painting

Invitation to Paint


Invitation to Paint

Ever since my kids were very little, I have always put materials out in hopes that they would walk by, sit down, and get inspired. I just never knew until recently that there is a name for this philosophy! It’s called an “Invitation to Play”. I love this! It’s a term that is rooted in the Reggio Emilia approach to teaching and is used often with Early Childhood educators. Now that mine are older, I still do this but less with toys and more with art.

invitation to paint ~ still lives and open-ended paint exploring

This latest invitation was simple. I just taped a small piece of watercolor paper to the table with green tape. I put out a little still life, some watercolors and some colored pencils.

invitation to paint ~ still lives and open-ended paint exploring

invitation to paint ~ still lives and open-ended paint exploring

invitation to paint ~ still lives and open-ended paint exploring

invitation to paint ~ open-ended art exploration

invitation to paint ~ open-ended art exploration

This littlest artist decided to use some glitter glue and hearts that she found on the shelf to create her own abstract work of art. I like her thinking!

There are so many ways to create an invitation to play. Read this post by The Imagination Tree to get started, or search Pinterest where you will surely find one million ideas! One great Pinterest board is the Rockin’ Art Moms board that I happen to be part of. The other 11 members are well-versed in the Reggio language and they have a plethora of brilliant ideas.

xo, Bar

 

Giant Christmas Tree Paintings


Giant Christmas Tree Paintings

While we have the paints out from our teacher gift tags, let’s make big paintings! From small format to big, there’s nothing the kids love better than changing things up.

Read more about how these were made, the supplies you will need, and photos of all three finished products on Melanie’s blog You Are My Fave! And while you’re there, browse around at all her other inspirational posts. Her blog is just lovely.

This weekend is our big move (three streets over…but it might as well be to Mars I feel so ambivalent and unprepared), so send good thoughts!

xo, Bar

 

Paperbag Paintings


Paperbag Paintings

recycled art ~ paint on paper bags | art bar

recycled art ~ paint on paper bags | art bar

recycled art ~ paint on paper bags | art bar

Created with recycled grocery bags and some mixed-media art supplies, these paintings are perfect for the little ones. They even have a built-in picture hanger! Today on Art Bar Monday over at Small for Big, read more about how they were made.

Have a great week!

xo Bar

 

Bird Paintings


Bird Paintings

Today on Art Bar monday over at Small for Big I am sharing these DIY bird paintings, free printables and all! This was originally a kid craft, but things didn’t go so well. I ended up creating the bird coloring pages for grown-up kids (that would be us). I hope you will try them and create something beautiful for your walls!

Have a great week!

xo Bar

 

Circle Paintings + Floating Frame


Circle Paintings + Floating Frame

Today is a very exciting day for me! I am contributing to one of my favorite blogs, Small for Big. Mari calls her blog “A design blog without a snooty attitude” which is not only true, but also one of the reasons why I love it so much. Small for Big has a very playful attitude with just the right mix of design, DIY and shopping.

Mari was so nice to indulge me and let me post about a fun little art lesson for the kids: Circle Paintings! But before you click over to her blog to see how we made these beautiful paintings, I first wanted to show you how I framed one of them. I have always been intrigued by floating frames. Recently, I found this photo on Pinterest which set my wheels in motion. With just a few supplies, and literally a few minutes, this cool + simple frame was made.

Here’s what you will need: Frame (bigger than your art by about 1 inch on each side), wire (22 gauge or thinner), wire cutters or scissors, eye screws (12mm), mini clothespins.

(I picked up everything from my local hardware store and Jerry’s Artorama.)

Step 1: Take the glass and backing out of the frame. Turn it over to expose the back and lay it flat on the table. Center the painting inside the frame, eyeballing it (or you could use a ruler if you don’t trust your eyes). Draw a pencil mark 1cm below the top of the painting and 1cm above the bottom of the painting, (you want the wire to be just below the top and just above the bottom of the painting).

Step 2: Screw in the screws to the side of the frame (the thickest part of the wood). Just push them and turn and they will start to screw into the wood and become secure.

Step 3: Cut your wire about 2″ longer than the finished length. Thread the ends through the eye screws then twist it around and point the ends back towards the inside of the frame (so it doesn’t poke out the front where you could see it).

Voilà…you are done! I painted my clothespins, but you can leave them plain or buy them colored. Now it is time to read about how we made these beautiful circle paintings on Small for Big. And if you’re the following type, become a fan of Mari’s on Facebook or follow her on Pinterest (she has the BEST Pinterest boards, I swear) or Twitter. Her Instagrams are always so fun, too.

Happy Monday!! xo

 

Color Study // Liquid Water Color


Color Study // Liquid Water Color

color study with liquid watercolor ~ art making for all ages | art bar

color study with liquid watercolor ~ art making for all ages | art bar

Aren’t these paintings so pretty? I had a little art class with the kids in the neighborhood to try out these color studies and they really got into it – creating some stunning pieces. To read the full post, hop over to Melanie’s blog You Are My Fave. Her blog is just lovely, with a winning combination of the cutest ideas + photos + writing. And not only that, she is so nice! Today I am a guest on her blog and I couldn’t be happier. Thank you Melanie!

 

Small Paintings


Small Paintings

These small paintings are beautiful, aren’t they? I love this project. It is perfect for any age (we had ages 2 to 12 painting these sweet little gems), and the white edge is so striking and arty it just makes me happy. Truly, you could have the ugliest little painting but when that tape comes off it becomes a Rothko or an O’Keefe. It’s magical!

Supplies:

Watercolors (we used our awesome new set from Vilac)

Tape (I tried both masking and washi to similar effect)

Brushes

Sponge

Watercolor paper (cut to 4 x 6)

Tape down a piece of paper for each person (our border is about 1/4″). I put out newspaper but you could easily tape it to another piece of paper so it’s movable, or directly to your work surface. This is not a messy project, the newspaper was really there just to protect the table from the tape. We did several variations on the small theme: small portraits, small still lifes and small abstracts. (For more in depth instruction on using watercolors with kids, you can read my post here.) The only rule was to cover all of the paper with paint. (This makes for a more dramatic white edge!)

Once they are dry, sloooowwwwly peel off the tape. And then, voila! You have beautiful art to hang in your home.

Enjoy this project…and you should make one, too! Leave the supplies out for a day or two and make many paintings so that you can hang them all up together.

Via Red Bird Crafts

 

Daddy Portraits


Daddy Portraits

Being a good dad is a hard job, and can often go unappreciated. This year, the kids spent some time painting a portrait of their dad and writing him a special note to let him know that he really is one of the best.

I like the way my oldest took her time and glanced over at her dad while drawing to make sure she got it right. I like how my middle used a black outline and colored in her background. And I like how my youngest chose a special skin color and used his dad’s favorite colors.

Happy Father’s Day!!!

 

New Postcard: Dots


New Postcard: Dots

I did a little painting with my son today and came up with a new postcard: Polka Dots! I am obsessed with dots, who isn’t? The color scheme is soothing, but playful. It’s hard to choose just one color way, though, so I’ll have to paint more!