Some samples of children’s artwork for February!
Recently, Kate found a recording of Betty Hutton and Perry Como singing “I Love You, A Bushel and a Peck.” There’s a story behind that song for my family. It was one of Nana Anne’s theme songs. (Other theme songs included “The Only Little Petunia in the Onion Patch” and “We Ain’t Got a Barrel of Money!”) She sang it to me from the time I was a tiny little girl, and when I got older, we’d sing it together, as silly as we could. And I sang it to my girls. I had never heard the original recording, though (I thought Nana made it up!), and it starts out with Betty and Perry asking each other if they could “doodle.” Then they’d sing “doodle-doodle-doodle, doodle-doodle-doodle, doodle-doodle-doo-doo-doo.” As silly as THEY could.
So, with that in mind… can YOU doodle?I don’t think I’ve ever seen doodling actually taught as an official art lesson, but it does help you learn to draw and be free with a pencil and paper. January’s doodle is a snowflake. If you look on the January activity page, I just drew some very simple snowflakes… doodling them can help you gain control of lines, as you control the length of each line, or make the lines fine & light or thick & heavy. You gain control of line when you work at making them intersect just right. And you can be creative by adding little details to your snowflakes (like the one on the journal cover I posted yesterday)… remember that no two snowflakes are alike! So, when you’re on the phone, or watching a movie, grab a pencil and paper and make some snow!
Doodle Doodle Doodle, Doodle Doodle Doodle, Doodle Doodle Doo-Doo-doo
As you can see, this is not museum quality artwork. Just a bunch of doodles. I drew very light guidelines for the lettering using a triangle, and then an oval for the border edge. Tasha Tudor, one of my favorite artists, often draws lush borders around her pictures, so I borrowed that idea for the journal cover. “Around the Seasons” brought thoughts of different activities and celebrations around the year, so I sort of went with a monthly theme around the oval. Now I’m filling in with greenery to make the border look full. If you enlarge the picture (can you do that?) you’ll see that none of the sketches are anything really grand. The greenery (which sort of looks like rosemary or short pine) is really just a bunch of little lines coming off a main branch all in the same direction. Really not hard at all to draw! Plans for the cover are to finish filling in, and then color it, coloring book style with watercolor pencils, and then take a very tiny brush and some water and wet the color to brighten it and make it look like watercolor.
Inside the journal, there are 30 pages. (Actual sheets of paper… it’s a good idea to count the actual sheets, because sometimes they count front and back on the “page count.”) There are 12 months, and that meant each month could have two sheets of paper. I skipped the first page in case I wanted a title page eventually, and then wrote the name of each month on every third sheet. That divvied up the journal into bite size pieces, gave me at least one two-page spread per month, and left me with about 5 pages at the end for notes and stuff. In the back pages, I titled one page “Inspiration and Resources,” dedicated another to choosing a journal and tools of the trade, wrote “Page Layout Ideas” on the top of another, and the inside of the very cover and facing page is saved for doodling. Doodling is tomorrow’s post. It’s very important. At least I think so!
On the homefront, last night Hubby dear moved a light in the under-the-stairs laundry room/cubby with the cute little door so he could eventually divide the spot into two rooms and put up the needed shelves. He was a very good sport about it, because if I (vertically challenged at only 5 foot tall) have a hard time getting into that tiny little space, you can imagine that it is even more difficult for a full-grown fellow. We girls handed him things, and brought him light, and offered to clean up the drywall mess so he didn’t have to. Which is what I’m heading off to do as soon as I hit “Publish.”
Have a great Thursday!
Hello everyone! Before I begin rambling, I thought I’d list a few really good resources for art journaling! Some of these you may be able to find at the library, so you can peruse them to see if they’re something you want to purchase.
The book that really got me started with art Journaling:
And another great journaling resource for homeschooling families:
And another favorite… it does have some “spookety” pictures (scary fairies and goblins) on a couple of the pages toward the back, but it’s a great visual resource:
This one has a more loose, sketchy feel to it, but it is a great resource for page layout ideas:
For those who are into nature journaling, there are several really great resources:
And for those who wish to journal with a historical bent… this is one of my favorites, and is quite “dog-eared” I must admit! And we know a couple of the folks in the sketches, which adds to the thrill!:
There are SO MANY resources out there! These are all of the “how to” sort of books, full of methods and ideas for art journaling, what to take with you into the field, how to design a page, etc. You may want to find a good resource for inspiration purposes, but the most important thing to do is…
Just do it!
