Sunday, March 27, 2011

Open Air Arts

Here are two of the three paintings I did this weekend during Melrose's Open Air Arts. I did them in true plein air fashion and sat among the cypress trees staring into the water almost all weekend. I think it will be a special memory I'll take with me as I leave Florida. The weather, scenery and company of great artists and friends couldn't have been better.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Kites for Spring

The preschool where I teach had a kite theme so I wanted to introduce the Chinese tradition of kites to the children. It was with some trepidation I ventured into kites. Three dimension construction is not my forte. In college, I remember having fits constructing a complex box kite from thin dowel rods for a sculpture class only to have it crushed flat between heavy doors carrying it to the dining hall. My older son and I did not work together smoothly making a kite for a scout den meeting which was an embarrassing public display. But when I picked out a children's book at the library explaining the history of Chinese kites and thus the Chinese New Year, I got an idea to make the dragon kite using paper plates. This was a managable and easy medium and I think the results are quite impressive. I can see making the individual plates more elaborate perhaps with cloth or tissue paper and making some spectacular looking kites. Getting them to fly would take some engineering skills I don't possess but I feel it could be done. The only real problem I had was when hanging the plates on the ceiling. I had knots tied in the yarn to hold the plates in place along the string but the weight of the plates slid all the plates to the bottom of the string and pulled the knots too tight to hold the plates. The head of the dragon is made from a milk jug. The children were to draw wishes on the plates but many focused on animal kites and symbols they saw in the book. They really loved the book, Kites: Magic Wishes That Fly Up to the Sky by Demi.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Thinking About Paint

Another small and Woods and Water painting. My goal for the upcoming painting outside event, Open Air Arts, is to paint with abandon. Make the paintings as much about the paint itself as about the landscape. I have to really fight my graphic design training to do this and my plans always seem harder to accomplish during the event. But that is my goal and desire. There are some painters that I really admire participating, I can't wait to see what is produced. Artists coming to OAA.