Friday, July 12, 2013

Watercolor Project on Pinterest - Saw It/Tried It!

Recently I've been looking on Pinterest for ideas for Sophia and Olivia for the upcoming 4-H county fair. One of the ideas I found was a watercolor painting that Olivia wanted to try. The original pin on Pinterest led to Artsonia.

Olivia's finished watercolor painting.

According to Artsonia, "American artist, Jasper Johns was the inspiration [for this art project]. He is known for his drawing and painting numbers in an abstracted way."

One of Jasper Johns' paintings.

To do this project, Olivia first drew a spiral in pencil on her watercolor paper.

Drawing a spiral.

Then, she wrote the alphabet multiple times around the spiral, with the top of the letters touching the spiral. Some of the letters are close together, while others are spread out more.

Adding the letters.

The next step was to use watercolor paint to fill in the shapes that were part of the letter as well as that were created by the space between the letters.

Painting the spaces.

Olivia painted a variety of colors in random spots so they would be spread across the spiral.

Adding more color.

When the piece was dry, she took a thick Sharpie marker and outlined each letter and the spiral. It was amazing how much the defined, black line added to the picture.

The letters and spiral outlined with 
a black Sharpie marker.

Artsonia also noted that pieces done like this "look like stained glass. Rose windows, from the Renaissance period" were looked at so Olivia could compare and contrast her work with these antique windows.

Olivia thought the project a lot of work to do (this took many days for her to complete). However, the result was worth it. She is very happy with how it turned out.

Olivia with her finished painting.

She will be entering it into the "fine arts" category of the 4-H county fair.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Artist Study - Thomas Kinkade

This month Sophia and Olivia focused on the work of Thomas Kinkade. I had difficulty finding a book that showed his work as a collective body, so instead I used book covers. Several of Kinkade's paintings appeared on the covers of books that he wrote. Thus, the writing superimposed on one of the images.

The girls looked at each of the six images for a while and then shared what they remembered from each one.


Thomas Kinkade (January 19, 1958 – April 6, 2012) was an American painter of popular realistic, bucolic, and idyllic subjects. He is notable for the mass marketing of his work as printed reproductions and other licensed products via The Thomas Kinkade Company.

He described himself as "Thomas Kinkade, Painter of Light," a phrase he protected through trademark but one originally attributed to J.M.W. Turner (1775–1851). It is estimated that 1 in every 20 American homes owns a copy of one of his paintings.


Cobblestone Christmas, 2003.

Sophia remembered:

=> There is a row of houses on one side of the river and almost all of them have colored lights - red, yellow, green, and orange.
=> There's a stone bridge that goes from one side of the river to the other; and it has a wooden hand rail.
=> The bridge is kind of tall so boats can sail underneath. 
=> The river isn't quite iced over. It is grayish green in color.
=> On the other side there's another house with lights along the eaves.
=> There's a big church at the end of the row of houses.
=> The sun is setting because the clouds are all peach and orange.
=> If you look down past the bridge, you'll see weeping willows and they're hanging over the river.
=> There's a tall pine tree with a bird that's flying.
=> There aren't any people outside.
=> The people are inside and you can see their silhouettes.
=> On the bridge, there are wreaths that are on the bottom of it.

Olivia remembered:

=> There are a couple of houses that don't have lights on them.
=> The outside Christmas tree has a star on it.
=> The lights reflect off the ice on the water.
=> In one of the house windows, you can see people.
=> There's a big tree with an eagle soaring a couple inches away.
=> The stone bridge has a couple of wreaths on it.
=> On one side of the bridge, there's a couple of hedges.
=> In the clouds, it looks like a person rowing a boat and a person riding a horse.
=> A house has two willow trees in front of it.
=> There's a church with a cross on it.
=> Underneath the snow, you can see a little grass.
=> Nobody is outside.


Home Song, 2004.

Sophia remembered:

=> There's a stone bridge crossing two parts of the river.
=> Next to the bridge on either side are bushes of red and pink roses.
=> There's a man fishing with his gray terrier.
=> There's a man painting by a house with a girl by him.
=> There's a lady in the house looking at him.
=> There are a lot of houses surrounding the river. It reminds me of canals in Vienna.
=> All around the houses there are lanterns placed in the bushes to light up the area.
=> There's a man rowing a boat.
=> The sky is a pretty purple with yellow, gold, and a little bit of peach.
=> There's a path leading to the bridge. There might be a crossroad and a sign by the path.
=> There aren't a lot of people around because they are all at home.
=> It's a beautiful spring or summer evening.