It doesn’t matter if you think you’re good at drawing or not, or if you have the perfect art journaling plan or not, or if you have all the tools you need or not. Grab a pencil and some paper, and try your hand at sketching something! Allot a few minutes each day to doodle, and don’t get mad at yourself if it doesn’t turn out the way your mind’s eye had imagined. Drawing is a learned skill and improves greatly with practice. Yes, there are a few very talented folks out there that it just comes naturally to, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the world can’t learn to draw well if they devote a little time & effort to learning the basics. You can do it!
(Jumping down off my soapbox.)
Back to real life… Kate & I worked most of the morning yesterday on organizing those cubbies! What joy! The very large cubby under the stairs still needs some shelves, but hubby is going to build them in for the large items like crockpots and griddles. It is the cutest little space, and was ingenious of the men (my dad, my hubby, and hubby’s dad built our house!) to make that space usable! The little door was a great attraction to little people who would come to visit our home… they always asked to peek inside, I guess because it was just their size!
All our canned goods used to be under there, and when I had little people at home, it was the perfect place to keep them… I could send someone smaller than me into the cubby to retrieve needed items or to put away groceries. Then Jo grew to be taller than me. Then Kate caught up to me in height, and since then, nobody really fits into that little cubby without some difficulty. So, if we put things in there that we only use once a week or so, we girls will be happier on a daily basis.
Informal Poll: How do you pronounce “cubby?” In my “I twice taught phonics” mind, it rhymes with “hubby” and thus should have a short “u” sound in the middle. On all the decorating shows, they call them “coobies,” which really confuses me. Just wondering if I’ve been pronouncing it wrong my whole life, or what. (However, I’m not sure it really matters, because “coobie” is just one word I can’t convince myself to say.)
Have a great Tuesday!
“The beginning is the most important part of the work.”
Where do we begin with art journaling? Well, probably the most important thing to start with is finding a journal to work in! What type of journal is best? Really there is no right or wrong answer to that question, but each artist needs to evaluate their journaling needs, and may end up with several different kinds of journals! I’ve got my main journal, which is medium sized… not too small to limit work, but not too large so it can follow me wherever I go! I also usually have tiny little sketch books tucked into my purse and in the vehicles…. just in case. (Moleskines are great for this!) And there’s one big, marbleized paper-covered one that I glue my extra and “seconds” papercuttings in. And a leather one the girls gave me (probably another Mother’s Day!) that goes to reenactments. And one designated to botanical drawings that is completely empty. And a bunch of thin ones, like the one below, that I use to study a subject in depth.
(This one met with an unfortunate accident that involved a watermelon floating candle and a hot mini-van. I did eventually get the red wax out of the beige colored seat.)
The choices for journals are wide… handmade books, spiral bound sketchbooks, bound or loose-leaf, lined or unlined pages (or a mix of the two!), fancy & beautiful, or plain & utilitarian. I’ve tried some of each, but my number one personal requirement is that the journal should open flat so you don’t have to fight with it just to draw. (My leather historical journal does not meet this standard, but I figure life was tough back then, and the “fight” is part of the reenacting experience!)
I’d also recommend, for the sake of growing in art that you choose a bound type of journal, though loose-leaf notebooks also have some merit which we’ll mention in a minute. but to get you thinking about why a bound journal is helpful…
*We tend to respect it more, because it feels more permanent and important than just a bunch of pages. It’s something to treasure in years to come, to put on a shelf, or to tuck in a trunk-full of memories.
*All our work is in one place, and we can see how we’ve improved. Our earliest efforts are there, and we can learn from them, or look back and remember a certain sketching session or adventure.
*It’s more portable. We can grab it and go, and not worry about losing pages or gathering fresh paper. If we also have a little sketching kit at the ready, we’re prepared any time we think we might want to sketch.
One negative about bound journals is that they may seem intimidating at first. For that reason, I’d recommend getting a plainer one if you think you’d be afraid to mess up a brand new fancy one. Remember also, that “mistakes” in sketching are what we learn from, and there are plenty of mistakes in the journals of professional artists. If you really are upset by a mistake, make another drawing on loose paper and glue it on top of the one you can’t live with! Or if it’s a true disaster, use a craft knife and cut out the page! (I’ve done that with journals that I completely changed the subject in, removing the first few pages and starting over!)
