Archive for the ‘Special Guests and Artist Visits’ Category
Friday, May 17th, 2013
Two weekends ago, an exhibition of original art by Robert Zakanitch for his book A Garden of Ordinary Miracles: An Alphabet Book opened in the Museum’s Central Gallery. To celebrate the exhibition and the fact that it was finally spring here in Amherst, MA I made a flower-drawing station in the Studio.
We need a new display in the Studio’s entry window, one that doesn’t block the view into the studio, so I chose permanent markers and clear acetate squares as the drawing tool and drawing surface for this activity. When we have about 50 drawings, I plan to start stringing them into garlands with with fishing line to create a friendly welcome into our space.
Some guests have drawn the flowers we have in the vases realistically, others are drawing flowers from their imagination.
Some guests are more interested in studying (very closely!) the flowers’ textures.
Spring is a great time to draw from nature. Head outside with your kids and look closely at the new leaves and budding flowers. Study them again in a few weeks when they bloom! Read a flower related picture book, such as Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney, and if you’re in our area, come and see this amazing exhibition.
In fact, if you’re in our area why not come tomorrow, May 18th? It happens to be a very special day with Robert Zakanitch.
He’ll be giving a gallery (or should I say garden?) tour at 11 am. At 1 pm he will be here in the studio to inspire guests to create big designs, visual surprises, and pleasing patterns using the shapes of one or more letters in their name. Learn more about these events here.
And then… visit the Studio sometime between May 22 and June 18th for our next public art project: From Found Materials to Flowers!
Tuesday, March 26th, 2013
This past Sunday afternoon, author and illustrator, Melissa Sweet came to The Carle talk about her newest books, A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin and Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade.
In addition to giving a color-mixing watercolor demonstration, Melissa had the great idea to offer a mini kite workshop to celebrate spring!
Guests decorated colorful pieces of crepe paper, and after a few simple steps, many kites flew wildly on the patio and in the apple orchard. Fortunately, most of the snow from last week’s storm melted, the sun was shining and there was a nice steady breeze to guide the kites through the air.
We used the super easy kite tutorial from the blog Better in Bulk. Click here for the kite directions that worked like a charm. We added the streamer tail with construction flag tape and colorful plastic bags for some extra pizazz to the kite’s simple design.
After the kite workshop, guests gathered in the Reading Library to hear Melissa discuss her process, read her books, and even do some facial expression sketching exercises in mini sketchbooks. Melissa told us that for her newest book, A Splash of Red, in addition to working with watercolor and collage, she carved and painted pieces of wood to include in one of the illustrations of Horace’s paint brushes and pencils, how cool!
Below is large pop-up Melissa made from old posters attached to a folded piece of cardboard. She encouraged everyone to use materials around their own homes to make their own towns, jungles, or underwater habitats.
Melissa, thanks for such a special day!
For more information about Melissa Sweet visit her website www.melissasweet.net.
For more information about her newest book, A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin, including videos, articles and educator resources, visit www.asplashofredbook.com
**Don’t forget to enter The Carle’s Call for Caterpillars Contest for the chance to win an original doodle by Eric Carle! Visit www.carlemusuem.org/call_for_caterpillars for contest details. Submissions must be postmarked by May 31, 2013.**
Saturday, March 23rd, 2013
Therese Brady Donohue, Director of Picture Book Theater and founder of The Amherst Ballet is leading an exciting workshop called Paint, Shape, Create! for ages 9 through adult here in the Studio on April 20th from 1-4.
Inspired by works in our last exhibition Beyond Books: The Independent Art of Eric Carle, participants in this upcoming workshop will channel Eric Carle and their own inner artists as they paint on aluminum foil and then experiment with shaping it in strips and composing the strips on a painted canvas.
Therese, well known for costume and mask design and construction as founder of Amherst Ballet, told me “For eight years I have worked with reproducing Eric Carle’s picture book images, adapting them into puppets and costumes. I am always interested in taking a technique and creatively using it in different ways. When I saw what Eric had done as an independent artist taking his signature textures and applying them to foil and creating dimension, it spoke to me as a fun technique to introduce to artists of all ages. It is not complicated and does not require in-depth talent to experiment with this technique. This is also a good technique for educators to use in the classroom up through high school.”
