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Oopsy Daisy, Fine Art For Kids

Kids' & Baby Wall Art and Decor

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Activities

     

    Dream Cloud by Anne Bollman Dream Cloud by Anne Bollman

     

    Monday is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. It's a day we set aside to focus on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luth

    er King, Jr., a leader of The Civil Rights Movement. Dr. King's most famous speech is the one in which he said "I have a dream." Here some ways to remember that famous speech and create new ideas and plans to keep Dr. King's dream alive.

    I Have a Dream Mobile

    Draw one large cloud on a piece of paper and cut it out. Then draw and cut three smaller ones. On the large cloud, write "I have a dream." And then on each small cloud, write down a dream. Maybe one for yourself, one for your family, and one for the world. Or maybe just three things you hope to accomplish in the future. Punch three holes in the large cloud. Along the base, and one at the top of each small cloud. Cut three pieces of string, each around a foot long. Tie one end of each piece to a hole in the large cloud, then attach each small cloud to a string. Punch a hole at the top of the large cloud for hanging. And now you have a Dream Mobile! Find some examples here.

    Volunteer

    Want to help make other people's dreams come true? You can be a volunteer. Maybe a small child you know has a dream of learning to read. Can you help? Maybe an elderly neighbor has a dream of seeing her yard neat and tidy. Can you help? Here's a Pinterest link that lists lots of good ways to find out where your volunteer help is needed.

    Read

    There are lots of really good books about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A new one just came out last year, called I Am Martin Luther King, Jr. by Brad Meltzer and illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos. Go to your local library and ask a librarian what books they have about this great man. You may even find a display of books about Dr. King in honor of the holiday.

    Most importantly, keep dreaming! (Here's a link to our featured art by Anne Bollman.)

  • Snowflake Art

    Are you cold? We are cold. It seems like the whole country is cold right now, even in the South (but especially in the Northeast!). Whether you have snow or not, this week seems like the perfect time for snowflake art.

    Folded Paper Snowflakes

    Have you tried folded paper snowflakes? They're fun to make because all you need is a piece of paper, a pair of scissors, and your imagination. Take a square piece of paper (you can cut the short side of a piece of printer paper to make it a square) and fold it in half, then in half again. You can fold it in triangles or in rectangles and squares--or even both! Then make cut-outs in the paper. Make sure lots of the cutouts are along the fold, cutting all the layers of paper. When you unfold the paper you will have one-of-a-kind snowflake art! Here's a pretty terrific template you can print out for free. Just fold the square into triangles, cut on all the lines, and you'll be all set.

    Popsicle Stick Snowflakes

    Another easy one! This craft requires just popsicle sticks (craft sticks, found at craft stores), glue, and glitter or markers. Glue three or four sticks (or more if you want to get really fancy) at the center and decorate. Suddenly, it's snowing!

    Beaded Snowflakes

    This snowflake art is as fun to make as it is to look at, because putting the beads on the pipe cleaners makes the snowflake appear right before your eyes. Here's a link on how to do this one, but it's not hard. Just cut some pipe cleaners, wind them together, and string on some pretty beads. Blue ones work well, but you can create rainbow snowflakes if you want to.

    Stay warm, everyone!

     

  • Hanukkah Crafts for Kids

    Happy Hanukkah by Donna Ingemanson Happy Hanukkah by Donna Ingemanson

    Happy Hanukkah! We are a few days in to this eight-day Jewish holiday, and we're celebrating with some of our favorite Hanukkah Crafts for Kids.

    Craft Stick Menorah

    This clever project requires only a few things: 12 craft sticks, glue, and paper or tissue paper. Glue two craft sticks together, long-way, with a small overlap at the center for the glue. Make a base by gluing one stick to the bottom and another across it for the base. Then place nine candles along the long stick, gluing them in back. Make sure the center one, the Shamash, is a little higher than the rest. Cut flame shapes from the paper or tissue paper and glue them on top of each candle for the flame. You can glue them all at once for a decoration, or you can put new the "flame" on every night of the eight days of Hanukkah. Use colored paper and sticks or color them yourself with magic markers or paint.

    Marshmallow Dreidels

    How adorable are these? And so, so easy. Just stab a pretzel stick into a marshmallow and attach a Hershey's Kiss using frosting. Yum! If you'd like to decorate your dreidel, use frosting to glue on some sprinkles. These dreidels may not actually spin (but you can try it!), but they're delicious.

