Booking Cubism: Making a Picasso-Inspired Flag Book

Booking Cubism: Making a Picasso-Inspired Flag Book

Inspired by the innovative artist  Pablo Picasso  and the  Cubist   style he pioneered with Georges BraqueCREST Enrichment students from kindergarten through 5th grade made Flag Books, and added special features (literally, features!) to reflect the fractured faces and images which dominated Picasso’s oeuvre during his Cubist period.

WEB3AI took photographs of the students faces, sized them, and printed each out on a page of blank white mailing labels. Students were then able to peel off different parts of their image, and put them onto the flags in their books. This young artist adds color to the black and white photographic images she has arranged in her book.

WEB4BAbove, the photographic portrait printed on the labels may be providing guidance to this young artist as she works on her Frida Kahlo-inspired self portrait.   Here the young artist can see her own rendition of her portrait, as well as the photograph of her face printed on labels. Her flag book is seen to her left.

WEB9a1This proud young artist shares his finished flag book, front,

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WEB3Parents and other family member joined us for our “Last Class” event of the session, and helped adhere the “portrait” labels to the flag book kinetic pages, which move from side to side when the book is pulled opened and pushed shut.  The flags make a satisfying flapping sound, too!

WEB9bThis devoted young artist displays a stunning sense of color, as well as design!

WEB6bHere, father and son work on the first grade student’s flag book, together.  What could be better?!

Keeping the Faith: Inspired by the Storied Quilts of Faith Ringgold

Keeping the Faith: Inspired by the Storied Quilts of Faith Ringgold

WEB2I recently led elementary school-aged students through a project inspired by the storied artist Faith Ringgold, progenitor of the art of the “Story Quilt

WEB9Students used pieces of “eco-fi” (made of recycled plastic bottles) felt, upon which they built their “story”, using pieces of cloth/fabric/textiles, ribbon, more felt, “pom poms“, feathers, fabric tape and so forth. All materials soft fabric or adornment materials.

WEB7Some young artists glued two to three pieces of felt together, some used a single sheet.

WEB1Students learned about gluing different sorts of materials together. How does one glue down feathers to a surface, while retaining their “feather-like” quality?

WEB3Students worked in close proximity at the cafeteria tables where our class is held, interacting and sharing about their pieces as they went along.

WEB4The color and texture of the materials seemed to affect the makers. The young girl above in the flowered dress put her piece to her cheek a number of times, enjoying its softness.

WEB6This young artist displayed incredible patience, cutting and gluing multitudes of repeating shapes onto the felt, bordering them with fabric tape, and even backing the piece with black felt.

WEB8All of the makers displayed relish and joy in the materials, and unbounded creativity. Whether working abstractly or figuratively, the students shared their stories with shapes, color, texture and imagery!

What a JOY!

Inspired by Faith and her Storied Quilts

Inspired by Faith and her Storied Quilts

Teaching a class for the C.R.E.S.T. Enrichment program of Santa Monica entitled, “Making Art Inspired By Great Artists” allows for many exciting possibilities.

The artist Faith Ringgold is a natural for children, as she has written and illustrated for them herself. She created a unique “hybrid” art form she calls the “Story Quilt”, which combines quilting and painting, with a focus on cloth.

WEBjStudents aged 5-9 worked with pre-cut pieces of Eco-fi “felt (made from recycled plastic bottles), and developed their scenes or stories by adding cloth,pom poms, ribbon, leather, textiles, feathers and fabric tape.

WEBiMany of the students chose to glue pieces of the felt together, to create larger works.

WEBdAlthough some look abstract, each holds a story that expresses aspects of the maker’s experience. The piece above holds an ice cream cone, and later pizza was added!

WEBbWhen I asked the talented young artist why she put a dollar sign on the piece above, she shrugged and said simply, “I don’t know.” Somewhere in there, is a story!

WEBaThis young artist kept putting her piece up to her cheek, enjoying its tactile softness.  She said it depicted a “state”.  Did she mean flag?

WEBfWEBgWEBe1It was fascinating to see how several students used pieces of the same textile or cloth.

WEBhThe piece above is actually backed in black felt, and the six-year-old artist framed it with a border , hallmarks of Ringgold’s “Story Quilts”. This first grader’s old’s patience in piecing together all of the felt rectangles, (which she also cut out), is stunning, as is the finished piece!

As all of the “Story Quilts” are.  Inspired, and inspiring!

Beautify This

Beautify This

One a recent walk,I  found myself at Lincoln Boulevard in Santa Monica, awestruck by a magnificent mural on the wall of a pho restaurant… Bowl Kitchen.

WEB4The mural was done through an amazing organization called Beautify Earth.

WEB5Specifically, “Beautify Lincoln

WEB2The cafe boasts a garden in the back with seating…

WEB3Flanked by the magical mural…by “John Park Art“…as I understand it.  Bravo!

 

 

 

Siting Santa Monica: Architectural Variety is the Splice of Life

Siting Santa Monica: Architectural Variety is the Splice of Life

An informal romp through  the Pico-Lincoln neighborhood of Southwest Santa Monica yields glimpses of  architectural treasures of all sorts.

WEBaAlleyways across the board in Santa Monica yield moments of contemplation and surprise, like this wall crawling with red blooms, reminding me for all the world, of Southern France.

