watercolor

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 some green painter’s 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

 

Sunburst Paintings


Sunburst Paintings

Today is our first day back to school. I am biting my nails. I don’t know whether to be sad or happy. Both, I guess. To kick off the school year I am sharing a simple “art meets math” project with quite beautiful results. Please click over to Small for Big for my Art Bar Monday post. And let me know if you make these paintings… I’d love to see!

Happy back to school everyone!

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

 

Valentines // Newspaper Heart Postcards


Valentines // Newspaper Heart Postcards

We used the newspaper from my son’s monster-ninja painting to make these hearts. I love painting over newspaper, it’s such a cool look. And also an excellent way to catch up on local news. (I didn’t know my friend became a real estate broker, for example.) Today, I am so happy to be sharing this post on Melanie’s killer blog, You Are My Fave. I hope you will click over and take a look!

C’mon, try it!

xo