Time to think SUMMER!!!

For awhile there it felt like summer was just a figment of our imagination. We have had the longest winter and slowest spring.  Things are finally green and blooming around here and it feels wonderful!

wildflowers

I made good use of the cold dreary days of the past few weeks by giving my classroom storage closet a much needed purge. I’ve also poured over pinterest, gathering up ideas for the upcoming Great to Create SUMMER ART CLASSES.

march class edits

I am so excited about the classes I have planned for Summer 2014! I love to learn and play right alongside your young artists! That’s why I have decided cut back the class sizes. A smaller class allows me to interact more one-on-one and that’s more fun for us all!

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Another change for this summer…canvas! Yes, all paintings will be done on stretched canvas for these classes. There’s just something about painting on canvas that gives a young artist a special sense of pride in their creativity!

JosieThe younger class, CANVAS CREATIONS I, will find their painting inspiration from the stories and illustrations of fabulous children’s books. Books and art? Two of my favorite things!

The older kids class, CANVAS CREATIONS II, will spend each class learning from one of the masters–great painters in the history of art– by painting their own canvas in the master’s style. After studying the master’s myself this winter, I know just how fun it is to learn something new from something old!

Art is fun all on it’s own, but how about art with cupcakes, or ice cream, or manicures? Does it get any better? Girls ages 5-12 will have two awesome opportunities for PAINTING PARTIES this summer. Grab a friend and sign up together for some creative girlfriend fun!

Everything you need to know about Great to Create Summer Art Classes can be found on the CLASSES page. This is where you will REGISTER and PAY for classes. I’m excited to offer this easy new way to register and pay right here on my site!

I hope to see some familiar smiling faces and some new ones too at Great to Create Canvas Creations and Painting Parties!

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Painted Paper Garden

There are hints of spring in the air here in Michigan, so we are going to plant a garden.

It’s still to cold for that outside, but take a look at what blooms inside at Great to Create!

Kristi Lynn Studio

Follow along to make your own Painted Paper Gardens at home!

SUPPLIES

tissue paper

cardstock or watercolor paper, any size

tempera or acrylic paints

white school glue

foam brushes

scissors

Step One: Painting Tissue Paper

Kristi Lynn Studio

Spread out cheap plastic table cloth to protect your table.  ( I don’t recommend newspaper–we had a problem with it sticking!)

Lay out tissue paper.  White tissue paper works well, but color tissue paper is also a fun option.

Squeeze desired paint colors right out of the paint bottle onto your tissue paper, just like mustard on a hot dog!

Take a wet foam brush and gently spread the paint.  If you are doing this with young ones I recommend taping the tissue down to the table as the tissue paper wants to move around as you paint it.  Let dry completely.

Step Two: Cutting and Gluing

Choose your background paper.   I recommend something heavy weight like cardstock or watercolor paper because of all the gluing involved in this project. We used light blue cardstock, but a painted sky would be beautiful too!

Decide if you want to compose your garden horizontally or vertically.  Either option is great!

Kristi Lynn Studio

Cut a 1-2 inch wide strip of green to fit across the bottom of the paper to create the grass. Glue down with white school glue.

Cut narrow strips of green in varying lengths for flower stems.  Glue down stems.

Now lets make the flowers!

At this point I encourage the children to experiment and create their own unique flower designs.  It helps to start by cutting out a simple circle the size that you would like your flower to be.Kristi Lynn Studio

Our  room was buzzing with creativity and exploration!   It was fun to watch these flowers bloom before my very eyes!

After about 20 more minutes of cutting and gluing, everyone had created their own colorful garden to take home and enjoy while we wait for the rest of the snow to melt.

Kristi Lynn Studio

Great job, paper gardeners!  I bet those gardens bring cheer to everyone who sees them!

 

 

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Irresistable Bugs

Pastel Resist Bugs - Kristi Lynn Studio

This fun project was inspired by an art lesson I found on the lovely blog of “That Artist Woman“.

It is called Pastel Resist Bugs and this tutorial will show you how we did our oil pastel resist in Great to Create class!  Not familiar with the term “pastel resist?”  Then you are about to learn something new!

Begin with a directed line drawing in pencil.  In other words, students follow drawing directions step by step to create the basic form of a bug.

Pastel Resist Bugs - Kristi Lynn Studio Pastel Resist Bugs - Kristi Lynn Studio  Pastel Resist Bugs - Kristi Lynn Studio

I recommend doing a Google search for insect coloring pages if you need some bug inspiration to get you started.

Once we have the basic bug form, the students add their own details and designs.

