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Paint Like a Child

Yes, Picaso! I feel ya, man!

Oh what a joy it was to have had the opportunity to teach two weeks of kid art camp this summer at the Gibbes Museum of Art!

Here are some of my favorites of children expressing in special, care-fee ways that truly only kiddos can...

The theme for my first week with art campers was "Go Wild". We looked at one wild life animal artist from local gallery, Mitchell Hill, each day. While Picaso and all of those guys are super awesome, I wanted the children to see that there are living artists showing right here in our city of Charleston, SC. As a child, I definitely didn't realize that being an artist was really an option.

playing with paints

I introduced campers to a tool called a palette knife. They explored painting with this tool (instead of a paintbrush) in the style of wild life animal artist, David Ryden. Our focus was on creating "texture".

playing with paints

Campers painted to the rhythm of wild horses running (shown on another screen) in order to capture their "movement" on paper through brushwork as artist Karen Keene Day.

Artwork coming to life

Representational deer woven into abstract expressionism? Yes, please! Campers had fun painting in the style of artist Betty Foy Botts.

The theme for my second week with with art campers was "Monet, Matisse and Me". Talk about excited! Studying impressionism (the study of light and color... painting only an "impression" of a scene often outdoors) has my name written all over it! Each day, we looked at a French artist that made an impact during the Impressionists Movement in the mid 1800s.

Playing with paints

Like the Grandfather of Impressionism, Monet, campers painted en plein air (outdoors); giving their impression of the museum's courtyard. (Technically we were inside looking out of the museum's large courtyard window due to some rain... but they got the drift!)

ballerina drawings

Campers had fun studying movements of ballerinas (on screen) and drawing (paused) poses in chalk pastels as Edgar Degas once did. I encouraged the campers to pay attention to the overall shape and to not get wrapped up in details such as facial features. Not a single kiddo freaked out about trying to draw a figure. (The figure is NO joke, y'all!) They just went with it. So beautiful!

FYI: Chalk pastels are perfect for rubbing with your finger over in order to create a blurry, in motion look for the tutus!

sketching ideas

THIS moment made my heart smile the biggest in my 2 weeks time!! Check out these campers (as young as 4 years old!!) wandering around the museum in order to sketch ideas in their sketchbooks just as many of the French Impressionists did. They were seriously engaged and eager to get ideas for a future painting. They were able to take their sketchbooks home at the end of the week and I encouraged them to continue sketching and thinking like an artist.

in the classroom

As a former first grade teacher, I absolutely love opportunities to put back on my

teacher hat. Next up: Artist in Residency at Preschool of the Arts Charleston in October. They practice the Reggio Emilia approach which REALLY excites me as I studied this philosophy in college in Reggio Emilia, Italy!

I am currently exploring other ways to mesh my passions for art making and working with children.

Private lessons? Collaborations? A painting birthday party, anyone? Hmmmmm...

Your ideas are welcomed! While you're thinking on it... go paint...

LIKE A CHILD! Yes, you! Go on! Have fun! And as my favorite children's book author, Peter Reynolds, says, "just make a mark and see where it takes you" !


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