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Category: At Home Studio

Home Studio: Floral Arrangements

Inspired by the blooms of spring and the trending #MuseumBouquet, MMFA Special Events Coordinator Aaron Ganey has created a floral arrangement that brings the beauty of spring inside. Designed after the asymmetrical shape of the arrangement depicted in William Glackens’ (1870-1938) Flowers in a Goblet (date unknown) from the Museum’s collection, everything in the demonstration arrangement is from a yard or nearby field, and each ingredient brings a unique element to the mix. Many of the plants used are even classified as weeds, so don’t think you need a lush, manicured garden in order to forage from home. If you aren’t able to find the exact plants we used, then work with anything that has similar shape, texture, or blossom size. This process is a form of self-expression, so use what you have without the pressure of making it look a certain way. Get outside, find some weeds and flowers in the backyard, and make something wonderful!

Download Printable Instruction [PDF]

Right: William Glackens (American, 1870–1938), Flowers in a Goblet, date unknown, oil on canvas board, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association Purchase, Eloise Jackson Memorial, 1978.1

Objective

To introduce the fundamentals of floral design through the use of greenery and flowers or flora found in your own backyard.

Materials

These are the items we use to design this arrangement, with some alternatives listed.

  • [1] Container
    • This demonstration will use a vintage, oversized silver compote. What’s important is to use something with good depth (not shallow) and no holes in the bottom.
  • [2] Rocks
    • All shapes and sizes are fine.
  • [3] Floral shears
    • Sharp kitchen scissors aren’t ideal for this, but they can be used if that’s what you have available.
  • [4] Cellophane tape (the thinner the better)
    • Chicken wire is the easiest to use when making a grid, so if you happen to have some, that’s great, please use that in place of the tape grid! The demonstration uses tape to show how common household goods can be used when arranging flowers.

These are the greenery and flowers used for our demonstration, all harvested from the great outdoors! (Scroll down to the Image Gallery to see larger versions of these images.) Try to divide your plants into the following four sections: structure, greenery, main flowers, and detail flowers. Remember, you are creating for your personal enjoyment, so relax and use whatever you have in the yard. And please, don’t forget to ask permission before taking flowers and greenery from your neighbors’ yards.

Shape

  • [10] Loropetalum (fringe flower)
  • [2] Holly Fern

Greenery

  • [1] Fatsia Japonica (paper plant)
  • [6] Boxwood
  • [7] Variegated Pittosporum (Japanese mock orange)
  • [11] Camellia Branches
  • [12] Oakleaf Hydrangea
  • [14] Japanese Maple
  • [17] Honeysuckle Vines
  • [18] Ligustrum (privet)
    • Wild
    • Wax
  • [19] Leatherleaf Fern
Main Flowers

  • [5] Knockout Roses
  • [13] Drift Roses
  • [15] Crimson Clover

Details

  • [3] Lamb’s Ear
  • [4] Queen Anne’s Lace
  • [9] Blackberry Vines
  • [16] Wheat-like Grass
    • Fountain grass
    • Feather grass

Steps

First, Harvest All Greenery and Blooms

  • Make sure they are well hydrated by letting them sit in buckets (or large vases) soaking up water for at least two hours.

Build Your Structure

  • Next, prepare the container. Place rocks in the base of the container and create a grid on the top using tape (the thinner the tape the better). This will help give your arrangement shape and structure. Fill the container with water. If you are using chicken wire, fold it to make a pillow and tape into the compote bowl or whatever container you are using.
  • Place woody branches to create a foundational structure for your arrangement.

Start Creating Your Shape

  • Add your larger greenery pieces in next, to develop the overall shape. In our demonstration, holly fern and loropetalum are used for this step.
  • Add in other greenery to create more structure that will help hold the flowers in place. We used smaller pieces of boxwood, ligustrum, pittosporum, leatherleaf fern, and camellia branches. By adding in fatsia, honeysuckle, and oakleaf hydrangea, it adds contrast and creates interesting areas in your arrangement. Depending on what plants you are working with, this stage could already be a complete arrangement, with the addition of a few large flowers, like oakleaf hydrangeas.

Add the Main Flowers

  • This is where color is added now that the structural base is built. Drift roses, knockout roses, and clover add a rich range of pinks and reds. Again, this could be the completed arrangement!

Finish with Details and a little Flourish

  • Finally, fun little details are added to really set the arrangement apart and make it special. Lambs ear, mint, wheat-like grass, Queen Anne’s lace, and blackberry vines are used to complete our demonstration arrangement.

Conclusion

Find the perfect spot in your home to showcase the arrangement you’ve made, then sit back and enjoy the beauty of your creation.

Submit Your Work

We would love to see your creations! Share your work with us by taking a photograph and emailing it to us at pr@mmfa.org.

