Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sharing art with kids

Well,  my friends, let me tell you, yesterday was a fun day!  A one of a kind day.      A first for the senior center.  We hosted the second and third graders to a day of fun and learning.     The kids attend a church school that's within walking distance.     All cleanly scrubbed in their school uniforms, they filed in and took seats at assigned sections of the big room.     John, Jean, Frances, Phylllis and I had two art tables that would fit 10 kids.    We spread out papers, glue sticks, stickers, ribbons, glittery foam shapes, scissors and old magazines.    Originally it was to be a paper and fabric collage exercise, but one of the gals didn't have the "right stuff" and ventured off to the dollar store and got kid friendly stuff.     Probably a really good idea for kids this age.   I had looked at it as a teaching opportunity, but instead it turned into play.   I relaxed and went with the flow.    Kids loved it, and considered it art play time.    Each group of ten kids would rotate after 30 minutes they would move to another activity.    

Two more tables were set up in another part of the room where kids made something else artsy.  I was too busy to go see what they did there.   At another work station, the kids each had a pumpkin to decorate with veggie trims.    Green pepper slices, olives, lettuce leaves, and grapes.      Seniors assisted them with the hammer and tooth picks which were used to anchor the veggies.  Some of them added marshmallows.

Another work station let the children build little apple tarts, which were then baked, so they could eat them later.     In one corner there was a senior lady reading story books to her 10 kids.      In another room kids learned a little Tai Chi and some Salsa dancing.    

We were tired out by the end of their time with us, and so were they.   They still had the walk back to school.      It was so much fun to be with them, and just watch and help them.     It brought back many good memories and warm fuzzy feelings.     

Looking for inspiration

What better place than a ride in the country with friends to a wonderfully colorful quilt show held at a premiere winery?   With the threat of rain coming in across the valley, we were lucky to have this one free day to enjoy the countryside.   We didn't see a lot of color, but enough to know that Fall is definitely here.   Here is a quilt done by my friend Mary, I tagged it as one of my favorites before I noticed her name on it.

   So, see, I was not prejudiced! 
   I also liked a zen tangle wall hanging.

I had not seen zen tangles in the quilt arts before.  

 In the wearable arts, there was a sweet little dress made of an old embroidered table cloth.   How sweet is this?

Since this quilt show is held in Calaveras County, the home of Mark Twain's Jumping Frog Jubilee, there are always some frog quilts.  Here is one sample. 

 I put that one in for Diane!     Here's a hello from Murphys for the gals at Cloth Paper Studio, one of my favorite Yahoo groups.    

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Cloth collage

Having had so much fun earlier in the year with a torn paper collage of a face, I decided I should try it with cut fabric scraps.    I watched the DVD by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer "All About Faces" and this is something she did, only using larger pieces and with a much freer hand.   She recommended using batik fabrics.  I've got a lot of fat quarters of batiks.   All of us who love fabrics have little stashes of scraps, left over from other projects.    One year my sister in law let me go through her scrap basket and take whatever I wanted - it was a fabulous stash.   I'm still using them.   In fact I think there are some bits in this piece that came from her basket.    One little bit is from my art pal Jackie's stash.    We used to mail bits and pieces to each other.    The fleshiest tones are from Diane Ferguson in Texas who hand dyed a silk scarf years ago, which she sent to me.   Sorry Diane, but I just had to cut into it for this.    I drew the face with charcoal on watercolor paper, and then started digging for scraps.   Then placing them to complete it.    I used liquid gel medium to hold them.     When I was done it was a full face, but then when I went to see how it would look in a mat, I found this black one with a smaller opening and a lot of black mat.     That's they way I have it frames now, with only part of the face showing.    This was taken through glass with reflections, so use your imagination!   It's the best I could do.    Thanks to friends and family for your contributions to this piece.

Variations on farm

I just posted a pic of the Portfolio enhanced picture of our dad's grandparents farm in Wisconsin.    Here are a couple of variations on that theme.     One includes the family and in particular, my dad's mother who died shortly after his birth.    He was raised by a grandmother and 5 aunts.    This is one I started months ago and then set aside and forgotten.     The matted one is the most recent version, done with watercolors and collaged background and foreground.   You may notice I added in some hills in the background.   Artistic license.   LOL

Recent art work

Do you ever decide to clear out a lot of old photos in your camera?     Well, this morning I did just that.
And I found photos of artwork I did in the last month but had not posted.

One day I took a print of  a photo of my great grandfather's farm in Wisconsin and a box of Portfolio oil pastels and some watercolor paper to the senior center for our Monday morning art time.    I had not used them for a long time, in fact they were practically new in the box.     I use the Aquarelle color sticks now and then, but this was a little different.  For one thing the colors are brilliant.  They just glow, and I had a wonderful time with them.      Here's the results of this one and a few I played with later home in the studio.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

October post cards

The map swap cards from the California Girls is not over yet.  Here is another one, from Diane in Novato.  It's an oversize one that took an 85 cent stamp.    I wonder if the post office told her that's what was needed.  I would have sent it straight first class mail.      Anyhow, I love it Diane, thanks.

Then to start of the Halloween season, I recieved the first seasonal card from Norma in Florida.  It's full of scary spooky images.  Very cool card.   Thanks Norma.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Post cards incoming

A few more post cards came in this week.    Two are from the California Art Girls group swap, with a map theme.   

Two others are from regulars with whom I exchange collaborations.  They each sent me a starter card, which I will work on and return to them so they can add more art elements,and return it back to me.   This goes on and on until it is either filled up or just looks finished.     It's always fun to have a new starter card to play with.     I'll show them later.     

Saturday, October 6, 2012

October is here - mail art

Here in California Central Valley, October came in with 100 degree weather.   Not the normal first week of October rain that I depend on.      But, the light is changing fast.   The angle of the sun is making longer shadows and shorter days.    I like the shadows, but don't like the short days.     I still try to work out in the garden in the evenings until it is too dark to see anything - but that's coming earlier each day.    So then I changed my routine to finishing off the evening in the studio.   

My mail box has been picking up speed again after a little lull.  Birthday cards mostly.    Like this one from Renee Rogers in OK.   Thanks Renee for this special treat.       

On the mail art front I have a few new things to share.   One from Linda McCallister, the pinkster.    And from another Linda (Giese) a card using the bubble paint technique for background.     I've tried this before and didn't get as interesting a background as she did.  And then her printing of the Townsend quote.   Very nice girls, thanks. 

Roberta sent a couple cards, one for the CA Girls map p/c swap, and one which she had printed with a self portrait.     I love them both, Roberta, thanks.

Last but not least is a sweet little poem from Marci, who sent this in response to the latest post card I send to her.    How sweet is this?