5th Grade spent a month painting these angels.  This project was one of my very favorite ever.  I love Howard Finster.  I love folk art.  I love these 5th Graders!
The kids spent a lot of time drawing the angels.
I talked guided them by placing the same size paper as they were using on the board.  I threw one of Howard’s Angels up on the screen.  I showed them using a ruler where to put the head, the body, and the hands by using measurements.  They placed hash marks to note the location of each major body part on their paper.  I really think this helped better the results.
We drew.
We painted.  They did mix their own colors for some parts of the angels.
We outlined.
We touched up.
Oh boy, check out these amazing angels.

We have posted many times on Howard Finster.  Have a look HERE!
Howard Finster was a preacher man hence the following song by Aretha Franklin.  Great gospel version, here.  Wowzy.
7th Grade made Howard Finster Santas Click HERE for Santa post.  When we were doing the Santa project, we decided to do Howard Finster angels to put around the Santas in the display area.
We looked at some of Howard Finster’s work.  Click here for previous Howard Finster posts.
We focused on his angels.
Kids drew.
Kids painted.
Fun and easy for 7th Grade and really added to our display.
Below is Howard Finster’s work for The Talking Heads album cover.  Look closely and you will see the angels in the artwork.
When you look at Finster’s work, you really have to look to see the angels…Made me think of the song “Undercover Angel” by Alan O’Day released in 1977.
I absolutely love Howard Finster’s work.  Howard Finster passed away in 2001, but this art teacher continues to spread his folk art to the younger generations.  Howard was from Summerville, Ga.  You can find loads of information about Howard online at Paradise Garden Foundation. Here’s the link to his homepage that his daughter Beverly still has some of his artwork available for sale.   Howard Finster Homepage.  We have posted several times on Howard Finster.  Have a look HERE.
The project?
It started with the book below.  

From the inside of the dust jacket…..
“Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; The stocking were hung by the chimney with care, In Hope that St. Nicholas soon would be there…..”
So begins Clement C. Moore’s beloved Christmas classic, illustrated here with the mesmerizing art of Howard Finster.
Illustrated countless times through the years, this ballad by the nineteenth-century poet is now realized for the first time through the eyes of a popular twentieth-century folk artist. An artist with the gift of imagination for making the ordinary extraordinary. Finster transforms these familiar holiday verses with his unparalleled style and brings a fresh new vision to the classic tale.
Vivid paintings bring to life this story of the chance sighting of the world’s best-loved gift giver – Santa Claus. Working in the folk-art tradition, Finster offers an original and exciting visual approach to the well-known Yuletide treasure and creates a fascinating union between the traditional and the uniquely contemporary.
For Finster’s many fans and followers, this book is a showcase for his amazing talents and his positive, spiritual outlook on life. The self-taught folk artist and self-proclaimed Man of Visions who developed an international reputation for capturing divinely inspired images, in wood, in stone, and on glass (or any other handy medium), has now captured the magic of Christmas in twelve stunning illustrations.
A selection of inspirational messages that are always incorporated into Finster’s art surround the poem, and a brief biography of Howard Finster follows the illustrations. Painting the illustrations for The Night Before Christmashas brought this eighty-year-old folk artist back in touch with his own childhood. From an eccentric, world-renowned visionary come pictures of an earlier, simpler time filled with wonder.
The Reverend Howard Finster dedicates the book with love to all children, Big and small, and his dream of restoring Paradise Garden, his outdoor museum in Summerville, Georgia – a true winter wonderland that attracts thousands of visitors every season of the year.”
Howard Finster passed away in October of 2001 at the age of 84. His memory will live on forever in his art and in Paradise Garden in Summerville, Georgia, in the northwest corner of the state.


I talked about Howard Finster and showed an R.E.M. video that was filmed at Paradise Garden. R.E.M. at Paradise Garden.
I showed them the book.  Yes, I have a copy.
They drew.
They painted Santa.
They painted the angels and the clouds.
They put fun smiley faces on clouds.

I love these Santas and I think Howard Finster would too.
Howard Finster.  R.E.M.  The Squalls.  The Squalls?
The Squalls singing “Na Na Na Na.”
The best of times in Athens, GA, in the 1980s.


Don’t you just love Jessie from Toy Story?  She is one of my favorites.  This cool watercolor painting is also one of my favorites.  The details are pretty amazing.
So how did this project come to be?  Well, I just happened to see this picture hanging in my house.  I thought that it would make a good project for 8th grade.  I was interested in incorporating some two point perspective in the 8th Grade project.   Also, I always like to talk about Georgia folk artist, Howard Finster.  Click HERE for more posts on Howard Finster.  I chose to focus on two point perspective rather than the folk art aspect..
I spent a few days reviewing two point perspective.

I explained to the students that we were not doing a folk art lesson, but we were focusing on an idea similar to the one that Howard Finster had in his Mickey Mouse painting.  I did require them to do at least one building in two point perspective. 

The students picked out a cartoon character for their painting.
I had them get the landscape drawn.
Then, they traced their cartoon character on the light table.
Just to switch things up, we painted with watercolor.  I think acrylic would have been a better choice.

Here are the results.

I found this tidbit of information interesting.  Keith Haring, famous pop artist, was known for visiting Howard Finster’s Paradise Garden often to get inspiration.  He gave Howard the sculpture below.  Look closely at the bottom of the sculpture.  It appears to be a collaborative piece with Finster’s Coke bottles on the bottom.
Here is a great video discussing Howard Finster and his art.  Thanks to Dan Traveling for sharing on YouTube.  In the video, you will see the Keith Haring sculpture at 3:59.
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