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Art by the month-September

Updated: Dec 14, 2020

We are in our studio full of stuff. We can look around and come up with all sorts of ideas for our projects. It's a little wild in this small space. Hazel really wanted gossamer curtains to hide the shelving. Those are now tucked up so that we can get to the shelving.

To plan our online presence for the school year, we chose to have three options for the families.

5 complete projects, an art kit (that we replenish and add to), daily engaging

Zoom time and YouTube tutorials

2 complete projects, Zoom time, and YouTube tutorials

PDF's of the projects, Zoom time and YouTube tutorials

Then, it was time for planning. Our formula is have a featured artist, something messy, painting, building and maybe a new skill. We set to work on the project planning. Using our template from the summer, each project would be in a bag with most everything needed to complete the project. They may need to find something in their kit or need water to clean a brush. The directions are attached and we have a YouTube video to accompany each project.

For September, we used painted paper and sheet music to create sheet music sayings, gallon milk jugs to make decorative masks, found items to build for the littles, eggshell mosaics for the bigger kids, papier mache bugs and we learned about the artist Betye Saar and were inspired by a piece of her art.

We love painted paper and we had sheet music from a book I bought at the library sale (it was supposed to be a gift for my nephew, but I hadn't sent it). We encouraged the children to think about a saying or write their name and nice things people have said to them. One friend wrote that fishermen should hope that a heron wasn't nearby. They all turned out to be amazing.

Papier mache bugs were made with plaster strips, newspaper, paint, and wire. We are never sure what the kids will make when we put out materials. The finished bugs we saw were so great.

Milk jug masks are always a favorite. We made them in our first year. At that time, my son Hank was still drinking a lot of milk. We could save up gallon jugs pretty quickly-I also got a bunch from a friend. This time around, I didn't have the gallon jugs to save. I put a notice on a local Facebook page and we had enough in one day. The jugs need to be cleaned, cut and covered with masking tape to be ready to go home. I have always loved repetitive work. Covering jugs with masking tape is a little mindless and satisfying. A little paint, feathers, yarn and jewels are all you needed.

A while ago, I got a phone call from the food service people at UC Berkeley. Their contract had not been renewed and they needed to move out. They had so much. The non-profits had already come through to take what they could use. Someone suggested calling us. We are well known in our community for taking other's discarded treasures. We took as much as we could, gave away a lot and stashed everything else until we needed it. We have used a lot of what they gave us, but still had small serving dishes. We used them to make animals. Our video was how to make a turtle. The kids made some really interesting animals.

Eggshell mosaics always turn out to be beautiful. We have used them to make pins, magnets, frames and more. This time, we used cut bottles (Hazel does all the cutting and sanding. She is so good) to make votive holders. Dripping alcohol ink on the eggshells creates an incredible pieces of art.

Our artist for the month was Betye Saar. She is an artist known for her assemblage. We were inspired by her pieces entitled Blue Window of the Mystic Palms. We took Washi tape, painted paper, and a few doodads and the kids created amazing pieces while learning about this important American artist.

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