As a source of inspiration for my work as an Educator at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA, Susan s books are on prominent display in our hands-on Art Studio. Her project suggestions provide an inspiring platform for discovering techniques, materials and processes that speak to learners of all ages. I’m thrilled to add Art For All Seasons to our carefully-curated resource collection!
Meghan Burch, Guided Art Programs Educator
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
Susan Schwake’s Art for All Seasons, her newest volume of art activities, follows in her tradition of studio art based art education for children. This book presents high quality art experiences inspired by contemporary artists that leads to the creation of relevant and significant artwork, easily adapted for children of all ages. The foundation of the seasons and nature adds another layer of relevancy and meaning to the creative experience. Art for All Seasons is another important contribution to the literature of meaningful art making for children.
Bill Haust, Ed. D., Professor Emeritus of Art, Instructor of Art Education,
Plymouth State University
I am very impressed with this book. I like how it covers a wide range of media and the mechanics of using the different media, along with the mental/physical goals in the art process for each lesson. I also like how there’s a more professional rendering of the project and a child’s version. This shows what’s possible with practice as a professional, contrasted by a reasonable outcome by kids. I am looking to get back into art myself and teach elementary aged children through homeschool. This is exactly what I was looking for. I’d be interested in a volume 2 if available.
Mrs. Kennedy, Google Review
Looking to homeschool the kids next year I was trying to find something to fill the art gap. I love all aspects of art, but when it comes to getting my kids involved it can be somewhat challenging to say the least. Already owning the Mixed Media lab book and using a few lessons with our summer camp last year, I was excited to find this book at the library so I could check it out first. The Lab Series is great on so many levels. It gives lists of supplies that are recommended, and then reminds you that if you’re lacking specific materials, just start with what you have and build your stash slowly. Teaching well rounded art to my kids is important, and alone I was afraid that I would make things too difficult, or (gasp) boring for them. This is a great starting point. So much so that I didn’t return it to the library until they told me I couldn’t keep renewing it…. so I bought it.
As with all Lab books I have encountered, all the exercises are seperate from each other. Yes, they have themed units, (such as Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Paper, and Mixed Media) but you can skip things you don’t have supplies for, or aren’t in the mood to do, and still be able to pull off a successful experience. As my children are in the 7-12 age range, this book will work well for us. Each lab is based on a different artist’s style, so some art appreciation will be had as you talk about the original master, and may even be interested to do more research on your favorites. Different mediums are used as stated before, so you are able to dabble in different forms and get your feet wet without the need for perfection. One of my favorite labs has to be #13- painting like a fauvist. There is no way to make a perfect picture when you have to do the whole thing in shades of green or blue… helps us not be too intimidated and take art so seriously when our picture looks like the Wicked Witch when it’s over.
J. Oswald, Google Review
We love this book. It is perfect for homeschool art for any age. We used it for middle school and I could see it easily being used in high school as well. The projects cover drawing, painting, paper, print making and mixed media. We’ve used charcoal, oil and soft pastels, markers, acrylics, watercolors made screen prints and gelatin prints just to name a few.
Elbereth5, Google Review
I used this book for project ideas and as a guide when teaching an art elective to elementary school students ages 9-11. It’s filled with unique projects that are based in real art techniques and styles, making it an incredible teaching tool. As a former music teacher in the public schools, I can greatly appreciate the organization and layout of this book — very easy to navigate and follow. Each project is presented in lesson plan format, including materials needed, how to present the project, stepped-out instructions with demonstrative photos, and a list of ways to go further with the project. Beautiful art examples are given from a variety of artists, both professional and inspiring young student artists. You’ll find tons of ideas for drawing, painting, printmaking, paper, and mixed media! The kids I worked with LOVED the string painting project! There are lots of crafty books out there for kids which are great, but what sets this book apart is that it truly teaches ART to kids! I recommend this book to anyone who teaches art to kids, caregivers looking for ways to include art in their child’s life, adults who are budding artists, classroom teachers, daycare providers, and activity coordinators for people of all ages. Fantastic book!
Eagle_Wing_Spirit71, Google Review
Fantastic! Just like my college class in elementary art using all different materials in totally different ways. The projects can all be displayed, don’t take too much time and are as easy or hard as needed. Best art book I’ve seen for kids and will be connecting to art therapy. For example, my clients are asked to “scribble your stress” and then a project using scribble to create a new picture is in the book.
Midnight Reader, Google Review
I purchased two kids’ arts and crafts books: Kids Create and Art Lab for Kids. I looked at the Art Lab book first, and then was very disappointed with Kids Create when I looked at that book. Kid’s Create is entirely in black and white and totally uninspiring. I was looking for an art book with drawing, painting, printmaking, and mixed media activities suitable for children that would not only invite creativity but also start to lay a foundation for a basic understanding of art materials and artistic techniques. What’s more, I was looking for activities that left room for true creativity in the final product despite using specific techniques. The Art Lab for Kids book was attractive and inspiring. It’s activities will be fun for my 6 year old son, but they’ll be just as fun for him at 10 and 17 (and for me)and feel fresh even when we repeat each “adventure.”
The book includes complete materials lists, colorful examples, and “further exploration” activities for each “adventure”, so really there are over a hundred possible “creative adventures” in this book.
TT, Google Review
Great book for anyone looking for an introduction to different types of art media. I bought it for my 10 year old daughter, she uses the techniques and tips she learned from it.
Liz Durkin, Google Review
This book is awesome. I bought it to help me do interesting, creative things over the summer with my daughter (6 years old). It’s awesome. The book has helped me put some structure and planning into artwork while offering artists a lot of flexibility during the creation process. I’m well aware that structure and flexibility seem like opposing characteristics, but it really does help you plan out a project, but allows artists to determine what they will create in each lesson.
CAP, Google Review
The book is beautifully laid out in an easy to follow format. Each project has a materials list, then step by step directions, and nice photos. The book is great for parents to use as a guide to do and teach art projects to kids, especially parents with little or no art experience. Older kids that can read would do fine independently on the projects or with minimal help, and younger kids are able to do the projects with some help from someone who can read. I like that the book can be used as a jumping off point since it teaches many different art techniques with various materials, so if the child completes a project he/she will be able to essentially repeat the project by just coming up with a different theme/subject. Overall, great book that is easy to use, covers some interesting art techniques, and great for a parent to have on hand when their kids are looking for something to do.
K.C., Google Review