Olivia remembered:

=> A man is painting a picture with a girl.
=> There's a boy or person rowing a boat.
=> There's a man fishing and a dog beside him.
=> There's a stone bridge crossing the river.
=>  There are a lot of flowers.
=> There are houses in the distance.
=> Some of the houses have smoke coming out of chimneys.
=> There is a big mountain in the back.
=> It looks like it is almost night time.
=> Some of the lights are orange.
=> The water sparkles.
=> It is clear water.
=> The sky has purple, pink, and a little yellow in it.
=> The buildings are made of stone.
=> There's a church and lots of houses.


Hometown Christmas Memories, 2008

Sophia remembered:

=> In front of the house is a dalmatian.
=> A fence is around it and a dog is in it.
=> A tree's trunk is wrapped in white glittering lights.
=> Across the street there was a man getting out of his car with a briefcase and a heavy overcoat.
=> On the sidewalk, there's a lady who is a walking a medium-size dog. Next to the woman is a cat in mid-jump as it goes across the road.
=> The road is really slushy and you can see a little bit of it. What you can see is shiny so you can see the lights reflected off of it.
=> On the road is a red automobile. 
=> The fence wit ha dog inside it - has a small bush with top tendrils wrapping around the fence.
=> The sky is a dark pink with peace and a bit of red. It's snowing so it's kind of cloudy.

Olivia remembered:

=> There's a fire dog in a yard.
=> There's a person walking a chihuahua and a cat streaking across the road.
=> There's another walking with her child to a house.
=> There's a red car driving down the road.
=> Almost all the houses have lights on them for Christmas.
=> There's a tree that has lights wrapped around its tree trunk.
=> A person is getting out of the car in their driveway. 
=> The snow is very white and sparkles in the light.
=> There's a church in the background. There was a cross on top.
=> The sky is pink.
=> It is snowing.
=> The road had a glow on them.


The Village Lighthouse, 2002

Sophia remembered:

=> It looks like it's late spring. Things are still in bloom.
=> There are big potholes in  the road with water in them.
=> It's evening because the clouds are pink, red, and fluffy.
=> Gulls are flying in after a day of hunting.
=> There's an older man walking a granddaughter down to the beach.
=> Houses are made out of birch and have thatched roofs.
=> There's a little girl sitting outside a home. She has a pretty yellow dress on.
=> There's a big shaggy dog and two cats looking at each other smugly.
=> An older man is coming around the corner.
=> Higher up the beach, there's a lighthouse and the light house keeper's family's house.
=> Out farther there are bigger rocks.
=> An older couple is coming into a house and they look happy.

Olivia remembered:

=> There's two trees by the stone house. They have purple and pink flowers on them.
=> There's a girl sitting on the stone step in front of a bakery. A couple feet away there's a Persian cat with two kittens by it.
=> There's a mother and son walking by the house.
=> There's a house with a hedge with orange flowers.
=> A fence has red roses growing on it.
=> There's a couple of rocks with water splashing up on the side.
=> There's lights in every house.
=> There's a tree with a house with red flowers near the lighthouse.
=> The sky is a light pink.


Village Inn, 1993.

Sophia remembered:

=> There's a two-story white house. On the second story there are two windows with green shutters. Above each window someone has painted little sprigs of holly.
=> There are flowers everywhere.
=> There are pink trees that entwine the porch.
=> There are bushes in front of the house.
=> There's a nice looking orange tabby cat.
=> Behind the cat there's a dog with a white chest, muzzle, and paws. The rest of it is black.
=> It's twilight and the sky is a peachy color and a little fog is coming down from the trees.
=> From the house, there's an orange and reddish light coming out. It makes it look homey.
=> There's a lawn table and chairs on one side of the house. It's white.

Olivia remembered:

=> There are two cats.
=> There are lots of red flowers.
=> There are two tables with white chairs around them.
=> On one table, there's a pot of flowers.
=> One cat is an orange tabby cat. The other one is black and white.
=> It's dark out and looks like it is almost night time.
=> The sky is a peach color.
=> There's a white house. It has windows. There's a sign post and the sign says, "Welcome."
=> There are two stories in the house.
=> There were lots of squares in the window. They were lit up.


Evening Carolers, 1991

Sophia remembered:

=> There's a house that has three stories. It's white.
=> On the front porch there are three people - a male, female, and a boy watching the carolers.
=> On one of the upper stories there's a man in a blue coat who  is watching the carolers.
=> There's another person watching the snow fall.
=> Outside, behind the carolers, there's an older man with a walking stick and red scarf.
=> There's a little dog running around everybody.
=> There are big hedges and bushes around the house.
=> There's snow everywhere on the houses, bushes, and carolers.
=> One woman has a blue hat and dress.
=> Some people are wearing red mittens and scarves.

