Fine Art Tots // 8.3.17

Fine Art Tots // September

You all. I just got home from my August Fine Art Tots class and it was so. much. fun. 

Fine Art Tots // 8.6.17 // analogous watercolors
 

I am already looking forward to next month’s class. On September 3 at 3pm, I will be teaching a pop-art screen-printing class. You can see an example of the project above and register for it on Grow’s website. More details on the Fine Art Tots are available here

I haven’t made all of the printing screens yet, but I can promise a triceratops, a butterfly, and a rabbit. Any other special requests? 

Triceratops Screen Print

Create + Make // 8.25.17

Hi! I wanted to share the project I have planned for our first Create + Make Workshop.

 

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Wall hanging // mobile
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Wall hanging // mobile
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In the nursery

We will be creating modern mobiles. These beauties would be perfect in a nursery, and are chic enough to work in a living space. (We have ours hanging in our guest room window.)

You can register for the class here, and read more about the workshops here.

Can’t wait to see you there!

Art Workshop // Cary NC

Art class workshop in Cary with Jane Cheek

I am so excited to be offering art workshops for adults at Grow! These classes will be geared towards decor for the family home, and will be process driven, open ended, decorative projects. Projects will vary from class to class. You can check the schedule or my blog for details on each class. No prior experience is needed, only the desire to be creative.

I will be hosting these workshops during Cary’s Art Crawl on the final Friday evening of each month. The cost to attend is $40 per person, and includes all supplies. You are invited to bring any refreshments you may want. The workshop will last about two hours and starts at 7pm. At the end of the workshop you will have a masterpiece of your own creation to take home. 

Walk-ins are welcome, however, pre-registration is recommended as class size is limited.

 

Unschooling + Creativity


One of the many wonderful things about unschooling, is that it allows the boys to have plenty of time for creativity. You may have heard that creativy is back in demand in the work place, but beyond that, I think creativity thinking is a cornerstone of joy.  I want our boys to have the tools they need to have happy lives as children and adults, and I believe creative play is a way to do that.

Sometimes their creative play happens with sticks and toys in the yard, sometimes it’s Legos, sometimes it’s every single pillow and blanket in the house.

Today, is was art. I just purchased some new oil pastels for myself and was doodling with them. The boys saw them and were inspired to try out their own pastels. My six year old drew a fire-breathing dinosaur and used his hands to blend the colors together. He came up with the blending technique all on his own. The younger boys made more abstract art. They drew together for at least 30 minutes.

We love the giant sketch pads from Jerry’s for kid art. The pages are sturdy. The kids love drawing big, and the pads have a ton of sheets for a great price. The boys were using Crayola oil pastels and unknown chalk pastels from a few years ago.

I’ve learned a few things about facilitating kid art over the years. 

1. Kids love working big, so the floor is your friend.

2. Buy the study paper. This sheets are frustrating. They bend and wrinkle and tear. 

3. Buy the cheap markers. Unless you want to police their every move with a marker, but cheap, washable markers. Like Dollar Tree cheap. Those lids are never going back on in a timely fashion. 

4. Watercolor paint is magic.

5. If you can make space for an art corner, do it. Leave the supplies in reach. Show the kids how to be independent in the art space. You will be amazed at how capable they are.

6. Abstraction is a toddler’s BFF and representational work is over-rated when it comes to kid art. It’s all about the process. 

7. If you want a painting for the wall, think analogous color scheme. 

8. Step away from the art space. Check in occasionally,  but don’t stay. Avoid helping, and allow your child to focus on the process. The more you can get away from thinking about the destination and focus on the journey, the better. And maybe that is life advice, too.

9. It’s going to be messy and that’s half the fun. Dress accordingly.

Busy.

Y’all. I am excited/busy/a smidge tired. 

This week has been all about events. I’ve been hanging in my Studio a lot recently and this week was all about getting out and about. I have a ton of events planned here in the Triangle. There’s a trunk show with a ton of my new work happening this weekend at Oak + Co in Historic Oakwood, Raleigh. Saturday morning I teach a kids craft at Read With Me. I’ve booked the community space in the new location for Grow for toddler art classes the first weekend of the month, and adult art workshops (details coming soon) the last Friday of the month. That starts in August. Head on over to my Facebook page and click the events tab to see the details! 

