Saturday, January 29, 2011

Upcycled Paper Beads Lessons Plan

This past summer I was given the opportunity to go on a trip to Haiti.  I took a couple magazines, scissors, toothpicks and glue along with me.  These four items led to an amazing opportunity to lead some of the older girls and younger boys in the skill or craft of making paper beads.  It was a great opportunity to combine two of my most significant passions, people and art.  Although paper bead making may not be seen as Fine Art (Check out my Facebook Art Page), there is something marvelous about using my artistic ability and Fine Arts training to connect with others.

This is a project that could be done with kids or adults of any age.  The process is fairly simple.  You start with a piece of magazine or paper and cut it into triangles (for more oval beads) or rectangles the long way (for thicker beads).  After you do this you can roll them on a toothpick and add a drop of glue.  Finally finish it off with some sort of water proofing (spray paint or gloss medium work well).  I use gloss spray paint.  The simplest way to create a piece of jewelry is to take stretchy sting and thread it on with one or two spacer beads in-between paper beads.
 
Last Christmas break I created and sold a significant amount of jewelry made from these beads. I entered, and sold, jewelry in the Affordable Art for the Holidays show at the Works of Wyoming Gallery. Some of the jewelry that I created for gifts and the show included earrings, necklaces and bracelets incorporating paper beads.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Favorite Washington Coast and Ocean Images

Here are some of my favorite photographs from past posts on my photography blog.  I hope that they can provide some inspiration and enjoyment.  It is fun to look back on past photographs.

13. The bottom Starfish
12. Lillies
11. Life and Death
10. Giant Slug
9. Rock Stacks on Ruby Beach
8. Anemone Crack
7. Seaweed
6. Driftwood
5. Pirate Movie Scene 
( Ruby Beach (color pirate scene)
4. Calla Lilly
3. Dancing Starfish
2. Rock Stacks
1. Barnacles (color version)

Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Upcycled Pastic Bags Bag

I love the idea of upcycleing (or taking something of little or no value and turning it into something of more value).  Here is one of my favorite projects.  I think that it expresses the true spirit of upcycling.  I took several plastic bags and made plarn (plastic yarn).  This project is simple to knit but knitting with plastic does go much slower than knitting with yarn.

There is a full dishwasher soap bottle in the bag.  The bag is strong enough to hold cans as well.  I think that I will try to stick to fruits, veggies and items that are lighter as I don’t want to remake this unless I sell some.  It would be fun to create one using colored plastic bags.

What upcycleing projects have you come up with?
Are there any tutorials that you would like to see?



Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Laramie Photo Project

The Laramie Project: Photographs of Downtown Laramie

My photography was a part of the Works of Wyoming Member show.  The opening was Friday January 21, from 6-8 pm.  There was a live harpist a large variety of work.  The show will be up until February 18 and the gallery hours are 1-5pm, Monday - Friday.

Artists Statement:

I am currently a senior studying Graphic Design and Art at University of Wyoming.  From the time I was a little girl I have wanted to be an artist and am happy to say that this dream is coming true, and the details are falling into place.  One of my main goals is to use my art to help, and work with, people.  I have had the opportunity to give private art lessons to kids as well as working with an art therapist.  Both of these experiences have given me the opportunity to see the power that art has on an individual.
In school, I focus on conceptual design and believe this often carries through to my other work, although there are times that I abandon concept and simply design.  In addition to the computer, I enjoy working with ink and wash, jewelry, photography, sewing or a variety of other mediums.
In this series, I took photographs of Laramie’s downtown.  I took several images in and around the Connor Apartments, the Laramie Plains Civic Center, and other buildings.  This is just a small sample of these photographs.  Living in the Connor has opened my eyes to the beauty and intrigue of old architecture.  There are many stereotypes that a town or area may possess and one of my goals for this project is to encourage people to look around these old buildings, and Laramie, and see this new beauty rather than relying on their old pre judgments and expectations.

Here are some more of the photographs from the show and The Laramie Photo Project.
Each image is mated and for sale.  The dimensions of the mat are 9"x10 3/4"


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Finished Photo Cards & Questions

25 plus images

This project/self assignment was to recreate a deck of photo cards (the images are not recreated but rather the concept). The photo cards are used to start dialog and get to know people. Ideally you would have the cards set out in a public or semi-public space and engage people as the go by.


