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.

Monday, March 23, 2015

matisse's elaborate wallpaper and rug patterns (table cloths too!)

On Sunday afternoon our class was titled, "Matisse's Elaborate Wallpaper and Rug Patterns".  

Before looking at Matisse's work, the students discussed the characteristics of patterns. 

When observing Matisse's paintings, they noted his use of bold and vivid color when creating his detailed patterns.  

The children began by sketching out patterns of their own, giving them a better understanding of the process required in creating a handmade pattern.  

When they discovered a pattern they were happy with, they applied paint.

After learning how to create the look of a three dimensional space by drawing three lines, there were squeals of delight.  I think they were already able to imagine this empty space becoming a room of their own.

The children decided if they wanted to use their own patterns or pick others from the examples we had referenced earlier.  They used tracing paper templates from each wall and floor area. They used these templates to measure and cut from their patterns, eventually gluing their wallpaper and rug patterns down.

We took some time to observe what Matisse chose to place in his rooms.  The children created their interiors by drawing and cutting out windows, light fixtures and furniture.  They found clippings from magazines as well.

This particular project took over two hours to create.  When I reflect on this class, each student's focus and enthusiasm throughout the course of this creative cycle still amazes me.  

In addition to reading a Matisse book one student had brought to share, we also read a book on "Blue Dog", a favorite creation/subject for the artist, George Rodrigue.

Monday, March 16, 2015

milton avery: the art of simplicity and perspective

Before we headed outside to enjoy the beautiful weather, the children spent time looking at some examples of Milton Avery's monoprints.  

milton avery, sea, moon and stars

We applied paint to laminate wood plates with palette knives and paintbrushes (an enjoyable activity in itself) and used q-tips to create our drawing or design, transferring them to paper.

 Before our walk, we looked at several of Milton Avery's paintings and had a discussion on perspective.  Some of the children practiced this idea when we were sketching outside.

After a hearty snack and a lot of water, we started our last activity.  We looked at Milton Avery's paintings again and discussed how he used shapes to represent an area of the landscape.  We also observed that the artist wasn't attached to using realistic colors.

milton avery, red rock falls
milton avery, shapes of spring

The children chose a Milton Avery piece that inspired them and used this reference to create their own painting on canvas.

I was particularly impressed with the children's interpretations and, as per usual, wish I had better photos of their process!  

As a result, we had some proud painters.

The children also had some time to explore a new material, watercolor crayons.

new vocabulary: palette knife, plate, monoprint, abstract, perspective

And just for fun: 
I think this is one of the better, more concise articles on the benefits of art education.

There are 3 more classes scheduled this month:

Check out this link for classes in April!

Monday, March 9, 2015

weekday workshop

Our first art lesson was on the subject of Georgia O'Keeffe and her watercolor paintings.  We studied her piece, Evening Star, and created interpretations of our own.  I wish I had photographs of all of these.  They were ALL so amazing!  The children seemed to be really surprised and proud of their work.

In addition to making every effort to visit all of the participants' favorite places in the museum, we also visited three distinct pieces/exhibits this past Friday.  All three were created by women.  

Our first stop was Georgia O'Keeffe's painting, Pedernal - From the Ranch #1.  

We also viewed O'Keeffe's, Chesnut Tree - Grey

 Here we are in a tiny gallery (Gallery 353) with Rosa Bonheur's piece, Palette

Our last stop was a visit to the MAEP Gallery and an installation by the living and local artist, 
Carolyn Swiszcz titled, Inventory.

After climbing the "snow hill", returning to the classroom and devouring our lunches, we discussed Carolyn's work and her interest in painting everyday, ordinary subjects.  I asked the children to follow suit and to pick a chair in the classroom to study, draw and paint.

You may or may not be curious as to why we painted on gesso-covered junk mail.  First of all, I think it's somewhat magical that pretty much any surface can be transformed into a painting surface after adding a layer of gesso.  And just as important, the combination of the advertisement (whether it be lettering or images) and gesso adds more texture and dimension to a painting - something that normally might take several layers of painting and much more time to create.  It's a great lesson on "re-using" (recycling) too!

