Thursday, October 27, 2011

In the Style of Louise Bourgeois and Giveaway Results

Before I announce the winner of the 2 books I thought I would introduce 2 new art projects based on the work of Louise Bourgeois, a sculptor known for these huge "spiders". (titled Maman)  For her they were a nod to her mother, who like a weaver held things together, "was deliberate, neat, clever, patient, indispensable and as useful as a spider"

Incidentally these projects were inspired by the "Let's Make Some Great Art" book by Marion Deuchars which we are giving away today.

My kids are quite intrigued by them and they kinda fit with Halloween.

The first project is a painting / pastel resist.

The second project is a papier mache model of "Maman".

First Project:Paint/pastel resist

- wc paper
- pencil and eraser
- disk tempera or wc paint
- paintbrush
- oil pastels
- eye dropper
- fine sharpie
- reference photos of Ms. Bourgeois's work


Tape down your paper to your art board.

Sketch in a horizon line and then start adding a city skyline.  You want to get the buildings quite small to allow lots of room for your gigantic spider.

With oil pastels go over the outlines of the buildings, add some windows and a few details.

Paint in your sky.

Paint in your buildings.  We used a grey wash.  The pastel will resist the paint.

Then paint in the ground.

Mix up some water into your black paint to get an inky consistency.  using your eye dropper suck up that paint and place it where you want the body of your spider to be.

Using a thin paintbrush pull the paint down to make a squiggly leg.  You don't want it too perfect here.

You can scrumble it a bit as you go.  Scrumbling means twisting and turning that paintbrush as you are applying paint.

Let dry and then you can add some details.  My boys were insistent upon giving the spiders red eyes and having people reacting to these large spiders walking thru their city.

Project 2: Papier Mache Spider


- small paper plate
- wire
- hockey, or masking tape
-  1/2 of a white pipe cleaner
- paper towels cut into strips
- white glue, recycled container, water
- paint


Take your paper plate, turn upside down and poke 8 holes with a sharp pencil.  Space them out around the edge.

Cut 4 pieces of wire about 14 or 15 inches or so.  Starting with 1 piece thread both ends into 2 of the holes.

Turn the plate over and twist the 2 ends together.  Then take your hockey or masking tape and wrap around the ends.  This just keeps those sharp ends from poking anyone.

Repeat this with the remaining 3 pieces.

Take your 1/2 pipe cleaner and wind amongst the wires at the top forming the body of the spider.

Put some wax or parchment paper down on your work space.  An old plastic bag will also work.

Mix up your glue and water into your recycled container in a one to one ratio.

Using the paper strips, dip into glue mixture and start winding around the wire.  It helps to start at the top and work your way down.  It also helps immensely if you always wind in the same direction, (that way you don't untwist the last strip you just put on!)

Cover the plate as well.

Put in a warm dry spot to dry. Ours dried in about 24 hrs.

Paint with tempera or acrylic.

There you have it a large "Maman" coming your way.

So on to the giveaway for:

"My Even More Wonderful World of Fashion" by Nina Chakrabarti and "Let's Make Some Great Art" by Marion Deuchars.

I had 126 entries,( comments, facebook, emails) whew!.... and the winner chosen by random drawing .........

........was 57 in the comment section (not counting doubles) which works out to be
Juise: who said

"What fun looking books! Thanks for the chance. :) "

Juise, if you could send me your shipping address at
I can arrange to get those books out to you (lucky duck)!

Thanks everyone for entering and don't despair there will be another giveaway very soon.

That's it for now, make sure you try a "Maman" spider.  I am absolutely swamped getting ready for the Early Childhood Education Conference in Kananaskis next week.  I'm presenting 2 workshops so hope to see you there.

This is what my workspace is looking like these days!



  1. Oh my goodness! Lucky duck, indeed! I am so excited, thank you!!

  2. Congratulations, Juise! Woo-hoo!

  3. Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [28 Oct 02:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  4. Wow... something new for my kid to do this weekend...
    Math Practice

  5. Wonderful spiders! I've been looking for a good Bourgeois project. I'm also thinking of making some Christmas "inches" for a workshop soon. Thanks for the great ideas!

  6. I really love your blog! If my children where still small I would find ideas on it everyday to keep them busy!!