i got to spend a little time in my youngest little one's 1st grade classroom this week making art. i brought 11x13 canvas squares, paint, and a couple of large branches for weaving. it was a whirlwind of activity in 2 hours and such a blast! i showed them how to mask off a shape with masking tape, then paint all around it - then mark it up with sharpies afterward. then we strung them up onto yarn, making an art.flag banner. with a super organized, awesome teacher assisting - the event was fun fun fun! here is a little gallery for you of their art.flags:

All children are artists.

The problem is how

to remain an artist

once he grows up.

~Pablo Picasso



hello hello!  the sun has been peaking out of hibernation off and on and i am a happy little bird.  spring is coming..

now here is a fun little ditty.. i created some sweet arty pouches with my newly made screenprints and was intrigued and happily surprised that they resembled sunprints.

now sunprinting is fantastic fun.  but perhaps mr.sun has taken the day off or even a week and yet you would still like to make merry with something artworthy.similar.  cheer up!  here is another way.

paint on your canvas or paper, lots of pretty blues.  some dark and some light.  i used a gelli plate for my canvas squares.  let it dry.

now take your fabulous little screenprint (see my last 2 posts) - and some white screenprinting ink, and make a print.  let this dry.  then seal it with varnish if you'd like... and voila!  your very own rainy.day, no.sun, faux sun.print!

i turned these into pouches.  you can get them HERE.  today is the 216th birthday of Anna Atkins, who made the first book of photos (from sunprints!).. and when the sun comes back out, check out alisa burke's awesome sunprinting project. happy day!!



 okay gang!  here is my experience with photo emulsion screenprinting.  even though it is much more time consuming, it is so far, my favorite screenprinting technique!

draw an image with black marker - make sure the lines are thick and dark.  take a picture and get it onto your computer where you can darken the image and then print it out on a transparency or have it copied on a transparency film at the copy shop.

i purchased Speedball's Photo Emulsion Screenprinting Kit. I found sheer, voile at my local fabric store, then used embroidery hoops for the frame.  Make sure your voile is taut in the frame.

Place 3-4 pushpins on the outside of the frame for drying purposes.

Mix your emulsion according to the directions by a sink with rubber gloves.  
Have a thick piece of cardboard ready to scrape your screen with.

Pour the mixed emulsion onto the outside of the screen first.  
Just enough to cover what you want to cover.  Scrape it with your cardboard.  
Remove the excess emulsion by scraping it back into the bottle.

Flip it over and scrape the inside of the frame (inkwell side).  
If there is nothing there to scrape, add a little dab of emulsion.
Continue scraping both sides and removing the excess until there is a thin, even coating on both sides.  Set aside to dry in a dark room, closet, or cabinet.  I put this in my bathroom with a cool fan.  
It dried pretty quickly.  Keep this in the dark room until you have your lightbox set up.

Now I am lucky enough to have a photography light box handy - but you can use the bright mid-day sunshine, or a 150-300 watt lightbulb with an aluminum pie pan.  See some examples 
HERE and HERE.  You may have to do a few trial and error prints.  But don't give up!  It took me a few days to figure out my lighting and the exposure timing.

I used our photography lightbox which has about 300 watts shining down about 8-12 inches above my screen.  (about the height of soupcans).  Now once your light source is set up - whether outside mid-day sunshine or a 200 watt bulb on your kitchen table - take a large book - place a piece of black construction paper or similar on top of it.  If you can find a piece of glass that will fit inside the inkwell side of your frame - that his absolutely best!  (The picture below is not best for fine lines - since the screen was not absolutely pressed between the black paper and the glass tightly.)  

In the darkened room, place the dried screen onto the black paper (inkwell side up - pushpin-side down)  remove the pushpins.  Place your transparency onto the screen then place the glass on top of the transparency.  It is okay if the glass is smaller than the transparency - add clear tape to the edges if they are curling upward.  The black lines are what needs to block out the light.  So the smoother the "sandwich" the better.  Then place a dark cloth on top of all this - while you transport it to your light source.  When you're in position - remove the cloth and expose your image.  For my lightsource, I exposed the image for about 6 minutes - if there were fine lines.  You can watch the green turn a blueish gray and that is a good sign it is ready too.

The image should still be green when you remove it from the light source and rinse it in the sink.  The rinsing will take about 5-10  minutes.  Have patience!  You can also use an acrylic scrub brush to lightly scrape the green emulsion away after some rinsing time. 

check your image against a window and see how it looks!  :D

after the screens are dry - get the ink and screen away!  :D  it is so addicting!  i made these images below for my climbing shop - rokrok.etsy.com - but i need to stop playing with screenprinting so i can finish sewing them up!  :D

two of my chalkbags completed.

the next post, i have a fabulous idea to share involving screenprinting.  if you take the plunge and make some photo emulsion screenprints - let me know how it goes!  xo



so. if you read my blog, you know that i am an avid reader of alisa.burke's blog.. and recently discovered that she is going to be teaching online with a handful of ladies on the Masters by Jeanne Oliver.. It is for an incredibly affordable rate!  so i am going to be doing this.  i took art in high school.  but that was it.  didn't go in that direction for college - but post college, after having my babies.. it is all i can think about now.  art.  so why not take this incredibly affordable and inspiring class?!  i'm super excited.  and Jeanne Oliver is absolutely generous in having a giveaway of so many great prizes as well!  please check it out and join in!  it looks to be positively fabulous!

by Jeanne Oliver
have a grand weekend! xoxo
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