I 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.
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.
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.
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.
In YAG this week, children from ages 2 to 14 created Art Journals. Always a hit, because you make it and then you get to use it: the art that keeps on giving.
We began with a quick chat about illuminated letters—my suggestion for the cover which they were free to accept or detour. Watercolor paper was given all around, and some of it actually met watercolors, while other artists went for Sharpies. Ah, Sharpies. You stink bad, but we love you.
I realized that if I had the young artists punch their own paper, they’d be sitting there for a couple of hours, or walk away with a five-sheet journal. I wanted them to make as thick or thin a book as they wanted, so the good folks on Firefly and I tackled the preparations the night before—measuring, cutting paper, and punching holes.
While paintings dried, the journal building began:
I supplied plain and colored paper, lined loose-leaf paper, and a cardboard backing, all cut to size (8.5 x 6.5 inches). The kids also had on hand a box of magazines, maps, and desk calendars to cut extras from. They sized and punched holes in these themselves.
The books grew beautifully, and while feeding the papers though the loose binder rings was a bit of an awkward task, I reminded myself that it’s not the ease of a project that makes it worthwhile. There’s a lot more involved.
And the art continued…
I love projects that young artists of varying ages can accomplish and enjoy at their own level. In this class, the youngest was 2.5 and the oldest was 10, with several ages in between. They made tabletop lanterns featuring shapes, lines, faces, words, hearts, animals, jack-o-lanterns, the globe, Lego Star Wars, a Dallas Clayton bunny, with both tracings and freestyle art.
I had trouble getting good pictures of the lanterns in the dark, lit up from within. There’s one at the end that (sort of) came out, of a traced fox (found unnamed on Pinterest)—and this artist put a lid on her lantern 🙂
This project was inspired by lovely handmade lanterns by Rebecca Kedborn in Sweden (check out Scandinavian Toys, her Etsy shop). We made ours with parchment paper, markers and Sharpies, small LED “flickering candle” lights, and a lot of creativity.
The young artists today, ranging from 2.5-years-old to 13, took used books from library sales and made them into works of art: collage, Sharpies, stickers, pens, cutting, ripping, taping, stamping, editing text, and googly eyes. Plus Yoda’s head and a cyclops in a canoe…
The young artists, ages 4 to 14, traced shadows of objects, toys, and their hands in a dark room with a spotlight, then filled the shapes in with abstract designs, color blocks, and Zentangles. Not one of the projects came out the way I thought they would—which pleases me to no end!