Posted by: keepingthemistakes | July 20, 2013

Art Camp

Remember back in May, when I last posted? School was almost over, and summer stretched ahead . . . well, now it’s the middle of July and summer is rapidly <gasp>  drawing to a close. I have had all these big, wonderful plans for the summer. Mapping out my school year, making an awesome art journal/plan book for the year, and now I have FOUR WEEKS until I go back to school. One of them will be spent teaching more rec. art classes, two of them will be spent (at least partially) traveling to the southwest. That leaves me with one week, guys. Of course, I have time each day to do some of the planning, but what about Words with Friends?? If I plan for school, when will I play (and Draw Something 2?).

I made a “to-do” list this morning. It includes the above in addition to the house cleaning that I planned to work on all summer.

Anyway, I digress. This post was to show you about Art Camp, which happened this past week. Earlier in the summer I had two drawing classes, but I forgot to take any photos. I teach summer classes at our local rec. center. Some summers I plan 6 or so weeks of classes. This summer I only planned three weeks, with four classes a day. Every week I have had to cancel 2 classes, due to lack of enrollment. This has actually been ok with me, as it then ends up not taking up my whole day. Next year I’ll probably just plan 2 classes a day.

Ok, for Art Camp, I had classes for two age levels. The first was ages 5-8, the second ages 9-12. The younger class had 10 kiddos, and most of them were 5-6 years old.  The older class had 6 girls, and they were grades 3-8.

On the first day of classes, we always spend some time playing “get to know you” games or making a glyph to tell about ourselves, and making (or decorating, for the younger class) a sketch book. The sketch book then serves to fill the “I’m done” time throughout the week. I learned quickly when I started teaching these classes, that there is always at least one student who is done waaaaaaaaaaaay before anyone else. Also, usually a student who is never done. Early on, I struggled with what to do with those fast artists. A sketch book is a great answer to that issue. I don’t feel like my job is to fill every moment of their time with something new to work on. I plan projects that go with the theme, teach them something new, and fill the time for most kids. Anyway, we make our sketch books using this method, which I learned from a friend and colleague. It’s a fun way to teach them to make a book that stays together with out staples or glue, and it fulfills a need!

Also the first day, we did watercolor resist painting. For the youngers, we used crayon resist, and for the olders, we used rubber cement as friskit. Friskit is so expensive!! Rubber cement is very stinky, and takes some effort to rub off, but it works and is way cheaper!!!


This kiddo was pretty amazing, skillwise.  And sweet too 🙂


This is made by one of my school students.  Fun to have them in summer classes too!


This picture has my feet in it 🙂 (I love rainbows!)


This was the oldest girl in the class.  Quiet and focused.

130717_0012This was one of the youngest.  I love the energy and colors in this!

Day two, we began paper mache.  I LOVE plaster tape.  It doesn’t get quite the same smooth finish as flour paste paper mache, but it is much less messy.  I love it. You can smooth it out if you take your time, which doesn’t seem to happen very often, but we had fun with it, and they came up with some pretty creative sculptures.  I was pretty free with this week — kind of saying “here are the supplies, make something”, which is good, but maybe a little too unstructured for younger kids.  Last year, we all made maracas.  That maybe was TOO structured.  A happy medium will be my goal next time.  But, that being said, they came up with some pretty fun things!


She was very focused on this, and spent a lot of time developing her armature.


She took a day longer than most of the others, but it was well worth her time!


This is a turtle.  I’m really sad that I forgot to take a picture when it was painted, because it turned out really cute.


A box, that started out as a treasure chest, and a caterpillar!

Ok, this is getting long, so I’ll continue it later, and show the end of the week projects.  Suffice it to say, it was a fun week!  Next week is Art Camp II (ages 9-12) and Mimicking the Masters (ages 5-8).  Looking forward to those, too!



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