Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The beginning....

I always loved to be creative/crafty.  I could almost always come up with a crafty idea on how to make this or that.  It wasn't until my son Matthew started kindergarten that I discovered I had a passion for art. 

I remember it was open house at the school and I wanted to volunteer for his class and they had a sign up sheet with all the things you could do and I saw art docent.  Art Docent? I thought, that can't be too hard. Just give the kids some art supplies and make some cute crafts.  Was I wrong! What an art docent does is bring a little art history to the classroom and teach the kids different techniques and uses of different mediums.  Needless to say I freaked out!  After my panic attack I calmed down ( I think with a glass or two of wine) and I thought to myself, it can't be that hard they are just kindergartners.  They don't know that I don't know a thing about art history!  The great thing about the Art Docent program in our school district is that you have everything you need to teach the lesson.  They provide the prints, with a brief history about the artist and the art and they give you a art lesson to go with the project.  They even provide the supplies.  So really anyone can do it regardless of their artistic abilities.   Here's the link to the Art Docent Program website. It's an amazing program that is headed up by the school district but volunteers teach the art lessons.


That first year was a blast! I learned about so many amazing artists and their work along with the kids.  It was so much fun.  I do remember thinking to myself that I could keep doing this with Matt's classes until 3rd grade cause my abilities could carry me about that far.  One of the coolest things about being a Art Docent is the kids think you are a total ROCK STAR!  They get so excited when they see you come into the class, they know it means a fun time playing with paints and what not.

So for the next few years I focused on learning about artist and their work.  I played around with supplies too.  One time I was scheduled to teach a lesson about the artist Fredrick Remington and his piece called, "Touch Down, Harvard vs Yale" and I had to teach the kids quick gesture sketching and the lil monster in me came out in full force making it clear that I had no idea how to draw let alone sketch!  Looking back at the lesson now I laugh cause it was a easy lesson but of course my lil monster put in all the self doubt he could muster up and threw me into a panic attack!  For the entire week before I practiced and practiced and tried my best to draw a man's profile running with all the details and really all I need to do was a quick sketch, no details, but the perfectionist in me wasn't going to let that happen. My son Matt could see how nervous I was to teach this and in his sweet boy way he tried to comfort me and tell me how great it looked.  I told myself that I didn't have to be prefect and it would be nice for the kids to see that an adult isn't always perfect too.  I showed up with my drawings in hand and taught the lesson about the artist and the print. Then it was time to put my drawing under the document camera for the class to see. To my surprise I heard lot's of "wows" and "ahhs" from the kids. One kid said to me, " You can really draw!"  I looked over at Matthew and he had the biggest smile on his face and so did I!  That day a few things clicked in my head, the first was I was really going to try had not to be so critical with myself and my art I make.  I was going to BURY that lil monster for sure!  The second was I wanted to learn how to draw!

my first work

I made these in Traci's class

With in no time, I kicked my husband out of his office (he never used it anyway)  that I had created for him. It's a little mini house in our backyard and I turned it into my art studio (Second from the Sun Studio).  I had always admired water color and ink drawings so I bought some water color, pens and other supplies and set up my space.  I can remember the first time sitting at my table with the music playing and just staring at all my yummy supplies ( yes, I am addicted to art supplies, but that is another blog posting) and having no clue where to start!  So I just started to play.  My first stuff was not very happy stuff, a lot of negative things from my past seem to come out in my work and it didn't make me happy.  Looking back I know I needed to get that stuff out and for whatever reason I'm sure it helped, but I didn't want to spend my time making sad art.  I wanted to make happy art! Stuff that made me smile.  I started scanning YouTube for artist and their how to videos. I couldn't believe how many amazing artists were out there sharing their talents. You could get a little lesson on almost anything your heart desired.  That is were I came across my first Favorite artist/teacher Traci Batutista and her workshops http://creativityunleashed.ning.com  The first class I took from her was creative doodling. It was so much fun and I learned a lot about layering and making backgrounds and of course doodling in my art.  I loved her Glam Girl Faces they are sketchy, colorful and fun.  I realized then that I loved to draw faces especially girly doll faces!

One day my son Matthew and I were goofing around on YouTube looking for more artist when we came across this pink haired girl with her dog that had a matching pink wig! Matt and I watched her silly video and laughed a lot at this intriguingly funny but crazy (in a good way) girl.  She definitely made me want to check out her art.  If you don't know who she is yet let me give it away. Her name is Suzi Blu http://suziblu.ing.com. Boy did she open up my world to mix media! Suzi can draw the cutest lil doll faces but then she can throw out an amazing more realistic deeper/darker girl face and much more.  I was hooked! Her teaching style was stress free and fun. My online classmates were and still are so kind and supportive, what an amazing community.  I have met some really amazing artists online and have had the privilege to see their work.

not so good! UGH the eyes!

I liked this one!
I started with Suzi's Mermaids class and then went on to portrait drawing class.  Looking back at some of my first painting all I can say is I needed a lot more practice! There are a few that I am still proud of. Those first three years I can say were fun and frustrating at the same time.

Tam artist and creater of http://willowing.ning.com interviewed one of my favorite artist Jane Davenport http://janedavenport.com  and she had said in the interview something like," we all don't start out like Picasso.  WE go through good and bad, up and down. Through practice we get better."  She is so right, when it comes to getting better at anything in life PRACTICE, PRACTICE!

Flash forward to today. Matthew is a 6th grader and YES I am his class Art Docent.  I also docent for my lil guy Jackson's 1st grade class too.  For the past three years I have co-chaired the Art Docent program at the school as well!  Today I am working on pursuing my passion for creating and getting ready to open a etsy.com site as well as have a booth at my very first street fair this August!
Here is some of my newest stuff:

Thanks for taking the time to read my first posting of my Journey into the ArtLand.  This is the beginning and I hope you follow with me along the way to new discoveries that I am excited to share with you. 
Artfully yours,

1 comment:

  1. This is great Sis! I am excited for you! Thank you for sharing this! xoxo


Thank you for reading my blog. Please feel free to comment on any of my posts. If you try a project and you have pictures please post them I would love to see them!

I hope you enjoy reading about my journey in the world of art and crafts.

Happy Creating!
Lesa B.