Thursday, October 27, 2011

Art Day

Today was "Art Day". I conceived this idea over two months ago...must have been in one of my bored moments.=) I love Art Prize.You all know that. And you also know, I am not artistic at all. Furthermore, I don't like the mess that "art" creates. I mean, first you get out all the supplies-paper, scissors, paint, crayons, markers, glue, clay, etc., then the project happens-with or without a disaster, and then you have to do something with all this "art". In my house it lasts about 1-1/2 days or until the next vacuuming/dusting cycle, and then generally finds its way into the trash. Even now I'm surrounded by clay sculptures and am here I am wondering how soon I can put it into a bag to keep for some project at some undefined future date. Suffice it to say, art doesn't happen much at my house.
But though I don't lean much in the art direction, my kids do. And they love all the different forms of art presented at Art Prize. So I got this idea to capitalize on art, tied in with Art Prize, and do an art day for home schoolers.  I contacted some artistic folks I know, and asked them each to contribute an hour teaching an art form. I am blessed to know a lot of talented artists. Most can draw and paint and do sculpture. That would be in contrast with myself. I can draw a stick figure.=) And paint my walls. A solid color. I don't think anything I've ever done can be classified as sculpture. Not even close. But my talents do lie along the lines of facilitation. Organize, bring the talent and the students together. Make sure everyone behaves. That's what I can do. So, I tentatively sent out some emails mid August to see if any other home schoolers were interested. And boy were they! By this Monday there were over 40 kids signed up. We ended up with 36 students. Not bad for a first venture.
It was a job getting it all together. An artistically challenged person ends up wandering around Hobby Lobby for a LONG time trying to find just what each artist wants. Frankly, I didn't have a clue. After today I feel much better prepared for a next time. We needed water colors-tubes or tablets?-origami paper, sketching paper, water color paper, crayons, pencils for drawing, clay-not oil based(also learned the why's of that today)-blocks of wood, wire, and paint brushes(flat or rounded, or both?). Really, how difficult could it be? You have no idea.=) I insanely thought it would be pretty clear cut. Oh well.
Today dawns...excitement runs high as the kids trickle in to our borrowed building. (No it wasn't at my house-I'm not quite that crazy!=)) And we were off.
Brian started our art day by teaching origami. He taught some basic folds, and then had the kids make a paper balloon. Fortuitously, everyone's balloon inflated when it was blown into. He also walked them step by step through making a fish and a little frog. It was a good start.
My father in law then took over. His forte is pencil drawings. And connecting with kids. He interacted very well with the kids while showing them how to draw faces. He did a fantastic drawing of a man's face. With pointers about proportions that only an artist would know. It sounded rather scientific and he made it look rather easy.  He then spent about 10 minutes demonstrating perspective in drawing. All the kids stayed engaged, and really seemed to have fun.
After having an hour break for lunch, we cracked out Narumi and water color painting. Wow! She took a photograph of a crane, drew it, and then painted it right in front of our eyes. And then she had the kids each pick their own photograph of an animal, and draw it in crayon, and paint it. There are some very talented kids that we rub shoulders with. I was so impressed!
We finished our day doing sculpture with Anna. Anna had made a kinetic sculpture for Art Prize. She showed the kids many pictures of sculptures, and then some rabbit models she had whipped up in the back. Seriously amazing! The kids got their own chunks of clay, and each got to make a sculpture. There were rabbits, dogs, a horse, a dolphin, snowmen, snakes, and airplanes among other things. Everyone did an awesome job.
And furthermore, all 35 plus kids were well behaved. They listened. They followed directions. And I hope they had fun. Like I told Brian, I don't ever plan for chaos. Thankfully, it was a great crowd. Kudos to each set of parents.
So art day is over for the year.
And I'm going to bed.=)