Friday Club

It's all in the details.....
Dear Friends,
It has been one month since we opened the doors to the Art Shack, and this was the very first class that we started with. There has been a buildup of art ideas, art concepts and art creation that we are focused on, and each week continues from the week before.
Week 1: 
We are utilizing the two floors of the Art Shack, and each week when the students walk in there are two projects prepped for them to work on- painting, sculpture or collage.
A. We started off with a painting project on the first floor, called an Automatic Drawing. Many of the surrealist masters used this loose train of thought to create art, without THINKING about what would be produced. We tried this as well- in fact we closed our eyes to make this doodle, so that we create something we never even thought would appear. Abstract art at its best! A lot of conversation happens during these exercises in art so that students understand that art is about PLAY and that its all experimenting as we create what we call "art".
B. We created sculptures as well during this session using Foil. I want the students to get used to creating art in all kinds of ways, using all kinds of materials. There were no limits as to how much foil they could use- only as to how they would manipulate a material to turn it into a sculpture "work of art". Try using foil at home- get creative. You will see the challenges of creating and thinking of things to make, but if you allow a subject appear to you as you twist fold and crumple the foil, that is original creation. 
Week 2:
A. Paint the doodle- We watercolored over the oil pastel that we doodled with in week one- learning that oil pastels and watercolor paint do not mix or get covered when they overlap. The students bold marks from their original doodle started to really appear as the paint settled on the blank white paper that showed through.
B. We created a Dessert 3d/2d collage, depending on the age of the group creating. This work of art is inspired by Wayne Thiebaud, an artist who loved to paint all kinds of desserts.... made us hungry just looking at his art!
Week 3:
Painting: This project was one for the books! I told hte students we are only using the Primary Colors and white and black to create. We are going to use the black to paint the doodle this time, and with our eyes open, but we must paint according to the sounds of the music, engaging their other senses. Students are learning that a painting has LAYERS. Acrylic paint dries quickly, which allows us to create those layers. Sometimes, we create a layer of paint with the first one peeking through- i call that the peekaboo layer- rather than cover an entire brushstroke with another color, allow it to peek through! This music guided abstract painting was a loose way of experimenting with color mixing, mark making and layers.
Students completed their Dessert Collage- art takes time to complete, and i encourage process over product here at the Art Shack. 
Week 4:
Using the concept of doodling to create, we now have a new challenge: create a portrait- silly, funny looking and all, without lifting your hand off the paper. Which means, one long doodle line, turned into a picture of a FACE/portrait. From there, add layers of colors, add details to it, add marks to this face that make your silly funny face really stand out. I have a wall filled with silly faces hanging for everyone to see here at the Shack- these faces really came alive to me- I would even consider making an Art Shack cartoon with each of these guys!
I was in awe of the groups creations, and although understanding the "abstract" may be new to these kids, rest assured, the challenges and problem solving they are facing is only strangthening their minds eyes for any other activities they join!
Looking forward to the next few weeks, as we build on each lesson. Art making is a process- learning to see things in a unique and original way takes time, and becoming an ORIGINAL artist takes Practice. I hope i am able to express this to you well enough, so that you may help me to guide your children!
Thank you!
Sincerely,
Monique