Monday, December 5, 2016

Make it: Paper Marbling. Key concepts: color, line, shape. Materials: Large sheet of heavy white paper, shaving cream, food coloring, baking sheet, spatula or credit card for scraping and tools for marbling (such as a butter knife or toothpick). 1. Spread shaving cream into baking sheet. 2. Put drops of food coloring all over the shaving cream, and start marbling! Use your toothpick or knife to make lots of swirls and lines in the shaving cream. 3. Lay the paper gently on the shaving cream and press. Leave for about 30 seconds and pull off. 4. Lay paper flat, with shaving cream side facing up, and scrape off excess shaving cream with spatula. Use a paper towel to get remaining spots if needed. 5. Voila! Use your marbled paper to make a bookmark, book cover, or to cut shapes for another project! // Project idea from happyhooligans.ca.


via Instagram http://ift.tt/2guMRvU

LEARN THE ELEMENTS. I’ve posted on seeing our world and the importance of process; this week let’s talk about some fundamentals by which all art and design is made--things you can look for when you look around you. I’m talking about the elements of design: line, color, shape, form, space, value, and texture. Start looking for these things when you observe the world, and observe the world with your children: notice the arch of your baby’s mouth (that’s line); the purple of the mountains as the sun sets (color); quilt squares (shape); the rounded curve of an egg (form); birds flying (positive space) against the sky (negative space); the white of the sun on a tin roof or the darkness of a shadow (value); or the smoothness of silk (texture). Everything we see can be deconstructed into these elements, and they are your tools for communication and expression--the language of art and design. Talk about these things when your child is creating. Explore different line quality: organic, geometric, thick, thin, broken, continuous, sharp, broken. See what you can find that is a line--a stick is a good example--and see what you can “draw” by putting many of them together. Practice exploring shape by making compositions with cut paper. When you start viewing the world as the elements of design, you are on your way to expressing what you see--and think and feel--through art.


via Instagram http://ift.tt/2gTLkjJ

Monday, November 28, 2016

Make it: Paper Weaving. // Key concepts: Media discovery and exploration, shape, symmetry, pattern. // Materials: Watercolor set, 2-3 brushes in varying sizes; 2 large sheets of watercolor paper or white drawing paper (around 9x12; you can tear a big sheet of paper into smaller pieces if you need); glue stick; oil pastels or crayons. Remember: Break up this project into two or three sessions if you need to! Allow time for art appreciation, discussion, thought, and discovery. // 1. Spend some time looking at textiles, discussing different lines, shapes, motifs (such as diamonds, triangles, squares, stars, flowers, houses, etc.) and symmetry. An easy place to start would be a quick web search of “folk quilts,” “quilts of Gee’s bend” or “Native American textiles.” If you’re doing this project with your child, remember you can tailor it to his/her interests. 2. Using 2 or 3 different brushes, paint both sheets of paper, experimenting with washes, linear marks, and splatters, and let dry. 3. Take one sheet and cut it into strips width-wise. Take the other and cut it nearly into strips length-wise, stopping the cuts a couple of inches before you reach the end of the paper. 4. Use your pastels to draw some of the shapes and motifs you found in your quilt study onto the shorter loose strips. [Note: You might decide to do this after step 5 if it bothers your child that some of the drawing will be covered up by the weaving.] 5. Weave the short strips into the long ones and use a dab of glue on the ends to keep in place. Notice how the watercolor and pastel sections now interact with each other in different ways. Hang your paper “textile” on the wall and admire it!


via Instagram http://ift.tt/2gnVVD8

ENJOY THE PROCESS. Want to know what takes the life out of art? It’s setting a goal and then hating your project until it’s finally done--and til it’s GOOD, by golly. Listen, unfortunately, this is often my experience when I’m designing, and I think it’s the same way for many other creatives. Of course we shouldn’t lose sight of a goal, but I consciously try to get away from the fear of failure and come back home to the excitement of exploration. This is especially important if you are just starting to learn about art and design. Give yourself--and your child--time to discover and explore media (the materials with which you create) without the pressure of a perfect end product. See what layering that watercolor and crayon can do! Try drawing lines, making splatters, smudging and smearing and blending. Then cut it into shapes and see what happens when you make it into a pattern! Then change one piece and create an unexpected aberration in the pattern! Allowing time for process is crucial for creating work that is successful and vibrant. If you have paper, a watercolor palette and a box of pastels, you have three words with which to communicate. But if you have explored, stretched and transformed that media, you have hundreds. For three good children’s books that communicate the importance of process, potential of media and joy of spontaneity, I’d recommend Beautiful Oops; Swatch: the girl who loved color (introduced to me by @cpcfam); and Mix It Up!


via Instagram http://ift.tt/2fsj5vt

Monday, November 21, 2016

SEE. Welcome to the pilot post of our Mixed Media Musings series! // Let me start with a disclaimer that I am not an art educator; however, I grew up with one as my mother. I received my BFA in Graphic Design, so I’ve had plenty of fine arts and design classes. These thoughts are based on things I have learned in school, in work, and in sharing what I do with my children. It’s a bit of a journal, so that you can see some of the things I think about when I explore art with my kids. Each will will include a directive, and starting next week, a project idea so that you can better put these thoughts into practice. // SEE. It’s pretty simple, isn’t it? When we communicate or express through art and design, we have an incredible platform for reaching others. We have to be informed by our own experiences as well as the commonality of our world and the human experience. So I’d like to challenge each of us to train our eyes to start seeing more clearly the world around us. Observe the branches on your child’s favorite climbing tree; how do they curve? Notice the green of the grass; it’s probably a lot more muted than you thought it was. Notice the rhythm of the street lights as they get smaller toward a vanishing point. Start to observe and articulate your own thoughts and feelings, and help your children do the same; notice the way that people around you interact. Think about literature or architecture that moves you. These are all things that inform what we create. In the next few weeks I’ll be posting about specific elements and principles of design that you can be looking for when you explore the world. In so doing, you will learn the language of art. Stay tuned! // I mean for this series to be interactive and the experience shared, so questions are welcome, and I’d love to hear what you think, see and create along the way! Please tag me and #mixedmediamonday!


via Instagram http://ift.tt/2gddOoW