EXPLORE ART projects: Robert Delaunay Collages

Children's art collage project inspired by Robert Delaunay. Focusing on circles, primary and secondary colors.

Robert Delaunay  was an abstract artist that used orphism, a form of abstraction and cubism.  He focused on circular shapes and qualities of light,  using bold colors in his work. 

Ask your child what they think of his work? What kind of colors do they see? What shapes?  
To have your young child understand how he represented light in his paintings make the analogy when light comes through a window.  On a bright, sunny day light might shine threw your window reflecting different colors just as Delaunay did in his paintings.

Today's art project collage will focus on circles and how primary colors (red, blue, yellow) make secondary colors.  Red and blue make purple, red and yellow make orange and blue and yellow make green.  Using Delaunay's work as inspiration talk to your child about how he represented color and light in his images by using different colors and sizes of circles. 

  • Tissue Paper (red, blue, yellow)
  • Contact Paper
  • Scissors
  • Circular shapes to trace and stamp with
  • Glue Stick
  • Paint (red, blue, yellow)
-First layer your tissue paper together and trace several different size circles.  Holding the pieces of tissue paper to together cut out your circles.  This will save you a little bit of time from tracing and cutting out circles on each sheet of tissue paper.
- Next roll out and cut a piece of contact paper.  Then fold it in half and cut it again.  This will give you a front and back that are the same size without having to measure.  Set one piece aside for later and with the one you are going to use peel the paper off.  Leaving the only the clear sheet lay it on the table sticky side up.

-Gather all your tissue paper cut out circles in a pile or a plate and have your child begin to lay them on the sticky contact paper.  I had to remind Cy the paper was sticky so not to get his arm stuck on it.  After they have experimented and stuck several circles down encourage them to start layering their circles.  They can use the glue stick to glue circles on top of other circles.
Talk about Delaunay's work and how they saw different size and colored circles and how he arranged them in his picture.  Ask your child to explain how they are arranging their picture.

-One of the key lessons of this project is to illustrate how primary colors make secondary colors.  Have your child try and few different colored circles on top of each other and then hold up your paper to the light.  The will be able to see how layering the blue and yellow make green, blue and red make purple and yellow and red make orange.  This project focuses on the process of making art and gets your child thinking in the act how they are making these colors. 

-Once they have finished putting on their circles you can peel off the paper of the second piece of contact paper, that you had put to the side, and lay it over the finished picture.  Tip for working with contact paper start at one corner and slowly lay down the sheet smoothing your hand over it as you go.  This will help to not create any bubbles or bumps. 

-A second option we did with our next picture was to add paint to the tissue paper circles collage.  We stuck with the primary colors and used cardboard circles to stamp onto the contact paper sheet. You could also let your child paint over the tissue paper circles with a paint brush using the primary colors.  Remember to stop along the way to see what colors you are making by mixing your primaries together.  

Art with children is all about the process.  Let them explore art materials and express themselves. 


Sage's Buggin' out Party

 Sunday we celebrated Sage's 1st birthday with a buggin' out party.  The whole theme for his party was based around this cake.  A saw the idea months back of how to make a caterpillar cake using a bundt cake pan.  

It ended up turning out really cute.  I added an orange for the head, google eyes, pipe cleaner and a swedish fish for the tongue.  Cy helped decorate all the worms 'n dirt cupcakes the night before. 

 We named him Carl the caterpillar and well he was quite yummy.
We also had melon ball bug eggs, ants on a log, veggie bug legs, butterfly crackers, garden bruschetta, spinach swap dip 'n chips and snail roll ups (that weren't out in the photo).

Sage loved that he got to run around with a bunch of screaming kids, eat frosting and tear off all the "grass" streamers.  Afternoon well spent.  Glad we know how to keep the 1 year old happy-- Happy 1st Birthday my little love!


A year later: Sage's Birth Story

One year ago today we welcomed Sage Jackson Jones into the world.  We’ve retold his story over and over again and it still makes us smile.  Although at the time Sean wouldn’t have agreed. 

A week late, it seemed like he might never arrive.  After many false alarms I had given up and shrugged off those sharp pains because hey this kid just wasn’t coming out.  Sean had taken off work the week after Sage’s predicted due date, which we did enjoy just without the baby.  

So it was Sunday, the day before he had to go back to work and also the day of my niece’s 2nd birthday party.  After lunch we had to get ourselves together and get the birthday girl’s present wrapped.  I have to say at this point I knew in the back of my head that those sharp pains weren’t fading away like they had been.

We made it to the birthday party, about a dozen kids under 5 and Cy was having a blast.  Food, cake, games playing and presents.  My sister and mother in law kept asking me are you sure you’re okay you’re awful quiet.  I’m fine is all I’d reply.  By this time those sharp pains we quite regular, but I wasn’t going to get everyone together and make Cy leave the party for us to go sit in a hospital room for hours.  I had been induced with Cy and was in the labor room for over a day before he finally arrived. 

