Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Norval Morrisseau

Norval Morrisseau was an Annishnabee who was raised by his grandparents on the Sand Point lake Reserve near Thunder Bay, Ontario in 1930. His grandfather was a Shaman and his grandmother was a devout Catholic. These contrasts played significantly in his artwork. He is one of the most well known First Nations artist. He is known for popularizing the Woodlands style. A style that shows the secrets of legends and the connections people and the natural world.

"My paintings depict my own uncorrupted impressions of Ojibwa beliefs and legends, god and creatures." Norval Morrisseau

These two pieces were samples I created based on the art of Morrisseau. If I was going to use Morriseau's art in the classroom, I would combine it with a unit on legends. Try and see what you come up with. Have fun!

Notice the artwork, it is the same art I sent  to Spoonflower and I used it as a design for fabric. See previous entry. I am still undecided on what to make with the fabric. Check back to see what I have done.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Canada Post Honours Canadian Painter Prudence Heward

Yesterday, I made a trip to the post office and came across, Prudence Heward, Canadian Representasional Figure Painter. Canada Post honoured her work by issuing two stamps. I had never heard of her so I decided to find out more about her.

Prudence Heward lived from 1896 to 1947. Montreal born to a wealthy family, Heward studied at private schools and was encouraged to study visual art at the Art Association of Montreal. She went on to study in Paris with her and friend and mentor A.Y. Jackson. She began exhibiting in 1924 and in 1929 won the Governor General Willingdon initial prize for Girl on the Hill. She exibited along side the Group of Seven and the Beaver Hall Group. It wasn't until 1932 that she had her first solo exhibit. For more information on Prudence Heward click this link to  Library and Archives Canada. To view her paintings, check out National Gallery of Canada's Cybermuse.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Our Miniature Earth

This is a really good reminder to appreciate what we have. I believe that if we live the creative life by example, we will be able to create a new generation of creative problem solvers. Here's a good reason why. Check out Miniature Earth
What will you do today?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Art Collection Posters

Yesterday, my daughter asked me if she could borrow my iPhone so she could take pictures of her stuffed toys. Then she wanted me to print each one individually.  Instead, I created a poster of her collection using Adobe Photoshop. In minutes, we made The Beanies.  It then inspired me to take some of her art and make some posters. Of course, her favourite is the Pinky bear poster.  I am planning on enlarging them and printed at a local printing shop. There are also companies out there who will take your children's artwork and scan them for you to make art books or posters. There is Artimus based in Massachussettes. They can create art books for you. To have a poster designed and printed,  try SimplyCreate on Etsy.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Scratchboards Skeletons

Yes, Halloween is more than a month away and it drives me crazy when stores start prepping their displays in July! However, September whips by so quickly that the next thing you know its Halloween. Here is an art project I did with grade 3 students a few years ago. Its easy and kids love it. I think we created skeleton dancing poems to go with the pictures. Great way to use up pastels or crayons. That Artist Woman gives an excellent art tutorial. Check it out.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Colour of Us-Self Portaits

I just received an email from a friend wondering if I had any ideas for a painting project for her grade 3 class. Here is one I always started my year off with the book The Color of Us by Karen Katz. This is a fantastic book to discuss differences based on skin colour. Its about a little girl who realizes, as she walks around town with her mother, her friends are many different scrumptious colours.

For the art project, I have the kids create large self-portraits on a 12" x 18" paper. I teach them about proportions and placement of eyes and nose. I have them sketch themselves lightly with pencil. Once they are ready to paint, I demonstrate how to create their skin tone. Here is an excellent tutorial  on eHow.

With this activity, you can also teach a mini lesson on similes. My teaching partner had our students write their own poems and we pasted it on their portaits. I wish I could find a sample, but sadly I have filed it away. If you do make one up and don't mind sharing, send it along.

I also found a list of activities on Karen Katz's website. Have fun!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Digital Fabric Services

I was introduced to digital fabric printing services by a friend living in Amsterdam. I am not much of a sewer but I love the idea of being able to take artwork and creating your own fabric. So I decided to try out Spoonflower but there are many other companies. Its easy. Once you upload your artwork, you can choose quilting weight, organic cotton sateen or knit, upholstery weight twill, linen cotton canvas, and cotton lawn. You can choose the layout and the size of the image. I uploaded these two art samples I created. They were inspired  by Norval Morrisseau, Canadian Native Artist. 
 I purchased (42"x36") for US$18 in quilting weight. I didn't have high expectations but I am thrilled with the results. If you would like to know more about other digital fabric companies and the pros and cons of each, click here.  Now I am wondering what to do with the fabric. I welcome your ideas.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Wrapping Paper

I have written about Pinky Bear before. This week, I took 2 drawings Maya made of Pinky and  I created wrapping paper. This idea is from the D.I.Y. Kids book. You must have some computer skills. I used Adobe Photoshop and the largest piece of wrapping paper I can print is 8.5 x 14. 

