Sumi in the Spring 2014

June 8th, 2014

My sumi adventures this spring back on Whidbey Island were full of wonderful teaching opportunities.  Perhaps the most surprising was at the Island Christian Academy when I was selected as a “famous artist” by a third grade student.  She bought a copy of Super Simple Sumi-e and painted a number the animals by herself, then did some research about sumi-e and presented it all to her class.  When I went to see the art fair at the school, imagine my surprise when I saw my name next to Rembrandt, DaVinci, Monet, etc – the famous artists chosen by other students!  Was I ever surprised and thrilled!  I later had the chance to teach classes there and the students came to visit the Whidbey Art Gallery where I show my paintings.

I also taught 3rd and 4th graders at South Whidbey Elementary School and decided to introduce some new animals into the mix.  First was a horse since this is the Year of the Horse and second was an orca whale, the mascot of the school named “Bubbles”.  The paintings were later mounted a a very large piece of paper for display and ended up being a “Wall of Sumi-e” at the South Whidbey Arts Festival at the end of May!  It’s is so rewarding to work with kids in this way – success breeds success and builds self-esteem!

Island Christian Academy student wins 2nd prize for her report on Sumi-e

Island Christian Academy student wins 2nd prize for her report on Sumi-e

Wall of sumi paintings done by South Whidbey Elementary students

Wall of sumi paintings done by South Whidbey Elementary students

Super Simple Sumi Horse

Super Simple Sumi Horse

Student version of Bubbles, the orca whale, spy hopping.

Student version of Bubbles, the orca whale, spy hopping.

Super Simple Sumi-e wins another Gold Medal!

February 28th, 2014

Super Simple Sumi-e won another gold medal last fall in the Gelett Burgess Children’s Book awards!  These awards highlight excellence in family-friendly books – which in this case is in the Arts category.  This medal is in addition to a Gold Medal from Mom’s Choice Awards and a Silver from the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards.  And along with another gold medal I had the chance to teach sumi-e in a variety of settings in Minnesota during the fall and this very cold winter.  Two highlights stand out – the first was teaching at a Conference for Young Artists in Marshall, MN which drew inspired kids from all over the southwestern part of the state.  And then this winter I had a chance to teach sumi-e to adopted Chinese children and their parents to celebrate Chinese New Year – the year of the horse – sponsored by the the Families with Children from Asia.  And also a first for me – getting to demonstrate super simple sumi-e and later teach a class for Wet Paint Art in St Paul, MN!  Here are some photos from that event.

Practicing with vanishing image paper

Practicing with vanishing image paper

An enthusiastic audience

An enthusiastic audience

Having fun!

Having fun!