Saturday, January 9, 2016

DragonWing Arts is back and we celebrated Silly Walks Day!

My business, DragonWing Arts, has been touch-and-go.  I don't like dealing with advertising and all the PR, so I guess I don't do it very well.  I had some great repeat students, but this year they were headed to 5th grade, which is in the  middle school, and their parents were worried that with the big change, they'd by too stressed (I know, that totally doesn't make sense; art class should is de-stressing!)  But luckily, I now have three new students and one repeater - all together, a second grader, two third graders, and one fourth grader.  All very sweet kids, it seems!  Look how cute they are!
Their first class was on Thursday, and I explained that it was International Silly Walks Day (courtesy of Monty Python, of course) and that we had to celebrate.  And they were willing participants!  Every time they had to walk somewhere - to wash up, to the bathroom, and so on, they silly-walked all the way!  When their parents picked them up after class, they must have been wondering what the heck was up when they saw their happy kids silly-walking to the cars!

These pictures, below, are for their licenses.  Licenses, you ask??  Well, they are obviously too young for a driver's license, so...  They will each have an Artistic License!  (Or a Creative License.  I'm still trying to decide which name I prefer.  Which do you  think is the better choice?) I've done a version of this before, but it was before I retired, and thus needs a DragonWing Arts update.
The licenses will be the size of a driver's license, laminated, and will have their photo on it.  It will give them permission to use their imaginations and powers of invention to represent things in original ways, and will encourage creative thinking.  I'll be putting them on key chains, if they want.
Meanwhile, we did a warm-up project and started another in our first class.  I run the classes in seasonal sessions of between 6 to 8 classes per session.  Each session's projects revolve around a specific theme.  My winter session is called "Matisse meets the Jungle - Bright Colors & Wild Beasts!"  Ironically, I've discovered that usually the parents haven't mentioned what the theme is at all.  The kids are happy to make absolutely anything!  But we are going to be doing a version of the "Fauve Fauve" project I posted about a few years ago, with some major variations, plus we are going to build papier-mache wild beasts, and much more, depending on time.  The 8 classes will go by really fast!

For our warm-up project, we used animal skin patterns or scales as a loose inspiration, and used a variation on a favorite unusual use of a common material.  You've read about us using pastel chalks on wet paper here.  This time, though, we used black acrylic paint to draw lines, and then used a paintbrush dipped in water to wet sections of the paper one at a time.  We used pastel chalk on the wet sections, to create a paint-like look.  (Thank you to Ginger, who blogs at Paintbrush Rocket, for the inspiration for brushing on the water rather than soaking the paper.)  Next time, we'll cover them with Mod Podge to seal the chalk and give the papers an overall gloss.  
 Remember, the animal skins or scales or fur were just a vague inspiration.  Then we used fauve inspiration for our color choices!  Above left, fish scales; right, snake skin.  Directly below, a combination of snake skin (diamonds), feathers, and spots!  And lastly, more snake skin!
Next week we'll start building our armatures for papier-mache wild beasts.  Who can imagine what they might be???  After all, we'll all have creative license! 


  1. Looks like your sweet new kiddos are ready for a "wild" ride in the next 8 weeks. Know you will all have fun!!!

  2. I love the name ARTISTIC licence! That's a neat idea! I was recently "voluntold" to start up an art club in my elementary school. I love doing art with kids, but I'm a bit nervous! Thank you for your inspiration! I appreciate your blog! You help me out more than you realize!

    1. Thank you! You'll have a great time with the art club, I'm sure! Kids love an opportunity to use their hands and make stuff. It doesn't happen enough these days. Let me know if I can offer help in any way!

      By the way - next week, when the licenses are done, I'll definitely post pics on the blog.

  3. love the pics. When my student's take photo's of each other they sometimes look like Mug Shots! lol

    1. Maybe I should have had them take the pics of each other! We know that license photos should always be awful, right? ;)