Tangrams

First things first… I’m having computer problems these days so this will be my last blog post until said problems are resolved but you can always see my daily art on Facebook or Instagram.

Second, even though my blog title says tangrams, I’m starting with a mandala that I made yesterday.

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Third, here are some tangrams my students made during our fine motor activity. I printed the shapes from this website on cardstock and cut only around the square they formed. I had the students work on their scissor skills by cutting the pieces on their own. I noticed that instead of cutting the middle line to separate some pieces, they all cut each shape out individually. When all the pieces were cut and the scissors put away, they got to play with their tangrams by reproducing patterns I had printed out. Some of the patterns are in different colors because they come from this website. Each student left with their own little cardstock tangram in a little bag. In order for them to redo the activity, I gave them each a piece of paper on which I had printed the two website addresses I used.

Finally, inspired by today’s activity and this pin on Pinterest, I made my very own tangram stamps from a 2″ square of carving material. Fun!

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Hopefully, I’ll be back soon on the blog… Until then, thanks for visiting!

Oodles of doodles

Today, I’m showing you a ghost zentangle that I made yesterday, inspired by this mandala. And a “double draw” or two-handed drawing, which I first encountered here.

The latter was also a technique my students tried today in fine motor class, as well as the Michelangelo technique (lying on your back and drawing with your arm extended up), and the “easel” technique (standing with extended arm, the hand not touching the paper.) I noticed that a lot of kids were tempted to rest their wrist or even forearm on the paper while drawing standing and I kept telling them to reposition their arm. Each technique had its challenges but everyone seemed to have fun.

Doodling and geoboards

Today was my birthday but I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather. (And speaking of weather, it was unseasonably warm this afternoon.) I didn’t do much celebrating today. Dinner with the family was Saturday, and yesterday it was lunch with my coworkers. I did get a stack of birthday drawings from some students which was really sweet. And since I didn’t have any cake today, I decided to give myself a zentangle cupcake!

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Yesterday, I played with watercolors again to create a doodle frame and added details and letters with a paint pen.

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For my fine motor skills activity, we played with geoboards. My father made me four with nails, I bought a kit of six plastic squares, and we also used cork trivets with push-pins as well as looms that used to be for elastic bracelets (remember Rainbow Looms?)

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The kids enjoyed the different ways to work and I had different types of elastics so they could see the difference in tension and texture. It was a fun activity and pretty quiet too. I had printed models for them to reproduce but they ended up free-styling it the whole time and that was fine by me (creativity galore!)

Anyway, not a bad day for a birthday…

Art journaling

I’ve been itching to play with paints in my art journals lately. I always have at least 2 art journals going at once. Yesterday, I played in the small one (4.5″ x 6.5″) with watercolor pencils for a still-life while today, I played in the bigger one (8.5″ x 11″) with acrylics and ink for an abstract. Here are the results:

At work, for my fine motor group, we practiced our writing skills and pencil grasps by completing some drawings: adding feathers to an owl, scales to a fish, stripes to a zebra, etc. I kept telling the kids that this wasn’t to work fast but to work well as some of them were rushing through the pages. I asked a few of them to erase and restart some of their work as it was too sloppy but in general, they did well. I’m really impressed by their skills.

That’s all for today. I hope you have a nice weekend and I’ll be back on Sunday.

Doodling and Lego patterns

Let’s start today’s post with the fine motor skills portion. We had fun playing with Legos and following patterns I had printed off of the internet. I found the alphabet here, the color towers here, and the other models here. Oddly enough, they had a harder time with the color towers than the letters or other models. And I don’t know if it was because they were more excited but this was the first time that my fine motor activity was really noisy. I might have to figure out a different way to do it with the next class.

And I finally took a photo of my manipulation objects.

Now, on to the art portion with some doodled mandalas and a hand-lettered postcard. Nothing fancy but still fun.

Have a nice weekend! And if you’re Canadian, happy Thanksgiving weekend!

Drawing and threading

One thing that always surprises me is when I create something that I deem ordinary or even sub-standard and then receive a lot of “likes” and positive comments for it on social media. Yesterday’s piece was one of those. I was tired after my work day and a 3-hours line dancing class and not very inspired. Because I had all sorts of music going through my head, I decided to draw a treble clef and embellish it with some zentangles. I thought the end result was ordinary but it seems it caught the eye of a few of my friends ad family.

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Today’s creation is also a drawing but this time, I brought the charcoal pencil. It’s more of an experiment but I’m pleased with it. If I were to redo it, I wouldn’t add the big shadow blob below the feather but what’s done is done.

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Also, today was my fine motor skill activity and we had fun with threading. I supplied a variety of threading material: large and thin shoe laces, plastic lace, pipe cleaners. I also had various beads and buttons as well as pull-tabs from soda cans. Only one of the students had a hard time threading so I helped him by tying a big wooden bead on one end of a large shoe lace and showed him how to thread with my pieces of pool noodle. Once he got it, he moved on to the big wooden beads and then smaller ones. I added new objects to the manipulation basket which they loved: puffer balls, “fart putty”, bendable figurines and more stress balls.

Thanks for visiting!

Mixing it up

I don’t know what titles to give my posts anymore. It’s actually becoming a problem for me. Does anyone have ideas, tips? Do they actually need titles? Should I just leave it blank? Argh! Help!

Anyway, on to the post. I’m starting by showing you what we worked on in my fine motor skills activity today: graphic practice. We traced lines and shapes as well as numbers.

Everyone did very well and was so concentrated that we barely had time to use the manipulation objects so no photo of that.

Yesterday, I had no idea what I wanted to do for my daily art. I had a pile of book pages next to my desk so I decided to cut them and glue them in my art journal (8.5″ x 11″). Some of them already had paint and I added texture with some mesh tape so a light coat of gesso was all it took to make it more uniform. And I drew the glass with a charcoal pencil, smudged parts of it for the shadows and added a bit of white paint pen for extra lights. I really love how it came out. I might actually rip the page out of the journal to frame it!

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And finally today, I went for a hand-lettered quote in my “Words of Wisdom” composition book. Thanks for looking!

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