Friday, July 28, 2017

Creative Instruction

Art 101  The grand kiddies are home schooled.  Their mother and I have a vision for the art program.  It is not about doing crafts which does not thrill me at all.  So I totally am on board with the art program including art history, nature studies/journaling, techniques and Understanding.  We all are learning as we go along.  A new year is approaching and the ideas are rolling in.  When I heard that Pablo Picasso was being featured at The Winnipeg Art Gallery,   The WAG , I did some research and thought we need to do this!  I have coveted a big gallery experience for them and kinda thought they might be a bit young.  The youngest, 5, did indeed think so as there wasn't a lot of colour in his palette and there were a lot of sketches which were hung at an adult's eye level.  :[  But we all enjoyed it so very much and learnt LOTS!

It is a very big experience for little art students and was totally kid friendly. 

 I am learning right along with my students.  We knew not to touch.   I was reading the questions specifically for kids  when Josh sat down on the platform.  Photos with no flash are okay.  A photo opportunity!!!   I 'felt' someone come to stand behind me as I talked about art to the kids and got my camera ready and the photo taken.  You now see a NO! NO!  The nice security man listened and smiled and then told me the platform is a buffer and not to be touched either!  oops.  But he was very nice as were all the staff.

Incidentally this is where understanding comes in.  Picasso was a master class artist and could do remarkably life like portraits by the time he was 14 years old.  But his intense passion was to do more than paint likenesses.  He wanted to paint what HE saw and what HE felt.  Above is a portrait of him, his wife, and his son.  Can you see three faces?   He spent most of his 91 years trying to unlearn the traditions and learn to paint like a child.  That resonates with me because if I want I can just use my camera to record images.  Portraying what I see and feel is an whole 'nother matter altogether.

The kids centre was wonderful.   In fact some adults tried things as well.   Framed glass was available to trace one's friends and make art.  Josh did Jolina and Eliana did me!

Then Josh got very busy.  We had spent time talking about lines and shape on a small painting we'd seen and he was replicating it from memory.  I was SO impressed.  He ran off to check and came back and confirmed it was the same!  ;^)

Picasso was very prolific and worked in many mediums. Jolina liked the pottery and plates best as they had more colour.   I had known that he also did collage, my and Eliana's favourite!

After a lovely roof top lunch and the sculpture garden we went to the permanent gallery.  Perhaps we should have gone there first at it portrays the history of art.  We will definitely be returning after we have studied that a bit more.

Eliana just lighted up when she saw the art supplies in the gift shop.  Jolina had a wish list as well.  Josh went for big works of art and surprisingly the jewelry!  He learned about big numbers! :/   But I wanted 'souvenirs' that would further our studies. These were for sharing but the 9 magnets are reminders but very easy for Jolina to copy.  The wee puzzle helps Eliana stop and see all the details.  The cards will provide details for Josh and also familiarize them all with artists and their works.  The book is a treat.  Very instructive and interactive, finishing with two sheets of collage parts.  I'll photocopy them for the young artists to practice with. ( and me ,too)   I just may have blown the art budget for the first trimester but...

Interestingly enough creativity overlaps into many areas of our life.  I am trying to find creative ways to clothe myself.  I bought some fashion books as well as art books.  I was amazed by Timeless Beauty which uses art as examples of how to create beautiful profiles and silhouettes!  It will spend as much time in the art room as it will my sewing room and closet!  And Mona Winks is a delightfully short but entertaining explanation of various museums which favour the certain eras. You kinda feel like you are there and  he is a hoot! 

I have learned  that grey is a good neutral for me and silver is such a great accessory.  I had thought glitter and  metallics were for the young girly girls. No!  It adds such highlights to our aging bodies.  I am a believer and I may not be a girly girl but I can sure be a senior with sparkle!   Now to find the perfect purse so I can spark some creativity!  The museum silk scarves were way beyond my budget, even with creative refiguring!  lol

Garden wise we have been trying to get everything lovely for next year and the new owners.  This year the blooms have been remarkable both on the trees and shrubs as well as the perennials.  This has been more practical instruction as I observe the length of time for the trees to reach maturity as well asthe  expansion tendencies of shrubs and perennials.  I'm taking note of favourites, (green /white variegation's) and pleasing groupings.  Maintenance levels are also dully noted!  And I don't think we'll be having any vines other than clematis.  The Rooster is right!  If they were once well behaved, they have left that stage far behind!  I am kinda excited to leave this one in good shape and turn to making another creation.

Instruction is always good, even constructive criticism.  It just helps us be that much more creative!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Complex Creativity

Summer should be spent in a comfy chair, on a deck by cool running water with some nice cold lemonade close at hand.

Not the case here by any means as we clock up the miles scouring the highways and byways and then returning to tackle the near and far corners of our current yard.

First up, the Rooster has fallen in love with 5 acres of meadow in a wee town.  Just houses, 2 churches (graveyards), a community hall and a post office in some one's porch.  But it is looking most promising!  The site is a lush wildflower meadow and the trees/bush are on the perimeter.  It has what us flatlanders call a hill!  lol  See those round bales on it!  That would be a good place for a house.  Which leads me to my first creative endeavour that doesn't involve any of my messy supplies.

As a young fiancee, my Rooster promised me a new house!  It just hasn't been something I have held him to but he can't help mentioning that it may take 50 years but...  We'll see.  Way too many options but I do know what we like and how we actually do life.  So from 3 plans to a few tweaks on the favourite and then will be the tally!

Since the actual house plan went fairly smoothly I began to think about the outside.  I did take a landscape course way back when.  I have managed to save the best resources and went to hunt them from the depths of the book closet!  Oh, FUN!!!   This will give us lots of things to talk about during those cold winter months.   The trick will be to contain our enthusiasm to match our energy and resources!

My very favourite book is Outside the Not so Big House.  I am putting all kinds of sticky notes on the page edges!  I do like the 'not so big' concept.  The Rooster is particularly interested in the maintenance aspect!  lol

While our house is sold we will maintain the yard until we have our own place secured.  So we have been making sure all the grass is cut and trimmed.  Sadly the young trees that were to protect the big barn roof didn't survive the winter/spring turn over, except one (?),  but everything else is lush and almost too bountiful.

Remember the blue coop?  That was from that landscape course brainstorming!  And it is off in a far corner!  :/

I am still thoroughly enjoying the 40+ style club.  This month is colour and we are encouraged to get creative with our neutrals and our colour combinations.  I am a cool winter, and a low to medium contrast.  I do have an odd pull to warm colours and since colour can be complicated I wondered if this gal, ColorBreeze,  might have something to add.  She bases her concept on Albert Munsell's colour tree which totally resonates with me as I like his colours.

 Wouldn't this make a great colouring page for the grand kiddies!

Another fascinating fashion tool is beauty bundles!  Since I adore making up vignettes, this totally captivates me.  Who knew one could make an whole outfit around choosing a few items from a beauty bundle.  Pick your favourite neutral and get creative!  I don't have a lot of red so scooped up some beads to make some creative accessories!

At the bridal shower we attended over the weekend  they had props for taking fun photos.  The girls picked their favourite beauty bundles!

And of course their mother is planning for next year's home school curriculum and wants a staff meeting with the art department!  moi!   Jolina (5) just had a birthday and wanted art supplies.  While I drove her home she was busy opening things and trying them out!  She has been my keenest art student and her official school start is this fall so I need to come up with lots of creative projects.

And one last photo to remind us all to stop and smell the roses even when summer is at its busiest and most creative!  pst!  Those are lilies and smell heavenly!  The white roses are way at the end and the very last ones beat the lilies hands down for fragrance!   :)