Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Vote for MaryAnn to Win a Grant (by Dec. 31)

MaryAnn wants win the Pepsi Refresh Everything grant. If she wins, she will travel the USA in 2011 bringing art workshops to 6000+ teachers without art in their schools, ultimately impacting 150,000 children.

* Did you know that you can vote 3x a day? Add 75 votes per person by Dec. 31. Here's how:

1.) Direct vote at: http://www.refresheverything.com/greatartkids
(You have to sign up first with the program to be a verfied voter.)

2.) Text your vote - no sign up needed.
Text these numbers: 104840 To Pepsi's phone: 73774

3.) Go to Facebook and vote through the Pepsi Voting App.
This is pretty easy.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Art with Anything!

Art with Anything is the recent winner of the National Parenting Publications Awards as well as theParent Tested, Parent Approved Seal of Approval

25th Anniversary Special!!

It's my
25th Anniversary
bringing art to children
through the books I write.
All through the coming year I will be doing special things to celebrate.

(for the rest of June and all of July 2010)
any Bright Ring book is yours
for $15.00 each including shipping and tax!
Big Anniversary Savings!
(Most books are $18.95, and shipping is usually $4.
See prices below each book.)

Write to me with your name and address,
and I'll send the books you wish, and ask that you pay by check to MaryAnn Kohl:

The books are:

great american artists for kidsdiscovering great artistsStorybook Art

Great American Artists Discovering Storybook Art
for Kids Great Artists

$18.95 NOW $15.00 $18.95 NOW $15.00 $18.95 NOW $15.00

Mudworksscience artsscribble art

Mudworks ScienceArts Scribble Art
$18.95 NOW $15.00 $18.95 NOW $15.00 $18.95 NOW $15.00

good earth art
$18.95 NOW $15.00 $14.95 NOW $12.00

Friday, April 30, 2010

The Artful Parent

One of my favorite blogs is "The Artful Parent" because not only does Jean Van't Hul give you art ideas, she shows pictures of children engaged in those activities. Take a peek!
Currently there are some amazing watercolor resists.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Awards, Awards!

Great American Artists for Kids has won two fabulous important awards: 1.) Benjamin Franklin Silver and 2.) Moonbeam Children's Book Award Silver.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A time for imagination

Kids need a time for imagination each day...a time that is not controlled and scheduled by an adult. This is, afterall, childhood. Provide a corner of the home where the child can have easy access to simple art materials, such as: crayons, scissors, paper, glue, stapler, tape, markers, collage items (buttons, cotton balls, scraps of fabric, old greeting cards), and whatever seems appropriate for the age of the child. Freedom of access is imperative. The child can go to this quiet undisturbed corner to create and explore materials as needed. Provide a small trash can to encourage responsible clean-up. It's so easy to do, and holds importance that cannot be calculated or tested.


Abrakadoodle Art Classes
Abrakadoodle offers classes for children ages 20 months to twelve, focusing on process art. Abrakadoodle.com has activities for kids, information and ideas for parents, research about arts education and more! Abrakadoodle is one of my favorites of all favorites!

I'm going to be presenting at the Abrakadoodle workshop inside the factory walls of Crayola. FUN FUN FUN. May 2008.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Great American Artists for Kids / Grandma Moses art idea

I've been working on a new book with Kim Solga. Great American Artists for Kids: Hands-On Art in the Styles of American Masters. Covers artists from the beginning of America through the Present. Seems like I like the contemporary people more than I realized, and Kim is great at coming up with projects for the more traditional artists, though she can work across the board as well. Here's an example from the rough draft for "Grandma Moses (Anna Mary Robertson Moses)" called BUSY SCENE.


Grandma Moses
September 7, 1860 - December 13, 1961
20th century American primitive folk art

Grandma Moses took up painting when she was 75 years old, and painted 1600 paintings, more than 225 of them after her 100th birthday! She passed away at 101. Grandma Moses began her life a year before the Civil War as Anna Mary Robertson, the third of 10 children, and was warmly encouraged by her father to draw and paint. From age 12 until she married at age 27, she worked at a neighboring farm. She married Thomas Moses, and together they farmed with their five surviving children (five of their ten children died in infancy). After her husband died, Anna Mary Moses, known as Grandma Moses to everyone, began painting scenes of life and celebrations seen in her upstate New York where she had lived most of her life. Grandma Moses was a self-taught painter, who, because of arthritis in her fingers, couldn’t do her embroidery work and turned to oil painting instead. Grandma Moses painted from the sky down: first the sky, then the mountains, next the land, and last of all, the tiny busy people. She worked from memory on pieces of old wood painted white, or on strong cardboard. Grandma Moses was feisty, strong, kind, and one of the most famous folk artists in 20th century America. Grandma Moses once said, “Painting’s not important…the important thing is keeping busy. If I didn't start painting, I would have raised chickens."

Busy Scene
Like Grandma Moses, start from the sky down and paint the background of a neighborhood, classroom, playground, park, or other interesting scene, real or imaginary. When dry, add in busy people and all the details of their lives, celebrations, or activities. Fill the painting with details.

choice of something white to paint on -
flat piece of wood, painted white cardboard, painted white
heavy white paper cardboard, covered with white paper
white posterboard white cardboard box lid
choice of paints – tempera or acrylic
paintbrushes in various sizes, including fine tip
jar of water, rag

1. Think of a busy scene that would be interesting to imagine or remember. Choosing to paint an imaginary or pretend scene is fine too.
2. Begin by preparing the background of the scene. Paint from the sky down, making mountains or hills with a larger brush and paint. Let dry.
3. Next, add as many activities and people, characters, pets, houses, and so on as desired. Fill the scene with activities and details. When satisfied, allow the painting to dry completely.