With that in mind, Therese and I thought that this creative process would be a great opportunity for an intergenerational class experience in which young artists, parents, grandparents, artists, and educators could work side by side and learn from each other.
The Carle has offered parent/child and family programs before, but with this workshop the elementary-aged artists can participate with or without their parent present. By age 9 some young artists are clear in their creative passions and are ready for an opportunity like this.
Therese and I are both excited about the creative expression and layered learning that will happen this workshop. If you or someone you know in our area might be interested in this workshop learn about how to register (carlemuseum.org/register ) today! We’ll need to have at least 5 participants registered by April 12, and space is limited, so don’t wait!
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Don’t forget to enter The Carle’s Call for Caterpillars Contest for the chance to win an original doodle by Eric Carle! Visit www.carlemusuem.org/call_for_caterpillars for contest details.
Monday, October 22nd, 2012
Just in time for Halloween, the Art Studio came alive with creepy, crawly, hairy, spiky creations in yesterday afternoon’s Special Sunday Monster Mash Workshop. We were very excited to host artist, educator and author Susan Schwake for the day in the back of the Studio, where she lead the workshop and signed guests’ copies of her amazing new book, Art Lab For Kids (available for sale in The Carle Bookshop).
Susan runs a gallery/studio/art academy called Artstream Studios in Rochester, New Hampshire, where she’s been teaching art to children and adults since 1993. She describes the book as a collection of all the successful art lessons she’s taught over the years.
Artist and Author, Susan Schwake
The Texture Monster activity is just one of many drawing, painting, printmaking, paper and mixed media lessons featured in the book. Susan’s husband, Rainer Schwake took the beautiful photographs of the step-by-step process of each lesson. It would make a great gift for the young artist in your life and I highly recommend it for any parent or educator looking for fresh ideas.
If you’d like to make your own Texture Monsters like the ones we made in yesterday’s workshop, you’ll need cover weight paper (we used 11″x17″ white) and wax crayons or oil pastels in different colors for doing the rubbings. You could use store-bought or homemade rubbing plates for this part.
Next, use watercolors to fill in the paper with areas of color. The wax or oil will resist the watercolor paint, creating a neat effect. Allow the paper to dry completely before cutting or tearing out shapes for your monsters.
Use a large sheet of sturdy paper a the support for your texture monster collage. We used 12″x18″ sheets of construction paper and guests chose from black, pink, yellow or blue as the backgrounds. Use your imagination to arrange your shapes to make friendly (or scary) monster characters. Making monsters is great activity for a family Halloween party or and would make festive home or classroom decorations. Art Lab For Kids suggests taking this activity a step further by making monster birthday or get well cards.
Susan has a few more books in the works which sound pretty exciting and we look forward to having her back for another fun workshop in the future! You can follow Susan Schwake on her blog Art Esprit , her website SusanSchwake.com and purchase a signed copy of her book in the Carle Bookshop or here.
Photo credit: Studio Intern, Gabby Rosenberg
Monday, October 1st, 2012
On Sunday, September 23rd, the Studio had a special guest for this month’s Special Sunday activity! Local artist, author and teacher Emily Neuburger stopped by for the afternoon to share a fabulous activity from her new book, Show Me A Story. Emily helped many enthusiastic guests make their own set of cards illustrating a favorite memory or imaginary story. In the photo above you can see several beautiful cards Emily brought along to inspire guests with this project.
We used vibrant origami, construction and magazine papers. Guests drew and cut out shapes, then glued them to the 3″ x 4″ chipboard rectangles. In her book, Emily encourages you to reuse what you already have, to try this activity at home cut the cards from old cereal or cracker boxes.
The Studio buzzed with activity all afternoon!
Young guests illustrated really great stories, real and imaginary.
Some people worked independently…
…and others worked together.
Here’s Emily’s daughter making a memory card with her grandmother
After all of the collage pieces were glued down, Emily showed guests how to brush a layer of acrylic medium over the top of the card to seal and protect the image. Emily recommends using Mod Podge, available at craft stores.
The final step was to leave the memory cards to dry for a little while.
Below is a small sample of some of the finished cards created by guests of all ages!
