Monday, January 3, 2011

2011: New Things

One of the things we're trying in 2011 is Sunday Morning Art Classes at the Phillipps' Institute a.k.a my dining room! Heather had talked about sending her boys over to the town art center for weekend classes, but then you have to work your kids into their schedule and pay fees and since she has one 6-yr old and one 8-yr old you have to co-ordinate what their ages are to classes, yadda, yadda, yadda. Headache!

I'd been wanting to teach Magoo, but sometimes the transition from Mom to Teacher can be tough on him. He's not always fond of Homework Mommy, yanno? We decided if we merged the youngun's together it might offer more structure.

And so we have ... art class.

I started by teaching the boys the structure of the human face. First we learned how to see the real shapes of facial features and they traced their own from photos I printed up. Then I taught them about placement. Then (pictured) I gave them all printouts of nine different illustrated faces to teach them about the symbols of the face; the different ways artists show eyes, noses, mouths, etc.

Drawing their own faces was a challenge. I knew it would be. They complained about their skills just like the adults did in the evening art classes I used to teach. (I don't know why people are so hard on themselves when it comes to drawing, but they are.) But the boys had fun with the "cartooning" aspect of faces.

I asked them to mix and match styles and see what they came up with.

Magoo had a bit of a hitch at the beginning of class when I had to tone him down (too hyped up) but otherwise I think the boys all did very well.

In other news (and now I'm back-tracking a bit) I have become a knitter. I fought it for a long time. Whenever one of my knitting friends asked if I wanted to learn I'd say, "As if I don't have enough hobbies!" But Heather wore me down.

My first project was a scarf for Mike:

I used 3 skeins and it took me about 6 weeks to knit. The first 1/3 of it has mistakes GALORE! But then I started getting into it and the repetitive motion of the knitting became rather soothing. Feeling stressed? Go knit a few rows!

Then I decided I wanted to make a cowl for myself. I joined Ravelry and found a pattern, bought more yarn, bought needles for knitting in the round, and learned to purl. This took me far less time. It's called the Luxe Cowl.

Know I'm a little cowl addicted so I've already got 2 more in progress. For the most part I'm going to try to not be one of those people who buys tons and tons of yarn. I have nothing against those people, it's just that I have tons and tons of fabric in my basement already so clearly I have hoarding tendencies. I just want to keep myself in check. One project at a time. For the most part.

I hope everyone likes scarves/cowls - b/c that's what you're all getting next Christmas!



Ă„iti said...

Lovely knits!

Julia said...

Gosh I love the idea of art lessons at home. You are so right about people being too hard on themselves when it comes to drawing. Even the youngest child seems to feel self-conscious about their work - why is that?

Julie_c said...

Hi Julia -

You know, I have NO IDEA why people are so critical of their drawing skills. I never found it to be the case when I taught watercolor. Those students didn't come in with any expectation, so they were happy to start fresh and learn. I think, for some odd reason, people think they are supposed to know how to draw already so they get frustrated if they don't master the project. (shrug) I had to make a "No negative comments about yourself" rule. I expect it will take time.

Angela said...

Loving the art lessons at home. I have found I am not the best teacher-not that I know anything.
The knits are awesome! Isn't Ravelry great?! That cowl is the best. I have a hoard of fabric, yarn and books. You are smart to stop yourself.

Heather said...

oooh Angela!--I don't mind hoarding yarn one bit. I think we need a little stitch and bitch (with wine, of course!). The art class was awesome--thanks Miss Thing. Interestingly, G is much harder on himself than O in this area--not the typical dynamic. Julie--I knew you would love yourself some knitting. You're too crafty not to dig it.