How do you follow-up on the admired art form of Impressionism and the beloved works of such Impressionists as Monet and Renoir? Post-Impressionism emerged between 1886 and 1914, as artists strove to make their own mark in the visual arts. Post-Impressionists extended Impressionism by emphasizing geometric forms, distorting form for expressive effect, and by using color in random ways. Like Impressionists, Post-Impressionist artists continued using vivid colors, thick application of paint, as well as distinctive brush strokes and the use of real-life subject matter.
"The Starry Night" by Vincent Van Gogh
Post-Impressionist artists contributed to new ways to make art. Georges Seurat literally made his mark on this style by using tiny dots of color, which would come to be known as Pointillism. Vincent Van Gogh used extensive swirling, curling brushstrokes and vivid colors in his powerful art. Did you know that he created “The Starry Night” in June 1889 during his extended stay at a hospital? The hospital was formerly a monastery and featured beautiful grounds with fields, vineyards and olive trees that inspired Van Gogh during his hospitalization.
Kids love to learn about art and artists, and to apply this knowledge as they create original art in Abrakadoodle programs. Other well-known Post-Impressionists included Henri Rousseau, Paul Cezanne, Paul Gauguin and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.
Today Abrakadoodle joins millions in celebrating Lights On Afterschool, a campaign of the Afterschool Alliance, which recognizes the importance of providing safe, strong afterschool options for children nationwide. In a recent interview on Education Nation, former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice said “Not just safe but learning” when speaking about children’s experiences in afterschool programs. We applaud this thinking and the notion of providing children with brain-boosting opportunities that extend classroom learning. Abrakadoodle’s after school programs combine strong arts education with increasingly valuable creativity development, which engages children in hands on learning that emphasizes problem solving, originality and imaginative
Gains are beyond measure when children develop a sense of confidence and craftsmanship in the process of creating art. Art is such a powerful communication tool, and children in our program learn to appreciate the unique voice that each of them brings to his or her own creative endeavor. Consider enrolling your child in art afterschool to inspire your child’s imaginative skill building!
Original art by Xavier, age 10 of Detroit, Michigan
When children are free to express their ideas, we all benefit. As parents, we can enjoy a view into what inspires our children. Allowing children to create art without constraints provides great fodder for conversation – never judgment. Some children naturally inject humor into their art, while others convey interesting visual metaphors. Give a child color pencils, crayons, markers and age-appropriate art supplies such as scissors, paints and more, along with some sturdy art paper and watch his/her imagination take shape!
Original art by Keyonna, age 11 of Detroit, Michigan
Does your child need a nudge to start the creative process? You may want to challenge your child to create art based upon what he loves, such as animals, sports, cartoons, nature, friends and more. When your child is ready to reveal her art, ask open-ended questions, such as “Tell me about your art?”or “How did you come up with that idea?” or “What an interesting background – what made you decide to create it that way?” Avoid making judgments or asking closed questions, like “What is it?” Left to their own devices, children will experiment and express their emotions, fears, hopes, dreams and ideas. Given freedom and encouragement, children build confidence as they explore the visual arts and open up to new experiences. They also learn to appreciate their own uniqueness and that of others.
Warhol's art celebrates what's popular in our culture
Pop Art just sounds fun, doesn’t it? It brings to mind ideas that are fresh and burst off the page in colorful, clever ways. Pop Art originated in the 1950’s, and it is short for Popular Art, because it was inspired by widely recognized and admired objects, advertising, publications and people ranging from Campbell’s soup to Elvis Presley to comic strips and more.
Abrakadoodle teaches children about Pop Art in its art classes. Students learn about such American born Pop Artists as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. Andy Warhol is an art icon in his own right, having achieved his goal to become famous. He was a pioneer in Pop Art in the United States, creating colorful art around everyday things in our lives such as Brillo Boxes, Campbell’s Soup, as well as high profile people like Marilyn Monroe and quirky imagery like cow wallpaper. Roy Lichtenstein was best known for his comic strip art and his hallmark style of using Ben-Day dots to create optical effect.