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Soft D's

I was on Etsy a few weeks ago as I was looking for ideas and found this listing.  Horsepower Studios will take your child's two-dimensional drawing and turn it into a three-dimensional object.

I know my kids love taking their mini toys and creating imaginary scenes where their objects interact with each other. When I saw this listing, I was imagining the characters  my son used to draw and having them come alive. I could hear the lively conversations.

I wrote to Wylie and asked her what inspired here to create these soft dimensional objects or Soft Ds. It began with her oldest daughter and the stories adn drawings she would bring home from school. She loved the bizarre creatures her daughter imagined. Well as it turns out, Aeriel is no different from any other child and she loves stuffed animals. Wylie decided turn one of her own hand-drawn creatures into a stuffed, 3d “animal” that she could hold. She's not sure who was more pleased with the result, her or Aeriel.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Story Books for the Elementary Art Room

With a broken ankle, I will not be returning to the classroom anytime soon but for the teachers out there Mrs Picasso's Art Blog has an excellent list of  art books that you should have in your collection. Click here for the list. One book she doesn't have is Melanie Watt's Leon the Chameleon. Leon is a chameleon who does not camouflage. In fact, he turns a different colour than his peers. It makes him feel different until he uses his colour to save the day. I use this book to talk about feelings of being different. Its a great introduction to complementary colours. See my previous post.

And since I am writing about back to school, Kathy Babro of Art Project for Kids has a list of her favourite art supplies. Click here.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Hands on Keepsakes

As you know, I am in search of all ways to preserve children's artwork. I came across Hands on Keepsake, a Canadian company founded by two moms, Sarah and Rachelle. They are based in Kelowna, BC. After a quick email, I was on my way in creating a silver charm pendant for my daughter's 8th birthday. I sent Rachelle a picture of Pinky.
Pinky is Maya's beannie bear. She came to us  as a gift when she was born. The bear who is more grey than pink is our third child. We have lost and found her in many places. When her brother opened the box, he was totally blown away. He declared that Maya was going to love it! Hands on Keepsakes creates silver and bronze charms using your child's hand print, foot print and your child's artwork . These charms can be made into a necklace, charm bracelet or a key ring.  Every piece is handcrafted and perfect for Christmas, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Anniversaries, Birthdays!

It's easy! Rachelle and Sarah are great to work with and you will get an amazing product. Go to their Etsy store Hands on Keepsakes. As a Budding Artists reader you will receive free shipping. Just write them a message to say that you read about them in this blog and they will refund you the shipping! Isn't that great! Act now and find that special artwok. You will have a fantastic keepsake!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Art Apps for iPhone

I got an iPhone in early January and I absolutley love it!  My favourite art app is called ART by ADS Software. Its a huge gallery at your finger tips. It has bios of master artists and a collection of high quality resolutions of their masterpieces. I have learned so much by just casually reading about artists I have never heard of. For example, I was looking through the the Most Expensive Art Tab and I found an artist called Pontormo. His painting "Portrait of a Halberdier" (1528-1530) which sold for $60.5 million in 1989.
The App allowsyou to download your favourite masterpieces to a gallery and you can use them as wallpaper for your phone or admire them through a slideshow. It has a quiz so you can test your knowledge. Good thing to do while waiting ...

Also on my phone, I have MOMA, I doodle, Sketch Me, CameraBag, Best Camera and ShutterCal

For more iPhone art apps, check out this article from the Teaching Palette 30 Best Apps for Art Teachers. Have fun!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Vote for Us for Mom Entrepreneur of the Year!

Budding Artists has entered The SavvyMom Entrepreneur of the Year Award, a readers' choice contest designed to find “Canada's top Mom Entrepreneur.” The winner will be announced this fall, and will be awarded a $22,000 cash prize designed to help take a business to the next level.

Budding Artists is an art-based fundraising company showcasing children’s artwork. Budding Artists preserves children’s imaginations by creating unique customized keepsakes and giftware using original artwork. Budding Artists digitizes original artwork and prints them on t-shirts, mugs, aprons, and a variety of other media.

