TEACHING KIDS ART

Class 9

So now you know why you haven’t heard much from me…yep, I’ve been teaching art to kids!

Class 8

I offered a 5 week sketchbook class for children ages 7-14, I was an assistant for pottery camp for kids and I was part of an art collaborative camp that offered pottery, fine art and crafts.  WOW, there was so much going on! Of course I only remembered my camera about 4 times total, but I still captured some fun projects.

Class 1

At the beginning of every sketchbook class I would ask them to create contour drawings or detailed sketches of the craziest still lives I could come up with!

Class 2

One day we created Miro Drawings.  We looked at Miro’s work and then focused on straight lines, curved lines and geometric shapes.  After the drawing is composed, you cover the board with tin foil and rub the lines on the surface.  This gives great guide lines for then adding color with Sharpie markers. Kids love the brightness the foil provides.

Class 3

Straight out of the recycling bin comes soda can portraits!  Of course the kids take pleasure in smashing their own can, but then they have to look within all of the crevices to create a work of art.

Class 6

Here are some examples of printmaking in it’s most basic form.  You take a block of wood, cut out an image from craft foam and glue it to the block.  I then had a print making station with black ink, a brayer and plenty of paper to try to make a print.  I generally offer 5×7 inch blocks reminding the kids they can use these over and over again.  Think thank you cards!

Class 5

I am not sure why, but I’ve never met a kid that wasn’t obsessed with creating spin art (um…adults too!).

When my kids were little we’d take out the tiny plastic spin art machine and play with it for hours.

I always wanted bigger spin art.  I couldn’t find an old record player, I thought of repurposing some power tools, but then I finally found it. It was a decade ago, but it was a you-tube video on how to convert a box fan into a spin art machine.  Let’s just say by nightfall, I was up and spinning!  I’ve brought this machine to fairs and as soon as the kids try it, I can’t get them to do anything else!  I think it’s the element of surprise.  You never know what you have until the wheel stops spinning!

Class 7

One of the final projects I caught on film was a pastel project I found on Pinterest.  Click here to see the blog post for Spencer Loomis’ Art Class.  I found these giant black poster boards at our recycling center and knew this project would have amazing results.  I pulled out about 6 books from the library on sunflowers and Van Gogh.  I emphasized the fact the Van Gogh painted every stage of the flower’s life, not just it’s perfect state (for those of you that don’t know, people believe this was a metaphor representing birth to death).  We talked about withering, how we could capture the look of wind blowing through the petals and the final big lesson was the use of warm vs. cool colors.  If the flower’s center used cool colors, then the outer petals need to be warm or vise versa.  Either would create enough contrast while still using every color under the sun!

Class 4

The results were simply stunning.  Plus I could see smiles, confidence and pride in how fantastic they came out.  Totally a fun teachable moment.

Other projects that were tackled consisted of mine craft portraits, story dice, leaf comics, animal mash-ups, weaving and a sketchbook favorite, zen tangles.

Classes finished up Friday and my kids start school this upcoming week.  I’m gearing up for my own personal art time!

FRESH FROM THE KILN

pottery

YAY! I have new pieces to share!

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Over a month ago I posted a photo of these pieces in raw form.  Each of them had one hand-built component and one wheel thrown component. I like to marry the two in order to create one-of-a-kind pieces.

Now I can unveil them glazed and with flowers from my gardens!

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Most of us pottery folk are always holding our breath when it comes to applying glazes.  You have a vision of what you expect a piece to look like finished, but seldom do they ever live up to your expectations.  I am getting better.  The top two came out exactly how I envisioned.  The bottom piece was supposed to be purple and yellow on the bottom and instead it looks like modeled stone.  Heck, I’ll take it! It looks like it’s from an old ruin.

Here are my vessels filled with natures bounty:

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I relish the time spent buzzing around my yard.  Dashing here, snipping there, taking in all the glorious smells.

Then I retreat indoors, carrying all of my finds.  I can easily spend up to an hour arranging .  It is like child’s play.  The color, shapes, angles, and placement of each piece put me into a zen state.

Then out comes the camera.  Another hour could easily be spent honing in on the tiniest area, observing the light and scientifically inspecting each and every petal.

Of course this makes me want to paint which has been hard because I’ve been teaching art & pottery classes for the past three weeks.

So, I retreat back, stay in the moment and enjoy the warmth and beauty of the outdoors.  Autumn will be here before you know it.   Then is when I will get back to painting and like a squirrel that has hidden nuts, I will pull out my treasure trove of summer photos, find inspiration and relive all of summer’s beauty once more.

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aIMG_1730Oh, here are two other vessels I brought to my last art show.  Luckily I photographed them an hour before the show, because they sold!  I wouldn’t have had any record of ever making them!

I shall definitely need to create more canisters this autumn when my pottery class begins again.  They were a hit and I definitely want some for myself!

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Well, that’s all I got for today.