Art inspired by Roy Lichtenstein's Ben-Day dots
Encourage your children to try Pop Art at home! Talk about what’s popular in our culture right now. More importantly, what’s popular with your child? What with the buzz around improved nutrition and the importance of eating the rainbow, perhaps your child might like to create a favorite fruit or veggie that includes some playful Ben-Day dots. Simple shapes and bold colors will help make your children’s art POP!
All children benefit from creativity-boosting art education.
Wouldn’t it be exciting to parent the next Picasso? There is no absolute measure for child prodigies in the visual arts; however, educators, artists and researchers believe there are certain behaviors and skills children demonstrate that indicate special talent. Among all prodigies there is one particular trait that children share: passion about their interest – whether it is dance, art, math or music. When a child is drawn to sketching as a primary source of entertainment, for instance, you may want to seek additional training. All children can benefit from comprehensive art education that focuses on creativity, as well as exposure to numerous art forms, styles and techniques.
Here’s a checklist of gifted traits to consider:
Children who are gifted in art usually begin young
Drawing is often the media in which children excel, partially because it is accessible and children can express greater details about a subject
Gifted young artists often move through the stages of visual development at a faster-than-normal pace
Visually-promising children stay with their art activities longer than other children and see more possibilities in the task they have selected
Child prodigies in art are often self-directed, preferring art to other forms of entertainment
From middle elementary age on, visual and conceptual fluency is a particularly significant characteristic because it is closest to the behavior of a trained artist
Ability to use past information in new contexts, such as adapting mastery in figure drawing to render figures in other situations.
Did you know? Children who choose their hobby and practice schedule tend to soar.
Akaine is a child art prodigy, who by 8 years old was creating amazing paintings.
You may notice the following characteristics in the artwork of gifted children:
Art prodigies develop the desire and the ability to depict people and other subjects from their environment at an earlier age than other children
Elements of composition, color, space and movement are handled with greater sensitivity by visually gifted students
Sensitivity to detail and the use of memory are directly related to complexity and elaboration
Even young gifted children are interested in detail and are more inventive in their drawings and sculpture than other children
The visually gifted child is more likely to explore and experiment with media and achieve technical control, which results in a more elegant finished product
Doodling and improvising with the effects of lines, shapes and patterns are a favorite activity of the visually gifted child. The gifted child uses his ability to invent, depict and describe creative meaning.Want to learn more about child prodigies?
The THNKR channel on YouTube is premiering episodes featuring child prodigies in a variety of disciplines including art. Check out the Thinkrtv Channel on YouTube and click on PRODIGIES.
Original art by Abrakadoodle student Wendy, age 6, of Frederick, MD
Artful film gets to the heart of a sensitive issue: divorce
When HBO producers approached Abrakadoodle nearly three years ago, they explained how HBO was creating a family special, “Don’t Divorce Me! Kids Rules for Parents on Divorce.” They were looking for children who had experienced divorce for possible interviews for inclusion in the program. Additionally, Abrakadoodle conducted art lessons at a variety of national locations in which children of all backgrounds and family situations were encouraged to express their feelings about family using art and written messages. Abrakadoodle sent artwork and messages to HBO for possible inclusion in their production.
Art by Morgan, an Abrakadoodle student from Cedar Park, TX
We recently heard from the director/producer, who said, “We are happy to let you know that our HBO family special will air September 20th. The heart of the film is the kids – their thoughts, written messages, artwork, songs and sometimes simply their beautiful faces. Thank you for helping us to find such wonderful kids and for sharing your expertise with us.”
For anyone who is experiencing or knows of friends or family dealing with divorce, this program offers a kid-friendly perspective you may appreciate.
Tune into HBO on September 20th at 6:30 pm/5:30 pm Central for the premiere of “Don’t Divorce Me! Kids Rules for Parents on Divorce.”
Art is such a fun way for children to express ideas from their imaginations. Sometimes your child will ask, “What should I draw?” Challenge your child to draw something they really such as ice cream sundaes or playing the guitar! Encourage your child to depict an image that is full of detail, using colors that your child loves.
Before your child sets to work, you may wish to discuss the possible form and structure for subject of the piece, so that your child can tap her mind’s eye to determine how the art can take shape. Talk about it! The ground squirrel that has captured your child’s fancy has almond shaped eyes. What might that look like? How about those tiny triangle shaped ears? Are its legs short or long? Describe its tail. Confidence grows as your child can envision how his idea will materialize.