The idea was founded by London mom, teacher, and entrepreneur, Maria Calleja. Through her own art experiences with her two children, her students, and the development of Budding Artists, she launched Budding Artists in January 2008. Since then, Budding Artists has helped schools and day cares raise almost $10,000. This home-based business has grown steadily and continues to grow through an online presence and word of mouth and social media marketing. It has served local schools across the country, from British Columbia to Montreal. In addition, two percent of profits go to support a Filipino family microenterprise based in Iloilo, Philippines.

“As a teacher, I loved teaching art. While most kids love creating art, some students didn’t feel like they were artistic. To them, realism equated art. So I steered away from art projects that emphasized drawing and started to showcase their art in a variety of non-traditional ways. Reluctant artists began to see art as design-more than pages on a fridge door. This is the core of Budding Artists,” says Ms. Calleja.

With the title of Mom Entrepreneur of the Year, Budding Artists would use the award money to help build promote Budding Artists as an alternative to traditional school fundraisers. Building Budding Artists from scratch has been a rewarding experience, but it’s time to take it to the next level. This opportunity would allow Budding Artists to move beyond a one person operation to being able to access professional services.

Throughout the contest period, Savvymom will be hosting a 'Mom Entrepreneurs Gallery'. Click here to vote for Budding Artists.

Voters are also eligible to win a $500 cash back prize provided by PayPal Canada, the presenting sponsor of the award program.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Visiting an Art Gallery

As a kid, my father would take us to the National Art Gallery in Ottawa. we would bring friends and basically giggle our way though the exhibits. We did our best to behave and look interested. The exposure had led both my brother and I into careers of  art appreciation.

Now when I take my kids, I make sure I have an activity we can do. I also don't stay long. The rule is always to leave at the height of the fun then kids remember the experience as a good one. I try to go during free admission times or during family events.

If available, take advantage of the audio guide tours for kids. They are usually very good. Its worth the extra money to keep your kids engaged. Before visiting, I check out the gallery's website to see if there are any kids activities on-line. We surf the website and look at possible pieces we may see.

Once we are at the gallery, I begin with a visit to the gift shop.We always pick up post cards and decide which art pieces we would like to see. Then we search for them in the gallery. Kids can send the postcards to family or friends or keep them as a souvenir. Once you get home, display them for inspiration.

Bring a clipboard and play some games such as a treasure hunt or bingo. I found this bingo card by Carol Sabbeth in her book Impressionists for Kids. Its called Monet Bingo. She uses the following words for her bingo card: complementary, warm, cool, landscape, portrait, self -portrait, still life, pointillism, bird's eye, pleinair, pastel, seascape. For a list of ideas for a treasure hunt, click here for a sample.

Last year, we were at MoMA. They had free audio guides for the kids and a really good online website for kids called Destination Modern Art. By the time the kids got there, they were pumped. It was a wonderful experience. At the end of it, my daughter told me that her favourite painting was one by Jackson Pollack! She still talks about the colours, technique and its size.

Have fun on your next visit!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Nurturing Creativity

I was reminded of this video sent to me years ago on schools killing creativity. Its about 20 minutes long but its worth it. Sir Ken Robinson is entertaining and he makes a good argument on how schools undermine creativity rather than.nurturing it.. It is on the TED: Ideas Worth Spreading website. Click here. Thanks to Kathy for her post on Art Projects for Kids

Friday, August 6, 2010

D.I.Y. Kids

Found this book in our local library and it has some great ideas that you can do with children's artwork and homemade arts and crafts.  According to the authors, Ellen and Julia Upton, D.I.Y. Kids encourages young readers to use basic design principles and hands on materials to express their individuality through more than ninety imaginative projects. You can check out their website D.I.Y. Kids. Stay tuned. I will be testing their ideas and I will share them with you. 

Thursday, August 5, 2010


This is a fantastic service. Shuttercal is a calendar based photography site.Everyday, I upload a picture from my iPhone to document our life in London, ON. Once a photo is uploaded you can then use any of them to send a postcard for US$3. It is printed, stamped and mailed.  This means I can send a personalized postcard to my parents every week when they are living in the Philippines. They are luddites and do not have access to internet.  I figure that I have to spend over $1 for one stamp. For $3, I can send a beautiful crafted personalized postcard from my computer. No hassle of buying stamps and then finding a mailbox. The postcard is printed on heavy duty cardstock (not on flimsy cardboard). So, why not send your child's artwork on a postcard to someone special today? Check out the Kidsartwork site I created and enjoy the art.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Name Mandalas

