• Art Assignment #1

    Create Your Own Mandala Using Found Objects K-6

    A mandala is a circular structure with radial symmetry, meaning the design radiates out symmetrically from the center. It is often considered a symbolic representation of the universe. The word “Mandala” comes from Sanskit, an ancient Indian language. It literally means “circle.” However, it is much more than just a simple shape. It represents wholeness and is seen as a magic form, with no beginning or end, just as the universe is believed to have no end. You can find mandalas in a lot of places: flowers, tree rings, snowflakes, spider webs, fruits, etc. They are often filled with patterns such as geometric shapes, a variety of lines, just about anything. It is used as an object to concentrate on while meditating. Because of its symmetrical shape, your attention is directed to the center. Creating these can be very relaxing and calming. And I think we could all use a little bit of that right now…..


    Students will use found objects, either man-made or natural, to create a mandala. You can build your mandala inside using the floor, a table, construction paper, etc. as your surface or you can put it together outdoors on the ground, a tree stump, a rock, etc.


    Some ideas for man-made items are: toys, legos, buttons, and food items like candy, macaroni, and beans.

    Ideas for natural objects could include: rocks, pebbles, feathers, flowers/plants, leaves, and pinecones.

    You can use a combination of both if you’d like.

    Remember these are just a few examples and ideas to get your creative juices flowing. The possibilities are endless! 


    I have included two links for you to look at. These are web pages with mandala examples. One has some great pictures of mandalas created with man-made objects. The other shows mandalas put together with things found in nature by British sculptor Andy Goldsworthy. He is famous for his landscape art installations - the work is beautiful and absolutely amazing. You will see some of his most incredible works but not all of them are mandalas. Although you will be creating a mandala I thought it would be great for you to see other examples of Goldsworthy’s creations. He is truly a wonderful artist.


    You can “play” with color for this assignment as well. You will notice some of the mandalas on the web pages have only certain colors being used (like warm colors - red, orange, yellow) while others sort the colors out - perhaps the inner circles are made from greens while the outer circles have a variety of blues. You don’t have to do this - you can use as many or as few colors as you’d like. Also, symmetry is something to be considered. Most mandalas are symmetrical (same on both sides). Some are not. Try to include at least a bit of symmetry in your mandala. I understand certain objects would not allow for symmetry so it will depend upon the items you choose to use. Be sure to create circles though. We’re trying to stay true to the shape of a mandala.


    I also ask for you to try your best and fill in the mandalas with plenty of objects - meaning you don’t want to see a lot of “empty” space inside. Some of them may be quite large, or small, depending on the size and amount of objects used. Be creative! And relax while making these. Many cultures claim mandalas to be extremely therapeutic and calming. As I said before, I think we could all use something relaxing to do these days.


    You can either submit photos of your mandalas through Google Classroom or email them directly to me at: jfisher@saugerties.k12.ny.us. If sending directly to my email make sure to include the title of the assignment, your name and teacher name with the picture. I ask to have pictures back to me no later than Thursday, April 9th. I want you to have plenty of time to think about the project: planning it out and putting it together.


    Be well! Be safe! I can’t wait to see what your mandalas look like. But, more importantly, I can't wait to see you all again!



    This assignment is also posted in the Special Area Subjects Google Classrooms. Each Riccardi class has their own. Be sure to check it out for all of the latest special area information.



    Art Assignment #2


    “Making Art With Your Laundry” K-6 

    Hi everyone! For art assignment #2, I am challenging all of my artists to create art from laundry! You will use your household laundry to make “pictures” (using the floor, or any other flat surface, as your work space). You can choose from the following ideas or create a recognizable (non-abstract) art work of  your choice:


    • A face or figure (human, animal, creature, character, etc.)
    • A place (landscape, cityscape, seascape, outer space, etc.)
    • Replicate (make a copy of) a famous piece of artwork. This may be more appropriate for the older students as this may be the most difficult choice of the challenge. 



    *Remember you can work with your own idea but it should be recognizable. Nothing abstract for this.


    First, decide on your subject. What are you going to create from clothing? Second, go on your laundry hunt. Think about the colors you want to use, and how textures and patterns can come into play. How about sizes? Socks are smaller and may work for things like eyes, flowers, or apples on a tree. Blankets and pants are larger and could work for water, beaches, or fields. Think about what you’ll need for your artwork. The possibilities are endless!