I use gesso covered junk mail as well (and wish I would remember to use it more)!

For more information regarding Create Everyday ART Classes for Children visit:

You can also visit the Create Everyday Classroom on facebook

Need a birthday gift?
I am in the process of designing gift certificates (for any denomination).
Contact me here for more information.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

mask making and clothing design

Everything received a layer of paint during our mask making and costume design workshop this past Saturday.  The children started with their envelopes (some deciding later to transform these into pockets). 

They thought up painting patterns for their hats.

Those who chose to create paper bag shirts, chose from a variety of materials including ribbon, tissue paper and paper scraps.  Some were most thrilled with their binoculars.  Others created masks using paper plates.

We played dress up when we were finished.  Come to think of it, this workshop was such a hit, I think it would make a great art making birthday party theme.

This particular workshop required much planning and patience for these young artists.  There were many steps involved and patience was required while waiting for layers of paint to dry.  

The children chose other ways to create over the course of this workshop as well.

another paper bag with soft pastels and scissors were used to create
this seal, owl and mouse (?)

Elia brought the book, Sky Color by Peter Reynolds.  We read this book while eating clementines, strawberries, AND carrots.

watercolors, inspired by the book, Sky Color

Have you heard this song?  This song was written and is performed by Kristin Andreassen and won the John Lennon Songwriting Contest in the Children's Category.  
We've been listening a lot to this song in the classroom.

Friday, March 6 - WEEKDAY WORKSHOP at the MIA, 9am - 1pm (full class, waiting list)
Saturday, March 14 - Illustrating Compound Words, 10:30-12:30
Sunday, March 15- Milton Avery: The Art of Simplicity and Perspective, 1:30-4:30 (one more seat available)
Saturday, March 21 - Matisse: Elaborate Wallpaper and Rug Patterns, 1:30-4:30
Thursday and Friday, March 26 + 27 -
WEEKDAY WORKSHOP at the MIA, 9am- 1pm (2 more seats available)

Sunday, April 12 - Art + Music Workshop: create Peter and the Wolf 3D story boards, 1:30-4:30 
Saturday, April 18 - Lino Block Carving and Printing with guest artist, Ara Schmidt, 1:30-4:30

Create Everyday SUMMER ART CAMPS -
JUNE 8 - 12 : Collecting Ideas/Creating Art 830 am - 1pm (2 seats remaining)

Believe it or not, I am getting closer to collaborating with a ceramic artist.  Stay tuned!

Read more about Create Everyday Art Classes for Children here.

Monday, February 16, 2015

jasper johns

Jasper Johns study: mosaic/collage flags

Jasper Johns was our artist of study today.  We discussed this artist's interest in creating flags, letters and numbers.  The children created their own flags, ripping up pages of magazine papers and glueing them in patterns.

While continuing with our Jasper Johns theme, 
we also incorporated President Obama's campaign slogan
into our painting of wood plaques.

The children spent time, writing on their handmade chalkboards, rubbing coins and identifying the presidents, straw blowing and working with clay.

Tucker received some good lovin' as well.

Read and view photos from our WEEKDAY WORKSHOP on Friday, February 13 here.

To read more about Create Everyday art classes for children, visit this link.
I still have availability in a few of my March classes!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Friday WEEKDAY workshop

I thought creating king and queen of hearts mixed media portraits would be enough heart making for the day, but it turns out, hearts were made, given, received and left both in the classroom AND at the MIA today.

The children created valentines to give to the MIA staff.  
The recipients were so touched by the children's gifts 
and the children glowed in return.  

Each child was given a heart upon entering the museum.  
Their assignment was to leave it next to the exhibit that was their favorite. 

A few children left their hearts with the digital projection in the atrium.

The children noticed many other hearts left by other visitors today.   
This naturally brought attention to pieces they may not have noticed.

We climbed the hill on our walk back to the classroom before lunch.

Happy Valentine's Day!