Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Great Christmas Disaster

We've all read “Twas the Night Before Christmas” and probably seen Dickens' “A Christmas Carol” at least once or twice too. I am sure you are familiar with all the characters that run through these tales and more, like the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, Rudolph, the Grinch and even jolly old Santa Claus. Have you heard of "The Great Christmas Disaster" though? What about "Gabe Strikes Again"? They are one and the same and if you are still shaking your head, I'm not surprised. This Christmas drama is an original by Kim Stark, but it pulls on many already familiar Christmas themes. In fact, as the play unfolds, you will see one mixed-up angel having to set several Christmas stories straight with the help of a couple of angelic friends.

You haven't seen this play before, but you will want to catch it this year.

On Friday, December 21st at 7 pm and Saturday, December 22nd at 2 pm, 17 children will be performing their version of this Christmas play. Kim Stark has spent the last month or so teaching the kids tips, tricks and techniques for how to dazzle an audience with the help of the new Budding Artists space. With Kim directing these children, aged 5-15 years, they are finally ready for the curtain to go up. Now is their time to shine.

So without further ado, Budding Artists presents “The Great Christmas Disaster” to showcase London’s newest theatre troupe, at their new location at 944 Western Counties Rd, behind Parkwood Hospital. Please contact Budding Artists for tickets, as space is limited at the venue. Suggested donations are $8 per adult and $5 per child. These budding thespians would love your support, so please make a point to come out and cheer them on as they present “The Great Christmas Disaster (or Gabe Strikes Again)” to you.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas Gift Ideas

Garden Stake
With two weeks to go, we are coming down to crunch time for Christmas shopping. Are you done yet? Would you like to personalize your gift giving this year? Why not give the gift of personalized artwork from your child! Perfect for Grandma and Grandpa, aunts, uncles, your child's teacher or whomever is on your list still.

Keepsake Box
Get us your children's artwork and Budding Artists can create garden stakes and keepsake boxes that anyone would be thrilled to receive. If you want to give the gift of art for your children, why not pick up one of our many artist supplies and craft kits? Our new fish pencil sharpeners make excellent stocking stuffers!

Perhaps the best way to show your children you appreciate their artistic skills is by displaying their creativity for all to see. The L'il Davinci Art Frame does just that! Store up to 50 pieces of artwork in a beautiful cabinet. All you have to do is rotate the art as it is created. Wouldn't that clean up your fridge door? I'm sure Santa has you on the nice list, so perhaps you can put in the good word with him for this under your Christmas tree.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Budding Artists Does Christmas Cards

There's 21 days til Christmas
and what's left to do?
How about everything and nothing,
and me come down with the flu.

Christmas baking is yet to begin
and presents still wait at the store,
but Budding Artists can help you
at least with one thing more.

Have you started your Christmas letter?
Are holiday cards in the mail?
Fear not my friends and neighbours,
as a scheme for you, we will regale

Pick out your favourite artwork
that your child has created and slaved over,
then get the design to Maria
by Friday, and see the changeover!

She'll set the picture for you,
two sets of 6 cards apiece,
the grandparents will be a'wonder
and don't forget to include one for your great niece!

So get your children drawing
and cross one item off the list
Budding Artists saves the day
with a Christmastime assist!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Time for a Workshop!

Thank you to everyone that stopped by our Budding Artists Open House and Christmas Sale this past weekend. The butter tarts and chai were scrumptious, for those of you who couldn't make it! The children's crafts were a hit with all the kids that came too. We are almost out of reindeer food! I suspect that a few stocking stuffers were picked up by clandestine parents as well, while their darling little ones dove into mask making and more.

Don't go feeling like you completely missed out though. Now that Budding Artists has a new home, we are offering workshops throughout the week.


Drama Workshops on Mondays

~ Are your children born to act? Do they turn every action into a performance? Budding Artists has the perfect answer to how to encourage your budding dramatists. Sign them up for our theatre workshops on Monday evenings with Kim Stark (formerly of Sitting Tree School). She will be teaching movement, script reading, character development, playwriting, improvisation tactics and more. Aside from having fun, these workshops also help to build self-awareness, social skills and confidence, while decreasing anxiety. Geared towards 8-16 year-olds.

