May 2, 2014

Styrofoam Animal Prints

        A month ago I visited some fourth grade art classes and got the children started on a relief printing project.  This week I took down the big show at the school where I had been the special guest artist, and while I was there to gather up all my work, I got a chance to see the finished prints the kids had made.  I really enjoyed them, and I think you will, too!
        I had shown the classes images of a lot of my animal prints, and pointed out how pictures in black and white (or only two colors) can’t rely on color for interest, but have to emphasize texture and pattern. We talked about different kinds of textures and patterns: fur, feathers, scales, spots, stripes, zigzags, realistic textures and more stylized patterns…  Then each student picked a New England creature and began to draw their design.  That’s as far as I 
got with them in one class period, and their art teacher is the one who gets the credit for helping them do such a great job on the project.  They eventually transferred their designs to styrofoam sheets, and then finally printed.
        You can see in the picture of part of the display wall that many of the kids experimented with different colors of ink and paper for different effects, as well as experimenting with some different textures and patterns.  Aren’t they cool?  I’m so glad I got the chance to join their classes.

        Yesterday I was with three other classes of fourth graders in another school, this time talking about writing.  I worked with them on several small writing exercises in addition to my presentation.  Unlike with the relief prints here, I don’t expect to get the chance to read any of their finished stories, but it was a blast to see some of those kids, at least, getting so fired up about writing!

        And today I’ll set up for Needham Open Studios, which is this weekend.  Come by and see me if you’re in the area.  (Go to the NOS web site for the map to find me at my great new location.  There will be 7 of us there, with lots of room for big, beautiful displays.)  So enough blogging - I need to get back to work on preparing for the show!




[Pictures: Fourth grade styrofoam prints at Tenacre School, 2014;
Bear;
Owl;
Deer;
Rabbit;
Flying Squirrel, 2014.]

2 comments:

  1. I always picture animal prints either with garments of the same color(s) as the print, either with red. This combination is really unexpected, yet so perfect! I especially love the green.

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  2. Trust kids to do the unexpected! What I enjoyed seeing was that most of them tried several different color combinations.

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