Middle School-1

Illustration & Story Writing Workshop with Dr. Lydia Mays

This is a special guest post by Paint Love Summer Intern & GSU student, Victoria Allen.

The fun continues with our summer series for Camp PEACE students. 

On June 24th, the momentum switched up, combining literature and visual arts with Dr. Lydia Mays. Back in GSU classrooms, we met with a fresh and eager batch of volunteers and author Dr. Mays. During the planning time Dr. Mays discussed the process it takes to write a children's book and how the author and illustrator never actually met! This was the basis for the workshop, where students would write their own book then trade off with someone else who would become the illustrator. The Paint Love team as well as volunteers were captivated as Dr. Mays described in detail the thought provoking activity. 

Following the debriefing, Dr. Mays read us one of her books entitled "The Giving Me". Afterward breaking down the process of how books are made to the Camp PEACE students.


Students were then able to write their own stories either about themselves, or anything their creative minds composed. They received help from volunteers with grammar, rhyme scheme and so much more. The growing relationships between the students and volunteers is always a wonderful part!

The event produced a nice change of pace combining literary skills, teamwork and artistic expression. We look forward July's series with new artists and the students from Camp PEACE!




Creating felt friends at Ronald McDonald House

Guest post written by Paint Love volunteer Mandy Goodwin.

Last Tuesday, families staying at Ronald McDonald House were invited to join Paint Love and Forever We volunteers in creating an art project. Curious children peered through the door at hot glue guns, piles of felt and googly eyes. We were making no-sew stuffed animals. Young minds weighed the options of making a seal, whale, or penguin. Some new the answer immediately, others needed a moment to decide.

Creating art creates relationships. Volunteers, parents, and children laughed together gluing pieces and stuffing felt bellies. Stories were shared. Dreams and wishes were whispered to cut-out hearts tucked inside the stuffing.  Some leaned into their imaginative ideas and created their own animals. Bows, extra eyes, and drawings personalized projects. This room, messy with art supplies, was a space for families to just be together, to create together.

Artist Alice Lim, and Paint Love volunteers Mandy Goodwin and Laurel Wong pose with a family at the Ronald McDonald House. 

Artist Alice Lim, and Paint Love volunteers Mandy Goodwin and Laurel Wong pose with a family at the Ronald McDonald House. 

At Ronald McDonald House, families have a place to call home while their children receive medical care. The house isn’t just a place for shelter, it’s an opportunity for a family to heal as whole. Our Paint Love project was created for healing. The handmade stuffed animals are perfect for aching hearts and bodies to cling to. They’re small enough to be tucked into arms and backpacks during travel. And like all of our favorite stuffed animals, will listen and comfort at any moment

Art Journals with the Decatur See Beautiful Club

A video posted by Paint Love (@gopaintlove) on

Our first project with the See Beautiful club at the Decatur Housing Authority was nothing short of amazing! See Beautiful is a philanthropic company with a mission to provide inspiring, ethically-sourced products that create more beautiful in the process. See Beautiful creates more beautiful in the world through empowerment, education and strategic giving initiatives.

Dr. Lydia Criss Mays, the founder, hosts See Beautiful clubs all across Atlanta once a month. We were able to be a part of the Decatur See Beautiful club and make visual journals at our first meeting.

More than just a place to write, these journals are a place for the girls to sketch out the beautiful they see in the world and paint out the beautiful they want to create in the world.

Lydia kicked off the meeting with a book reading and discussion on what it means to see beautiful. Julie and I introduced the journals about half way. The girls were so excited! I showed the girls my first visual journal and we talked about the different things I made and why. After the girls picked out their journals, we began gluing the pages together to create sturdy pages that would be more accepting of paint and other mediums. We added to and decorated the covers. The girls saw the paper rose on Julie’s visual journal and a paper rose craze spread like wildfire. Pretty soon we were all laughing because we could not teach the technique fast enough!  

We had such a great time with these amazing girls! We're excited to share a few more of the projects we did with the girls. Stay tuned!