I found this on someone's blog. I read so many to gain inspiration that I have forgotten where I got this from. Teach Kids Art had it on their blog recently. One of the wonderful things about blogs is that we get great ideas from each other and share with our readers. I am pretty sure, I first saw this idea somewhere else too.
Make this mandala using your name. Take a square piece of paper and divide into 8 triangles. On one triangle, write your name in block letters. use a window to trace your name into the other triangles. At the creases, you can close your block letter or leave open. After trace with a black sharpie and then erase pencil lines. Colour your mandala. You can also begin with a circle and divide into 8 triangles. Its so cool. Kids love trying to figure out the names of each mandala.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Blick's Art Materials

I was wandering around the internet and came across this great site at Dick Blick's Art Materials. Its an art store based in the United States. The art lessons are really cool using all sorts of interesting meterials. They also have a material list which links very nicely to their website. Many of the projects have videos. I spent hours looking and generating ideas for future projects. I can't wait to get started.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Night Lights

Turn your child's artwork into a night light.  Artwork is placed between glass, foiled and soldered together. They are available from Budding Artists. Crafted locally. $20 +HST+ shipping.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Aero Art Bar

The Ithaca Fine Chocolate Company  (Ithaca, NY) produces certified fair trade organic chocolate bars. I, especially love the Art Bars. Each bar contain art cards that can be found in between the label and the wrapper. It was fun to buy and more fun to eat. Every bar had a different image of artwork that was available for purchase from the company.

I was thinking of them recently and it gave me the idea of using children's artwork on the label. I also found it in a book called D.I.Y. Kids. So today, I went out with my son and we purchased an Aero bar and a Caramilk bar. They seemed smaller than I what I remember from childhood. These are the results. I really like how they turned out so I am planning on buying the better chocolate and making a bunch of them. I am thinking they would be great as hostess gifts and for our annual family birthday gathering in September.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Art Journals

Here's a nice idea...Take your child's artwork and create a journal cover with it. Try  Digital Artwear in Florida. The journal covers are made of fabric. You can also order extra lined or blank  paper. There is a minimum order of 6 journals for the same image. Each journal is about US$7.50

Friday, July 9, 2010

Ted Harrison

Canadian Artist, Ted Harrison came to Canada in the 1970's.  Originally from England, he settled in the Yukon for decades before moving to  Victoria, BC.

This is a wonderful project to do in conjunction with  a study on Canadian provinces. I use the book O Canada. All the pictures are created by Ted Harrison. Each province and territory is featured. (Nunavut is not included since it was not a territory yet when the book was published)

I begin by looking at the art and asking the students to guess  which province is being portrayed by looking at the symbols represented. I have made it into a game. Each centre has 3 art pictures and 4 province and/or territory names. Students have 2 minutes to figure out which province or territory is represented and why.

I then ask them what each of the pictures have in common. 
Curvy lines, vivid  "magic"colours, fore, middle and background, simple subjects

For the art project, I ask the students to choose a simple subject ( buildings, flowers, trees, sail boats, animals) and place in the centre ( middle ground) of their picture. Then to add a foreground and then a background. Remind students that things in the foreground are bigger than the middle ground object. I also encourage the use of  curvy lines. I also let them know that the horizon line is about a third of the page from the bottom.

Foreground could be sidewalks, bushes, grasses, water, animals
Middle Ground: trees buildings, mountains, seashore, animals
Background: sky, mountains, buildings

The students can use pastels or paints to finish their pictures.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Summer Art Program in London, Ontario

Monday Drop In Programs

Every Monday 10-12 pm, Drop by for a one hour craft. Sample activites are: card making, marbled paper, $10 per child. There will be no workshop on the Civic Holiday.

July 5: Printmaking

July 12: Marbled Paper

July 19: Painting with Plasticine

July 26: Candlemaking

Design Your Own Workshops 10-12 pm $30 or $20 without the Budding Artists Product.

Each workshop will feature a master artist. Using inspration from the artist, children will participate in games, stories and art activities.After each session, Budding Artists will use their artwork create a customized gift.

Tuesday, July 20: Vincent Van Gogh Nightlights

Wednesday, July 21 Andy Warhol Coasters

Thursday, July 22 Georgia OKeeffe Garden Stakes

Friday, July 23 Alexander Calder Bookbags

Tuesday, July 27 Amadeo Modiglini Ceramic Mugs

Thursday, July 29 Jackson Pollack T-Shirts

Friday, July 30 Paul Klee Iron Trivet

Art workshops and Drop Ins are limited to 6 participants. Email us at info@buddingartists.ca or call 519.639.4588 to reserve your space. Workshops will be held at 252 Wortley Road.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Artwork Ornaments

