art materpiece: marc and rembrandt

Every other Wednesday I head into 2 kindergarten classes to volunteer my time and give a short art history lesson with assigned prints. I totally spaced on posting what what we did in March. Oops! Maybe I'll post that later on but, for now here are the prints I presented in April:

The Lamb by Franz Marc

  1. About the Artist
    Franz Marc was a German artist interested in using color in new and exciting ways. His paintings are somewhat realistic except for their bold and powerful use of color. He is known as an expressionist painter with bright colored animals such as the painting we will see today.

  2. What do you see in the painting? Lamb and natural surroundings

  3. Why did he paint animals in this non-real looking way? For this artist drawing is more to do with seeing than drawing and sometimes the seeing is from our hearts rather than with our eyes. He painted with feelings.

  4. Which colors to you see? Bright, He uses color to express feelings; he believed that animals held great spirit, grace, and power. Marc gave an emotional meaning to the colors he used in his work, blue would be used for boys and spirituality, yellow represented girls and joy and red danger.
The kids really enjoyed telling me about the many things they saw in this painting. The colors were bright and exciting and the kids thought that color representations were pretty cool. Many had a hard time seeing the lamb at first, probably due to them not knowing what a lamb is too well. I showed a few other prints by this artist and they were able to see the animals in the other prints much more easily.

The Apostle Simon by Rembrandt
  1. About the Artist
    There are only a few people in history so famous that they're known only by their first names...Rembrandt is one of them! (full name Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn) Rembrandt is considered one of the greatest painters in art history. He had 8 brothers and sisters! He created many portrait figures like the painting we will see today.

  2. What would you name this painting?
    Man. This was painted in 1661 (that’s 349 years ago). The name of this painting is The Apostle Simon.

  3. What do you see in the painting?
    He is resting his hand on a cross saw. He has large strong hands that tell us he was a hard worker.

  4. Who is he?
    Simon was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. He was known as healer and helped those who were hurt and sick.

  5. What kind of mood is he in? How can you tell? By looking at his facial features, let’s demonstrate different expressions. How do our faces change when we are happy, sad, surprised or angry? How do you feel about drawing faces? Is drawing a face easier or harder than painting a other things for you?

  6. What do you think is taking place in this painting? It appears as a fun family outing showing people, nature and machines (the bicycles) in harmony. Some may have gone swimming and they were taking a break from bike riding.

  7. Color? The colors in this picture are called monochromatic. That means the colors are all in the same tones.

  8. Why do you think the artist painted it? This type of painting is called a portrait. Long ago when Simon the Apostle lived they didn’t have cameras. The only way to have a photo of someone of something was if it was painted by an artist.
This one was interesting. I was worried about it but, the kids had lots to say. Some asked if he was Jesus. We discussed his overall appearance in depth. Many thought he was inside a cave due to the background. One kid thought he was sad because he couldn't get in the shower because his wife was in there and using all the hot water. Kids say some funny things ;)


ice cream necklace

Ice Cream Necklace

Once a month, I get together with the East Valley Artisans to chat about making and selling our handmade work on etsy and we have a themed exchange. This month the theme was "sweets and treats". I have to say, while I LOVE sweet and treats I have never made art around that theme. I was up until midnight the night before the meeting trying to come up with something. I had 2 failed ideas before the finished piece finally came together. And you know what, I ended up loving it! I ended up loving ALL the exchanges pieces for this theme! They were such fun and just adorable.

The final design shown above was made by first making the ice cream color pencil drawing. I then scanned it into Photoshop, adjust the levels to give it a bright ice cream shoppe feeling, printed, cut and lacquered on the silver joy charm. I attached a crystal spacer bead and hung on a chain chain.

Sometimes pushing yourself to think of something new can be frustrating. But, once you push through the frustration part, it is oh so rewarding.

East Valley Artisans is a varied mix of artists from painting to paper to sculpture and jewelry. Please support our economy, support local business, support our artists. Become a fan on Facebook!


creative every day: the 5 senses

ice cream waffle bowl - colored pencils

ice cream waffle cone - colored pencils

I'm so happy to finally have something new to post for the creative every day challenge! The creative every day theme for this month is the 5 senses. Last night, while working on my Etsy team gift exchange theme of "sweet and treats" (more on that later), I realized it plays right into the taste sense for the CED challenge. What's better then the sweet and creamy taste of ice cream ... yummy. It's fitting that I am trying to stay away from sugar this week ... I can indulge through my art.

To see what others have been working on this week for the 5 senses theme, click here.

earth love: recycled cardboard robots

In celebration of Earth Day we made recycled cardboard robots!

  • Choose your box from recycled cereal and pasta boxes for the robot body. Turn the boxes inside out and tape or glue together. This way you have a better decorating surface.
  • Attach arms and legs from recycled toilet paper rolls with glue (we used a hot glue gun).
  • Cut out egg carton cups for the eyes and nose and glue.
  • Finally, PAINT! Oh, what fun.

  • I was inspired by the blog post Recycled Robot Monsters by the totally talented Alisa Burke.


    herb garden

    I planted 3 herbs this week; Mint, Italian Parsley and Basil. I'm so excited to cook with them! I really hope I can keep them alive and pest free.


    national turn off your tv week

    Simple Organic is hosting Make Week, celebrating a week of TV turn-off. Simple Mom wrote a great article on 5 Great Reasons to Not Watch (much) TV.

