Friday, March 25, 2011

Future Artists of America

As many of you know, one of my "extra-curricular" activities is teaching drawing in an after school program with The Young Rembrandts for students K-5. This past session I was lucky enough to teach two different classes at Encinal Elementary School with an amazing group kids.

From the get-go these kids all took to the program like honeybees to a flower and each week I was amazed at how their work improved and how they absorbed the knowledge I was giving them. I even had one student win the local Trader Joe's coloring contest with the techniques she was taught in class and had another student from a different class have his work featured on the company's newsletter (see below!)

As a young artist I was constantly enrolled in summer art programs, but we never had any programs going on during the school year. It's so great to be able to provide outlets for creative kids all year round.

Every week we had a different subject, and the kids worked through their drawings step-by-step learning how simple shapes can fit together to make much more complex compositions. I still do this! I loved seeing each child individualize their work, making each drawing a special part of who they are. At the end of the lesson students had the option of turning in their work to be posted in the office. It was great to see all of the work together and this cowboy boot project in particular showed off everybody's personality and style.

Our particular region has it's own facebook page with photo albums of the student's work. I had so many students submit their work it took up two different albums! Check out both the Winter Session and the Spring Session to see more student drawings.

Here's to the future artists of America! Our last project we studied Frank Lloyd Wright and his geometric patterned stain glass windows. Here's what a few of the kids came up with!*

*All Student information is confidential. All student's pictures are posted with permission from parents and/or guardians.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Thinking of Japan

Originally I had planned on working up a post about the new work I've been doing and then the Japan Tsunami happened and I felt like I just needed to address this major catastrophe and the question: What can I do to help?

After much research and a shout out to Ripple Blog Founder, Kelly Light, I found plenty of options for both artists and art appreciators. Art for Japan is taking donations of artwork, prints, books, sculpture, or any other piece that could be sellable in order to raise money for a variety of charities set up to help Japan. On Illustration Rally they have several options set up including an online digital gallery, art donations for auction, and an Etsy Shop with all sales going towards tsunami relief. Artists Help Japan has a blog set up with announcements about different grassroots events happening throughout the U.S., including their own. On Design Taxi a charity has been set up in order to help creatives in both Japan and Christchurch.

Last but certainly not least, for the animal lovers our there, Dog Art Today asked its readers to make a donation to World Vets, a non-government foundation dedicated to rescuing animals in need around the world.

I hope some of you find this information helpful and are able to participate in one of the activities going on. I found it serendipitous that I was working on this piece featuring Mt. Fuji for a coloring/activity book about volcanos during the same night the tsunami hit. I'm hoping to give it a life beyond the book and help out in the small way that I can.