Home Studio: Coloring Pages

If your kids are anything like mine, they’ve gone through all the coloring books already during this quarantine! An activity that is fun for all ages (no children required) is making personalized coloring pages designed after famous works of art. Below is a walkthrough of this project inspired by Reynold Beal’s Off Bridgeport (1908) from the Museum’s collection as an example.

Objective

To create unique, personalized coloring pages inspired by famous works of art.

Material Suggestions

  • Pencil and eraser
  • Paper (any size; a light color or white is preferred)
  • Black permanent marker
  • Colored pencils, crayons, or markers

Vocabulary

  • Contour Line – A line that defines the outer edge of an object.
  • Negative Space – Space that surrounds the subject of a work of art (the way air surrounds us in real life).
  • Positive Space – The space taken up by the subject of a work of art (like a person, a flower, or a couch).

Steps

  • Research: Search online (resources listed below) or look through art history books for artwork that inspires you. If you don’t have a specific artist in mind, try searching for art that contains something you or your children love. A special flower, a certain city, or a favorite sport are all great ideas!
  • Draw: After you choose your inspiration, get some paper and a pencil and start drawing. Take your time and draw the contour lines of the work of art you have chosen to replicate. The easiest way to draw contour lines is by drawing one section at a time, not trying to draw the whole object in one swoop. Your drawing does not need to include small details, but make sure it has the larger spaces for you to color in. Another thing to remember is that this is just like a rough draft for the final picture. You can adjust your drawing in the next step!
  • Outline: Use the black permanent marker to trace directly over the pencil lines, outlining the entire drawing without filling it in. During this step, you can choose which pencil marks you prefer, and you can even alter your drawing while you outline.
  • Erase: Fully erase any pencil marks left uncovered to reveal your clean, ready-to-color work of art.
  • Color: Now it’s time to color! The bold lines represent the boundaries between implied positive spaces and negative spaces of the picture which can guide color choices.

Conclusion

Have fun coloring your homemade creations!

Submit Your Work

We would love to see your creations! Share your work with us by taking a photograph and emailing it to us at pr@mmfa.org.

Additional Resources

Home Studio: Painting with Zelda

Amid cancelled and postponed public programs, we are sadly unable to celebrate an exhibition showcasing the art of Montgomery doll of days past, Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald. However, this time of quarantine has already shown the strength of our community and a shared desire to stay connected through creativity. With a proper introduction to Zelda and her art from Kirk Curnutt here—we invite you to create your own floral artwork inspired by Zelda then share your creations with us!

Objective

To gain a better understanding of basic elements of art by looking closely at a still life painting by Montgomery’s own Zelda Fitzgerald, analyzing the artist’s use of line and color value, and then interpreting her aesthetic and use of technique by creating an original monochromatic work of art.

Click here to browse works by Zelda in the Museum’s collection.

Materials

  • Paper
  • Drawing utensil
  • Paints (color of preference + white and black) OR
  • Markers (main color + a shade and tint of that same color)
  • Palette (plate, cardboard, extra sheet of paper, whatever!)
  • Paintbrush
  • Water
  • Paper towels/wipes

Vocabulary

  • Gradation – A scale or succession of subtle changes.
  • Hue – Another name for color.
  • Line – A fundamental element of art used in a variety of ways, including defining shapes and space, creating patterns and textures, implying movement, and more.
  • Monochromatic – The use of only one color.
  • Shade – A darker value of a color, made by adding black to the color.
  • Tint – A lighter value of a color, made by adding white to the color.
  • Value – The lightness or darkness of a color.
  • Value Scale – A scale that shows the changes in the value of a color, from light to dark.

Steps

  • Draw: In art, a line can be used in many ways, with the most common being to define a shape and the space around it. We will begin by using lines to define flowers. Using either a colored pencil or crayon, freely draw loose, curved lines, to represent flowing petals of large flowers. Draw as many or as few flowers as you want.
  • Mix: If paints are available, mix several tints and shades of the same color, creating a gradation of values, also known as a value scale. Do this by pulling aside a little of the original hue, then adding gradual amounts of white (to create lighter and lighter tints). Do the same in a new section of the palette, pulling aside a little more of the original color, then adding just a touch of black, to create a shade. Tip: black will overpower the original color very quickly, so add just a very small amount of black each time you create a darker shade.
  • Paint: Using the tints and shades you have mixed (or markers you have available), begin filling in the full color of the flowers.
    • With Paint: 
      • Use the shades you mixed to define areas that will be darker, implying that light is not shining directly on these areas (that they are in shadows). This will be the centers of the flowers and the space at the bottom of the page, beneath the flowers.
      • Now use tints of the original color to define the areas where light is shining directly.
      • Next, gently paint the original color between the shades and tints to join them together, lightly blending them at the edges.
    • With Markers: 
      • Depending on the main color you are using, find markers that are tints and shades of that same color. Our example shows a gradation of reds, but if you are using blues, this would mean you find a dark blue, blue, and light blue.
      • Color the markers in the same way it is suggested for the paints to be applied, by coloring darker values where there would be shadows and coloring lighter values where light would be shining directly. Use the main hue to fill in between the shade and tint, and then use a paintbrush and water to “paint” and blend where the markers have been colored on your paper. The water diffuses the marker pigment, much like watercolor paints.

