As part of my writing and artistic adventures, I meet some wonderful young artists and their parents. These young artists are so talented! Sometimes their parents take pictures of us together and sometimes their parents also email me their children’s artwork. That’s quite fun for me! I thought I’d make a space on my website to share (with parental consent of course) some of the special photos sent to me, and give some feedback that might be helpful. I decided to call this space Club Color!
Meet the Artists
As an artist I enjoy meeting young talent. I had so much fun this weekend meeting Liv and Rowen and their very nice parents. Both Liv and Rowen are very artistic, smart and as nice as can be. I can’t wait to see the pretty colors they add to their new “Casper the Cockatoo” coloring book. Liv told me that she likes to paint, and Rowen told me she likes coloring. They remind me a bit of me when I was their age. I always enjoy meeting creative people. I already saw one of Liv’s artworks – she drew a girl and that’s not easy – and it came out so well! Keep on drawing Liv – you will just get better and better with time. I remember sometimes I would look at my artwork and not think it was very good, I would see every flaw. Now I look back on the art that my Mother saved for me, and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was! Liv, save your artwork and I promise you, you will be glad you did, and you will see it is much better than you think it is now!
Both Liv and Rowen are very talented – I hope they both keep on creating! Way to go Liv and Rowen!
Special thanks to Liv and Rowen’s Mom Heather who shared the photo with me – that’s so nice.
I had so much fun meeting young talented artist Emily (who loves to draw dragons – how fun is that!) and her wonderful and super smart and nice cousins Kaede, Quinn and Isaac, and their mothers. Emily is very much the artist and is eager to learn new things. I’m so glad that each of them picked one of my children’s books, because when I was their age books always meant so much to me. A super special memory for me was watching them share and read Inca Dink, The Great Houndini and This Little Puppy. We talked crafts like the feather pen project and had a lot of fun together. Emily is just starting to write and illustrate her own children’s book – I think that’s very impressive! That’s way beyond where I was at her age! Here’s a photo of Quinn, Kaede, Emily and me that one of their parents (super nice Mom Melody) sent to me. I can’t wait to see Emily’s progress on her dragons and all the pretty colors they all add to their Casper the Cockatoo coloring book!
That’s two weeks in a row that I’ve met some of the nicest and most talented young artists and their very wonderful families! It’s such a treat meeting such nice people!
Many thanks to Mom Melody for sending this pretty picture to me and cheery hello to Mom Michele too :)
So fun to share the artwork of Sydney, a young artist. Sydney’s Mom Valerie is so supportive of Sydney’s work, that’s just wonderful and is so helpful to a young artist. Way to go Mom Valerie!
One of the things Sydney’s Mom does to support Sydney’s art is to take Sydney to art workshops and private lessons. The photos below show Sydney at one of the art workshops her Mom brought Sydney to, and look at the fun artwork Sydney is holding (GREAT JOB ON THE CAT, SYDNEY!). I love that Sydney seems to be so thoroughly enjoying herself!
I often get asked if I teach art (no) and what I think of art workshops and private lessons for children. Here’s what I think of these things:
Workshops and art classes for young artists can be great because classes often have so many awesome art supplies to play with! Good teachers share helpful tips on how to do things too, which can be great help.
Having said that, some of my favorite artists are self taught! Just because one young artist might be ahead in how ‘real’ the art looks, doesn’t mean the young artist is ahead in freedom of expression. Those are very different concepts, and BOTH skill with art tools and freedom of creative expression are important.
While art classes can give young artists valuable technical skills, finding your inner creative voice is something each artist does for herself.
Sometimes talented young artists in class (or sibling) settings can get frustrated because what they create (to them) doesn’t look as good as other kids creations, or maybe the young artist got inspired with an assignment and then created something that was not what the teacher was at that moment trying to teach. That’s when good teachers are very important – their words and understanding of the young artist sensitivity is very important. A teacher not thoroughly understanding the young artist means that teacher’s art classes – even private lessons – might not be the best thing for an artist. Each young artist needs to learn to judge herself by her own measuring stick, and that’s a hard thing to master, even for adults. The last thing we want to do is to discourage a young artist without even realizing it!
If I had to choose an art teacher for a young artist, I would not judge the art teacher by how ‘real’ the art their students create looks! I would judge an art teacher by how fearless and confident their students are in trying new things and playing with color and shapes and geometry and gravity. Young artists should not strive to create art that is not within a young artist’s own voice, but rather to perfect their own creative voice. If 4 children did a picture of a mouse, I would love to see 4 very different mice artworks, showing that children felt free to create their own spin on what is the essence of ‘mouse-ness.’ Here’s a clear example of what I mean, and a great way for parents to have some fun and share with young artists how artists through time can be very different from one another, and yet each be considered a great master: Can you imagine Pablo Picasso, M. C. Escher, Norman Rockwell, and Rembrandt van Rijn all being art students in the same art class? Can you imagine all four of these artists creating mice that all looked the same? No way! That’s what I’m talking about. A great art teacher lets Picasso be Picasso, Escher be Escher, Rockwell be Rockwell, and Rembrandt be Rembrandt.
Fun Exercise for Parents to share with Young Artists (will take four separate days): Show your young artist artworks by Picasso, and ask your young artist to draw a mouse the way Picasso might. Repeat for each of Escher, Rockwell, and Rembrandt. After your young artist has created her four very different mice, ask your young artist what she learned from each. Ask your young artist what mouse was the most fun to create and why. That’s one good way to help your young artist discover their inner voice. It’s also a fun way to explore art history!
