July filled with ART!

July was filled with ART and it was an incredible month! Human connection was present through ZOOM and In-person, and after a long quarantine, this was much needed!

A beautiful moment captured this summer! A mom and her daughter hugging on a summer afternoon!

ZOOM and In-person painting classes were both very successful. For the ZOOM painting classes, I developed a mixed media project that combined acrylic paint with hand-made Mexican embroidery, pompoms and fun embellishments! I put up an ART KIT that included everything needed to complete a 12 x 16" canvas.

Since animals are beloved by everyone, I picked animals as the theme for this summer! The animals chosen were: a dog-inspired by the movie COCO, a bunny, an otter and an owl. By incorporating embroidery pieces to this mixed media art project, I was able to support a group of beloved women from Mexico, whom I have been working with for the past 4 years. They created wings for the dog, ears for the bunny, the tail for the otter and eyes for the owl.

Samples of each week project.

Each week, students were guided using easy-to-follow instructions to successfully complete an animal painting. All animals were decorated by learning the Mexican painting technique of the famous Mexican wooden painted sculptures called "Alebrijes".

Samples of the decorating painting technique.

The classes were divided in 5-hour sessions allowing plenty of time to complete the project. Each week, I met high spirited students that were painting in their patios and backyards, wearing bathing suits and summer clothes. They were encouraged to interact with each other through the zoom platform and they really enjoyed it. I had a lot of fun and felt very fulfilled a a teacher because I delivered a program that was friendly to children +10. It was easy to complete online, was original and fun! Kids enjoyed adding the hand-made pieces done by the women in Oaxaca, Mexico.

An 11 year old students showing proudly her bunny!

An 11 year old students showing proudly her otter!

Mode, an artisan from Oaxaca, Mexico, thanking the families who purchased the ART KITS this July. She is saying: Thank you for giving work to the artisans of Mexico.

The In-person camp was 2-week afternoons' meetings, where students came to create a large painting. A very nice family, whom I have known for many years was the host of this camp. We did it in their backyard!

I decided to innovate and introduced creative writing into the creative process. With writing prompts and helpful suggestions, the kids wrote a short story based on an imaginary animal of their own. This story would give them plenty of visual images to paint their canvas.

First day of Painting Summer Camp! Creating a story out of an imaginary animal!

Same samples of students' creations!

As the week progressed, students approached the huge task of painting their large canvass by creating textures, drawing designs, flowers & dots and by painting layers of different acrylic paint. This method takes away the fear of a "white big canvass" and adds playfulness to the process. After a few days of working on their surfaces, students were confident to transfer the shape of their animal onto their canvass and start the actual final image. It was a pleasure to see how confident and happy they were. It felt as they knew their character very well and were connected to the whole process.

In this innovative program, I wanted to introduce the kids to many different techniques and materials and dare them to combine these materials in their work. One afternoon, they learned how to make pompoms. Another afternoon they learned how to make salt dough. The final paintings are playful, colorful and very Mexican inspired!

Believe or not, we had some spare time to create salt dough dolls! The group of students got hold of this amazing paste and created a bunch of cute dolls!

A short clip showing some of their cute dolls.

"The stories you believe to be true are the ones your life will become"

with love, Jazmin

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