Thursday, June 27, 2013

Cherries In Progress

Tonight after a lesson I busted out my watercolors and painted some cherries. I am trying to be better about making time for my own art, and I forgot how therapeutic it is to just sit and create something. 

I'm learning that it's so important to not be afraid of color and value. If something in a picture I'm working off of is black, I need to make that area black! Not Same goes with color. If that cherry is bright red, you better believe I'm going to work on it until I get a vibrant red. 

Working this way tends to get me a lot of mistakes. I have to go all out to get the reward, or else I'll have just a kind of ok, but boring picture. I might fail and have to start over. It's all in the name of becoming a better, bolder artist. Let this be a lesson in bravery. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Typical First Art Lesson

So you live in Utah Valley, you're interested in taking private art lessons, you've found this site, and you're excited to start taking lessons. Now what? 

Email me!

When a parent or student emails me to ask about lessons, I typically ask questions like...

What are you hoping to get out of private art lessons?
What kind of art skills do you already have?
Are you beginning, intermediate, or advanced?
What type of art interests you the most?
How often would you like to receive art lessons?

Once I get a feel for what the student wants, we set up a time to have our first one-hour art lesson. I live in Provo, and I usually prefer for students to come to my apartment (that way I can teach more classes in a row, which makes me available for more students like you!) 

Before our session, I'll use answers to the above questions to help me design a first lesson. Each art lesson can be tweaked to best serve your interests and abilities! When I teach, I usually practice right alongside my student, so they can see exactly what I'm talking about. At each lesson, I will ask you what you're interested in learning the next time we meet. This helps me plan lessons that are student-centered and more interesting for you!

Some students start off wanting to learn more about painting, then realize they need drawing skills before they can move forward, so we start focusing on that first. Some students start off wanting to learn basic skills, but realize they want to move towards making complete works of art, so we start learning the elements and principles that make a piece of art look good and complete.

Some students may just want me to come up with fun art projects and show them how to do it. That's fine, too! Art lessons can be whatever you want them to be! 

Email me at kelliemhardin(at)gmail(dot)com for questions and to set up sessions.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Letting Go to Inspire Creativity

Here's a picture of my kids finishing up their Eric Carle pages. The girl on the left missed a class, so she came up with her own image: Bilbo Baggins. We made fabric pictures last week and she made the Eye of Sauron. I'm guessing she loves JRR Tolkein. 

The girl on the right just really wanted to make a Toucan. Now she's adding the forest in the background. All the boys in my class this year made monsters instead of animals. I love that! 

I love coming up with projects where kids can feel free to use their imaginations. They come up with such interesting stuff! 

Last year, I had a student who was ob-SESSED with Titanic. Everything he did was somehow related to the day it sank. Another student really loved monsters and video games. Each lesson was designed to give each student a creative outlet to share what they loved. At the end of the session, if you flipped through any of my student's sketchbooks, they would all be completely different, and I could probably tell you which one belonged to each kid.

If every sketchbook was a carbon copy of each other, then I have failed as an art teacher. Luckily, I can walk away from this summer session feeling pretty successful that my students' sketchbooks are full of ideas and images that they love. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Gallery Drawing: The Lady

I am loving all this gallery time. My older kids just eat it up, so I had time to draw this today. I was so over the black dress, so I changed it up with the colors. This new version is a sassy lady who what people think. See ladies? The power of an outfit. 

Gallery Drawing: Cool Story, Bro

The Spring Salon is up at the museum this summer! SS is my favorite show because it features current art from artists throughout Utah. Our museum is pretty traditional, so it's great to see new art coming in for this show. While my co-worker teaches her class, I get to follow them around and TA for her (and vice versa). Since I'm basically there in case of emergency, I get to draw in the galleries when the kids draw. 

Drawing from actual, real-life art is a great drawing exercise. Not only does it hone your drawing skills, but it gives you the chance to really notice the nuances that go into each artist's style. I picked this painting to copy because I liked the mix of realism and abstraction. I took the liberty to change some stuff; I didn't like the checkers so I added this phrase instead...