    I’m excited and think we'll all enjoy a week of shutting the TV off and doing something else. We do enjoy TV entertainment however, I will admit that we sometimes have the TV on by default, while eating and some days it does feel like it is our main source of entertainment. *Gasp*

    Personally, I am not a huge fan of TV. It wasn't all that important in my house growing up. I don't enjoy the sound of TV in the background (hearing people talk irritates me), I do enjoy music and I LOVE the sound of silence. Even better I love when it's so quite in the house you can hear outside sounds like birds, trees, wind.

    I am looking forward to shutting off, the rest of the family ... well ... just have to see how that goes. I did make sure to talk about it over the weekend quite a bit so it's not a shock to their system and I have activities in mind to do instead like picnic dinners, gardening, board games, art & crafts, story time and imaginative play. Fun!

    I encourage you to take part this week, keep your television turned off and do something else. If you do let me know! Do you think your family would happily accept the challenge of a week without TV?

    Update: We made it through 2 days with a few minor protests. Bert had the hardest time with this "experiment" with Ethan a close second. Instead of watching TV we went to the gym, built a fort/tent, played board games, created recycled robots and read books. in my opinion, it was a lovely 2 days!


    earth love: recycled organizer

    I had yet to reuse cardboard grocery containers into something new ... until now :) To kick off the weekend I showed the earth a little love by recycling magazine pages and a cardboard container into a recycled organizer for my desk.

    I have had this issue of Deliver magazine sitting around in my "save for a project" bin for years. This issue is all about thinking green, the ideas and graphics inside were worth holding onto. The cover is such fun I knew I would want to use it for something one day. My kids are kinda hooked on peanut butter crackers right now and I just realized that it is the perfect size and shape to organize all the little tidbits around the house, office and studio ... ahh organizing, one of my other favorite pastimes ... this project was a match made in heaven!

    Simply cut out the magazine pages you would like to use. Wrap the cardboard container in the paper and use a glue stick or double sided tape to adhere. Viola! A neat little organizing basket.


    happy earth day!

    Happy Earth Day!

    On April 22, 1970, the first Earth Day was held. People all over the country made promises to help the environment. Everyone got involved and since then, Earth Day has spread all over the planet. This year is Earth days 40th anniversary!

    We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. ~ Native American Proverb

    We are laying low tonight, I have a couple of earth love books to read to the boys and we'll take a little outdoor nature walk and may be a good night to finally watch Food, Inc. Please give mother Earth a little love today and always.


    art fest in cave creek

    Last month Bert & I drove up to Cave Creek, Arizona to visit our friends Mark and Carla of Black Mountain Jewelry. It was really nice to see them and all the wonderful jewelry creations they have been working on. Mother's Day is right around the corner and our friends at Black Mountain Jewelry create beautiful custom birthstone jewelry. I am the proud owner of a peridot Tree of Life Ring and we gifted my mom a Tree of Life Necklace which she LOVES.

    It was also nice to be in the Cave Creek area. I think it has been well over 3 years since we ventured there and I remembered why I loved it so much. It's very much an artist retreat. Many of the artists at ArtFest lived in the area. They have tons of shopping from one of a kind boutique and antique shops and many many restaurants to choose from ... like Big Earls' Greasy Eats!


    painting in progress, scooby

    Scooby 3-5-10

    Hudson joined me for a few minutes during this painting session :)


    monthly goal meetup

    I am so behind on all my little projects. 2 weeks away can really throw things out of whack ;) It's a new month which means it's time for the monthly goal Meet Up at Athena Dreams. The Meet Up is a monthly goal sharing group.

    Here were my March goals ...

    1. add magnets to etsy shop - made 50 magnets and sold them all while away! Now I need to make more for my etsy shop.
    2. finish 3 wedding invitation suites - 1 down 2 to go. All will be wrapped up and sent for printing by the end of this weekend.
    3. continue 1 web site freelance project - in progress
    4. buy art materials for new products: chain and pendants - chain bought still need some new pendants
    5. scooby painting (my first ever pet portrait painting) - in progress
    6. get to the gym 3-4x a week and get moving in some way the other days - oh boy. Definitely slacked on this one. Keeping this on the list!
    And here we go into April...
    1. add magnets to etsy shop
    2. create & package up 50 magnets for communion favors
    3. continue web site freelance project
    4. buy art materials for new products: copper pendants
    5. scooby painting (my first ever pet portrait painting)
    6. get to the gym 3-4x a week and get moving in some way the other days
    Wishing everyone a creative and productive month!


    The shortest distance between two people is a smile

    It's been 5 days since we got back home and I am still pretty darn sad. I seem to be in a grieving period over the loss of our family as we settle back into life as we know it. To work through it I took a walk yesterday and took pictures of the beautiful desert in bloom. It's a gorgeous time of year here and definitely something to enjoy and savor. This short walk put in a much happier mood.

    When I woke up today the sadness had crept back in. I cleaned and ironed and showered and cried. Then the universe stepped in at lunch. My lunchtime fortune cookie today said "The shortest distance between two people is a smile".

    I took that as a message saying that our family and friends are only as near or far as we make it out to be. We have many ways of staying in touch and involved in each others lives. I do feel deep down though that as life continues I am becoming more and more convinced that we need to be closer to family then we are right now. As the saying goes "only time will tell".


    missing home

    We're back from a long and action packed family trip to our hometown in New York. We had a bit of wonder and many fun adventures with friends and family while we were there. I am having a hard time adjusting back into the real world and feeling pretty homesick right about now. Definitely more so then usual. Being a family of four traveling across the country, we aren't able to visit as often as we'd like. It had been 1 year and 7 months since we had last been to visit. That is really far too long and I fear it may be that long before we go again. And that has me feeling blue. I'm slowly unpacking and getting everything back in place and hope to feel a bit less blue in the process.