That’s why it’s important, if you do decide to give your young artist art lessons or art classes, to find just the right art teacher for your particular, one-of-a-kind, precious young artist. What is a fabulous teacher for one young artist might not be the right art teacher for another young artist. As a general rule of thumb, I recommend that parents looking for art teachers should talk to other parents who have had great experiences, and look for student’s art that isn’t trying too hard to be perfectly realistic. I would be happier to see a ‘mouse’ painted in many styles and colors by the different students instead of many realistic, uniform, very similar mice. Look for fun colors and signs of creativity at play! Look for art students who ENJOY creating and are fearless in their creativity. Young artists need to find their artistic voice at their own pace. Creating art is a very personal thing, and each parent needs to figure out what approach is best for their precious, sensitive young artist.
I am so glad that Sydney’s wonderful Mom Valerie found the right classes and teachers for Sydney – it is clear Sydney is thriving and enjoying herself! -And the artwork Sydney makes is so fun! KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK, SYDNEY!
See the Wonderful Art these Talented Young Artists create
I was thrilled when Emily’s mother Michele emailed me Emily’s latest magnificent creation – two dragons! The first dragon is very large and is billowing hot pink swirls, toasting a marshmallow on the tree stump, very fun idea. One of the things I like about this artwork is that Emily uses so much imagination to create this idea. Emily does some advanced technique here too – notice that Emily uses a swirl pattern in the smoke of the large dragon, and then Emily uses a similar swirl pattern on the pebble and flowers on the ground, and more of the swirl pattern also on the top of the tree stump. That is an excellent use of pattern Emily! Emily also has a fun use of color – I like the blueish stars and touches of yellow. Emily’s artwork not only has a yellow sun, but it has some yellow flowers and some yellow by the hot pink swirls. I think the way Emily uses the yellow color in this artwork adds something very special, nice use of color Emily! The first dragon is large and easy to spot, but part of the fun of this artwork is finding Emily’s second dragon, which is much smaller. Hint: Look on the ground for that subtle second dragon. I like artworks like this, where the more you look, the more surprises you will find. GREAT WORK Emily! I am so proud of you! Thank you mom Michele for sharing!
I am so impressed with the two amazing artworks that Liv’s mother Heather sent me! They are just AWESOME!
Let’s look at Liv’s beautiful artworks one at a time:
There’s so much to like about this “Puppy of the Rainbow” artwork. I love the rainbow eyes, I love Liv’s signature and that it’s bold and designed into the art (I like to do that too). The colors are just great and fearless and fun. Who wouldn’t want to meet this happy dog? Liv is very strong in her details too – I love the main horizontal wavy line – that Liv just didn’t do a straight line for the horizon. In fact, Liv is great at not using blah straight lines for the brown background parts too or for the sky. She doesn’t make them too dark or too light, so they’re not distracting, the lines just add to the effect. That makes everything so much more interesting. The blue sun is perfect, and Liv has the balance of color just right. GREAT JOB LIV!
Liv’s next work is called “Colorful Cacti.” It’s an excellent artwork too:
Who wouldn’t want to see these fun cacti outside their window? I love that each cactus has its own personality. I like too that Liv used a diagonal horizon line instead of straight – see how that draws your eye up from left to right. Well done Liv! Liv has great use of lines, gives this artwork lots of movement – you can see Liv’s technique in the way she colors each cactus planter, that also moves your eye from the bottom left cactus to the upper right cactus. Excellent Liv! These are the cheeriest, friendliest cactus anywhere!
Keep up the great work Liv! I’m so proud of you! I bet your Mom is too :)
Young Artist Sydney has created two fun artworks that her super supportive Mom Valerie sent me – I think you will love the happy colors of both of these special artworks:
First, before I show the polar bear, look at Sydney’s very fun cat. See her confident signature at the bottom – love that! Sydney created this at a workshop, which can be great places to learn about different art supplies and techniques. Thanks to super-Mom Valerie, I am also sharing a photo of Sydney at her art workshop showing her inspiration, you can see what a great job Sydney did on this cat!
I like the fearless blue in the background of this cat. I don’t think any other color would have worked as well Sydney – great color choices!
Next is Sydney’s wonderful polar bear – thanks to Sydney’s super-Mom Valerie, Sydney has some private art lessons too! Sydney created this wonderful polar bear at one of her private art lessons. I can feel the arctic chill by just looking at this polar bear! What do you think makes this polar bear art feel cold? Do you think it might be the icy blues and whites and soft touches of yellow? Is it the light colors against the dark ground? That there are no flowers or green colors? Looking at art to see how an artist makes you feel a certain way helps artists learn how to achieve emotion through their art:
Notice also the way the polar bear’s back slopes upward – that is very much the way polar bear backs do look – a lot of young artists might have just made a straight back, but Sydney really looked hard at what she was painting and appreciated how the polar bear’s back really looks. Great job Sydney! -And thanks to super supportive art Mom Valerie for sending these fun photos to me, and for being such a super supportive art Mom!
Some special Club Color Rules: Please keep in mind that this space is only to share the artwork and photos relating to those special young artists that I have personally selected and invited through their parents. This website is not a place that accepts or posts third party art or creations generally. While anyone on the web can view what I post here on Club Color, in terms of submitting art or writing, Club Color is a special corner of my website solely for showcasing and giving some tips to the young talent I have met on my journeys – each of these being young artists that I have invited through their parents. The parents part is very important to me! To best protect children and keep children web-savvy, I only wish to communicate through those parents I have met face-to-face and invited. As much as I wish I could view and post everyone’s work, it’s just not practical. Even for Club Color invited members, I might not be posting everything your parents submit – please understand that if something isn’t posted, that doesn’t mean that your work isn’t beautiful or worthy, it only means that I might not have enough time to do everything I need to do. When you’re older you’ll understand that better