Grace took 10 little girls under her wing this week to teach them cake and cookie decorating skills, fill them with sugar, and send them home! Sorry if they were a little wired, moms & dads, but we hope you enjoyed their delightful handiwork!
The themes included Galaxy Day, Succulent Day, Animal Day, and a final layered cake with a melted ice cream cone theme. Everyone learned new skills such as making multi-colored frosting, cake balls, rainbow filling, and homemade cream cheese frosting and ganache, cake leveling, and experimenting with tips and royal frosting.
The finished the week with a cake boss-type contest. My neighbor came over as a judge to choose the winning cake, and Ella received a Flapdoodles gift card for her 1st place creation. All the girls did a great job on their 2 layer cakes.
They all had a sugary blast and made lots of gorgeous creations. Here's the slideshow to prove it!
This is my 3rd summer of offering Crazy Art Camps, and all year long I am on the look-out for art projects that are going to WOW my campers! I think this year's projects were a hit. I had 16 talented, enthusiastic kids, ages 7-12, ready to try anything!
Projects 1, 2, & 3: When the kids arrived, they stained and beaded wooden name tags, which my husband and I designed and etched on our Glowforge. They also colored two big Crazy Art banners. Then we went into the studio and viewed a slideshow of the work of artist Peter Anton, who makes giant, hyper-realistic food art. We made pinch pot cupcakes with coiled frosting out of air-dry clay, then painted them a few days later and boxed them in adorable bakery cupcake boxes. I have a policy that I won't do for the kids what they can do for themselves, so I let them figure out on their own without instructions how to fold the origami-style boxes. Some of the kids loved the challenge and figured it out quickly and others had to persevere and get a little assistance from their neighbors. It's definitely a spacial skill.
The kids also enjoyed some outside play time in my WonderYard each day! Here is a slideshow of our first few projects...
Projects 4 & 5: We watched a slideshow of the Pop Art prints of Andy Warhol and then proceeded to make our own using gelli plates, texture items, and acrylic paints to pull our mono prints. The kids printed on black & white photos of themselves that I had snapped on Day 1, then put them all together on black paper to make them POP!
We also learned about artist Georgia O'Keefe, who is known for her giant, close-up flowers. The kids sketched their own designs, outlined them with India ink-filled bingo daubers, then painted them with acrylics. They even sawed a piece of trim with a miter saw to use as a stylish hanger. Here is the slideshow...
Projects 6-7: Friday was the BIG DAY! We blacked-out the studio, turned on the blacklights, and painted with fluorescent paints. There were lots of oohs and ahhh! The kids loved how my wall mural and their Crazy Art poster glowed under the blacklight. We designed and painted mad scientists in a cartoon style, with chalked bubbles in the background, and then I let them draw their own design and fill it in with glowing ice cream salt that I dyed with fluorescent paint. They also had a chance to paint their faces and made fluorescent balloon hats. Such a sensory experience for the kids! We invited families into the studio for a Glow Show at the end. Here is the slideshow...
Ingrid's home was set up with various lovely spots for us to sit and visit and lift our pinkies as we sipped our sweet, hot tea and nibbled the delicacies. You don't have to visit art museums to see art and beauty. You can experience them in tradition, in tastes and smells and the sounds of laughter, and in the faces of lovely women gathered with grateful hearts.
I think I could paint rainbow popsicles all day! The wet on wet technique combined with glazing the shadows was fun to practice and teach to my upbeat students. The only complaint of the night was my failure to provide ice cream at the end of the class! Check out the slideshow below for students at work.
In the last few years, I have made a point to pack my travel journal and watercolors on our trips, and this practice has helped me hone in on how best to teach my travel journaling classes. I have fine-tuned a process that works well for me and thought I'd take a moment to share it. Here are my steps...
1. I want to be fully present in the moments with my family, so I don't typically paint en plein air, though it is really fun when I get the opportunity. I take photos with paintings in mind and then find time later to paint in my sketchbook using my reference photos. I'm an early riser, so often I will paint before anyone else has rolled out of bed.
2. I sketch my drawing into the journal, thinking about what to include, what to edit out, how to layout the page if I want to include a label or a whole paragraph, and where I want the edges. Sometimes I paint to the edge of the paper, sometimes I tape off the edges for a crisp frame or loosely draw in a frame, and sometimes I keep them loose.
3. I then decide if I'm going to outline everything in a micron pen for a more illustrator style or if I'm going to just paint.
4. When the sketch is satisfactory, I start painting. Getting the sketch right, with all the proportions and angles, is important so it doesn't look weird at the end. It's easier to erase pencil than watercolor! Watercolor is done in layers, so having a hair dryer or craft heat gun is handy to speed up the drying process between layers.
5. The final step is to add the writing. I often just label and date the page, but many people treat it more as a journal, including weather, people, and descriptions.
Here is my most recent sketchbook of a quick trip to Colorado for a family reunion. I included the reference photos so you can see how I edited colors and removed people/objects that I didn't want to include. I was able to complete a page a day, which made me very happy!
Jill Pearson, owner & instructor at Riverwood Studio, Oronoco, Minnesota