Thursday, July 25, 2013

My Art - 20 Years Ago

"Sarah and Sadie" This piece hangs in my home

After working as a graphic designer and before my life as a Mom and children's art teacher, I worked as a commissioned artist in Atlanta. To state the obvious, the great majority of my pieces were African American portraits. This was not something I had pre-planned.  It just so happened that the audience that was most enthusiastic about my art at the time were African American. I did a few portraits for co-workers of my husband, and before I knew it, I had a steady stream of commissions. Clients would either give me photos or a general subject matter and I would go from there. I worked large, these are life-size works in charcoal.

 I have been fully absorbed being a children's art teacher for the past 5 years and have not given much focus to my own art. My son is turning 18 next week, and I'm thinking this might be the perfect time for me to get back into" the game." Like many of you who have described having creative "blocks", I too have dealt with the same issues. I guess it's all a matter of baby steps and just "doing it" without over thinking and agonizing. And maybe by doing this post it will a motivator to spur me into action. :)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Leroy Neiman Inspired Lion Portraits

My MaryMaking Favorites class revisited this lesson inspired by Leroy Neiman's bold, colorful and expressive animal paintings. I think they turned out both very diverse and dynamic.
Paintings by children ages 5-11.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Winter in July

Moonlit Moose
Original post can be found Here

This month in my MaryMaking Favorites class I am revisiting some of the favorite art lessons from the past 5 years. As it happens, many of those are winter themed projects. Go sunny SoCal. :)

The original lesson of  Polar Bears with Northern Lights can be found here.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Ron Burns Inspired Dogs

(This was to be a painting project, but this artist was set on pastels.
Glad I let you go your own way Avery. Love the shapes and color palette!)





This artist is full of energy and enthusiasm. It is really reflected in this piece
Nice work Michael!



Since I am a major dog lover and a big fan of Fauvist art, a Ron Burns inspired dog lesson seemed the perfect choice for my Cool Canine and Fantastic Feline group. I was so pleased to see such a variety of outcomes with this project. I did a loose direct line drawing lesson based on one of his paintings, but encouraged the kids to add their own details and personality to their work. Art by children 6-11.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Black Panthers

My Cool Canines and Fantastic Felines classes left the world of domestic cats and dogs and looked at some photos of sleek black panthers. With a wide age range, (K thru 6th) this lesson was perfect for everyone to feel successful. And as an added bonus, the children got to enjoy one of my favorite mediums, charcoal. Oh yes, it is messy for sure. "Miss Mary, I washed my hands and the charcoal is still on my fingers."  "It's not art class, if you don't get a little dirty." : )  But they could see with just a little pressure and some circular blending, the panthers really "came to life." To avoid a completely smudged piece, we cut our wild cats out and glued them to a oil pastel and watercolor background. The children had free reign to create whatever type of habitat they wanted. I like the contrast of the dark panthers against their bright backgrounds.