Whew + Woo. 😄

Back to Teaching!

You guys! I am super excited to be offering classes at Grow, the family boutique, at their new location in downtown Cary. If you have been in their old store you might be like, what, where, how? Well…their new location is going to be boutique in the front, classroom/community space in the back. Much larger than before. Part of their goal with the larger space is to create a full calendar of events and a real sense of community among local families.

So about the classes…

I will be teaching a toddler+caregiver class (think “Music Together” style, but with paint) the first weekend of the month. Woot!  And I will be teaching an art workshop for parents + Parents-To-Be the last Friday each month. (Check back later for a post all about that one!)

“Fine Art Tots” is the art classes for kids. I’ll be working the unschooling mom, art teacher thing to create an engaging, process driven experience for little one’s. There will be paint, and messes, and lots of color mixing. (But the mess is not in your house! ) And I’ll be working the artist, home decor thing to make sure that each project I facilitate for these classes is a beautiful,  frame – worthy, abstract masterpiece made by your little love. 

My first class is scheduled for August, 6, and I am pumped. The focus will be on watercolor resist and analogous color schemes. Pre-registration is highly recommended (though walk-ins are welcome!), as class size is capped at 10 children. The cost is $20, all supplies are included. This class is recommended for children of any skill set from 12 months old thru 5 years old. There should be no more than two children per caregiver. 

I look forward to helping your little one (or ones) create a masterpiece for your home!

A watercolor resist painting by Abe at 15 months

Circular canvasses by Abe at age two

Collaborative Mom + tot statement piece by Abe at age 2.5
Oil pastel + watercolor art by four year old Ike
Tape resists

Unschooling Life

Special announcement: I’m starting a new blog series on unschooling. 💃😄

Investigating a moth in the backyard

So, I get a lot of questions about unschooling, and I thought I would start sharing some of our unschooled life here, on the blog. Now, there are a great many beautifully written blogs and books on unschooling theory, so I won’t delve into that. (But if you’re interested, I would highly recommend Free To Learn by Peter Gray, and the blog, Happiness is Here by Australian unschooling mom, Sara.) The question I get most often is, “But what to you *do* everyday?” That, my friends, is what I will be sharing here. It is such a huge part of what I do, and how I work. Unschooling happens all day, everyday. We unschool in the studio, kitchen + backyard. We learn at parks, museums, beaches + campgrounds.  When I was teaching, we talked about how kids learn through play, but you know, everyone does. I do it everyday in my art studio, or at the beach. Learning does not have to exist only in books and classrooms and quizzes. Humans are just naturally curious. The key to unschooling is to allow curiousity to take the lead. Whoops. I said I wasn’t going to talk theory. 


Looking for marine arthropods in tide pools

Today, our unschoolhouse is the local children’s museum, Marbles.

My scientist playing in the submarine

We are super lucky to have the most amazing children’s museum in our city. Its two stories, has nearly a dozen different giant interactive spaces indoors, plus two splash areas, a garden, a cafe, and an IMax. In the mornings it is overrun with toddlers and field trips. This place is super popular. In the afternoons, it’s pretty much just us. The people that work there are amazing. They are so good at interacting with my kids. My six year old is outgoing and energetic and they greet him with matching energy. My four year old is extremely shy and scares easily when approached by strangers (or most anyone, really). Never once has he been scared at the children’s museum. My two year old is nicknamed “danger baby,” and this place allows him to practice death defying stunts in a wonderfully child-proofed arena. 

I could wax poetic about the museum for hours, but suffice it to say, its mommy heaven. My kids are happy, I am relaxed, and they are playing and learning. Its my go-to activity on days when I am tired, burnt out, happy, its raining, most days. The museum is totally our “unschoolhouse.” What’s your go-to activity with the kiddos? Do you go out or stay in?