Toonie Tuesdays

Toonie Tuesdays

~ If your craft budget is a little slim, then Budding Artists has a cheap solution for creativity for you - Toonie Tuesdays! For a mere $2, you can drop by the Bruce Pavilion at 944 Western Counties Rd from 4-5:30 pm every Tuesday afternoon and make art with the ladies of Budding Artists.


~ Do you need to get your little ones out of the house more often? Would they appreciate a little more time spent in nature, exploring all that it has to offer? Head down to our fabulous location on the edge of Westminster Ponds and discover the joy that only hands-on exploration can bring. Eco-Tots is held every Wednesday meeting at 944 Western Counties Rd, from 10-11:30 am. Dress appropriate for the weather and don't forget to bring your creativity along for some art activities as well. This program is designed for 2 1/2-4 year-olds.

Friday Craft Night

Friday Craft Night

~ If you are looking for an art project that is fun for the whole family, then look no further than Friday Craft Night! For $25, an adult and 1 child ($5 for additional child) can get crafting to help wind down after a long week. Hours are 7-8:30 pm. Register early so that you don't miss out on the creativity. 

Crafting the Masters

~ Why mess with a good thing? Budding Artists is bringing back our Crafting the Masters series on Saturdays, from 10-11:30 am. It is the same children's art workshops that you remember from our previous location at the London Farmer's market - a little art history, techniques, games and stories, with a focus on a master artist. Your children will even get to bring home their very own art project at the end of the day.

Budding Artists Birthday Parties

~ Are you looking for something a little different this year for your child's birthday party? Why not consider one of Budding Artists Budding Adventure Parties! You get two hours of indoor and outdoor fun at our Westminster Ponds location, including 45 minutes in our party room. You can choose between one of three fun-filled adventure parties, where you have a mystery to unravel, but regardless, a good time had by all is guaranteed.

PD Day Camps

~ While some parents are able to take time off work for the many PD Days that occur over the course of the school year, that luxury is not an option for all. What do you do with your children, when the teachers cut them loose for a day then? Budding Artists has a suggestion - drop them off to our PD Day Camps! Not only do we entertain children with art projects, movement and plenty of other activities, but we also feed them a pizza lunch, healthy snacks and juice. You get peace of mind knowing your children will be well taken care of, and your kids get to explore their creative side in an encouraging and supportive space. Perfect!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Vote for Me!

Please vote for me. I am applying to The Mompreneur Award of Excellence 2013

Five years ago, Budding Artists (www.buddingartists.ca) began as an idea. Through trial and error, I have helped over 50 schools, churches and daycares fundraise over $50,000. Budding Artists is a work in progress and it has been building steadily over the years. I am proud of what I have accomplished by myself and the help of friends and family. 

There is no doubt it has been difficult since I don't have a business background.  I have successfully juggled my role as an entrepreneur with being a mom, wife, teacher and volunteer. I am most proud of the work I have done co-organizing Halloween in the Village,  a local carnival and night parade for my neighborhood. Last year, It was estimated by CTV that over 1000 people were in attendance. I have been active member in Home and school as well as parent council. 

The grand prize will allow me to hire local staff to manage Budding Artists so I can dedicate more time to creating a not for profit children's art studio. It will also allow me to have access to mentors and create systems so Budding Artists can reach out to more  parents so they can easily preserve their children's imagination. When parents value their children's imagination, children will value creativity. In an increasing complex world, our future will require creative problem solvers. We make it easy and fun while at the same time helping schools and organizations fundraise. 

The children's arts studio will operate as a collective. Our mission is to create place where integrity and the arts grow for local London children and families.  This winter we are offering workshops in drama, creative writing, cursive writing. Every last Friday, we are offering Friday Craft Nights and every Tuesday is Toonie Art Day. 

I am really excited about the possibilities for Budding Artists and the Studio. It doesn't take long to vote and feel free to pass this on to your family and friends. You can follow this link.  

Many thanks,

Monday, November 19, 2012

Why Art?

Why Art?

"The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls" ~ Pablo Picasso
Isn't that a truth that is forgotten in the busyness that often equals daily life. When schools cut art programs in order to save precious dollars for their budgets, it is a travesty for society as a whole. Picasso knew that and so does Andrea Mulder-Slater of Kinder Art, as she notes "It's been proven that early exposure to visual art, music, or drama promotes activity in the brain." Its called imagination and we at Budding Artists know how important that is.

