Where does your favorite football team or players come from? Let's visit England!

If you are a big fan of Manchestor United, you will certainly like to visit this week country of Young Lions trip which is England. The weather was so great and perfect for travelling, the sun was shiny brightly and it was not to hot to stay outside without any air conditioning. Young lions came to our office earlier than last time and they all seemed excited. Some of them ran and rided thier small cute bicycle. Then there were three little new boys arrived with their mother. There were also some of mothers came to look around and see our workshop. They told me that they liked our class because their kids can have an educational activity after school. It is also convenient because it's closed to thier houses.
This week, young lions seemed to be more comfortable with our workshop and volunteers. They acted comfortably and also became more talkative to their friends and us.
We started our  presumptous trip by introducing some information, facts of England which presented also its national football team. The younger lions seemed excited and talked to me about the information they saw while the older group of young lions sat away and silently watched the slides. However, some of them answered the difficult questions that I pointed about England which meant they still were listening.
Guess what craft that we would do this week. If you have been to some catredrals in England before , you would be stunned by lots of beautiful stained glass decoration inside all catredral with colorful and bright colors. We so decided to use the cellophane instead of color glass because it is too dangerous to the kids.
Jessica (our volunteer in yellow t-shirt from the right above picture) and I then demonstrated the procedures of making cellophane stained glass and then asked them to follow the steps. They started with sketching and then planning fot their designs. Then turned them onto pieces of their works. The little boys found a bit difficult to come up with their own designs but their final products turned well with all pieces of colorful cellophane.

On the other hands, the girls presented more proficient on their works , they seemed to be more skillful and careful with their works and designs. One of the small girls, her name is Mhee Sar came to me with so creative picture on her works using cellophane and masking tape that we provided. I am impressed with her creativity and then produced work that is so unique. Then we ended the workshop handling some butter cookie and all the kids seemed YUM YUM...
by Pbut, ARI Art Project Coordinator
24th September 2010


Wrapping up the semester at New Life Center

Last week we enjoyed working with both the older girls and the younger girls at New Life Center. On Tuesday we met with the younger girls, who were eager to take a break from their studies for a little creative expression. Since it was the last day of art classes before their exams and school break we focused on finish some of the on going projects. Earlier in the semester they had started weaving with yarn on handmade looms. The girls finished their weaving projects and even wove in tree branches on the top and bottom to hang them with. The weavings were beautiful. Many of the girls focused on patterns and color combinations throughout their weaving piece. I really liked the weavings and wanted to take them all home and hang them on my walls.

They also continued their look at color combinations and self-portraiture that they began with the Andy Warhol lesson. The girls finished painting four small self-portraits inspired by Andy Warhol which will be assembled in a similar way to some of Warhol's famous paintings. After the girls tied up the loose ends they still had some time to make cranes. They very quickly picked up the technique we had shown to the older girls last week and started making whole families of cranes, some of whom had very extended families. They really enjoyed folding their cranes and turning them into hanging mobiles.

For the older, girls, who had already finished their weaving and paintings, we focused on a new project, monoprint making. At first the girls seemed a bit ambivalent about this new, crazy technique, but once they got painting they loved it. We used glass rectangles from photo frames, acryclic paint, and things we could find around us. The girls learned three techniques including abstract expression, drawing into the ink, and leaf printing. Monoprinting is a lot of fun because you don't know exactly how your picture will turn out until you turn your paper over, sometimes you discover a masterpiece, other times a work in progress. The girls loved making a bit of a mess and having the opportunity for free expression. They had so much fun we couldn't get them to stop.  :) At the end of the class we chose our most favorite prints and turned them into neat greeting cards. It was a really fun and stress free couple of hours!

Happy Monday!


Hope Home-Painting with Toys

We had a great time at Hope Home yesterday. Our lesson was themed around different types of transportation so we began the morning with a cartoon video of "The Wheels on the bus" song. The kids enjoyed the video and Phil and Pancake even danced along to the music. 

