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Oopsy Daisy, Fine Art For Kids

Kids' & Baby Wall Art and Decor

  • Donna J. West: Style for Miles

    If you want to feel like you’ve got style for miles, check out Donna J. West’s “Jeans Girl” paintings. These long-legged chic women look like they’re literally stepping out of some of the best-curated Instagram feeds around. And feeling inspired is the whole point of the series, West says.

    “I came up with the concept of this Jeans Girl series, with the holes in the jeans, great shoes, the fashion,” she says. “It took off. People started buying them and wanting more, and I just love doing them. [I used to] put faces on there, but if someone looks at it and says ‘that’s who I am, that’s what I’d wear,’ then they can put their face on it. I’m not painting portraits, I’m painting fashion inspiration.”

    Fashion inspiration is all around West, who for over twenty years has been a buyer for a women’s boutique in Chicago that specializes in swimwear, jeans, tops, and accessories.

    Originally she created the paintings to hang in the shop, and the response to them was overwhelming. But just because she’s got an international audience now doesn’t mean you still won’t find her work on the walls: “It’s the perfect place for my art,” she says. “Because the customers buy fashion, they want fashion for their houses too, hanging on their walls.”

    West styles each girl with trends she’s encountering in her job. “I get a lot of inspiration from social med,” she says. “And sometimes from the shoes in my closet, sometimes shoes that are trending out there. I tend to paint what I bought for the store or what I’m seeing forecasted for the next couple months.”

    “With each girl I decide, ‘does she need a pink jacket? White? When I first started painting them there were a lot more of the creams and warm tones. Now I’ve started drifting into cooler backgrounds [to reflect trends] in home décor.”

    West paints in oils, layering the colors on with a palette brush for achieve a vibrant, thick texture that indicates movement. She dabbled in acrylic painting as a child, but creating visual art was not part of her adult life until she took it up around seven years ago as a hobby (“I needed a release,” she explains). Now she paints in her home studio around three days a week.

    West also paints cityscapes; “mostly Chicago, because I live here. My take on that is there’s a lot of cityscape painters out there. So I put flowers in mine to make them happier and different. We have a lot of cold weather here, and I like to think of Chicago as an outdoors, happy place to be. The flowers add a whimsical touch.”

    And speaking of flowers, West also creates paintings that focus exclusively on florals, again incorporating fashion-forward color palettes.

    Just as West works in colors that go with their décor, so does her painting pair nicely with her job as a retail buyer. “I think it’s a nice complement,” she summarizes. “It really works for me. I have a following of not only my regular [clothing and accessory] customers in the store, but ones who have purchased my paintings. I think it goes hand in hand.”

     

    Written by Ruth B.

  • Creative Lunches for Kids

    Creative lunches for kids don't need to be elaborate or difficult to make. In fact, creative lunches require only a few imaginative cuts, trims, and additions to regular lunches. Here are a few to try, from your friends at Oopsy Daisy:

    Sandwich Sushi

     

    Sandwich Sushi Recipes

    No raw fish here! This easy recipe can be made with just about any sandwich filling. Cut the crusts off a piece of bread and flatten the slice with a rolling pin. Put the sandwich ingredients on the bread, roll it up, then slice with a serrated knife. Turn each piece on its side and you've got sandwich sushi! PS-save the crusts to make an individual-size bread pudding.

    Bento Box Art

    23 Bento Boxes for kids

    This artistic lunch just requires the use of some flower-shaped cookie cutters. Shape the sandwiches (again, save the crusts for bread pudding) and fruit and veggie slices (carrot coins and apples work well) and add some artfully arranged grapes. Some bright candies are a nice and cheery touch!

    Kabobs

    6 no cook meals for kids

    This idea comes from our silly snacks Pinterest board. Basically, you just deconstruct a favorite sandwich (like turkey club), salad (Cobb), or meal (pizza!) and thread it on a wooden skewer. You can create your own, but this link has a handy list of items to make a few favorites.

