Saturday, May 27, 2006

Paper Weaving Fun!

This week our Art Adventurists made colorful paper weavings. This project involoves a lot of cutting, which suited these kids just fine! Weaving skills can be fun to learn, although challenging for children younger than six or so. It's not the "over and under" concept that's so difficult, it's the "under and over" for the second row that's tricky. Our group ranged in age from 3 to 11, so the youngest ones needed help with their weaving, but all were able to complete this project. The children enjoyed picking out various color combinations, and quickly learned that cutting crazy (instead of straight) slits to weave through would result in some interesting, almost vibrating designs (remember the "psychedelic" posters of the '70s?).

I encouraged the children to select colors that are opposites (complementary) or near opposites for the best effect. Also, remind them to continuously slide their weaving strips together (until they touch) after they have been woven though the slits of the second sheet. Slide, slide slide!

Be prepared to allow the kids to make more than one paper weaving - they'll want to experiment with bolder colors and even bolder cuts for more interesting designs.

How to Make Paper Weavings


Colored Construction Paper (9 X 12 is fine, 12 X 18 is better)
Glue Sticks

What to do:

1) Select two sheets of construction paper of the same size and different colors.

2) Cut one sheet into strips (the short way) about 1 inch wide (if they vary in width, that's okay.)

3) Fold the other sheet in half the short way, then cut slits into the paper started at the folded side and stopping about one inch from the opposite end of the paper. Cuts don't have to be straight of even, in fact curvy and angular cuts are encouraged.

4) Once it is full of slits, unfold the paper, carefully flatten it out, and weave the paper strips in and out of the slits, over and under, sliding them over to one side before adding the next. You will have a couple strips left over.

5) Glue down the ends of the paper strips for a neat, finished appearance. Now you can hang your paper weaving on the wall, laminate it for use as a place mat, or (?)

By the way, I posted the instructions for our last project - Crazy Tops - on my Homeschooling Helper weblog as an example of what we are doing at the Blackfoot Art Center. Go ahead and take a look - your children will have fun while learning about light and color.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Summer 2006 Class Schedule

It's not to late to start planning your summer acitivities, so why not take an art class? If you live in the Blackfoot area, you can find some great ways to "get creative" at the new Blackfoot Art Center. Our Summer Sessions will include plenty of great classes for children such as art exploration classes, nature drawing, photography, and creative writing. Also, don't miss our exciting kids' workshops. We'll be building kites, learning watercolor techniques, and making pop-up books! Space is limited, so register early. There will be three class sessions, each four weeks long, beginning the week of June 12, and ending September 2.

We also have classes for adults, including beginning drawing, pastel painting, and photography. Check out class descriptions, dates, times and sessions by downloading our current Summer 2006 Class Schedule. This is a PDF file, so you'll need Adobe Reader to download it. If you would like to register for a class, please download the Class Registration Form (PDF). You'll need a separate registration form for each participant, so make as many copies as you need.

Would your group like a class scheduled just for you? Let us know what you are looking for, what you would like to learn, and when you can meet. Contact Sandra at 208-785-0828, or e-mail us at See our Summer 2006 Class Schedule for more information. You may also download our Summer 2006 Class Flyer and make a few copies to post or to give to your friends (and their little artists). Remember, classes start the week of June 12 and class sizes are small, so please register early.

Here is a list of art classes being offered during the three upcoming Summer 2006 sessions. Use the above links to download detailed class descriptions, information, and registration forms.