Metal Sculpture created by Acme Animal
As an outlet for creativity, emotional expression, social commentary and more, art is not only important, but is also an integral part of life. It is found from the beginnings of recorded time in the likes of cave paintings, all the way up to modern art that appears everywhere we look - social media, television, newspapers, magazines, and advertisements galore. You can find art anywhere from the simple lamp sitting on your desk, to the shape of a building designed by a master architect. Art can take on the form of paintings, murals, sculptures, tattoos, glass and metal ornaments, plus so much more. If you look at anything with an aesthetic eye, you can see art in its very nature.

Child's Picasso-inspired sculpture
from Budding Artists Summer Camp
If art is everywhere, but not always seen or valued, how do we encourage it in young minds? Sometimes the easiest lesson is in handing a child a piece of blank paper and a marking utensil of some sort (ie. crayon, marker, chalk, pastel) and asking them to create. Tell a class of children to draw something they see, and watch the number of representations that emerge - a different picture for every child. The key is to value that creativity and watch where a child runs with it. Don't worry about if a picture is drawn within the lines or an apple is coloured purple. See the value in the thinking and creating that the child attempts.

What would they do with a pine cone? How would they use a  block? If you handed them glue, what objects would children seek to create a collage of their very own? When a child's brain starts to question, examine, ponder and imagine, it grows in leaps and bounds. They learn about colour, time, space, and in the process, develop self-esteem, self-discipline, motivation and more. It is our responsibility, as parents and teachers, to ensure that creativity is sparked and flourishes in a child's mind. Children are the next generation of sculptors, painters, designers, and artists. They provide the colour of life and that cannot be underscored enough.

Just one of eco-friendly art supplies
that Budding Artists carries
So how do you promote your child's creativity? What tools do you offer them to create art? If your answer is a little flat, let Budding Artists help to spark some life back into your child's art. We have eco-friendly art supplies that any parent can be proud to offer their children. If you stop by our Open House and Christmas Sale (944 Western Counties Rd, behind Parkwood Hospital), this Saturday, November 24th, from 10 am -2 pm, you will also get 10% off any purchases you make, plus you can start the creative juices flowing at a free craft activity. You might even decide to sign your child up for one of our workshops. It is a step in the right direction.

We'll put the snacks out, just to be sure you make it. See you there!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Countdown to Christmas

With the arrival of Santa Claus in London, Ontario this past weekend, the countdown to Christmas is on! Only 42 days to be exact. If you are itching for something festive a little sooner though, there is a Christmas event that falls a little closer on the calendar. On Saturday, November 24th, 2012 from 10 am - 3 pm the doors will be opened at 944 Western Counties Rd (Bruce Pavilion behind Parkwood Hospital) for the Budding Artists Open House & Christmas Sale! That's right, Budding Artists wants to celebrate the season in their new location and YOU are invited.

Wondering what you have to look forward to? The scent of Christmas will be in the air with hot drinks and snacks on offer. It wouldn't be a Budding Artists affair without crafts for the kids too. Plus, get a sneak peek at all of the new programs that Budding Artists is running at the new location, like Free Drama Workshops on Mondays, Eco Tots Exploration, Creative Writing Classes, Toonie Tuesdays, and Friday Craft Night Fridays. And of course you can get some shopping done as well, with 10% off all of our eco-friendly arts products, plus Budding Artists Keepsakes! No Scrooges here either - NO Tax!

In fact, the Drama Workshops are going to have a decidedly Christmas-y feel to them too, as Budding Artists are gearing up for a Christmas Play this year. The first audition will be held tonight, so hurry on down. Workshops are held on Mondays, from 4:30-6:30 pm with Kim Stark (former Principal of the Sitting Tree School) presiding. We can't wait, but you will have to, so we'll be sure to let you know when the performance will be held!

Don't forget that we'll be running a PD Day Camp this Friday, November 16th, 2012 at Wesley Knox Church from 9 am - 4 pm too! Sign up today!!

See you soon! HO, HO, HO!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Reach Out and Touch Someone

It takes a village to raise a child ~ African Proverb
The meaning behind that of course is that many people influence a child's life. The same holds true for everyone in fact. We do not exist in a bubble. Every day we touch family, friends, acquaintances, business associates and even stranger's lives. From the grocery clerk, to the gas bar attendant, to your spouse at home, the people in our world shape who we are and how we view our place in it. That goes for how we raise our children and even how we interact in business settings. You cannot walk through life entirely alone, nor should you.