    Personalized Placemats

    Creative lunches deserve personalized placemats! Ours are artwork on a mat, to which your child's name can be added. These mats are easy to wipe clean and they meet CPSIA guidelines. Roll one up into your child's backpack for an unforgettable first-day-of-school surprise!

  • The Eyes of Kerryann Torres

    The eyes of Kerryann Torres

    Look closely into the eyes of an animal painting by Kerryann Torres, and you’ll see immediately that they are truly portraits. Each one of this Georgia-based artist’s subjects has soulful eyes; a personality. That’s intentional, Torres says, and it’s in part because each subject is a specific animal, not an amalgamation of the breed culled from photos.

    “Each animal [I paint] is based on one particular animal,” she says. “Either I’ve interacted with them and have an idea what their personality is like, or if someone sends me a photo, they’ll tell me about the animal’s personality. If it’s an animal I haven’t met I have to make up a story behind it. I feel like I have to know the animal and interact with them.”

    And Torres has interacted with many animals in her life, all around the globe. She’s lived in Hawaii, California, Arizona, England, South Africa, Puerto Rico, Ireland prior to her current home near Atlanta. In England, where she grew up, she had “a huge love for sheep and foxes,” and in fact the family had so many animals that Torres’ mother claimed she couldn’t tell everyone apart. “I’m number five of seven siblings,” Torres says, and my mother could never keep us straight so we’d go by numbers. I was Number Five. We’d be totally offended but she’d say ‘with all these animals how can I keep you all straight?’” In addition to her humor, Torres’ mother also had artistic talent. “She did watercolors as a hobby and was always talking about composition,” Torres recalls. “That was a big influence [on me].” Several other of the family are artistic, including a professional photographer.

    As for Kerryann herself, her artistic side showed a bit as a child, when she liked to draw. But it wasn’t until three years ago, after a career spent in real estate, that she really took up art. Not surprisingly, Torres picked up a brush for the first time in order to capture an animal in her life. “Our dog was dying of cancer and I felt this incredible need to paint her,” Torres says. “I had never painted. I got on YouTube and googled ‘how to paint a dog.’ You can find anything on YouTube these days.” Whereas this heartfelt gesture might have resulted in a fair-to-middling painting for most of us, for Torres it was a revelation. She’s now a full-time professional painter.

    “I’m always trying to get a connection between the animals I paint and the humans who see them. I want people to connect with animals. That’s why I put wallpaper in the background, as a reminder of the domestication of animals, that we invite them into our homes and how much joy the bring. [The wallpaper indicates that] even wild animals can bring us that joy.”

    Written & Interviewed by Ruth Beach for Ooopsy Daisy Art

  • The Happy Accidents of Sillier than Sally

    sally walsh, animal art, animal painting

    Sally Walsh is the artist behind Sillier than Sally, whose enchanting watercolors feature soulful-eyed animals and lots of movement, thanks to the dots and spots of color around them. Like a lot of artists, Walsh finds her inspiration from her surroundings. But in her case, it’s not only the subject matter that that’s influenced by her day-to-day life, it’s the very medium she works in as well.

    “I have a home studio, and it’s a lovely space,” says this Sydney, Australia-based painter. “It’s full of beautiful light, up high, and looks over a ridge of trees and a lot of wildlife. I never had painted a bird before we moved here. It’s funny how your environment impacts your artwork.” Walsh is also the mother of two boys, ages 5 and 1, and just as she hadn’t painted birds until she lived among them, neither had she painted in watercolor until she became a mom.

    “I was always mixed media and acrylic,” she explains, “and then my [first] son was born. I remember having to go up to see him [in his crib] and my paints were always drying up. I was drying up all these paints and it was expensive. Then I had a girlfriend who wanted a watercolor art logo and I used them.” Walsh found that the watercolors didn’t dry out when she needed to turn her attention to other things, and so she started painting in that medium.

