Tag Archives: open-ended projects.

Spirit Animals

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Spirit Animals at Art Club! I’ve been loving the advice and illustrations in Power Animals: How to Connect with Your Animal Spirit Guide by Steven Farmer, so naturally I brought that to the kids, masters at loving animals and nature, feeling connections everywhere. We discussed favorite animals, what we like about them, and how we can feel connected to a kind of animal for reasons we understand, and maybe reasons we aren’t aware of. Either way is a-okay.

20141110_162813I provided about twenty different books with animals images, including animal encyclopedias and guides, and… There Is a Bird On Your Head! by Mo Willems, just because I can. Didn’t want the kids to think they had to draw realistically. That is not my style. And so we ended up with some realistic animals, plus an unicorn pegasus, a cyclops cat, an angry sea elephant, and a saber tooth whale. Variety, people.

I drew a few samples from one of my favorite spirit animals: one realistic raccoon, a spiraly-funky raccoon, then a very colorful silly one. During class, I answered calls for help by sketching alongside–a manatee, sea grass, and a barn swallow. At times, watching someone draw an animal (on their own paper, mind) can be just what a young artist needs to make his own come out well.

A lot of spirit animals came out of that group of six lively young artists (click to enlarge):

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Filed under Artist/Author, Books & Media, Drawing, Painting & Mixed Media

Never Ending Art

 

20141104_130717I guess it’s really time to show the Finished Kitchen Cart. It’s been a while since I first wrote about this family art collaborative, surely long enough to have it done. Yep.

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 Thing is, living in a family of artists, not only are we still drawing on it, finding empty spaces now on the sides and legs, but the young artists have also begun drawing over what they’ve already done. Layers of creativity, of paint pens and designs.

From afar it looks like chaos, but looking closely you see so many little moments, secrets, signs. My Little Pony portraits. A pitched tent. Rainbows of stars. Strong-Strong from Zita the Spacegirl squeezed in by a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle speaking Love. There is so much of my young artists’ personalities in this project, it has become my favorite thing in the house. A family heirloom nobody else could create.

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All this is to say, it may never be done. I can picture them coming home to visit as adults and adding another doodle. Seriously. And I will have paint markers ready, just in case.

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So here is our trash-found treasure, once a kitchen cart, now an Art Cart. It’s got math, monsters, ponies, camping trips, stars, spirals, lizards, faces, video game mentions (Dust), and a lot of color, love, and time put into it.

 

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Filed under Collaborative Art, Drawing, Home Art

Collaborative Birthday Art

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I’ve been thinking a lot about collaborative artwork for an upcoming class, and planning how to help the kids create with one another—instead of alongside one another. My kids and I have been creating a lot of art together. It’s what we need right now: art and connection. (Also nature and extra love and puppy hugs and campfires and… well, lots of good things!)

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It’s amazing how sibling irritations can be eased by a simple rule: “Don’t draw over anyone else’s art.” When there’s only one rule to stick to, everything gets easier. Part of me wishes everything were this easy…

It’s been interesting to revisit the collaborative art that was created on my birthday a year and a half ago (all pictures are from this project). It’s like a snapshot of the gathering of friends and family. But instead of a photo moment, this beautiful thing is something we made together. It was the best gift.

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I wanted to have an Art Birthday Party (never too old, I say). So I hosted a potluck, and put out a 15 x 20 inch piece of hot press watercolor paper, and an assortment of pens, paints, stamps, markers and oil pastels. There’s something powerful about looking back on photos, as well as art from times past. My kids had fun this week remembering who drew what on this paper, turning it round and round to figure it all out–there is no “Up” on this art! Things in my life have changed a lot since that birthday, but this colorful treasure remains. I think this coming spring it’ll be time for another round of Birthday Art 🙂

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Collaborative Art, Drawing, Painting & Mixed Media, Uncategorized

Quality Control Kids

Sometimes all you need to do to inspire creativity is pull out materials the kids haven’t seen in a while, or something they’ve never seen. In this case, washable brush tip markers, freshly sharpened colored pencils, and graphic pencils in varying hardnesses. After some testing to see what’s what, a flurry of activity followed:

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Filed under Drawing, Homeschool, Inspiration & Imagination