Painting Mania

Ah, Monday. Approximately 3 weeks left until school starts. Cheyenne is back from Maryland. Mia and Merrick are taking swimming lessons. And I’m still muddling through a crazy phase. Though I must say–there are perks, such as the inevitable surge in creativity.

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Of course, it usually happens at night, and I either toss and turn in bed with my head spinning from ideas; or, I get up and paint/draw/write it out.

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Unfortunately, these late-night art sessions can get me going on a vicious cycle: early morning exhaustion leads to massive amounts of coffee; coffee fuels anxiety, anxiety wears me out, the extreme fatigue keeps me from my afternoon run, and the lack of afternoon run keeps me up at night. When will it end? And can I keep the imaginative part?

In other artsy news, sign-ups for my kids art classes were held last week. I had 13 spots filled within about a 24-hour period. I’m going to have to rent a U-Haul to pick up art supplies this season. It’s going to be amazing: we are of course covering Horace Pippin, Georgia O’Keeffe, Banksy, Dale Chihuly…

And Vincent Van Gogh, who was more than a little off his rocker, God love him. Now there was a man with a lot of good stuff to say. Did you guys know he was a preacher once? He taught about Jesus down in the dingy coal mines of Belgium. He actually sold everything he owned and gave it to the poor miners and their families. When he stopped preaching, he painted like it was his religion. Heart and soul into everything. And then he cut off his ear, shot himself, and died.

Sad stuff right there.

My July art classes have just about wrapped up. It’s been so much fun, working with so many different people and all their different preferences and styles. It’s fun to see some kids come in so rigid, afraid to even hold a paintbrush for the fear they’ll make a mistake–but when they leave, they’re loose and fluid and relaxed. Some kids seem like they’re born to paint and create.

One day I had a little girl who was determined to paint a soft, realistic picture of a butterfly. This sporty chica had a heavy hand; her strong softball arm would not make a “light” mark to save her life. I took this to mean we should try a different approach–we decided to go edgy with a pop-art style painting:

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Last week I had a mother/daughter/son class with some of the most laid-back, teachable people I’ve ever had the pleasure to do art with. Noah loved them so much, he got all dressed up for their session. Here are the final products of the mellow family:

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Why yes that IS my dog wearing a necktie.

And now that classes are almost over, I’m going to enjoy the last few weeks of summer before school starts–the calm before the storm. And calm means: running from swimming lessons to band camp to grocery shopping and back-to-school shopping and house-cleaning and bill-paying and painting and art-lesson-planning and anxiety attacks and ripping my hair out over stupid Disney channel songs called “I Know What Boys Like/Girls Like.”

Here is one more picture of our July in Oklahoma:

A Van Gogh-worthy field of sunflowers.

A Van Gogh-worthy field of sunflowers.

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About Toni

Mom. Wife. Artist. I take care of the kids and pretend to clean sometimes. I can cook spagetti and I have never been arrested. View all posts by Toni

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