Family Activities for Bride
By Courtney Klemens, Manager of Family Programs and Emily Perreault, PreK Programs Educator
Bride is an example of a still life, a work of that that depicts mostly objects from the world around us. Look closely and you’ll find plants, food, and housewares like cups, plates, and vases. These types of objects are common in still life paintings throughout history, which inspired Beth Lipman to create her own version out of glass. Create your own still-life inspired art with some of these ideas.
Still-life collage. Create a fantastical table scene using found images. Start by drawing an empty table onto a piece of paper. Then, cut images of food, plates and cups, or plants from magazines. It’s ok if the objects you find are different sizes! Playing with the scale of your images gives your collage visual interest. Arrange the images on top of your table drawing, then glue them in place to finish your collage.
Tiny tableaux photography. Find objects around the house that interest you, like mugs, pieces of fabric, toys, or even real fruits and vegetables. Think like an artist and arrange the objects you find into an interesting composition. Here are some ideas you can explore:
- Create depth: consider propping up some objects so you have different levels to your still life, or arranging them so you have a front, middle, and back.
- Limit color: the objects in Bride are monochromatic, meaning they’re all one color. Arrange a composition from 3 to 5 objects that are all the same color.
- Play with lighting: after arranging your objects, decide how to best show off their surfaces or textures. You could place the composition near a window to see the effects of natural light; or, shine a bright light (like a lamp or a flashlight) to create dramatic shadows.
When your composition is complete, take a photograph to capture your still life!
2D to 3D. Beth Lipman’s sculpted glass gives shape to objects that appear in many still life paintings and drawings, like foods or decorative vessels and vases. Transform your flat art into a sculptural arrangement by propping it up! Select an object from around your house and create an observational drawing or painting. Look closely and pay attention to the colors, highlights and shadows, and textures that you can see. When you’re all finished, cut a strip of cardboard and fold it into a triangle shape. Then, glue the triangle onto the back of your drawing so it stands up! Create 3 to 5 drawings using this method, and when they’re all prepared with their cardboard stands, arrange your newly-3D drawings into a still-life formation.
Paper food sculptures. What delicious foods appear in Bride’s sculpted glass? Oysters, fish, and more–and the shape of the platforms might remind you of a fancy wedding cake! Create your favorite foods by using paper sculpting techniques. First, think about what your favorite food looks like. Is it round, flat, long, or tall? On a plate or in a bowl? Do you slice it or eat it whole? Then shape pieces of colorful construction paper to bring it to life using these techniques:
- Crumple paper into a ball to create a rounded shape, perfect for apples, oranges, or other fruits.
- Twist paper into a long roll to create skinny stems or vines
- Curl paper strips around a pencil to create spirals, soft swirls, or waves for bacon, cake frosting, or vegetables
- Fold paper precisely by rubbing a ruler over a crease to create sharp folds for slices of cake
- The Ring Bearer by Floyd Cooper. Jackson is nervous about being the ring bearer in his mom’s wedding and about becoming a big brother. On the day of the ceremony, he learns a valuable lesson about how helping his new sister can help him feel less nervous. Enjoy a read-aloud video of this book for a sweet celebration of family, love, and weddings.
- Fruit Bowl by Mark Hoffmann. A hilarious celebration of the fruit bowl, a frequent subject of still life painting and drawing. Tomato tries to prove to his fruit friends that he belongs in the fruit bowl too! With the help of food science and a wise raisin, he wins them over and brings along a few surprise friends. Borrow a free digital copy of this book with your NC library card here.
- Elena’s Serenade written by Campbell Geeslin and illustrated by Ana Juan. After being told that girls can’t be glassblowers, Elena sets off on a journey to Monterrey – home of the great glass blowers in Mexico – to prove her father wrong. In this magical realist tale, Elena’s determination pushes her forward on a fantastical journey back to her father’s studio to share what she learned along the way. Read along with this book here.
If a sculpture can be inspired by a wedding cake, can a cake be inspired by art? Enjoy this round-up of real cakes that interpret famous works of art, all created by the talented cake designers at Tortik Annushka. They’re almost too impressive to eat!