Finally we were headed home and I divulged to Sean that I was in labor, I left out the part that I had known since about noon.  I told him let’s get home get Cy settled and I’ll call my sister to stay with him over night.  I then sent Sean to his friend’s father's memorial service that he had planned on stopping in at.  My sister got over to the house after I got Cy to bed, we sat and talked for awhile.  When Sean got back to the house he was insistent that we needed to leave now.  But keep in mind I’m just as stubborn as my boys are, both a week late, and I made Sean wait.

We finally did make it down to the hospital, it was after hours and we needed to walk up to the maternity unit from the ER entrance.  About 10 feet down the hallway to the maternity unit I realized hmm.. I should have listened to Sean and gotten here an hour ago.  

We got checked in, gown on, both Grandmas arrived and they checked me.  9 cm.  I thought Sean was going to fall over, he said I told you we should have left sooner!  About the time the doctor made it to the hospital I was ready to push.  15 minutes later Sage came barreling into this world.  11:57 p.m. just in time to share his cousin's birthday date. 

There he was that perfect little rosy body with that unforgettable new baby wail.  He stole my heart and took my breath away all in one moment, one second of meeting him.

They took him down to the nursery to get all his information and Sean snuck down to peak in on him.  The nurse invited him in to give Sage his first bottle and offered a word of advice: if you and your wife have any more children next time get here sooner.  

Sage’s birth story is very fitting of him.  Half the time he’s just along for the ride, but he keeps up and when he wants your attention hey he’ll get it!

Happy 1st birthday to my little baby who is growing up so fast!
Thank you for letting me be your mother. 
Everyday is a gift.


Friday Finds: Creative Art Article

I came across this great article from earlychildhoodnew.com and it had me at hello.

 Creative Art Activities Promote Development 

 The article starts off with an example of a young boy who drew a picture for his mother.  His excitement to show his mother his picture of buttercups was met by "what is it?" and a critique of what color he used.    

Reading the example you can feel the disappointment of the little boy.  But how many times do we often critique our own children's art work?  I know I've used the "what is it?" question.

The article explains the importance of the process of art work over the final product for young children.  A beautiful painting is not the goal for a child but rather to express, explore, experiment and be creative.

A great alternative to the "what is it question?" might be "can you tell me about your art work?".  This will not only show your child you are interested and place value in their artwork, it will also let you connect with them in a dialogue about their work.
The article goes on to discuss art promoting creativity, self- confidence, and how art teaches task analysis.  It outlines the stages of art development from 2-6 years old: 
  • Ages 2 -3--scribbling. All children, regardless of their culture, make the same markings, in the same way at approximately the same age. 
  •    Ages 2-4--scribbles take shape and look like circles, ovals, squares, triangles and crosses. 
  • Ages 3-5--children begin to make designs from the shapes they have been drawing. 
  • Ages 4-5--designs take on the form of people 
  • Age 5-6--children are at the pictorial stage
I found it interesting regardless of their culture children make the same markings, in the same way at the approx. the same age.  Talk about a universal language! 
 The creative art, article, ends with saying creative art isn't for a specific time it should be a part of your child's everyday.  They included art materials list, art activity ideas and even recipes for play dough.  

So what's stopping you connect with your child and  EXPLORE ART!


EXPLORE ART project: Animal Collage Wall Mural

Today's project was adapted from a project Cy did a W Kids, Wegman's child care service for while you shop. (Yes I love Wegman's in so many ways)

Animal Wildlife Wall Mural
It is a combination of coloring, construction paper and studying animals. 
Oh, and of course fun.

  • Coloring book or printed coloring sheets of animals land, water and animals that can fly
  • Construction paper green, blue, white, yellow
  • scissors, tape and crayons

Step 1: Have your child pick a variety of animals and color them. We used a Jack Hanna coloring book.  Expand your lesson and look at real photos of the animals while they are coloring.

Once your child has colored a variety of animals, those that live in the water, on land and those that can fly, you or your child can cut them out of the coloring pages.  Then set them aside while you work on the next couple of steps. 

Step 2: Next we have to work on our backdrop for the wall mural.  Using construction paper you will have to make a green grass area, blue water area  and clouds and a sun for the sky.  I used a couple of full sheets of green to make the grass, snipping about an inch and a half down along the whole top.  Do the same for the water area, using a full sheet of blue cutting a curved line across the top for “waves”.  Next cut out a circle for your sun, we added rays.  And last a few fluffy clouds.

Step 3: Tape everything up on your wall and you are ready to get started.  Use blue painters tape if you’re worried about paint peeling off.

Step 4: Cy collected all of his colored and cut out animals.  We picked up one at a time and Cy named it and said where it had to go.  If it lived in the water, land or could fly.  We rolled a piece of tape on the back and he stuck it in the right area on the wall.

Cy had a lot of fun with this project, which I do tend to say about every project but art is fun!  He was able to color each one of his animals, help cut them out and then create a collage wall mural.  Kids aren’t always given the opportunity to create BIG pictures.  Letting him use the whole wall he had more space and freedom to decide where he wanted to place things. 

