's become a place where I can share my struggles and triumphs as candidly as I choose. Most inspiring of all is that I have made and deepened friendships that I may have never discovered. It's a four and a half year chronicle of my journey as an artist and a mama and I really cherish the medium for that.

What do you find the most difficult/most rewarding part of having a creative profession?

Most difficult is balancing it with the needs and unbridled, joyful howls of my children. When I really want to have a Calgon moment at home, I retreat into my work shamelessly, if only in my mind. When all gongs of demand are ringing at once, art complains the least about how good a job I'm doing! The things I struggle with, however, are often what inspire the content of my work. The most rewarding part is that this is my dream job. The job I thought would be impossible to have! I hope it's only the housework that has suffered since I've begun working as an artist.

Other than your blog, what has been the most effective way for you to promote your art/design?

Etsy has been wonderful for me. It's been a simple solution for displaying my catalog of work in an accessible format, plus I can connect and sell my work at the same time. I still drop cards in galleries because I love to meet and connect with people one-on-one.

How do you maintain a healthy work/life balance?

This is my life's mission. I tend to under nurture myself, and working from home exaggerates that tendency for me. I keep a list on the refrigerator of what I need daily in order to survive, anything over and above that is sweet icing on the cake. With an eleven month old and a four year old, I am herding all day long. I work at night, don't sleep enough, and have to look at a list to take my vitamins. For me, an artful life, with my family and in my studio, makes all of the messy inconvenient bits tolerable.

What would you like to accomplish in 2010?

My main goal for 2010 is to relocate my family to a city that will inspire our imaginations, and also do a little writing, some weekend retreating, a lot of painting, and become much better at self-care. I'd love to do some more group shows, too- connecting with other artists is the most fun of all.

Thank you for sharing with us today Pixie!

*Photos of Pixie by Thea Coughlin

Thursday, February 18, 2010

In the style of Thierry Noir

You need:
  1. white drawing paper A4 size
  2. markers
  3. black markers, thin and thick
  4. pictures of the artwork of Noir
Thierry Noir was born in 1958 in Lyon, France. He came to Berlin in January 1982, attracted by the music of David Bowie and Iggy Pop, who lived in West Berlin at this time. From April 1984, Thierry Noir and Christophe Bouchet started to paint the Berlin Wall. He is an artist at the East Side Gallery. The object was not to embellish the wall but to demystify it.
As the years went by, the paintings took on phenomenal proportions, which were rapidly recognized by the international arts community. The paintings of Thierry Noir became a symbol of new found freedom after the reunification of Germany and the end of the cold war.

Typical of Noir are bright coloured profiles, reduced to an icon with a big nose, thick lips and saucer-like eyes.

The East Side Gallery (see photo) is a 1.3 km long section of the wall near the center of Berlin and probably the largest open air gallery in the world. Here you'll find the work of Thierry Noir.

After looking at pictures of the work of Thierry Noir, children have to get heads in the style of Noir. hoofden tekenen in de stijl van Noir: profile heads looking to the right or left. The sheet has to be filled completely.
Choose three colours marker. Outline everything with a thick black marker. Colour the remaining white parts with another colour or fill the spaces with a pattern in thin marker.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Selfportrait in popart style

By Milan, 12 years old
You need:

  1. drawing paper A4 size
  2. picture of the child
  3. watercolour paint
  4. brushes
  5. wallpaper
  6. coloured paper for background
  7. scissors and glue
  8. black marker

    Print from photograph, made at Dumpr

Make portraits of the children. Go to and click on 'photo to scetch'. Upload the pictures and print a drawing for every child.

Show some drawings in the classroom. How do you recognize the student? What are the most important parts of the face? What lines are important?
Every student gets his own drawing. The trace the most important lines in their drawing using a fine black marker. Do not trace details, because after this they have to trace with thick markers. This means: don't trace hairs, just the contours of them. Don't forget facial lines around the mound or nose.

When tracing is ready, students take their drawing and a new drawing sheet to a window (or use lightboxes if you have these). Keep the drawing against the window with the white sheet one it and trace the drawing with a pencil. Go back to the table and look carefully at your own portrait. Is it you? Are the lines well? Are the eyes correct?

Take a thick black marker and trace the pencil drawing. Paint the portrait with watercolour paint. Choose the colours you like; in popart every colour is possible!

Paint a background or choose a wallpaper background and paste your cut portrait on it. Paste a coloured background behind it for strength.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Tulips; spring is coming!

By Shanti, 11 years old
You need:
  1. a bunch of tulips
  2. drawing paper A4 size
  3. white oil pastels
  4. water paint
  5. brushes
  6. jar with water
  7. coloured paper for background
  8. glue
What does a tulip look like? What can you tell about the stem and the leaves? What do the petals look like?
Give every group a vase with some tulips. The children have to draw a horizon line first about a third from the bottom of the sheet, the lawn. In this lawn tulips has to be drawn, using white oil pastels. Look carefully at the tulips in the vase. The tulips must overlap and do not stand in a tight line.
Colour the flowers with water paint. The oil pastel will resist the paint, so the white lines remain. Paint the lawn and the air also. Paste the work after drying on a coloured background.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Fairytale castle

You need:

  1. two soda bottles from o,5 liter

  2. coloured construction paper A3 size

  3. pricking needle

  4. felt pricking mat

  5. scissors

  6. tempera paint

  7. template with squares

  8. stapler

  9. stickers with fairy tale figures

The teacher draws battlements on top of the coloured sheets and cuts them (or leave this for the children). Draw a gate and some windows. Each child gets two sheets of coloured paper. Cut the battlements from both sheets if the teacher hasn't done this yet. Paint bricks on the castle walls with a template or stamp these bricks with a a square sponge.

