Monday, July 25, 2011

Writing and the Visual Arts: Student Work

Well I had an incredible time at the Fernie Writer's Conference.  This is my attempt to get a picture of the Ghost Rider, hopefully this doesn't bring me bad luck or something!

The kids were a pleasure to work with.  They created some truly amazing pieces.

Thanks so much to Sally, my partner teacher for this workshop as well as Natalie who coordinated everything, baked the snacks, brought us lunch, you name it!

By the end of the workshop the kids had created :                                       - a gel glue batik shirt of their main character                                             - a paperbag book outlining their story                                                    - and a mixed media canvas of their main character containing text from the story 
The shirts were made using the batik method I described in one my first ever posts HERE.                                 We slid a piece of cardboard covered in wax paper inside the shirt to keep both the glue and paint away from the back of the shirt. 

For the canvas we started out with a framed gessoed canvas.  I then had the kids add texture to the canvas using this product.  They applied it using plastic spatulas and then used a variety of tools to make imprints and designs into the Spackle.
The pink turns white when dry, about 6 hours.  The Spackle product adheres very nicely to the canvas yet is easily scraped off tools and the work surface for easy clean up.
After the canvas was dry the kids painted them with acrylic paint.
For the character they cut the general shape out of some heavy corrugated cardboard.  These were then coated in gesso.  If the kids wanted add texture to them they could embed burlap, cheesecloth or crumpled tissue paper into the gesso.  Once dry the excess is just cut away.
When the cardboard had dried they were painted with acrylics and additional layers added.   Some added eyes, clothing and accessories in extra layers.   These were created using more cardboard that was gessoed and painted and then glued onto the main shape.
When the canvas was dry text was added with sharpies, paint, or even cut out of cardboard.  Normally you would include a "found" item into the collage but instead I brought a bag full of collected items for the kids to search through.  These could be painted or altered and then glued on with tacky glue.
After all the layers are attached the canvas was then sealed with a coat of Mod podge.

 The how to on the paperbag book was outlined in the last POST.   After everything was completed the kids selected one item to present at a showcase at the Fernie Arts Station. Terrific work everyone! 
Thanks so much for inviting me.


  1. What wonderful work, and it looks like such fun. The kids must have been so happy and proud--you too!

  2. Wow, so cool to see "My mountain" in your post.
    My parents have a bed and breakfast with the ghost rider's shadow as their prominent view from the kitchen window.

  3. This was amazing! What a wonderful group of projects for these kids. I am itching to try your collage canvas idea with my own kids. Thank you for your always inspiring posts and projects!

  4. Am I the only one who sees the Ghost Rider? Left side, mid frame of the lighted side of the mountain? I am comparing it with:

  5. This is so cool! I admire what you do with children - and love that you are getting them into Mod Podge :D