Thursday, August 11, 2011


After a very busy Day One with the printing press project, I decided to go with a more laid back approach for day two. As Petunia reminded me - "Not everyone is used to your pace!" Ha! Out of the mouths of babes. So I decided to use some less ambitious "filler" projects I had in mind, link them with a common theme and enjoy a slower-paced day with the girls.

The first project we took on was a butterfly suncatcher. I did not get a great shot of these but you can see the girls holding them in the pic above. We had talked a bit the day before about how nothing in nature is perfect (as the girls stressed about free-handing their sea creatures), so I took the opportunity to link that discussion to the butterflies. While nothing in nature is perfect, some things are symmetrical! The girls were encouraged to paint their suncatchers in a symmetrical pattern although, it was not mandatory as I did not want to stifle anyone's creativity. It is summer, after all!

We then used the same gel paint with it's beautiful iridescent quality to paint one-half of a butterfly free-hand. We folded a large paper in half, using the middle seam as the middle of the butterfly body and the girls painted the butterfly however they wished. I realized that children must not do a lot of free-hand drawing and painting in school because they were very intimidated to just put paint brush to paper. I was happy to encourage them to just go for it because the results were magnificent! Once they completed half the butterfly, they unfolded the paper and folded it over again to make an impression of the paint on the other side. The girls were thrilled when they pulled back the paper and saw the results!

These two projects brought us right to lunch time so after lunch, I thought we'd have a little fun! I brought out a huge bucket of chalk, had the girls line up down the driveway and team up to trace each other. The idea was that the silhouettes of themselves loosely followed the symmetry theme (remember, this was a laid back fun day!) and I really wanted to encourage more drawing as the girls seemed so intimidated by it. Chalk is not permanent so I thought they'd be more free with their creations.

The girls really had a lot of fun with this and planned out exactly how they wanted to be traced to create the drawing that they had in mind. We had everything from mermaids...

to models walking the runway...and just about everything in between. We then had a quick minute to get started on a project that will be completed on day four. So you'll have to wait until then to see it.

Tomorrow, break's over! We're back at it with some beautiful nature printing and bookbinding!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Another summer means another year of Art Camp, one of my favorite weeks of the year!!! This year we went all out with a larger group and some awesome projects that we have never done before!

Because we had more girls, I had much less time to take pictures so you'll have to fill in some gaps with your imagination. The theme for Day One was Printmaking and I absolutely adored this project. We started the day by covering some artist canvas with sand. The sanded canvases would be the base to display our prints. While we were at it, we covered some little treasure boxes with sand as well just for an extra little bonus. We were making a mess with sand anyway, why not?

Then each girl was given a rectangle of fun foam and told to free hand a drawing of any sea creature and cut it out. The details of the creature did not matter, it was the shape itself that we were going for. We had whales, dolphins, star fish, squid, the variety that the girls came up with was tremendous!

After each girl cut out her sea creature, I attached each one to a mailing cylinder that I had on hand with hot glue making our own, homemade printing press! So cool, right?! We then rolled out long sheets of paper down the driveway, "inked" up the press with paint and rolled the press along the paper, stopping to re-ink as needed. This created a beautiful repeating pattern of all of the sea creatures. I have to admit that the girls thought this was a lot of trouble to go through to get a print when they could have just inked up their one creature and printed it on to paper but once they saw the beautiful result, I think they were on board. After all, anyone can use a stamp - we made a printing press!!

After the was dry, we studied the prints that were made and each girl chose a section of the print that included the sea creature that they had created. We then mounted the print to the sanded canvas and embellished with shells! The results were really beautiful. While we were at it, we also embellished the little treasure boxes with shells for an additional little keepsake.

So that was it, Art Camp day one! Here is a shot of the printing press after we had used it and little Peanut with her completed project. She's so proud to keep up with the big girls!

Come back tomorrow to find out what we did on Day Two! (I'll give you a hint, the topic was symmetry).