This summer these students took their art to the Next Level! And they fell in love with their paintings! They already knew how to draw, so they went on to tackle the beast of mixing colors. We first began the course by creating a color wheel so they could see how colors were made. Then, really observing their animal, they had to decide where to place the shades first. By understanding your darkest darks on your object you can gauge the lights and mediums. Once that is in place, the artist looks at the highlight areas: areas where the sun is hitting their object. We first started with a still life so by using simple shapes we could understand darks do not have to be black! After that exercise, we moved on to animals of their choices. Here are their results. . . they were pleasantly surprised even if they felt it might be too hard. SECRET: To tackle the fur and the palm tree fronds we used a special brush so you don't have to paint every hair or leaf.
I love working with students to see their ideas become a reality. This Koi fish mural was done from the design of a Senior named Lucy, at Ventura County Christian School. Our ideas in our art class were to transform the boring white walls in the cafeteria to a relaxing place for the students to enjoy lunchtime. It was a great project to show how Interior Design can change a place.
The following tile pieces with the children, were done in a summer camp at my Art N' You studio in Camarillo. The smiling faces tell the excitement they had to break the tiles and then rearrange them into a work of art. Our lives are very much like that. Things happen in life and they don't look the same. With the help of the Creator, we can rearrange them into beautiful pieces of art.
I have also attached some murals that I have seen at a variety of places and was inspired by. I love the ocean so I was impressed by these ocean murals. And of course, I had to include some work by my favorite architect Antonio Gaudi and his famous mosaic lizard at the Park Guell! Gaudi's work brings joy to the heart. Amazing what a few pieces of broken tile, glass, and concrete can do for a city!
I have an upcoming Mosaic class July 2 and 3 from 1- 3 pm at my Art N' Studio in Camarillo. $55 includes supplies, students will break their own tile pieces, as well as use, pre-cut pieces to adhere them to either a 12" square or a plywood heart of similar size. Adults can join if they want to get in touch with their inner child! Please bring a drink as we will be working outdoors in the garden patio.
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 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)