arty play
…art class gatecrasher…

…art class gatecrasher…

There’s a running joke in our house, that homeschooling is merely an elaborate ruse for extended craft time. That’s before we start cooking the books and sneaking new creative supplies in through the school budget not the craft budget. I love the creativity our homeschool rhythm inspires in our children. They are forever working on one project or another.

This year, Boy2 has art as one of his electives, and along with concentrated art blocks, I have him studying a different artist each week. He has to read an overview of their works, style and background, and then compose a piece inspired by what he has learned. A few weeks back, he asked if I would like to paint with him. My darling boy, your mama doesn’t need to be asked twice.

The artist of the week was David Hockney. His work is characterised by colour blocking, and flat perspectives, and it was fun to let go of the idea that landscapes need to be realistic to be good. The first day, I did a simple landscape, semi inspired by my morning sketches project. Day two, I was invited to join in once again, and I ended up creating a stylised representation of our property. I had a bit of an idea where I wanted to take it, but as I was working in with Mr13’s short art history sessions, I kept day one to simply backgrounds and mark making.

It had been a while since I had worked in my journal that was, in theory, supposed to be a book of days, but instead has become a book of random inspiration. Like most things, once I actually remembered journaling and painting was a thing I enjoyed doing, I wanted to keep doing it.

The next addition to the journal, the page on the right of the photo below, was in response to an Instagram prompt. #dtiys, Draw This In Your Style, has been around for a while, but I’ve never really participated, for the simple fact, I can’t draw. I also don’t feel like I yet have a style? And yet, this was what I was encouraging my son to do for his weekly art exercises. Art inspirations, with his own twist. It was what I was doing when I was painting along with him, creating landscapes in a style inspired by his learning. Maybe I didn’t need to be able to draw, or to have a style, to be able to join along with the prompt. Maybe I could use it as an excuse to throw some paint around and have some creative fun.

I am far from an artist, and I can see so much that I could have done differently. It’s quite simplistic, and not quite what I had in mind when I started, but I was in such a creative funk when I decided to be inspired by the prompt, it was a good project to have a focus on.

Keeping the groove going, I also got back to my landscape at the same time, and added the trees and foreground elements. Mess begets mess, and I also pulled my Choose Your Own Adventure journal, which has evolved into much more of a mood journal, and created the page on the right – “middle of whatever”. The end of winter has involved so very much meh, and this was my response to that awkward feeling of “I want to do something creative, but mojo says no”. Guess what, mojo? You’re not the boss of me.

I’ve continued to potter in my journal. I’m slowly working along on my shawl (look for an update this week!). I’m contemplating pulling out my Christmas gnomes to start on the 25th, giving me a solid three months to Get Them Done. My normal spring mojo boost is playing hard to get, with a lot of brain bandwidth taken up by house building and battling to find our homeschool groove. Lots of ideas, and with school holidays coming up, plenty of fun for the sake of crafty fun coming up. I’ll tame that mojo yet!

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