Thursday, September 22, 2011

Introducing Pat Knepley

We have an exciting guest today. If you haven’t already heard Pat has come alongside The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine to join the family of talented writers who support and encourage homeschooling parents offering their expertise in several subjects.

Art matters in education and Pat has made it her mission to pair her passion for art with her passion for God. Her beautiful commitment to both will be a blessing to us homeschool mommies who long for a bit of creativity in our home without losing the focus and appreciation for this gift our Creator has given us.

Look for Pat in her upcoming column, The Artistic Homeschooler, this January.

Of course, since such special introductions shouldn’t have to wait, Pat was kind enough to stop by and introduce herself today.

Hi Pat. It’s so nice to have you with us. Can you tell us, how did you first become interested in art? Have you always felt like an artist at heart?
I can never remember a time when I didn't want to create. Like most children, my first marks were to draw images rather than to write. My favorite gift growing up (and was in my Christmas stocking every year) was a new box of crayons. Oh, the possibilities! As social as I am, and I loved to play outdoors with my friends growing up in Pennsylvania, I also relished time alone at home on the rainy or snowy days. That meant I could spend hours drawing paper dolls, complete with an extensive wardrobe, or creating my own board game or puzzle. Before the days of recycling, my father would bring home old paper used in his office so I could have scraps of all different colors. This was a goldmine to me! It also showed me that you didn't need to have expensive art supplies or 'new" everything in order to make something special...just a lot of imagination. I drew every chance I got. Sometimes, I admit, I doodled too much during my school days, as my paper's margins would be full of cartoons or designs that were running through my brain. But I longed for the assignment of a project where I got to draw to my heart's content! God designed us in such a way that there are certain things that "fill our cup"...for me, it is making Art. If I am not doing it often enough, I sense a restlessness and lack of joy in my life and will grab a pencil to start drawing!

What would you say to a parent who wants to know why she should include art instruction her homeschool curriculum?
That would be like asking why include geography or spelling. Art is a key part of the human experience as God designed it. I truly believe God, as the Master Creator, designed us all to be creative beings as we are in His image. For some of us our creativity reveals itself in problem solving, cooking, or new business strategies. For some, it manifests as adding to the beauty of the world through Art or music. Also, the addition of arts education has been proven in study after study to result in greater academic achievement

(see I prefer an approach that integrates Art and Bible with core academics rather than separate stand-alone Art lessons. Educators who use the visual arts to understand world cultures, experiment with mathematics, explore literary themes, etc have seen that students not only retain information but are able to make gains in critical thinking and verbal skills. As most parents of more than one child know, kids learn a lot of different ways! Integrating practical art instruction with Bible and Art history into the core curriculum is a great way to add visual and kinesthetic opportunities for learning.

Please share with our readers today a good reason why parents should take time each day or each week for art.
Of course, as an artist, I would love to see Art instruction every day! But I think a once a week plan is a good one for the home educator. I think the reason educators pause when asked to include art instruction is the concern over lack of their own ability. "But I don't know how to teach Art" is what I often hear. I am no chemist, and really don't like chemistry but that does not mean I would eliminate chemistry from my child's curriculum! I would get chemistry books and read up in advance and use the best resource out there to make chemistry more interesting to my child. Same thing with ART! One way to solve that dilemma is to use resources out there from those who are more knowledgeable. It just means spending time to find the right fit. My ART CLASS DVD series is a foundational drawing program designed for students of all elementary ages, walking children through the seven Art elements - line, shape, space, value, color, texture, form - in a user-friendly format, with skill building application, basic supplies and step by step guidance. And no workbooks! Parents can work alongside their students if they want to or leave them on their own as they complete projects, and there is always a biblical integration as well as an Art history component. The best part is there are 36 lessons in the one lesson per week for a full nine months! We are working on the next year, ART CLASS 2 right now, and I am very excited about the upcoming projects we have planned. It is a great tool for home educators who want quality instruction at a reasonable price in a flexible format that works for their family. And it is fun!

More on Pat’s outstanding artsy talents:
Pat is a See The Light Master Artist. She has been drawing and painting since she was able to hold a crayon, and loves sharing her passion for Art with kids! Pat graduated with a degree and teaching credential in Art Education from Penn State. Currently Pat serves as the Director of Children’s Ministries at a large non-denominational church in Southern California, where she combines her love for the Lord and His word with her passion for teaching kids.

You can read about and purchase her curriculum here. I also encourage you to stop by her blog. She offers free lessons and fun stuff.

Giveaway Time!

Today, we're giving away two great gifts from TOS. One winner will receive a one-year digital subscription to The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, and a second winner will receive a digital copy of the 2011-12 Schoolhouse Planner.

