Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tints, Shades and Big Sky Country

Clouds, clouds and more clouds . . .

Montana is such a great place to appreciate the sky and clouds. When you need a picture of clouds and the sky is clear, you just wait a little while and then go outside and there they are, rolling in and bringing some thunder and lightning with them. 

Notice how the sun back lights the clouds. This is what I like to focus on in this lesson. It works with the moon, too!

I LOVE giving kids pictures like this to use for value/color experiments.

First, they create a sky background -- either dark to light like the photo below, or concentric circles around a moon or sun (like the first photo above).

Then come the clouds, also dark to light. I like to provide students with lots of photos to use as reference because the light is different in each setting.

When everything is dry, they cut out the clouds, leaving a border of white paper around part of the clouds for the back light, and arrange them on their sky, as in the first photo above.

Pretty soon we have LOTS of storm clouds brewing!!

What else does Montana scenery provide for the art room? Well, how about these:

1. I like this for foreground, mid-ground and background with strong colors in the front and pale colors in the back. It also illustrates large items up close, smaller items in back.
 2. Here is another example of larger trees up close, smaller trees in the distance. 
 3. I do love river rocks and find that they are a good way for kids to practice shading and shadows either with "real-life" colors or Fauve-like hues. More on that later:))

Hope everyone is enjoying the last few weeks of summer vacation before it is time to start thinking of re-booting for school:))

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Apricot Art - Sweeter than Ever!!

July around here means that the Blenheim Apricots are at the See Canyon stand at our Farmer's Market for 3 weeks. So each week I buy a new crate and the jam making begins in earnest!! When I get really motivated, I top the jars with these luscious colored cupcake liners and paint apricot gift tags to put on each jar. Such a labor of love!!

I wish you could smell the aroma permeating through my kitchen right now!!!!!

When the jam is done, I take the remaining apricots, split them in half and flash freeze them for a couple of hours on a cookie sheet. Then I dump them all in a 2 gallon bag and pop them in the freezer. That way, if I get hungry for an apricot pie a month or two from now, I still have them available. I tried this last year and used apricots right up until May to make pies and crisps!!

A friend of mine tells me that she eats the apricot jam I give her by the spoonful, right out of the jar. That got me thinking. I often drizzle honey on Greek yogurt for my breakfast, so this morning I tried a spoonful of apricot jam instead of the honey. YUM!!!

OK -- all this apricot talk is making me hungry. I am off to bake a pie:))