 I hope you are all enjoying your summer and staying creative.

There’s so much inspiration out there!

FULL CIRCLE

 

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My gift to the birds is to provide them with plenty of seed to eat.

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Their gift to me is to plant the seed.

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When we allow it, the universe works in perfect harmony.

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This is one of my largest lessons in life, control.

“I want this to happen…I really don’t want that to happen…I need to think harder…work harder…make things happen!”

I work very hard at attempting to manipulate my piece of the universe.

…but guess what?  It’s not working too well! 

I just wind up exhausted and empty.

When will we learn to get out of our heads and trust that everything is exactly how it should be?

Without our TOTAL CONTROL, the world just seems to be a better place.

I’m thankful for this beautiful flower. It is yet another reminder.

…that quite simply,  I have nothing to do with it :)

FROM DRAB TO FAB

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OK. I don’t want any messages telling me you like the green better!

_aaa (1)There is no way a true color enthusiast could own a drab green house….there’s just too many other wonderful colors to choose from!

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I picked yellow because although the house is quite large with an addition off the back, from the outside, my house looks tiny.  To me it looks like a cottage.  I always loved yellow cottages when I was a kid. I thought happy people must live there.  It’s always sunny at their house!

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My childhood home was white with black shutters.

My first home we ever purchased was white with black shutters.

I was pretty sure there was no way I’d ever live in a house that wasn’t white with black shutters!

I’ve lived in this house for three years.  The house was drab green and it always felt like it still belonged to the family that lived here before me.

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Now that the house is a radiant yellow.  It feels like it is my house. Mary’s house.  Crazy bright Mary’s house.

I am going to make a sign and give the house a name.

I am going to call it “Sunnyside Cottage“.

My happy place.

Thank you. Plain and Simple. Thank you.

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Reporting from the art front, I am pretty sure I can officially declare myself -exhausted!

I am still trying to catch my breath from my amazing art show Saturday. As you can see, I am only now getting all of the photographs loaded and finding that quiet moment to reflect.

Gratitude.

That is the word. That is the emotion I am feeling, GRATITUDE.

Now of course there was the tremendous amount of art…

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And there was beautiful flowers and food….

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But really, what made the show beautiful, WERE THE PEOPLE!

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My gorgeous girlfriend Elisa Lucia, staged props throughout the entire venue from her home-staging business.  Pretty vignettes that look like the very things I love to paint, were interspersed throughout my work.

My Aunt & Uncle and cousins came to support me even thought they already showed their support at my New York show!

I had other cousins with newborn children who set the date and came to see my show. Even though that had to be quite difficult for them and quite a distance to travel.

Then there’s my local friends and family here in RI, that POWER BLASTED Facebook for me.  They invited their friends to come and join and spread the word in the most creative ways. I am so very lucky to have these people in my life.

My biggest thank you goes to my mother.  Her energy and boundless creativity put me to shame!  My mom framed, hung both shows and promoted her heart out with not one single complaint.  Hours and hours of work went into these art shows and she was with me every step of the way. To nurture me and also to push me out of the nest.  There are no words to describe how lucky I am to have her.

I had over a hundred people come visit Saturday.  Each person followed me through the entire journey, they watched day after day, night after night, cheering me on and letting me know that they were there.

What one might consider a lonely experience was actually anything but…

I know it sounds crazy, maybe even a bit cliché, but truly, what will I take from this entire 365 experience?

The people, the gathering, the community, the positivity, the nurturing, the enthusiasm, the support.

For if a tree falls in the forest, and there is no one to hear it, does it make a sound?

I can create and create and create, but if I have no one to share it with…

There’d simply be no joy.

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What to Wear? What to Wear?

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My art show is tomorrow!  I’m finding it hard to sleep…nerves are kicking in.

So of course there’s always one more worry…WHAT TO WEAR?

Do I go classy & sophisticated?  …nah, people wouldn’t recognize me?

Do I go simple and understated?   …nah, I’d probably actually get picked on!

No, I need something bright, possibly borderline obnoxious.  You know, that person who loves color so much she just can’t stop at the brightly colored dress?  You know, that woman who loves sparkle so much she needs something dangling from every single appendage?  And why would you stop accessorizing there, when you could add a headband and floral shoes to boot?

Yes, this seems fittin’

Those who’ve grown to know me and even kind of love me will understand.

I just can’t help it!

http://www.becreativemary.com

Pear in Shadow

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This painting looks large on-screen, but in actuality it measures a mere 2 x 2 inches!

I have one of those ceramic berry containers that are meant to look like the plastic pints you get from the farmer’s market.

I tell you, no matter what I put in the container it winds up looking special.

Even a simple old pear.

The light and shadows fall through the vessel just like magic.

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 Then you add a frame and a painting that once looked cute, now looks splendid!

Maybe I’m lost in my own little world, but little things like this

just make me happy

:)