Friday, December 14, 2012

Family Record Trees

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The American Folk Art Museum provided the inspiration for this artwork.  By looking at and discussing
 Family Record for Andrew Bickford and Olive Clark we were able to understand that family histories were often created by hand in a variety of mediums such as embroidery or watercolor.


I wanted to incorporate a festive holiday feel along with a family record so I decided to combine the two. I'm so pleased with how thoughtfully each student worked on their piece.  I believe they really understood the personal significance attached to their work.  Thus far, these are the only two finished but  they are so dear I wanted to share them now.

Process after looking and talking about the artwork above:

  • printed the tree with toilet paper rolls and added lights by finger painting
  • on a separate sheet of paper, drew small portraits to go in the circles/ornaments
  • cut and glued them inside of circles
  • drew a background representative of their life


  1. I can rely on your blog to show me original ideas. The family trees are more than a Christmas craft activity which is what I'm trying to avoid. Thank you.

  2. I really appreciate your comment, I strive to design lessons that are thought provoking and enduring. I can see that you do as well as I look at your blog. I sincerely believe art making can and should be meaningful as opposed to a patterned "make and take" piece. I'm sure there is a place for that, but I feel that if I have an opportunity to provide more, I should run with it.

  3. At Francis Ford Coppola's (sp?) winery in northern California they have a wonderful history of family displayed with a simple photo and a short description of each member's strengths and interests. It was powerful in that it showed where the next generation received some of their inspiration or gifts. Speaking of inspiration - now I'm inspired to do this project with my girls to remember the loved ones before them. Love your art and your site. Thank you.