Thursday, October 19, 2017

O'keeffe inspired acrylics

How could I do a camp themed on doing everything supersize and not utilize Georgia O'Keeffe for the acrylic project?

10 year old

We spent some time looking through a large book I have of all her flower paintings. We debriefed several of the artworks and the kids had a lot of insightful things to say.

6 year old

6 year old

Each child was given a large canvas to use for their creation and I cut flowers and leaves from my backyard for reference. For fun I gave each of them some white gesso with a palette knife and a piece of cardboard to experiment creating texture on their canvases before painting.

We did this at the end of the camp the day before so it had time to dry by the next morning.

7 year old

They had the option to focus on one leaf, one flower or several from the bunches I brought into the studio.

6 year old

They mixed all their own colors from a primary palette with black and white.

8 year old

Although it would be cool, I do not have carnivorous plants in my backyard. This child utilized the file cabinet full of reference for this painting. However the addition of the spider was all his own!

9 year old

Love how each child interpreted the project and the wide variety of flower paintings we had at the end.

9 year old

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

large ink bird drawings on rice paper

Everything was supersize in the Supersize It! art camp.

So instead of cutting up the large sheets of rice paper, the kids created ink paintings using a full size sheet.

So we are talking very big pieces of paper.

Using India Ink and a sumi-e brush, the young artist created a gestural ink drawing  of a bird and then using colored inks painted their drawings.

Although they used reference, I encouraged them to create birds from their imaginations.

I love the way they turned out. They are so vibrant and full of so much personality.

Some children realized that although they thought they were drawing their birds big, they in fact were still drawing small for the size of the paper and were left with a lot of negative space.

But what an incredible opportunity that turned out to be to figure out a way to problem solve what to do next and really resolve it with some amazing new compositions they hadn't first thought about doing. I love how the addition of the branch adds interest to the flying bird's movement and how one of the youngest artist added additional birds to a wire to create a repetitive pattern to the one original small bird she placed on the paper.

This brushes of blue around this bird with the nod to a tree on the right is quite brilliant. When I look at this I can hear Picasso's quote of how adult artist are always trying to draw like children as would we with all our training have the courage to just place a couple of brushstrokes of blue to represent sky next and a quick stroke of green for tree to frame a bird?

I was quite impressed with all the kids compositions to be truthful. I think just trying to manage reaching the full paper from top to bottom led to some choices they would not of made normally.

A couple of children really worked with creating an abstracted version of a bird from real life. LOVE this woodpecker!

And this Dodo bird?! The only thing better than the picture is the conversation that happened while he was painting it. He went on and on about how he wished he could see a Dodo bird. How sad it was that the bird is extinct. I thought that was so sweet and then he announced he wished they were still around so he could eat one because he wondered what they would taste like.

Not where I thought the conversation was going......out of the mouth of babes.

A couple of the kids wanted to explore the inks a little more after they finished their first artworks and I had some extra paper cuts for them to play with.

This one was created using a quill pen on rice paper instead of the semi-e brush. I don't know why, but I can absolutely see this as a tattoo.

And this boy just wanted to play with mark making and explore the strokes he could make with the brush.

Vibrant. Bold. Original. 

These paintings are some of my favorites to come out of the studio during the summer. I love how using the ink and brush along with the large paper helped the kids really open up their strokes and create some very loose drawings full of personality.

I'm sure I'll be coming back to these materials in the future.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

large watercolor paintings

I ran an art camp where the theme was big.

Every single project was supersized.

"on the hunt" 8 year old

We started the week with very large watercolor paintings.

dragon, 9 year old

I suggested the subject matter be their favorite animal.

flying unicorn, 6 year old

pygmy puff, 7 year old

We discussed foreground, mid ground, and background as they sketched their compositions.

photobombing hamster, 7 year old

I asked them when faced with such a large piece of paper if their animals should be small?

Thankfully I got a resounding NO!!

eye of the dragon, 9 year old

I then offered up a challenge to draw their favorite animal SO LARGE that only a portion of the animal was on the paper with the caveat that this was only a suggestion and that it was up to them to make the artistic choice as to how they decided to compose their picture.

panda in bamboo forest, 6 year old

Each child then had a palette of primary colors along with black for painting so they could use the project to explore color mixing.

dragon war, 10 year old

The results are super fantastic!

