Artitst Spotlight: Marc Chagall

ChagalMarc Chagall was born near Vitebsk, Russia on July 6, 1887. He was the oldest in a family of nine children of a poor Hassidic Jewish family. During that time, Jews were segregated from the Russian school system, so Chagall attended a Jewish religious school until the age of 13. In a daring move, his mother bribed a professor to let him into the Russian high school, where he was introduced to the new and foreign world of artistic creation. He was immediately taken with the concept of creating art and decided then and there that he would become an artist himself.

By 1906, Chagall was on his way to fulfilling that dream. He discovered a small art studio in Vitebsk and was taken in by Yehuda Pen, where he was taught art and portrait painting. Not content to simply paint academic portraits, Chagall managed to relocate to St Petersburg, where he enrolled at one of the many art schools in Russia’s capitol. Naturalistic self-portraits and landscapes were a mainstay of his style during this time. He then met Leon Bakst, whom he studied under until 1910. Bakst was a fellow Jew and a renowned artist in his own right. He helped to introduce Chagall to the theatre and another world of stage sets, costume design and other artists (ie. Paul Gauguin) that would influence him over his life.

 Chagall - I and the Village

I and the Village – 1911

In need of a change and at a point where he felt that he could use an expansion of his artistic style, Chagall moved to Paris in 1910. There he met several poets and discovered the Cubist movement. While he was heavily influenced by this new style for him, he brought to it a love of colour that became a trademark of his own personal style throughout his life. He enrolled at La Palette and soaked up all aspects of Parisian life and art. It was a time of extensive creativity for him and he painted many canvases, gouaches, watercolors, as well as several drawings. He also attracted the attention of a German art dealer, who invited him to display his art at an exhibit in Berlin in 1914. It was well received and Chagall returned to Vitebsk as a more notable artist, with a plan to marry his sweetheart Bella and return to Paris with her. While back on Russian soil, World War I broke out though and the borders were closed, keeping Chagall and his new bride there.

 chagall - white crucifxion

The White Crucifixion – 1938

Life in Vitebsk during the war years was kind to Chagall and his new family. He had a child, Ida, and became a Commissar for Fine Arts, followed by the Director of the brand new Free Academy of Art. In 1922, he relocated back to France and stepped back into the art world there that he loved so much. Over the years that followed, he enjoyed a growing fame, with exhibits in France, as well as a first exhibit in the United States in 1926. In 1931, he travelled to Palestine to delve into the history of the Jews and their mythologies in order to better understand and create illustrations for a copy of the Old Testament of the bible  for Ambroise Vollard. His two months spent in the holy land unleashed a brand new fascination with biblical images, that carried through into much of his later artwork.

The coming of Hitler and the Second World War brought a devastating change across Europe. While Chagall was focused on his work, he missed many of the initial signs of what was to come, until it was almost too late. With the help from some dedicated American art enthusiasts, he was smuggled out of France in 1941. He lost his beloved wife in 1944, due to a virus infection and withdrew from his work for a period of time. The horror stories about concentration camps appalled him though and he slowly returned to the art scene. After the war finally ended, he mourned his French home and decided to return in 1948, settling in Cote d’Azur.


 Chagall - Tribe of Benjamin

The Tribe of Benjamin (Stained Glass) – 1962

Chagall remained in France for the rest of his days. He explored the mediums of sculpture, ceramic art, murals, mosaics, stained glass, painted vases, tapestries as well as wall tiles, in addition to his paintings and graphic art. Throughout all of his varied mediums he reveled in colour and often had happy scenes depicted. He seemed always to draw from his early days in Vitebsk, pulling scenes from his love of the circus and Jewish life. He displayed influences of Fauvism, Cubism and Surrealism, but created a style that was all his own over his long artistic career. The world lost a magnificent artist on March 28th, 1985.

Despite his passing, Chagall has left behind a wonderful legacy. Considered to be an early Modernist, he is a master artist worth celebrating.

Happy Earth Day.

Earth Day is here! In honor of Earth Day, we’ve gathered up fun art and recycling projects perfect for kids of all ages!