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Summer Art Classes: Eric Carle Animals

So June is Summer Art Class time at the museum, and I'm having the best time teaching two sessions of Sketchbook Spectacular. Basically, I'm teaching kids ages 8-14 how to use sketchbooks to store and brainstorm ideas, practice their drawing skills, and plan out final pieces of art. Today we did some drawing in the galleries, then started a collage project. They picked an animal, then made their own colored paper. Once the paper dries, they'll cut out the paper and piece together their animal. The picture above is my first step of making a flamingo. I'll upload the final product when I'm done. If you've ever read The Very Hungry Caterpillar, these animals are inspired by author Eric Carle's style. 

It's so interesting to be teaching one session of 8-10 year olds, then another session of 11-14 year olds. My younger kids loved picking out their animals and making their paper. The older kids rushed through that and begged to stay in the gallery longer. They loved drawing from paintings and were so transfixed. I guess that's why I plan a lot of activities into our hour and a half class...if something isn't clicking, we just move on to the next activity! 

This project is available as an Art Party activity. 


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Artist: Berndnaut Smilde

Berndnaut Smilde
Nimbus II

Um, can we talk about the fact that this artist has created indoor clouds? Who does that?! This image isn't photoshopped. He literally figured out how to perfectly control the climate of an empty room to hold a cloud. Check out this article to find out how he does it. 

"I'm interested in the ephemeral aspect of the work," Smilde said in an email. "It's there for a brief moment and then the cloud falls apart. It's about the potential of the idea, but in the end if will never function." - Berndnaut Smilde

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Artist: Hung Liu

Hung Liu
Lade Gege, 2010
mixed media

I simply cannot get enough of this painting. What don't I love? I love her eyebrows, and her lips, that gorgeous monstrosity on her head?! Can we talk about the bird? It reminds me of that part in the Sex + the City movie where Carrie puts a blue bird on her head as a replacement for her wedding veil. What started off as a simple wedding turned into this gaudy, boisterous affair at the NY public library with a crazy dress and gorgeous decorations. After she gets left at the altar and is processing what that feels like, she reflects on how the wedding plans got out of hand. 

"I put a BIRD...on my HEAD."

That was honestly my first thought. 

I love that a piece of art can become so much more than paint on a surface. I enjoy finding connections to my personal life that the artist would never think about, like a movie I obsessed over three years ago.

First raw impressions: 

The pink part looks like cotton candy. 
I wonder what purpose that hat serves.
Who is this girl?
Whoever she is, she can definitely pull this look off.
I wish I were brave enough to wear, truly, whatever I wanted. 
Walking with a huge hat on your head must feel similar to walking in five-inch heels.
I bet you can't play soccer in that outfit. 
Does she want to play soccer? Or is she happy with the hat?
Where on earth would you wear that?
I want to be brave like her.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Artist: Edward Hopper

Edward HopperNew York Movie, 1939oil on canvas
Edward Hopper has been one of my favorite artists for a long time.  He is best known for his realistic depictions of urban and rural scenes. How many pieces of art can you name that depict places like diners and movie theaters? That's what Hopper painted best. I guess I like his art because he usually pinpoints a person or two, and I always want to get inside their head. There's always a little bit of a mystery in his work, which intrigues me. Hopper was just that kind of person, though. You could never get a lot out of him, and when asked about his work, he would say, "The whole answer is there on the canvas." He wants you to find out what his painting means to you. Once he paints it, it's no longer his. It's yours. In 1953, he did release this statement to an art journal:"Great art is the outward expression of an inner life in the artist, and this inner life will result in his personal vision of the world. No amount of skillful invention can replace the essential element of imagination."I imagine Edward Hopper as this quiet, introverted man, who could only communicate his deepest thoughts on a canvas. That's probably why he was so successful.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Getting Started

Hi guys! I'm so excited because I just set up my blog, and I'm ready to get this business off the ground! I've been doing art for so long, and I love teaching, so this feels like a natural next step in the world of art awesomeness. 

This blog is intended to help people find my business, but also to share my love of art with the interwebz. I'll be posting art-related things every so often, so check back regularly for updates! 

I think it's really important to learn about other artists out there, to help inspire your art, but to also learn what others are putting out into the world. Artists tell stories with pictures, much like writers tell stories with words. You can learn so much about a person by seeing what kind of art they make. The more you learn about art, how to talk about it, how to read into it, the better your art will become. 

Check out the tabs at the top of the page to find out more about my art and teaching experience, what art lessons are like, how to book an art party, pricing and more!