Wearable Art • Color Burst Shirts

I taught several wearable art camps this summer at a wonderful place, the Warwick Museum of Art in Rhode Island. I had up to 12 campers so projects that were quick and easy were valued. I love this kid's activity because it uses simple materials, minimal set up, and the designs appear magically and spontaneously. Materials needed:

  • color Sharpie markers
  • white thin tee's - I used packs of boys undershirts
  • 3" low plastic cups (yogurt containers or snack cups)
  • rubber bands
  • 91% isopropyl alcohol (not 70%) 
  • medicine dropper
  • piece of cardboard or plastic to slide into shirt
  • good ventilation

put cups inside tee (we did 2 at a time) secure with rubber band • use 2 or 3 colors to create concentric rings of dots • spiral lines and flower shapes work also • make sure the marks are juicy with ink • use medicine dropper to disperse alcohol starting in the center and gradually outward • the ink will flow and bleed outward for sometime • remove rubber bands and cups making sure the board is in place to prevent leaking to other side • repeat and repeat and repeat!

we did the alcohol outside, it does get strong with 12 kids! air dry, then set in dryer

Voila! such unique designs, we also embellished with glitter paint

Girls & Hearts Birthday Party

   When asked by my friend to host an "art party" for her daughter's birthday, I was a little unsure. Sure I've been teaching camps and classes for awhile, but this was 7 eleven year olds revved up on a Friday night!  Being close to Valentine's Day, I chose a graphic heart theme. Making a template to trace on an 11 x 14 canvas, and using 1 inch foam brushes with premixed acrylic paints made it easier. I also had a variety of stencils for them to try and graphic patterns to inspire them. It was a high energy party, the girls were fabulous and they each created an original piece of art to take home.

 Notice there's only one red heart....


 Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous winter home was the first stop on our recent vacation to Arizona. Located 20 minutes from downtown Scottsdale, it is an inspirational architectural masterpiece. Designed and built by FLW and his apprentices, the work started in 1937 when Wright was 70. The layout of this rambling structure is true to his ideology of honoring the surrounding landscape. Many design cues came from the shapes of the McDowell Mountains that were a dramatic backdrop. The raw materials of sand and stone that surrounded them in the Sonoran desert were mixed with cement to build what he called "desert masonry rubble walls". Other natural elements were used, cedar wood and canvas panels for the roof, and the original design had no windows. 

  Our tour guide was fabulous, having intimate knowledge of Wright, his 3rd wife Olgivanna, and the interns that worked and live there. We were able to tour every room and space, and learned of his innovative designs and technological experiments. The site is still home to some of the original apprentices, a talented sculptor and students of the school of architecture.

 I marveled at the modern design, gained a new found appreciation for the scope of his work, and was so inspired as a designer. I highly recommend visiting if ever in the Scottsdale area.

 The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation owns both Taliesin West and Taliesin in Wisconsin and operates the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture located there.

new student work from pure paint studio

These paintings were done in the style of the Old Masters with a traditional glazing technique. Working from a still life with natural morning winter light gives the soft glow. The first step is a drawing, followed by the underpainting or grisaille. Layers and layers of transparent pure oil pigment are applied, alternating with "scumbles" of opaque white for highlights. This is a slow process, since each layer must be dry before the next can be applied. Each student was working on 3 - 7 pieces at one time. This technique gives remarkable depth and realism. They are truly little gems. 

Favorites from 3 museums in New York City

On a recent trip to New York I visited 3 art museums in 2 days and felt replenished with the diverse visual imagery. At the Metropolitan I breezed through through the exhibition Matisse: In Search of True Painting. It was a comfort to know that painting rarely came easy to him. He often repeated compositions to "push further and deeper into true painting." It was very interesting to see the progression of working in pairs or triplets. The show has 49 canvases and runs through March 17th.            

A short walk away I entered the Frick Museum for the first time, recommended by a friend. Thank you Angela, and what a treat! This gorgeous Newport style mansion is home to an amazing collection amassed by the steel industrialist Henry Clay Frick. The collection of over 1,000 works includes painting, sculpture and decorative art spanning from the Renaissance to the late 19th century. I was in awe admiring masterpieces of Rembrandt, Frans Hals, Vermeer, Turner, Gainsborough, and Whistler. http://www.frick.org

On day 2, I leisurely spent the afternoon walking through the galleries and special exhibitions at the MOMA. Of note was Inventing Abstraction 1910-1925 This show brings together many influential artists in a wide array of media. You have to step back and realize how groundbreaking these works were for their time. On view through April 15th.

The most original and ethereal work I saw was by the German artist Wolfgang Laib. Pollen From Hazlenut was an installation in the vast atrium measuring 18' x 21'. It was created by sifting a thin layer of golden yellow pollen, that had been collected over years. It glowed from within and was truly amazing in its scope and vision. On view through March 11.  

"Pollen From Hazlenut"

"Pollen From Hazlenut"

view from above

view from above