Art Camp Day 2-4

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Day Two of Camp was Sketchy Drawing Day. I had big plans of teaching the kids how to draw upside down, how to draw from a grid and even how to draw hands. It didn’t quite work out as I planned. They got bored after about three squares of drawing from a grid.

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So we decided to take our drawing class on a field trip, to the mall! To eat macarons! Bug may have been responsible. She definitely challenged my authority during these classes, showing off for her friends, mouthing off, not doing what she was supposed to and generally being a pain in my butt. She frequently got to visit her room for quiet time while maintained a facade of composure.

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The mall was really nice though. The weather was great for sketching outdoors. It definitely added some extra interest to drawing day. Not quite the splash of the water fight from day one but definitely not boring.

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Day Three was NOT boring at all. Day Three was Paper Mâché Day aka Paper ma-MESS-ché Day. Boy did we make a mess. The girls mixed their own flour water paste, shredded their own newspapers and sculpted their own piñata shapes from balloons and tape. It was grand.

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We only had enough time to sculpt and put down one layer newspaper but I promised to finish up the rest of the layers for them and then let them paint their creations sometime next week. If I ever do this camp again I’ll have to schedule drying time into the week’s agenda because painting a paper maché creation is kind of the best part!

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Clean- up is not so much the best part. Don’t try this at home folks. Or do try it but keep in mind that however many hours that you are having fun you will also need to spend just as many hours cleaning up the fun, maybe even more. Scraping off dried flour paste is not my favorite way to spend the afternoon.

I had wanted to host this class outside and just hose it down but since summertime temperatures were nearing the 90’s, we nixed that idea.  It was definitely nice to craft in the nice air conditioning but my house was a wreck for a week.

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On the fourth day of Art Camp we played with cardboard. You know how I feel about cardboard. It’s my favorite! I was thinking of handing out box cutters to the kids but then I started imagining trips to the ER so I ended up doing most of the cutting myself. They designed, I cut.

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Bug and Joon both made wings and swords which they are talking about using for Halloween costumes but you know how that goes. They’ll change their minds weekly all the way until October and then decide they must have a costume from the costume store.

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Bug and Joon were lucky enough to live here and after everyone else left I let them break out my collection of spray paint. We don’t mess around in this house.

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The other girls got to paint with regular acrylics and glitter…

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and pom poms! Lots and lots of pom poms.

It was a blast. Next up Day Five: The Watercolor Pool Party!

Art Camp Day 1!

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Art Camp Day one ended with a splash. I was so nervous about hosting this camp for nothing. Everything went smoothly and I *think* everyone had a good time. I did anyway.

It’s so funny, on the morning of camp Bug and I were rushing off to the craft store to get last minute supplies and I was a wreck of nerves trying to hit up two stores before 10am. I kept asking Bug what time it was (because of course I left my phone at home like I do when I’m stressed and she had hers).  I was obsessed with worrying that we might be late. Finally, Bug just grabbed my arm, looked me in the eyes and said, “Mom, you got this.”

Sometimes I wonder if I’m the one with anxiety and maybe I invented that she has anxiety. She was such a huge help, picking out paint colors for me, helping me unpackage paint brushes and canvases, making sure I bought the right snacks… She’s an expert at pushing my buttons when she wants to but when I really need help I always can count on her. It’s kind of nice to have a built-in assistant. She has been painting with me since before she could even talk after all so she is pretty qualified.

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I didn’t have a hard schedule planned. I had some rough ideas on what topics we might cover but I pretty much let the girls (no boys showed up for some reason) paint what they wanted to. I helped them with simple concepts like blending and perspective as they got to it. Since the age and skill range was pretty varied, it was easier just to peek over shoulders and offer gentle suggestions than actually teach a full blown step-by-step lesson. I don’t think they minded.

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Some students were more prolific than others, of course. I love how some kids paint with wild abandon, just splashing giant swipes of color every which way with no hesitation at all. Meanwhile others carefully plan out each detail and get lost in perfecting exact precise shapes.

I think my biggest goal with this camp is to help everyone find their groove. I see a lot of kids hung up on perfection or just stressing out too hard about not knowing what to draw or paint. If I can get them past that initial fear they will find that they are incredibly creative. I think everyone is creative they just override it with fear. If I can unlock their method of being creative I can unlock a whole world of joy.  This applies to grown-ups too. I think we just get stuck and lose our creativity but it’s still in there.

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We unlocked a lot. Actually they weren’t really locked that tight. Kids are usually walking explosions of creativity naturally.Art-Camp-Day-1-7

After several intense hours of painting, I started to worry that some of the kids might go home saying that camp was boring (not that it was but you know some attention spans are different than others) so I let Joon break out her water-balloon-filling-contraption that she got for her birthday but had never had a chance to use. The water-balloon-filling-contraption was a piece of crap and didn’t work at all but the water balloons themselves worked great!

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It took about half an hour of concentrated teamwork to fill the balloons and about five seconds to use them all up. Splish, splash, scream, splat, done. But those five seconds were pure joy, let me tell you. It was the perfect ending to a day at camp. I clicked and snapped my camera phone every which way and caught as much of it as I could.

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And then I sent everyone home soaking wet with a few masterpieces under their arms. Not bad for day one! What am I going to do for Day Two? Paint Twister? Nah, just kidding. Though that might be a fun idea for next year.

Can’t wait for Day Two! Next up Sketching!