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Zentangle Mindful Art for Children

Have your children tried "zentangle"? It is a mindful form of art, an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. Zentangle Art increases focus and creativity, provides artistic satisfaction along with an increased sense of personal well being. With the Zentangle Method, a child can create beautiful images from repetitive patterns. And even though the process is sufficiently structured and organized with specified series of steps, it results in a creative expression that transcends its own rules. Creating Zentangle art also provides a fun way to relax and intentionally facilitate a shift in focus and perspective. Encourage your child not to have a preconceived idea about a final result - Zentangle creation should not be restricted by one's expectations.

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Untangle kidsโ€™ creativity with this fun and inspiring Zentangle for Kids book (buy here), which illustrates step-by-step methods to help children create beautiful pictures and scenes through drawing abstract, structured patterns.  
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"Zentangle is more than just art, it is a graceful form of expression, which brings you in the moment and keeps you in the now, while allowing for self-expression. It is also good for your brain, because it makes you concentrate, which comes easy because I enjoy Zentangle so much!" - Julia.

DSC_0055All you need to create beautiful Zentangle art is 3.5" square paper and specialized pens (buy here). 
DSC_0052The book also offers special project pages on how to turn tangle artworks into decorations, cards, and gifts. 

DSC_0055Repetitive, simple steps, which are part of the Zentangle Method support relaxation, focus and inspiration. Julia had transformed this practice into a wonderful daily ritual. Creating artistic designs is part of our human heritage. In a time of the current technocratic age, simple strokes engage your child in a comfort and familiarity of basic creativity, which is timeless. As such, the Zentangle approach provides a counterbalance to our increasing use of technology, returning children to a fundamentally human behavior of manipulating symbols and putting marks on paper.

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Deliberately relaxing and intentionally directing your attention while creating beautiful artwork is an empowering and uplifting experience. Your child's creativity has no limits, and with Zentangle Art such personal creativity will flourish, inspiring expression while blissfully keeping the child in the eternal moment of Now!


Art Project ๐ŸŽจ inspired by Claude Monet's Poppy Field Near Argenteuil, 1873 (Light and Colors โค๏ธ๏ธ+๐Ÿ’š)

In continuing our  art-unit study on Claude Monet (read here), today we are ๐ŸŽจ painting a poppy field, inspired by his Poppy Field Near Argenteuil (1873) painting. For illustration purposes, we are referring to 13 Artists Children Should Know book (buy here) and Picnic with Monet book (buy here). 

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I would paint next to Adrian illustrating the steps on my painting and offering gentile guidance. However, only his hand touched his paint brush.

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Complementary colors like red and green โค๏ธ๏ธ+๐Ÿ’š     blue and orange ๐Ÿ’™+๐Ÿ”ถ    yellow and purple ๐Ÿ’›+๐Ÿ’œ

glow โœจeven more brilliantly when used together. Monet used these color combinations to his advantage to paint especially

radiant pictures.
DSC_0030Redโค๏ธ๏ธ seems even brighter when surrounded by๐Ÿ’š green!
DSC_0030All done! 
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Impressionists created the impasto effect by placing a large amount of paint on their brush and painting objects with a series of shorter, uni-directional, brush strokes. The impasto painting technique eliminates distinctive lines and refers to the thick application of paint (usually oil paint), making the painting look textured and opaque. Thus, when dried, the paint looks as though it is coming off the canvas. With the impasto technique, brush strokes are visible, and the paint is often laid out on the entire canvas very thickly right from the start of the painting process. (Dunstan, 1983.)


DSC_0030We are using vivid non-toxic watercolor painta (buy here) and this 38 Pcs art paint brushes set.

The satisfaction of a "quiet" time with my son, when each of us can express the creativity, be calm, and be in the moment is immeasurable. It is true mindfulness! Nothing exists but complimentary colors, quick and short brush stokes and thick textured paint laid over the entire paper, giving a painting almost a three-dimension feel, just like the Impressionists painted.  

Read here the introduction to Claud Monet in Introducing The World's Greatest Artists ๐ŸŽจ Series post.


Martin Luther King Jr. Day - How we Celebrate

We celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day by remembering that we shall never stop dreaming! Especially dreaming about world peace, about all people being respected and treated equally, about a day when we will all tolerate each other's differences, knowing that it is our differences that make us unique individuals: beautiful and kind, capable of holding each other's hands across the ๐ŸŒŽglobe, remembering that we are all one big family!

"l Have a Dream" Martin Luther King Jr. said - it was a beautiful dream, and that dream had become a beautiful reality for so many people! "One drop ๐Ÿ’ง  raises the sea" I teach my children. Every thought matters, every deed can bring on change, while hope and trust in the goodness of humanity will help us see it through. 

