Sunday, January 31, 2010

Day 7

There are a few interesting side effects to committing to painting daily, whether it fits or not.
1. That I can, even if it's not convenient or I'm not feeling particularly inspired.
2. I enjoy it. I'm finding a groove.
3. My family can indeed match their own socks. Or in the case of my youngest, search for a certain length, making color and pattern a secondary consideration.

Today's piece is "Sprinkler Fun", with help from Eloise G (10)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Day 6

Today's piece is called "Dancers Stretching" with help from Calvin (28) in Mrs. Foster's kindergarten class.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Day 5

Today's painting is called "Kissing Kitty" and the background help is by Toby (26) in Mrs. Foster's afternoon kindergarten class!

We're in the paper... and on CNN iReport!

What an amazing day. I picked up the The Newburyport Current and wow! Barbara Taormina did a fantastic article about what we're doing. What a boost. And the print version has a full page of color! They ran great photos of kids in Mrs. Whitney's class.

Might have to cut and paste the url here to see the article. For some reason the link isn't working (which means I can't figure it out)...

The CNN iReport was posted by a great friend. It links back here to the blog for full details.

pictured above, Mrs Foster's afternoon kindergarten class from back left: Logan, Sadie, Toby; Middle row from left: Joey, Isabelle, Calvin; Foreground from left: Bella and Colin. (Grant was absent but will show up soon I hope!)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Day 4

I went into Mrs. Foster's afternoon kindergarten class to paint with these budding Picassos... so much fun to see them deciding what to do and what colors to use. The Daily News came by to take photos. We'll see what comes from it.

The piece today is called "Oops" with help from Emily K. (2)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Day 3

Day 3 - "Swinging High" with background by Christopher B. (1)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ella R. and Patrick L. work on their pieces. Christopher B. is pictured above.

Day 2

This was fun... the second time I've painted kids playing chess. This one is called "Two Queens" and the background help is by Patrick L. (4)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Day 1

Today was the first day of painting for me. This one worked well with Ella R's (7) background, and is called "Star Gazing".

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Art in Class

Yep, we got messy! My girls tell me my wardrobe needs more color. Jane did an excellent job of adding green to my otherwise black pants and shoes... splatter = fun in my book!

I just want to say thank you to Mrs. Whitney's class for having me come in. It was a blast! We talked for a few minutes about abstract art and what we're going to be doing with these boards later. Then working in pairs we got down to business. The timing was close... Emma and I were skating across the ice with the trays of wet boards just as the buses arrived. But now I have twenty beautiful, creative abstract masterpieces dry and ready to work with.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Save the Children

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI (Jan. 21, 2010) — Another large aftershock, measuring 6.1 in magnitude, struck Haiti in the early hours today. Save the Children staff in country in Port-au-Prince heard already weakened structures collapsing. The threats to and fears of children in the disaster zone remain undiminished.

"Children and families are still sleeping in the open, among the rubble. They are very vulnerable — this aftershock would have terrified them," said Annie Foster, Save the Children's emergency team leader in Port-au-Prince.

She added, "We are working flat out to assist them, bringing in supplies and rolling them out to the people who need them as fast as we can."

Save the Children also continues to work on accounting for its own staff in the capital. Those in Jacmel and Leogane have reported in and are safe.

New Child Friendly Spaces Established

This week, Save the Children started setting up the first of many Child Friendly Spaces planned for shelters and camps housing earthquake survivors. Forty children have already been registered and we are expecting another 250 children to start activities today.

These safe spaces protect children and give them a place to play and recover from the suffering they have endured and witnessed. The agency plans to set up an additional three Child Friendly Spaces this Friday.

Said Foster, "We know that children are very resilient. Given the right care and support they can recover from what was a terrifying ordeal. Our Child Friendly Spaces will help children regain a little normalcy in these highly abnormal times and have a chance to come together and play with other children. This is the first step in their long road to recovery."

Save the Children will be receiving six plane loads of supplies with urgently need relief items in the coming week.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Track Star in Training

Without exception, everyone I talk to about this project is not just excited, but is climbing on the bus! It's fantastic and exactly what we need. Reaching out to the right people to help gather attention and support is on my mind today (actually, every day). The painting supplies we need are in Ben's car, on the way here. And the painting will begin tomorrow... wahoo!

Soon though, I will have to jump a few key hurdles...

First, how to cover the 2.9% Paypal transaction fees when auction winners pay for their pieces. It's very important that the auctions remain 100% donations to Save the Children. (Looking at eBay's fine print on their Giving Works program... Paypal does not seem to be part of this.)

Second, how to frame the work for the gallery showing at the end of the month. The kids will be excited to see their efforts framed and hung in one spot and they deserve the proper presentation.

Third, I need to plan a reception/art opening to celebrate what we're doing!

Fourth, I need a calendar... I'm in denial that it's actually 2010.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Game On!

I've been in touch with Kimm at the Firehouse Center in Newburyport to host our little show at the end of the 30+ days. The upstairs space is available to us when we need it... amazing! We'll work out details on how to display the work later, but I'm grateful to have the visibility this venue will provide to the cause.

Mrs. Whitney's 3rd grade class at Bresnahan Elem. will be slinging paint (most carefully I'm sure) on Friday. Everyone is pumped, including me. I'll have ketchup bottles full of acrylics just to be sure we give everyone a chance to throw their colors with flair.

Mrs. Foster's afternoon Kindergarten class at the Brown school is going to follow suit next week, probably Thursday. I can't wait to see the paint slinging a bunch of 6 year olds can bring! I might regret saying that.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Last Friday night I watched Julie and Julia and went to bed with visions of blogs and 365 days of cooking... mashed up with the haunting images of pain coming from Haiti. The next morning as I lay there in a quasi dream state I hatched a plan to help in my own tiny way by painting one new piece of art a day, posting them on eBay and sending what comes of it to a Haitian relief effort.

Because of the movie I thought, I can do that for a whole year, right? But this was before my shower... and before wiser, more sane voices weighed in. My family already does the daily hunt for matching socks and thinks all cheese is orange. So okay, not a year... 30 or so days of painting will be perfect.

My art is of children playing, in silhouette... and kids (usually mine) help me create it by painting the backgrounds, or what becomes the figures in my work. So the idea evolved to work with a larger group of children from our community in support of a cause they can relate to. A few clicks to search the eBay auctions supporting non-profit organizations and I landed on the Save the Children website.

So here we go, the Painting a Day project...

Roughly 34 children ages 5-10 in Newburyport will be involved, a kindergarten and a 3rd grade classroom. Each child will do an abstract 6" x 6" painting in the next week. The kids can then come here to track their special piece from the classroom to the final painting and on to auction. I'll paint daily and maintain this blog with photos to share the process.

The eBay auctions will be put up in batches, all ending at the same time... one week after the last day's painting. 100% of proceeds will go to the Save the Children organization. Once the last piece is done, a gallery has generously donated space to display the work for a week leading up to the end of all auctions. More details will come as they become firm.

Thank you for your interest and support as we begin this journey!

For more information: