Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Surfing Art - Summer Art Camp

The last week of Summer Art Camp was a paint splattered wave of productive fun.  The Artists created works based on the theme of Surfing and - much like a rain dance for bringing on rain - they brought in some awesome surf for this past weekends ECSC Surfing Contest.

Project 1 - Bisque Fish Plates
The Artists painted bisque pottery fish plates ~

that look liked a colorful school of fish.

Project 2 - Colorful Surfboard Wall Hangings
They created surfboard designs on foam-core board ~

outlined their drawings with sharpie markers ~

and carefully painted around their designs.

Once the boards were dry, they were cut out and backed with string for hanging.

Project 3 - Surfing Self Portraits
For the surfing painting - a picture was taken of each artist holding a surf board.  The picture was printed on paper and cut out.  The artists placed their portrait on canvas and sketched a beach scene around it.

The portrait was set aside while the artists painted their background ocean-scapes ~

with each scene reflecting the interests of the individual artist.

Once the back ground scenes were finished, the artists painted directly on top of their printed out portraits.

To finish off the paintings - the portraits were adhered to the painted canvas

with a thin layer of Mod Podge.

Not only were the artists successful in creating beautiful works of art - they also brought on an amazing weekend of surf!  Way to go kids!!!

Thanks for a fabulous send-off to summer and best wishes for a great school year!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Just Launched...A Brand new Series of Paintings

 Vintage Postcard Paintings, Jewelry and Wood Blocks
~ Art with a Message ~
I believe every painting conveys a narrative that's unique to the viewer as memories, life circumstances, and view points all play upon each other when one views a piece of art. In order to chronicle the significance of these unique stories I've added an original postcard message space onto the back of my series of vintage postcard paintings, wood blocks and jewelry. This space is perfect for personalized stories, names, quotes, phrases or, if bought as a gift, for sending a message to the recipient.
Postcard Message Space on Back of Paintings.

Here are a few newly listed pieces:
For more information, click on the image or title.

Like an illustration torn from a favorite book, or a memory written down on a piece of paper these paintings are all created on a piece of primed canvas that is cut and adhered to a canvas frame or wood block.
8 x 10 x inches
5 x 7 inches
8 x 10 inches

Personalized with your message, quote or name on the back.
               The Pick Up                          I pledge allegiance             
                               Surfer Girls                    Bohemian Fashion on the Beach


Wood Blocks
Images painted on primed canvas paper, cut and adhered to natural wood blocks.  With postcard message space on the back of the wood blocks.
What's Your Story?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A book club discussion of "The School of Essential Ingredients"

Our book club met this past week to discuss my pick for August: The School of Essential Ingredients, by Erica Bauermeister. It’s the story of  Lillian's cooking school for beginners that meets once a month, and while the book is about food and the pleasure and joy of preparing and consuming it, it is also about the lives of the eight students who come together to cook
Based around profiles of Lillian's eight students: Claire, Carl, Antonia, Tom, Chloe, Isabelle, Helen, and Ian -  each chapter focus' on one student as we learn about their lives and the experiences that they bring (and that bring them) to a cooking class that is more about the people than the recipes.
Chapter 1:  The class assembles
 Our book club started off the evening by bringing together the 13 members who were available to attend.  Wine was poured and beer bottles opened as everyone threw off their daily cares and prepared for a cultural exploration of cooking, book discussion and art.

The adventurous cooks in the group were in charge of throwing, stretching and pulling dough into a form that slightly resembled a pizza shape ~ while other members happily gave advice from the sidelines.

After which came  the careful selection of essential ingredients to top off each artfully shaped pizza dough that were then cooked and eaten with great gusto.

Chapter 2:  Book Discussion
In preparation for my book club meeting I visited Erica Bauermeister's web site:  http://www.ericabauermeister.com/  and saw that she loves to talk with book clubs.  Thinking, "What the heck" I e-mailed Erica, told her a little about our club, the fact that we would be meeting - that evening - to discuss her book, and would love to have her join us, if at all possible.  Within minutes, she returned my e-mail and we set up a time to video chat via skype.
 It was amazing to have the author of our selected book "attend" and enhance our book club meeting.  Erica discussed the development of her characters, their story lines, and how elements from her own life were used within the story.  A few outtakes from our discussion:  *The first character written was Henry, *Some story lines developed via dreams and a car ride with her daughter, *The deletion of "Mary" who became instead Chloe, *A loving reference to her husband in a picnic scene, and *The slow decline of her father's health and mind which in some way relates to her character Isabelle.  Erica graciously answered our many questions and humored us with details and stories in regard to this book and another book she's finished that will be published around Mother's Day 2011.  We cannot thank her enough for taking time from her schedule to bring to life the writing of and story line behind "School".

Chapter 3:  Painting the Essential Ingredients
The evening culminated in my studio - with members using their own essential ingredient - not to cook with but to paint. Being an art teacher, and not a chef, I felt more at home teaching the joy of painting vs the joy of cooking.
During class we were fortunate enough to have Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin join us for a little bit of inspirational painting advice.

Epilogue:  An ode to the last few paragraphs of "School"
It had been a good class and the moon was already high in the sky.  "The class would finish soon.  The teacher always felt a bit of sadness at this point, expected it even.  This time, however, she felt more regret than usual.

She had always loved being a teacher, the one who knew the colors that would wake up a memory, heal a heart.  She enjoyed holding the knowledge in her mind like a secret, figuring out which student needed which gift.

But this class was different.

 These students gave to each other, reaching out among themselves with such grace.
She saw how connected their lives had become and would remain.

Where did a teacher fit in the picture, when there was no longer a class?"  The teacher fit in the studio of course.

Shaking her head at herself, she sat down on a chair and listened to the quiet hum of the paint drying, the rustling of brushes in the water jar.  Then she turned off the light, and left the studio.

Cheers to family, friends, books and to those who share them with glee.

Friday, August 20, 2010

It's all about You...Summer Art Camp

A group of young artists come together to create works of art based on themselves and their interests and brighten up my studio with their colorful paintings and delightful banter.  There is nothing quite like the expressive art of children! 
~ Here's a glimpse into our productive week ~

Project #1:  Pottery Portraits
The artist busy drawing portraits of themselves on bisque pottery plates.

The finished pottery plates - glazed and fired.

Project #2:  Name Flags
The artists trace a flag pattern and bubble letters onto different colored papers, cut out the tracings and glue their name letters onto the colorful flags.

The top edge of each flag was folded backwards and a ribbon was strung down the length of the flags. A line of glue placed along the edge of the fold created a nice little pocket that holds the ribbon in place.

The artists used leftover paper scraps to decorate their flags then set them aside to dry.  Each artist now has a colorful flag banner to hang in their bedrooms, bathroom or play house.

Project #3:  Mirror Portraits
The artists drew a portrait of the back of themselves with their hands extended and add a view of their bedroom.

Outlined their drawings with sharpie.

Painted the background

with acrylic paint in the color of their bedroom

carefully painting around the edges of furniture, doors

and around their portraits.

While the paintings were set aside to dry, the artists colored a paper mirror and glued a picture of themselves into the center of the mirror.

The mirror was then glued to the hand

of each artist - as they check themselves one last time before heading out their bedroom door.

For our last art project each student chose a prop with which to pose for a picture.

The image was printed, cut out and traced onto a patterned sheet of paper.

The pattered silhouettes were cut out and glued to a plain sheet of colored paper.

Pattered elements were added to the background to create wonderful silhouettes of each artist.

Drawing to a close a week of colorful, expressive art and memories of creative productivity.