The same holds true for Budding Artists. While Maria Calleja might be the founder of the business, she is not the sole person involved in the company. Everyone from her children and husband, to friends and family encourage her and support her in her endeavour to bring art alive for children. There have been many faces that have assisted in art workshops, fundraisers, and certainly more than one special event. There are also many other companies that Budding Artists could not do without. Take for example, these companies that create wonderful products that Budding Artists promotes and whole-heartedly supports;

  • Glob
  • Clementine Art
  • Artterro
  • Eye Can Art
  • Crazyoleez Crayons
  • Barefoot Books

  • Without them, Budding Artists would be a little slimmer in scope and a little more hard-pressed to present creative ideas to our clients. Not that creativity comes from a company, but quality products go a long way in producing beautiful and artful pieces. And inspiration comes from sources far and wide, including people of all ilks and stripes. The creative minds that lie behind the Budding Artists logo are only stepping stones for the imaginative ideas that spring forth from the children that we touch every day in the hope that we promote a brighter, more artistic future.

    Today, we recognize and thank all of those who help to ensure that Budding Artists exists and thrives. Without you, we would not be here today.

    So I cannot help but turn around and ask you. Who do you touch in your every day life? Who has influenced your imagination and creativity? Who can YOU reach out and touch today?

    Monday, October 29, 2012

    Creative Displays for Children's Artwork

    BUDDING ARTISTS MISSION: When parents preserve and promote children's imagination, children value creativity. In an increasingly complicated world, we need future creative problem solvers. Budding Artists makes it easy and fun.

    Do you struggle with ideas of what to do with all the artwork that your child creates? While we understand that you cannot keep every piece of artwork that is created, in order to value your child's artistic efforts, it is important that you keep some. Even that can quickly fill up file folders and boxes, if your kids are prolific artists. So what do you do with it to let your children know how much you value their artwork and creativity? How about displaying some of it in creative ways


    Source: bhg.com via Su on Pinterest

    • How about popping a wall in your living room and featuring special selections of art in it? Experiment with different frames, matching or mismatched matting, sizes and more. Go with a theme to the artwork or mix it up according to what artwork you have and love.

    • If you want something less dramatic, why not feature a rotating string of artwork? You can add new artwork as it comes in and remove the oldest artwork from rotation. This idea also incorporates the dilemma of different sized art.

    • Here is a solution that gives your children more control over what gets displayed - clipboards that your children can maintain. For every new piece of art that goes up, the last piece is again removed. It doesn't take up much space or finances, but is pleasing none the less. 

    What about taking your favourite art pieces and incorporating them into everyday items? Budding Artists carries a wide range of products that can be personalized with your child's artwork. These items make great Christmas gifts, teacher presents or just a wonderful way to celebrate your child's artwork every day.

    Customized Gifts Using Children's Artwork
    How do you display your children's artwork?

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012

    The Power of Imagination

    Imagination is more important than knowledge ~ Albert Einstein
    That is a pretty heavy quote from a pretty heavy thinker. How can imagination be more important than knowledge? Why should we value imagination? Where does it take us and how do we use it? The answer lies in the eyes of a child and their view of the world.

    From the moment a child is born, the world is theirs to discover. It is filled with a myriad of shapes, colours and images to draw their eyes and minds. It is the power of a child's wondering that makes that world come alive. Without a little curiosity, they would not reach for blocks, respond to a mother's smile, or attempt to explore their world as a whole. It is that curiosity that sparks imagination and a whole new world to open up. What would happen if they hit that mobile? Imagine if it brought it closer to them, so that they could explore it more! Wow; and life colours into vibrant hues.
    Trust that little voice in your head that says 'Wouldn't it be interesting if...'; And then do it ~ Duane Michals
    Mona Lisa
    As children grow older, their imagination expands and grows. Young minds take all that they have learned from the world around them in through their senses, and expand that into play, creativity, reasoning and so much more. Imagine if Leonardo da Vinci had not been curious about the world around him. Not only would the world be without the likes of "Mona Lisa" and "The Last Supper", but also his concepts in flight, anatomy, civil engineering and so much more. Many of the concepts that he worked on had no footing in his day and age, but through imagination, he brought them to the world then and now. Truly, imagination was da Vinci's greatest tool and gave much to society as a result of it. Think where today's imagination might take us tomorrow!
    To think creatively, we must be able to look afresh at what we normally take for granted ~ George Kneller
    So while we value organized and learned behaviour, the fact of the matter is, is that without dreams, ambitions and a large dose of imagination, we would be stuck in a rut going nowhere. We require imagination to think outside the box, and develop new thoughts and ideas. Imagination fuels poetry, fiction, painting and any new invention out there. It helps us come up with new ways of looking at things and new ways of performing them. Think where art would be without imagination - boring and lifeless. Science Fiction wouldn't even be a dream, let alone a tool to help us reach the sky and stars beyond. And progress in any other aspects of our life would stop overnight. We need imagination to live, breathe and be the best that we can be. Life would cease to sparkle without it.
    Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try! ~ Dr. Seuss

