Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Happy Trails

It's the last week of school, but in no way has that dampened the enthusiasm of the art kids at Phoenix Rising. They've been finishing up their Native American drums, gourds, and teepees.
Some have made their own hand-stitched one-piece suede moccasins, which they find very comfortable and are really proud of.

Budding puppeteers have sung and spoken their lines for a real live audience.
Kid-made lamps have been plugged in and lit up.

We reviewed how to draw figures in motion.
We drew big hot campfires, adding more and more elements to tell a story with a picture.

Looks like we are ready for summer!
P.S. Special thanks once again to Willa and Kazue who helped out with our lamp making; these kind and helpful volunteers have added much to our workshop - fun, patience, and an element that can't be described or quantified.

Happy trails to all!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Oh! So Much

The peace and satisfaction of working with something grown in nature
Ha ha ha my ragtag bunch of lamp makers. What a flurry I was in when the time came to stitch their watercolors to the lamp frames. I knew it would be a tedious job for them, but little did I expect how persistent and determined they would be. For an hour and a half, they stitched . . . and they stitched . . . and they stitched! . . . with yet more to do when we meet again next week. Not a single complaint from any of them.

We had an enormous amount of help from two real live angels, Willa and Kazue:
Other projects:

Jacob knows more about mushrooms than any child at school. He scored gills on the underside of the cap, and learned how to load the tip of his brush with white paint so he could get perfect little dots on top. This scene by artist Erich Heinemann is what he had in mind while making his mushroom.

The kindergarten kids are learning about dinosaurs, so I showed them how to draw fossils of trilobites, which eventually evolved to become crabs. Alec knew nothing of this but looked at the trilobites and said they could easily be crabs, and wanted to draw one large claw (like a crab). For a rowdy little fellow he sees deeply into things.

We took our puppet workshop outside.

End of the week. Everything's been taken care of and tended to; the
children all loved. Time for a deep, long breath.

Monday, May 26, 2014

A Free Bird

For my last session on Fridays I load up my basket and head down to Megan's room, where the two of us play with the children. We make puppets, tiny nature journals, and songs for their puppets to sing. It is such a great ending to our week. I love working with Megan as much as being with the kids, and they are liking this a whole lot too.

We are well on our way with the big lamp making project - do they look focused?! Others are coming to the art room asking to make their own. Yes! We'll be able to do that next year (here is where I give a shout to the generosity of Phoenix Rising donors, who have made it possible to buy materials for this and many other projects). I'm pretty sure there's not another elementary school where children get to make electric lamps from scratch.

Kazue has been coming in to help - bless her kind and generous heart!

Next week we'll stitch their watercolors to the lamp shade frames, put felt on the bottoms of the lamps, and light up! Meanwhile the gourds are also coming along beautifully.

First/second graders are still drawing, painting and sculpting birds. Back in their class with Ms. Melody they are beginning to learn some birdy poetry.

    I look at our kids, they are so busy, rambunctious and vibrant . . . here is part of a poem for you to enjoy - it so describes what we all hope for all our children.

A free bird leaps
on the back of the wind   
and floats downstream   
till the current ends
and dips his wing
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky. 
Maya Angelou