Golly! Cambria kids will have been out of school three weeks already by the time you read this. “What is there to do?” (Suspend that last note…). Well, aside from hunting for moonstones down on the beach or bird watching up on the ranch, Squibbing on Main Street (picking up trash), visiting the kitties down at the Homeless Animal Rescue Team shelter or cleaning out your closet, gee, how about doing some art?
A hundred years ago (OK, in 1997), to get my mind around losing my mom, I wrote a book (OK, a day-planner, really) as a fundraiser for the New Dawn School where my sons attended. For every dated page there was a facing page of recipes, household tips and creative ideas. I’m going to lift some of the info from the “Thoughts About Doing Arts and Crafts” entry.
Pablo Picasso said, “It takes a very long time to become young.” Forget those preconceived ideas of what is and isn’t art. “I can’t make anything creative.” Oh, soap bubbles. Lose those old inhibitions. We are “creating” here, people! Make something! Make a mess. Make a mistake. Find a creative solution. Have fun!
Just a handful of points to keep in mind while doing art:
• Art should be stress free;
• Colors are our friends (but black and white are nice, too);
• Measure or mark from the outer most edge of the paper or fabric;
• A little bit bigger is better because you can trim it down, but you can’t always make it bigger;
• Don’t throw it away without first examining
all its possibilities — trade with someone, make it into something else, keep adding to it;
• As mom would say, “Use both sides of the paper”; and
• Read all instructions first!!!
In my life, inspiration happens spontaneously (at midnight, when I’m doing the bills…). It’s much easier to let art happen when you have a stash of materials on hand. Here’s a very basic list that can keep you stimulated for a while; keep them together in a box or designated cupboard:
• Age-appropriate scissors
• Pencils, erasers
• Colored pencils, crayons and/or markers
• Scratch paper
• Construction paper
• Dental or embroidery floss
• Bucket of beads, buttons and assorted things-with- holes for stringing and sewing onto things
• Water-based paints and small assortment of brushes or cotton swabs
• Cardboard: mat board, cereal boxes …
• Thin gauge wire, cutters and little pliers for wrapping rocks and feathers, etc.
• Cotton yarn or string for macramé, string painting and more
• Needles and thread (at least black and white)
• Scraps of fabric, trims
• Stapler and/or tape (clear, packing, masking, whatever’s cheapest)
• Nowadays, a digital camera is a fun tool to capture inspiring shapes
This is by no means a definitive list (uh, don’t look in my studio or you’ll get scared at what you think you might need). However, it is certainly enough to spark the imagination and get those fingers running.