For more information about Emily Neuburger, follow her blog, Red Bird Crafts or check out her new book Show Me a Story, in The Carle Bookshop or wherever books are sold.
Thanks for visiting, Emily!
Friday, September 28th, 2012
Maybe you’ve already heard that Lucy Cousins, author/illustrator of the Maisy books (among many other greats) was at The Carle two weekends ago? She journeyed across the pond with her daughter Jo for our Maisy Day to help celebrate Our British Cousins: The Magical Art of Maisy and Friends, an exhibition of her work open here through November 25th.
Her day commenced with a stroll down the Great Hall arm-in-arm with Maisy and ended with a book signing.
In between she started a mural of Maisy and her friends at the farm that guests added to throughout the day.
Lucy’s daughter, Jo, served as the art director. “Make Maisy bigger,” she exclaimed as Lucy lightly penciled her shapes on the the paper we pinned on the wall.
Lucy said that she uses the colors straight from the tube (except for Maisy’s pink) when she makes the art for her books. She uses gouache in her original art for the Maisy books but she used our tempera paint for the mural.
Lucy started with black lines. Once those were nearly done, young guests added farm animals, apples, flowers, clouds and more that they had painted with tempera cakes on separate pieces of paper that they had cut out and glued to the wall.
I rarely am star struck when artists visit The Carle, but because she gave of her time so humbly and generously in a space that feels as much my own as The Museum’s, I was really touched by her visit. Getting to meet artists whose work I feel personally connected to is inspiring. It reminds me why I studied illustration in college and why I love picture books and this Museum so much.
It was an honor and pleasure meet you, Lucy. Thanks for the beautiful wall! Our guests light up when they see it.
To see more pictures from the day visit our Facebook page. There’s a great article over at Publisher’s Weekly too.
Sunday, July 8th, 2012
Last Sunday, children’s book author and illustrator Tracey Campbell Pearson stopped by The Carle for a fun art activity, storytime and book signing. Here I am with Tracey and an example of a finished “Yum Yum Bug Mobile” we made in the Studio, inspired by her book Bob. You can find more fun activities related to Tracey’s books on her website, here.
Tracey started out by drawing examples of colorful, patterned flying bugs, and then worked one-on-one with guests to help them add their buggy drawings onto a mobile. As a base we used pieces of chip board prepunched with 6-8 holes, pipe cleaners, different colored wire and popsicle sticks to connect the mobile parts together.
Guests created so many different colorful mobile variations!
After the art activity in the Studio, Tracey read some of her books in the Reading Library, giving the audience an inside scoop on where she gets the ideas for her stories and where the names of her characters came from.
She brought along the dummy book for Bob, to show just how much work went into creating a picture book. You can see the entire book stretched out in the image below!
Next time you’re at the library or the book store, be sure to check out Tracey’s fabulous books!
Photo credits: Laurie Mills
Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012
One of my favorite things about The Carle is its proximity to so many acclaimed picture book artists and writers.
Micha Archer, one such artist, creates brilliantly colored collages for books, book covers, and magazines. She even designed stamps for the Massachusetts State Park system. In addition to being skilled at her craft, she’s also a former elementary teacher. Needless to say, I’m thrilled that she’s offering an illustration class for 10-13 yr. olds July 30 – August 3 here in The Studio.
Micha was also recently awarded the Ezra Jack Keats Book Awards’ New Illustrator Honor for Lola’s Fandango. Its so fitting that an EJK honoree would be teaching at The Carle this summer because an amazing exhibition of Keats’ work is now on view (here!) through October 14. You can call me a nerd, but these kind of connections truly give me goosebumps.
Above is a spread from her book The Wise Fool: Fables from the Islamic World.
Students in her class here will experience the process of putting words and pictures to page by creating unique collage papers and using them in the creation of a communal picture book. Scans of the final art by each student will be turned into a printable book, with the original art kept by the students. Learn more about the class here and registration info is here.
Monday, July 2nd, 2012
I wanted to share some great photos from Eric Carle’s signing at The Museum last Saturday!
Hundreds of people came out to meet Eric and get their books signed.
Laurie, Meghan and Aiyi helped guests make art in the Art Studio.
Thanks to everyone who came out to visit us!
Photo credits: Cindy Utama