Olivia remembered:

=> There is a dog by an old man.
=> There's a man on the first floor looking out the window with a brown coat and tie.
=> All the carolers have a piece of paper to look at while they are singing the song.
=> There's a lamp post with a wreath on it.
=> There's a caroler who looks like Abraham Lincoln because he has a top hat and looks fancy.
=> There's a young lady wearing a red hat.
=> Most of the people have red scarves.
=> The trees look very dark with all the snow on them.
=> There are three chimneys with smoke coming out of them.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Summer of Color - Week 5 - Candy Apple Red and Yellow

For the fifth week of Summer of Color, the color inspiration was Candy Apple Red and Yellow. I am happy with this color combination since I have translucent kite paper in both colors.

Last week, the color combination was gray and pink. Looking at the supplies I had on hand, I couldn't come up with anything that I wanted to create. The translucent kite paper comes in pink, but not gray. I had gray wool felt, but not pink.

So, rather than create something I didn't need or want, I waited until this week to participate again, and was so happy to see these bright colors as the chosen color combination!

I made three window stars this week. One combines both colors and is a pattern that I used before. It is about 9 inches wide and has 19 folds per point. With 8 points, that's 152 folds to make the star.

The other two window stars are patterns I have not made before. The little yellow one is about 4.5 inches wide. For each point, there are 17 folds. With 8 points, that's 136 folds to create the star.

The red one is 6 3/4 inches wide. Each point requires 15 folds. So, with 8 points that's 120 folds to create the star.

I like the stars within a star look of both of them; and am happy I tried two new patterns this week.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Artist/Picture Study - Frederick Remington

This month for the artist and picture study, the girls focused on Frederick Remington. Remington was born in Canton, New York, in 1861. Even though he grew up and lived in the busy eastern part of the United States, he is known for his exciting pictures of America's Wild West.

In the 1800s, thousands of people from large cities and towns moved out West with the hope of finding a better life. In 1881, when Remington was 20 years old, he left home for Montana Territory. this would be a pivotal trip in his life.

One night, while sitting around a campfire, Remington met an old wagon driver. The older man told stories about how he had seen the Wild West quickly changing. He told Remington that it wouldn't be long before there would be many buildings and people all over the place.

Remington decided right then and there to do all he could to record the Wild West before it disappeared forever. So, from that point on, Remington frequently traveled out West to gather ideas for scenes - such as fights and battles between cowboys, American Indians, and United States Cavalry. One of Remington's favorite subjects was horses.

Interestingly, Remington always felt left out when it came to being accepted as a real artist. Many people who collected artwork for museums thought of him as just an illustrator. Near the end of his life, Remington burned many of his illustrations in a big bonfire. Today, many of his illustrations and paintings are shown all over the world. He also created bronze sculptures which are in museums as well.

Remington hoped he would be remembered for the way he could paint and sculpt horses. By the time he died in 1909, most people agreed that his horses were among the best ever.

Sophia and Olivia looked at six of Remington's paintings. One at a time, they looked at them for awhile and then shared what they remembered about them.


Indian Trapper

Sophia remembered:
=> The bridle looks like it's golden.
=> The rider has a lot of colors - blue, oranges, browns, tans, pale colors, bright colors.
=> The handle of the rife looks embellished with paint.
=> The closest mountain has pinks, light blues, and purples - it's pretty.
=> The rider is wearing thick clothes - no short sleeves - just heavy clothes - even though it looks like spring.
=> The man's face looks weather-beaten and tanned.
=> There are two other horses far away in the distance.
=> The sky is a bright clear blue.
=> The rider is not smiling.
=> The horse looks strong but he looks like he'd bolt if something happened.

Olivia remembered:
=> The horse has a white stocking on one of its back feet.
=> The horse has a short tail.
=> The mountain is in the distance.
=> There are two other riders ahead of him.
=> The man has a furry hat that looks like it was made out of a raccoon.
=> There are lots of rocks.
=> There are lots of green bushes.
=> The man's face is rather dark.
=> The  ground is very brown.
=> Pebbles, bushes, and rocks are on the ground.


Lt. S.C. Robertson, Chief of the Crow Scouts

Sophia remembered:
=> The horse looks like it is blind - the eyes look cloudy.
=> The horse's tail is short. It looks like it is cut to the bone.
=> The horse looks strong - you can see its muscles.
=> The man is stern and isn't smiling.
=> The guy's face is tan.
=> The man's pants are blue and it looks like he has silver or white buttons on them.
=> It looks like there is a piece of string around his wrist.
=> He has a kerchief around his neck.
=> There's a shadow of the horse.
=> He has a brown mustache.

