Bringin’ in the Easel

Bringin’ in the Easel

We cleaned up the back yard today, and in the process discovered the old art easel that had been forgotten out on the back patio for a while.  It was covered in dust and pollen.  The girls took it upon themselves to bring it inside and refurbish it.  They tackled this job with enthusiasm.  I did nothing but give them some rags and cleaner.  Molly and Claire got the easel in perfect shape, carefully wiping it down, removing every bit of dust and pollen and arranging the easel in its old spot.

Once the easel was in place, they put it¬†to work. ¬†Claire started drawing on the whiteboard side, and Molly took over the opposite blackboard side. ¬†Claire draw a bunch of random cute things and titled it “Random Art”, and Molly drew a house. ¬†It is amazing how far Molly’s art skill has progressed. ¬†It really looks like a house! ¬†And it even has some writing on it. ¬†Here is the fruit of their labors.

 

 

Video

Claymation!

Claire just finished up a brief 4-week claymation class at the Art School at Laguna Gloria. ¬†All of her classmates’ animations are posted together as a single montage online. ¬†Claire’s creations are in there, but I’m not even sure which ones are hers exactly, except for the one spelling “Claire” in the names section near the end. ¬†Anyways, the class put together some really creative ideas, the kind of stuff only kids can dream up.

Art champion!

Art champion!

First place picture

Claire entered her school’s optional art contest a few weeks ago. ¬†The assignment for the art contest was to create a picture of the Austin skyline or a local landmark. ¬†The contest started the week before Spring Break and was due the Thursday after Spring Break. ¬†For her subject, Claire picked the University of Texas tower. ¬†Claire kept wavering on actually doing the project. ¬†She always had something else to do, and it was in danger of becoming another homework-type struggle if we pushed it too hard. ¬†So we just gently reminded her about the contest every couple of days, even going so far as to say she could just skip it since it’s just for fun. ¬†Over Spring Break, we sent Claire off to Corpus Christi with a photo of the UT tower and the official contest paper. ¬†Claire came home with nothing.

Then, two nights before her art submission was due, Claire decided to focus on it. ¬†She got far on her initial ideas but ran out of time the first night. ¬†On the second — and last — night, Claire got into a really good groove after dinner. ¬†She asked, “Does it have to look exactly like the tower?” to which we said no, you just have to be able to tell it is the tower. ¬†Claire got excited and started adding bright new colors to the tower itself and imagined details around the base of the tower. ¬†She worked hard on it up to and past bed time, giving up her nightly story time to finish the picture. ¬†She got to bed 30 minutes late but with an awesome picture to take in the next day.

We found out today that her picture won first place for first grade!  Claire was so proud and excited.  As a prize from the school, she received a compact art kit, containing paint, colored pencils, oil pastels, and more.

Way to go, Claire!

Claire’s latest career plans

Claire’s latest career plans

As part of our new bedtime chats, I asked Claire what she wanted to be when she grew up, and she said, “You know, I always wanted to be a fire fighter. ¬†But my new number one choice is…”, she then paused for effect and then whispered, “teacher! ¬†And my second choice is artist.” ¬†Those seem like great choices!

Claire has¬†mentioned wanting to be a teacher in the past. ¬†She is great with Molly’s classmates when we pick up Molly at school, often pausing and taking time to help one of the toddlers with something or just play with them. ¬†Sometimes she likes to try to teach Molly stuff like writing, as in “Molly, watch. ¬†Here is how you draw an A…” ¬†Despite Molly’s lack of interest and focus, being a toddler and all, Claire persists patiently and normally without getting frustrated, but eventually has to give up as Molly wanders off to go mess with something else.

On the artist front… Claire tells me that she is the second best artist in her kindergarten class. ¬†Irene is definitely the best artist, Claire says, no contest. ¬†But Claire tells me that she has a reputation around the classroom as the second best artist after Irene. ¬†We really love Claire’s art, full of details and imagination. ¬†Being her parents and all, we may be¬†positively biased. ¬†But I will say that Claire does seem to buckle down and really focus on drawing for extended periods better than she does any other activity, except maybe playing¬†Angry Birds.

(Just after I wrote this post, to reiterate her point, Claire brought the following drawing home from school…)

I would like to be an artist...
"I would like to be an artist. Because I am very good at art."
President Claire

President Claire

Claire’s class has been learning about America and the presidents recently. ¬†One assignment was for each kid to write what they would do if they were president. ¬†Claire’s, as usual, focuses on being nice:

"If I were president, I would help mean people be better."

This assignment was posted outside the classroom. ¬†Almost every kid in the class said something about helping other people, especially people in need. ¬†Prospective presidents would “help kids go to school”, “help people that don’t have food”, “help people who were really hurt”, “help homeless people”, “give the people clothes”, and even “give the people money.” ¬†This is basically the opposite of what we hear in the current Republican presidential debates, the theme of which is largely¬†not helping people. I’d vote for the kindergarten kids. ¬†There was one loose cannon in the class, though, who promised to “go into a war” as president. ¬†Claire thought maybe he was confused when he wrote that.

Here is Claire’s other America-relate assignment, which also came out pretty sweet.

"I love my country because there is lots of loving people."