    Monday, October 15, 2012

    Eye Can Art: A Project with the Layered Wax Drawing Kit

    On a lazy, damp Sunday with nothing to do,
    a Budding Artists art kit is pulled out with a big Yahoo!
    Not any old art on this soggy day
    but an EYE CAN ART kit to chase the blues away.

    So we opened the can and looked inside
    to see what goodies our creativity could guide
    Joy, oh bliss, in a small wood frame
    "and a set of pastels to decorate it!", we exclaimed.

    The girls set out with a vision in mind
    their colours were brilliant, all combined
    A landscape emerged, a tree I see
    with flowers in a row, how pretty!

    The last touches added,
    and it was ready to go!
    One last glimpse
    before into the oven, it was stowed.

    Just add beeswax


    Watch the bubbles
    til they stop!

    Out it came
    all hot, hot hot!

    Till it cooled
    and the wax did clot

    One last task
    Before we were through
    To decorate on top
    and add more colours anew!

    My vampire girl
    was ever so pleased
    with her Eye Can Kit
    and the artwork she conceived


    Big thanks to Maria & Budding Artists
    for the fun Layered Wax Drawing Kit 
    that filled our Sunday afternoon
    with some creative fun!

    It was as easy as...

    draw, melt, cool, colour a little more
    and hang on the wall to enjoy!

    Find more creative art projects online 
    or in one of the new Budding Artists workshops
    as highlighted below;

    Monday, June 25, 2012

    A Look at Sculptor David Smith

    We are into the last week of June and that means that this week will be Budding Artists last children's art workshop at the London Farmer's Market. We love our space and hope to return in the fall. If you haven't had a chance to attend previous art workshops, this weekend is a must! Workshops are held Saturdays at 10:30am and 1pm, running 90 minutes of fun and creativity. Children learn about the featured artist, discover a little art history, and get the chance to create some take-home artwork in the style of said artist. The kids always leave happy and you parents get a break for 90 minutes to do whatever you need or want to do! Register today! And as far as next year goes, you will certainly be the first to hear about what we have planned for the 2012/2013 Budding Artists schedule!

    September might seem like an awfully long wait to keep your kids interested in art though. If you are worried about how to keep your children entertained this summer, note that Budding Artists will be hosting two week-long summer art camps this year. Back by popular demand, Maria Calleja and Nancy Clarke will be inspiring your children to reach to the stars with their artistic endeavours. Barb McGill will also be joining the Budding Artists team to add a little musical inspiration to the weeks. The summer camps run the weeks of July 23-27 and August 27-31, 2012, between the hours 9am-4pm. This year the camps will be held at the Wesley Knox Church at 91 Askin St., so contact Budding Artists today to secure your child's spot.

    Ah, but we haven't mentioned who our featured master artist will be for this weekend's Children's Art Workshop yet! I will keep you in the dark no longer. This week, sculptor David Smith will grace your children with his influence, as they discover his many metal works. A man of little formal training, he still managed to climb his way to the top of the art world and is now considered one the most important sculptors of his generation. And it all began on March 9th, 1906 in Decatur, Indiana.

    Reclining Figure - 1933
    Smith entered the world with nothing earth-shattering to inspire his artistic creativity. His mother was a teacher and his father managed a telephone company, while on the side fashioned himself an amateur inventor. He moved with his family to Ohio in 1921, where he graduated from high school. He attended Ohio University in 1924-25, but dropped out of the University of Notre Dame the following year after only two weeks, due to the lack of any art classes. He spent the summer working at the Studebaker automobile factory, getting exposed to the materials that he would ultimately come to use most during his later artistic career. That career got its foothold when he moved to New York in 1926.

