Fourth of July Decor

Planning on riding in a parade on the 4th? Get in on creating decorations for your bikes and making memories with your family. No bike? No problem. Read on...


What You'll Need:

  • Red, White, and Blue Construction Paper 
  • Blue Painters Tape
  • Silver Glitter Pipe Cleaners


  1. Cut construction paper into 1-1.5" strips, about 12" long.
  2. With adult help, curl about halfway down each strip of paper using open scissors (optional).
  3. Using blue tape, attach ends of construction paper to ends of handle bars, leaving the majority of the paper to hang free off the sides.
  4. Wrap pipe cleaners over tape.
  5. Always wear a helmut.

And if you don't have a bike, THAT'S OK! Decorating empty paper towel tubes in place of bike handles gives you an instant wand to wave. 

We'd love to see your decor! Tag us on Instagram @thearterieartstudio

Dada and Neo Dada Art with Our 7-10yo Artists

What is Dada art? A deeply complex art movement of the early 20th century, Dada artists (as many artists do) responded to world events and politics of the time by rejecting societal norms and aestheticism. How does something potentially confusing for young children get their attention? By showing Marcel Duchamp's version of the Mona Lisa.

This painting definitely was a conversation starter. We discussed "readymades" and artists of the time creating something new and different, even at the risk of being criticized. Students became eager to transform their chosen works of art--traditional paintings that could be viewed as stuffy or boring by the Dada artists. Students were given a variety of collage and mixed media materials to work with and the results were spectacular!


We then turned to another artist emerging from the Dada era, considered one of the pioneers of the Happenings and Fluxus movements, Wolf Vostell. Vostell was known for embedding objects, in particular vehicles and televisions into concrete...a different use of a ready-made. Before we began introducing Vostell's work, students were asked to choose one small plastic animal or a small car and observe it, draw it, and then sink it inside plaster students mixed. Once sunken, students were again asked to draw their observations. Upon the plaster hardening, students used ink to stain the plaster.


The next part of our Dadaist-inspired art making came from acclaimed assemablage artist, Robert Rauschenberg, who many think kick started the Pop Art movement. Students were given a variety of materials to work from to create their own mini-assemblages...mixing 2D and 3D planes, again inciting great conversation and questioning of the art movement and artists.


Mondrian Studies with Our Youngest Artists

Ever wonder how to integrate art history in a fun and engaging way with young students? We recently spent a month working on de Stijl paintings (yep...we sure did talk about that movement!) and the Dutch painter, Piet Mondrian.

Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow, 1930

Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow, 1930

We began by using a reduced color palette in red, blue, yellow, black and white along. We did not look at any of Mondrian's work! We talked about what vertical and horizontal straight lines were. And students began to paint straight black lines going vertically and or horizontally in the pure color palette (no mixing this time). The results were GORGEOUS!


The next lesson began by showing kids a Mondrian painting, not sharing much information yet, and asking what they saw. The natural unfolding process of seeing "a famous painting in a BOOK!" reminded them of their work (without copying it), allowing for deeper connections to art and art history. They were certainly eager to see what the next painting was going to be about. We introduced rulers. And further excitement ensued. Where do you place the ruler? Where do you place the drawing instrument (it was Sharpie for this project)? Making vertical and horizontal lines, students were asked to create drawings that used secondary colors (orange, purple, and green) and black and white in soft pastels. How did this differ from the previous art work?

Week three had students working in a watercolor resist method, using contrasting colors. Students learned what contrasting (complementary) colors were and referenced color wheels. They began by using rulers to create their horizontal and vertical lines. Within the shapes they made, students lightly applied oil pastels, leaving textural areas of their white paper where the watercolor would sink through. Students excitedly looked to their neighbors and color wheels and discussed their use and application of color. The results were pretty incredible!


During our final lesson of this incredible unit of study, students were asked to choose what medium (of the ones we'd used in the three previous lessons) to work in. Using 18x24" heavy weight watercolor paper, students then had to create their own line painting. "Can we use curvy lines?" Why, YES! Go for it! After three weeks of horizontal and vertical lines and learning all about color and application of various materials, students worked with such ease and confidence.