"The world is full of magic things
patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper."
- WB Yeats
When we stop to observe what is in front of us - taking time to study it so that we can capture it on paper - we are sharpening our senses. We discover what we would normally pass by.
Our appreciation grows for the 'magic' that surrounds us.
My 1st through 5th grade students rose to the challenge of drawing from life. It can be easier to draw from a photo. The view is cropped for us and what is 3-dimensional has already been translated to a 2-dimensional image. The landscape (a view from my backyard) was especially challenging - but SO good for stretching our observational skills!
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I originally posted 'Being Filled' about 6 months ago. I hung it on the wall... and began to question if it was finished. I decided go back in with more layers and more contrast.
This painting is an expression of the desire to be filled. Some dark chocolate and a good book sound great (for you it may be chips, guacamole and a party! - the list is endless for ways we 'fill up'), but ultimately I want deep, life-giving, sustainable fullness.
I imagine being filled in and around and through.
Full of peace and joy
I keep coming back to God, asking Him to "Fill 'er up!" :)
Here is my prayer for you (and for myself!):
"I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God's love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God." - Ephesians 3:16-19
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The kids were back at school. It was a gorgeous day. I was working on a little oil painting - so I took my work outside. Life on the patio was quite heavenly. :)
(Working with oils outside works better than with acrylics - the acrylic paint tends to dry too fast outdoors.)
My parents retired to northeast Iowa - yes Iowa. :) They live on 19 acres of land out in the rolling countryside. On a few of those acres they have planted a prairie - always wonderful photo inspiration.
This article came out this month in The Calmar Courier. Thank you, Joyce E. Meyer (journalist and photographer).
In our last week of summer classes, my students and I traveled around the world in 5 days.
We kept our artwork to 5x7 inches - a lit bit bigger than a post card.
It was exciting to imagine flying around the globe.
I loved seeing the confidence grow as the kids approached drawing a variety of subjects within the week.
There's more to see! Click on each image to the students' work from each continent:
THE AMAZON RAINFOREST in SOUTH AMERICA
Using colored pencil, creating a foreground, middle ground and background &
mixing a variety of greens.
FAMOUS LANDMARKS in EUROPE
Constructing a building out of basic shapes before looking closer for details. Pen & Ink.
THE GREAT BARRIER REEF in AUSTRALIA
Drawing one line at a time - looking at where the line starts and where it finishes.
Looking for light and dark values & mixing blues and greens.
A SAFARI in AFRICA
Building an animal with basic shapes. Comparing sizes and adding details.
Creating light and dark values with pencil.
The HIMALAYAS in ASIA
The same drawing approach as The Great Barrier Reef: one line at a time.
Drawn on black paper with white colored pencil.
Students chose between colored pencil and tempera paint to mix their colors.
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This little honey required more attention than I originally anticipated.
There is more to her beauty than what first meets the eye.
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Sometimes I feel the need to remind my students of how young and amazing they are!
I hated to see these paintings head out the door!
Get ready for gorgeous flowers created with a variety of materials and compositions.
Each color you see is a color they mixed. :)
(For those who are interested, I linked some of the art materials to the product we used.)
Students zoomed in on the flower - creating interesting centers and their own unique flower.
OIL PASTEL W/ WATERCOLOR WASH:
These young artists created a bouquet of flowers including 2 or 3 different kinds of flowers
and a chosen color harmony. (secondary, analogous, complementary)
LIQUID WATERCOLORS (I like to call them watercolor dyes.):
Each student chose a photograph and looked carefully at each petal they drew.
They also chose whether they wanted to work with a rectangular or square piece of paper.
ACRYLIC PAINT ON CANVAS:
These girls worked on developing light and dark values while learning how to manipulate acrylic paint on an 8x10 canvas. (They are also quite competitive when it comes to 'Name that Musical' while listening to songs on Pandora's 'Showtunes' station.)
Because of the angles and details - planes, trains and automobiles are interesting, but not easy to draw. These guys did great!
Do you see the use of 1-point perspective in the trains?
Along with the challenges (and success!) with drawing, I couldn't resist the opportunity to develop light and dark values and incorporate color mixing into our projects.
In the train pictures, all the gray and brown colors were created by mixing complementary colors (colors that are opposites on the color wheel).
In the airplane drawings, students created some aerial perspective by making the sky darker at the top of the page, and lighter as they approached the horizon line (where the sky meets the ground).
Our last day of class included the opportunity to draw cool cars. Again the kids worked on seeing and drawing the unique angles and details found in their vehicles.
Painting time has been rather scarce this summer -
It felt so good to get my brush in hand!
Along with the gorgeous lighting, I was captivated by the details found underneath the petals. Exquisite. I thoroughly enjoyed pushing the oil paint around.
What a creative, focused and thoroughly enjoyable group of kids!
Together, we explored the world of birds through oil pastel & watercolor, pen & ink with colored pencil, acrylic paint and Tombow markers.
Students also experienced what it felt like to create on different surfaces -
construction paper, watercolor paper, wood and shiny slick paper.