    Still, it’s taken some getting used to, she says. “With acrylic, there’s so much more control than with watercolor. You can layer it, you can paint over it. But with watercolor, you can layer, but you have no control over it. If I have finished an artwork in watercolor, it’s finished, whereas with acrylic you can go back and go over and repaint forever. Watercolor is an unruly medium.”

    But just as with the unpredictability of parenting small children, there is great beauty in watercolors, Walsh has discovered. “It contains lots of pigments and natural elements from the earth. Some have crystal and stone. It’s a different world, like people of all nationalities coming together and having a party on your page. If you embrace that and let it happen it adds so much energy and life to your artwork. Loosen up and let go and enjoy the ride.”

    Loosening up and enjoying the ride is actually how she discovered one of her artistic signatures, too. Like a vibrant halo, her subjects are surrounded by dots and drops of paint; “blobets,” as one online fan of her work named them. Those delightful details are also the happy result of her harried days, Walsh says. “They were, originally, not at all intentional,” she laughs. “I’m impatient and I’ve got kids and so a lot would naturally happen on the painting—I literally tap my paintbrush while I move around. And it turns out that’s a great way to cover up mistakes. I’ve seen people try to replicate them online. They replicate each dot the same, and I think ‘dude, I stuck my elbow in paint to make that one.’ And now it’s part of my style. It’s almost the aura of the animal, reaching out and speaking to the animal next to it. A transfer of energy off the page that connects to the paper and everything around it. Beautiful poppets of energy.”

    Walsh’s background is in graphic design, and she spent a few years working as an animator for Disney (among the films she worked on are Brother Bear 2 and Lilo and Stitch 2). In addition to her paintings, Walsh leads classes and workshops, with the plan to add some to her website in the near future.

    It’s all in a day’s work for this mom, who notes that even though the paintings come out beautifully, the work that goes into them is very real. “Being a working mom, and running your own creative business, it’s beautiful but it’s such chaos,” she says. “People think it’s frolicking through the woods painting rainbows, but it’s like, if only you knew what time I get up in the morning!”

  • Meet Bianca Pozzi

    Bianca Pozzi Artist Interview

    If Bianca Pozzi’s dreamy art makes you think of children’s books, you’re not alone. She’s thinking of them too, both in style and in purpose. Children’s book art is “Definitely my biggest source of inspiration. I realized that my patterns were always full of characters and I usually like to tell a story with them,” she says. As for her purpose, Pozzi intends for her art to evoke specific feelings: “I like to remember the feeling I had when I was reading a book when I was a child. That's the feeling I want people have when they look at my work, a sense of wonder, beauty, dream and discovery.”

    Pozzi lives in Southern Brazil, the country where she was born. She realized she wanted to be an artist when she was in college, studying fashion design. After a stint creating and painting fabric patterns, she started working for herself. She notes that she relies on those print-designs skills every day: “Learning the principles of design was very important for me. I learned about creative process, problem solving, composition and so on.”

    Unlike many artists who are starting to do all their creating digitally, Pozzi still uses traditional media, digitizing it later for reproduction. She researches, sketches, and experiments, and then she paints. “It's how I have the most fun making art, and I like that it has its imperfections,” she says.

    As her Oopsy Daisy collection indicates, Pozzi’s favorite subject is animals, to which she gives fanciful touches. “It's a bit magical to be able to bring to life little creatures with such human characteristics,” she says, “Wearing clothes, hats and having their own personality at the same time. There are endless possibilities for this!”

    Pozzi sees her work as having a very basic importance in the lives of children, much like children’s literature does. “I believe children deserve art that will inspire them, give them confidence and make them dream. They deserve quality. I do have this in mind when I'm creating, and I'm really grateful that I'm able to do this for a living. It’s just part of who I am. I think the world can be so harsh these days, even for small children, so we probably need art more than ever right now. “

  • Back-to-School! Classroom Tips + Tricks to Succeed in 2018-19

     

    Back To School Tips 2018

    Here are a few of our favorite ways to make back-to-school more fun and stress-free for parents and kids.

