Making Art with Kids: Mashups!

I visited my nieces and nephew over Thanksgiving, a real treat since I don’t get to see them very often.  Usually I read them a bedtime story over Skype once a week.  So when I visited, I asked them to tell me stories.  And boy did they!  A fractured fairytale about Rapunzel and a story about a fearless princess kicking a three-headed dragon kept me on the edge of my seat.

Then on our last day together, we decided to make art.  A few weeks ago on Skype, I was talking to them about a stuffed animal I had as a kid called a Wuzzle.  Does anyone remember those?  They were basically hybrids of two different animals, like a bear with butterfly wings.  So that got us thinking.  What if these animals really existed?  What would they look like?  Only one way to find out!  Time to draw.  Here is what we created.

Frog Owl and Owl Frog with a little “help” from my nearly 2-year-old niece Charlotte 🙂

Lion Dragon breathing fire created by my 6-year-old nephew Joey

Monkey Horse created by my 8-year-old niece Allie

Devil Mummy created by Joey

Then we decided, why limit ourselves to animals?  What else can we mash up?  How about fruits?  Don’t mind if we do!  Sounds tasty 😉

Fruit Mashups

*See the fruit Joey created pictured above in his Lion Dragon picture.

Orange Apple created by Allie

Then Allie decided to get all serious and artsy by creating a very sophisticated bowl of fruit complete with shadow.  Why?  Because she’s a seriously talented artist 🙂  They both are!  I’m just honored I got to spend an afternoon creating with them.  What will they think of next?????

Bowl of Fruit created by Allie

That’s all from the mashup gallery for now.  But just for fun, try creating some of your own.  If you need help, just ask a kid.  They’ll get you started 🙂

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Rainy Day Blues

This week has been nothing but rain. Somehow it’s making everyone cranky. Like, my whole art class 😉

A new study says eating more fruits and veggies can improve mood.  It is no surprise that the magic number of servings is 7.

But what about simply seeing paintings of them?  Let’s test it out.  Here’s some fruit for thought!

watercolor

watercolor

Feel any better yet?  An apple a day keeps the bad mood away 😉

Here are some quotes to get you through!

“Life is a train of moods like a string of beads; and as we pass through them they prove to be many colored lenses, which paint the world their own hue, and each shows us only what lies in its own focus.”  — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“That terrible mood of depression of whether it’s any good or not is what is known as The Artist’s Reward.”  — Ernest Hemingway

“When trust improves, the mood improves.”  — Fernando Flores

If all else fails, call the doctor!  Dr. Seuss that is 😉  Read My Many Colored Days

“But it all turns out all right, you see.  And I go back to being me.”

The Fruit of Knowledge

brain series; acrylic

This piece is very special to me, partly because it took awhile to complete.  I had a struggle with it.  It is a reminder to the human spirit.  How we want to give up on something.  But to give up on it would be like giving up on ourselves, so we persist.  That is when the magic happens.

This piece has a lot of layers.  I’m always drawn to the story of Adam and Eve and particularly the garden.  The idea of knowledge.  The moment we received it.

I’ll let you draw your own conclusions as to who is holding the apple and who is receiving it.

If you look closely, you might see another image in the painting.  The eye of the serpent.

The ultimate question: Is this knowledge a gift or a burden?