Positive Relationships-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.

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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

Altered Portraits at Woodruff's Teen Lounge

We were so excited to host an event at the Woodruff Art Center’s Teen Lounge. We got to share this project with over 50 teens from all over Atlanta. We had a large team of artists to brainstorm the project. Amy Myers, Ross Boone, Margaret Crane, and Caitlin Chase all gave of their immense talent to make this project possible. The theme was social justice in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We did what all busy artists with jobs do, we started an email chain to collaborate. This might be my favorite stage of any project. I love hearing ideas and seeing things come together.

We started talking about the way we see ourselves and the way others see us. We're all so different, but we are also very alike, for reasons that have nothing to do with the color of our skin. We started thinking about what your actions have to say about the way you fit into the world? When you alter your portrait, when you act at all, you have the opportunity to show your true character. If we judged people by character alone, what would that look like?

This quote stood out to us from the I Have a Dream speech:

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
— Martin Luther King, Jr.

That was our prompt. We like to come up with really deep questions, but then wait to see what the group dynamic is like before diving in. We let the kids decide how deep they want to go when discussing a theme. It turned out that we had tons of great opportunities for discussion. We had four Paint Love artists and one stellar volunteer so there was a lot of room for hands on instruction and one on one conversation.

The first step in our project was to take photos against a plain wall and print on canvas paper. 

A little practice run on an old canvas! 

A little practice run on an old canvas! 

After that, students were able to add to and alter their portraits using embroidery, paint and other found objects. We were so enchanted with the results. I've posted a few here, but you can find the full galleries on our Facebook Page

Gallery I   Gallery II   Gallery III 


A big thank you to Woodruff’s Teen Lounge for hosting us and to our incredible artists and volunteers. Special thanks to Binders for donating canvas boards!