Painting with children
My daughter was recently showing my how to make a collage, and I got really into it. Shredded flower catalogs everywhere! When we were finished I wanted to do a painting based on mine, so here it is.
Meredith and I went out for some painting by the Skokie Lagoons this morning. It was still cold, but not so bitter. We brought hot cider along and kept our session short since we had to meet Holly’s bus. My painting is above, and here’s Meredith’s lovely landscape:
I made a little pochade box out of a pre-made wood box from Joannes. Meredith tried it out today. Holly decorated it for me last night, inside and out. The box attaches to a tripod I picked up at a garage sale a while ago. It has a very tiny mixing area, but it’s pretty handy. I used some tips from this video.
I painted today for the first time in many weeks. Pretty rusty, but it felt good. I’ve been playing catch-up on work projects since the summer art fair. Meredith is homeschooling this year, so the start of school meant a new pace and a different kind of busy-ness. We’re settling in to a rhythm, and I hope to get back into regular art practice, but that may take some time. We set up in the backyard after lunch with a pile of art supplies, and here are the results. Holly drew a family portrait, our friend has a great story to go with her bear family picture, and Meredith worked on a Rupunzel-like girl.
My mom took me to Art Prize in Grand Rapids over the weekend. We saw some fascinating sculptures and paintings and fire-breathing dragons. Our time was limited so we missed a lot more than we saw. There was one artist, Dan Nelson, who painted while we watched – 50 some canvases all hung to form individual and hidden “meta” images, called Points of View. We didn’t get to see the paintings of Rick Beerhorst, a GR artist I admire, but they made the Juror’s Short List. Everyone votes by phone for their favorite pieces. The piece with the most votes wins $200,000. The overall Short List will be announce this weekend.
Happy Independence Day!
201st post here – this painting is a larger size for me. It was so much fun to work on, with plenty of challenging greens. Makes me think of the phrase “can’t see the forest for the trees”. Here I can’t see the meadow for the weeds. It’s like a wall of foliage, or like those mostly underwater photos where you can see the surface. And it’s also pretty flowers – what could be more predictable and typical to paint? The girls kept me company in the art room, making their own lovely pictures. I have a few more paintings I’d like to complete before the summer art fair in Glenview (July 24-25), so I’m getting back to it.
I’ve been meaning to try larger still life paintings, and here is one. The blooming branch is from a horsechestnut tree. I recently reviewed Quang Ho’s excellent still life dvd, and it was very helpful here. The colors and the light were fun to paint. Holly’s been busy in the art room too, and she takes pictures and videos of her artwork. She said I could put this one up on the blog. The trees are full of eggs in nests, and the birds are protecting all their babies. Oma is looking at the birds and saying “wow!”
This photo is a little fuzzy. I’ll try to take a better one in a few days when the sun comes out. In this painting I tried to imitate the active brush strokes in some of Gustav Klimt’s forest paintings, like this one, and especially this one. As expected, I have even more appreciation for those paintings now. I have great memories of walking in the woods with my family as a kid. My parents taught us the names of some of the plants and trees. Adders Tongue, burn nettle, beech, sycamore. We tried to whistle through our hands and with the caps of acorns. We also went for trail walks with the extended family sometimes. Grandpa H. was a tree farmer. He’d comment on which trees were valuable, and how old they probably were, and which ones had an unfortunate bend or knot that made the lumber lower quality. Black walnuts were his favorite.
I based this painting on photos I took a few months ago when we were on the Des Plaines River Trail.
The girls kept me company in the art room today. Meredith was in an abstract mood – squares and triangles in bright, bold colors. Holly painted the yellow bottle of tempera, bar code and all :).
This week Holly’s preschool class is studying artists, and they kindly asked me to visit and do a short painting demonstration. I had a lot of fun, and this is the result. I saved the apple stem for last — the kids did NOT want me to forget it :).