Living with Art – Art Journal

Previously I shared that I would be doing art classes over the summer with some young ladies (find out more here) and also my regular older students.  For the first week I planned to started with watercolors and created an art journal that they will be able to draw and paint in all summer.

You could use any watercolors or journal.  I got the Prima Classic watercolors for them.  I like that they are small and easy to travel with and they are nice happy colors.  For the journal we are using the Strathmore 90 lb. watercolor visual journal.  It is 5.5″ x 8″ so it  also easy to carry around.  I also started them with a pencil, a mister bottle, a #7 round brush and a small container of salt.

artsupplies

There is something therapeutic about just touching and preparing your art supplies. To start class we unwrapped our watercolors, numbered them and painted our color reference card.

I had them draw a color wheel in the front of their book.  We painted the Red, Blue and Yellow from the colors in their paint box.  For the Orange, Purple and Green I had them mix the colors and paint them in their book.  Not because we didn’t have the colors in their set, but I wanted to show them how they can mix their colors to create new colors.

color-wheel

I had them draw a square and then paint it with water and then come back and paint in the square to show them how to contain the color to an area.  We also painted a square and sprinkled it with salt so they could see the pattern the salt created as it dried.  I then let them free draw and paint in thier book.

art

I had taken a class from Juliette Crane where she started all of her characters by drawing the same basic shape – a circle for the head with a rectangle that is wider at the bottom for the body.  Then, by adding different features, like arms and feet, she would create her characters.  I had the students start with this little exercise to draw a few characters and then paint them.  It gave them somewhere to start with their drawing. I then let them draw and paint whatever they wanted.

I also gave them the option of painting the covers of their journal.  To do this we lightly sanded the cover, painted with a coat of gesso, and then painted with bottle acrylics.

Here they are with their covers:

berkleycovercovers

Here is the cover that Sara my older student painted:

sarascover

Here are pictures of their favorite page:

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And these are my older students favorite page in their books:

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With my older kids I let them play with watercolor pencils and crayons, and liquid watercolors. I also enjoyed playing with the products and here is a picture of my doodles.

 

When they were done we put washi tape on the edges of the pages they created. They loved doing this.   I asked them to bring their book back each week and as they painted the pages they could add the washi tape.

A couple days after class I got a picture of my older students playing with their watercolors at the Hershey Rose Garden.  That blessed my day.

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On the first day of class when one of your students jumps out of the car and does cartwheels across your lawn to the front door, you know it is worth every minute you invest in their lives.

I encourage you to share the joy of art.

A big painting hug to you,

Jane

 

Link to products I used ( I am not compensated for suggesting these products):

Prima Classic Watercolors

Strathmore Visual 90 lb. Watercolor Journal

 

“Living with Art” Classes

This summer I offered to have some art classes with some young ladies 8-9 years old.  They all love art and love to create.  Since they are younger, I did not want to weigh them down with drawing or painting classes.  I wanted for them to just enjoy “art”, but I also wanted them to see how art is a part of everyday life.

So each week we will be doing art on a different surface and using different products.

The different surfaces we will be painting/creating on are:

  • paper
  • glass
  • canvas
  • wood
  • fabric
  • shrink dinks (plastic)
  • paper Mache
  • food

And in the process we will be using these mediums:

  • watercolors
  • colored pencils
  • craft acrylics
  • tube acrylics
  • glass paints
  • fabric paints
  • food dyes

And we will be making things that we live with, use and give as gifts.

Each week we will be doing a different project and I will be sharing with you what we are doing.  I would love for you to be following along and creating with us and/or teaching someone else the joy of creating.

When I teach kids I have three rules:

  • There are no rules – you can paint anything you want
  • It is OK to copy –  and learn from others
  • Everyone’s work is good

I love teaching kids. They are always so happy with what they do, so each week they will be painting their own designs.  I might give some suggestions but find that they have great ideas themselves.

I know not all of us feel that confident so I will also be creating some step by step projects throughout the summer that relate to the projects we are doing and I will do them as separate posts.

I do have another class of older student that I taught drawing and painting to last year.  They will be doing the same projects, but I might be giving them a few extra things.

In this class I want my students to just enjoy creating.  I hope that they will be able to see art in the things around them. But most of all I hope to give them a foundation and confidence to enjoy art for the rest of their lives.

I hope you will join us for this artful journey this summer.

Happy Creating,

Jane

 

 

 

 

Web Presence – Getting Started

Do you want a web site and/or be able to sell your products without investing a lot of money in a website…but don’t know where to start?