Let their imagination have no limits. Let them explore art through everyday fun!    


Parenting Thursday: Routine Charts

We are transitioning into Autumn and falling into order.  Poor Cyrus is so excited for school to start, but a little confused of the where and when.  The boys' summer schedule has been a little here and there.  They are at their Aunt Robins most of the time, Nana took Cy a day a week for a while, my mom had Cy for Tuesday story time and a half a week the end of July add that into a few days I took off.  We have also started to talk to Cy about his new schedule that will start when he goes to school. 

No wonder every morning for the past week he has gotten up and ask “Mommy where am I going today?”.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he started asking “Mommy who am I, where am I going and what is going on?!”.

  First, to start understanding how many days are left before school starts I made Cy’s School Countdown Calendar.  I cut out and added a few weeks that are left in August once the calendar was printed.  
There’s a star on  September 7th, the first day of school, and we’ve started to check off the days leading up to it.  Now he can’t keep telling me he’s going to school tomorrow, he can look at his calendar and know how many days are left.

  Next we are working on the routine of bedtime, which Cy likes to stretch into one more show, one more book and a fight with pajamas.  

Bed time chart shows him at 8:00 (still working on telling time, so I went with a visual he can compare to our clock) he gets a TV show, this is also his last chance for a cup of juice and a light snack.  Then TV is OFF and we read a couple books, get pajamas on and brush our teeth.  Then it’s lights out.

      We are going to try a similar chart for his wake up routine.  Morning chart starts with waking up, getting dressed and making up the bed.  I’ve found this is better to do once he is first up otherwise he gets into too many other things to focus on his morning responsibilities.  

Next is breakfast, this is a big one because I’ve been so lax with this for so long.  I never worried if he didn’t eat he could always eat at the babysitters, even his short stay at daycare they ate breakfast in the morning there.  If breakfast is accomplished he usually gets a bit of play time before we need to get out the door.  That’s followed by clean up, brushing his teeth and getting on a pair of shoes (well till it gets cold enough to include putting on a coat too).

Visual charts that Cy can keep record on seem to work good with him.  Be Good Chart worked wonders a few months ago.  He definitely is my child and needs visual reminders and something to keep him on track so he doesn’t wander into starting too many things when he’s suppose to be doing something else!  

We are all looking forward to autumn and a little bit more structure in our daily routine.  I’d like to say things will slow down a bit but I just started filling in a blank calendar with all the odds n’ ends and things we already have to do for the month.  I guess I can say that’s not happening, but hopefully being organized will help us save on time. 

A little adds up here and there. I'll take what I can get.  Besides I think the universe and I are getting back on track, things will be okay.

EXPLORE ART: Cezanne inspire Fruit Still Life

A simple still life, an arrangement of objects, can be a fun children's art project.

Creating a simple still life can teach them how to observe objects and reflect what they see.  I am going to use the artist who was going to 'conquer Paris with an apple', Paul Cezanne to provide a few examples of a fruit still life. 

Cezanne was a french, post- impressionist who paved the way for the development of modern art.  He is widely known for his still life compositions, which he painted over 200 of, and his landscapes.

Cezanne was a master of elements, taking great care in the color, tone and composition of his images.  He found importance in the sensation of how we saw an object and the abstraction of nature.

Start a discussion with your child about how Cezanne re-created the image of the fruit still life.  What colors did he use for the fruit, how did he arrange the fruit in his image?  

  • Fruit to arrange
  • Paper
  • Construction paper
  • Paint
  • Fruit Sponge Stamps (found at the Dollar Store)

      First we arranged our fruit in a bowl, making sure to be able to see each piece.  Don't mind the pepper it's standing in as a pear.

    Cy choose three colors of construction paper of his bowls.  Draw a simple outline of the bowl shape and then cut it out.

    Using a glue stick allow your child to place the cut out bowl on their paper.  Ask your child if they would like to work with the paper vertical or horizontal, often they don't know they have the option and use it however it's given to them.

     Ask your child what colors they will need for the fruit, having them pay attention to natural colors just like Cezanne.  Cy named his fruit colors and we poured a little of each color onto paper plates to stamp our fruit sponges in.

    With paint on each sponge your child can press and stamp the shape onto their paper.  Now this is the important part of the project where you want your child to look at the arrangement of the real fruit still life and use that as a guide to where they stamp each piece of fruit in their picture.  Just how Cezanne took care to study his composition, arrangement of fruit.

    And there you have it a Cezanne inspired Fruit Still life using fruit sponge stamps.  The only drawback of using the stamps are the shapes/sizes are predetermined, if you can't see our strawberries are the same size as our apple.

    For older children or another still life project to follow the stamped fruit have your child paint their own fruit.  They can still study the elements of Cezanne, natural colors and shapes and composition.  
    They will have to focus even more on observing colors, shapes, sizes and arrangement without the aid of stamp shapes.

    Who knew EXPLORE ART could be fun and tasty!  Enjoy your child's fruit still life by displaying it and enjoy your real fruit by eating it. 


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