    Make a Plan

    What do you want to accomplish this school year? Do you want to learn more about dinosaurs? Improve your study habits? Speak up in class more? Even very young students can benefit from creating a short list of things they want to learn. Write it down or draw pictures!

    Check In

    At the end of every week, look at the list. What have you accomplished? What do you still need to work on? Is there something new you want to add? Looking at your list will keep you focused all year.

    Find a School-Day Routine

    Set a time for each of these things: wake up, leave the house, have an after-school snack, do homework, relax, go to sleep. Those are the things a kid can control, unlike the time dinner is on the table or when Mom or Dad comes home. It’s important to have a set plan for the week to keep you on track.

    Create a Homework Caddy

    Here’s an idea we love: grab a dollar store bin that’s for toting cleaning products around the house. But instead, fill it with homework supplies! Things like pencils, paper, scissors, and glue. Then you can grab your bin and go find your study spot for the day, knowing you’ll have everything you need. Find some more tips on creating a homework caddy here on Pinterest.

    Choose Your Duds

    Every night before bed, decide what you want to wear the next day. Get the clothes ready and put them near your bed. School starts early, and it’s nice to have one less thing to think about in the mornings! And yes, this is important even if you wear a uniform. Less running around in the morning is always a good thing.

    Relax!

    Working hard is important, and so is relaxing. Do you have a favorite way to unwind? Maybe you like to sit and read a book, or go for a walk, or just sit cross-legged and meditate. Any of these ways is good for taking a mental break.

    Discuss

    Take time to talk as a family about how things are going at school. If conversations are hard to get started, try questions that need more than a yes or no answer. A few: what did you and your friends talk about today? What is the most interesting conversation you heard today? Is there something you know now that you didn’t know last week?

    Shut it Down

    You hear this a lot, and that’s because it’s important. Remember to keep electronic devices out of your room at bedtime. It’s so tempting to watch or read or play late into the night! But you need a good night’s sleep. Ask Mom or Dad to hang on to your screen until tomorrow.

    Dream

    Don't lose focus on what you want to do. Even if one day you want to be an astronaut and the next you want to be a teacher, it's important to remember that you have a whole future ahead of you. That's why you're in school! Here at Oopsy Daisy, we offer lots of educational art to help you keep learning and remind you to follow your dreams.

    and one more thing...

    Have a terrific year!

     

  • Summertime Art

    Summer is never long enough. In many places across the country, school is starting already! Let's grab on to summer with both hands and not let go. Our favorite way to keep summer all year long is by putting summer art on our walls. We're so happy to share our bright and fresh summertime art with you!

    Bright, Blue Skies

    Little Pink Vespa by Kris Langenberg Little Pink Vespa by Kris Langenberg

    What could be brighter and sunnier than a blue Paris sky? Little Pink Vespa by Kris Langenberg is the perfect way to bring some French flair to your walls. This kids wall art will inspire dreams of travel and sunny days.

    Colorful Flowers

    Cherry Blossom Birdies by Winborg Sisters Cherry Blossom Birdies by Winborg Sisters

    Who wouldn't smile every time they looked at Cherry Blossom Birdies? This personalized wall art by Winborg Sisters captures the beauty and promise of spring blossoms and sweet birds. It's so well-loved that we offer it not only as canvas art but also as night lights, growth charts, and even wall decal cut-outs.

    Sunshine

    You Are My Sunshine by Carter Carpin You Are My Sunshine by Carter Carpin

    Keep sunshine on your walls all year long with You are my Sunshine art. This sunshine art piece by Carter Carpin is so bright, especially when it's a personalized night light. Talk about a summertime glow.