One-Year Digital Subscription to The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine

What do you look for as you homeschool? Motivation? A little encouragement? Perhaps a unit study? Maybe an art activity? Within each issue of The Old Schoolhouse® you’ll find amazing resources, candid interviews with business owners, glimpses into the routines of other homeschools, articles from the experts in homeschooling, as well as up-and-coming innovators helping our days run a little more smoothly. Find them all in our pages along with their insight, expertise, and honesty as we all homeschool together!

Along with your subscription, you'll receive free access to Teacher's Toolbox, our exclusive, subscribers-only website packed with daily recipes, "This Day in History" lessons, printables, unit studies, and more!

E-Book: The 2011-12 Schoolhouse Planner

Jump into a great year with The 2011-12 Schoolhouse Planner! Erase the frazzled feel of disorganization with the 2011-12 Schoolhouse Planner and bring order and efficiency to your school year. Packed with relevant articles, clever calendars, useful forms, handy lists and so much more, this planner is the key to meeting your many goals for the 2011-12 school year. We put our heart into the 2011-12 Schoolhouse Planner so you'll have more time to put your heart into your home. Click here to view sample pages from the Planner.

***This contest has ended. ***

KGGx5 will enjoy a one-year digital subscription to The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine!
Emma Catarino will enjoy The 2011-12 Schoolhouse Planner!

Congratulations to our winners!

Don't let the fun end here. Keep on hopping. Don't miss one moment of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine's Birthday Bash Blog Hop. Homeschooling with Heart blog is posting daily giveaways during the blog hop, plus you can download the Ana Lyze 9-Pack bundle as a FREE gift (see here)! The fun continues until September 30th!

Thanks again for stopping by Pat! We look forward to reading your column soon.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Art That Fits You

Have you ever thought about what size of art fits you the best?

My oldest daughter, Chloe (9) enjoys making chunkies with me. My son (7) and daughter (5) both enjoy making ATCs, though they will also go through piles of printer paper, butcher paper or construction paper in a day if given the chance. My youngest likes her artwork big. She needs lots of room to move her arm with each stroke. Her fine motor skills are still developing and she isn't always drawing from the wrist yet. The wider area gives her more room for movement. When she uses smaller paper we try to keep it free of design to avoid frustrations. Abstract art is very rewarding for her.

Chloe likes the 4x4 size best. This size gives her the space to move and offers the challenge of coordinating detail.

In this video she shares her chunky and how she made it. Maybe your children would like to try this size as well.

If 4x4 chunk art isn't your thing, that's okay. Take some time today and think about the size of art that suits you best.

Spend a little time playing with art today!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Chunky is Beautiful

I just realized that my children and I make chunkies all the time and I've talked about them here and linked to places about them but I haven't really explained what they are.

A chunky is a 4x4 piece of artwork usually done on a very sturdy surface like chipboard, thick cardboard, or even re-purposed square coasters.

Once you have your surface you prepare it by painting, drawing, collaging or in any way decorating the square. The front and back should be decorated.

Give special care to leave the left side free of embellishments as it is usually bound on the left. Some people bind traditionally from top to bottom while other add a decorative ring clip at the top corner to collect their chunkies on.

On the right side you want to add your chunk. This is the really creative part. The sky is the limit here. You can tie on ribbon, buttons, beads, feathers, fibers, antique dudads, yarn scraps, lace, found objects like screws and bolt, even pop tabs are fun.

Be sure to sign and date the back.

I trade my chunkies at ATCsforall. I love that place. I can't get enough of it.

Remember, a chunky makes a great card for any family member or occasion. My children like to make them to have on hand to give out for birthdays and holidays.

Here are some of the chunkies I've made and a side shot of my chunky book.

It is so reassuring to see something beautiful referred to as chunky. It gives me hope. :)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fair Time Again

Last year was our first experience with the Tulsa State Fair and it was a blast. If you are a homeschooler and you live in the area you have to check it out. They host Oklahoma's Largest Classroom which is a fantastic field trip you don't want to miss.

Last year Chloe and I entered the competitive art exhibits. She entered one division for acrylic painting. She painted this picture of me.

I entered these two in the mixed media division, one was in the birds/animals category and one was portrait/figure. I took first place for one of them, but I can remember which one.

This year we all joined in the fun. We pulled out the crayons, paints, paper and canvas and went to town as a family. The kids had a blast! I can't wait to see all of them beaming with pride as we visit the fair this year and they see these precious works of art hanging on display for all the visitors to enjoy. I'm so proud of my little artists.

Below in order: Sadie Age 4 Acrylic, Nevie Age 6 Crayon, Caibry Age 7 Acrylic, Chloe Age 9 Acrylic, Me (I am not confessing my age are you nuts?!!) mixed media.