Monday, October 16, 2017

textile and paint art camp

During the summer I decided to run a camp that combined textile and paint.

We started with this very fun project where the kids created pillows using canvas bags. I sure wish I could take credit for the genius idea of turning a plain canvas bag into a pillow but alas I cannot, I found the idea from Meri Cherry (yes that's her real name), a teacher I met through Instagram.

Seriously this world gets smaller by the day and you meet people in the most interesting ways. Meri Cherry has a studio in California and she does some very exciting things with young children. One of them was this very simple way to create decorative pillows.

You literally take a canvas bag, stuff it with some filling and iron it shut with sewing adhesive. Doable even for me, a woman who struggles to thread a bobbin.

I decided to have the young artists create an acrylic painting on a canvas bag instead of a traditional canvas, once the paint was dried gave the finished works a once over with a hot iron to set, then stuffed and ironed.

The kids LOVED them. They asked to do it again. I heard from all of them how much they enjoyed doing something other than painting on paper that they could use to decorate their rooms. Evidently their walls at home are getting too full to display more artwork, we should all have such problems....

I created a printmaking project where the kids created change pouches.

Each artist created a linocut to use for printing. I put out a variety of inks and let them have fun.  Interesting to watch how they decided to use their printing plate differently on each side of the pouch. Again, they all seemed very pleased to have a project on something other than paper. Who knew?









We used dyes and resist to create one of a kind t-shirts

And I introduced an artist I had seen at the Albertina Museum while traveling in the summer named Eduard Angeli. It was a retrospective of his work in honor of his birthday and these pastels on a hemp like fabric just about did me in, this bridge in particular. Is it not stunning?

artwork by Eduard Angeli

I think the security guard was equal parts concerned I was going to stick my nose right on the piece and amused at how smitten I was as I tried to figure out the process. If only we each had spoken the others' language, I'm sure he would of enlightened me much more on the process.

I find the security guards at the Vancouver Art Gallery are a wealth of information as they hear us touring adult and school groups through them all week.

Anyway, I had the kids create pastel drawings on linen. They couldn't resist adding some stitching since I 'framed' them in embroidery hoops. I think they came out lovely.

Love this abstract the youngest child created inspired by Angeli's work. She stitched some lines in with thread and then just enjoyed experimenting with the process of adding pastel on top. She began playing with adding some water with the pastels to see what would happen and the rest was magic.

And finally I gave the children the opportunity to paint with thread. Each child drew a picture onto their fabric and then began to fill in the drawing painting with embroidery thread. This was so popular they did not want to do anything else. Other than threading needles when they got frustrated with trying, there wasn't a whole lot for me to do other than enjoy time laughing and talking to them while admiring their artworks. Once in awhile they would ask me to show them a new stitch which at least let me feel like I was earning my pay!

And finally no week is complete without some kind of clay project and so I had them create a loom out of clay so they could try their hand at weaving. Pretty simple process, the outside could be any shape they wanted and the only parameters they had to adhere too was (1) to make sure the clay wasn't rolled out too thin. 

(2) They all used the same circle template to cut the middle out and they had to add either 15 or 17 holes- no more, no less.

 (3) And they had to have a fingers width between the opening of the circle and the weaving holes and a finger width between weaving holes and the outer edge of their clay. 

After we threaded the weft, I gave each young artist a variety of different textured white yarns to weave. Once finished they could add watercolor to paint the weaving. I should mention the kids were also able to paint their clay prior to wefting too.

As you can see, some chose to paint their yarns and some did not, but they all had fun and really enjoyed weaving. We could of made those clay frames double in size and I still think they would of wished they had more room to weave.

It was strange at the end of the week not to have the kids walk out the door with piles of artworks on paper. But like I said before, the feedback I received from several of them was they would like to do more textile and paint projects in the future. It was an interesting perspective to hear these kids desire to have more unique items to decorate their rooms with other than the tried and true paper.