10 earth Day Projects

1. Earth Day Book Lark { Free Printable }

2. Ladybug Rocks for Your Garden

earth day 1 & 2


3. DIY Scratch paper from Recycled Books

4. Found Things Collage

5. Dried Apple Head Carving

Earth Day 3 - 4 - 5

6. Repurposed Pringle Cans

7. Planet Earth Painting

8. DIY Garden Markers

Earth Day 6 - 7 - 8

9. Coffee Filter Earth

10. Butterfly Life Cycle Coloring Page

Earth Day 9 - 10



How to Manage & Display your Children’s Artwork

When your child is born you oh and ah over every little bit of them. As they grow, you encourage their accomplishments and applaud all the milestones that they pass. From rolling over to those first faltering footsteps, you cannot wait for every new deed that comes along. When they discover fine motor skills, you are the first one there with a crayon to draw with. That first piece of art is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen! But then there is a second, third, and fourth, and you quickly run out of room to display and store the artwork that is precious, but also oh so prevalent.

What do you do then? How do you display your children’s artwork in such a way that you honour it and give it meaning for your child and yourself? The fridge is far too easy to fill in an afternoon of creativity, so where do you go from there? How do you manage it all?

How about;

  • Go beyond the fridge door and create an art gallery of your own at home. Dedicate one wall in the living room, playroom or hallway to your child’s art. Make it fun! Style it uniformly or irregular. Create a rainbow or a monotone! Try using themes to give a cohesive look to your “Art Gallery”, i.e. Spring pictures, pencil sketches, shades of blue paintings, or whatever suits your mood. Get as creative with your display as your child does with their art!2015-10-21 22.02.25
  • We all know that art doesn’t come in uniform sizes, so when your child brings home art bigger than your kitchen table, what do you do? An egg carton caterpillar might fit on a dresser, but large art can sometimes be cumbersome. Solution? Take pictures of large pieces & add them to a photo album to enjoy. The pictures will last a lifetime and only take up as much space as your much smaller album will.
  • You can’t keep it all. I am going to give you permission now. It’s okay to let some of the artwork go. As new pieces are created, remove old artwork from your display location, whether it be a bulletin board, the fridge, your child’s bedroom walls or door. Set a rule for the number of pieces of art on display at any given time and stick to your limit. Either replace oldest pieces or let your child choose which ones to remove, but make a point of rotating your displays. This makes for better enjoyment of a fixed number of pictures without the overload factor.
  • If you don’t want to take over an entire wall with your children’s artwork, why not go the route of a display art cabinet? The L’il DaVinci Easy Store and Display Art Cabinet lets you hold up to 50 pieces of art without the need to take down a frame to change artwork. You simply open a hinged door and place your new piece of art onto the spring loaded frame, then simply close the door to admire new framed art! The cabinets come in 8 ½ x 11 or 12 x 8 sizes and are available from Budding
  • Not all artwork is created equal. Turn special pieces into keepsakes and giftware. Budding Artists offers a wide variety of items that can be hand-designed by your own budding artist. Choose from coffee mugs, t-shirts, garden stakes, coasters and more. Perfect for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas or birthdays! Browse through our Marketplace today to find the perfect piece to highlight your child’s art. trivit-IRON1-150x150

Spring has Sprung

It seems as though spring has taken a bit longer to arrive than normal. Here in Ontario we’ve had a mix of rainy and snowy days the last week or two, but it looks like the rain has arrived. Well April Showers are the official welcome of spring, so we have some spring projects for you today.

Watercolour Flower Art
Spring Watercolor Flowers 

Marshmallow Rainbows

Marshmallow Rainbows

Reuse paintings
Reuse paintings

rainbow sponge

Sponge Rainbows

butterfly art
Butterfly Art

Tulip Art
Tulip Art

Colourful trees
Colorful Tree Art

Rainbow Paint Bleed
Paint bleeding Rainbow Art

Raindrop Suncatchers
Raindrop Suncatchers

Mother’s Day Giveaway

Mother’s Day is around the corner and we know that one of the best things to get on mother’s day is a creations for your children. A hand made card, a painting to hang on the fridge, a piece of art to display for all to see.

That is what we would like to see. We want to see the art your children have created.

Upload a photo of your children’s art work on our Facebook wall, and enter below once you have done that and you’ll be entered to win a beautiful necklace with a replica of that piece.

Keepsake Necklace

The contest will close Thursday April 24th, at midnight. And the winner will be announced Friday April 25th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also, for the month of April we have put our Travel Mug and Keepsake Necklace on sale for $20.00 +HST each. A great Mother’s Day gift. This is just while supplies last, so be sure to get your orders in quickly so you don’t miss out.