WEBcFantastical decorative gates are another Los Angeles hallmark, and Santa Monica is no exception.Here an image that has become “au courrant” among the holistic set.

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WEBeGlass bricks, metal and stone flanked by green combine to elegant effect in this vertical structure.

WEBiI wondered if this brilliant yellow and white building was live work space.

WEBjIt looked to be designed with a nautical feel, appropriate to its location in the beach town of Santa Monica.

WEBgVariety is the spice of life, and here in Santa Monica, architectural styles run the gamut. Here we have a study in yellows: bright yellow on the modern, multi-unit building, and earthy ochre yellow on the small neighboring house.

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WEBfVoila, a beautiful ad hoc complimentary set up!  Starring the complimentary pair of purple and yellow hues, opposite each other on the color wheel.

WEBkFinally, another pastoral scene that one sees often in Santa Monica..an outdoor dining set up, in an enclosed area that is right off the street! Santa Monicans, and Angelenos in general love themselves some hedges, fences, plants and gates to create privacy, but true to theatrical form, often right off the busy sidewalks outside their homes! What else would you expect in this glowing and glittering home to the entertainment industry?

Lucky for us, the setting in these parts here has its pastoral side…and a great deal of variety, which makes for some rewarding walks for the  flaneur. Big Fun, and a visual feast…or is it a movable feast?

Let’s get walking!

ArtMobile / MobileArt

ArtMobile / MobileArt

Treasures of the Traveling Trunk I

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Ready for the New Year…2016, here we come.

MemoryMaking Books

MemoryMaking Books

In celebration of the 125th Anniversary of the Santa Monica Public Library, I had the opportunity to lead a bookmaking program at the  Montana Avenue Library, my home branch of the SMPL

“Making Memory Books” was requested… a single signature style book, embellished with fabric.

WEBaLeather, denim, beads, as well as decorative papers and fabric scrap were some of the goodies laid out for participants to use.

WEBcThe signatures were already prepared, with holes punched. Once bound with the three-hole pamphlet stitch, the first and last pages were glued to the inside of the front and back covers, and the book was formed.

WEBiThen, the fun could really begin!  let the embellishment commence!

WEBkPaper, “eco-fi” felt, cloth, lace and leather transformed the book structures into unique works of art.

WEBdUpon request, a square shape was used, instead of the more common vertical  rectangle.

WEBeA mother daughter duo enjoyed adorning their book covers with butterflies.

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WEBfIs this a pink planet, surrounded by butteries?

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WEB2The inspiration for the project was a series of fabric covered sewn book models,

WEB8with cloth pieces applied patchwork style.

WEB1The colors, patterns, shapes and tactile quality of cloth and textiles can evoke powerful memories.

WEB2The effect can be pleasing visually, as well as tracing remnants of life stories barely remembered but held in the body, memory and emotions through the sense of touch.

These books, that may hold memories barely discernible to the maker, can now become the repository of new memories, as scrapbooks, photo albums, journals, or sketchbooks.

What a beautiful gift.

Happy Holidays, and peace and blessings for the New Year.

Skies for The Angels

Skies for The Angels

WEB1Sun-kissed clouds after rain against the bluest sky, and foliage

WEB2Low-laying white clouds sweep grandly across a crystalline sky

WEB1Magnificent sunset near LACMA

WEB1The night of the Solar Eclipse and Super Moon as the sun set

“Up North: A Very Short Travelogue”

“Up North: A Very Short Travelogue”

A recent adventure traveling from Southern to Northern California…SoCal to NoCal, and back again,  reveals gems of landscape, cuisine, and most compellingly, relationship.

WEB1On the road…Highway 5 offers up vistas. You know you are on a journey. Traveling. Journeying. Voyaging. In movement.

WEB2Our heaven away from home…in Larkspur, CA…in Marin County. Right on the (canal) water. The peacefulness of this water…and its feathered inhabitants.

WEB1Morning time with flying friends….a view from the end of the pier…enlarged.

WEB3Looks like a silvery moon, but this is the reflection of the bright morning sun, cloud and sky…in the water. The flow, shine and shimmer of water brings peace to the soul.  I won’t soon forget this.

WEB1Bustling Clement Street in San Francisco’s Richmond District yields up delightful and delicious Asian eateries…like Burma Superstar , which offers the exotic and stimulating tea leaf salad.

WEB!Dancing in with the Keith Haring sculpture,  in Golden Gate Park, on the grounds of the De Young Museum.

WEB2The decorative painter’s favorite, the “gilded” room in the Palace of the Legion of Honor Museum, in San Francisco’s Lincoln Park.

WEB1The beautiful walk up the hill to the Legion, overlooking the Bay near Land’s End, is an old stomping ground, and doesn’t disappoint.

WEB2The walk holds floral pops of color amidst brush and bramble.

WEB1After a magnificent six days, including two of driving, we arrived back safe and sound to Santa Monica, in time for yet another magnificent sunset.

WEB3The sky changes colors moment by moment…

WEB2The fading panorama of sunset colors and dark clouds are set off dramatically bu street lights which set nearby palm trees aglow. This is Southern California, after all.

California, place of dreams, traffic, light, fire and stars. North or  South, you shower us with your magic. Best of all is the work we are privileged to do here, and the people and relationships that make it all worthwhile. Thank you!

Clouds: The Painted Sky

Clouds: The Painted Sky

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