Conclusion

When your masterpiece is complete, step back and appreciate your creation! How many different shades and tints did you mix and use? What do you think Zelda would say about your sun-kissed flowers?

Share Your Work

We would love to see your creations! Share your work with us by taking a photograph and emailing it to us at pr@mmfa.org.

Additional Resources

Home Studio: HeART for our Heroes

Our healthcare professionals are working diligently to keep our community safe, and to show our appreciation the MMFA has joined forces with a local Montgomery artist. The artist—who wishes to remain anonymous—is donating personal protective equipment to healthcare facilities and has asked the Museum to collect words and images of encouragement from children across the region to accompany the donation. Our goal: bring a small amount of hope, support, and thanks to our local heroes.

For the safety of all, submissions will be laminated and disinfected before being delivered to healthcare facilities.

Objective

To create original works of art that show appreciation and inspire strength in our healthcare workers and others on the front lines helping those who are battling COVID-19.

Material Suggestions

  • Pencils
  • Paper (no larger than 7 x 7 inches)
  • Colored pencils, markers, crayons
  • Construction paper, scissors, glue sticks
  • Paints, paintbrushes, water

Steps

  • Design: Look through the available materials and plan what to create.
  • Suggested themes include:
    • Gratitude
    • Inspiration
    • Community
    • Health and safety tips
  • Make: Using your chosen materials, get creative and draw/paint/collage, using different colors, shapes, patterns—whatever you want!
  • Write: After finishing your creations, add words or messages of thanks and encouragement for the recipients.

Conclusion and Submission

When you’ve finished, please send your creations to the Museum, by Monday, April 13, 2020. All submissions can be mailed directly to the Museum or dropped off in the Museum’s mailbox located to the left of the main entrance directly off the parking lot.

Address packages to:

Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts
c/o We HeART our Heroes
1 Museum Drive
Montgomery, AL 36117

Home Studio: From Pieces to Patterns

Begin by viewing the selected quilts and engage in discussion comparing the quilts (design, color, pattern, materials, etc)—giving the opportunity to connect to the quilts through analysis. When compared, how are the quilts similar; how are they different? Finish the discussion with concepts of traditional and contemporary quilting (pattern, symmetrical, asymmetrical, applique).

Click here to browse the Museum’s textile collection.

From left to right: Odell Valentine (American, 1925–2013), Lone Star, ca. 1985, polyester and cotton, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association Purchase, 2004.21.23; Bessie Hood (American, 1908–2012), Checkerboard/ Strips and Bars, ca. 1980, cotton, cotton/polyester blend, polyester, and wool, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association Purchase, 2004.21.4; Nora Ezell (American, 1919–2007), Nora’s Necktie Flower Garden, 1994, polyester, cotton/polyester blend, plastic and wood beads, and cowrie shells, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Gift of Kempf Hogan in honor of Bethine Whitney, 2005.9.2

Objective

To plan, design, and create original paper-quilt-collages inspired by quilts from the MMFA’s collection, and to engage new audiences with traditional and contemporary concepts of quilting.

Materials

  • Pencils
  • Paper
  • Scissors (optional)
  • Construction paper and/or Patterned paper
  • Glue sticks

Vocabulary

  • Applique – A technique when fabric shapes are cut and sewn onto a fabric block or quilt top.
  • Asymmetrical – A balance in design that lacks symmetry (does not create a mirror image when a line is put down the middle), but still maintains visual balance.
  • Block Patterns – One of the earliest quilt designs, made by sewing together squares; popular because of how quickly this could be assembled and also popular because labor could be divided among multiple people in the community.
  • Color – A basic element of art that is an identifiable quality of an object (such as red, blue, yellow) as it is perceived by the human eye, produced when light is reflected off an object to the eye.
  • Design – A plan for the organization of formal elements in a work of art.
  • Lone Star – A traditional quilt design in which the repetition of single diamond shapes are arranged in concentric circles.
  • Pattern – A repeated design.
  • Quilt – Layers of fabric sewn together, typically applied in a decorative design. Can be used as blankets or hung on walls as ornamental art.
  • Symmetrical – A balance in design achieved by arranging elements on either side of the center of a composition to create a mirror image.

