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.
You can imagine the surprise on these two young artists as they came for a nice evening out to see their artwork on the wall and enjoy dinner in Ventura. Both Syna and her brother Aayan went to the art show and walked away with a ribbon and cash award's! Now that's encouragement to keep on doing well in art class! Many of my other students took ribbons as well in pastels and in mixed media. You can see many of their art pieces and the talented art they are creating. Thank you to D.A. Davidson Investments in Ventura for making this possible to showcase the art in Ventura County.
It always feels like Christmas when you open the kiln after a glaze firing, so much anticipation and sparkle from the colors. You never know exactly how the pieces will look, if the student added enough glaze coats, or if they added something you didn't quite see them do.
Working with clay is very therapeutic as well as something that is rarely taught anymore because of the "mess". Most children and adults like to create in 3D, they just need some help to get their imagination come to reality. I am fortunate to have a large kiln at Mesa Union School to help students create whimsical owls, pinch pot flower bowls, slab dogs, handprints for Kindergarteners, pinch pot sea turtles, and of course I had to make a test coil plaque for my mother for Mother's Day!
This summer I will be teaching a clay class with a friend Terry who has also worked with clay for a number of years. We have a variety of projects in mind including the crazy boxes that come out unique to each child. And of course, you need to at least try your hand at coils. These take some time to get even pressure on the clay snake.
The summer clay class is June 25 - 29th 9:30 am - NOON $185 includes all supplies and you won't have to worry about the mess!
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 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!
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)