Saturday, May 7, 2016

Textured Painting

My fifth grade daughter is doing a research project on the Native Americans of Southern Illinois. She finished writing her paper and is now creating a backboard display for her school's science & history fair. It needs to draw people across the room and get them curious about her work so that she can chat with them. Last year Leah did the Black Death and Natalie did the Quetzal... they both created multimedia painted and collaged backboards which were so beautiful that both girls still have them in their bedrooms and look at them regularly. Becca wants to do a large sprawling painting of the Great Serpent Mound diagonally across the board, with the title The Mound Builders written in curvy bubble letters (to look like mounds themselves), and an inset panel with an illustration of Cahokia and a recent newspaper clipping stating that Dick Durbin has sent a letter to President Obama asking him to declare the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site a national monument. It has already been designated by the U.N. as a World Heritage Site.

The illustrations are inspired by Indian Life in Pre-Columbian North America (Dover History Coloring Book, pp. 12, 14-15)

Becca has especially requested that we create a thick textured paint for the mounds so that they actually stand up above the painted background and cast a bit of a shadow. Internet to the rescue! And I've just purchased the supplies recommended in this great blog post How to Add Incredibly Thick Texture to Your Acrylic Paintings.

In homeschool news, I'm choosing the final list of demonstrations and experiments for Natalie's Physics block (I put a new page on the website for Middle School Physics) and reading several middle school curriculum books:

Why We Must Run With Scissors: Voice Lesson in Persuasive Writing

A Collection of Math Lessons, Grades 6-8

Learning To See the World through Drawing: Practical Advice for the Classroom Grades One through Eight

A very Happy Mother's Day to all the moms and moms-to-be out there!

We walked down to the farmer's market today and my mom got me six beautiful heirloom tomato plants. The farmer was selling them 3 for $5.00! So I am thrilled and into the straw bales they will go. Straw bale gardening is the quickest, easiest, and least expensive way to do raised beds and the plants take almost no water once established. And I love that the whole straw bale just gets broken down and spread out on your garden at the end of the growing season! This year we really MUST make our straw bale cold frames in the fall... Anyway, my lovelies are Submarine Blush, Pineapple Pig, Orangevaja Slivka, Purple Dragon, Cow's Forehead, and Master Carnosa. I thought it was wonderful that the farmer even labeled the tags with the color of the tomato.

Looking for unusual varieties of heirloom tomatoes? Try Tomodoro, the search engine for tomato varieties to help you find seed sources.

UDATE: My U.S. Geography: Woodland Indians and Mound Builders post has pictures of Becca's finished project.

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