Thursday, July 10, 2008

Summer days....Art adventures...

I've been away for a while. Summer is finally here and I've been out enjoying every minute of it! :) It's nice to have summers off--I can't imagine having any other profession except being a full time, traveling/teaching artist! So these summer day have been filled with gardening in the back yard,

going out for evening strolls around the block, reading art magazines on the porch while Maya draws on the front steps with sidewalk chalk.

And art, of course!

Last month, I met with the Bay Area Art Sisters (a Yahoo group for Bay Area artists who've connected through Artfest) and we completed an amazing collage project by Julianna Coles from the book Kaleidoscope.

It was an awesome experience I highly recommend for every artist! This activity pushed me to try new techniques and the end result really surprised me! I used colors I never would've thought to use before. And there's that word: "thought". Sometimes over-thinking can be an artist's worst enemy!

Anyway, I was so excited, I shared the activity with some friends the next day and even shared some of the steps with my daughter. It sounds unbelievable, but even a child is sometimes blocked by what they've learned at school. As an art teacher, I see it all the time. Kids are afraid to do something "wrong", they're afraid to just scribble and doodle and use "weird" colors like they did as babies or toddlers (if they were even given any art materials at that age! I've seen that, too: parents too afraid to let their babies squish paint between their fingers or let their toddlers paint with their fingers or paint at all!) But it didn't take Maya very long before she could just make layer after layer. She wasn't afraid to paint over what she had just collaged. She was fearless! It was inspiring! She would make an incredible, layered, funky piece and then paint over the layers and then peel away some of the collage images to reveal other layers underneath.
(Maya's collage:)

(This is kind of turning into two different posts! Oh well...) ;) Back to our previously scheduled program:

Where was I? Oh! Summer...Every day we walk down to the nearby college campus for Maya's swim lessons. After only eight lessons, she's totally swimming now! Head under water, "big arm" strokes and everything. She's a lot more confident in the water and that makes me feel so proud and a little more relieved--one less thing I have to worry about as she grows up and away from my protective arms!

Most days this week, we've been escaping the heat and visiting grandma and grandpa Austin who have a lagoon-like pool complete with waterfall! It is our little oasis in this urban desert! (It's supposed to be cooling off the next few days--let's keep our fingers crossed! We've got Maya's birthday party on Saturday and Kelsi's baby shower on Sunday. And only shade trees and fans to keep us cool!) Here's to long summer days and cool summer nights, Popsicles (cherry and orange cream and rootbeer!), hopscotch, ice tea, fireworks, flip flops,

(bare feet--even better!)

cute summer dresses, ice cream trucks, bright summer flowers, sprinklers...couldn't summer be 6 months a year? ;)

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