Tuesday, May 29, 2012

IN YOUR HANDS: A Focus on Sculpture

Sample Masterpiece Created
Via the Help of 2 Hands Clay
Budding Artists has a very special treat for you this weekend during our Master Series children's art workshop. Not only will we be featuring Henry Moore on Saturday, June 2, 2012, but the workshops are going to be run by our friends at 2 Hands Clay! They go to birthday parties, classrooms, into the homes of seniors, folks with special needs, and to pretty much any group that desires to play with clay (think church groups, mom & tot groups, women's groups and more), but this week they will be at the London Farmer's Market at 10:30am and 1pm sharing their clay creations with Budding Artists and a lucky group of children. How cool is that?!

Moore's creative process
So why do you think we asked 2 Hands Clay to help out with this week's children's art workshop? For those of you who suggested it was because Henry Moore was a sculptor, you'd be correct! In fact, Moore was well known for his drawings, textiles and graphics, but it was his sculptures that helped to propel him into the role of Master Artist and brought him fame around the world. Just as Budding Artists hopes your children are, he too was interested in sculpture and art from an early age. After briefly serving in World War I, Moore attended Leeds School of Art where he excelled to the point of winning a scholarship to the Royal College of Art in London in 1921.

The creative process of a child
This experience helped to start a career in the arts for Moore that we hope your own budding artists can aspire to as well. The folks at 2 Hands Clay provide the materials and a few ideas to spark some creativity, but the process is all in the hands of the creator. Just as Moore molded his creations from the influences of the world around him, as well as a vision in his mind's eye (plus a maquette or two), so too will your child, under the guidance of 2 Hands Clay, create their own masterpiece. Have clay, will create!

Reclining Figure
Moore created thousands of sculptures over his 88 years, but this weekend the process is all about your kids. Where Moore specialized in fluid forms, African motifs, female figures and family groupings, what form do you think your children will pull out of the clay? His figures were often seen reclining and featured piercings that gave an abstract air to the sculptures. Your child will have an opportunity to mold the piece of clay they receive into a form that works for them, adding colours as their creativity fancies them. With a little more encouragement, perhaps one day your child's creativity and future sculptures will grow larger, just as Moore's did when the demand for his public art commissions increased.

Only time will tell, but giving your child an opportunity to explore is the first step. What do you think your little artist can create in 90 minutes of fun and clay adventure with the help of 2 Hands Clay? Sign your kids up today and watch their vision sculpt the future. See you Saturday!

2 Hands Clay Adventure

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pop! A Look at Art Through Andy Warhol's Eyes

Do you think anything interesting ever happens in Pittsburgh? Well, back on August 6, 1928 Andrew Warhola was born (he would later drop the 'a' from his last name and go by 'Andy'). Son of Rusyn immigrants, the third child of Andrej and Julia might not have taken the world by storm in his earlier years, but things were destined to change. The name "Andy Warhol" would be known the world over and his new brand of Pop Art would take the art scene by storm. And it didn't take long.

In The Bottom of My Garden - 1956
From a young age, Warhol was interested in art. When he became sick and frequently hospitalized in his youth, that love of art and pop culture sustained him. While his illness created a paranoia about hospitals and doctors, it also gave him the time to explore drawing, DC comics and celebrity magazines. These interests remained with Warhol for the rest of his life.

Marilyn Monroe
After graduating from high school, Warhol enrolled at the Carnegie Institute of Technology. By 1949, he had a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. This paved the way for a career as a commercial artist and the work seemed to flow to him effortlessly. He relocated to New York and soon found himself working for the likes of Columbia Records, Glamour Magazine, Harper's Bazaar, NBC, Vogue and more. He began to turn to painting and drawing, and later incorporated photographs into his work.This drew the interest of a variety of museums as well. Warhol had his first exhibit at the Hugo Gallery. The Museum of Modern Art couldn't help but notice this up and coming artist as well, and featured his work in a group exhibit in 1956.

