What is Creative Elements?

Creative Elements offers quality art instruction in a variety of ways-- parent/child classes for preschoolers, summer and after school classes for children, private lessons, classes for adults, Art centered birthday parties, customized art classes in your neighborhood, and more!!!

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. ~Pablo Picasso

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Fall Schedule Coming Soon!

I still have to finalize times and places, but "watercolor" is the word this fall. I will be doing a watercolor class after school probably at Lake Hazel Elementary for kids. It will be open to children from any school, not just Lake Hazel. If you can show me that there is enough interest to hold a class at your child's school, I may be able to work out an additional session at your school.

I have also been pleasantly surprised that several adults have expressed an interest in learning about watercolor. I plan on putting together a class for adults as well, but I need your input about what days and times will work the best. Also, I'm always looking for a location. We could possibly work it out to do it at a school, but if you have a room in your home or place of business that would work, you can choose to host the class and get your admission for FREE. Just leave a comment or send me an email.

Also keep your eyes open in the spring. I hope to be able to put together a clay class for children and one for adults in the spring. That one is a little more complicated to pull off, but I'm working on it. It would include different hand-building methods and then the opportunity to try your hand at the potter's wheel.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Today we turned to author and illustrator, Eric Carle, for our inspiration. We learned that art is a way to communicate feelings, thoughts, ideas, and stories. We also talked about the difference between 2D and 3D and introduced the term mobile and sculpture.

The children used several different processes to create a mobile retelling the events in the story "The Very Hungary Caterpillar". We made a furry little caterpillar, some yummy food for him to munch on, a paper mache cocoon, and finally a beautiful butterfly. There were lots of steps to complete with this project and the kids (and moms) did great.

Today was the last class in the Art with a Buddy series. We had so much fun learning about some of the different elements of art and some different methods for creating art. A BIG THANK YOU to all of the sweet kids and parents who took part in the classes.

If anyone would like to see another similar class offered during the school year, please let me know. Right now, I don't plan on scheduling an Art with a Buddy class until next summer, but I would do one during the school year if there is enough interest. Also keep in mind that you can Host an Event any time!

Get the Feel of It!

It's been a typical crazy summer week and I'm just now finding time to post about last week's Art with a Buddy class--Get the feel of it. We explored all kinds of textures. First we felt several items in a bag and tried to figure out what it might be by the texture. Then we made a texture encyclopedia by gluing all kinds of fun things inside a folder-- cotton, wool, sand, seeds, beans, tinfoil, etc. Then we went on a texture scavenger hunt using a crayon to rub over the different textures, making an "implied" texture on our paper. They finished up by making a picture using all the fun textures. It was fun to watch them running around the park, finding new textures everywhere. Part of being an artist is observing the world around you. This type of activity helps young children to recognized the similarities and differences in all the things around them.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Action Art

Today in Art with a Buddy, we took our cues from artist Jackson Pollock. He is the artist who made famous the term action art. His paintings were created by taking buckets of paint and dripping, splatting, and pouring the paint over a canvas that covered the whole floor. After spinning, jumping, blowing bubbles, and running, we talked about how fun it would be if we could capture that motion in a work of art.

The children got to try four different methods of creating their "action art" -- pulling strings, shaking marbles, dripping and blowing through a straw, and blowing colorful bubbles. They were so excited to try out the different activities and just kept asking for more paper to try another! It was fun and messy!

It is important for children to create abstract art in addition to making pictures of "things." Sometimes, as adults, we inadvertently teach our children that art needs to look like something to be good and when a child struggles to make it look right, they can get frustrated and the creativity shuts off. Abstract art is a wonderful way for children, and adults, to just explore the process of creating the art-- the colors, shapes, textures, values, and lines-- without the pressure of trying to make it look like something.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Mixed up Colors

Today was our first class in the Art with a Buddy series: Mixed up Colors. Everything was going great until the "color trolls" came and stole some of our colors. Instead of six colors we only had three. It was so fun to watch their little faces light up when they took their "magic wand" and turned yellow into orange, red into purple, and yellow into green. I love to watch this age group doing art because they haven't learned to compare their work to others like older kids do. They think everything they make is wonderful . . . and it is!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Featured Artist

Somehow I missed Annika's picture the day I uploaded pictures for drawing and design, so I wanted to feature her here! She was a fun student! Keep up the drawing at home and I'll see you in August!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Last Day

Today was the last day of my first sessions of classes. THANK YOU to all of my wonderful students. You are all wonderful with your own unique package of gifts and talents. Keep those creative juices flowing!

In Step into a Book on day two we read one of my favorite stories, "The Mouse Bride." It tells of a little mouse who is tired of being small and weak so she decides to find the strongest husband there is so that at least her children will be strong. She starts with the sun who tells her that the cloud is stronger, who tells her that the wind is stronger and so on. I'm sure you can guess where her journey leads her. We talked about how we can use our creativity to become strong when we are feeling small and weak. Besides having a great message, this story has the best illustrations I have seen in a children's book. It is incredible how he gives different things from nature a personality. On day two we did our "Happy Accident" activity, which you can see in the Gallery, to help the children practice using the watercolors. We also began brainstorming ideas of what things they could bring to life and give a personality. Their ideas were so creative and hilarious! On day three we did the actual paintings, and also a small activity about mixing colors. We also read "The Hello, Good-bye Window." The illustrations are done in a very bright fun and loose style. There are "happy accidents" all over the place. We talked about how sometimes we need to look through a different "window" and see things in a new way.

In drawing and design we tried out using white and black charcoal on gray paper by drawing kernels of popcorn. This was a challenging activity, but the kids did great. Then each of the kids set up their own still life of fruit and drew it in oil pastels. The biggest hurdle for most people to get over to be able to draw accurately is to learn to actually look and what they are drawing and draw it as they see it rather than defaulting to an idea in their minds that isn't accurate. The kids are slowly starting to get that concept and will continue to improve as they practice in their sketchbooks throughout July.