Session 1 - June 12 through July 6
Session 2 - July 10 through August 6
Session 3 - August 7 through September 2

Art Adventures! Tuesdays, 1:00 to 2:15 PM - Sessions 1, 3
Ages 7 - 12: Art exploration utilizing a variety of art forms and media. Activities include both 2- and 3-dimensional projects.
$3.00 materials fee plus $21.00 tuition for three week session (Session 1)
$3.00 materials fee plus $24.00 tuition for four week session (Session 3)

Nature Drawing! Tuesdays, 1:00 to 2:15 PM - Session 2
Ages 8 - 14: This class will provide opportunities to enhance observation skills through the careful study and depiction of natural objects, usually in an outdoor setting.
$24.00 tuition for four week session

It's a Snap! Basic Photography 1. Tuesdays, 3:00 to 4:15 PM - Sessions 1, 3
Ages 8 - up: Students will learn better approaches to better photography using a digital, disposable, or 35mm camera. In-class peer evaluations of weekly work.
$18.00 tuition for three week session (Session 1)
$24.oo tuition for four week session (Session 3)

It's a Snap! Basic Photography 2. Tuesdays, 3:00 to 4:15 PM - Session 2
Ages 8 - up: Continuing photography class that goes beyond the basics learned in Basic Photo1. Students will learn more refined photography techniques, and complete more challenging weekly outside assignments.
$24.00 tuition for four week session

Art is Fun! Wednesdays, 1:00 to 2:00 PM - Sessions 1, 3
Ages 4 - 6: Unique arts and crafts activities for 4- to 6-year olds. This class is about creative fun as we playfully explore a variety of art media.
$3.00 materials fee plus $24.00 tuition for four week session

Craft It! Wednesdays, 1:00 to 2:00 PM - Session 2
Ages 5 - 8: A hands-on approach to explorating new art forms and interesting materials, while encouraging creativity and experimentation.
$3.00 materials fee plus $24.00 tuition for four week session

Let's Draw! Wednesdays, 2:30 to 3:30 PM - Sessions 2, 3
Ages 5 - 8: Using the five elements of shape, even young children can learn to draw what they see. Includes warm-up activities and skill-building drawing projects.
$25.00 tuition for four week session

Learn to Draw! Wednesdays, 4:00 to 5:30 PM - Sessions 1, 3
Ages 9 - 15: Students will be encouraged to develop their own personnal drawing styles as they learn to develop better observational skills and practice newly discovered drawing techniques.
$30.00 tuition for four week session

Creative Writing! Thursdays, 1:00 to 2:15 PM - Sessions 2, 3
Ages 9 - up: Young people who love to write will be motivated to write more about the things that really matter to them. Word games, unique writing prompts, and fun writing ideas and projects. At-home assignments that can be shared in class.
$25.00 tuition for four week session

Art Adventures; Just for Homeschoolers
Ages 5 - 12: Ongoing homeschool art explorations. Contact us about setting up a day and time for your homeschool group.
$25.00 per 5 week session

Creative Photography 1. Saturdays, 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM - Session 1
Adults (ages 13 - up): Using a digital, disposable, or 35mm camera, students will learn creative techniques to taking better pictures that will improve photographic skills. Weekly assignments outside of class.
$25.00 tuition for four week session

Creative Photography 2. Saturdays, 10:30 AM to 12 PM - Session 2
Adults (ages 13 - up): Continuing class, this time focusing on the creative and artistic aspects of photography. Weekly outside assignments.
$25.00 tuition for four week session

Adults Learn to Draw. Thursdays 7:00 to 9:00 PM - Special Session
Session dates are May 18 to June 15 and June 22 to July 20 (10 weeks total)
Adults (ages 13 - up): Basic drawing course designed for adults. Learn to draw what you actually see through various exercises and drawing projects. Some weekly at-home assignments, no drawing experience required.
$40.00 tuition for 5 week session.

Introduction to Pastel Painting. Thursdays, 7:00 to 9:00 PM - Special Session
August 3 to Agust 31 (5 weeks)
Students will discover and experience the pastel medium through demonstration, creative experimentation, and individual interpretations of various subjects using medium and soft pastels.
$5.00 materials fee plus $40.00 tuition for four week session


Let's Paint the Sky! Monday, June 19, 1:00 to 5:00 PM
Ages 8 - up: We'll build and fly three different kites in this afternoon kite-making workshop. Bring at least one roll of kitestring. Snack break included.
$3.00 materials fee plus $24 workshop tuition fee

