Monday, January 16, 2012

The Current Obsession.

I have obsessions. And I'll fully admit it. For those of you who have known me for awhile have seen some of these obsessions...
-healthy living

Russ and I always call them obsessions because I completely immerse myself into that topic and don't emerge until I have exhausted my resources and myself. It wasn't until I started obsessing over homeschooling and reading books like they were tall glasses of water that I realized that guess what...IT'S COMPLETELY NORMAL. has a name.


Silly me. Thinking I was so weird going through these shifts of crazy, life-consuming interests. I think what was amazing to me was that I don't ever remember being like this before I had the time to be like this. I had studies and sports to worry about! And can't forget about socializing with my friends, checking my email and instant messaging my high school sweetheart!

I didn't have the time. When I became a stay at home mom, lo and behold I actually had to find something that I was interested in TO KEEP ME SANE.

This is yet another reason I decided that homeschooling was right for us--I can SEE these "obsessions" happening in my children NOW. I want them to have the time, without worrying about homework and sitting in a desk for 6 hours a day, that they need to devote themselves to each interest and get that fulfillment that comes with feeling like you've achieved a new level of understanding. Because honestly, every one of these interests I've had has changed my life in some way because of the information and skills I have gleaned.'s funny because I can feel when these periods of interest begin. Something will pique my interest and it gets the ball rolling. I just never know how long it will last--sometimes a day, sometimes years.

The current thing to pique my interest? Art.

For those of you that know Brooklyn, you'll know that she is a self-proclaimed artist. And it's a fact. I'm usually more than happy to let her go about her projects, at times biting my tongue (which I don't do enough). After being around Russ's cousin Katy, who is also a factual artist (we've been learning about facts versus opinions lately...), and then reading the book Young At Art by Susan Striker (highly recommend it, especially for little ones. Dene', I will be bringing Jackson a slew of art goodies the next time I come, so check this book out at the library.). And that was it...I could feel something coming on...

It's a bit frustrating though as with other subjects I've been able to immerse myself in books, and then a lot of times, just apply things I learn...well, there's a bit more of a learning curve with art. Especially when you have no idea what kind of art you want to do you justneedtodoitNOW.

Anyways...before I get into all of the things I have done in the last 7 days, I'd like to point out that I'm not posting these because I think they are complete and utter works of art and should be framed and put into the Museum of Modern Art. It is purely to demonstrate the insane drive I have to create and to document the variety of things I have tried thus far.

We tried immersing ourselves in nature. We went hiking in Muir Woods and spent hours flipping rocks at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge.
I took the kids to MOCHA this week. There are big open rooms with all SORTS of art projects available. They have stations with examples of how to do certain things. I couldn't pass up the straw blowing paint cherry blossom trees! I love blowing paint with a straw!!!
I also thoroughly enjoyed the play dough. Ironically, I had to drag Sam out of there (who is usually done with art after 10-15 minutes), and Brooklyn was the one asking to go home (even though she made a whole bucket load of stuff)!!! So yet another frustrating thing--Brooklyn is apparently NOT in her art phase at this moment. Go figure. Sam does seem a bit more perceptive than normal, but come on, he's literally got the attention span of a 3 1/2 year old...alas.
Then we decided to do papel picados for math (LOVE the Family Math books!! They make math fun, even for me!). They are now hanging across the garage/playroom/school area.

Then with the scraps from the papel picados I thought it would be fun to make a stained glass window (which we've been talking about doing since we randomly visited that Catholic church for Mass a few weeks back). Note: If it looks like the majority of this was done by an get a cookie. All me, baby. Ahhh, art.

And then of course, you cannot forget the photography version of art (although I'm not usually much for scenic stuff)...these were all taken at the Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont, where monarchs come to rest in the eucalyptus groves for the winter. The monarchs were cool--not super impressive as there weren't a ton...a few hundred at least. I was too busy searching for something to fill this need to create...

And of course the art of crochet.

