I am seeing how art is helping Seniors in the Assisted Living and in Memory Care Facility here at Alma Via in Camarillo. I have also learned it is not the product that is important but the process of enjoying creations and expressing yourself. Many of the residents have limited dexterity, but enjoy creating pieces that are broken down simply. This helps them engage their minds and stay focused. They also enjoy the fellowship creating within a group and the dialogue and exchange of ideas, but don't we all learn and are inspired by others in a community. Some projects are just for the fun, and other times I like to work with my art therapy training to focus on a theme to help them process emotions. Especially as we are approach Thanksgiving, it is nice to have something that reminds us of the positive things in life. It is easy to slip into negativity when your mind is slipping, and the body isn't moving like it did at 40, but to focus on thankfulness brings health to our minds and bodies. We really have a lot to be Thankful for our friends, family, community, and needs met at a great facility like Alma Via Senior Living Home.
I have been working at Mesa Union School this year and at the end of the year we put a together an ocean mural designing a variety of sea creatures out of clay and using mosaics to add three dimensions to the work. The Principal Dr. Bluestein wanted a variety of marine life found in our local Channel Islands so the students could see what treasures are in our backyard.
This Tri-typh mural has the Ventura Peir incorporated in the school's bulletin board, stretching out to the Channel Islands and a whimsical sailboat. Beneath the pier is a crab and sea-star on the rocks. The next scene is in the kelp bed and has an inquisitive moray eel, prowling leopard shark, and our state fish, a Garabaldi peering out of the kelp. The last scene is a huge breaking wave with a school of fish, a rainbow jellyfish, and a couple of frolicking dolphins. I am very happy the students pictured below gave of their summer break to complete the final placement of tiles to make this mural pop!
Mesa Union Elementary School is very supportive of the arts and has a kiln room in addition to the fine art program and has a variety of murals around the campus. In a time where many of the arts are being cut from the program, the Board of Directors support the Arts! Hooray, this could not have been accomplished without them. Come see this in person surrounding the play area. We are planning a continuation of this mural coming soon in January of 2018!
I was quite surprised after my summer Fashion Design class when students told me how much they enjoyed learning to sew. They wanted to have more sewing classes, so I took them up on that and this Fall I offered a sewing class that was FULL and had a WAITLIST! Here are some of the projects we worked on. I am looking forward to sharing my sewing skills with another group of girls soon!
These girls had no prior sewing skills and learned how to operate their own machine, practice how to control the pressure, follow a line, and make a bobbin. We redesigned a T-shirt and then we made emoji pillows. We started some snakes from old socks but we will need another class to complete them, if they did not finish them on their own.
If you are interested in a sewing class for your daughter call me at 805 443-1555 for the next available class. Students must have their own sewing machines.
What makes a winning art piece?Read More
The Show goes on till May 19th!
Please take family and friends to see the art pieces at D.A. Davidson & Co., 60 So. California Street, Suite 301, Ventura. This is a private business so hours are only Monday through Friday 10-4pm.
Wow, it was so wonderful to see so many of my students at this fabulous Reception/ Exhibit on March 23, who created such beautiful artwork! They all deserve a round of applause, not just those who won. This sure had to be difficult to select the best for awards! Not all took a prize, so they should not be discouraged. I will blog on what makes a good art piece later this month. It was such a joy to meet many of your families at the event. And of course these happy faces are priceless! Overall, it takes practice and work to succeed, at art and other areas in our life.
This year there were so much more younger participants and they also were quite happy to get gifts as a "Budding Artist!". I was happy to see that those who were about ready to give up on a piece put in more time and it PAID OFF!
This art show sponsored by Crowell Weeden & Co. in Ventura gave gift prizes and cash awards to many of my private tutors. In every elementary group category, my students and parents were pleasantly surprised to see how their children performed on a county level. Students won cash, art supplies, and a whole lot of confidence! Not only do they see other art pieces from various students, but going to their first reception is quite an honor. It was held at the offices of Crowell Weeden in Ventura with a special reception for all participants.
