Sunday, August 26, 2012

My Favorite Children's Art Lessons

Since I'm taking a short break from teaching and blogging, just thought I'd highlight some of my favorite art lessons that I've taught over the years. If you are new to my blog, it will be a quick way for you to get a sampling of my projects and posts over the past five years.

I love art projects using recycled materials-to see my favorites, click HERE & HERE.

Kids always love using texture in their paintings, like with these cupcakes. To see my favorite mixed media lessons, click HERE and HERE.

Who can say no to Santa! Click HERE &HERE to see my favorite holiday themed lessons.

I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie...To see some fun Art & Literature lessons, click HEREHERE.

To see my favorite collage lessons, click HERE and HERE.

To see some fun projects with clay, click HERE and HERE.

To see my favorite simple lessons for little ones, click HERE and HERE.

I love to teach children to copy the greats, to see my favs, click HERE &  HERE.

And my favorite lessons of all, are those that include God's word...for lessons incorporating scripture, click HERE and HERE.

I hope you found something you liked. I'd love to hear what your favorite post was!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Teaching Private Classes-Could you do it?

This week, I taught my last workshop for the summer. I can't tell you how blessed I am to be able to do something I love, and inspire children at the same time. I'm also very exhausted! This summer, I taught over 15 three/four day workshops-every week of the summer except one, to over 100 kids! Sometimes teaching twice a day.  It's really the first summer I've done continual workshops, and I learned so much. I did have help-Anja DeWitt assisted me every step of the way, and I couldn't have done such a grueling schedule without her. I also had Lauren Worthington, a recent LRCA graduate, assist us and do an amazing job!

Ms. Anja
I was also blessed to be able to teach this summer at the Chenal Gallery thanks to Arkansas Artist, Heike Talbert. What an amazing atmosphere! If you have not visited the Gallery yet, you need to stop in and see some amazing art, plus you can enjoy some pampering while you're there at Allie M Salon, which is located in the front of the gallery. The children had a great place to take breaks, chase chickens, and also view real life examples of landscape, abstract, portrait and still life art by some amazing artists.

I will be taking the rest of August and most of September off from teaching and blogging, so I can try to paint some myself. I have several commission paintings to complete, as well as my entry to the Arkansas League of Artists Fall Show. I will be doing some Santa workshops in the fall, as well as teaching some homeschool workshops. You can keep up with me during my break by following me on facebook.

Featured artists for the month of August at the Starving Artist Cafe in North Little Rock

 I have had so many emails this summer from artists around the country who have questions about starting their own art business, that I'm considering writing an Ebook this fall. I'm so flattered and excited that I have inspired some of you, and would love to be able to offer you more of what I have learned over the past six years of building my own art business.

Sheryl in Michigan said,
"Thank you for being my inspiration to do the workshop for kids."

I had a facebook comment this week that made my day. Sheryl with Essa Arts in Michigan said that I had inspired her to teach a children's painting workshop this summer! I would love to be able to share what I've learned with more of you. How great would it be would to be able to share your love of art with children, inspire them to create, and earn an income while doing it! It's so easy, and so much fun!

If this is something you would be interested in, I would love to have your questions and feedback to help me compile the information you would like to see in an ebook.

Blessings and see you in the fall!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Five tips for Painting with preschoolers

I did a workshop for preschoolers this summer called Messy Me. It's been awhile since I've done art with kids this age, since my youngest is now 7. This abstract was probably my favorite of the four projects we completed during the week. If you would like to see some of the other projects, click here or visit my facebook page at Sleepyhead Designs Studio. This painting project was done on a canvas panel with acrylic paints. Usually for this age group I prefer to use tempera, but with layers of paint, acrylic seems to work so much better.

We started out with cool colors and a big chunky brush. It took awhile for them to even cover their panel. Next time, I think I might make it a Mommy and Me class just so there is more one on one help:) Next they took brayers and rolled on a different cool color.

Stamping with a normal dollar store kitchen scouring sponge-love the texture it created. 

For the top layer, we introduced warm colors. I had lots of lids, bubble wrap and sponges they used to stamp on the top layer. The yellow stamp was the top of a cherry tomato container-created a beautiful star shape! I thought these turned out really cute!

Every time I teach a class I learn something new about teaching kids. Here's a few more things I learned about teaching the preschool age group.

1) Children at the 4-6 age group have a very short attention span-even a 1 hour class was too long. They got tired quickly of working on the same project and seeing it through to completion.  Lesson learned: Shorter sessions for the 4-5 age group.

2) Fine motor skills vary greatly at this age. Some can manipulate a paint brush, but some cannot. Lesson learned: When covering a large area, another method besides a paint brush might be helpful-like maybe a large sponge to spread the paint.

Brushes like this work great-click to see where to purchase.

3) Focus on fun and not so much on learning. My goals for learning for this workshop were colors, shapes and hands on art. Lesson learned: Make the lessons fun with the main goal being fun-not final outcome or learning. Let them learn to love to create. 

4) Learn to go with the flow :) Lesson learned: Be specific with directions and then give a demo, but don't set high expectations for final outcome. If you say stamp the color and next show them how, don't be disappointed when they stamp it and then take it and smear it all over the place-thats part of the fun for them!

5) They miss their mommies-a lot! And have to go to the bathroom-a lot! Lesson learned: Need lots of helpers or have class designed as mommy and me so there is lots of hands-on help. I had eight students and two teachers and felt like we needed more hands to help.

I would love to have your input on things you've learned about teaching this age group!
To find deals on canvas panels, click here.
To find great books like this one, click photo for more info.

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