    Enjoy our fast-fleeting summer, and have a look at our bright summer art to celebrate the bright season.

  • DIY Wrapping Paper

     

    DIY Wrapping Paper

     

    If your house is anything like ours, you're looking for ways to entertain kids in the waning days of summer. Homemade wrapping paper is a great idea for a way to spend a day being creative while creating something useful.

    Over on Pinterest, we found a bunch of ways to make homemade wrapping paper. For each idea, start with either a large roll of craft paper or a few big sheets of art paper. (You can even cut up a paper grocery bag in a pinch!) Here are three of our favorites:

    Potato Watermelon Print

    This one requires just a paintbrush, some paint, and a potato. Cut the potato in half once, then in half the other way. Use the edge to make red prints onto the paper. Once dry, add black "seeds" and green "rind."

    Twine

    This one has a sophisticated, artsy look we love. Wrap a small woodblock with twine. Make sure not to be too neat with the wrapping, since you want a loose, organic look. Then use a stamp pad to make prints of the wrapped block. Try different patterns.

    Corn Cob Print

    How fun is this? Use a corncob like a rolling stamp to make interesting prints and patterns. See if the recipient of your gift can guess how the prints were made!

    Spend a day making a few sheets of DIY gift wrap. School will be here before you know it, but so will the (gift-giving) holidays!

  • Map Art Makes Kids Rooms More Fun!

    Watercolor Map - Bright by Katie Vernon Watercolor Map - Bright by Katie Vernon

    Map Art is on our minds today because next month bring us Hawaiian Statehood Day! The third Friday in August is the official celebration of the day Hawaii became our fiftieth state on August 21, 1959.

    Hawaii Fast Facts

    Hawaii is the world's largest island chain.

    Hawaii's nickname is the "Aloha State." "Aloha" means hello and goodbye in Hawaii.

    There is only one land mammal native to Hawaii: the Hawaiian hoary bat. People brought all the other land mammals to the islands.

    Hawaii is the only state with 2 official languages: English and Hawaiian.

    The Hawaiian capital of Honolulu is the birthplace of our 44th president, Barack Obama.

    Hawaii expands more than 40 acres per year, thanks to Kilauea, Hawaii's largest volcano. Its eruptions add lava to the island that makes it larger every time.

    Can you find Hawaii on a map? Check out our map art!

    We can help! We have a lot of map art for kids, and some of it can even be personalized with a child's name. Some of our map art features the whole world and others feature the US. Map art combines learning and art in a creative and fun way.

    Happy Statehood Day (almost), Hawaii!

  • Art for Kids

    Art For Kids

    Summer is the perfect time for enjoying a book with the whole family. One of our favorites is about wintertime, and reading it is a great way to cool off on a hot day. Wolf in the Snow, by Matthew Cordell, is the 2018 Caldecott Medal winner for most distinguished American Picture Book of the year.

    We here at Oopsy Daisy love keeping track of the Caldecott Medal books, since we love books for kids almost as much as we love art for kids. The great thing about kids' art is that it sparks kids' imagination. The artwork on a child's wall can inspire a whole lifetime of stories and ideas.

    So in honor of Wolf in the Snow and summertime reading, we'd like to share some of our favorite art for kids' imaginations, and their walls! You can shop our site by theme, so it's easy to find the perfect art for the kids in your life, whether they love dinosaurs or dancing, sports or the circus. Here are a few others:

    For Kids Who Love Animals

    Sweet baby animals or exotic wild animals--find the animals that will spark your child's imagination. Invite your child to name the animals and make up adventures for them. Your art will inspire your own bedtime stories.

    For Space-Loving Kids

    Space art is so much fun! What sorts of adventures can your child dream up by looking at space art every night? He or she may be inspired to go see our vast Milky Way first-hand.

    Kids Who Love Words

    We've got all sorts of alphabet art for kids who like letters and words. Maybe your child will grow up to create a Caldecott winner some day!

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