Steps

  • Design: Sift through the paper choices, cut out or tear different shapes and strips, and then begin experimenting with arrangements on the larger paper you intend to use as the base of your collage.
  • Rearrange: We recommended trying several different arrangements using various colors of paper and making distinctly different patterns, to find what you like the most!
  • Glue: After layering and rearranging the papers into the desired design, use a glue stick to adhere the collage pieces onto the larger base paper.

Conclusion

Discuss your original collage-quilt-creations as a group (as few or many as that may safely be!), sharing about why you executed specific designs and chose certain patterns. Additionally, a great way to display paper quilt collages can be hanging them together, to create a large quilt-like form, made up from many smaller paper quilt collages. We would love to see your displays!

Submit Your Work

We would love to see your creations! Share your work with us by taking a photograph and emailing it to us at pr@mmfa.org.

Home Studio: Real-World Color Wheel

Our first activity explores the relationship of colors, both in art and the world around us. Engaging in a basic discussion about the color wheel and how it is made is a great way to begin this project! If you do not have a color wheel at home, you can look one up online. Listed at the end of this post are some links for reference, if needed. The three primary colors are yellow, red, and blue. These hues are called the primary colors because they cannot be made from other colors, but they are used to make all other colors. When you mix two primary colors together, you get a secondary color. The secondary colors are orange (red+yellow), green (blue+yellow), and violet/purple (red+blue). Tertiary colors are created when you combine a little more of one primary color than the other after mixing a secondary color. For example, if you make orange and then add a little more red to it, it becomes a red-orange. The tertiary colors are red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-violet, and red-violet.

Objective

An introduction to the fundamentals of color theory through the creation of a color wheel using objects from around the house and the wilderness of your own backyard.

Materials

  • Paper
  • Markers/colored pencils/crayons (whatever is available!)
  • Collected materials from nature
  • Collected materials from around the house
  • Magazines
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Vocabulary

  • Analogous colors – Groups of three colors next to each other on the color wheel.
  • Color wheel – A visual tool used to show the relationship between colors.
  • Complementary colors – Colors that are opposite from each other on the color wheel (red and green, blue and orange, purple and yellow), that create high contrast when placed next to each other and therefore make each other stand out.
  • Cool colors – Purple, Blue, and Green; Colors that evoke a sense of coldness.
  • Hue – Another name for color.
  • Monochromatic – The use of only one color.
  • Primary colors – Red, Yellow, and Blue; The colors that are used to make all other colors.
  • Secondary colors – Green, Purple, and Orange; The colors made when two primary colors mix.
  • Shade – A darker value of a color, made by adding black to the color.
  • Tertiary colors – Red-Orange, Yellow-Orange, Yellow-Green, Blue-Green, Red-Violet, Blue-Violet; Colors made by adding a little more of one primary color to a secondary color after it is mixed.
  • Tint – A lighter value of a color, made by adding white to the color.
  • Value – The lightness or darkness of a color.
  • Warm colors – Red, Orange, Yellow; Colors that evoke a sense of warmth.

Steps

  • Color: After the basic color wheel discussion, pick out each primary and secondary color from your drawing materials (markers/crayons/colored pencils). Begin by using the primary colors (yellow, red, blue) to create shapes of your choice at the points of an imagined triangle.
  • Next, use each secondary color (orange, green, purple) to create three more shapes, making sure to place each color between the two primary colors that mix to make it.
    Red + Yellow = Orange
    Yellow + Blue = Green
    Red + Blue = Purple
  • Gather: After the basic color wheel is in place on the paper, it’s time to be adventurous! Hunt around the house, collecting things that are allowed to be glued down, like old buttons, bottle caps, or even a Barbie shoe missing its match–the options are endless! If some fresh air is needed, venture outside and continue the search, trying to find something to represent every color from the color wheel.
  • Cut: If you are missing objects to represent particular colors, search through old magazines to find a variety of tints and shades of colors. A color wheel with hues representing a range of values will be more balanced and visually appealing!
  • Organize and Glue: Organize all objects by hue, then begin gluing them near or on the coordinating color on the color wheel. Start with cut out pieces from magazines, then work through gluing the found objects from home and yard.

Conclusion

Use the completed color wheel to further the discussion of color theory. Colors opposite each other on the color wheel are called complementary colors. Colors near each other on the color wheel are called analogous colors (such as red, red-orange, and orange), and can be used to create a bold visual impact. Monochromatic color schemes utilize tints and shades of only one hue, also with great impact. Certain color groupings can be used together to evoke specific moods or feelings (warm colors are red, orange, and yellow; cool colors are purple, blue, and green).

Submit Your Work

We would love to see your creations! Share your work with us by taking a photograph and emailing it to us at pr@mmfa.org.

Additional Resources

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