Meet Your Teacher Monday: Patty Paul

Patty Paul displaying the sample project to her students

Patty Paul is one of the original Art Garage instructors and she continues to be a student favorite because she has a natural ability to not just help children create art but she brings children into the world of art through art history, nonfiction and fiction stories, and by asking them questions.

She’s been in Denver for over 40 years and is a mid-west native.  She received her BA in Theater from University of Denver and her teacher training from UCD and Stanley British Primary Teacher Training Program.  She’s a DPS teacher at Stephen Knight Center for Early Education and she’s able to find time to come and teach 3-5 and 6-8 year-olds at The Art Garage!

In her personal creations Patty loves working with gold, silver, copper leaf, junk art, house paint and glazes and she brings those materials and many more to the classroom.

“Release fear and embrace new ideas and experiences,” is the theory Patty teaches her campers with and it shows in how well her students embrace their projects each day. In addition to the one-of-a-kind projects (that are often inspired by great children’s books) Patty teaches her campers that art allows you to define and express yourself as an independent thinker and being, and maybe some day entrepreneur.

What really makes Patty one of our greatest instructors is her willingness to accept the challenge of children asking questions that make her search for the answers.

She loves providing kids with great art knowledge, a vast variety of art projects inspired by other cultures, and she incorporates nonfiction and fiction stories into her camps that fully engage and excite her students.

Patty’s abilities with young children and artistic talents truly inspires other instructors. If you’re able to sign your kids up for one of her camps you’ll be delighted by the projects you’ll display in your home as well as the stories you’ll hear about the day.

She’s teaching all 3-5 year olds this summer with Moose, Goose, Juice and Dr. Seuss this week (July 6-10 PM) then Treasured Objects From Around the World from July 20 to 24 in the afternoon and she finishes out July with Mystical, Magical Eggs (July 27-31 PM)

By Marissa Forbes

New Ways to Use Familiar Art Supplies

When it comes to making art, you know there are endless materials you can create with.  But did you know there are a multitude of ways to use or manipulate those supplies you want to use?  All the teachers at The Art Garage aim to show your children new ways of not only looking at art and creation, but also supplies and exploration.  

Here are 2 ideas for material manipulations you can try at home today!

Crayola markers:

They’re a staple in every home where there’s a kid over 3 years old.  Sure, you can just color in the lines of a coloring book but why not get think outside the art box.?  You can create easy and unique pieces with washable crayola markers with just a little H2o magic.

Depending on your child’s age and skill, have them either draw simple outlines of any shape they want--a frog, crown, turtle, or butterfly, to just name a few--or give them stencils of simple shapes to trace.  

Color in the shape completely using the markers.  Choose 2 colors or the whole pack.  There’s no wrong way, just be sure there’s no white left. (If it’s taking a lot time, or is pretty challenging to color in the shape, be sure they’re “fat coloring” with the side of the marker instead of the tip.)

Then take any size paint brush and have them slowly run it over the colors with a little water.

You should end up with a tie-dye type watercolor effect that will impress any grandparent.

Crayola watercolors:

Kids have a natural ability to be amazing at watercolors from the first time they try them. They’re more free and don’t have any sort of expectations.  Once they master the “more water = lighter” and “less water = darker” technique you should introduce basic resist.

Give them a white crayola crayon and either dictate different shapes to draw or have them do any style of free drawing.  Let them know that they will be able to see their designs so still take their time and be sure they press hard enough that the wax is a little thicker. (Not too hard so they don’t break their crayon!)

Set up their watercolor station and have them go at it like usual.

They’ll be so excited as they see their designs start to shine through.

There are 2 really easy and fun at-home art projects to try tonight.  They’re easy set-up and clean up but have fun results.  Don’t be scared to experiment with your materials...remember there are no accidents in art, just beautiful oops!

By Marissa Isch

Reinvigorate: The Art Garage makes big renovations

There have been some great improvements at The Art Garage in Park Hill, Denver and we’re not talking about just some fresh coats of paint.  Big renovations were made to the interior in order to better serve our growing class sizes and many measures were taken to increase safety at The Art Garage.

In order to provide the safest outdoor environment for our young artists a metal fence was built that now encloses all of our entrances and still gives the kids plenty of sidewalk for their chalk creations and a little run around room.  We also installed shade sails to help keep the kids cooler when those temperatures rise.

Just as our name suggests, The Art Garage is a former car garage; and typical of many gas stations and repair shops, the bathroom entrance was on the exterior of the building.  The kids never seemed to mind, but it caused disturbances during the art lessons and decreased comfort for everyone in extreme weather.  So, top of the renovations' list was putting that bathroom inside and making it handicap accessible.

Another very big change was removing the front office counter to make an official third classroom.  This is such an important renovation because creation takes space and we now have room for all three age ranges to reach their full artistic potential.  

We were able to create an official ceramics supply and wrapping area where the kiln has been relocated in the back, which reduces the risk of clay being damaged before it dries or fires.  This seemingly small modification has improved safety and allowed us to also make a more official kitchen area to prepare peanut-free snacks.   

The former unused boys’ bathroom is now a small, private office space for administrators and provides a quiet and comfortable space for any camper who needs to take a short break from their class in order to regroup.

All of these fantastic transformations were done by the talented Eco Urban Designs who are greatly appreciated.  None of these renovations would be possible if it weren’t for generous donations during Colorado Gives Day and beyond, as well as continued community support from you through participation in camps, classes, and birthday parties. Thank you infinitely!

By Marissa Isch