Summer 2017 Art Journaling Online Class for Kids

Hello! I cannot contain my enthusiasm! This summer we are offering an online art journaling course for 1st through 6th graders (Registration info. at the bottom of this post!). I’ve been working on the course for over six months, and it’s been percolating in my brain for a couple of years now. It is going to be a beautiful mixture of lively and fascinating lessons with tons of art and writing instruction to improve your children’s skills and knowledge. They’ll use their imagination, further develop their critical thinking skills, and create thought provoking and stunning journal pages. They’ll also learn about fascinating national and international artists, writers, and we’ll highlight spectacular children’s books in the course. After watching the lessons, your children can do the journaling activities anywhere, including: during down time at home, on the road to a vacation or camp, with friends, with siblings or other family members, or outside… These are just some of the spots where my kids and their friends journal. Then, our guided lessons and starting points will inevitably lead to their own journaling projects. Your children don’t need prior art skills, or they can already be avid artists, poets, and journalers. Our course will provide enough breadth and diversity that it is well-suited for beginners or advanced students.

Here are the details of our course:

  • 10 weeks of video lessons featuring art and writing tips
  • Weekly emailed newsletters featuring additional activities, student showcased work, more tips, and how to adapt activities to our younger and older students
  • A few live sessions throughout the summer where you can sign on with your children, and we’ll talk about journaling and focus on some great student work we’ve seen! 
  • Children will email us photos of their journal pages, and we will share some of our students’ journal pages each week.
  • Each week we will focus on certain artists, writers, and children’s books that reflect our theme or what we are teaching. 
  • Classes will be taught by artists, writers, and children who are uber talented and love creating! 
  • Each week will center on a theme. Themes include:
    • Self portrait
    • Comic book art
    • Storytelling
    • Macro and micro
    • Word art
    • Recycled
    • Imaginary worlds
    • Abstract
    • A snapshot
    • The natural world
  • We believe that you don’t need fancy art supplies to make amazing art! Thus, the supplies you need for this course are minimal:  
    • Paper or journal (We will teach you how to make your own journal out of individual sheets of paper if you don’t have a journal. You’ll need yarn or twine to make your own.) If you want to purchase a journal, go to your own local store or hop onto an online store.
    • A watercolor kit (Can be a $3 grocery store type or another one. Your call!)
    • Colored pencils, markers, or crayons
    • Scissors
    • Glue
    • Tape
  • Dates of the course: June 17th through August 19th (You’ll receive the video lesson links each week along with the newsletter.)
  • Cost: Only $5 per week per family, so the entire 10 week course is $50. 
  • $15 extra if you would like a box of art awesomeness mailed to your child/children (think stickers and art supplies to personalize their journals!)  
  • If you or your children have questions about our lessons, newsletter activities, or want to chat about their art, you can communicate with us throughout the course. 
  • Prizes each week (think mailed stickers and art supplies!) and at the end of the summer session (more info. to come!)
  • Who are your teachers? 
    • Kirsha Frye-Matte: I’ve been teaching English and creative writing to elementary through college level students for 15 years. I have my M.F.A. in creative writing. More importantly, I love teaching children to express themselves in a variety of ways. I also enjoy helping children to become creative problem solvers and to use their imaginations to explore their world. I’ve seen many times how journaling and art making can help children express what’s going on in their wonderful, quirky minds. This is why I’ve created this course for not only my children (who love to journal), but also for your children. I can’t wait to see their creations!
    • Todd Matte: My husband, Todd, has been a teacher for over ten years. He’s taught art and digital media to elementary school through college level students. He has an M.F.A. in digital art. He is a natural teacher, and art making is in his soul.
    • Our children: We have an 11 year old daughter and a 7 year old son who are serious creators of art. We also have a one year old son, but he just scribbles at this point! My 7 year old tears through journal pages faster than any of us. They’ll model many of the activities after we teach them so that your children can also learn and gather ideas from people closer to their age.

Sooooo…. do you want to register? Yes, please! You can pay here via Paypal or credit card. 