Prick the gate from one of the two castle sheets. Be sure one side remans attached to the castle. Fold this gate to the outside. Prick the windows and fold them too. Paste stickers from fairytale figures in the windows and gate, or draw these fairytale figures.

Put two sodabottles on the table and staple the castle sheets around these bottles.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Lino print of musical instrument

Made by students from 11-12 years old
You need:

  1. two pieces of linoleum from 12 x 12 cm
  2. drawing paper from 12 x 12 cm
  3. sheets with music notes
  4. carbon paper
  5. lino knives
  6. mat
  7. black block printing ink
  8. flat piece of glass
  9. linoleum roller
  10. lino press
  11. glue
  12. coloured paper for background
Children draw a musical instrument. Draw this instrument on the two pieces of linoleum, using carbon paper.
From the first piece of linoleum the background has to be cut away, so the instrument will remain. Details from the instrument can be cut with a small lino knife.
From the second piece most of the instrument has to be cut, so the background and some details of the instrument will remain.

Shake the bottle of blockprint carefully to be sure oil will mix with the rest. Drip the paint on the glass and roll it out with the lino roller. Make several prints of your work. Choose the two best ones and paste them on a music paper.

jenifer altman : artists who blog

Jenifer's blog: Nectar & Light
Jenifer's website:
Jenifer's shop:

Why did you decide to start a blog?

I had been writing a blog some years ago called "Athena Says" that served as my digital inspiration board - clothing, jewelry, household goods, art - the pieces that moved me most all found their way to Athena Says. But at some point I started to feel that my blogging experience needed to become more personal - that I was losing myself at Athena Says. After a break, my friend Matt Armendariz told me to get back out there and do something that spoke to my soul - Nectar & Light was born.

How did you come up with the name of your blog?

My first thought was Sweetness and Light - it is actually a term of endearment that I use with my girls. But the url was taken. So I started to play with the word sweetness - and Nectar seemed a perfect fit - it has so many meanings to me and the fact that it can be associated with food - and "light" with my photography seemed a perfect match.

How has blogging affected your work as an artist/designer?

Not only have I loved simply being apart of the community of art and design bloggers - it has afforded me some opportunities that I otherwise may have missed. I discovered Flickr through the blog world and became an active member of the Polaroid community there - it was that experience that led to my first published book, For the Love of Light. And it was a highly respected design blog that ran a recipe and photographs of mine that led to my first job shooting a cookbook for Chronicle Books. I think that I have also learned so much from the community - to share, to be open about process and to support one another - SO important.

What are your favorite artist/designer blogs? Why?

My favorite is Pia's blog. Not only is it beautiful, fresh, full of inspiration - it is like nothing else right now - a true reflection of the artist.

I also adore Susan's for her personal aesthetic and flawless eye.

The Americana Film Project has captured my heart and soul.

and I am expecting spells laced with stardust from this newcomer.

Do you have any advice for artists/designers who are starting a blog?

I think the most valuable piece of advice I was given and that I continue to follow is to be true to your vision as an artist. Do not compromise yourself or the look and feel of your blog - or even what you blog about. Being unique and standing apart is what will grant you a devoted readership. There are so many design blogs out there right now I can imagine it would be overwhelming for someone new to this world. But remembering to create something that is a direct reflection of your heart and soul is imperative; you need to focus on the road ahead as well as the right-now and creating a branding and look that executes a professional image as well as your "self" as an artist.

What has been the most positive and inspirational aspect of having a blog for you?

The people. I have made so many friends through blogging - women and men alike who are good, honest, creative, amazing people - who inspire me everyday. I feel incredibly blessed in that respect.

What do you find the most difficult/most rewarding part of having a creative profession?

Balance. It is something I struggle with daily and that I write about often. Balancing my life with my family with my creative life. I try to create intersections as often as possible - but there are moments every day when I must remind myself that responding to an email is less important than sitting with my daughter and reading a book or drawing. But as much of a challenge as it is - it is also rewarding in a way. It is a daily reminder about what the important things are - this leads to wonderful family experiences that I photograph and/or blog about. So balance is key.

Other than your blog, what has been the most effective way for you to promote your art/design?

Really - everything has come back to my blog. All the connections that I have made over the last several years are because of Nectar & Light and the way people have responded to my journey. Keeping those connections alive is important - supporting each other is important. Flickr was great for awhile - but I found my work being taken on a regular basis and reposted elsewhere without permission. So now I use it more of a social network - though I will post new work in my shop there as well. I have just started using Twitter as well - we shall see how that goes!

How do you maintain a healthy work/life balance?

Oh now that is the challenge - especially with three little ones. But I try and maintain a blogging schedule - this does not always work for me, but I know it does for others. I also do not allow myself to feel guilty when I need to take a break.

What would you like to accomplish this year?

More sleep. That is all the more I need in my life - truly. Just more sleep!

Thank you Jen! Your beautiful photographs and words inspired me today!