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The questions below are just sample questions. The best conversation would likely result if you ask questions in response to peoples original answers.

Alright guys so now that you have seen my 25 plus images here are some questions. You can pick as many as you want to answer. There are no right answers and no wrong answers. Do not be persuaded by what you think I want you to pick.

1. Which image is your favorite?
2. Which images best represents you?
3. Which image says spirituality?
4. Which image represents religion?
5. Which image gives you positive feelings? Negative thoughts or feelings
6. Which one makes you think of God?
7. Which image represents where you want to go in life or who you want to be?
8. Which image shows where you are in life?
9. What do you think about this game/dialog?
10. Which image represents you the least?
11. Which image would you best friend say represents you?
12. Pick an image and tell me why you picked it?
13. Make up a question of your own for me to answer after you answer it.

Also please keep in mind that these photographs are mine.  If you want to use them you at least need to give me credit as the photographer.  I would willing to trade links or something as well.  Thanks! 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Photo Cards

The student union at the University of Wyoming always has booths set up where students can get information about clubs, jobs and a chance to interact and learn with people from the community and/or other students.  One of these booths was set up by a Christian group on campus.

This particular table had a set of photo cards.  The people at the table would ask "which card they related to and why?" or "which card makes you think of God?"  The point was simply to find a creative way to engage in a conversation.  I am not sure where this idea came from or who the original photographer was, but it does seem that this game could be adapted to fit the needs of an art therapist.

I think that a fun project would be to create a set of images that would work for a game like this.  The set that I saw had a table full of 5x7 images.  Maybe my goal should be to create a set of 25 images or more to start.  These images will be both black and white and color.  When I get a set, I will update you and give you some more defined rules or question examples, but here are some possible images to start with.




Saturday, January 15, 2011

Show and Tell Poster Project

This was a fun project idea that teaches younger children how to use some of the basic tools in Adobe Illustrator.  The directions were mostly for me to simplify how to do things but I ended up giving a copy to the boy and he took and added his own notes to the sheet.  The poster ended up being too much for an hour, but it was a good introduction of the basic AI tools.
Here are the instructions I used.  I ended up adding more details.  You can use these, but I would recommend using your own.
The boys mom wanted projects that the boys could use in a middle school class.  We also built a website.  The idea behind the website was that the boy could ask a teacher if he could create different sections of a paper in different pages of a website.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My Current Business Cards

My Not-So-Currently Business Cards
See my real current cards

Here are some of my business cards that are floating around out there.  They are nothing special but I like them.  My overall goal was originally to design a conceptual baseed identity that was for my website, business cards, and everything else that involved me.  For now I am just using these cards.  I like the various designs and I like my name logo.  I know that I can come up with something better.
One thing that I do like about these cards is that I can get them printed for around 5 cents a page.  Then I cut them myself.  It is super cheap but for now it works.  I don't want to spend the money until I have a design that I know I want to stick with for a while.


I think that ones without photographs are my favorite because they represent my work better.  What do you think?  Which are your favorite?
See my real current cards

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Color Wheel Lesson

One of the best ways to help people understand color is by creating a color wheel. There are an infinite number of variations for this project for any age and capability level.

Basic Project

You will need paper, something to color with (paint is the best) and scissors.

Objectives:
To learn the basics about color
How to mix a specific color
Learn about basic color schemes including complimentary, split complementary, analogous, monochromatic, cool, warm and a triad.

When I did art lessons over the summer, I had the boys trace a plate from the kitchen to create a circle, cut it our and fold it in 6ths. I then had him color in every other section one of the primary colors (red, blue and yellow). We then talked about how mixing two of the colors would create another color that can go in the blank spaces. If you have paint and can actually mix the colors this will work best.

Once the color wheel is complete, you can talk about color schemes and how colors work together. A good list to start with is complimentary, split complementary, analogous, cool, warm and a triad. If you are using paint you can easily explain a monochromatic color scheme.

Edible Color Wheel

When I worked at the Cathedral Home for children, I was fortunate to be able to work with both the art teacher and art therapist. I saw how art can impact people and change kids lives.

One of the basic projects that I sat in on used Nilla Wafers, food coloring and frosting to talk about color. The students were each given the choice of doing a monochromatic color scheme or creating a color wheel.