    Star of David Stamp

    For this Hanukkah craft, , you need a potato, paper, pen, knife, scissors, and paint. Draw a star of David on the paper and cut it out. Use that as the template for the potato. Cut the potato in half and put the star template on the cut part. Trace around it with the pen and then use the knife to cut away at all the parts around the star. Pour out some paint onto a plate or in a bowl and stamp away. There are a few nights of Hanukkah gift-giving left, so you can use this Star of David stamp to make wrapping paper!

    Happy Hanukkah to all! Check out our Hanukkah placemats, a perfect Hanukkah gift that will become a beloved part of you celebration.

  • Meet Camille Engel

    Camille Engel is a life-long artist whose career took off mid-life.

    Camille Engel is widely known for her uncanny artistic ability to paint photorealistically--in a style so true-to-life that it resembles a photograph. In fact, the thirteenth painting she ever did won an award in a New York City exhibition for its realism. When you take into account that Camille is self-taught, and that painting was, in her words, “like telling me to speak Greek--I had no idea how to even dip the brush into the paint,” it’s clear that she’s got an abundance of talent that was waiting to be harnessed.

    “As a kid I drew and colored all the time,” Camille remembers. “My great aunt was extremely encouraging toward my art. She’d give me paper and pencil and I would draw things. I drew upside-down and when I showed them to people I’d turn them right side up. She’d say, ‘you were so little your brain hadn’t connected what you were seeing with what you were drawing.’”

    But Camille was, in her words, “a child of fifties,” and expected to be a secretary or teacher or accountant. “My mother had dreams of me being an accountant. She wanted me to take typing and math electives in high school but my dad said ‘leave her alone.’ So I did take an art elective, but I also took typing. I can still type.” And as for accounting, “if I’d become an accountant I’d probably be in jail right now, saying, ‘wait, what did I do wrong?’” Camille laughs. “Numbers are not my gift.”

    However, this prolific artist numbers every painting she does, and has from the very start, which is how she knows that lucky number thirteen was her first winner of many to come. It’s part of her goal of creating a traceable provenance for every piece she creates.

    Engel was identified in high school as a candidate for a prestigious vocational education program in Tulsa (where she grew up). She studied Commercial Art, which is what Graphic Design was called in those days.

    Even before she graduated Camille was employed by a local department store. “I pencil-illustrated everything for the newspaper--the shoes, lawn mowers, dresses--whatever they advertised in the newspaper,” close, detailed work that served her well years later when she transferred that skill for depicting realism to her fine art.

    Work at an ad agency and in logo design led to a move to Nashville and starting her own business at age 23. “My mom raised me to be very independent and confident,” Camille says. “She didn’t want me to be dependent on anybody else. I’m extremely grateful--she was looking out for me.”

    All the while, Camille says, she thought about painting. “I’d go to galleries and look at paintings and there was something in my gut that said ‘you can do this,’ but I had never done any painting.” And then came one fateful day in church. “My pastor said ‘if you have a dream that’s been burning inside of you and you’ve had it for awhile, it could be God guiding you. I want you to follow your dream.’ As soon as he said that I knew that for me, it was painting.”

    And from there, she never looked back. “I went out and bought brushes and paint and canvases. I called a local museum. I said ‘I’m old, I don’t have time to mess around, who is your best teacher?’” She was forty-five and embarking on a whole new career.

    That career has been extremely successful, with her very first bird painting winning an artist choice award for realism in a Sante Fe show for realism. (“That was a huge beginning,” she says. “That started the flow of bird paintings.”)

    We at GreenBox Art + Culture are thrilled to welcome Camille Engel into our community of artists. Her Trespasser series is a group of birds who appear to have popped right into the painting, just as they popped right into her studio one day. “I have a studio in my home,” she relays. “There are bird feeders surrounding the studio and water baths. I get to study them. In Nashville it’s usually too muggy and buggy to open studio doors to let a natural breeze in. But a few days are fabulous. This Trespasser series came about when one fabulous day I opened both my French doors to let the sun and breeze in. All these birds started coming in. A titmouse on my easel. Hummingbirds were attracted to a red background in the room. Cardinals on the couch. They were all coming in to my house like they lived there. So I thought what if they created their own little living spaces here? It’s been my most successful series.”