Music-inspired montage by Claudia, age 13 of Detroit, MI
Older children may enjoy weaving a favorite image into a unique art form, such as abstract art in which a composition integrates form, color and line. Abstract art is not realistic but often uses symbolism. Younger children might enjoy using a favorite image in a creative collage that can make use of texture, objects from nature and related photos or magazine clippings. Ask questions about your child’s finished product and keep the creative juices flowing!
We all want to help our children reach for the stars and shoot for the moon! Art is such a wonderful way for kids to express themselves, while developing such important skills as creativity and problem-solving. Art – whether in creation or appreciation – entails learning to see, interpret and understand. Children can translate their internal vision or depict images based upon external sources of inspiration, both of which provide young artists with material to draw upon and feed into their art practice.
Original art by Shantrice, age 13 of Michigan who write of her art, “Darkness falls; light revolves”
Explore your child’s unique view! Provide your child with some basic supplies, such as blank paper, pencils, markers and crayons. Strike up a conversation about the stars, moon, planets, as well as our sun and sky. Connect with your child’s natural enthusiasm and clever ideas by encouraging him/her to create art that captures these unique imaginings.
Abrakadoodle students develop important creativity skills!
Abrakadoodle conducted research during the 2011-2012 school year to determine if students exhibited gains when participating in the Abrakadoodle Art Education Program. Abrakadoodle provides a total art curriculum, art instruction conducted by an Abrakadoodle trained teacher and art materials at charter schools and private schools around the country. Students who were new to the Abrakadoodle program were tested in the fall and then again after participating in the Abrakadoodle program for seven months. The Educational Resource Group administered the Torrance® Tests of Creative Thinking. Fifty-two (52) second and fifth grade students from diverse backgrounds took part.
Overall grade scores for the entire group increased by 7 percentage points, as the scores related to the national averages. Most dramatic results were apparent among the fifth grade students, who had scored significantly below the national averages in the pretest. In addition to the Abrakadoodle Art in Our World Curriculum and Education Program, fifth graders had participated in Abrakadoodle’s Creativity Boost™ Exercises.
The highly reliable Torrance® Tests of Creative Thinking TTCT are the most widely used tests of their kind. Students in this study participated in the Figural TTCT Forms A and B: Thinking Creatively with Pictures, which includes exercises to assess five characteristics related to creative thinking. Scoring was based upon grade-related norms. The TTCT is most widely used to determine eligibility for talented and gifted programs. Normative data has been gathered from more than 55,000 students in the US and Canada. The test has been offered in more than 35 countries.
According to Mary C. Rogers, MA.ED, CEO and Co-founder of Abrakadoodle, “We know that student creative abilities decrease as they move through the grades. We are encouraged by preliminary results that may indicate that students who participate in Abrakadoodle’s quality art education programs can slow and even reverse that trend. We anticipate conducting further research to more fully assess the effects of our program on student creativity. Part of what makes our art education program unique is our devotion to creativity skills development, which is an important component of our Art in Our World Curriculum and Education Program.”
Rosemarie Hartnett of Abrakadoodle expressed her support for the VetFran initiative at the National Press Club
Abrakadoodle today joined with the International Franchise Association (IFA), U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), as well as SIGNARAMA for a VetFran Independence Day press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Launch events at 12 other American cities highlighted concerns about veteran unemployment and encouraged the hiring of veterans. It also profiled business ownership through franchising as a great fit for veterans who return with great leadership skills and a deep commitment to operational excellence. Available through the campaign is a VetFran Toolkit designed to foster access to franchise opportunities for U.S. veterans and military spouses. Coming soon is a Veterans Mentor Network.
Formerly in the U.S. Army, April Jackson is now rocking Oklahoma City with her Abrakadoodle franchise.
April Rose Jackson, a U.S. Army vet, joined Abrakadoodle in 2012. She discovered the art education franchise while deployed in the Middle East, having read a cover story about Abrakadoodle in Black Enterprise Magazine. Amid rocket fire and the challenges of war, April planned for her new enterprise over nearly three years. She viewed franchising not just as a job but as a whole new life adventure. Today, April shared her story at one of the launch events hosted by FASTSIGNS in Dallas, Texas!