Campbell's Soup - 1968
By the 1960s, Warhol began to embrace what he is now most famous for; some of his iconic pop images. He took everyday images, such as a can of Campbell's soup and immortalized the image in the world of Contemporary Art. Celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Mohammed Ali and Elizabeth Taylor all graced the images that he created. During this time period, he also began working with silk screening. Warhol was not content to stop there though.

As Warhol's fame continued to grow, so too did the mediums he worked in. In 1963, he recorded his first of many films at "The Factory", his aluminum foil and silver-painted studio. He created such avant-garde films as "Sleep", "Empire" and "The Chelsea Girls", which remain cult classics for many. The year 1968 shattered Warhol's rocket rise to fame when he was shot and nearly killed by a minor figure in "The Factory" scene. While he recovered and continued to create many more films, paintings, album covers and more, his view on life was dramatically altered forever more. Now he saw life as through a television.

It is hard not to still see Andy Warhol's influence on Contemporary Art. He had short films featured on "Saturday Night Live", a guest appearance on "The Love Boat", he co-founded the magazine "Interview", as well as designed album covers for bands such as "The Velvet Underground" and "The Rolling Stones". So how can Budding Artists not recognize this modern-day superstar that was ahead of his time when it came to the world of art and social networking? If you want your child to learn more about Pop Art and Andy Warhol's influence on it, sign them up for this week's children's art workshop with Budding Artists at the London Farmer's Market. Workshops run for 90 minutes at 10:30am and 1:00pm. With a Master Artist like Andy Warhol to draw inspiration from, who knows what your kids will bring home this week!

And finally, I leave you with a sampling of, but one of Warhol's films; Edie Sedgwick's Screen Test.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Inspiration: Picasso

Pablo Picasso

The man was a Master Artist. He was a legend that changed the face of art. He influenced the likes of Piet Mondriaan, Diego Rivera, Joan MirĂ³ and a whole host of other artists during his lifetime and beyond. His style spanned Cubism and Surrealism, and he worked in such mediums as oils, ceramics, sculpture, copperplate etchings and more. He challenged the art world that he was born into and constantly morphed his style until he died in 1973 at the age of 91 years old.

Budding Artists will be featuring Pablo Picasso this Saturday, May 19th, 2012 at the London Farmer's Market during our Master Series Children's Art Workshop. Workshops are held at 10:30am and 1:00pm, and run 90 minutes in length. Children, aged 5-12 years, will get a chance to learn some art history, discover art techniques that Picasso favoured and take home their very own Picasso-esque artwork made by themselves. What better way to inspire creativity in your child than by learning about how the Masters have made it to fame themselves?

And whether your children make it to the workshop or not, make a point of pulling out some art materials for them to get creative with, as Budding Artists wants to see what your kids can create. Think Picasso and create a masterpiece and you and your family might be on your way to the Art Gallery of Ontario to see the Picasso Exhibition. One lucky winner will win a Family Pass, just by sending in your best Picasso inspired artwork to Budding Artists. Will it be from Picasso's Blue period, Rose period, African inspired period or his claim to fame of Cubism? You are the Master. Budding Artists will be the judge. Contest is open now and runs through to June 25, 2012.

If you need a little more inspiration, watch this short video of Picasso in action. As you can see, his confidence is what makes the pieces he creates. A few brush strokes can be all that is required to bring a piece of art to life. It isn't always about the colour, texture or fancy materials used, rather the artist's eye for the piece they are creating. Picasso was a master at creating art in collage forms, from found objects and as shown here,  with little more than some white paint and a piece of glass. Given a little encouragement and inspiration, think what your child could achieve. Let them follow their heart and create artwork from their soul,  and stand back to see what beauty emerges.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Regional Art in Our Backyard: A Look at Greg Curnoe

Self-Portrait - 1992
We have travelled the world, unearthing Master Artists from all corners of it, but today we look no further than our own back yard for the next installment of our Budding Artists Children's Art Workshops. Our featured Master Artist for Saturday May 12th, 2012 will be none other than London, Ontario's very own Greg Curnoe. At 10:30am and 1pm at the London Farmer's Market, Budding Artists will gather children round to explore this local artist, who made his community and its influence on his art, a priority in his life. This lesson, as well as a few other artistic ones, will be explored in 90 minutes of fun and games, art technique, and a little local history as well.