    And we are pleased to feature it, as well as other paintings by the talented Camille Engel, here at GreenBox.

     

     

  • The Wry Eye of Heather Gauthier

    One aspect of Heather Gauthier’s work that’s so appealing is its dignified simplicity. The pensive deer in Wine Rack, for example, seems neither bothered nor especially surprised by the wine bottles and stemware balanced in his antlers. There’s a deep whimsy to the painting that balances its fine art realism as delicately as the buck himself balances his wares.

    “I love the classic portraits of people, but I love the idea of personifying animals,” Gauthier explains. “Giving them certain tastes. Having them pose, like ‘here is my cake, don’t touch it.’ They don’t have hands, so how do they collect things? How would they pose with their treasures? They end up balancing their cakes or their teacups. So they’re very serious about their tasks.”

    Gauthier describes the wry approach to her work this way: “I like realism, but I can’t paint reality.” The mashup of animals with home decor accessories came from her love of both subjects. “For years I did store merchandising and display,” she explains. “I worked at a lot of places that had both new furniture and antiques and I was a buyer too. I just loved it. I love china, flowers, the patterns of collected objects. When I started painting, I thought, ‘what do I want to look at? A pincushion in the shape of a pear with little calico patterns.’ So I’d paint what I wish I had. It wasn’t enough to paint just an animal. I needed more colors and a lot of texture.”

    The first animal with human she painted was an albino deer with “a bunch of sewing stuff in its antlers,” she remembers, “pincushions, buttons, all that kind of stuff. All I had to do was one and I realized this is what I want to do forever.”

    And Heather Gauthier’s fans are thrilled to hear it. Her first big gallery show in New Orleans nearly sold out last October, and she averages about one hundred original paintings a year. She’ll have about ten canvases going at once, all around her house, and start with a background, then add an animal, then add the animal’s prized possessions.

    “It’s like a big puzzle when I paint them,” she says of her process.

     

    And fortunately, those of us who appreciate Gauthier’s art don’t need to worry about her running out of ideas, even with so many canvases being created at once. Because there are so many animals and so many wares to combine. “The subject matter is unlimited,” she says. “It’s hard to imagine doing anything else.”

    Shop Heather's wildly inspiring collection here.

  • Thanksgiving Table Crafts for Kids

     

    Thanksgiving Placemat

    It's almost Thanksgiving! If you are as excited as we are, you might need some ways to keep yourself busy. How about helping to get the table ready? Here are some Thanksgiving table crafts for kids to do while they're waiting for the big dinner.

    Wrap the Silverwarethanksgiving table crafts for kids

    Grab some bright napkins (doesn't matter if they're paper or cloth) and wrap each one around a knife, fork, and spoon. Tie thew bundle with twine or pretty ribbon. Put one at each person's place at the table.

    thanksgiving table crafts for kidsCreate a Fruit Tray

    Here's the cutest turkey we've ever seen! Follow this picture or use your favorite fruits. Just make sure you start with a pear for the turkey shape and fan out lots of fruits around it. It's healthy and it's fun.

     

     

    Decorate a Candle Holderthanksgiving table crafts for kids

    The one in the picture uses popcorn kernels, but candy corn would look pretty, too. Put a candle in a glass holder and then carefully pour the kernels or candies around it and voila! Be sure not to fill up too close to the flame!

    Make Placemats

    This one's our favorite, because at Oopsy Daisy, we love personalized placemats! Get a large piece of paper (or tape 4 standard drawing papers together) and draw something that's special to one guest at your Thanksgiving dinner. Put that person's name on it so they know where to sit and that the artwork is just for them. Make one for every guest and your friends and family will have a treasure to take home with them after the meal is over.

    Next year, how about an Oopsy Daisy Thanksgiving placemat for everyone? Come take a look, and Happy Thanksgiving!

     

  • Meet Alison Junda

    Meet Alison Junda

    Alison Junda always assumed that galleries were the best way for artists to sell their work. In fact, a local gallery is where Alison got her start. But the internet has opened new venues for artists, and it’s a change that has served Alison’s career well.

    “Growing up, I always just assumed that artists sold paintings through galleries and that was the only outlet, the only way to get your things out there,” she says. “But now it’s totally different, with online selling and websites. That’s been a huge game-changer.”