Is this enough eye candy for one post? I think so. Speaking of candy, the fair has loads of yummy food too. I can't wait!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Recycled Journals

This is the last journal I'll show off for a while and it's my favorite idea so far. I started by collecting junk mail. As thick as this journal is you would think I was collecting supplies for quite a while. Truthfully, it wasn't long. Cox cable is very insistent that I need their services. Better yet, they have outstanding paper. Their persistence has provided me with a hefty supply of paper and I'm still very satisfied with our converter box.

This is a great project for adults, but also fun for pre-teens, teens and even children if you pre-sew their books or even prepare smaller booklets. I do this with smaller ads sometimes stapling two or three together then ripping out the staples and sewing in the holes to make a small booklet for my little one's to decorate. They can use them for glue books or gesso them.

Here is a video of my Recycled Junk Mail Journal:

Oh . . . before I forget, I have to share a funny story about gesso. My daughter saw a semi on the road the other day and told her brother that she thought it was a Toys 'R Us truck.
"How can you tell? It doesn't say anything?" he noted.
"I know, I think they got smart and covered it in gesso so the bad guys wouldn't steal toys from the truck." :)

That goes to show you that if you use gesso enough your kids will think all things white are covered in it. I can't wait until winter.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Glue Books

Glue books are loads of fun. This is a great way to preserve your favorite images in a colorful collection. All it takes is a pair of scissors and a bottle of glue. I like the good old fashioned Elmer's glue for this too. You can clutter the pages up with images or keep a simple and focused design. There are many options with glue books and the best part is that you can start your kids on them at a very young age. Maybe they go through a phase where they just love butterflies. They could collect images of butterflies over several pages gluing them in, even overlapping them in areas. Because this book is for private use and your own pleasure, not for sale or other use, you can use images you might not use otherwise. Art it up with paint, Stamps, Stickers, etc. if you wish or just keep it simple.

Here is a peek at my glue book:

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bits and Pieces of Me

Back in High School I wrote a lot of poetry. Most of it was honestly pretty lame, but back then I thought it was pretty good. At one point I started pasting some of my poems into a hard bound sketchbook. I added a few images to the cover and some of the pages and eventually abandoned it. After several moves I found this treasure buried in a cardboard box and brought some new life to it. Some of the poetry was just so dark or so juvenile that I ripped it out or gessoed over most of it, leaving only this vague shadow of where the words still linger. They are bits and pieces of my past that I can't say goodbye to yet. I'm bringing them into the future with me and helping these pages mature with the latest techniques and ideas I have learned through the years. Besides gesso, collage, found text, water color and water soluble crayons are my favorite tools on these pages.

This is my poetry art journal:

Friday, June 10, 2011

My Original Sketches and Stock Images Journal

As I promised, this is the first of many sneak peeks at my journals. I made a few videos so I could properly show them off. This one features what you can do with a stock images. This is a great place to store art that you can copy and recycle for future journaling. Maybe you like a face but not the body. You can easily copy that page on a simple copier, cut it out, and collage the desirable element into a brand new piece of art. There is so much you can do with this type of journal. Reprint and change the color structure of the piece, copy for ATC prints, find quick inspiration, print personal coloring pages for your kids. The possibilities are endless.

Here it is:

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sale on Art Supplies


Did you know that Dick Blick is offering a discount up to 80% on select items! This includes some of my favorite art supplies for journaling. Strathmore Drawing Pads are 48-58% off. Daler-Rowney Sketchbooks are 40% off.

I have several art journals. My journals can be purchased, altered books, junque journals, or hand-made start to finish. I use them all.

Here is how I break down and decide what art goes in what book. It's totally my approach but here you go:

Purchased sketch books like Strathmore's I use for nature sketching or mixed media art that I plan to collage. These works usually don't stay in the sketchbook because I don't like the floppy cover to be all that protects the art long term. Once my pages are created I usually pull them out and either add them into my portfolio or cut them out for collage.

For purchased sketchbooks, like Daler-Rowney, I can trust the cover a little more. The paper is a little stronger and the cover is my first playing area. I goop it up with gesso and create a cover design that speaks to me. Seal it up for longevity and shine and I'm ready to go. One trick I use in one of these journals is to trace out atc blanks onto my page. I can create several works of art on one page this way. Then I trace my sketches in black copic marker (yes it usually bleeds a little, but that is a job for gesso). This gives me a great black and white illustration like my own clip art that I can copy and cut and play with in multiple pieces of future art. It's like my atc treasure trove. Once an image is printed I cut it out and paste it to cool backgrounds and art it up so it doesn't look like a lame copy. Sometimes I paint over and use it as a guide. Those original outlined images are safe and protected if I don't like how my art play turns out. I just make another copy and start again.

