Sunday, June 24, 2007

I have not had any available creative energy left for blogging these last three weeks! All of it has gone into thinking about and preparing for the museum art camp I have just finished teaching. I enjoyed it immensely especially this last week. The title was ART IN IMAGINATION, official description: Mermaids, Fairies, Spacemen, Robots- Create original artwork based on fantasy using both 2 and 3-D media.

I remembered to take my camera two or three days but I needed a full time photographer to take pictures. With things happening fast and furious most of the art work got away without being photographed! We try to send most of the art home as soon as it is finished so usually my pictures of finished art is a haphazard catch-as-catch-can occurrence.

My lovely and talented assistant, my daughter gave her account of art camp here.

Monday- Draw and paint your imagined character using tempera paint on white paper. Embellish the person and place with the addition of yarn hair, google-eyes, glitter, sequins, tissue paper, and feathers.

Tuesday- Create your own three dimensional imagined character. I showed examples of a doll/action figure made of a roll of corrugated cardboard, one inch diameter wooden bead for the head, and pipe cleaners for arms and legs. I also showed how they could make a character by cutting two simple shapes of felt, ovals or rectangles stapled all around and stuffed with polyester fiber. We had colorful felt, pipe cleaners, colored staples, google-eyes, variety of colored paper, plastic lids, corrugated cardboard, brads, buttons, beads, sequins, markers, paint, glitter, craft glue, and yarn. Available tools were: scissors, hole-punch, needle, and thread if asked for. We had a cool glue gun station with an adult doing the gluing as requested. My assistant was very busy gluing as soon as the children realized the potential to glue almost anything without the “wait to dry time” required by the white craft glue.

Wednesday- Continuation of the above. Most children made multiple items of increasing complexity.

Thursday- Imagination at Night

The children wanted to do the same thing again as the previous two days….They begged!

I had them start with black construction paper to create an imagined scene at night with their characters. All of the same materials and tools were available to use. Some children were so intent on creating 3-D that they pushed the boundary of the assignment to construct dioramas out of the black paper. Others made three dimensional characters to attach to a night-time scene. I found a roll of yellow crepe paper so I showed anyone who wanted to how to make crepe paper and tissue paper flowers.


Imagine a set of double doors that when opened hold an imaginary world. All the materials and tools of the previous days were available. We made triptych structures out of corrugated cardboard with bead and button doorknobs. The interior became a forest, mountain with a castle, the moon with an astronaut, sea shore with fish and mermaids, space aliens and dragons… Some of these structures morphed into castles!

The director of the program, parents, and children gave this class high praise and I have already been asked to repeat it next year.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

I recently found a movie of 500 years of women in art for your inspiration. It reminded me of this composition book I altered several months ago with art prints.

On the last day of this week's Art Camp the children made books with people on each page. Some of them created a character for each page with names, ages, and occupations.

Next week class title is "Art and Imagination." We are going to make 2-d and 3-d imaginative characters like fairies, robots, super heroes, space aliens, "monsters," etc. I am going to do my best to not say "monsters" and to steer them away from scary and movie characters!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Making art with children is sometimes tiring and a bit frantic but fun, and amazing! I love what they create. Here are some more exaples of art from my classes.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Making Books with Children

This week and next I am teaching two classes each morning at a local art museum's art camp. My twenty-two year old daughter is my valuable assistant. We have 15 - 17 children in each class, ages 6-12. This week we are making books. This is one of my favorite things to teach! Yesterday we taught them the three hole pamphlet stitch. They made an accordion style book travel journal with pockets, one signature, and a pop-up! I would call it a hybrid book. Constructing the pop-up was the hardest part but they all got it, some after a try or two.

We are making nature journals tomorrow using an easy construction method. Maybe we will have time to go to the sculpture garden to sketch. I never have long enough with the eager artistic children but there are always a few who would rather be elsewhere. So far, they are a very pleasant group of children.

I will try to get some pictures tomorrow!

(pictures added after this was written)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Chihuahuan Desert

On visiting the real desert... A

bit obsessed!

I say that I live in the desert or on the edge of the desert. Recently we have had several years of drought. Our annual average rainfall is 13.51 inches. But in 1998 we got 5.18 inches which was the lowest rainfall since 1930 when measuring in this area began. We have been in a drought since 1998. Of course that means we are due for some catch up years. We have had good rains this spring even to flooding in specific locations. I don't yet know if it is enough to end the drought but I hope so.

This Sunday we went to Van Horn, Texas, which is in the Chihuahuan Desert, with its characteristic yucca, agaves, grasses, creosote bushes, prickly-pears and other cacti as well as a wealth of wildflowers. I love it! The Chihuahua Desert does not have the saguaro cactus, the tall branched cactus of western movies and illustrations. If you ever see a western movie ostensibly set in Texas but with this type cactus

you can be sure it was not actually filmed here but in California.

Here are some of my sketches and photos recent and old. Some are from previous trips and visits. When I was looking for old photos of the desert I found these of me as a child. I loved tocamp, still do!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

What is more fun than eating?

Aragorn : Gentlemen, we do not stop till nightfall.
Pippin : What about breakfast?
Aragorn : You've already had it.
Pippin : We've had one, yes. What about second breakfast?
Merry : I don't think he knows about second breakfast, Pip.
Pippin : What about elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper? He knows about them, doesn't he?
Merry : I wouldn't count on it.

This morning I sat on the porch with my coffee and breakfast. It was a beautiful morning. Not really cool but pleasant. I took my camera, journal, and art supplies to record the moment. The moment that lasted for some time longer than I expected because it was so much fun. I didn’t have second breakfast but did keep warming up the coffee and topping my cup until
at least eleven!

Friday, June 01, 2007

The sky is darkening, but to the north east a giant looms, glowing with a blush of pink which fades to lavender, then to dark purple. The whisper, the growing rustle, and as the sun sets a change in the air signals a possibility of rain.

Is that thunder?

Not the promise of rain, but a teasing possibility. This is a pattern of the last three nights. I miss the full view of the sky that I had when I lived out on the prairie where you can see a storm
building miles away and maybe more in several directions!

This evening brings to mind an afternoon some years ago. I was in New Mexico taking children to camp. I had a few short hours to enjoy the mountains. I walked around, found a comfortable place to sit and quickly began to draw then write. I have a vivid memory of that moment in time because I took the time to record it! This page also includes leaf printing, a border stamped with hand carved stamp.