Olivia remembered:
=> The horse's bridle is made out of silver.
=> The man looks like he is really strict.
=> The horse has black socks and his hooves are white.
=> The horse's muzzle is tan.
=> The man's coat is blue and has gold buttons.
=> He's wearing a round-brim hat.
=> He's wearing gloves.
=> His right hand has something around the wrist.
=> He has a belt with a silver buckle.
=> He has a reddish-orange-brown mixed color horse.


A Vaquero.

Sophia remembered:
=> There's a little red mark or circle on its hindquarters.
=> The ground looks really rocky.
=> It looks like it's about to snow.
=> Next to the man's leg there's a coil or rope.
=> The donkey's ears are pointed.
=> The man is wearing a blanket as poncho.
=> The sheep skin looks warm.
=> His shirt looks like it's made of some kind of animal fur.
=> He's wearing a sombrero.
=> The mountains are craggy - there aren't smooth and foreboding.
=> The man is not smiling.
=> He has a cross on a chain around his neck.
=> There's a little basket thing.
=> There's a white sock in its back right leg.
=> One hoof is slightly up.
=> There is no vegetation.

Olivia remembered:
=> The horse sort of looks like a donkey.
=> There are mountains in the distance.
=> The man's face is really dark.
=> The sky is very gray.
=> The stirrup is very strange looking.
=> The horse's legs are very short.
=> Around his legs are sheep wool.
=> He's wearing a coat.
=> He's wearing a hat.
=> The mountains are white on the top.
=> The horse is standing on its side.
=> The horse is skinny.


End of the Trail.

Sophia remembered:
=> There's a skeleton of someone laying on the ground. I think it was a man.
=> There aren't any birds.
=> The skull looks almost red.
=> The cabins is falling. There are pieces hanging off. There is a chip by the door hanging precariously.
=> There aren't any flowers.
=> There isn't a window.
=> There looks like there's two rocks on the side of the cabin that are falling out.
=> You can only see part of the ribs, side of the head, and part of the hand.
=> The cabin was constructed poorly.
=> Three's rough park on the trees.

Olivia remembered:
=> The house looks like it has been abandoned.
=> The forest looks dark.
=> The door is ajar.
=> I think it was a woman.
=> There are lots of shrubs by the house.
=> There's a gigantic tree by the window.
=> There's a path leading up to the house.
=> I see a lot of green.
=> There's a window by the big tree.
=> The skeleton is sort of in the ground.
=> The log cabin and the bark is falling out.
=> I see moss on the trees.
=> The skeleton's eyes are hollow.


A Sioux Chief.

Sophia remembered:
=> The horse's tail is kind of like in a knot.
=> The Sioux Chief does not have a saddle - he's riding bareback.
=> The bridle is almost the same color as the horse.
=> The Sioux Chief has a spear and at the handle is a white and black feather.
=> All the horse's hooves except the back left has stockings up to its knees.
=> The Sioux Chief's back of the shirt has blue, green, yellow, and pink patches or beads at the shoulder by the arms.
=> He's sitting sideways or looking behind him.
=> His hair is black and very long.
=> His headdress is huge and it has black and white feathers with a tiny red patch.

Olivia remembered:
=> The Native American's horse is orangeish-reddish, and its tail is extremely short.
=> The horse doesn't look very strong.
=> The chief has a greenish outfit.
=> The horse is standing in a small patch of grass.
=> The chief has a big headdress.
=> He has a sour expression. He's not smiling and he's looking up.
=> The holding part of the spear is brown and the spear looks sharp.
=> He's sitting to the side.
=> His hair is scraggly.


The Sentinel.

Sophia remembered:
=> The blanket faded at the end.
=> The horse looks like a mule. Its ears are larger - like a donkey's ears.
=> The trees are tall, together, and dark.
=> I can see the end of the musket and there looks like there's a streak of red. The musket is really long.
=> I can't tell if the rider is a male or female.
=> It looks like it's getting dark - like the sun is setting.
=> It looks like they were about to go on ice because it's blue in front.

Olivia remembered:
=> In the forest, there's a pair of eyes looking at them as they're going away.
=> The horse looks very strong.
=> The forest is very dark.
=> There are a lot of shadows.
=> They are walking on snow.
=> It looks like the sun is just rising.
=> The horse is black.