Wonderful Watercolor! Monday, July 17, 1:00 to 5:00 PM
Ages 8 - up: A hands-on try-it! class where children will be re-introduced to the watercolor medium and how to achieve satisfying results through the use of quality paints, brushes, and papers. Plein-aire (outdoor) painting and snack break included.
$3.00 materials fee plus $24 workshop tuition fee

Make a Pop-Up Book! Monday, August 14, 1:00 - 5:00 PM
Ages 8 - up: Paper folding magic will turn a simple made-up story into a real page-turner!
Snack break included.
$3.00 materials fee plus $24 workshop tuition fee

Easier-Than-Tole-Painting Workshop. Saturday, August 26, 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Adults (ages 13 - up): Bring an unfinished wood item or a clay pot and learn how to decorate it without using brushes. We'll create foam rubber stamps uniquely designed by YOU. You'll love these techniques, and the results are lovely! Bring a sack lunch if desired.
$40.00 - includes all materials except item to be painted.

Please see complete class descriptions, registration and cancellation policies, and sibling discount details by downloading the Class Schedule - 2006 Class Sessions. Download Class Registration Form here.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Let's Go (Make and) Fly a Kite!

We've had a windy spring here in Blackfoot, so last week our first Art Adventures homeschool class made colorful Dutch kites. These kites require nothing more than a piece of paper, a glue stick, scissors, and string. It also helps if you have a broom lying around...

We used the directions for the Dutch kite in Margaret Greger's Kites for Everyone. These kites are sturdy, steady fliers and can be made from just about any type of paper... even brown grocery bags with newspaper tails! For a first Dutch kite, start with a 8 1/2" X 11" sheet of regular paper of any color (try Astro-Brites, or Hammermill colors). We used plain white paper so the children could decorate them with colored markers. The only directions for decorating their kites are to go for a symmetrical design, and to fill in all or most of the white space.

Then simply follow the directions at the above link to construct the kite. Children under nine or so can do some of the folding and gluing, but will need help attaching the bridle (which is tied to one-inch bits of broom straw, or broken toothpicks for larger Dutch kites). We used brightly colored strips cut from newspaper ads for the tails. You can also use a long strip cut from a plastic grocery bag. Note: I recommend that you eliminate Step 8 in Greger's instructions. The kite seems to fly better when the top two corners (and the artwork!) are left intact.

Create a small loop in the bridle of the finished kite, and attach a length of kite string through the loop. Wind the string around a small piece of heavy cardboard, and go fly your kite! No running is required; simply let the wind carry it up. (The kids were so excited - It flies! It flies!)Now , try making more Dutch kites of different sizes (same proportions). Use heavier paper for larger kites, tissue paper for tiny kites.

For another easy one-sheet paper kite, try the 20-20-20 Kite (20 kids, 20 kites, in 20 minutes).

Now, go fly a kite!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Ten Great Reasons to Take an Art Class

1. Art teaches self-esteem.
2. Art aids the development of physical coordination.
3. Art stimulates connections between rational and abstract thinking.
4. Art teaches problem-solving and provides safe decision-making opportunities.
5. Art develops good work habits and responsibility.
6. Art provides a means of non-verbal communication and expression.
7. Art promotes self-awareness and understanding.
8. Art heightens aesthetic awareness and sensitivity.
9. Art teaches respect for individuality.
10. Creating art generates joy.

We are in the process of completing our Summer 2006 Class Schedule, which will consist of three - four week sessions. Kids' classes will include fun art projects, beginning drawing, nature drawing, creative writing, photography, and some exciting workshops. Adults will choose from drawing, pastel painting, creative photography, and private group instruction.

We have made an adjustment to our current adult drawing class schedule. This 5-week class will start on Thursday, May 18, from 7 to 9 PM. If you would like to learn to draw, there is limited space available in this class. Use the following link to download more information and a registration form (this is a PDF, so you'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view it).
NOTE: If you are unable to attend the first class session, you may still sign up and complete the first lesson at home. (Let us know upon sign up and you will receive complete Lesson I instructions.)