Have you heard of Greg Curnoe? Keep reading to learn a little more about this interesting, local artist!

Greg Curnoe was born in London, Ontario on November 19, 1936. Local Londoners won't find it surprising to hear that he attended Beal High School, which is well known across Canada for its Arts Department. Curnoe followed this up with a short session at Doon School of Art in Kitchener, ON. He then attended the Ontario College of Art in Toronto, ON from 1957-1960, before returning to his hometown.

View of Victoria Hospital,
Second Series - 1969-1971
After leaving the OCA behind, Curnoe moved back to London. He had a passion for art, but this passion was rooted in what he termed Regionalism; which is the belief that Art can and should be found at a local level. He did not believe that it was necessary to move to a big city centre in order to achieve a measure of fame. And he consequently set about to prove that. Along with Tony Urquhart, Murray Favro and Jack Chambers, they established a local art scene that began to turn some heads. This was highlighted by his co-founding of the magazine "Region" in 1961, which ran for nine years, followed  by the establishment of the "Region Gallery" in 1962. By 1973, he had helped to establish the Forest City Gallery as well, which still serves the London and area arts scene. Curnoe even had a voice in the creating of Canadian Artists' Representation (CARFAC) in 1968.

Nice Day, Bad News - 1986
Along with his conviction that art need not be based on a movement, Curnoe also believed that it did not have to fall into a set perimeter of style. He painted the everyday objects that inhabited his world, whether it be the written word, a portrait of his wife or one of his hand-built bicycles. As Curnoe was an avid cyclist, this last object repeated itself frequently amongst his artwork.

Yellow Mariposa
Sadly, his love of bicycles also signalled his demise. While on a group ride in St. Thomas in 1992, a distracted driver plowed into the pack of cyclists.  Several riders were knocked down, with Curnoe numbering one of them. He subsequently died of his injuries, leaving the London area with one less local artist. Even worse was the loss of his strident voice for the artistic community. This week, Budding Artists remembers Greg Curnoe and celebrates all that he did for Canadian art and the Canadian art scene.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Fish Lines

I love sharpies and I love lines so this is a perfect activity . I forgot where I found this idea. I began the lesson by asking these grade 1 and 2 students to draw a backwards c for the mouth from there we drew the body, added a tail and fins.  then inside the fish...they drew lines and shapes and made patterns.

 I didn't have them colour them...however, if I wanted to extend the project, colour can be added and maybe some rhinestones and pass it off as the Rainbow Fish!

Seurat Vases

Georges Seurat was best known for pointilism. So it made sense that our art project focussed on creating points.  Since our participants were mostly 6-8 year olds, we gave them a small piece of paper.

They first sketched out their design with pencil. Next time, I think I would use a yellow peice of chalk to avoid pencil marks.

The kids used the bottom of their pencil as the "point". We quickly switched over to cotton swabs.

It retains the paint better and it goes much quicker. We also have them a small piece of paper to work with. Any larger, the kids would have lost.  We gave them 5x7 card.

Another option to try next time is bingo dabbers. The only problem with them is the limited number of colours available (or at least at our local dollar store).

Once everything was dry. I scanned the artwork and printed it on water slide paper. I love water slide paper. I use this for attaching images to anything smooth such as candles, lamps and soaps
Water slide paper is like a tattoo.

First you must print it on a laser printer. Make sure your printer has been printing before you print on water slide paper. The printer needs to be super hot.  Once you have successfully printed your image, cut it out and place in lukewarm water for 30seconds and 60 seconds. Time will depend on how warm the water is.