Then on a whim I bought a 12-pack of colored Sharpie pens that I love doodling with. I've always had a fascination with caricatures. In fact, if I am making art via putting my hand to a piece of paper in some way, generally the only logical thing to draw is people. It's actually quite irritating, as it's difficult for anything else to inspire me. And frustrating because let's face it, people can be HARD to put onto a piece of paper...

And then came more doodling, inspired by Vi Hart on YouTube, who I owe thanks to as my kids now know how Fibonacci numbers relate to nature (as we watched this clip at least 10 times). This was so therapeutic that I wanted to do another right after finishing it.

And so I went out and bought some new brushes, some more acrylic paint (as I seemed to have this drive to put paint on canvas) and got to work! This took much longer than I was anticipating and after finishing just this much, am a bit intimidated at finishing it!

I also had this crazy desire to draw with pencils, which I have never done before, short of that one assignment in my high school art class. So I had to buy pencils. I wish I'd had my brother, Chris there to tell me what to buy! I had no clue and had to restrain myself from wiping the shelf clean. As I walked out of the art store, I was literally skipping...I could not get home fast enough. What the heck has got into me?! (On another note--Shelan, do you recognize the drawing in the top part of the photo? Thanks for the inspiration! Unfortunately, I have a long way to go before I'm ready to un-blur it, lol. Oh, and the mirror looks fantastic on my hearth, as you can see at the bottom of the photo, lol.)

I've tried re-decorating...these walls were bare and Brooklyn's art drawer was overflowing yesterday... Oh, and I've tried painting the house some more (which is usually very therapeutic for me), but I got so incredibly frustrated! I can usually do it for hours and hours but after an hour I was so mad and frustrated that I gave up. So weird.

In the Young At Art book, the author recommends taking all of the paper off your Crayons so that the child can actually feel what a crayon feels like. At first I thought, 'huh, okay I will try it.' I really did like the feel of just the crayon itself--it felt more like a tool than a little kid's scribble thing. Plus, don't you think these papers will make a fantastic collage of some sort?? The kids thought we should use them for confetti, which I agree--what great confetti, right?! But then I think I will ferret them away, hehe.

The art of laminating. therapeutic! Are you laughing?? You must not have tried laminating anything before. Go ahead, try it. I dare you.

Heck, I even busted out my sewing machine for the second time since we've moved to make Sam his PJ pants from the material he picked out last month (not that he will wear these...sigh. This was literally the only photo I got of him wearing them--I bribed him in the first place to put them on for "just one picture" and after that snap, the next 3 snaps are all blurs of him disrobing and streaking off...).

On the Play At Home Mom blog, some of the moms have this Plexiglas board that is mounted in a stand so kids can paint on it. I decided we didn't need a stand--we'd just prop it up against something. Not as fun. The kids agreed as Sam was done after his normal 10 minutes, and Brook gave up, stormed inside and locked the door on me shortly after because "I just can't do it!!!" No bueno. While Hurrican Brooklyn raged inside, I kept at it, trying to get SOME sort of inspiration. When I asked Katy how she knows what to paint, she said sometimes she just paints. No thinking involved. Just paint. So I tried it and lo and behold, 45 minutes later I can't feel my hands and feet from the cold and I've been inspired.

So I went inside and did this. Is it creepy? For some reason, I'm not just enthralled with people, but especially eyes. I cannot draw/paint/etc. them enough. I don't feel like this painting is finished yet though, but am not sure what to add...I guess I'll just wait and see.

Along with all of this, I've been doing some journaling and of course Blogging, both of which are therapeutic in one way or another. And I cannot get off of the Discount School Supply website...SO MANY GOODIES!!!!

Okay, time to end this rambling mess. It's been another attempt to satiate the need to create. And now if you'll excuse me, I think I'll go sketch by the fire.

1 comment:

  1. you are so brave to share your art!! I've always loved sketching, painting, etc, but I'm usually too ... shy? to share them. And I know what it's like to obsess with rendering eyes--I think because if you can get it "right" they can express so much on their own--an entire range of emotions and expressions, not unlike trying to capture the ocean on paper, nearly impossible, but who isn't drawn to try?