Art Journaling Course Registration
Your Email Address and Mailing Address (For course emails and newsletters) and Address (Only need your mailing address if you ordered extra box of art awesomeness!):
Once you register, you will be sent a confirmation. If you have any questions about the course that haven’t been answered here, feel free to email me at creativeandkindart@gmail.com

Kids Journaling with Marc Chagall: Vibrant Colors and Changing Reality

Marc Chagall was an artist who was born in Russia in 1887. He painted people, animals, and objects from his world and childhood in Russia but he changed the images into vibrant colors, and often had people and animals doing unusual things such as floating in the sky. The book I Am Marc Chagall is a beautiful picture book written and illustrated by Bimba Landmann. In it Bimba writes from Chagall’s perspective and says, “You might be wondering why I painted flying goats and fish, green-faced fiddlers perched on roofs, houses in the sky floating upside down, lovers flying effortlessly over the city. I painted my world, my life, all the things I loved, all the things I dreamed of, all of the things I could not say in words.” 

This painting is titled Waiting. What do you think about when you look at it? What animals do you see? What is happening in the sky? Are there any unusual colors that Marc Chagall uses in the painting? Why do you think it is titled Waiting?

This painting is titled The Cellist. What is unusual about the body of both the person and the animal in the painting? What is happening with the face of the person? What is happening in the sky?

Ideas for Journaling:

-Think of an animal that you love. It can be a pet, an animal you’ve always admired, or an animal you are drawn to because it’s silly or cute or strong. Draw that animal doing something interesting and unusual for that animal. Maybe it is a dog reading a book, maybe it is a rabbit wearing slippers, or maybe it is a monkey driving a car.

-What color would the sky be if it wasn’t blue? Draw a picture of a place you love, but change the details a little bit. Change the color of the sky. Maybe you’ll turn your house upside down. Maybe you’ll make the windows really large and the door really tiny. Take your favorite instrument or object (a football, a paintbrush, a bike) and give it arms or legs. Draw a picture of you and your mom but put your head on your mom’s body.

-Marc Chagall always painted objects and people from his homeland of Russia even when he lived in different parts of the world. Draw or write about a place that you love. Maybe it is a place in your home or a place that makes you happy. Maybe it’s the beach, a lake, your classroom, or your friend’s house. Maybe you enjoy looking at the stars from your backyard, listening to music in the car, or reading at the library.

-Marc Chagall used to enjoy teaching orphans how to paint. Draw or write about someone you know who volunteers to help other people or about something you could do to help another person. Do you know someone who volunteers to help serve food at a soup kitchen? Do you know someone who plays games with people at a center for senior citizens? Do you know someone who helps clean litter at a local park?


Nurturing Creativity

At different times in our lives we are closest to our true, authentic selves. The best version of myself is kind, creative, and calm. Yet, I have an eleven year old, a seven year old, and a one year old. It is often difficult to slow down enough to reflect each of these qualities. So, I have to be intentional in my daily life if I want to fit in creativity. It’s too easy to slip into being attached to the internet and the television. It’s too easy to allow my kids to overuse devices as well while I clean, cook, seek a minute of quiet, or otherwise busy myself. It is also too easy to let cleaning, cooking, and organizing take up all the extra moments in a day. But here is what I know: my eleven year old daughter will draw, paint, cook, and/or do experiments for hours each day if access to tv and devices is restricted. She can be sucked into watching cartoons, movies, or crafty YouTube videos if I’m not conscious of time. My seven year old son will build sculptures, dismantle electronics, run around outside endlessly, or draw in a journal for hours if access to devices is limited.

It’s my job to do the limiting and to help them develop the habits of spending their time in creative and thoughtful ways. Luckily, I married a man who radiates creativity. The children have learned to draw because he is an artist. They have gravitated toward creativity because we have books, journals, and art making supplies all over the house, and we make creativity a priority.

Lately, before bed with my son, we take a journal, and we write poetry. It makes my heart happy. He’s seen his dad go through journals, and now drawing in his journal is his main go–to activity. That’s why when we told him we would buy him something small a couple of weeks ago for his work around the house, he wanted a journal. And he spent at least an hour in the bookstore with his budget in mind, choosing the right journal. Honestly, his budget wasn’t much, so he chose a journal with a binding that he liked, and then he came home and asked his dad to help him paint over the cover because he didn’t love the cover as it was.

Jasper’s redesigned journal cover

All this is to say that one reason I started this online space is to share what I’ve learned about nurturing creativity. I’ve learned these ideas over time from my husband, my children, my obsession with books and research, my love of art, and from my years observing children as both a mother and a teacher.