Posts Tagged 'DIY'



Pollock for the People!

Art Babies Pollock.jpg

For the last few months here at the DMA, we’ve been proclaiming “Pollock for all!” From toddlers to teens, and grade schoolers to grannies, the exuberant and lyrical works of “Action Jackson” have inspired thoughtful discussions, messy art, and even a dance performance! As a museum educator, one of the things I love most about Pollock’s work is his approach to putting paint on a canvas by splattering, flinging, dripping, and dropping (a process we often refer to as action art). When you have a bunch of squirmy three year-olds, Pollock makes all kind of sense! But Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots goes beyond Pollock’s all-over paintings and explores a body of work known as the black pourings, in which Pollock’s trademark action is tightly controlled, sweeping and swooping over the canvas to create figures that almost seem to be hiding amidst black lines, puddles, and splatters.

The exhibition has inspired all kinds of Pollock-ing in the studio, proving that no matter how old or young you are, Pollock is for all ages! Read on for some Pollock-inspired ideas you can try at home.

Art Babies Pollock 2

Babies

Our Art Babies class wiggled and giggled our way through the Pollock exhibition, then enjoyed sensory play inspired by the artist’s work. Pollock’s all-over paintings often remind me of a tangle of lines, with one line twisting and turning over another, so I created a sensory bin of “Pollock lines” for the little ones to explore. One little guy couldn’t get enough of throwing fistfuls of “noodles” into the air as high as he could. Recreate this at home with a large bin of either plastic cording or cooked spaghetti noodles (follow this helpful DIY recipe). But remember, since babies tend to put everything in their mouths, this activity does require grown-up supervision!

Arturo's Preschool Pollock

Toddlers and Preschoolers

If you are feeling brave, suit up your children in their messiest clothes, cover the floor with a drop cloth (or paint outside), and let them go to town, dribbling and splattering paint onto paper. If that idea has convinced you that Pollock is not for you, here are some less messy alternatives.

Marble painting is a fun way to get a feel for the energy and action Pollock might have used, while containing the mess. Place a piece of paper and a marble in a large box or box top, squeeze puddles of paint onto the paper, then have your child tip and shake the box back and forth to roll the marble through the paint. In no time at all, you’ll have a Pollock-ing, rollicking masterpiece.

Or if you want to avoid paint all together, substitute markers, yarn, and contact paper for the messy stuff. Have your child throw, dribble or drop pieces of yarn onto a piece of paper to create some Pollock-like lines. Cover the entire piece of paper with clear contact paper to seal the yarn in place. Then use colored markers (permanent works best on the contact paper) to create puddles of color. Pollock’s Convergence served as our inspiration for this project, and the children loved the layered effect.

Homeschool Pollock

Elementary & Middle School

The Pollock exhibition at the DMA features an entire gallery of paintings Pollock created on paper rather than canvas. We tried a similar approach using Japanese paper, droppers, and liquid watercolor. Layer two or three sheets of paper together, then gently move the dropper around the paper, squeezing watercolor as you go. Watch as different colors swirl and puddle together, then separate the individual pieces of paper to discover what images have soaked through.

Teens

At a recent Late Night event, we used scribble bots to create a modern take on Pollock’s work. All you need is a plastic cup, a toy motor, a battery, and a brush to make your own painting robot! The motor sends the robot skittering across the paper, and the paintbrush “captures” the movement in visual form. Download step-by-step instructions here: Scribble Bot Instructions.

Dance for PD Pollock

Any Age

This final project is as mess-free as you can get! And it provides the most amazing results. Since November, we’ve been privileged to be a part of the Dance for Parkinson’s Disease program. We’ve hosted a wonderful group of individuals who have regularly visited the Museum galleries, and, under the direction of Misty Owens, choreographed a dance performance inspired by Jackson Pollock. As part of the choreography process, the group created light graffiti using laser pointers, flash lights, and a DSLR camera. It’s like painting in the air! This tutorial gives some great tips on creating your own light graffiti. To see Pollock in dance form, join us for the Dance for PD performance in the Center for Creative Connections on Friday, February 19 at 2:00 p.m.

So are you convinced? Ready to join our “Pollock for the People” crusade? We’d love to see what Pollock inspires you to do. Share your Pollock creations on social media with #DallasSpotsPollock and tag us @DallasMuseumArt.

Leah Hanson
Manager of Early Learning Programs

 

Quick Craft: Pumpkin Pie Sculpture

Inspired by Wayne Thiebaud’s scrumptious pie paintings, I whipped up a little DIY activity for young art lovers to make their own pumpkin pie art (no baking required!).

