Sunday, January 26, 2014

Creating your own designs

Adding my designs to a silk/wool blend shawl
I have always carved. Mainly wood and even earlier-block prints on linoleum blocks. Both are time consuming and labor intensive-not problem normally to an artist but sometimes I just don't have the patience!
So with a "softer than linoleum" product on the market (for years apparently!) by Speedball, I started carving my own stamps to use on my scarves. To say it was fun was an understatement-it went fast, I was impressed and most of all I was enthused! My own designs-not mass produced ones from the craft stores....what's not to love? :-)
Using Speedball tools to carve away my design

A few carved in just a day (and used!)
I realize with the exception of the heart, these are all horses but that's where my passion lies when I am trying new ideas. Plenty of time to come up with other designs as I become more proficient!

Using the stamps with textile paint was a blast! I have a new batch of scarves to play with so I can't wait to try them but in the meantime I have two collages of what I worked on so far!

Our frigid temperatures have kept me off the hiking trails until today but the cold is coming back around and I'll be ready!

Overlapping the design in layers

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Working with Kids in the Arts

So below is from my Artsy Journeys blog and I wanted to share another avenue of creativity that I work: teaching art. 
I don't get too psychological about it because art for children is a fun world. But I have discovered over the years (lol-first with my own) that given "free rein" to create "anything" often leads to nothing at all. And kids are no different from adults in that!
The trick is to start with a plan-an objective-and an idea of how to get there.  With that big roadblock pushed aside, the way is paved for the artist (big and little) to explore the levels of creativity as they take that path. A new lesson, a new path. That's how it works :-)


Working with kids in the Arts

Everyone has ideas about how to work with children in the arts.  No other subject, like ART, has so many different opinions and ideas and confusion as to "what it is."How can something so fun be so confusing?

Artsy Journeys is more about art exploration than disciplined art yet they go hand in hand.The two work together. For instance, it takes discipline to sit down and create something in a journal or on paper. It takes discipline to go to the shop or read a "how to" book or article. It takes discipline to put away your tools, try something different or work till you feel you have completed your project.
Working with clay and armatures

Working with children is often about creativity coupled with "directional" discipline. Kids need and want direction. The ones that jump into a project without waiting for direction are usually the ones that soon start complaining about not being able to "do it." That can have a bit of a negative impact on those kids who are creatively following directions so when the kids start new projects, they get the best results by ...yep...paying attention to me before we start!

There's no secret to it-I keep it short and sweet. "Look into my eyes, let's go over the tools, now we'll look at the examples.......tell me what I just said."
3D sculpture with marshmallows and toothpicks
This works SO well-just as I did with my own children. I love the kids-love to work with them. They love to learn, But too much initial freedom  in the arts is confusing to them and actually gives them mind blank! In art we call it the "blank canvas" syndrom. Writers love to talk about "writer's block." It's all the same thing. We ALL need a direction to start!
When the child is given the required tools/materials for an Art project and pointed in a particular direction with a few guidelines, THAT is when the enthusiastic creativity begins to happen!
One of my "grown up" students with her Sculpey sculpture!
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