Monday, April 9, 2012

A Starry Night Creation

Thanks to Mary Mollen of "The Toy Center" in Richmond, VA for doing such a great demonstration of the Starry Night.  I love what you did with your line work hugging the mountains and the movement in the sky...great job!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Our two new kits have arrived!

We are happy to let you know that our two latest kits are here and available!  Because of our huge success with van Gogh's Starry Night, we decided to give you more tools to create another of his famous paintings...the Sunflowers Series.  Also, inspired by one of van Gogh's biggest influence Japanese Prints, we now have tools to make your own "The Great Wave".

Have fun...we can't wait to see all the great art inspired by these master works.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Art History Influencing Art Today

The winter break to me means going to the movies, and there is a great selection out this year.  One of the movies I saw this past week was “The Adventures of Tin Tin”  directed by Steven Spielberg. My two boys and I really enjoyed it.  I was reading some of the reviews and many of them were about the comparisons with “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, which is defiantly true (and really cool)! But, as an artist, I was drawn to the beautiful artistry that kept me looking back to the great Realist Painters in Art History like Rembrandt, Van Eyck and  Vermeer.

Art History is not just in History…it influences our art and culture every day.

Left is a painting from Rembrandt compared to a clip from the movie on the right.

Left is a painting from Vermeer compared to a clip from the movie on the right.

The Storm on the Sea of Galilee by Rembrandt, 1633, Oil on Canvas, 63 x 50.4 in., Current location unknown.

The Milkmaid  by Johannes Vermeer, 1660, Oil on Canvas, 17.9 x 16.1 in.,Dutch National Museum, Amsterdam.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Leaning a new craft...

I love working with other artists and all kinds of art. I'm one of those people when I see something...I have to try it...I have a table saw, drill press, a complete line of power tools, a sewing machine...I would even have a fully working kiln* in my house if I could. Which brings me to my quirky brother-in-law who is a craftsman of basketry. Yes. Basketry. Isn't that cool? (he says he usually gets blank stares when he tells people his occupation)  I took one of his workshops for the first time this week and learned how to weave. 

Later, I will post a picture of some of his exhibit baskets and more about his craft at a later time...stay tuned!
*kiln a huge oven that heats clay to make pottery.

Thanks Eric, I had a lot of fun and gained a lot of  respect for your craft.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Kidzaw is going to Americas Mart in Atlanta, Jan 11-18, 2012

Michelle and Jane will be there...stop by, say hello and see our two new kits:
Sunflowers by Vincent van Gogh and The Great Wave by Katsushika Hokusai.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy Birthday Henri Matisse!

In honor of Henri Matisse, who was born on New Year’s Eve, I am writing about how I feel when I look at his works in person.

What makes seeing a painting in a museum so special?  Everybody probably has different reasons but two stand out for me the most.

First is the scale of everything. You may see a painting a hundred times but never understood the impact it makes by the size of it, whether it is 8 feet tall or much smaller than you would have imagined.  There is no better way to show the scale of something unless you are there to see it for yourself.  The MoMA has this comparision that shows Matisse's painting  “Bathers by a River,” so you can see just how big it really is.

Photo: Henri Matisse painting Bathers by a River, May 13, 1913. Photograph by Alvin Langdon Coburn. Courtesy of George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography and Film, Rochester

Painting: Henri Matisse. Bathers by a River. 1909–10, 1913, 1916–17. Oil on canvas, 102 1/2 x 154 3/16" (260 x 392 cm). The Art Institute of Chicago, Charles H. and Mary F. S. Worcester Collection. © 2010 Succession H. Matisse/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

I encourage you to show your children this photograph and then bring them to see the real painting at The Chicago Art Institute, it will be a WOW you can’t buy in a toy store.

The other reason why seeing a painting in a museum is so special, is being able to look into the painting and see the many layers of the painting.  You almost always see things in the painting you can never see in a book or online.  This summer I visited Matisse’s “The Red Studio” and was amazed…I could have looked at it for hours. I felt like I was going back in time and envisioning what Matisse was thinking when he painted what he did.  Why he put strokes down, what made him put some details in and what made him leave details out.  To see the underpainting…his original canvas, you can see the canvas how Matisse was seeing it.

This painting inspired us at kidzaw to create a painting kit to help children understand a little bit about this painting and make them feel a part of it too. Here are some close-ups of the painting, The Red Studio. If you get a chance to go to The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in NYC and see this painting you will also be amazed at how big this painting really is.

Our Matisse kit should be ready in Spring of 2012 and we will keep you updated on its progress.

Happy Birthday Henri Matisse
and Happy New Year to everyone!