This is where the bugs begin to develop their own unique personality. So fun!

Next, trace over the pencil lines with a black Sharpie.

Pastel Resist Bugs - Kristi Lynn Studio

Use oil pastels to fill in the drawing with colors and patterns.

We used many colors, but not too much green because we knew we’d be painting with green later.

Pastel Resist Bugs - Kristi Lynn Studio  Pastel Resist Bugs - Kristi Lynn Studio  Pastel Resist Bugs - Kristi Lynn Studio

Encourage the kids to use firm pressure with the pastels! This will help the colors pop after the paint is applied.

Leave small spaces uncolored which will allow areas for the paint to settle in.

Look at those gorgeous patterns! LOVE!Pastel Resist Bugs - Kristi Lynn Studio

The bugs look super fun already and you could stop here, but then it wouldn’t be a resist project, would it?

Go ahead!  Be brave and paint over each bug in a watered down wash of green tempera paint.

We chose green for the feel of a tropical jungle, but you could use any color.

Pastel Resist Bugs - Kristi Lynn Studio    Pastel Resist Bugs - Kristi Lynn Studio   Pastel Resist Bugs - Kristi Lynn Studio

Oh no!  We lost our bugs under all that paint!  Never fear, the oil pastels resist the paint!

Before the paint can dry, take paper towels and gently wipe or blot the excess paint from the paper, revealing the gorgeous oil pastel bugs beneath. (Even after the paint dries you can still remove some paint with a damp paper towel.)

Now the bugs are living in their lush green jungle habitats and our work is done!

Pastel Resist Bugs - Kristi Lynn Studio  Pastel Resist Bugs - Kristi Lynn Studio  Pastel Resist Bugs - Kristi Lynn StudioPastel Resist Bugs - Kristi Lynn Studio  Pastel Resist Bugs - Kristi Lynn Studio  Pastel Resist Bugs - Kristi Lynn Studio

Well done, creators!  These bugs are ir-RESIST-able!

 

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Mr. Churchill Saves the Day

I saw a pin on Pinterest and I just had to paint it.

I created this  painting the very same day.  My daughter is a big  Katie Daisy fan, and this is very much inspired by her art.  Besides, this time of year I NEED FLOWERS!  I think I shall continue to paint flowers until every drop of snow has melted.

Floral Painting by Kristi Lynn Studio

I am crazy about this painting! The flowers, the colors, the texture, the style…YUM!

But those words are what really get to me. Oh, they are good. So good, and yet so very hard to live out.

Why? Because being brave with your life also means accepting failure along the way. I mean really, who likes to fail? I’d prefer guaranteed success, wouldn’t you?

The very first art class I offered for children was a complete fail. True story. I didn’t promote it well and I had a very limited target audience. Still, not a single drop of interest? OUCH! I took it pretty hard. Harder than I expected. Harder than I should have.

Floral Painting by Kristi Lynn Studio

A year later, I tried again. The one class I planned filled quickly and I was able to offer a second class to accommodate more. I think I cried happy tears for a whole week.

For the the next session, I offered three classes and filled 24 spots in 24 hours with five more trickling in later. Boo-yah!!! More happy tears!

But for the next three weeks? I have just 9 kids signed up for Monday and 2 kids for Wednesday! WHAAAAAT????? (in my best minion voice)

I contacted the Wednesday families and cancelled that class. Is that a failure? No, not really, but it still FEELS like failure. It’s so tempting to let my disappointment become a stumbling block.

Floral Painting by Kristi Lynn Studio

Providentially, a friend posted a quote on Facebook the same day I cancelled my class.

This quote very quickly changed my perspective as I scribbled it down in a journal:

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”  ~Churchill

Why, thank you for timely reminder, wise Mr. Churchill, you are so absolutely right.

Floral Painting by Kristi Lynn Studio

I’m totally looking forward to my smaller class. Less people means less crowd control and more connecting. Whether I have 29 kids or 9 kids, I absolutely love what I do, and what they do, and our time together. Kids are so smart and so creative. It’s just such an honor to be a part of a little artist’s life and to provide creative experiences for them to grow.

Floral Painting by Kristi Lynn Studio

So yes, cancelling class was a bummer. I could stress myself over the whys and analyze all the variables. I could take it personally and be blue. The truth is, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I’m okay with that. I 100% believe in this calling, even if I have to “fail” sometimes.

Besides, with one less class to plan, prepare, and teach, I have extra time for planning something else. Something I’m very excited about.

Something I’ll tell you about LATER!

 

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