    Head - 1938
    Where art had always held an interest for Smith, it wasn't until he settled into life in New York that he was able to fully explore this medium. He became a member of the Art Students League of New York, where he met his soon to be wife Dorothy Dehner. He studied painting and drawing from artists John Sloan and Jan Matulka. It was through these painters that he was introduced to the artwork of Julio González, Willem de Kooning, Mondrian, Kandinsky and most notably, Picasso. While he never received any formalized education in sculpting, Smith absorbed all that he was taught and took the leap to realize that the only difference between sculpture and painting was the third dimension. It was this leap that he now took, when he began to forge sculptures out of metal and other found materials.

    Hudson River Landscape - 1951
    In 1929, Smith and his wife bought a run-down farm in Bolton Landing. A small art community there had enchanted them and by 1932, Smith had bought a forge and anvil for the studio at their summer home. Around the same time, he began renting out a space in a Brooklyn welding shop (Terminal Iron Works), where he began creating relief plaques and increasingly abstract sculptures. In 1938, he was honoured with his first one-man show of his drawings and sculptures at Marian Willard's East River Gallery. By 1940, he had tired of the New York art scene, so permanently relocated to Bolton Landing and renamed his studio after the welding shop he had left behind. Ironically, it was at this time that his artwork began to receive more notice, as he had a travelling exhibit featured by the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art. The outbreak of World War II found him neglecting his new found art though, as he took a job welding at the American Locomotive Company.

    Cubi XVIII, Cubi XVII, Cubi XIX - 1963-64
    With the war over, Smith had an outpouring of creativity. He took the skills he had learned welding, and devoted himself full-time to his art. His stint at teaching with the Sarah Lawrence College gained him the further respect he desired. That was followed by the Guggenheim awarding him two Fellowships, which meant that he could financially continue to focus whole-heartedly on his artwork.

    During the '50s, with his increased recognition and financial means, his artwork began to grow in scale. He experimented with new drawing techniques and began to construct numbered series that continued til the end of his life. Sadly, his was a life cut short, as he died in a car accident in 1965. Over his 59 years though, he managed to create a new style of art through his metal- work that took Cubism and Surrealism to a new height. Never before had any American artists created work like his, but that legacy did not die with him (Artist Anthony Caro was directly influenced by Smith's work). In fact, exhibitions of his work are still on display around the world. And of course Budding Artists will be resurrecting him this weekend as well at our last children's art workshop of this session. Please join us!

    Monday, June 18, 2012

    Spotlight on Alexander Calder

    How about a spotlight on an artist with a slightly different take on art? Let's take a look at Alexander Calder and his claim to fame; his sculptures and mobiles. He was born in Lawnton, Pennsylvania on July 22, 1898 to artistic parents; his father was a sculptor and mother a painter. With parents like that, it is no wonder that young Calder ended up falling into the art world himself. And that he did from a young age. From the age of eight, he was always provided with a workshop in the family home. He rewarded this encouragement by presenting his parents with his first sculpture in 1909. A 3-D brass dog and duck was their Christmas present that year.

    Despite his early interest in art, Calder originally decided to go into engineering. He studied Mechanical Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology and spent the next few years dabbling in various jobs related to the field. It wasn't until 1923 that he decided to return to the world of art. He moved to New York and enrolled in the Arts Student League. In 1926, he took his interest in art a step further and moved to Paris, where he enrolled in the Académie de la Grand Chaumière. It was there that he began to further develop his skills and tinker with kinetic art. One of his earliest experiments with kinetic art was in his creation of his Cirque Calder (inspired from a two-week stint spent researching the Ringling Brother Circus for the National Police Gazette in 1925), which he designed and performed for people throughout France and the US, as seen here.

    Lobster Trap & Fish Tail - 1939
    While Paris was good to Calder, introducing him to the likes of Joan Miró, Marcel Duchamp, Jean Arp, Fernand Léger, Piet Mondrian and his future wife, Louisa James, he decided to return to the United States in 1933. He brought back with him his "mobiles" and continued to show them, but he also began to experiment with larger outdoor sculptures. While they would eventually turn into more significant pieces, these first sculptures were nicknamed "stabiles", to differentiate them from the mobiles that could gently twist in a puff of air. 