Materials needed:

  • One paper plate
  • Orange tissue paper
  • Cotton balls
  • Glue stick (Elmer’s glue also works, but is a bit messier!)
  • Scissors

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Step 1:

Cut your plate into 6 pie slices.

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Step 2:

Cut tissue paper into small squares.

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Step 3:

Glue tissue paper pieces down to paper plate slice. Overlap your tissue paper pieces until the flat part of the plate is covered, leaving the edge of the “crust” white.

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Step 4:

Glue a cotton ball to the center of your pie slice for a dollop of whipped cream.

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Tah-Dah! Experiment with using different colors of tissue paper to create other flavors of pie.

You can see some of Wayne Thiebaud’s delicious artwork in the exhibition International Pop, on view at the DMA until January 17, 2016.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Emily Wiskera
McDermott Graduate Intern for Family and Access Teaching

 

Art to Go Family Totes at Home: DIY Story Dice

Whether you’re seeking sunburn-free, sweat-free fun this summer or new experiences to share with your family, the DMA has what you’re looking for! As usual, the Art Spot in the Center for Creative Connections is open every day for art-making and exploration, and our Family Guides are always available at the front entrance for exploring the galleries. Weekdays and Saturdays through June and July will also offer different (air-conditioned!) activities as part of the DMA’s Summer Family Fun. These activities include the Pop-Up Art Spot, story time and family tours, and our wonderful Art to Go Family Totes.

A family using the Color Art to Go Family Tote and story dice in Between Action and the Unknown: Shiraga/Motonaga.

A family using the Color Art to Go Family Tote and story dice in Between Action and the Unknown: Shiraga/Motonaga.

An important thing to note is that the Art to Go Family Totes are only available this summer on Tuesdays between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.! In June, we’ll have them out for use in Between Action and the Unknown: The Art of Kazuo Shiraga and Sadamasa Motonaga, and in July you can find them up on Level 4 in Formed/Unformed: Design from 1960 to the Present.

If you can’t wait to make it to the Museum to try out our Totes, or have already enjoyed them and wished you could have the Art to Go experience at home, here’s a quick and easy DIY to help you recreate one of the activities from our Color Tote.

DIY Story Dice

Art to Go Family Tote - Color, Writing Activity

Color Art to Go Family Tote – Writing Activity: Once Upon a Time

The Art to Go Family Totes include activities to MAKE, PLAY, TALK, and WRITE. This “Once Upon a Time” writing activity is one of our favorites and includes two ‘story dice’ to inspire a story written with a piece of artwork as its setting. Our dice are pretty simple–images of possible main characters and colors are pasted on the sides of two cube-shaped cardboard boxes (small ones that fold down for easy storing).

Color Art to Go Family Tote - Writing Activity Story Dice

Color Art to Go Family Tote – Writing Activity Story Dice

To make your own story dice at home, you could use boxes like we have here (big or small – play with proportions!). Other options include small wooden craft blocks or making your own paper cubes. If you’re feeling ambitious, you could even put together this twelve-sided paper dodecahedron to use instead of the traditional six-sided dice shape!

Once you have the base for your die, all that’s left is to decide which theme you’re going to assign to it, pick out images or words to convey different ideas for each side, and attach your images. The possibilities are absolutely endless. To get you started, here are a few ideas for combinations of themes:

  • Attach images of family members on one die and parts of an adventure on others: settings for the adventure, modes of transportation, treasures to hunt, etc.
  • Fill one die with superhero images and another with giant monsters to face off in an epic battle!
  • Make murder mystery themed dice (for older storytellers) with possible murder weapons, locations of the murder, and prime suspects.
  • Have entirely artwork-based dice: cover one with your favorite portraits, one with landscapes, and one with still lifes or ancient artifacts–or anything else you might think of.

With a little imagination and teamwork, any kind of story dice you create can lead to a GREAT story and a serious brain workout! You can even re-purpose your story dice. Maybe on a day when you’re feeling more like an illustrator and less like an author, just give your dice a roll and voilà! Your story ideas work just as well for creating a new piece of artwork. Have a go at it and let us know in the comments how your efforts turn out. And don’t forget to stop by the Museum to check out the rest of our Art to Go Family Tote activities and other Summer Family Fun experiences!

