Art In Progress (Part 2)

I’ve been preparing for my Youth Public Art Project for Clark County. The project itself will take place over Spring Break at the Desert Breeze Community Center. I will be facilitating the creation of fifty little birds with the help of fifty children. I call this project “Songbirds Of Hope,” because it is inspired by all the birds I heard singing after lockdown. That’s right… FIFTY unique birds cut out from mat board! I’ve been cutting a few each day and currently have 19 finished.

As I showed in my last post, the background layer was brushed in loosely. Here are my seasonal canvases after adding in the “happy” trees. I used my palette knife to create the textured tree trunks.

Then I painted in the leaves. Now my little world just needs some birds to live in it. Back to cutting out those little guys!

“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tunes without the words and never stops at all.” – Emily Dickinson

Bonnie

Bonnie Kelso writes and illustrates books for children and adults that encourage individualism and brave self-expression. She facilitates art workshops for her local community and beyond. A lover of nature and travel, she can be found wandering about outside with her family whenever a good opportunity to do so presents itself.

Art In Progress

I thought I would share a little behind-the-scenes today. I am in the middle of preparing a Youth Public Art Project for Clark County. The project itself will take place over Spring Break at the Desert Breeze Community Center. I will be facilitating the creation of fifty little birds with the help of fifty children. I call this project “Songbirds Of Hope,” because it is inspired by all the birds I heard singing after lockdown. Did anyone else noticed how quiet the streets were for a while? There was little to drown out the sounds of nature. It was the highlight of my day, listening to those little birds. It brought me small moments of hope during a frightening and unsettling time. One year later, the pandemic is far from over, but I continue to commune with my bird neighbors on a daily basis.

Photograph by Jill Wellington.

This weekend I have been prepping my canvases which will soon become home for fifty bird cut-outs. I have a canvas to represent each of the seasons. It has felt so good to paint large again after a few years of focusing on picture books. The act of spreading these canvases out in my living room and pulling out the big brushes and paints has brought a new sense of hope and optimism into my own heart.

I have limited space, so I’m using my walls to hang the canvases up. I pull them down one at a time and work on them in my living room. I started with a dark green base layer.

Next, I put down my background layer. I tried to keep it loose with broad brush strokes. I wanted each canvas to speak to the season. Can you guess which season is represented on each canvas?

Now comes the fun part! TREES! I’m using my palette knife and working them in, Bob Ross style. Soooo much fun! Awwww, what happy little trees! Here’s winter. I’ll post the others later. Until then, I encourage you to take a walk outside if you can and listen for messages of hope and optimism from your bird neighbors.

“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tunes without the words and never stops at all.” – Emily Dickinson

Bonnie

Bonnie Kelso writes and illustrates books for children and adults that encourage individualism and brave self-expression. She facilitates art workshops for her local community and beyond. A lover of nature and travel, she can be found wandering about outside with her family whenever a good opportunity to do so presents itself.

Happy Little Trees

Started my day today watching an episode of Bob Ross and following some of his advice as I created my own version of “Happy Little Trees.” What an inspiration he was. Such a lovely person. He always says, “don’t copy me, make it your own. Make the place you want to go to.” I feel like I’ve been there all day, even while I’m roaming around in my urban desert home. I’m still there among those happy little trees. Magic. Thank you, Bob!

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May your day be filled with happy trees of any size.

Bonnie


Bonnie Kelso writes and illustrates books that celebrate diversity, creativity, and all the special qualities that make each of us unique.

©Bonnie Kelso and Creating Your ExperienceVitalize Your Creative Life is a workbook based on a series of classes I designed based on creating from the energetic space of your inner child. In this workbook, I encourage you to rediscover the creative kid inside of you by coloring, scribbling, and even drawing stick figures. This is a very approachable book for people who want to begin exploring their creative life in a playfully spiritual way. Read more…

Today Explore Joy

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As I painted this in my sketchbook, I was remembering all the amazing places I’ve been. I’m so glad I took that time (before starting a family) to travel the world. I still feel that overwhelming sense of wanderlust from time to time. My trips are shorter now and there is more time in between, but I wouldn’t change any of it for one moment. I’m so grateful for my life.

May you find a way to explore all that brings you joy today.

Love,

Bonnie


Bonnie Kelso writes and illustrates children’s books that celebrate diversity, creativity, and all the special qualities that make each of us unique. Her book EVER OPEN is now available on Amazon in print and for kindle.

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Deep in the heart of the Everglades, 26 tiny eggs are beginning to hatch in a giant nest under a tall cypress tree. The fourth alligator to see the light of day is about to embark on a classic hero’s journey. Join Baby D as he explores his world through the innocence and wonder of a natural dreamer. Discover what makes him special while pondering what it might be that makes you special, too.

Friday = Art

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I saw this image after I woke up from an intense dream. The dream was unrelated, but as I was recreating this image in real time, I realized it was linked to a memory of hiking in New Zealand. The forests there are quite magical and full of sprites and faeries. I was hiking along such a trail in the woods not far from the Franz Josef Glacier when I saw a creature that I could not describe. It was no ordinary deer, but a creature like that you might encounter Continue reading

Detachment & Your Creativity

Detachment

I taught a creativity class last week about “Detachment.” As creative beings, detachment can be difficult. We become very attached to things, possessions, people, memories from our past, our creations themselves…

What does it mean to detach? I used to feel that if I detached from something it meant that I didn’t care about it. Now I realize that when I detach, I allow the object of my attachment the freedom of independence.

Continue reading