I found this idea in a book by Photojojo. Its a great website to make crafty things with digital images.  I took one abstract piece of art and created an ornament with it.  Here is the
artwork and here is the ornament. You will need two brass fasteners. Print image as a 5x7. On the back of the image, use a pencil to make  strips (1.5-2 cm). Punch holes on the top on bottom of each strip. Then cut the image keeping them in order. Use brass fasteners to hold together.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Fold Play

I found the coolest website. Its called Fold Play. You upload 4 pictures and the website gives you a print out to make a photo kaleidocycle-an endless moving paper sculpture. Its a little tricky at first. The website provides a slideshow tutorial. I made one using artwork and another with pictures of my family. Put them in a goodie bag or make them for a place setting. The ideas are endless.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Elephant Art

A few years ago, I taught at a wonderful school called Adrienne Clarkson ES in Barhaven, Ontario. I was the teacher in charge of the environment club. Students in grade 2-4 came together and studied endangered animals. Each one chose an animal to focus on. We held an Endangered Animal Fair. Students showcased their research and classes came to see their projects. This was all voluntary. It was fantastic to hear club members discussing why we should save their particular animal.

It was also that year, the students decided to fundraise to help Asian elephants in Thailand. It began with this book Elephants Can Paint too by Katya Arnold. This was our inspiration. Elephants were taught to paint as an alternative to roaming the streets looking for handouts. Elephants were very useful in the logging industry but since Thailand has cleared the majority of their forests, elephants and their handlers have little work to do.

To raise funds, we held a used book sale. Each club member encouraged their classmates to each bring a book to school to donate to the sale. We had hundrends of books. We raised over $500 and as a club, we purchased a painting created by an elephant.

The painting hangs in the school as a reminder of the potential hidden talents of animals and humans. If elephants can be taught to paint "realistically" so can humans. For more information on elephant paintings, check out Asian Elephant Art & Conservation Project

Monday, June 14, 2010

Marbled Paper

I have been wanting to make marbled paper for as long as I can remember. The other day, I decided to google it. I found instructions on Martha Stewart's website calling for all sorts of ingredients that I would have to really work hard at finding. However, yesterday, I came across instructions using shaving cream and paint. That's it! So a quick trip to the pharmacy and some paint and I was able to make marbled paper in minutes. I can't wait to make more. You can find the instructions on  Art Smarts 4 Kids.  Have fun!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Line Art

I love this. I found it on Art with Mr. E. Its so simple and really nice for kids to feel success. Check out his blog for full instructions.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Barefoot Books

Shakespeare’s Storybook was my first book from this amazing publishing company Barefoot Books. I loved it so much, I was telling my stay- at- home friends to become booksellers. Then, when I relocated to London and found myself unemployed I decided to take the plunge.  Barefoot Books complements well with Budding Artists. The books are top quality-beautifully illustrated and the short story collections are fantastic. Shakespeare’s Stories is a collection of  7 folk tales popular during Shakespeare’s time. These are the folktales that inspired him to write his plays.  I have read this book to junior students and have had excellent discussions on the themes. You can also purchase this book with accompanying CDs for long car rides.

I am not actively selling these days, choosing to focus on Budding Artists instead. However, I maintain a Barefoot Books marketplace page.  Any commissions earned will be donated in books to a high needs elementary school in London, Ontario. Watch out for their free shipping promotions. Its a great deal! Beware that you still have to pay $10 for customs. Unfortunately, if you pay for shipping, this fee is added on top which makes it very expensive. If you are not in rush for a title and you live in London, call me and I will order it during the free shipping promotion and you can save the custom fee.

Alfie's Long Winter

Alfie’s Long Winter is written by Greg McElvoy. It’s a fantastic book about a leaf named Alfie who is too scared to jump off the tree when autumn comes. It’s a wonderful book to make connections on children’s fears and ways they have conquered their fears. 

I borrowed the art idea from That Artists Woman blog. I adapted it for the classroom. After reading the book, we  created our own tree with Alfie on it.  I began with teaching a lesson on drawing trees. We practiced on GOOS ( good on one side) paper.  Then I asked the students to create a background. I used a 3×5″ size cardstock paper. They have to choose a warm or cool background. They are free to anything in their background but they must use only warm or cool colours. They can use pencil crayons, markers or crayons. Some students made patterns, while others created abstract backgrounds. Once the background was completed, students had access to  thick, medium and thin black markers to draw Alfie’s tree.  Its simple and quick.   I pasted the artwork on black construction paper and hung it up. The  lesson took about 1 hour.
3×5″ Cardstock
Black Construction Paper Thick, 
Medium and thin black permanent markers
pencil crayons, crayons and markers