do it. create. walk and see. cut and paste. scratch and sniff.
do whatever you have to do to feed your soul.
this is my commitment.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

creating with natural materials

My intention was to bring the lake to the classroom in my recent art class this past Sunday.  I wanted to give the children an opportunity to discover a variety of ways they can create with natural materials that are easily found near any body of water.

Our warm up activity involved a drawing exercise where the children chose items from my collections and created a composition by drawing or tracing these items onto paper.

The children also used these materials to create (or build) temporary "drawings".

Small pieces of driftwood were available to incorporate into a painting.

We chose driftwood sticks to create our own painted creatures.

After a snack picnic outside in the wind, we returned to the classroom for sand painting.  The children LOVED witnessing their "invisible painting" with glue come to life after adding sand.

I have finalized a date for an introduction to ceramics class (hand building and firing) with a visiting artist the first Sunday afternoon of October.  Make sure you check this out.  View October classes here.

I am already taking registrations (via email) for WEEKDAY WORKSHOPS during school closures. It's not too early to reserve your seat.  View this link for class dates.

I have 3 more seats available during my September classes on Sunday afternoon.

If your children started school already, I hope they had an exceptional experience.  This can be such an exciting time of year.  Wishing you all ease as you transition.

Thank you!

Monday, August 17, 2015

little art books

WOW.  What a fantastic class.  Do I say this too much?  AMAZING.

After introducing the Little Art Book project to the children and showing them some examples of my own little art books, they started creating their mini masterpieces.  I prepped small (approximately 4x6" pieces) of paper for watercolor, acrylic painting, printing, mark making, drawing, and collage.  I also had small fabric swatches with needle/thread available.  The children explored with all of these mediums while starting to build collections of work that looked something like this:

Once we completed our collections, we started assembling our little books.  The children chose five folded pieces of colored card stock and sewed the bindings together with needle and thread.  Once their books were bound, the children chose one of their original art works.  With scissors, they cut out their favorite part of each piece, eventually filling every page with a little excerpt from every creation.  

After a snack picnic outside of applesauce, crackers and lemonade, the younger children freely painted while the older students created a painting based on a favorite page from their books.

And I think it's fun to add a photo of the original piece of work that was cut up for the little art book pictured above here:  

As a side note, it was SO HARD for me to continue with this lesson and let them cut up their work. This is SO FUNNY considering children create magnificent work EVERY time they sit down.  Needless to say, I still found myself having to hold my tongue.

Summer is coming to an end.  Fall classes (including dates for Oct - Dec) have been posted and are on the books! View this link for class dates and weekday workshops (during school closures).  There are still four seats available in next Sunday's class too.  I'll be driving back with goodies from my favorite place on the shores of Lake Superior.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

there must be rabbits

These written words by David Shrigley did save several of my art lives.  
There is no better way to describe my creative cycle.

I've been staring at blank canvases for several months (which doesn't change the "there is nothing" phase, in case you wondered) and wondering when the next cow (since Bernadette) is and where. I've been visiting cows and making friends in the fields with every chance I get so it came as a big surprise to me when these started happening...

The subject of this work isn't really that out of the blue.  Tucker, our dwarf rabbit, moved in with us over two years ago and he brings so much personality to the table.  What is a surprise to me is my process and medium.  With small reserves of energy, I have taken to playing with watercolors, pencils and markers while being anywhere but in my studio.  I feel fortunate I have windows of time to honor this new momentum.  As a working artist, I need to embrace the "there is something" phase and not lose faith when the "then there is nothing again" returns.  This has always been my creative cycle.