My altered books are a new thing for me. I think I enjoy creating them more than creating in them. I try to follow the theme of the cover with these. I have one with a freda like lady who has inspired me to follow Freda's style through out the book. It will be an exercises in imitation and flattery. Another altered journal has houses on the cover and I plan to sketch and paint images that speak to me and say home. Maybe a lilac bush or a favorite chair, or the people who live inside. I don't know, I have to think some more.

My junque journal is where I try out my messy techniques and play with papers I love. I collect everything there from hospital bands to movie stubbs and everything in between. It's so huge you'd have to sit on it to get it to close and even then I'm not sure it would completely. This book is about nostalgia and play.

My hand-made journals are wild and very artsy to me. They are messy and extreme. They are made of junk mail in varying sizes sewn together and covered in layers of paints, papers or anything else that inspires. I'll try anything here. If I don't like something it takes a few trips to the mailbox to make another book and I've lost nothing. I'm completely uninhibited here.

Next time I post I'll load you up on pictures of my crazy journals so you can get the visual.

Here is my affiliate link for Dick Blick:

May 18th, 2011!

Now, for a question . . .what are your favorite art journals or journaling supplies? Do you take any art journaling classes online that you recommend? If so, please share.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Art for a Cause

Making art is a way I relax. I pull out my paints, collage images or a nice sharp pencil and I play. I get really excited when I can use my art to meet a need.
I had a blast making this painting recently for an auction to benefit a Hamilton County Humane Society.

That experience really fueled my interest in creating art that gives back.

That's why I want to tell you about the blog one of my art friends from ATCsforall has created.

February 22, 2011 was New Zealand's Darkest Day. The second largest city, the "Garden City" of Christchurch, suffered a powerful 6.3 magnitude earthquake. Heritage buildings were destroyed, lives were lost and the many were left homeless.

This inspired Lemurkat, a native New Zealander and gifted artist to use her art and the art of others to raise money to help her local community. At her blog, Art For Christchurch, visitors are able to "purchase" original art by a selection of artists, simply by making a donation to the Red Cross Earthquake fund.

This is the piece I'm offering to this cause:

King Kakapo is an 11x14" mixed media painting.

If you are gifted in art and have something to offer to this great cause please get in touch with Lemurkat through her blog to get her submission details. If you have the extra cash you could spare, I urge you to support this worthy cause. You'll receive a beautiful piece of art as appreciation.

Let me encourage you to keep your eyes open for ways we can use our art to benefit our world. Paints, collage bits and a simple sharpened pencil can be tools for change if we let them.

If you know of an art project with a cause please post here and tell us about it so we can pool our efforts and support the positive changes art can bring.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

My Art Community

I trade ATCs at ATCsforall. I LOVE this community and enjoy participating and hosting swaps there.
At ATCsforall I am currently hosting a swap titled When Shakespeare's Ladies Meet.
I am also participating in my first moleskin group there. My moleskin will travel to 7 artists over nine months for each of them to add to my book. Meanwhile I will be creating art in the other participants books. I'm so excited to be in this group! I have chosen the theme of royalty for my moleskin.
Project 365 is also a part of ATCsforall. We are striving to build a habit of art by creating something new every day of the year. See the button in my left sidebar.
If you are looking for an art community you will find this site wonderful and addictive.

I just signed up at Art House Co-op to participate in the Fiction Project. My theme is Jackets, blankets and sheets. This sounds so fun!

I really enjoy the monthly journal page swap at Milliande Art Community For Women. Nina does a fantastic job hosting this and the prompts are wonderful! I fell out of the loop with the holidays, but can't wait to jump back in. This group is for women only. They have wonderful video tutorials and the discussions are really informative and helpful. The journal page swap is the only thing I've traded at this site so far and I have had wonderful success with my returns so far.

The Butterfly Project is close to my heart. My family and I are working hard to create and collect butterflies to offer to the project.

I was recently involved in an art auction to benefit the humane society. I loved using my art to benefit something important. I'll be looking for more opportunities like this one in 2011.

At Flickr I am in a few groups, but most active in this one. Junque Journals are a really fun way to create without the worries about perfection. I sometimes find that I treasure the natural raw art I create here above my more thought engaging art I've created.

Create by Faith is another ning group that has great community and resources. It's very small compared to the others and I'm just finding my place in this community, but I've enjoyed it so far.

Sometimes I participate in art blog challenges when I have the time. That is more of an "extra" than a regular thing for me.

I'm always looking for new, exciting places to share the love of art. If you have a special group you enjoy participating in, please let me know about it.