Watercolor techniques and Penguins

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Watercolors are always fun with the little ones. Especially, once you show them how to explore different watercolor techniques.

  • What happens when you paint with watercolors and then dab it with a paper towel before it dries?
  • What happens if you drop lemon onto the wet watercolors?
  • What if you put salt on the watercolor before it dries?
  • What if you crumble a plastic wrap onto the wet watercolor paper and leave it there until it dries (at least partly)?

Just make sure, the kids do not use too much. The piles of salt or the puddles of lemon juice sound like a good idea but they can destroy even the thickest watercolor paper.

If you are up to it, you can even fill the whole page with only one color, add a little painted (and cut out) penguin in a cute sweater and you have a South Pole scene that is refrigerator-worthy. Learn more in our January 2015 issue (coming out early next week).

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Try Cézanne art lessons, videos and presentations

YAY! Our new website has launched! We have worked on it for a while now and I cannot even tell you how excited I am that it is launched and done!

Anyway, I’d love to show you how it looks! And what better way to look at our magazine, video trainings and presentations than to give you free access to at least one issue.  Here it is.

It is filled with pages of art projects for kids 5-10 years old.

I chose one of my favorite issues of the magazine. I just love Paul Cézanne. Check it out, maybe you will fall for his apple paintings as well. For me, it is always about the back story…  did you know, why he painted over 200 paintings of the apples for 30 years? You will know it in a minute…

free cezanne art lessons for kids

Just click this link and let me know what you think: https://artreekids.com/magazine/issues/2014/11/

Do not forget to check out the ‘see training materials’ to access videos, presentations and more.

And impressionism was born!

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I just came across an interesting article for kids. Do you know when an Impressionist movement started?  Now, you can find out precisely when: a Texas physicist has figured out down to the the exact minute when the Impressionism art movement was born. By his calculations, it began Nov. 13, 1872, right around 7:35 a.m. local time!

Read the article here and share it with the kids. It’s a fun way to connect the common core and art once again!

Fore more art projects about Impressionists and Claude Monet, look up the May issue of arTree (5/2014).

Dream with Marc Chagall

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September issue fo arTree magazine is dedicated to one of my favorite artists: Marc Chagall. I loved his dreamy images ever since I was little and fell for his art once more when I saw his original paintings in NYC. The soft colors, wild perspective and surrealist scenes have always fascinated me… and now, I’d like to share it with you, your kids, students and friends.

In the latest arTree issue you can discover Expressionism, monochromatic colors and the art of Marc Chagall. You get to fly over your city, play violin with goats and ride on a rooster! You can decorate your windows with stained glass just like Daniel Maher and catch your bad dreams! Bake stained-glass cookies and draw a window to your imagination.
If you want to join the adventure, click here to subscribe. If you subscribe by the end of September, you receive 12 issues of arTree for no additional cost.

Learn more about Marc

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Click here to listen to a book ‘Dreamer in a Village.’

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Looking for more art ideas? Click here to get started!

Picasso’s Head

Ever since I heard about the wire + stocking sculpture, I wanted to try it – what what better way to introduce this unique medium than combining it with self-portrait lesson dedicated to Pablo Picasso. These statues are pretty simple to make (especially for grades 2 and up) but they take a long time to dry. I used acrylic paint and still needed several coats. I’d recommend doing this if you have enough time to let it dry for couple of days before decorating it. Other than that – super fun way to introduce form, discussion about face, proportions and Cubism!

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If you want to see more ideas about Cubism, Pablo Picasso and self-portraits, click here.

Matisse and Fish

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July issue of atTree was dedicated to Henri Matisse and Fish.

What could you find there? You could learn about Henri Matisse and his colorful and bold collages. You’d find out why he made them, what else he did, why he used such bold colors and more. You would paint, collage, draw and glue a lot of different fish! You’d make a 3D aquarium, musical fish and learn about mosaics. You’d have fun with tangrams and a lot more!

If you want to get this issue, you can subscribe to the magazine and you’ll get this one (and 11 others) instantly!

If you are putting together an art docent lesson dedicated to Matisse, I’d recommend the video where you can watch Matisse work in his studio: see it by clicking here.

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More art ideas? Click here to get started!

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Or you can have the kids play a Spot-the Difference game with Matisse’s art by clicking here.

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arTree story: how art docents found their art

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Kids are natural artists. They love to paint and draw, they love to explore and experiment with all the colors and textures… basically, they love to create art. And yet, art programs are being cut at most public schools all the time.

I would like to change that. I would love to bring some of the art back to the schools, where it belongs.

Last year I started publishing a digital art magazine for kids. It is called arTree and it combines art history with art education. It teaches kids about perspective, color theory, shading, blending and much more. It introduces current artists in special interviews and connects art with Math, science, physical activities and storytelling. It is a digital magazine that comes out every month with 14 – 18 pages of art.

I started publishing the magazine because I thought it was missing on the market. There are magazines about animals, pop culture and some magazines just for girls but I could not find a magazine about art. And my son loves art. He doesn’t just like it, he loves it. When he was three years old he would spend hours drawing pictures for his friends. And I would spend hours and hours on Pinterest preparing some fun projects and activities for him to keep him challenged and busy. It was exhausting, but really fun.

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In the fall my son started attending Woodside Elementary. The school seemed like a wonderful place for him with one little problem – there was almost no art. There were a couple of dedicated moms who brought their own ideas and supplies to the classrooms but they could not more than a couple of classrooms. I decided to change that. Some of those wonderful PTA moms and I decided to take arTree and use it as our lesson plans for the following year. Today, couple of months later, there are over 700 kids involved in the art docent program at Woodside. They all have free access to the magazine and they all make one or two of the arTree projects during their art docent lessons each month.

In the first months some of the teachers were reluctant to share the valuable time with the parents, but now, they all have spots for their art docents in the schedules. Even the principal, Dr. Betty Cobbs, called it the best running art docent program she ever had in any of her schools. And of course the kids have learned a lot. They have learned about one-point and atmospheric perspective, they have made collages and drew with oil pastels, they designed their dream houses with watercolors and learned about minimal realism with potato stamps.

The art docents have a wonderful time as well. Every month we do an art docent training. Basically, it is a time when all of the moms meet, learn about the new project and make some wonderful art together. Everybody loves it! It’s like a ‘sip and paint’ – without the wine.

In the last couple of months I have started developing more and more art projects and presentations for the art docents to use. And now, I am adding a whole new visual arts program to the arTree magazine and I am starting to look for more schools that would like to adopt the program.

Getting art to kids is my primary goal so I am keeping the program in the digital format. It allows me to keep the price down and get the magazine to all kids at the school for free. Some of the competitors sell their lesson plans for $200 per class which I think is very steep for some of the schools in the area. I provide the lessons for the whole year, the magazine and a list of materials for $250 per year – for the whole school. The program aligns with WA Arts K 1-12 learning standards and it makes it super easy for parents who have not painted since they were kids to get involved in the program. Plus, I help schools raise money for the supplies. I give them all two lesson plans for after-school art classes that they can run themselves to get all the art-docent-supply money they need.

I love art. I love teaching it and I would love to share that experience with others. It is very rewarding when you walk around the school and the kids greet you excitedly with: “do we do art today?” Art docent program is a wonderful thing and arTree makes it easy for everyone to get involved. You do not have to be an artist to teach a lesson. You just need to be passionate and love what you do. The kids will do the rest.

Do you want to bring this program to your school? If you contact me (info@artreekids.com) by 5/25 and mention the code: artDocent514 you will be able to bring the whole program to your school for only $125/year!