Monday, August 30, 2010

Last Gasps of Summer

Quick sketch of our "neck of the woods"(on the back of my son's crumpled algebra paper from last school year) with colored pencil added.

Some of you closer to my age might remember this house from the L.A. Arboretum (top left) from the TV series, "Fantasy Island." Tattoo shouting, "The plane the plane!" Anyone? :)

We stayed close to home all summer until this last week - even then we only ventured no father than 60 miles away. These photos were all taken at the L.A. Arboretum and Long Beach, CA. Hoping you all enjoyed your summers and wishing you wonderful new school years!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Versatile Blogger Award

I was thrilled to receive The Versatile Blogger Award from There's a Dragon in My Art Room and Mini Matisse - both fabulous blogs, which made it all the more an honor! As the rules state, you must:

Rule # 1.) Thank the person who gave the award.

Thanks very much again Phyl of There's a Dragon in My Art Room and and Mrs. Hahn of Mini Matisse! It is greatly appreciated. You are both clearly amazing art teachers! (I did not include you in my blog list below, only to spread the wealth to 2 extra bloggers.)

Rule # 2.) Share 7 things about yourself:

1.) With a background in fine art and graphic design and quite a few courses in art history, I reinvented myself at 40, and absolutely love my "new" career as a children's art teacher!

2.) I have been with my husband literally half my life. (Met at age 21 and will be married 18 years as of next month). He is an amazingly creative Director of Banquets and Caterer. He loves to cook for me, even after his crazy banquet hours.

3.) I have 2 children, 8 and 15. My daughter loves HGTV and is already planning her future dream home (hardwood floors, marble countertops ect.). My son is 15 and that means I am barred from discussing him in any way. :) Too bad because he is quite funny.

4.)We have 2 rescue Terrier-mix mutts, who bring us a lot of laughs! This is despite their obvious quirks. Kobe has a definite case of Napolean Complex and loves to trash talk only the largest dogs: Pit Bulls, Mastiffs, ect.. Ally, who looks likes a leggy Benji, hates all loud things with wheels: skateboards, UPS trucks, motorcycles ect..

5.) I try to live by my mom's mantra, "be here now" and my Dad's practice of "plan your work, work your plan." I reiterate: try.

6.) We live in a wonderful SoCal beach town, just a couple blocks from the ocean. This means there is no reason for the kids to say, "I'm bored." But of course some things are inevitable :)

7.) I hope to one day have the opportunity to travel abroad. Italy would probably be my first choice. For now I am content to watch Anthony Bourdaine's, "No Reservations" and Samantha Brown on The Travel Channel.

Rule #3) Pass the award onto 15 other bloggers you have recently discovered and enjoy.

1.) Lines, Dots and Doodles

2.) Mrs. Picasso's Art Room

3.) MN Art Gal

4.) Artolazzi

5.) Vivid Layers

6.) Meri Cherry

7.) Art with Mrs. Smith

8.) Fem Manuals

9.) For the Love of Art

10.) Kids Artists

11.) Learning Parade

12.) Quest Artists

13.) Art Project Girl

14.) Apples Love Oranges

15.) Laugh Paint Create

I could mention many more! Recipients, feel free to pass the award along if and when you have the time. I know everyone is in back to school mode.

Fantastic Creative Opportunity

Just recently I found artist Carla Sonheim through the wonderful blog, Vivid Layers. Based on the rave reviews of Marcia and many others from Amazon, I purchased Sonheim's "Drawing Lab, 52 Creative Exercises to Make Drawing Fun." It was money well spent. There are some wonderful and fun exercises to help me remember the joy of creating art. I can still fall victim in focusing on product instead of process with my own work. I think young elementary school children are such fun to teach because they love the process.

This brings me to the point of this post. On Carla Sonheim's blog
she is offering a fabulous online course: The Art Of Silliness 2, 30 worksheets, 30 days, for $25. The exercises are "non-threatening and easy" and just plain fun. Her book reflects this wonderful looseness and whimsy. She mentions that teachers are welcome to photocopy the worksheets and use them in classrooms. I have signed up and just wanted to pass the word along to my fellow blog friends. These aren't long, time consuming exercises and can always be set aside for a day with more free time. Check out her blog for more info. I'm really looking forward to it!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Summer Samplings

Newspaper Penguin Collage

Asian Koi scrolls with individual printed red "chop"

More fun with toothpaste and lotion batik a la Phyl

More experiments with Chihuly

Pop Art Self Portraits
(Special thanks to For the Love of Art)

Maneki Neko, Japanese "Beckoning Cat"
(5-6 year olds)

Ancient Greek

Painted Cheetahs (5-8 year olds)
Animal Art Camp

This is just a sampling of some of the projects my 6 art classes and themed mini camps worked on this summer. I had ages 5 thru 13 and really enjoyed helping them create some wonderful artwork. I look forward to some fall art fun in the next few weeks!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bedtime Dinosaurs

My Children's Book Art Mini Campers took at a look at the very cute, "How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?" by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague. ( A real favorite in my house when my children were "young"). I have been wanting to do a dinosaur art project for some time, so this was a great opportunity. I have to say the children (mostly age 6) were somewhat intimidated at the prospect of drawing a dinosaur. But after the first few "lumps and bumps" and "candy cane shapes" in my direct line drawing lesson, they were completely at ease and enjoying the process.

After their drawings were complete and gone over in permanent marker, they were able to paint their piece as they chose with watercolors. "Yes, Sydney, you can paint your dinosaur in rainbow colors." While still wet we sprinkled our work with salt. This gave the dinosaur skin that lumpy reptile effect. Of course, they loved this part! Once dry, our creatures, complete with blankies, were cut out and glued to a black construction paper background. Stars and moon were then added. This was one of my favorite projects of the summer. I love the individual personalities of each of these dinosaurs. Well done kids!!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Egyptian Pharaoh and Queen Self Portraits

My example using my niece Shaeye 6 year old students

My Art from Around the World Mini Campers travelled to Egypt and created their own ancient pharaoh oe queen self portrait (inspired by a project I saw on Artsonia). I took a facial profile picture of each child that I printed on simple computer paper. These were cut out and gone over with a watered down light tan tempera wash. After dry, the children added the Egyptian tradmake eyeliner around their eyes as well as highlighting their brow. These profiles were glued to a 12" X 18" black construction paper and using paint and oil pastels, a royal headress (as well as a tunic) was added using the simple shape of Queen Nefertiti or Ramses III. They created their own royal mat for their portraits using metalic gold, red and blue paint. For our finishing touch, we painted aluminum foil with gold metallic tempera and after dry, we engraved it with our initials in Egyptian hieroglyphics using the back of a paint brush. This was cut out and added to the side to really personalize their portraits. I love the way these turned out and the children had a lot of fun with this project as well.