If paints seem too messy or hard to control for detailed small work, try drawing with fine tip markers instead. Additionally, lightly touch a moistened fine-point paintbrush to some of the markings to blend colors, if desired.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Damp Paper Paint

Claude Monet, 1840-1026
France, Impressionist
Claude Monet painted with short brush strokes and dabbles and splashes of pretty colors, catching light and reflection in his work. His work has a blurry look.

water and brush
white paper
Liquid Watercolor paints, or any paint

1. Brush water on paper to moisten.
2. Paint directly on wet paper.
3. Dry.
4. Optional: Outline areas with black permanent marker

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

An Oldie, but Goodie: BLOTTOS

Blottos - from Scribble Art
By placing paint between sheets of paper and then folding them together, colors mix and form strange and interesting shapes. Shapes often resemble butterflies because of the symmetry, but a butterfly shape need not be the goal. Enjoy the surprise of color and design.

tempera paints in cups
spoon or paintbrush for each cup
large sheet of butcher paper, or any paper

1. Fold the paper in half. Open it.
2. Drop a blob of paint (or several blobs of one or many colors) on the fold.
3. Press the paper together and pat.
4. Open once again to see the blotto made from the paint pressed inside.

Cut out the dry blotto shape and glue it to a striking background such as purple, black, or yellow.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Liquid Watercolors, some ideas

Here’s a few favorite art ideas of mine with liquid watercolors:

• Cut out shapes from Contact paper and peel, then press lightly to paper.
Spray with fine mists of different colors. Dry slightly. Peel away contact
Paper shapes. Masking tape stripes work too. This is a form of stencil work.

• Refurbish stamp pads (not ones that use ink, but painty ones) with liquid watercolors.

• Draw with glue from squeeze bottle. Cover glue with salt. Touch paintbrush
dripping with liquid watercolor to the salt, and zOOooOOoommm goes the color
into the salt.

• Dampen white heavy paper with water. Paint on damp paper with liquid
watercolor. Blurry, like Monet.

• Color heavily with crayon on paper. Spray with liquid watercolor. Use a
spatula or scraper to spread the paint. Dry briefly. Like a resist,

• Paint with liquid watercolors. While still very wet, sprinkle with salt.
Salt crystallizes in the water of the paint, and spreads, blurs, blends the

* Liquid watercolors are available from Discount School Supply. Love’m.

And Sara Kruez says:
* Use a pair of scissors or pliers to open up the back of your markers and put a few drops of the liquid water color in the back of the marker to re ink or soak the tips of the markers overnight in the liquid water color that has been put in small film canisters

*Use the liquid water color and let the kids color their own items in a baggie, small tuna cans (liquid materials) or with a paint brush. Use the colored art materials to glue down or put in a sensory table or use for color sorting manipulatives. If the kids are going to use right away no need to dry over night or if you have a microwave you can cook them a short time to speed up the drying process. Don't get to hot for the kids to handle, though.
white sand
white cornmeal (I'm from Iowa) Use like colored sand
any plain non colored pasta: shell noodles, bowtie pasta, macaroni, ABC pasta
salt (use like glitter)
wooden popsicle sticks or any unfinished wooden shapes
corn syrup or sweetened condensed milk(pastel effect) use like paint on heavier
surfaces like light weight tagboard. Dries shiny
shaving cream
Puffy paint-equal parts of shaving cream and white glue (looks like neon paint on
black construction paper)

*use eyedroppers to inject color in/on/mix
clear Knox molded jello
ice with salt to watch color blend
mounds of shaving cream, snow
put drops of color on the little suction cups on the underside of bath mats then
lay white paper towels down to soak up the color. Variation cut the towels in
seasonal shapes snowmen,etc.
transfer color and plain water to mix different gradients of color in sections of a
white ice cube tray. I usually give two primary colors one each on opposite
corners of the tray with plain water in between. Some children will mix until all
the liquid mixtures in each section are the exact same grad of orange for
example (red and yellow used)

* Color coffee filters

* Float liquid water colors on liquid laundry starch marble it with a toothpick and
lay a piece of paper on top for color transfer

*Fill spray bottles:
spray color on paper covered with stencils for positive/negative images
spray large white sheet hung on fence outside-fun to watch colors blend
spray on white cornstarch use finger pump not trigger sprayers for finer mist
spray on snow

* color homemade playdough, bubble solution for colored bubbles

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Art for Kids is a Process Not a Product: Art is a Process, Not a Product


Art: Exploring and Discovering is Important

MaryAnn Kohl believes, as research shows, that creating and exploring and discovering through art is important for their development. It is not how their art turns out that matters, but rather, what they learn and experience while participating in the creative process that matters.

MaryAnn Kohl

MaryAnn Kohl
author of twenty books of art projects and activities for kids of all ages


About the Author, Educator, and Presenter

My photo
Bellingham, WA, United States
Bright Ring Publishing was founded in 1985 with the first book by MaryAnn Kohl titled: Scribble Cookies: Creative Independent Art Experiences for Children. MaryAnn is the author of 20 books on art activities for children that value the process of creative art more than the finished product. View MaryAnn's books and sample art activities from all of her books at: http://www.brightring.com

MaryAnn Presents!

MaryAnn Kohl is available to travel to your location and host a keynote presentation followed by a hands-on art workshop on the topic of your choice. Favorite presentations currently include: "Enhancing Literacy Through Easy Art Experiences" and "Kids Discover the Great Masters". Check MaryAnn's website for full information on fees and meeting your particular needs. http://www.brightring.com