Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Summer Art Camps begin

Week I

This time of the year brings out the sweet sounds of birds tweeting, crickets chirping, and children asking "What's for snack today?".   So begins another round of my summer art camps, filled with artistically inspired young students.

Life is Sweet!
This year my summer art camp season got a kick start with the theme "Life is sweet."  The artists had a chance to explore the sweeter side of life as we produced, painted and baked works of art good enough to eat!
1st Project
Designing an apron

First on the agenda:  discussing our favorite sweet things to eat.  A few of the delectable morsels that rolled off our tongues included cakes, cookies, doughnuts, and ice-cream.  The discussion became so intensely sweet, one of the artists finally lost her very wiggly front tooth!

After talking about our favorite treats, the artists got to work designing an apron ~ which will come in handy when either painting or helping out in the kitchen.

The apron designs ranged from chocolate chip cookies and a tall glass of milk, to a bright yellow sun casting its sweet rays down on the earth.

2nd Project
Painting a Cake

 Since a blank white canvas can be rather boring, and sometimes rather intimidating, the artists painted the entire canvas with their favorite color. With these young artists it was quite amusing to watch how shape filled their canvas before color took over ~

and, as evident from these two images, how each side of the table painted in a distinctly similar fashion. 


Giving the painted canvas time to dry, the artists headed into the kitchen for a little brownie making and cooking creativity.  Everyone took part in making the cupcake brownies, from pouring the mix to cracking one egg...

then another, and another until three eggs were staring happily into space waiting for the final steps....

measuring a cup full of yogurt, 1/4 cup of water and mixing the ingredients until everything was combined into one big yummy mess.

Cake Painting Continued...

With the brownies in the oven and the canvas paintings dry, it was time to create our own deliciously colorful cake.  The artists drew a three layered cake, beginning with a large shape on the bottom, a medium shape in the middle, and a small shape on the top.

Then went crazy filling their cake shapes with designs pulled from their imaginations and enhanced by their surroundings.

The shapes were outlined with a black sharpie marker amd painted with vast amounts of acrylic paint.

3rd Project
Making a cupcake stand
Our final project was to make a cupcake stand to showcase the artists delicious cupcake brownies.  The stand required a small terra-cotta pot and lid, that was a little bit bigger, to sit on the top.

The pot sits upside down, so the artists had to take this into consideration when creating their designs.  And, since it wouldn't be prudent, or safe, to paint a cupcake stand with acrylic paint and shellac, the artist painted their pots with lead-free pottery glazes. 

Not only does the top coating of glaze give the cupcake stands a nice gloss finish once fired, it also holds the two pieces securely together.  With a nice full lid, the pots are quite versatile and can be used on a desk, on a bathroom counter, on a dresser or, of course, in the kitchen.


 During the week I ask my students to keep our projects a secret.  They can tell their parents anything about the camp, except for what they've been creating.  This way they can surprise their parents with their astonishing art work at our end of camp art show.

Wiping brownie crumbs from their mouths, the students explain each project.  Meanwhile parents and grandparents look, with great admiration, on the work created by their talented off-spring.  Later, as I clean paint off of the walls and floor, and reflect on the inspirational gifts these students have given to me and to each other, I can say - with all sincerity - Life is Sweet!! 

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