This year's show is held by D. A. Davidson & Co. in Ventura The deadline is March 7 at 4:00 pm to bring in work. The address is 60 So. California St., Suite 301, in Ventura above the Lure Restaurant. If you are interested in entering go to the Art N' You/sign up page and click on the form to download and fill it out. This year's show goes from March 13 to May 19th. Good Luck!
Parents are always wondering if their child drawing cartoons is really learning any skills? YES! When your child is drawing and copying what they see, even if it is an anime or another cartoon, they are focusing on their drawing skills. For many young children, drawing something realistic is intimidating and they are afraid of failure. Drawing cartoons puts an animal into a correct perspective, yet they can be silly which takes the edge off of it having to be perfect. So much of their schoolwork revolves around them performing or testing well and this gets translated into a need for "perfectionism" for many young children. And who wants to fail?
I have found that the students in my after-school cartooning classes at St. Mary Magdalen's School love to draw and have fun with drawing many of their favorite characters from current movies, such as "Jungle Book", "Finding Dory", and "The Secret Life of Pets". They are learning how to draw expressions, a variety of animals, create a story, and will gain confidence to draw beyond the "stick figure".
I wanted to highlight my 101 year-old student: Jeanne Clark. She was such a joy to teach! She was joyful, open to new ideas, and had such a willing heart to try things. She looked forward to our weekly art lessons, as much as I did. She has helped me to see things that will last long in life: joy, counting your blessings, being close to family, having a happy heart, and doing things that you enjoy! I also enjoyed hearing her sing "Blue Skies" whenever I asked her, "what color do you want the sky?" I downloaded it on my song list for her art lessons!
Now that I go to several different senior homes, someone will say, "I am too old, I can't do that", I share pictures that Jeanne has created. Those 80 year-olds don't have her beat! If she can, you can too! We are never too old to learn art and have fun expressing our creativity inside!
"An artist brings joy into our lives by teaching our eyes to see. How deeply I recommend Michelle Honles as a person as an artist, and as a teacher. My mother at 101 years is taking art lessons from Michelle. How gently, patiently and sweetly she engages my mother in art . There are few things my mother can do any more. Her art lesson with Michelle is the highlight of each week and the best expenditure of money, for her well being that I can make. Beauty satisfies the soul."
Christie Johnson, (Jeanne Clark's daughter)
Children's Celebration of the Arts has just celebrated their 25th year of bringing art into the classrooms across Ventura City and hosted an art show at The Olivas Adobe. One piece of artwork is selected from each classroom to be represented at the show. To celebrate our 25th year, CAPS made a video of our program. To sign up for this program, teachers are given a brochure and can select from a variety of visual and kinetic art forms taught by professional artists who share their passion with the children. The variety of the classes are not limited to visual arts, but will even show dance, drumming, and harp playing for the students. For $40, all supplies and teaching materials are brought to the classroom and a complete history and art lesson is given to the students. This beneficial program is made possible by a grant endowment from the city of San Buenaventura. To find out more you can go to:
Over the last 6 years, I have taught several cultural projects including Mexican Tin Art, or "Jolata", Russian lacquer boxes, African Adrinka placemats, Spanish Crests, and Italian Mosaics. It is such a joy to share my love of art with children. I am hoping on my trip to Israel, to present a cultural art project to bring awareness of how many religions here in Israel are working together - those of the Jewish, Islamic, and Christian faiths.
In this exercise, I had the students focus on the value of objects and really notice the shadows and highlights in various objects. I helped them shoot black and white pictures of their still-life subjects to notice where the darkest values were without the confusion of colors. This helps the students with their future colored pieces. It also helps them to use the entire gradation scale and not just the middle values as many do. I think they did a great job, wouldn't you agree?!
I had the opportunity to teach a group of Girl Scouts a drawing and painting class. Here are some examples of our Zentangle owls. Zentangle is a new type of art, it reminds me very much of the doodling I did many years ago. I was quite happy to see how each of these owls have their own personality. Not every girl finished with the ink pens, but all had a great time. I also tried this with a group of seniors at Alma Via Senior Center and they liked it too!
