Saturday, December 21, 2013

Art Around the World at Preschool!

The most wonderful thing about 2013 has been bringing my classes to a local preschool. Our first session was ANIMAL ART followed by ART AROUND THE WORLD.  It brought a lot of new challenges. First of all, the kids were coming to me as an Enrichment Program so they'd all had a full morning of school AND stayed for lunch. Sometimes they arrived thinking it was time to head home.

So I learned that to keep them really interested.
My solution was to break up the classroom into stations!
  • We often read a related book first. In Art Around the World it was often a folk tale. 
  • The largest table is the place for the most involved and time-consuming art project.
  • The smaller table is for projects that are somewhat less structured.
  • We end each class at the Experiment Table.
  • Egyptian Necklaces

    Ancient Egyptian Headresses
    Mexican Painted buses had wheels that turned!    
    Swedish Dala horses

    African Shakera instruments
    Russian nesting doll next to Onion Dome collage
    Nesting Doll with mini dolls that fit inside!
    Glue some crayons on cardboard and let the kids take turns holding the hairdryer!

    Q-tip Paintings
    It's been a busy Fall and I'm excited that this Winter I'll be bringing my classes to an additional preschool as well. I hope I can repeat some of these projects with the new classes and work in a bunch of new projects as well.  But no fear, there is so much art to create that no class will ever have to repeat a project they've already done!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Self Portraits with Frida and the Scouts

I've been lucky enough to have worked with several Boy Scout and Girl Scout troupes in the past couple years. I've done a variety of programs with them but lately I've been helping several Girl Scout troupes earn their painting badges. Perhaps helping is probably the wrong word. I would have to say it was more like Guiding. These girls could clearly all draw and paint. My job was really to find a fun way for them earn a badge and perhaps give them a new way to look at themselves.

In an hour.  After pledges and snack. Easy? With THESE bright talented girls it was beyond easy!

  • Introduce them to Frida Khalo's self-portraits.
  • Give them all mirrors.
  • Talk to them about really looking at themselves: have them inspect the real shape of their heads. Are their eyes really dots or circles or perhaps more almond shaped? 
  • Ask them to think about composition: is their head in the middle of the page the only way to go? 
  • How about colors? Skin is not one flat color. Hair usually has different shades and tones in it. How can their artwork reflect that?
And more. Keep them looking. Keep them thinking. Lots to think about in under an hour. 

You might notice that these aren't your usual paintings. Because I never know what the setup will be in the various locations I often avoid actual paint with these projects. So here we worked with oil pastels and a medium that would help them use them in a painterly manner: BABY OIL! That's right, the entire room smelled like the beach in the 1980's.  (Some of you might remember those days. The days before we were told about sun damage and baby oil was our choice of tanning lotion.) But I digress...

Did I mention that they had to add the stuffed animal of their choice? Who better to accompany them to their meeting!

Excellent work, girls!

Saturday, December 14, 2013


Leave it to me to forget to update my blog with information about my MAKE AND TAKE CRAFT FAIR. Which is TODAY! Yikes! Our area is about to be blanketed with snow and events all over have been cancelled. But I'm from snow country. 4 inches of snow? BAH! 
We are on!

We have enough for 70-80 crafters!