Jungle

junglethree

Today I finished my third project in my Botanicals class at Skillshare with Liz Kohler Brown.

Our strategies were to create, color, and arrange leaves of unique shapes — Liz provided photos so we could sketch or trace them in layers: outline, leaf color, vein color, other colors. That way you can change the colors later. The insects are my own sketched and created brushes, as is the purple leaf fill in the background. The picture above includes three colored versions, created by playing with Hue, Saturation, and Brightness.

The second assignment was to create a bouquet of flowers from sketch to color. Advanced students included their hand holding the bouquet; we beginners attached ribbons.

I love bachelor buttons, so my sketch and finished project is a bouquet of blue bachelor buttons with a little poem I wrote, a little self-portrait, actually, as I remember the delight of the blue bachelor buttons in my mom’s small  garden:

bluebbframedpicpoem.jpg

In the garden

her eyes light up,

sparkling blue

like the bachelor buttons

she runs through.

I love the coasters:

bachelorbuttonspoemcoasters.jpg

This took a few days to get the look I wanted. I finally chose to keep the color in the top part with the flowers, and then fade to just a line drawing in the stems, except for the blue ribbon. I tried several versions: different colors, outlines, textures:

myplantsbotanicals.jpg

I like the flowers on different products so much, that I also took out the poem and added more flowers so it would fit better on things like phones, pouches, etc.

srebachelorbuttoniphone.jpg

I’m enjoying seeing the mock-ups of what’s possible! You should try it too.

That last row in the “My Plants” picture is our first project: using symmetry to create a floral design with a quote in the middle, and then adding some “shimmer” with a special brush that Liz created [an allows our use of it, even commercially].

My daughter loves this pillow:

screen floor pillow waldo.png

As you can see in the portfolio image above, I also made several different versions of this, but I agree with Autumn: this burgundy pillow looks pretty sharp. I am amazed at how much I’ve grown because I practice art every day, and am taking lessons in various applications [ProCreate, Sketchbook, Affinity, GIMP].

I think we need to provide students with time to create and learn about what they love — because how will they even know if they don’t explore? Just think how much better I would be if I had been following this interest all these seventy years!

My friends Denise (@mrsdkrebs) and Gallit (@gallit_z) wrote a book about Genius Hour, which is a time for students to explore and figure out their interests.  When I was teaching, my students loved this time to learn about things like: How do speakers work? Which basketball player has the best record? What is love anyway?

geniushour.png

So, if you are a teacher,  this book will provide strategies so students can own their learning and discover passions. If you are a parent or grandparent, how about suggesting this to your child’s teacher?

Because, it’s a jungle out there in the big world, and our kids could discover a talent for something that lets them control it.

What have you discovered today?

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