Jennifer Sheppard
McDermott Intern for Family and Access Teaching

Make This: Sound Prints

Have you ever wondered what a painting might sound like if you could listen to it? With conductive ink, a Makey Makey, and some basic software, you can add a new level of interactivity to your artwork through the use of sound! In this guide, I’ll show you how to make a print that will make sounds when you touch it. These sounds are completely reprogrammable and can be changed on the fly, giving you lots of possibilities for what you can create.

A Makey Makey is an interface that connects to your computer which allows you to create your own tactile inputs that will take the place of certain keys on your keyboard.

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The Makey Makey can be connected to different conductive materials to replace your keyboard’s arrow keys, space bar, mouse button, and more

For the purpose of this project, you’ll be using conductive ink to create three interactive areas on your work of art that will be hooked up to the Makey Makey and act in place of the arrow keys on your computer. We’ll then use Soundplant to map different sounds to those keys, which will allow those areas to play a sound when touched.

Supplies:

  • Copy paper for making a stencil
  • Exacto knife
  • Cutting mat
  • Conductive ink
  • Screen printing screen
  • Squeegee
  • Heavy printing paper
  • Copper tape (optional)
  • Makey Makey kit ($45; MakeyMakey.com)
  • Soundplant software
  • Computer

Step 1: Screen print your image with the conductive ink. 

I like the paper stencil method, but use whatever technique you like best. For help on printmaking with stencils, check out my past post on screen printing. Let your print dry fully before proceeding. IMG_2673 IMG_2674 IMG_2676

Step 2: Connect your print to the Makey Makey. 

Again, for the purpose of this post, I’m choosing three areas on my print that will activate the Makey Makey when they are touched. You can connect them directly to the device using alligator clips (included in the kit). Remember to connect the clips to the proper inputs on the Makey Makey–in this case, the left, right, and up arrows.

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Step 3: Upload some sounds. 

I found a bunch of sounds for this project using free online sound libraries and saved them as mp3 flies on my computer. The Soundplant site has some good suggestions for libraries to use. I tried to look for sounds that would complement my print in a weird or unexpected way.

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Step 4: Map your sounds to the keyboard using Soundplant.

Open up Soundplant and assign one sound file to each of the left, right, and up arrow keys by dragging the file onto the software’s virtual keyboard. Soundplant even offers some basic editing tools, allowing you to adjust the length of your sound clip, add various effects, and more!

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Step 5: Connect the Makey Makey to the computer and play!

Plug the Makey Makey into your computer’s USB port. Be sure to also connect an extra alligator clip and wire to the space marked “Earth” at the bottom of the board. Hold the metal part of the alligator clip at the other end of the wire between your fingers and touch the interactive areas of your print with your other hand. Your computer should play the sounds you mapped to the different areas! You should also see the playback of your clip on the computer. If you’re having trouble getting it to work, make sure the volume is up on your computer, that all your connections are correct, and most importantly, that you are connected to the Makey Makey as well.

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The fun part of this project is that the sounds you choose can totally change the way people experience your artwork. A set of funny, quirky sounds will provoke a very different response from the viewer versus ones that are dark and foreboding. And because the Makey Makey will work with most conductive materials, you can create interactive sculptures, installations, and more! Additional project ideas can be found on the Makey Makey website.

JC Bigornia
C3 Program Coordinator

Paper Peonies and Tissue Tulips: Build Your Own Beautiful Bouquet!

With last week’s opening of Bouquets: French Still-Life Painting from Chardin to Matisse, you might say we’re all abuzz with excitement here at the Museum. Although fall is just arriving, all we can think of are these beautiful blooms!

It’s easier than you might think to recreate some of your floral favorites at home. Try modeling your bouquet after one you might have seen or put together the posy of your wildest dreams. I took my inspiration from the DMA’s own Bouquet of Flowers in a Blue Porcelain Vase.

Bouquet of Flowers in a Blue Porcelain Vase (1776), Anne Vallayer-Coster

Anne Vallayer-Coster, Bouquet of Flowers in a Blue Porcelain Vase, 1776, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Mrs. John B. O’Hara Fund and gift of Michael L. Rosenberg

There are some great tutorials online for making your own paper flowers. Martha Stewart Weddings can show you how to make some really lovely, delicate flowers here, and the Rust and Sunshine blog (here) has easy to follow instructions to make a variety of blooms with a little bit of inventive folding. With the help of these tutorials, I made carnations, roses, and star lilies. I couldn’t find a tutorial I liked for making irises, so I designed my own! You can print off this template and follow the directions below to make them too.

A quick note before we get started: for some flowers (particularly irises and lilies, whose petals you want to stand up a little bit), you might find that a sturdier paper works better for you. This is the perfect time and place to experiment! I liked the unified look of having all my flowers made out of tissue paper, but it’s your bouquet, so you’re the boss.

