Taratories Blog

More Than Meets the Eye

Recently I did an art lesson with my art class based on the book, "Over and Under the Snow" by Kate Messner, illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal.  The book takes readers on a trip through the woods in winter discovering the secret world of animals living under the snow.  

I decided that collage would be a good medium of choice for this project.  They were allowed to use a mix of construction papers and pieces from magazines.  I instructed them to start from the top and work their way down, that way they could overlap their pieces without covering anything important.  The goal was to have 3 layers including the background (sky), middle ground (landscape), and underground! I love the affect of the different white pieces from magazines that were used to create the snow.  There is so much more shading and texture that comes from using magazine pieces compared to just using white paper.  

I taught them how to draw a variety of animals that they could draw and put into their scenes.  I showed them step by step how to draw an owl, squirrel, bear, mouse, and a fox.  I love the variety of scenes that they came up with!  As I thought about these underground winter habitats, I thought about how sometimes we are fooled by other surfaces we encounter.  Just like these animals that are hidden from the naked eye, in the same way we are fooled by what we see on the surface of people in the world around us.  Sometimes it takes getting to know people on a deeper level to find out what is really going on inside.  I am guilty of making judgements of people based on my first impressions, but I want to work hard to always give people a chance to show who they really are.

I also have a friend a fellow artist here in Akron named Deborah Shapiro http://deborahshapiroart.com/ who creates works of art from torn pages of magazines.  I shared this video of hers to my students to give them some inspiration for their collages...

Au Revoir!

For my homeschool art class today we were learning about Norman Rockwell and I decided to let the students turn one of his famous paintings called "Freedom from Want" into a fun collage.  They were able to include their own face in the collage and redesign the painting as they wished.  They made their own custom background and Thanksgiving feast using magazine and grocery ad cutouts.  These pieces definitely reflected their personalities!  Notice the placement of their heads and choices of foods, etc.  They had a lot of fun with this and I enjoyed watching them be silly with this project!  

This year I will not be here for Thanksgiving.  In fact I will be leaving the country tomorrow as I head off for a 10 day adventure in France!  I am going to Paris for a couple of days and then joining others out in the french countryside to do mission work there for a week.  Getting the opportunity to step out from my everyday life here at home and break out of the norm for a little bit is beyond thrilling for me.  16 years ago I went to Paris on my honeymoon and it was an incredible experience!!  

Our view of the eiffel tower right around the corner from where we stayed at the Hotel Amelie.

Our view of the eiffel tower right around the corner from where we stayed at the Hotel Amelie.

Alongside working with the missionaries in France and I am hoping that I get lots of inspiration from this trip to infuse into my art.  I don't see how this wouldn't be accomplished in a place like France... such history and beauty before you everywhere you turn.  

Street artists in my favorite place in Paris... Montmartre!

Street artists in my favorite place in Paris... Montmartre!

Besides leaving my husband and four children, I am also leaving a room full of wooden diamonds that have been made for our winter set.  I can't wait to see all of them put together to make the snowflakes when I return from my trip!!!  Later blog posts will reveal all of our hard work that went into these sets, so stay tuned.  

Mais pour l'instant au revoir (but for now goodbye)!!!