Preschoolers Collaborate on Art for Auction

Blue flower collage collaboration with preschoolers with monarch butterfly

Objects that we create seem to have some of our own inner magic infused.  I wish you could see this flower still life in person because you can feel how magical it is with 15 flowers made by the cutest preschoolers in Aurora, Illinois (and 2 by their teachers).  Here is one of them:  dsc_0494It was so much fun talking to the kids about art and the shapes they saw in the flowers.  They cut out shapes and used some of the shapes I provided too.  Then, used gloss medium with paintbrushes to create their flowers with minimal direction.

When I first took the flowers to my studio after working with the kids in their classroom, I was a little nervous about how I was going to make the collage look like a cohesive design.  All the flowers looked so different, and some were so abstract it was hard to make out a flower shape, which I loved about them, but also felt challenged.  Something else that I love about the flowers is that they are unpredictable, beautifully textured and layered.

blue flower collages made by 4 and 5 year olds
Individual Flowers Made by Preschool Class

I didn’t want to add too much to the kids’ flowers for a few reasons.  1.) I wanted them to recognize their flower art and be proud of it. 2.) I feel like changing someone’s art may make them feel as if their art/they aren’t good enough.  In the end, I did add to a few of them for design and composition purposes to make a more cohesive piece that may draw more money for the auction. They are all so beautiful!

Here is the finished piece:

monarch butterfly and still life blue flower collage with painted vase
Still Life Flower Collage Collaboration, Mixed Media, 2017

If you are interested in a flower collage workshop for kids or adults, please contact me. See more of my work here.

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“You’re My Lobster!” Custom Friends TV Show Inspired Art

Here is my latest, silliest mixed media art based on Pheobe’s, of the show Friends, lobster love idea. Pheobe says to Ross regarding Rachel when he gets sad about her possibly dating another guy: “She’s your lobster…. It’s a known fact that lobsters fall in love and mate for life. You know you can actually see old lobster couples walking around their tank and holding claws!” Aw, Friends.

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Custom Fire Truck Artwork and Wall Art Prints

Vintage firetruck with dalmation squirrel cardinal and sun

At the Alley Art Festival in Aurora, Illinois in August of 2016, I met the new Executive Director of the Aurora Regional Fire Museum, Brian Failing.  He asked me to do a project for the museum – a series of prints to sell in the museum shop.

I started doing research at the Aurora Historical Society, digging up old photos of Aurora.  It was really amazing to see what Aurora looked like in the 1800’s and early 1900’s.  Seeing the photos of the beautiful buildings and crowded streets made me appreciate the city where I live more.  I’m so thankful for that.

Vintage firetruck with dalmation squirrel cardinal and sun Vintage Fire Truck with Dalmation, Digitally Altered Paper Collage Print, 2017[/caption]

Next, I went to the museum to do more research on the fire history and vintage fire trucks.  Their library was so nicely organized.  I collected a lot of material, including photographs of their fully restored fire trucks.  Then I went to work creating three original collages.

This museum is a unique gem in Aurora.  The architecture is beautiful.  If you have kids they have a very nice play area within the museum, including books, a fire house, fire gear to wear, and lots of toy firetrucks.

Aurora Regional Fire Museum Illustration Aurora Regional Fire Museum Illustration, Paper Collage, 2017[/caption]

american-la-france-fire-truck-art-illustration
Vintage Fire Truck, Paper Collage Art, 2017

I am so grateful to have been able to help a non-profit in my community.

Thank you to all of the firefighters in Aurora and everywhere!!

Do you love fire trucks?  Are you planning a firefighter or fire truck nursery or kids room?  You can order a fire truck print with your city’s name on it and a reproduction of the Aurora Regional Fire Museum in my shop.

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Astronomy Paper Cut Art

Turtle looking through a vintage telescope with stars
Astronomer Turtle, Hand Cut Paper Collage Illustration, 2014

The idea for the astronomy series was inspired by my astronomer cousin, Dr. Rachel Osten.  These pieces were done as a gift for her youngest son’s room.

Be humble for you are made of Earth Be noble for you are made of stars.
“Be Noble for You are Made of Stars, Be Humble for You are Made of Earth,” Serbian Proverb, Paper Collage Illustration, 2014

This is how the quote should read:  “Be humble for you are made of earth. Be noble for you are made of stars.” It’s a Serbian proverb.  My astronomy quote paper cut art displays the words backwards because I wanted the words and pictures to correspond.  The Earth part is written in the earth and the stars part of the quote is written in the sky.

Here, I imagined a deer and turtle visiting an observatory late at night when all of the other astronomers have gone to sleep.  They will gaze at the stars until the morning hours.

A butterfly flies by the mountain observatory while the starry sky lights dance above.

These blue, astronomy animal art prints are for sale in my shop.

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