Sunday, February 28, 2010

a Sunday Blessing

Indecision is the worst enemy of creativity...
I don't know who said that,
 but it is so true.
So this week I am going to not second guess myself,
or freeze because what I am working on is not good enough,
or sit around and over think everything...
but instead I will just plunge in,
take the leap,
not let the little judge in my head win,
and just enjoy being creative...
This week I have an abundance of 'trades' to finish
and this auction piece to work on.
The kiddos made their houses last week
so now we need
people, animals and more to get this
city on a hill
to come alive.

You are the light of the world.
A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
In the same way,
let your light shine before men...
Mat 5:14

So where is your light shining this week?
I would really love to hear!

Friday, February 26, 2010

trees, trees and more trees...

I had a request from one of my students to learn how to draw trees.
So that was what we did this week.
I sketched out a couple of variations and we even took turns drawing on the board.
This was a very hard concept to grasp for K-3 and I found that most of the students wanted to do very complicated branches rather than the easy way I first showed them.

I also showed them this wonderful tree...

made by the talented Valentina and posted on 
her January 14 blog post.  
She is even nice enough to share it with you too.  
You can down load the PDF file if you go to her site. 
She also has other free downloads and a beautiful etsy shop.
Check out her designs.
So we drew our trees then watercolored them...
then we added leaves and foliage...
and gave our paintings some texture with crayons...
(my favorite art tool)
and added woodland creatures...
and we even have a pop-up doggie...
This young lady wanted her tree to lay flat on the table and 
made pop up animals which stand vertically.
Aren't kids' minds great?
She was adamant about it even though my 'older' brain could not 
quite grasp the concept she was working towards.
I talked to her mom several days later and 
she said the painting
was on the table just like she wanted.

Finally I wanted them to write verses about trees 
on and around their trees, 
but you should have seen the looks I got -
they were definitely ready to be done with this project.  
So here are three of my favorite verses...

He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season 
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.
Psalm 1:3

I am like an olive tree
flourishing in the house of God;
I trust in God's unfailing love
for ever and ever.
Psalm 52:8

She is a tree of life to those who embrace her;
Those who lay hold of her will be blessed.
Proverbs 3:18

Saturday, February 20, 2010

the earth laughs in flowers

I adore this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson -
the earth laughs in flowers 
And seeing as spring seems to be making an appearance in our neck of the woods, I decided to retire the snow princess and bring out the flowers.
This is my newest painting which has all the colors of spring
and just makes me happy -
I think it needs an old whitewashed frame
 and that gives me an excuse to do some thrifting.
It has all the things I love -
mica flakes, vintage silver-lined plastic buttons, old book pages,
dusty rose German glass glitter...
and of course an urn.
I really have a thing for urns.
And since Misty taught me how to make crackles 
with a stamp last year,
my urns have taken on a whole new - or should I say 
'old' appearance.
Now I just wish spring would stay around for awhile!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I have no tail to wag...

"If I had to tell you why I'm a painter and why I spread paint on a canvas,
I should say:  I paint because I have no tail to wag."

"It's very simple.  Dogs and cats and other talented animals have tails; their tails, with their thousands of flourishes provide them with a wonderfully complete language of arabesques, not only for what they think and feel and suffer but for every mood and vibration of their being, for every infinitesimal variation in their feeling tone.  We have no tails, and since the more lively among us need some such form of expression, we make ourselves paintbrushes and pianos, and violins..."
from  Rosshalde by Herman Hesse

I love Herman Hesse and used to read
his books back in college.  
I came across this quote I had copied from Rosshalde
many years ago.
Then I decided I needed a visual.
Poor Zoe could not figure out why I wanted to take a photo
of her stubby tail; 
she does not realize that she has no tail.  
She wags it anyway to express any mood she wants.  
And then there is Matteo who uses his tail to balance
as in the above photo
or to express mood - usually as in anger - "leave me alone"
or "please birdie come here".

So here is my attempt at tail wagging this week.
Art Fest is coming quickly so I started painting manilla folders...
which I then cut up to make trades to give away 
to others at the event.
I think they will become notepads with old college ruled paper sewn on
and the words "once upon the time"
(as this is the theme) stamped.
I will let you see the process as it evolves.
And my other tail wagging involves this project -
a first grade auction project for the class I work in during school hours.
I found this great old door and painted the background.
So now the kiddos get to make airplanes, houses, buildings, people,
 cars, animals etc. out of their beautifully painted papers.
The theme will be 'a community of hope'
as we are now studying community helpers.
I will let you come along for the ride.

Hope you have a great week of tailwagging.
What are you working on?
I would love to know.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

should be an ad for Michaels...

I found these colored pencil sets
in the $1 bin at Michaels.

So I wrapped some pretty paper around them
and tied them with a linen thread...

and then stenciled my art kiddos' names on the tubes -
an early Valentines Day present.

And these frames also came from Michaels for $1 each
(see - I told you it was a Michael's ad).

So this was my sample.

We dipped corks, bottle caps, lids, and cardboard
into pastel paint then
added Sharpie designs...

plus buttons and sparklies...

to make these beautiful Valentines Day presents
for their parents.

Aren't they adorable?
Make one with your kids today!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

a Sunday blessing

My husband and I headed to the
Northwest Flower and Garden Show
late Friday afternoon
dreaming of green and ideas for a new deck...
but quickly abandoned that idea
when we saw the never-ending line for tickets.
What to do, what to do?
We drove around Seattle aimlessly for awhile
and then I remembered this little gem.

embedded in a waxed wall in a prayer room off of the sanctuary
The Chapel St.Ignatius at Seattle University
is my all time favorite little church.
It transports me to another place and time...

The colored walls are made by light bouncing off
painted panels facing the openings.

anointing oils...

a prayer and a deep breath as we head back to our busy lives...