Saturday, March 12, 2011

How We See Ourselves (and Spray Paint!)

OH the joy of spray paint! (Mccabe taught me and I taught them... but more about that in a minute... ) Today we got started by finishing up our jewelry from last week. I found a great box of Melissa & Doug wooden beads with holes just the right size for the funky shoelaces. As soon as Ruth saw them she realized that Abby had a huge bucket of beads she had received from her uncle for Christmas that would be perfect as well--and Abby was gracious enough to share them with the other Brave Girls--so they got started making the most gorgeous shoelace necklaces I've ever seen (I might just have to make one for myself).

They also got started painting a base coat on some wooden picture frames.
Back to those in a minute, too . . .

While they were working I talked to them about the self portraits they would be creating today. I explained that the exercise we did last week when we looked in the mirror and gave ourselves a compliment was preparing us for today's main project. They would need to think about what they love about themselves.

"What is unique about me?"
"What do I like about my appearance?"

I talked about the word accentuate, which means to give emphasis to something, or as Courtney said, to "make something seem special." I told them they could accentuate something about themselves that they really love. Lips, hair (Ava's phenomenal auburn hair is the perfect example!), eyes, ears, neck. All of it is beautiful! If they only wanted to paint their eyes OR THEIR FEET, that was fine, too.

I showed them photocopies of some faces I had made and I talked a little bit about perspective and symmetry and placement of the features, but we're not going to be to worried today about getting it perfect because we are just experimenting. They'll get the technical stuff in another class... The last thing I told them was to leave some space around the edges where they could include lines from their "I Am" poems when they were finished.

They got to work.

This is Ava mixing the perfect color for her
beautiful auburn hair.

Abby and Courtney mixing hair and skin

I love that Courtney's self portrait includes her favorite
outfit, she wasn't afraid to tackle a whole body!

Christina trying to get the lips just the right shade of red.

Raquel added her glasses and the big hoop
earrings she is always begging her mom
to let her wear!

Julianna adding lines from her "I Am" poem.
She wrote the whole poem and it looked

These self portraits are
Imperfectly perfect.

While they were creating their self portraits I took them outside one at a time to finish their wooden picture frames and introduce them to the magic of spray paint. It's so much fun to watch their faces light up with delight and astonishment when they see how it looks after I lift the stencil up. We all squealed and screamed every time. They felt exactly the same way I did in North Carolina when Mccabe showed me the technique! It is so much fun. I think the picture frames look like they could be on the walls of an Anthropologie store.

And so do somebody's feet.

Next week is our field trip to meet Jennifer Levine. I showed them pictures of her work and they can't wait to meet her and check out her studio. They want to bring her some of our spray painted scrap paper and show her our "happy accidental art".

Maybe she'd like a bookmark instead??

Oh, and I almost forgot! We had a little visitor today.
Yogi came to sniff out our studio! He was a big hit with the girls, of course. Thanks to Donna for bringing him by to see our Brave Girls!


  1. lol wow can you say I qualify as a brave girl for coming out with no mascara on! lol I absolutely LOVE how you give this play by play description of what you guys are doing! I wish I was one of the little brave girls in your class.... I seriously would like you to consider letting me put some of these beautiful works on display in my new space...I would love for this passion and talent to be shared with all of the other girls out there who long to be a BRAVE GIRL!!! xo

  2. Go on the brave girls!! the self portraits are lovely!! keep it up! :) x