Now the advantages of using a loose-leaf notebook…
*They are good for art classes, because they can also hold hand-outs and notes.
*Messy artwork, like pastels and charcoal drawings can be included and contained in sheet protectors.
*They can double as a portfolio, as the “best work” can be included, and if you use a “clear view” binder, you can change the cover any time you want.
*Homeschooling students that have been raised with a “notebooking” mentality will feel right at home!
And a compromise…
When working with younger students in a class or homeschool situation, my choice is to use both a notebook for assignments and class hand-outs, and a small, flat journal. That way they can keep their best work neat and organized, but can also learn to be free and creative within their journal. Also, a thinner journal won’t be so intimidating… they can see the light at the end of the tunnel!
Years ago, I found a great resource for journaling at a homeschool conference… Bare Books! Our girls filled up many, many, many, of these blank books! My favorite item for is their Bare Books Plus journal. It’s a great size for a beginning art journaling for younger students… and even for old ones like me! I’d also recommend getting a journal cover to fit, which will protect the cover art you’ll be inspired to add. (The covers do not protect against the watermelon floating candles hot mini-van combo attack.) I also like their Landscape Bare Books, but they don’t have as many pages. And just for fun, check out their whole website… they have a lot or really neat stuff!
Good morning everybody! I started out early this morning doing some housekeeping here on the blog & website, and then had to stop for a bit to do some housekeeping here at home! Now that the washer and dryer are contentedly humming away and things look a bit more presentable (including myself!), I thought I could pop back in and post.
Subject of the day… Art Journaling!
Oodles of years ago, the subject of journaling and recording life events kept coming up in my life. I heard about artists that had kept journals of their sketches, thoughts, and inspirations. I read about nature journaling, and found some wonderful examples of people long ago that kept beautiful nature journals. I kept finding these great “around the year” types of books that chronicalled each month of the year with seasonal activities, poems, artwork, and such. We began doing a newsletter at the store with the same idea, filled with seasonal celebrations, recipes, and decorating ideas from our customers. And then, at a homeschooling conference, we sat in on a workshop about art journaling by Barry Stebbing of How Great Thou Art. I was hooked! That particular conference always falls on Mother’s Day weekend, and my hubby and girls saw how excited I was about getting into art journaling and making it part of our homeschool curriculum, so my Mother’s Day present that year was Mr. Stebbing’s book on art journaling, a brand new sketchbook and pen, and matching sketchbooks for the girls! We were inspired ready to go, and made a valiant effort at filling those sketchbooks. (The girls were faster than dear old Mom… I’m still working on mine! Poor thing, it’s been drug all over the place, and is really beginning to show some wear and tear!)
Somewhere along the way, I got the bright idea to combine what we were doing in the store’s newsletter with the idea of art and nature journaling to make a booklet for homeschoolers that would encourage them to journal themselves by giving practical “journal starter” ideas based on a monthly theme. There were grand plans for it, and we recruited help from friends near and far to send in sample drawings. And then, as many things in life often do, the booklet set aside, filed away, and forgotten. BUT… an old friend reminded me of it not too long ago, and this week I went searching for it and found it!
So… the plan (read that as “hope” … if the Lord is willing, and if I don’t forget or get sidetracked or overwhelmed with life) to pull out those monthly pages, post them on the blog to inspire others, and slowly work on beefing it up a bit. This year, the original prototype will be here free for anyone who would like to print it out (I’m going to try to figure out how to make it a printable file!?). IF I can keep up with it, and if there’s interest, we may compile it into an e-book for sale at the end of the year.
And… most importantly, your input is greatly appreciated! If you have any budding artists of any age at your home, and would like to e-mail me with artwork that goes along with any of the monthly pages, please send them! I’d love to include them in the finished product! Also, if you have any additional ideas for journaling subjects, we’d love the help! (Please send a statement along with the artwork or submission giving permission to publish the artwork on the website and to use it in the e-book, as well as contact information for your family. ) Any family that participates will recieve a free copy of the completed year of artwork, provided we encounter no unseen disaster!
P.S. Just to be on the safe side… please keep any submissions “rated G,” and appropriate for conservative homeschooling families with small children! Of course everyone that visits here would never think of sending anything of a questionable nature, but due to a few bad internet experiences, we thought we should add that disclaimer! Thanks for understanding!