Then quickly slide it off the paper and adhere to your product.  I usually add glue form a glue stick on the surface in order for the "tattoo" to stick. Make sure you smooth it over to remove any air bubbles.

I bought some cheap dollar store  vases and quickly slipped the image on to the vase. You can also add a candle and use it as a hurricane lamp. Either way, aren't they precious! I think there will be some happy Mothers. Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Spotlight on Diego Rivera

Diego Rivera was born December 8, 1886 in Guanajato, Mexico. The son of school teachers, education was highly valued in his family. While attending Catholic school, he enrolled in the art program at the Academy of San Carlos. He originally attended evening classes there, but his aptitude for the arts was apparent and he became a full-time student two years later, in 1898. Rivera's first public exhibition of his work was held in 1906, which attracted enough attention that by 1907, the Governor of the State of Veracruz had sponsored Rivera to continue his studies in Europe.

Head of a Breton Woman - 1910
Rivera arrived in Europe during a time of great change in the art world. He originally studied with Eduardo Chicharra in Spain, then continued on to Paris, France. It was here that he embraced the up and coming artists of the day, including such notables as Amedeo Modigliani, Moise Kisling, Chaim Soutine, Max Jacob and gallery owner Leopold Zborowski. The Montparnasse district was full of Cubist influences, from the likes of Picasso and Georges Braque and Rivera soon found those influences affecting his own work. By 1917, the artwork of Cezanne also left an impression on Rivera and his artwork now showed signs of Post-Impressionism as well.

Creation (mural) 1922
While Europe left a huge mark on Rivera's art, his heart still belonged to Mexico and he returned to it in 1921. He had spent the past 14 years travelling throughout Spain, France and Italy, but with a more mature style, he found the need to reconnect with his home country and all that it offered. One of those things offered was the chance to leave a lasting public image via murals. At the time the government was pushing for education, equality and a recognition of their culture, which Rivera was perfect for. "Creation" was his first mural, but was just the beginning of his work with this medium, which was further showcased when he joined the Revolutionary Union of Technical Workers, Painters and Sculptors. He followed that up by joining the Mexican Communist Party later that year.

El Vendedor De Alcatraces
His association with the Communist Party was not an easy one though. Rivera was vocal in his political beliefs and often attacked the church and clergy, making him a controversial figure. Despite that, he was invited to visit Russia in 1927. After spending nine months there, he was asked to leave and left with very little to show for his time spent, aside from a few paintings and much disillusionment on both sides about the other parties. Non-plussed, Rivera continued to paint, this time embracing another land and culture, that of the United States.

Section of Detroit Industry - 1933
In 1930, Rivera arrived in San Francisco with his new wife Frida Khalo. The architect Timothy L. Pflueger had heard about Rivera from Ralph Stackpole and subsequently had encouraged him to paint for him in the USA. This proved a successful venture for Rivera and he painted many murals, including "Detroit Industry" at the Detroit Institute of Arts. He spent three years in the US, then returned to Mexico, after furors over his political beliefs. He returned once more in 1940, again by request of Pflueger, this time to paint for the Golden Gate International Exposition.

Over the span of Rivera's lifetime, he created many murals and many more controversies. He had many affairs, often torrid in nature, but his love for Khalo was the one constant at the end of his life. His relations with the Communist Party waxed and waned, but shortly before his death he was allowed to re-establish ties to the party. His beliefs affronted many, but his skill impressed more. And Budding Artists recognizes everything that he accomplished and will be featuring him in this weekend's Master Series Children's Art Workshop. So pack up your kids and ship them off to the London Farmer's Market on Saturday May 5th at 10:30am or 1pm, where they will enjoy 90 minutes of creativity, art history and fun with Budding Artists and famed Mexican artist Diego Rivera. A perfect activity for them to celebrate art and Cinco de Mayo too!