Everyone, Happy Christmas from my house to yours!

See the tree below?  Well this tree came to be because I could not get my family to cooperate and go get a real tree from the farmer’s market.  So this morning, December 22, I said to my son, “We are going to Walmart to get a tree.”

So here we go to Walmart at 8 AM.  We decided on a white tree with white lights.  We scooted out.  After we get home and get the tree set up, my daughter wakes up and is like, “NO!”

I knew that I had to come up with a plan.  I had wrapped all my presents in smiley face paper and I thoughts well, that is happy.
Then, I remembered that my daughter and husband had gone to meet an artist from Augusta, Georgia, that did happy art.
Here is a picture of the Happy artist, Leonard “Porkchop” Zimmerman with my daughter.  Click Here for previous post on Porkchop. We were doing a gift that included items from Augusta and Porkchop was kind enough to sign about 20 or so prints.  Porkchop met my family at the local coffee shop and signed in pencil, of course.
I illegally ran copies of Happy and shrunk 50 percent on the copy machine.  Then, I put red yarn on the art to make ornaments.  After that I used some painted paper to cut out “Happy Christmas”.

My daughter came in and smiled.
My husband came in and laughed.

Oh my son and I were so happy that Porkchop’s “Happy” had made our Christmas season so very Happy!

Kim and Karen both love Romero Britto.  To see previous posts, click HERE!   The project below was done by 3rd Graders.  Before the project began, I encouraged them to “not be so detailed.”  After they got their drawings done, I decided they did not listen to my pitch on less detail.  Oh well, the details really made the projects so much more fun!

We talked a little about Romero Britto.
The kids drew with pencil and then outlined with sharpie.
The kids painted the background.
The kids painted the trees.
The kids outlined.
Yes, the project took several weeks to complete.
I think the hard work was definitely worth it.
Check them out!

In my opinion, this project was a learning experience for the third graders.  They were told to consider not being so detailed, but many chose to ignore my recommendations.  It is all good though.  The kids did what they wanted to do.  I saw them going down Detail Road.  Eventually, they got to the red stop sign.  Then, they realized the devil was in the details.  I think it is much better for kids to realize some things on their own.  Until you experience some things first hand, you really do not get it.

I recently heard this song by James Brown and it really cracks me up.  It is a Christmas song full of soul and called “Soulful Christmas.”
I ran across Alexander Calder’s “Christmas Tree” and decided to try it with my 4th Graders.  According to my research, Calder did his “Christmas Tree” around 1970.
Below, you can see Alexander Calder’s “Christmas Tree”.  Calder used primary colors in his work.  I love it.

Directions for our version of Calder’s “Christmas Tree”

I talked a little bit about Calder.
I had the kids draw the tree with pencil.
The kids used stencils to make circles, yes, with pencil.
The kids outlined the pencil with sharpie.
The kids used acrylic paints for this project.

Results below-

Although, I could not find any information on Calder’s primary color Christmas tree above, I did find some information out about the Christmas tree sculpture by Calder below. 

In 1942 Alexander Calder was asked by a nurse friend to make some things to cheer up wounded soldiers convalescing in a Staten Island military hospital. One of those things: this awesome Christmas tree, cut from a tin can.(http://daddytypes.com/2014/12/25/alexander_calder_christmas_trees.php)

The idea of a nurse friend asking Alexander Calder to make something for wounded soldiers was pretty amazing.  The fact that Calder made something was even more amazing.  In 1942, he had hit the big time.  In 1943, Calder was honored as the youngest artist ever to have a retrospective exhibition at the art most prestigious venue, New York’s Museum of Modern Art. (http://www.theartstory.org/artist-calder-alexander.htm)
Calder making the sculpture for the wounded soldiers was pretty cool.  Obviously, the nurse friend felt comfortable asking her friend to make his art for a good cause.

Maybe all of us “art people” need to be more like Calder.
He had a friend that trusted him to say “yes” and make some art for a good cause.  He respected the wounded soldiers and chose to honor them by creating art.

Artists out there, we all get these requests to make this and that for everyone on a daily basis.  Saying no is much easier than saying yes, but saying yes is always rewarding.  I do not ever recall saying, “Oh boy, I wish that I would not have created that art.”

The song below does not have anything to do with Alexander Calder.  I just finished watching Season 1 of Stranger Things.  My two college aged kids got me interested in this strange show.  Anyway, the song “Should I Stay or Should I Go” by The Clash was actually in several episodes.  So, here goes…