At one time we could take our art to a craft show to sell, or our designs/patterns to a convention. Times are changing and we have to change also if we want to continue to reach our audience. I think that most of us would like to spend our time painting and creating and not thinking about marketing our art. It is hard to know where to start especially with so many options to choose from.

Over the last few years I have been researching and trying to figure out what would work best for me. On my blog I would like to share with you some of the things that I have learned.

There are so many things that we can do to market ourselves. We can have a blog, do a newsletter, have an Etsy store, use social media, have a website, etc. I think a website is a good place to start; it can be your control center with links to these other areas.

Before you begin you have to decide if you are going to hire someone to build your site, or if you are going to build it yourself. If someone else builds it for you are you going to be able to make updates to the site or are you going to have to pay for every change made to it by someone else. When you are just starting out it can be a big expense to get started, when you are not sure how much you will make from your site. For that reason and many others I encourage you to build your own site. It might seem a little overwhelming, but just do it in baby steps.

Before touching your computer you need to decide what you want on your site (the content) and how you want it to look (the layout). Take some time and look at other sites and note what you like about them, such as:

  • What color combinations do you like? What type of fonts do you like?
  • What type of layout would work for you? How do you want your navigation to work?
  • What type of information do you want on your site?

I encourage you to keep it simple. You want to have a clean, easy to navigate site, where people can come and find what they are looking for quickly.

Another thing you will want to do is to have your branding consistent across platforms.  If you are going to have a web site called JaneAllenCreates it would also be good to have the same name for your etsy store, facebook business page, Pinterest, and email account, if possible.   I wanted to have JaneAllen.com as my business name, but that was already taken, believe it or not, by another artist so I came up with JaneAllenCreates.  I like JaneAllenCreates because it is all encompassing where JaneAllenPaints would limit me to just my art.

Each platform will be a little different to find out if the name you want is available.  For a domain name you can go to whois.net, type in the domain you would like and see if it is available or what other options might be available.  For most of the others you can either go to the application and do a search on the name or set up an account to see if the name is available.   I would wait and buy my domain name from the platform I am going to build my website on.  Sometimes the platform will offer a free domain name.

whois1whois2

If your business name does not contain your name in the title, you will be required to file your Fictitious Name with your state, or at least that is how it works in Pennsylvania.  You will want to check with the guidelines in your state.  I believe if just part of your name is in the title you are ok, such as Jane Creates or Allen’s Creation.  Also in Pennsylvania it is by county, so the same business name could be in each county.  Definitely something to think about when establishing a business name because it involves time and legal fees.

Before building a web site I think understanding the following basic terms will be helpful:

  • Web Hosting – When you build your website you will need to have it on a web server (computer) that can be accessed by the internet. A company can provide this (hosting) service for you. The service can be free or there can be a monthly fee.
  • Domain Name – Is a unique name that identifies a web site. It replaces a longer, not as easy-to-remember address that is the technical name and location of your web site.
  • Responsive Design – At one time web sites were built as one size, usually a standard computer screen. Now web sites are built with responsive design so that they can automatically adjust their size to be viewed on our smartphone, tablet, and desktop.

In an upcoming post I will be talking about building your web site in a free product and some good training sources for that product.  I will also share with you some other products that are available.

Happy Painting and Creating,

Jane

PS. I would love to hear about the tools and tips that are working for you. Feel free to add comments below this article.

Play Date & Stencils

It is always fun to have a creative playdate with friends.  Not too long ago I got together with my girlfriends Glenda and Deb.  We had no plan…which I always love.  We started playing with flowers which led us to talking about ideas for backgrounds.  Soon we had the stencils out.  Just using a few stencils in our projects brought them from pretty to gorgeous in a very short time.

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Peanut Butter Cookies

A number of years ago I made these cookies for a family reunion and found out that they were one of my Aunt Louise’s favorite cookies….so every time I  go to her house I bake them just for her…..and every one else also gets to enjoy them.  This year my cousin Elaine said you need to put these on your blog….so I am feeling the pressure 🙂

twocookies

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Froggy Pins Fun-raiser

“Isn’t it funny how you can start something and it just keeps growing.  That is what happened for me with these frog pins.

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One year my chapter was having a pin exchange and I came up with the idea to make these frog pins.  I called them my Jump 4 Joy frogs, because my frogs were so happy that they wanted to jump for joy. As I thought about them I thought it would be fun to give them names.  Fun names like “Cute Carol”, “Awesome Al”, “Sweet Sarah”, etc.  Every one loved them and selected them because of their names. Continue reading