What you’ll need to make irises:

  • Tissue paper in a variety of colors – blue, purple, and yellow are pretty common for irises, though they come in a number of other colors as well
  • Pipe cleaners or art wire (for the stems)
  • Scissors
  • Clear tape
  • Optional: paint, glitter, glue, markers, colored tape, vase

If you opted to use something like card stock instead of tissue paper, cut out only one each of Iris A and Iris B and skip ahead to Step 4. If you’re using tissue paper like me, you’ll need to take an extra step or two to give the petals a little structure, so start here.

1. Trace and cut out two each of Iris A and Iris B in your tissue paper of choice. Double-layering the tissue paper will help beef up the flower.

2. Roll six pieces of tape – one for each pair of petals – in on themselves, sticky side out. Lay one tape roll lengthwise along each petal of one set of Iris A and Iris B. Make sure you don’t cover up the very center of Iris B! This will make Step 4 a little easier.

3. Match up the second set of Iris A and Iris B with the first and press down, sandwiching the rolls of tape between the two layers of tissue paper.

4. With the point of a pen or pencil, poke a small hole right through the center of your Iris B cutout or tissue paper and tape sandwich. This is why you didn’t want to block the very middle with tape in Step 2! Be careful not to press too strongly – you don’t want to accidentally rip your flower base in half.

5. Make an L-shaped bend in the end of your wire or pipe cleaner and thread it through the hole you just made in Iris B. Adjust so that the bend end lies flat on Iris B and the remaining wire/pipe cleaner extends downwards in a straight line. Secure with tape.

6. Using three narrow pieces of tape, attach the bases of Iris A’s petals to the spots marked in the template with dashed lines. I suggest doing this so the tape pieces end up on the interior of the flowerand aren’t visible.

7. Finally, embellish with whatever extras strike your fancy – paint, markers, glitter, you name it – and arrange your completed iris with your other flower creations in a vase.

Bouquet of (Paper!) Flowers in a Blue Vase (2014), Jennifer Sheppard

Jennifer Sheppard, Bouquet of Paper Flowers in a Blue Vase, 2014

Voila! You now have a beautiful bouquet that needs no water…in fact, you probably shouldn’t have water anywhere near your nice new paper flowers, unless soggy is the look you’re going for! So skip that annoying watering step and enjoy these low maintenance blooms — and our blooming exhibition!

Jennifer Sheppard
McDermott Intern for Family and Access Teaching

Make This: Etching with Cola

Coke Etching

Example of a “coke” etching

Printmaking is one of my favorite mediums. There’s something satisfying and magical about transferring an image you created onto another surface. Plus, there are so many fun and experimental ways to do it that make learning new techniques a joy and not a chore. I especially love finding alternative methods to techniques that may otherwise be cost-prohibitive for the at-home printmaker–namely, intaglio and lithography.

This idea of alternative processes was the basis of April’s Urban Armor workshop for teens. One of the techniques I taught was a version of lithography appropriately dubbed “kitchen lithography” because most of the supplies can be found in your pantry. Popularized by Emilie Aizier, there are lots of tutorials on how to do it on various internet sites. Finding a perfect guide is hard because the process is finicky and everyone does it in a slightly different way. It’s definitely something to experiment with on your own, but I’ll share what gave me the most consistent results.

If you’ve never tried lithography before, it basically consists of creating a master image on a plate (usually metal or stone); in this case, cola is used to etch the image into aluminum foil (it contains phosphoric acid–yum!). Printing from the plate works on the principle that water and oil repel each other: the plate is first coated with water, which doesn’t stick to the etched image because of the gum arabic in the cola. Oil-based ink is then rolled onto the plate, which sticks to the image but is repelled everywhere else by the water.

Several months back, the DMA hosted the wonderful exhibition Posters of Paris: Toulouse-Lautrec and His Contemporaries that not only featured fantastic lithograph posters from the late 1800s, but highlighted many of the tools and steps involved in lithography.