    Begin with a background color. Is it a sky? A room? Underwater? Examine all of your chosen clothing items. Look at how they can be crumpled, folded, twisted, flipped upside down, layered, etc. Does it have a texture or pattern you can use? For example, a scarf with flowers can be laid against a green shirt for grass and flowers. Work and arrange parts in layers. Working “back to front” will be easiest.

    *A few Art objectives to consider: If you are creating a landscape, or seascape, cityscape, etc. work with a background (back of picture), middle ground (middle of picture), and a foreground (front of picture). This makes it pretty easy to set up and arrange. Faces, or portraits, should show features arranged in their proper places while bodies, or figures, should be made with realistic proportions. This means your arms wouldn’t be longer than your legs. However, if you are making a character that has exaggerated features, that would be okay. I’m just trying to avoid any abstract pieces, making the images easier to see.


    *You may include additional “props” in your artworks. For example, a sailboat on water you created can be carrying a few of your stuffed animals. Or, flowers and jewelry can be added as little “extra” pieces into a completed face or a field. But, these additional parts should not “overpower” or “take away” from the laundry parts.


    I added a few links below for more instruction and inspiration (Youtube videos).  It’s always great to see other artists in action.


    This part is important since some of the assignments from the mandala activity were turned in without a photo of the finished work. When you are finished putting together your laundry art, take a picture of it and either submit it as an attachment in Google Classroom or you can email it to me: jfisher@saugerties.k12.ny.us. Try to have pictures turned in by Friday, April 24th. Please know that I am flexible with all due dates - reach out to me if you need extra time or are having problems. Have fun and be creative!







    This assignment is also posted in each of the Special Area Subjects Google Classrooms.


    Art Assignment #3

    “Recycled Art and Package Design - Create a New Product!” K-6


    Invent your own company and/or product! Create your own packaging design! Look around your house at food or household packages/containers/boxes. Look at the appearance. Is it attractive? Eye-catching? Funny? Does it make you want to pick it up and look at it?


    To start, you will need an empty product package of some sort. The following are a few examples of something you could use: an empty cereal box, juice bottle, 2-liter soda bottle, laundry detergent bottle, larger sized cracker box, larger sized bag of chips, larger pet food bags/containers, etc. Anything that is medium to larger sized. I think it will be easier to change/manipulate the design on something larger rather than something smaller. A larger surface area will definitely be easier to work with.


    There are a few ways this can be done:

    ~You can work with the product being advertised on the package and just change the name/design/picture on the package. Use simple art materials you have at home - paper, crayons, glue, markers, colored pencils, etc. to change lettering and pictures. The result can be funny or genuine! You can draw and color new names and pictures on a separate piece of paper. When finished, cut the new pieces out and glue them onto the package, covering up the existing letters, lettering, and/or pictures.

    ~Another way to approach this activity would be to completely redesign the package altogether. Create a new one on paper (the size of the new label you are making is dependent upon the kind package you’re attaching to. A soda bottle would require a longer, more narrow label where as a cereal box would be a rectangle shape) and attach it to the bottle, box, container, etc. You can come up with a new company, new name, new character(s), a new picture, etc.

    You can also think about the sides and back of a package. Often you’ll find nutrition labels and ingredients, recipes, and/or little messages on the sides and backs of packages. Cereal boxes even have games and other fun activities on their backs. I’m not requiring you to consider the backs and sides but if you’d like to you certainly can! I’m only requiring you to work on and create a new and wonderful front package design. 

    *Please, please, please remember to take a picture of your finished package and either submit it through Google Classroom or email it to me at: jfisher@saugerties.k12.ny.us

    Last week I put directions on my Google Classroom stream about how to take a picture and submit it through Google. Check those out if you’re interested in doing it that way. If not, simply email the picture(s) to me.

    If you cannot take and send pictures, reach out to me and we’ll come up with an alternative to picture-taking. Email me with any questions or concerns. Please try to have the picture of your finished package design to me by Friday, May 15th. That date is very flexible.

    This is a fun activity that involves using recycled materials with traditional art supplies. Simple materials work great! You are actually doing the job of a Graphic Designer. A Graphic Designer is an artist who combines pictures and text in art, advertisements, publications, and/or websites. Their job is to “sell,” inform, and have a specific effect on their audience. Have fun with this!

    This assignment is also posted in each of the Special Area Subjects Google Classrooms.

Last Modified on May 24, 2020