Each student was given 6 cookies. The teacher and I placed spoonfuls of frosting on paper plates and added drops of food coloring. For example if a student wanted to create a red monochromatic color school they would get 6 small spoonfuls of frosting and 6 drops would go in the first spoonful of frosting. The students would then mix the frosting and food coloring to create 6 different colors or values. They then put the frosting on the cookies and get to eat them.

Art Therapy Color Wheel

After creating the color wheel of choice, have the patient pick a color, or color scheme, to use for a drawing of a self portrait, or a drawing of an emotion.  The drawing can be anything that represents them.

Questions:
Why did you pick those colors?
Why did you place yourself....?
Who/what is that with you?
If you had to add another color what would it be and why?
Are these you favorite colors?  Why?

Tech Savvy Color Wheel

A color wheel could be created using Adobe Illustrator or another program. This project could serve as an introduction to the program and the way color works on a computer.

Directions for this color wheel

Use the Ellipse tool (l) to create a circle.  Hold shift to create a perfect circle.Use the line segment tool to to draw a line in the center of the circle.Copy and paste a second line in front of the first.  Rotate about a third of the way around the circle.
Repeat.

Use various tools to fill in the color wheel.
I used the paintbrush tool for yellow,
the pathfinder, ellipse and rectangle tools  for green,
the pen for blue and purple,
the ellipse tool for red and
the type tool for orange.

More Variations


Teach someone to sew a pillow case or potholders, cross stitch, or embroidery a color wheel.

Challenge a student to create a fancy color wheel out of images that are a specific color.

Instead of using only primary and secondary colors, include 5 or more hues in-between the two primary colors. You can include shades and tints.

Have students find objects that fit in each of the basic 6 color sections. Then have them mix the exact color of the object. Cardboard is one of the hardest colors to match perfectly.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Healing Power of Art

One of the things that I am passionate about is helping people. I love working with troubled youth, homeless people and anyone else who wants or needs help. I have been given various opportunities to work with people using the arts and various craft skills. I would like to create a series of posts that have ideas for projects that I can use in the future as well as projects that I have used or have seen used.  These project will fall under the categories of art lessons or art therapy.

Some of the possible posts in these categories may include projects for young children as well as art therapy projects, projects for persons with disabilities and educational projects for children and people in various stages of life.

One lesson was how to draw this bike in Adobe Illustrator.
Over the summer, I had the opportunity to give a couple young boys art lessons.  I loved every aspect of it, from creating lesson plans that both challenged and encouraged the boys.  The younger boy was seven and loved art while the older boy was not a fan of school or art.  The older boy was a challenge for example he pretended to fall asleep on his computer while I was working with him.  The projects that I used for these classes will also show up in future blog posts.

I would like to continue teaching classes and giving lessons in the future.  I am hoping to help out at the Works of Wyoming gallery with some of their workshops and maybe give some private lessons as well. 

I also hope that some of these projects will serve others. If you have any project ideas, modifications, changes, or resources please comment or send them to me and I will post them for others to see.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

13 passions that are not art related

As we all know, I love art and design.  However, woman can not live on art alone.  She must have more.  Here are some aspects of my life that serve as both inspiration for my art as well as a break from my work.  I hope you enjoy.
My husband, Jim and Mt. Rainier
The beauty in nature anything from 1) tiny flowers to 2) gigantic mountains
3) Learning new things
4) Philosophy and psychology
5) Various religions and Jesus
People
6) My husband
7) Family
8) Homeless people
9) Troubled Youth
Being Healthy
10) Exercise – yoga and rock climbing and currently break dancing and bike riding.
11) Eating yummy healthy food
12) The three Rs (Reduce – Reuse – Recycle)
13) Relaxing baths

Even if you love your job there are aspects of your life that allow complete rest and rejuvenation; a much needed break from your job. What are some of those things in your life? How can they inspire your creativity or help energize you at work?

To see my artwork inspired by these passions check out 13 Projects Inspired by My non-Art Related Interests.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Package Design Inspiration


Packaging is not my favorite aspect of design (with the exception of my Conspiracy Theory CD package) however, these packages make me want to get to work and design.

Here are a couple of my favorites.



Can anyone explain this one to me?  I can't seem to figure it out.

Which is your favorite?