    Alison lives with her family in New Jersey. Four local galleries carry her work, she says, and three of those four found her via social media. She’s a full-time artist, which is not something she initially thought she’d be able to be. “I’ve always painted,” she says. “I took a lot of art in high school, like senior-study-type classes. I always kind of wanted to pursue art but wasn’t sure if that was the best career choice for me. I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it as an artist.” And so she majored in interior design, which seemed to be a better career move, she explains. But with the advent of social media, “I’ve been able to connect with people locally and throughout the country.”

    Alison’s artwork is heavily influenced by her surroundings. She grew up in Maryland by the bay and spent summers in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, “so I really fell for the ocean by going down there every summer. I’ve always been inspired by--and loved--coastal landscapes.” These landscapes are right in her backyard, practically, so she brings images back to her studio. “I don’t usually do [outdoor] painting,” she clarifies. “It’s a lot to bring everything with me. I’m more comfortable painting at home. I go to the beach and take photos there. I sometimes work directly from a picture. But sometimes it’s an inspiration and I change things here and there, especially colors. There’s a neat blend of taking a photo and editing it, either via the computer or in my head, and pulling in different colors.”

    Alison, who works in acrylics, has recently added trucks and bikes to her subject matter. This is thanks to the first gallery in which her work was sold. “There’s a really cool nautical and vintage coastal inspiration for everything they sell,” Alison says. “They’ve been really good about inspiring me and suggesting things. The surf trucks and the bikes came out of inspiration from that store. I’ve always loved vintage trucks and jeeps. I thought maybe I’ll see how this goes, and they were really popular. I had a jeep wrangler for many years before I had kids and I loved it. I loved driving around in the summer. You see it a lot around here,” so the inspiration just keeps on coming.

    As for future inspiration, Alison does have some ideas, but she’s sticking to what she loves best. “I’ve thought about doing more landscapes in addition to seascapes,” she reports. “But other than that I really like what I’m doing now. I really like painting oceans, landscapes, boats, bikes, and cars, and if I stay in that area there’s plenty of variety.”

  • Meet Katie Daisy

    Katie Daisy loves flowers so much that she named herself after one. “It’s my pen name,” Katie says. “I was just sitting in class one day at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. I studied product design in college and I started sketching all these ideas for this artist brand I wanted to have. “Katie Daisy” came from my pen. It was amazing. It sounded nice and it’s worked well for me.”

    Flowers have been an important part of Katie’s life from the beginning. She grew up in rural Illinois, in the prairie, in a town of only about 500 people. Everything in her portfolio, she says, is tied to her upbringing and childhood. She spent the majority of her childhood outside, she says, experiencing nature and creeks and flowers and insects. “Flowers are my big thing,” she says, “but pretty much all of nature is important to me. It was so fun growing up there.”

    Just as she was fortunate to grow up in a place that inspired her, so was Katie fortunate to start her career at the ideal time. “I was in college around the time Etsy started booming. I feel like I hit it at a really good time. I was working at the service bar in college, like an in-house Kinkos. I was allowed to work on my own work, so I did a ‘you are my sunshine’ piece. Believe it or not, it was only one of two or three on Etsy at the time! [A recent Etsy search on the phrase returned over 18,000 hits.] It was picked up by tons of blogs and went crazy. That’s when I really started adding quotes and lettering to my artwork.”

    As her art has evolved, Katie has started using her own phrases instead of quotes. She’s into evoking feelings and emotions, she says, relying on memories of her childhood and time spent outdoors.

    And what she’s doing is working; her combination of florals and inspiration has hit a chord. Katie’s recent book, How to Be Wildflower: A Field Guide, was a New York Times bestseller, and she’s a full-time artist.

    She now lives in Bend, Oregon with her husband and 3-year-old son. “Bend is a really lovely place too,” she says. “It’s a different sort of landscape than I grew up with but it’s got different things to explore.”

    What will Katie Daisy be exploring next? Whatever her imagination can conjure. “I don’t think about the commercial side a whole lot,” she says. “I’ve never hopped on the trend bandwagon. I’ve been really lucky that I can paint what I want and people respond to that. I truly believe that if you’re expressing yourself authentically, people can see that and will want a bit of it for themselves.”

  • Meet Brett Blumenthal

    Meet Brett Blumenthal

    Brett Blumenthal’s art continues to inspire us. Her baby animals have the sort of soulful air that only an artist and an animal lover can create. Brett is both those things. We talked with her recently about how her art career is evolving.