    Man - 1967
    As Calder's artwork got bigger, so too did his scope of work. He designed jewellery, toys, tapestries, made drawings, paintings and eventually was commissioned to create several public sculptures around the world (like "Man", that was commissioned for Expo in Montreal, QC, 1967). His pieces were often a monotone of colour (mostly black, but with occasional reds and other primary colours) and certainly abstract in nature, but by the time he died in 1976, they were sought after the world over. The Whitney Museum has one of his largest collections of works, but MOMA in New York, Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and of course the Calder Foundation all have permanent exhibits from this master artist.

    While Budding Artists cannot boast to have any of his stabiles or mobiles, we are honouring Alexander Calder's life and works this Saturday, June 23, 2012 during the weekly children's art workshop at the London Farmer's Market. Register your kids today and bring the world of kinetic art alive for them in 90 minutes of fun and adventure through the eyes of this master artist. Workshops are held at 10:30am and 1pm, with the cost of materials included in the price. They will thrill at the experience of creating their very own kinetic art and you will too, when you see that spark of creativity come alive. See you Saturday!

    Wednesday, June 13, 2012

    Spotlight on Vincent Van Gogh

    Self-Portrait - 1889
    Ears, shmears! Who needs them when you can paint?! Vincent Van Gogh certainly didn't. Well, at least he felt that he could do without part of his left ear, but what he could do with a paint brush was miraculous. This Post-Impressionistic painter is certainly one of the world's finest Master Artists and is the focus of this week's Budding Artists children's art workshop at the London Farmer's Market. The workshops are 90 minutes of fun, art history and a few lessons in technique in the vein of the master himself - Van Gogh. Let's take a look at what Van Gogh accomplished in his short 37 years.

    Windmills at Montmartre - 1877
    Vincent Van Gogh was born in Groot-Zundert, the Netherlands on March 30, 1853. He was the son of a pastor, and hailed from a long line of artists and art dealers. He became interested in art at an early age, and flourished in Middle school when he received lessons in drawing from a successful artist there. By the time he was 20 years old, he had obtained a job as an art dealer in London, with the help from an uncle. One of the happiest periods of his short life, he sketched and drew in his extra time, when he wasn't dealing in Art. After being transferred to Paris in 1875, he fell on the outs with Goupil & Cie, the company he had been working for, and left them to return to London.

    Coalmine in the Borinage - 1879
    Disillusioned with the world of art dealers, Van Gogh turned to religion. He had always had a strong religious faith, but by 1876, he felt the urge to devote himself to the Church. He entered the school of theology in Amsterdam, but it quickly became apparent that he would not flourish in this path. He dropped out of school, then failed an admission test to enter a mission school in Laeken. Undeterred, he applied to a missionary post in Borinage and tried his hand at bringing religion to the people there. While his zeal was almost fanatical, the powers that be were not impressed. After only six months, they dismissed him from his post. Despite this, Van Gogh remained in the area for over a year, trying to help the residents of the impoverished area and himself, both living a life of poverty. Ultimately, via suggestions by his brother Theo, he left Borinage behind. With a failed marriage proposal to his recently-widowed cousin, he also left his religious faith as well.

    Woman Sewing,
    With a Girl - 1883
    It was at this point that Van Gogh reacquainted himself with his cousin Anton Mauve. Mauve introduced him to the world of watercolours and oils and ignited in him a new passion. With a career as Artist in sight, Van Gogh flung himself into this new occupation. It was at this time that he also met Clasina "Sien" Hoornik. An alcoholic, pregnant prostitute with a young daughter in tow, Van Gogh fell in love with his dear Sien. Their rocky relationship was marred by poverty and much fighting, but he was devoted to her children and often used Sien as a model. Van Gogh's family was not impressed though and they demanded he leave her. After spending three weeks in hospital, due to a case of syphilis and gonorrhea that he contracted from Sien, he was finally swayed.Van Gogh left her in 1883, after spending just over a tumultuous year together.

    The Potato Eaters - 1885
    Disheartened by another love lost, Van Gogh returned to his family's home in Nuenen and devoted himself once more to drawing and painting. He spent two years there, often-times sketching peasants. It was during this time that he painted one of his most famous works "The Potato Eaters", although it wasn't until long after his death that it received public attention. Struggling emotionally, financially, and artistically, he decided to move to Antwerp and studied the works of Peter Paul Rubens, as well as Japanese artwork. While his exploration of colour theory helped to broaden his colour palette, his locale only served to deteriorate his health. By 1886, Paris beckoned and Van Gogh moved in with his brother Theo.

