Art Camp – Week 1 – Sunday Welcome

Welcome...

paint stacked

Hi everyone! Thanks for joining us for our very first day of Art Camp at Home! I hope that wherever in the world you are joining us from that the weather is good, and you are safe and well. This year has been a rollercoaster so far, but hopefully you have been able to find a little piece of calm and happiness in your own home. 

I fully believe that engaging with art activities can really help to find peace, within ourselves, and also when used as an activity for children (or adults!!), who perhaps find themselves a little restless, bored, or anxious. Art is expressive, inspiring, therapeutic and helps us to learn about all kinds of things, but especially ourselves. 


 

Mess...

messy art

As the facilitator of art activities –  be that a parent, teacher, or even just as yourself – it can sometimes feel overwhelming. Getting all the materials ready and organised, working through the activity itself, and then the dreaded tidy up (I really can empathise with this; teaching 22 children all manner of arts and crafts, in a small space on a rainy day last year… boy the tidy up was a killer!!), it is super hard work, BUT with a little bit of pre-planning, a positive attitude, and a few deep breaths, its easy to let go and really enjoy the art experiences.

A few tips to help with mess: 

  • Have some old tea-towels, cloths or rags on hand 
  • Make up a bowl of soapy water before painting 
  • Wear aprons 
  • Keep materials in their own boxes, pots, or on shelves 
  • Be clear about your children’s requirements to help tidy from the get go. Set clear and fair goals 
  • Put old newspapers or similar on surfaces you don’t want to get messy 
  • Keep a rubbish bin or bag nearby

Make it Yours...

watercolours

I really encourage you to go through our art adventures during this summer at your own pace. If something isn’t speaking to you or your kids, then don’t do it. If you really enjoy an activity or topic, then revisit it and see where it takes you… Don’t feel pressured to do everything, don’t try to do everything perfectly, don’t worry if you don’t have exactly the right kind of materials… adapt and enjoy it! Take what’s on offer and make it work for you and your family! 

 

Before We Get Started...

art journal materials

Hopefully you have read my emails, and have started gathering materials. Don’t worry if you haven’t got everything; we are starting slowly, and we can adapt every activity to what you have at home. 

One thing I would really encourage you to do is to find or make a journal or sketch book to use for the duration of Art Camp at Home. If you are a family, you may like to have one each, or a big one to use collaboratively. If you don’t have a sketchbook or journal at home, you can make a super simple one,  just by folding pieces of paper and fastening them together with a hole punch and ribbon, staples, or glue. Here is a lovely post from Vanilla Joy with some more ideas for you! 

Keeping a sketchbook or journal is a great way to keep all your thoughts, ideas, experiments, inspirations, and anything else you find in one place. Its great to look back at during, and at the end of a project. You can feel free to share your creative self in your own journal, as well as using it as a reference later on. Go grab or make one now; it doesn’t have to be fancy – it just needs blank pages! 

While you’re there –  if you haven’t already sorted some basic supples, take some time to find a couple of jars, pots or tins and collect some pens, pencils, brushes, or whatever other materials you think you will use regularly and place them in an easy to access spot. If you don’t have much, its absolutely fine – one pencil is enough! 

Our First Adventure...

cat steps

Our first adventure is going to take us all around the world, as we explore the wonderful world of Earth’s amazing animals! 

What is your favourite animal? Do you have animals at home? Did you like to visit the zoo, the farm, or the aquarium? Use your journals to write or draw about your favourite animals… some strange animals… an interesting place you have seen animals… or your funniest pet… where would you like to travel to see a certain animal?

If you like, you could add some musical inspiration while you jot down some thoughts and pictures… The Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saëns is a fun introduction to classical music that evokes the spirit of many animals. 

If you need a bit more visual inspiration, have a look at the following clips from Disney’s Fantasia! 

 

Fantasia Clip 1 

Fantasia Clip 2 

Fantasia Clip 3 

 

pastels

Ok, so I have shared a lot of information here! Let’s recap… 

  • Try not to worry or stress 
  • Enjoy the artistic process 
  • Gather some pens and pencils 
  • Make sketchbooks and journals 
  • Listen to some music 
  • Watch a bit of Disney 

When you are ready, check out the next post for our morning warm up, where we are making pet collages! 

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Katherine is a mixed media artist, art teacher, writer, designer, photographer – and mum of 2 – who works and lives in North Devon, nestled in the woods on a little smallholding. She has a BA in Performance Studies, an MA in Fine Art, and an MFA in photography, alongside a background in early years childhood and special education. Katherine uses her artistic talents, passion for helping people, and unique creativity to create articles, courses and classes that promote creativity, artistic skills, self expression and well-being. She believes in the power of the creative arts and how engaging with them can improve so many aspects of life.
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