I was quite happy to see that my art skills have been useful in editing and creating these two videos of two recent dive trips I took to Belize, Central America and here at the Channel Islands. I needed to work with the music, learning how to film with a GoPro, edit, and then compose a video. I selected a piece of music but then I realized that the original pictures did not coincide with the lyrics, so those photos got scrapped and I worked with the song and edited accordingly. My first trip was to The Great Blue Hole in Belize where I enjoyed warm-water diving with wonderful, colorful fish and sea turtles! My second video consists of what is local to me in Ventura County of the California coast. Enjoy without the weights, wetsuit, or water!
I am proud to join this group of artists in our community who are providing art in local spaces, teaching classes, and offering studio space. Stop in on Saturdays and I will either have a demonstration or art workshop that you and the family can participate in. This month we are gearing up for the holiday sales, but in the future a new group of artists will display their artworks. If you need gift cards, or a holiday gift, stop in for something unique!
The VC Collective is on the 2nd Level of The Pacific Seaview Mall in Ventura next to Sears. It is open Thursdays 1-9pm, Friday and Saturday 10am - 9pm, and Sundays 1-7pm.
Not only do art camps expose students to art in general, they also allow the students to hone their artistic talent: whether it be in drawing, architecture, fashion design, painting, or fantasy art.
Lorrie Milton taught an Animal Adventure class where they drew a variety of animals, Ashley Goodman-Konzmann taught a small group how to paint and see value in their work, and I taught Fashion Design and Fantasy art. Next week we will cover a variety of media including sculpting.
Each day, these art students learned how to draw fantasy art and then they chose how they wanted to complete their pieces. Students were able to choose between watercolors, markers, colored pencils, art Stix, or chalk pastels. Andrea, the youngest, brought in glitter and it added a sparkle to our unicorns! Never would have thought of that! I love their creative touches — loved this week! ☺
Many of my students created exceptional pieces for the Ventura County 2nd Annual Juried Art Exhibit where there were many entries and the competition was fierce! My students were able to take home prizes of cash or art supplies! Everyone did a fantastic job and thanks to all who participated! 🏆
After taking the "Art as a Healing Tool" training through A Window Between Worlds (AWBW.org) in Santa Monica, I gained the necessary training to help others process difficult emotions and trauma from domestic violence. I wish I had this training earlier, as I have encountered children who were experiencing triggers while doing a self-portrait. At that time, anger and resentment had surfaced from a student's abandonment as a child and adoption into a new home. I did not know how to allow this frustrated individual to express their deep pain through art.
Now, as participants go through the lessons created by AWBW, they tap into subconscious feelings and art allows those emotions to come to the surface in a non-threatening way. In the above workshop, we set goals for 2015, and took time to journal our thoughts bidding a farewell to 2014's destructive habits and past lies. We also let go of someone or something that holds us back in our lives, a toxic relationship, an abusive parent, etc.
After the art project is completed, the healing comes when we choose to open up. In the circle, women will open up even if they don't know each other, because talking about your art detaches you from the issues inside. As affirmation is shared about the creative pieces we make, we grow closer and feel safe and nurtured.
Every time, I am amazed how much we need to clean our hearts from the stuff of this world that wears it down or causes pain. If you would like to know more about these classes go to: ArtesiaHealingArts.org
19 of my students are participating in the Ventura County 2nd Annual Juried Youth Art Exhibit. What an exciting opportunity to shine in art and have a chance to win one of many great prizes! There are $3,600 in gifts and cash awards this year. Last year, many of my students won prizes and scholarships for art lessons! Crowell, Weedon, and Co. in Ventura are sponsoring this event to promote the arts in Ventura County. (Pictured our 2014 winners)
Join us at the reception & Awards May 19th from 4-7pm. 5740 Ralston, Suite 301, Ventura.