What you need:

  • Small sheet of plexiglas
  • Heavy duty aluminum foil
  • Tape
  • Sharpie permanent marker
  • Scrubber pad/steel wool
  • Vegetable oil
  • White vinegar
  • Cola (I used Coke)
  • Sponge and bowl of water
  • Lithography ink (NOT water-based)
  • Latex gloves
  • Printing brayer
  • Printing baren or large spoon
  • Heavy drawing paper
  • Spray bottle
  • LOTS of paper towels

Steps:

Prepare your plate

  • Cut a piece of foil slightly larger than your sheet of plexi. Carefully smooth it down so it’s nice and flat; try to avoid creating any folds or wrinkles.
  • Fold the edges of the foil around the plexiglas and tape them down to the back.
  • Use your sponge to wet the surface of the foil with a little water, then sand it lightly with your scrubber until it’s dull and no longer super shiny.
  • Wipe the surface down with white vinegar to clean off the plate.
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Sharpie image on plate

Draw and etch your image

  • When the surface of your plate is dry, draw an image on it with a Sharpie permanent marker. If you are adding text, remember to write backwards (your print will be a mirror image of your plate).
  • After you’re finished with your drawing, make a cola bath for your plate: fill a shallow pan (big enough to accommodate the plate) with about 1/4″ of soda. Then place your plate in the cola drawing-side down.
  • Let your plate soak in the cola bath for 10 minutes or longer.
  • Remove the plate and rinse it in the sink, gently trying to remove as much of the Sharpie drawing as you can.
  • Dry off your plate, then buff the surface using a small amount of vegetable oil and a paper towel. This should help remove the last bits of marker. Even though you may not be able to “see” your drawing any more, don’t panic!  The cola should have etched it into the foil, creating a “ghost” image.

Ink your plate and print

  • Load your brayer with ink: spread a small amount of ink on a paper plate, then roll it out with your brayer until the entire surface is coated evenly with ink. Set the brayer aside.
  • Set your plate face-up on the counter. Wipe down the entire surface with a wet sponge.
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Inking

  • Roll the brayer across your plate. You should notice the ink start to stick to your ghost drawing. It may take a few passes of alternating between wiping your plate with water and inking it to ink the entire plate.
  • Spray your drawing paper evenly with water and place it on top of your plate. Rub the back of your paper with a baren or the back of a spoon. If you have access to a printing press, that would be ideal.
  • Carefully peel back the paper and leave it to dry.
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Printing

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Printing

Coke Etching 2

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Finished print side-by-side with original plate

As I said earlier, there are many variations on this technique that you can experiment with. People have drawn their image into the foil with grease/litho crayons, touche, even Murphy’s Oil Soap! Each of these options would be fun to try out and should give you different results.

To me, the trickiest part is inking the plate–I ruined the first two that I tried to print during that stage. I found that I didn’t use enough water when I was wetting my plate and the ink ended up sticking to everything instead of just my drawing. The nice thing is that it’s really easy to make a new one–just crumple up the old one and try again!

JC Bigornia
C3 Program Coordinator

DIY String Art Tutorial

Last weekend, the Dallas Museum of Art teamed up with the Perot Museum of Nature and Science for our Art + Science Festival. Visitors enjoyed activities ranging from light graffiti to digital microscope observations to a film about artists and scientists who devote their lives to origami.

If you ventured to the DMA’s Fleischner Courtyard during the festival, you probably noticed a colorful creation of string being woven through the trees. That’s because guest artist Amie Adelman was leading a workshop which involved visitors helping her create a sculpture of geometric lines and angles using just the courtyard’s trees and string as supplies.

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Although it may be difficult to create a work of art on your own as immense as the one that graced the DMA’s courtyard last weekend, there’s a simple way to create your own string art with supplies that you can find in your own home:

What you need:

  • Cardboard square (our example is 8″ X 8″)
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Exacto knife
  • Scissors
  • Thread

Step 1

Using a ruler as a guide, make small marks with a pencil on all four sides of your cardboard square that are one inch apart from each other.

stringart1

Step 2

Once you have drawn marks on all four sides of your cardboard square, score the marks all the way through the cardboard with an exacto knife.

stringart2

Step 3

After all pencil marks are scored, wrap your cardboard square with thread. Make sure that the thread is wrapped tight enough through the scored marks that they do not easily slip out. This will also keep you from having to knot the thread when you’re finished creating your design.

Think about the different geometric designs that you want to make with the thread. The more layers of thread that you add to your cardboard, the thicker and more visible it will appear when you’re finished.

stringart4

Step 4

Once you’re through using your thread of choice, cut the thread on the back of your string art creation.

stringart5

Step 5

Optional: Keep adding more colors of thread to your design. If you choose to add more colors, repeat steps 3 and 4 for each color of thread that you add.

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There are a lot of different geometric designs that you can create with string art! Share what colors and designs you decide to incorporate into your own string art creation in the comments!

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Amy Elms
McDermott Intern for Visitor Engagement


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