    Starry Night - 1889
    The last few years of this troubled artist's life were incredibly productive, but also fraught with much strife. He lived with his brother Theo for most of the two years he was in Paris and during that time met the likes of Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro and of course Paul Gauguin. The bright colours that were rampant in the Impressionist movement influenced Van Gogh's own palette and suddenly his dark pieces disappeared, replaced by the bright colours that he is most famous for. The break from excess (drink, smoke, poor diet) that he hoped to achieve with a move to Arles, sadly did not improve Van Gogh's lot. While he continued to paint and draw, his health spiralled out of control. He committed himself to an asylum, but even that respite was not enough to save him. On July 27, 1890, the world lost an incredible artist, when Van Gogh shot himself in the chest. Two days later he was dead, from complications during his treatment. Despite the mental and physical illnesses that he struggled with throughout his life, he left behind a legacy of art behind. He painted nearly a thousand paintings, over a thousand drawings and sketches, as well as enough letters (mostly to his brother Theo) to document his incredible journey through life. While he only sold one painting during his lifetime, they now go for upwards of $100 million. Quite the feat, and one that has influenced a myriad of artists since then.

    Perhaps its time that your child discovers the magic of this tragic master artist. See you June 16th!

    Tuesday, June 5, 2012

    Louise Nevelson: Sculpting Her Vision of Art

    "I believe in my work and the joy of it. You have to be with the work and the work has to be with you. It absorbs you totally and you absorb it totally. Everything must fall by the wayside by comparison." ~ Louise Nevelson

    And in this vein Louise Nevelson led her life. Over the 88 years that she walked the earth, she worked at creating her own unique version of artwork and was absorbed by it every step of the way. Born September 23, 1899 near Kiev, Russia, Nevelson's life began in a rocky way. Her father Isaac emigrated to the United States in 1902, leaving young Nevelson and the rest of the family behind. Once he had established himself in the lumber industry in Rockland, Maine, the rest of the family relocated in 1905 to join him in the USA. While these stresses brought the family closer together in some ways, they did not make for an easy beginning for Nevelson. That was not enough to keep this up-and-coming artist down though.

    Untitled - 1950
    When Nevelson came across a plaster cast of Joan of Arc in the Rockland Public Library at the age of nine, she knew that art would be a part of her life forevermore. She began her art career by studying drawing in high school. In 1920, she married Charles Nevelson and moved to New York, where she further studied painting, drawing, singing, acting and dancing. From 1929-30, she studied at the Arts Student League under Kenneth Hayes Miller and Kimon Nicolaides. When her husband moved the family out of the city, she became disillusioned with marital bliss and by 1932 she separated from her husband. Recognizing the importance of this focus on herself, Nevelson flew to Europe to further explore different styles of art. While there, she studied under Hans Hofmann in Munich, as well as worked as an extra in films in Vienna and Berlin.
    Sky Cathedral - 1958

    Nevelson returned to the US in 1932, where she once again studied with Hofmann. She was introduced to Cubism and collage, which influenced her greatly throughout her career. The following year she met Diego Rivera and worked as an assistant to him on his "Portrait of America" murals. The further she delved into the art scene, the more she embraced a style that was all her own. She began to teach mural painting at the Works Progress Administration in 1935. Despite this, money was tight. Perhaps because of this, the materials she collected for her sculptures were often found pieces, like castoff lumber.

    Royal Tide 1 - 1960
    It wasn't until 1941 that Nevelson had her first solo exhibition, held at the Nierendorf Gallery. While this helped to bring attention to her Modernist sculptures, success was still slow in coming to her. By the 50s, her reputation had grown and the Museum of Modern Art purchased one of her Sky Cathedral pieces. She travelled to Latin America and the Mayan artwork she came across was soon evident in her newest creations as the decade came to an end, with gold and white taking over from her previous all black pieces.

    Dawn's Landscape XXIV - 1975
    Finally achieving the fame she sought, the size of her pieces grew into monumental displays. Nevelson's name became synonymous with sculpture, but she also became a figurehead in women's art as a whole. She  challenged the idea that only men could become great artists. The fact that her estate was worth over $100 million when she died in 1988, seems to support the fact that women too could crack that gender bias.