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Monthly Archives: September 2013

It’s been a while since I last posted here… During this time I had spent a week at home with my sick children (welcome cold and rainy autumn!), had a lot of work (I mean my professional work) and made first steps in printmaking with blocks :) I hope I’ll be able to share my attempts here soon and meanwhile some inspiration:

Polish artist – Nina Gregier – fascinated with “straight lines” (as the title of her site says):

mapart.me:   Nina Gregier - Linocut Triangles

mapart.me:   Nina Gregier - Linocut Triangles

mapart.me:   Nina Gregier - Linocut Triangles

mapart.me:   Nina Gregier - Linocut Triangles

You can find Linocut Triangles here.

mapart.me:   Nina Gregier - Tennis PlayersNina Gregier – Tennis Players series found here.

mapart.me:   Nina Gregier (?)This collage found on Pinterest wasn’t described but I guess it’s also Nina’s work as it was found on board with her other art works.

For more inspiration please visit Nina Gregier’s site.

Today I’d like to start a new series: What’s on our bookshelves. Along with books we love and highly recommend I’ll also write about ones which were a little or big disappointment – it may be useful for those of you who come here via search engines looking for a specific title review. I’ll include them at the end of each post if there are any.



mapart.me:   What's on our bookshelves - Child of the World

Child of the World – Montessori, Global Education for Age 3-12+

Susan Mayclin Stephenson

I bought this book basing on Kylie’s from How We Montessori recommendation. Many Montessori books are really intimidating for me despite I know the topic a little bit. I don’t know whether it’s because of language (English isn’t my mother tongue) or the amount of information they include – I feel overwhelmed and finally they gather dust. This book is totally different! It’s small, easy to read and keep Montessori simple. After reading it Montessori seems very easy and obvious way of life. This book was a great surprise for me, I highly recommend it especially for those of you who are quite new to Montessori.



mapart.me:   What's on our bookshelves - Nature Guide Rocks and Minerals (DK Nature Guide)

Nature Guide Rocks and Minerals (DK Nature Guide)

Publisher: Dorling Kindersley

This book was featured by Kate from An Everyday Story here and I immediately bought it as I love rocks, stones and minerals like anything else. I must admit my 3,5 years son didn’t pay any attention to it but I really, really love it (it is rather book for adults or older children I think). It contains general introduction and a bit of information about each mineral. The photos are beautiful, quality of the book, paper, cover and everything is very high. I recommend it to anyone who loves stones as I do and I’ll check other books from this publisher for sure.



mapart.me:   What's on our bookshelves - Montessori Number Work

Montessori: Number Work

Bobby and June George

This book is very well done in many aspects – it is thick and sturdy, the numbers are textured (a little bit), it has simple, yet beautiful, images. But the idea is to “introduce the numbers 1 to 10 first as quantities to count before showing them as numerals” (description from Amazon) which means there are for example two owls on the right page and when you turn the page you can see number “2” on the left page. But then on the right page you have three cars which is totally confusing. I must admit when I first opened this book and saw number “2” and three cars I thought “OMG, I must be tired if I cannot count to 2!”. That’s why I do not recommend this book and didn’t even give it to my son in order not to mess with his mind.

mapart.me:   What's on our bookshelves - Montessori: Number WorkI get the idea of introducing pictures with quantities at first, but it should be done on flash cards for example. In this way it makes more mess than teaches numbers IMO.

Today a little bit late post about watercolor technique for children which I intended to post yesterday – my usual day for children and family topics.

Watercolor technique for little childrenIf you are lucky to have art loving child at home you probably wonder how to provide him with the most suitable art materials and how to display his paintings. Today I’d like to share some tips about watercolor technique for children.

Paper:

I would say this is the most important factor. Children love to use a lot of water, so very thin paper (which we usually give for economic reasons) immediately gets wet and tears. If you want to give your child opportunity to create really beautiful painting buy a thick, proffesional watercolor paper in art store. Weight of paper should be at least 190g/m2 (90 lbs) – this one is quite cheap and still buckles but is far better than standard drawing paper. I would rather recommend buying 300g/m2 (140 lbs) – this one is quite stout, I use it for my paintings too. I think that quality of paper is not so important as the weight, so I just buy the cheapest 300g/m2.

Streching paper:

In order to avoid paper buckling you can strech it in a way shown for example here (in short: wet paper evenly, place on a table, fix with masking tape and let dry). As my son usually paints on more than one piece of paper (see “Timing” below) I find this procedure too complicated. I usually just fix a few pieces of dry watercolor paper with masking tape, let my son paint on them and wait until they are totally dry before I pull off the tape. It’s not as good as technique shown in video above but still helps a little.

Colors:

Black color usually dominates all the other colors and everything goes muddy grey. For this reason I usually ask my son not to use black at all. The other idea is to take the black out of the paints set as Kate from An Every Day Story suggested here. Below you can see how I didn’t manage to do this – although the painting is still interesting (for me ;) ) it has much less details than the one above.

Watercolor technique for little children

Timing:

Sometimes I think it’s good idea to stop the child workig on particular painting (of course gently) when you see it’s good and draw his interest to the next one. Otherwise children often “overpaint” – mixing paints, adding more paint and more water and at the end painting looks more like a youghurt than a piece of art. So if you want to have a beautiful piece of art just watch and give him another sheet of paper in the right moment.

Images via my son.