Just this past Saturday and Sunday, I had my first solo Art Camp at my house! I’ve helped a friend with her art camp, I’ve had short art “get-togethers” at other locations… but have never had an art camp all alone at my house. I decided to focus on 3rd through 6th grades since I only had one helper (aka “my sweet husband”) and younger children usually require a lot more assistance. I did open the camp to younger siblings since they would be with an older brother or sister.
The Camp went GREAT! I worked with some VERY creative kids who really put a lot of thought into the project and were very proud of their finished masterpiece. It’s so wonderful to see how unencumbered children are from the preconceived notions of what art “should look like” – they are always so certain of the fabulousness of their accomplishment and that self-confidence allows them to be much more creative and less constrained – therefore the artwork IS really fabulous! Does that make sense??
I moved the island next to the frig and put an 8 foot table in the middle of the kitchen (the floor cannot be hurt – waiting for kids and dogs to grow up before we remodel and refinish!).
The Living room was equipped with craft paper taped to the floor and a plastic drop cloth over the sofa…
I moved all of the dining room chairs, occasional chairs, and even the accessories off shelves to make room for painting and painting supplies. The dining room table covered with an elastic-trimmed, twin-sized mattress cover with a plastic drop-cloth on top. The mattress cover fit PERFECTLY snug over the top of the table and all I had to do was put the plastic on top and tuck the excess under the table and into the elastic edges of the mattress cover and all was covered from paint and possible scratches. Any paint dropped on the floor was easily removed with just a little water on a cloth (that doesn’t work with clothes!).
I decided to go with a folk art bird for the project. I made Display Boards with a bunch of different bird body shapes, leg styles, beaks, eyes, tail feathers, and head “dress” for the kids to use to go by when they began to put their own bird together.
After I explained the boards to the kids, I showed them a few birds that I put together in the exact same way I was asking them to (by picking and choosing each piece just like a puzzle). Then we talked about naming their bird and what the bird would be like in real life (what type of personality it has, etc) – this helped the kids establish a basis for what their bird would end up looking like and what the background needed to be. Some of the kids even wrote down a little biography for their bird.
The kids really got into the project and worked diligently to finish on time and do the best job possible. They learned a little about mixing colors, using a pallette knife for mixing and painting, how to hold a paintbrush, complimentary colors, color contrast, and working the paint quickly before it dries!
And just look at the phenomenal results!
I SO enjoyed myself and can’t wait to do this again…probably spring or summer. Good work you guys!!!