    Oopsy Daisy: What inspired you to focus on animal portraits?
    Brett Blumenthal: When I was pregnant with my son [Alexander, who is now 4], I wanted to create art for his nursery. I did a series of safari animals with our cat, DaVinci, intertwined into them. I did a series of a family of three, plus our cat. People who would look at Alexander's nursery art said "oh my goodness I had no idea you could do this. You should sell it." When I did start selling my art, the family thing wasn't resonating as much as I hoped, so I started exploring what I thought was interesting.

    OD: Have you always had a passion for animals?
    BB: Yes. One of the reasons I dedicate ten percent of my own profits to animal welfare and wildlife conservation is that they don't have a voice and we do.

    OD: Do you have formal art training?
    BB: My dad was an artist and most of my training came from him. I took lots of art classes through grade and high school and never thought of it as a career, but I did become an architect. Lots of design classes and art are part of that curriculum.

    OD: What is next for you?
    BB: I will always continue to focus on animals because that is a passion of mine. I did a set of dinosaurs for a customer, and dad cancelled the order because the family switched their nursery theme to trucks. I asked if I could do some trucks for him instead and he agreed. At the same time, my son is getting into trucks (he’s not so much into animals anymore). I have been exploring the path of opening a new genre for boys. I am branching out and finding it challenging and interesting.

    OD: What would you tell kids who are interested in a career in art?
    BB:I would tell a kid to never be scared of being out there. I'm a pretty literal artist, which is why I'm a realist instead of an abstract artist. You might have a bit of fear of going out of the ordinary and wondering if it's going to be accepted. Don't let fear squash your creativity, and do something every day. Find a way to have an artistic outlet every day.
    I find that if I look at what I did for Alexander's nursery compared to what I'm doing now, you really can't compare the two. If you don't keep working at it you won't get better.

    Brett Blumenthal lives in Charlotte, NC with her husband, cat, and son.

  • Meet Maren Devine

    Meet Maren Devine

     

    Maren Devine finds inspiration all over, and she tries to return the favor as much as she can. “Magazines, being outside, looking at other people’s work, that’s all very inspiring,” she says. “And Instagram has been a wonderful source of people and inspiration.” Devine posts her own work on Instagram, providing inspiration for others. “I try to post at least once a day,” she says, “and sometimes more than that. New works, a lot of paintings, prints, that kind of thing.”

    Once she has the spark of an idea, though, Devine lets her imagination take over. “I love doing flowers. Previously, I would work from ones around the house. Now I make them up. They’re more abstract. I do use subject matter [as a starting point] but I find if I don’t have a preconceived idea of what something should look like, I like the end result better.”

    This idea of trusting her instincts has served Devine well over her career. She earned an MFA and worked as a designer, but when her daughters were small she went back to school and became a high school art teacher. “I loved teaching high school,” she remembers. “The students were so fun to talk to. They were fearless. There is a lot of happiness being around high school kids.”

    But she also started painting every day, and quickly realized she’d missed working with her hands. She started showing her art. And soon she knew she was ready to make the leap and start working on her own art full time. She says her husband was a major supporter of that decision, which helped her take the important step.

    Devine loves being a full-time artist, and she says she always has music playing—any music. “If I have music on everything goes better,” she explains. “I love jazz and old music like ’70s or new stuff that my daughters are listening to. Anything that sounds good that day. It just puts me in the mood. I’ll just have it on in the background. I don’t sing along,” she adds. “That would not be good!”

    In addition to flowers, Devine finds herself drawn to painting marshes, probably because she remembers them fondly from her childhood. “We’d go for drives to the marshes [she grew up in Florida and New Orleans]. My paintings remind me of that. We did a lot of traveling growing up. We even have them in South Texas, where I live now, that look very similar. Some of the ones I paint are memories I’ve had or pictures I’ve taken from driving down the coast.”

    Devine says she loves color but doesn’t have a particular favorite. “Right now I like a lot of blue,” she explains. “I love pink too. Last year I was using a lot of lime green. It always changes.” She pauses. “But if you looked at my paints you’d think my favorite color is pink. I have one large box for each color but two for pink. I can’t not buy a tube of pink paint. I love them all: the light ones, fuchsias, magentas…”

    Maren Devine considers for a moment, perhaps letting inspiration find her again.

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