DSC_0215To discuss the qualities Martin Luther King Jr. believed so strongly in, we talked about a Peaceful Character (download a pdf here), and what it really takes to be peaceful. The following characteristics must be present: Respect (the pivotal ground that holds all other "fingers"), also Caring, Fairness, Responsibility, Trustworthiness, and Citizenship! "Wow, that's lot!" Julia said. Indeed it is! 

DSC_0215Being respectful and tolerant of differences is the cornerstone and pivotal characteristic of a Peaceful Character. 

DSC_0215 The "Respect" part takes up the entire palm of the ๐Ÿ–๐Ÿปhand!

DSC_0215The word "peace" on these Peace Cards is written in multiple languages. 

We also talked about discrimination, and how would Julia feel if she was not allowed on a bus because she has brown hair, while every one else had either blond or red hair. She thought it would be very cruel and unjust to judge someone by an external characteristic they have no control over (:

By the time the Supreme Court ruled segregated seating on public buses unconstitutional in November 1956, King, heavily influenced by Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) and the activist Bayard Rustin (1912-1987), had entered the national spotlight as an inspirational proponent of organized, nonviolent resistance.

DSC_0012Children also put together the "Children of the World" Puzzle (buy here) - This is Our Dream!

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The informational card about Martin Luther King Jr. is from "Peace Makers" pdf by Montessori Print Shop. (You may download  it for your personal use here.) 

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Lastly, I asked Julia what can she do to make a world a more peaceful place. She said she can herself be peaceful, and teach peacefulness to Adrian by not fighting and be kind. As a result, there will be 2 more peaceful people on Earth!
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 "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.

Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."                                                                               

                                                                         Martin Luther King, Jr.,

What a beautiful message to remember!

p.s. At the age of thirty-five, Martin Luther King, Jr., was the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolent resistance. "Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend." Martin Luther King, Jr.,

We remember ... to be peaceful, respectful, kind and loving!

 


Morning Meditation with Art

September 6th was Julia's first day of school. Adrian was heart broken when she was leaving. He kept saying: "Me go to school!" I replied: "Then what would I do? Whom will I teach?" He said: "Mommy go to school too!" Well, Adrian will be starting school soon enough (he is not even three yet), but I am not ready to part with him just yet:)

So, we kept busy. First, he decided to draw. I believe that art is a form of mediation for anyone, and it is interesting that is was the first activity he had chosen right after Julia left. Needless to say that he felt better afterwords. I think any creative expression helps bring balance and perspective.

DSC_0003These GIOTTO crayons are amazing! They are actually oil crayons, so they lay thick and vibrant:)

These oil crayons are made by a German company LYRA, which specializes in Waldorf Selection Colored Pencils and crayons. Also, LYRA products are AP certified non-toxic thus making it safe for children. 


DSC_0003Adrian loves trying all the different colors!

 After drawing, we went on with our day happily. He knew, Julia will be back soon enough!


How we remember ... the spiritual aspect of physical demise

July 28th was the birthday of my Grandfather (1926 -2012), who after living fully for 86 years had left this physical world to peacefully rejoice with the Higher Being, with God, with Love. Julia,  almost 7 years old, has so many questions: Why does the body stop working? Can I live forever? Do I have to get old? Can a person see/feel after his death? Why is the body put in a box ? What happens to the body? 

 All these conversations are not the easy ones, but I would rather have a difficult conversation than have her speculate, or even worse, have fears. So, I explained that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it simply changes forms. When the soul (form of energy) "leaves" the body that does not serve it any longer, the physical demise of the body does not render the end of the spiritual life, which in my opinion, lasts for the eternity, simply taking on different forms. 

"The law of conservation of energy states that the energy of a closed system must remain constantโ€”it can neither increase nor decrease without interference from outside. The universe itself is a closed system, so the total amount of energy in existence has always been the same. The forms that energy takes, however, are constantly changing." 

We then meditated, and used some of the materials from our Peace/Meditation Corner. 

DSC_0063.JPG'Walking' the labyrinth afforded some quiet time, concentration, and thoughtlessness.


DSC_0063.JPGAdrian loved the small wooden peace dove puzzle.
DSC_0063.JPGWe talked about peace - the one that comes from inside and about the world peace, and we sent peace to our Grandfather.

DSC_0080-001We then looked at pictures, remembered special times spent with the Grandfather, read articles about him, and also read some excerpts from his books.

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While using the Singing Bowl, Adrian was able to produce a very pleasant resonating sound. "Producing the singing tone is ethereal and powerful"  ... 

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We also lit a candle and sent our love to the Grandfather - wherever he is. Interestingly, right after, the candle which was burning steadily, suddenly extinguished, as if someone did it ...

"We know you are always with us. May your soul rejoice in peace."

                                          Love, your Grand and Great-Grand-children :)