Matisse & Tile Cut-outs

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Today was tile-painting time at arTree! We are going to be part of Art Walk in Mill Creek on July 11th (5-8 pm). Our location – Color Me Mine ceramics. Our project – Henri Matisse and his cutouts. We will have a paper bookmark project as well as tile-decorating project. We have 8 different templates based on Matisse’s paintings that kids can trace on tiles and color with bright paints – for FREE.  Every child that stops by at the Color Me Mine can bring home a bookmark, a beautiful tile (plus a discount for future projects) and a will have a chance to see first preview of the arTree digital magazine.

Want to make these tiles even though you do not live in Seattle area? No problem, print these out and bring them to your local ceramics place – or create your own templates and have fun!

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PS: For the snail, I cut up a dish-washing sponge. That way even a preschooler can create a Matisse-like artwork… just draw/trace the snail, have your child stamp the shell and then go over the snail with a black paint. Simple.

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Bohemia Crystal (glass bowls for preschoolers)

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What is Bohemia Crystal? It is a decorative glass produced in the Czech Republic since the 13th century. The hand cut crystal appears comes in any forms and sizes – vases, wine and champagne glasses, plates, fruit bowls and decanters… and it is gorgeous.

For our project this week we decided to “fake” this look on a fruit bowl. We bought clear plastic flower pots (for less than a dollar each) and painted the outside with white acrylic paint. I showed the kids the pattern found on the real glass bowls – we talked about the patterns and how it can be created. Then I gave them a small brush that enabled them to paint the details without frustration… they had a blast.

This project is simple and good for practicing fine motor skills and patterns. Plus, you learn about a different country and have a bowl or serving plate or cup at the end.

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Fire at the Beach

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Are there kids that don’t love beach-combing? Mine certainly love it. They love picking up rocks and shells and everything else they can get their hands on… and they love bringing this stuff home. Now, we do have a little nature museum, we do have a little treasure chest and we do use some bigger pieces for our pretend-ocean play… but what to do with the little broken pieces we got? We decided to make a little candle holder and I must say it was a very rewarding experience for all.

You just need clay, tea candle and some shells/rocks. Make a little ball out of the shell and push the tea candle in the middle of it. Then decorate with the shells and rocks – pushing them inside (a lot) and you are done. Simple! This candle holder was done by my daughter when she was 1.5 years old.

Tip: once the clay dries, some shells may fall off – just slide them back in or us a little bit of glue.

Is Art Education Worth it?

We all know art education is missing at our schools. But just how important is it? According to this study it can make a big impact on many lives. Just check it out for yourself:

  • Students who are involved in the arts are 4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement
  • Low-income students who are highly engaged in the arts are more than twice as likely to graduate collage.
  •  Students who take four years of art/music classes average almost 100 points better on their SAT.

There are many reasons why we should keep arts in our schools – but the truth is that there is not enough money for that. There are more pressing needs and problems teachers and principals have to deal with – before they get to the PTAs, art docent programs and art supplies.

But I believe that the art does not have to suffer and the art docents can get a little help. I know what a hassle it can be to look through the materials you get from a district, not knowing what to teach, why and how… it is overwhelming and boring. But it does to have to be. It is art.

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That’s why I have decided to try and help. I am working on an art curriculum for elementary school kids that they could follow with their teachers, parents or by themselves. It will be an online, weekly “magazine” and it will be inexpensive. Once purchased through PTAs (or just parents) it will be available to ALL kids at the school for the whole year. Stay tuned if you are interested in learning more… I hope to make this available for September.

Get Ready for a Father’s Day

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Are you getting ready for Father’s Day? Do you feel the need to move beyond ties and grills this year and create a unique gift that the kids will love as much as dad? We’ve put together a lot of ideas for all kinds of guys – from dads to grand-dads, from geeks to sport guys, there are ideas for everyone. Make your dad his own robot dog, collage trophy or a unique paper weight. Make a cool picture or a picture frame. Create your own scratchable, foldable and highly-personalized cards… go ahead, have fun & spoil him.

arTree is part of the Art Walk!

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arTree is proud to be part of the Mill Creek Town Center Art Walk.We will be at the “Color Me Mine” in July, August and September with activities and art projects for your little ones who may be be getting tired and less cooperative. We are sure to recharge them for you! Stop by and say hello.

And even though we will not be there in June yet – we hope you will come and visit the Art Walk as well, there are going to be some wonderful artists and musicians!

BTW: Do you know artists who would like to showcase their art? Let us know! We will see you in July, August and September! Cannot wait. Either email me at artreekids@gmail.com or contact the Art Walk directly at MCArtwalk@gmail.com

PS: and yes, we’ve done the graphics on this one 🙂