Artist Spotlight: Dale Chihuly


Dale Chihuly is an extrodinary artist who has captured the interest of not only the glass blowing community, but also a vast market of crafters and artisans worldwide.
Dale Chihuly was born in Tacoma, Washington on September 20th, 1941. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Interior Design from the University of Washington in 1965, then went on to study sculpture with Harvey Littleton at the University of Wisconsin. By 1968, he had received the Fulbright Fellowship, which allowed him to study glass blowing in Venice, Italy and to further attain his Master of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design. These were significant milestones in a career that was about to explode.

In 1969, Chihuly developed the Glass Department at the Rhode Island School of Design, where he subsequently taught until 1983. He also took his interest and the skills that he had learned along the way and opened the Pilchuck Glass School near Stanwood, Washington in 1971, with the help of John and Anne Hauberg. It was there that he further developed the art of team glass blowing on larger scale pieces, that would stand him in good stead in the years to come.

Working with a team became a career-saving move after Chihuly was in a serious accident in 1976 that resulted in the lose of sight in his left eye. He had to relinquish the chief glassblower position, but this left him with more time to develop his forms and the various series that he created. Over the years, those series included his Seaform, Macchia, Persian, Venetian and Ikebana series, but he was known to return to certain series at later points.


A bodysurfing injury in 1979 meant that he had to step away from the gaffer position entirely, but he relished the role of supervisor, director and problem solver in a way that he hadn’t anticipated. It was at this point that he also began drawing to illustrate how he wanted his pieces to turn out.

The apparent physical setbacks did not slow Chihuly down in the least. Over the years he has had exhibitions all over the world, both indoors and out. Museums across the United States and Canada hold permanent collections of his work, as well as museums in England, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates. He has received eleven honorary doctorates, as well as numerous awards.

To truly appreciate the breadth and depth of Chihuly’s skill though, you need to see it. The following video gives a better idea of the scope of his work, as well as words from this Master Artist himself.

Five ideas for engaging your kids in an art gallery


1. Go on a Scavenger Hunt: Make your visit to an art gallery more fun by adding a little seek and find into your day. Craft a scavenger hunt list before your visit and print off one for everyone. Challenge your kids to find everything on the list. Adjust the difficulty level for the age of children involved. For example; find something blue (pre-schoolers), discover 5 faces (younger school-aged), locate a specific artist (Older school-aged).

2.  Make a top 5 list of your favourite pieces: We all have our likes and dislikes. Ask your children to vote on their top 5 pieces. Make it more challenging by picking favourites from specific mediums (i.e., best sculpture) or artists. Compare what they like to everyone else’s choices in your group and why. You can balance this with a discussion on what they didn’t like as much and why not.

3. Identify different styles of art: Art can be made in so many different ways. See if your children can identify the medium used to create artwork (i.e. pencil, watercolour, oils). Point out the varied mediums used and compare it to their own styles and what they might have at home. Can you find abstract pieces? How about still life images, portraits, landscapes? You can precede your visit with an introduction to art at home, or expand on your art gallery experience by reading up on specific artists or styles later. Better yet, bring along some different mediums of your own and have them sketch their own while you are there!

 4. Strike a pose: Many art pieces contain people. Challenge your children to copy the poses from the paintings. This brings a kinetic energy to the experience, which is perfect for wiggly kids. You just might take a stoic Mona Lisa or handsomely posed David home at the end of the day.

5. Find a friend: Encourage children to slow down and look closer at paintings by getting them to find familiar things. Bring the art work alive and make it more personal and accessible, by bringing it into their own world (ex. That man looks like Uncle Jack! I see my dog Shadow. She looks like my teacher.). You might find some funny comparisons, especially if you get them to find a painting that resembles themselves or you!


Major ART Galleries in Canada


March Break Craft and Art Projects

March break is coming up quickly! It can be a challenge to keep the kiddos busy, so we’re going to help you out! Here’s 12 crafts and art projects to keep them entertained and occupied!

12 Craft and Art Projects for March Break -

Decoupaged Eggs – Simple Easter Craft

Popsicle Park Bench

Clouds and Raindrops Craft

Lobster Kids Craft

Rainbow Wind Catchers

DIY Strawberry Planter

Walnut Nests