Before the rabbits make their way to a gallery near you, you can view these and more here and here.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

masters' studies Summer ART Camp highlights

Summer ART Camp 
JULY 20 - 24

matisse decorative bowls

student inspired matisse (on the sidewalk)!

batik tee shirts

Louise Bourgeois textile study

spirals (clockwise from left): clay (student's work),
printing, painting and stitching (student's work), Louise Bourgeois piece
sketching at the MIA

Piet Mondrian study on clay tiles

strawberry still life
drawing with paint brush and ink
discovering a mural
paintings representing our week together (on canvas) from each artist's point of view

materials used: graphite pencil, sketchbook, paper, scissors, mod podge, paintbrush, paint rollers, cotton tee shirts, gel glue, acrylic paint, burlap, thread, needle, ribbon, ceramic tile, canvas, soft pastels, air dry clay

vocabulary: Henri Matisse, stencils, protea, batik, Louise Bourgeois, textile, Piet Mondrian, tile, Yayoi Kusami, plexiglass, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro, still life, Wayne Thiebaud, mail art (postcards)

sketchbook prompts: mug, quiet time, plant life, wild, fruit

other activities (in addition to art making): sketching at the MIA, sketching at the MCAD Sculpture Garden, lunch picnics in the MCAD Sculpture Garden, an adventure walk to see a mosaic and mural

There is one more summer camp on the books!  Check out this link for more information.

Monday, July 27, 2015

schools and schools and schools...of FISH

Fishes were our subjects of study in yesterday's art class.  Our warm up drawing exercise consisted of referencing illustrators, Brian Wildsmith, Oliver Jeffers, Manual Scanigo and Mariann Johansen-Ellis while creating drawings of our own.

For the younger children who were more intimidated about drawing fish, 
I had them imitate a line drawing similar to this:

this image was borrowed from Art Project Girl

We turned this line drawing into fish by adding tails and eyes.  
We used watercolors or markers to add color.

We all used scissors to cut out our fish and gel medium to adhere them to our art boards.

The older children also incorporated different (patterned) paper to add another point of interest to this piece.

We also designed our own coasters.  After using a permanent marker to draw or trace a fish on clay tile, we painted our drawings.  Each tile was treated with an acrylic varnish for waterproof protection.

We read the book Fishes by Brian Wildsmith.  Not only is this book filled with beautiful, full page illustrations but Fishes introduces a different synonym on every page for the word, school: "A battery of barracuda." or "A host of angel fish."

After a snack picnic that included strawberries, crackers and lemonade, we returned to the classroom for the art making finale and most favorite activity: Koinobori.  The children created paper (fish) windsocks. This involved a series of several, complicated steps and required much patience to complete.  Some of the children tested out their windsocks in front of the fan in our classroom.

The last month of summer is approaching!  There are classes available (almost) every Sunday afternoon as well as one more five day art camp.  View THIS LINK for more information.  I have also included information about a gallery art party for adults on the eve of August 29.

If you are looking for a family outing on Sunday, August 2, I will be offering FREE art activities for children at OPEN STREETS on East Lake between the hours of 11am and 1:30 pm.  The location of my tent will be in front of Le Town Talk Diner.  To continue with the French theme, the children will be introduced to three French artists.  Tell your friends.  I'd LOVE to see you there!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

chicken ART! day

William and Isaac were able to bring their chickens to art class yesterday!  The chickens were able to roam freely around the classroom.  Some of the students were comfortable holding our guests.  We used the chickens as models to create white charcoal sketches on black canvas and black paper.  The children finished their paper sketches by using soft pastels.

When our guest artist, Cami Applequist, arrived, we prepared to begin another activity.

Cami discussed her love for chickens (the primary subject of her work).  She shared her creative process and the materials she prefers to use and why.  The children were able to pass her original work around the table and inquire about the different materials used for each mixed media piece. 

After her presentation, Cami guided the children, step by step, through creating their own chicken art.I was especially fond of the fact that tearing the paper (instead of cutting) was the majority of the "creating" here.

When we completed our work with Cami, we took a picnic snack break outside.  After returning to the classroom, we practiced recognizing shadow, drawing and shading while creating a charcoal still life.

We wrapped up our chicken ART! class by painting our white charcoal sketches on canvas.

In addition to several other the books, the children especially enjoyed this one today:

First the Egg, by author and illustrator, Laura Vaccaro Seeger

To view upcoming classes at The Create Everyday Classroom, please visit this link.