We brought lots of toys along with us for the kids to paint with. The toys ranged from a large police car that makes noise every time you roll it, to a motorcycle, truck, tractor, person, and sea anemone. The sea anemone even bounced up and down and lit up. It was a hit with some of our kids and staff. The kids practiced their paint rolling techniques using the wheels of the car to paint across the page. It was really fun playing with the toys and using them to make art. The kids had a chance to warm up their muscles and practice streching the arms out across the page. It was great to see Joy sitting up and painting today. She made a beautiful painting using the toys and rollers. Phil particularly loved the sea anemone and decided to paint with his toes yesterday. He has such strong little feet and loved pulling the creature back and forth. He was pretty skillful at rolling it with his foot as well. He made quite a mess around him but loved the chance to sit on the floor and paint with his toes. 

Three of our Hope Home kids have birthdays this weekend so we are looking forward to a birthday celebration next week. Come along for some cake.  :)


Young Lion with trendy Chinese Scrolls

        This week, all the young lions visited the country of China. There were some new young lions this week and also welcomed back the old ones. Totally, there were 15 young lions and 5 staffs this time so they were pretty tight in the small room of our house which covers with roof. We couldn't have the workshop in the garden because it was raining. Once they arrived, the young lions showed their interest and excitement about the workshop by asking which country that we were going to visit. At the begining of our workshop, the young lions enjoyed the coloring activity while they were waiting for their friends.
          During the lesson, we presented them some images which are relevant to the country of China such as flag, a capital city, martial art, people and food. The young lions were excited with those images and responded well. They seemed to be more relax than the first time they have been here with us so they talked more and more. I also think that our workshop is not as serious as their normal school so the kids have became to attend and display their attention well.
The young lions, this time would expand their experience in using water color apply on to their pictures. Some of them drew some pictures about the nature which are tree, river and mountain using only black color to create the same style as Chinese scroll. I think their pictures looked chic because the black color went well on the beige background. Some of them just drew simples shape or line and the final product still looked great for me. It's noticeable that the young lions liked art and enjoyed the activity.

This is the final product of Mayula, one of our young lions, she drew the picture about the natural scenes and her scroll looked nice.
Mayula always take care of another younger young lions, she is helpful and at the same time she is sweet to us. She is normally quiet and shy but she was the person who answered to my questions during the presentation which impressed me so much. We finished this workshop by handing out "Pao" which is originally come from China and the young lions seemed to like it. It was a good experience visiting one of Asian countries.

By Pbut, Art Project Coordinator


Welcome to the Wild West! West Africa, that is.

Last Wednesday, our Young Lions landed in the beautiful and awe-inspiring country of Nigeria in West Africa.  Since we had already traveled to two very wealthy nations, we wanted to show our Young Lions a culture and people from the third world.  Africa, in general, doesn't seem to draw very much attention from people in Thailand.  Thoughts of the world outside Thailand seem to gravitate around the Westernized cultures of the United States and Europe, which is predominantly seen on television, in movies, and in other international media.  We took this opportunity to show the kids what life was really like in Nigeria; we put together a short powerpoint presentation complete with photos depicting the various landscapes, types of homes, indigenous people, wild animals and exotic foods.

Pbut lead a conversation about the country,
comparing multiple aspects of Nigerian life to that in Thailand.  The kids got really into the lesson by shouting out answers to her questions and gawking at all the pictures with their mouths open wide.  The project for the week was to make traditional tribal masks.  Traditional masks in Nigeria were originally carved out of wood from hollow tree trunks, and made to represent the spirit of an ancestor or god-like being.  They were worn during wedding ceremonies and other celebrations by tribal dancers, and oftentimes used when summoning spiritual strength before times of warfare.  Aside from its cultural and spiritual significance, tribal masks are just really beautiful art projects.

Prior to the class, the ARI crew made the base of the masks out of black poster board, cutting out almond-shaped eyes and attaching an elastic around the back so it could be worn.  On Wednesday, we handed them out to the kids along with various cardboard shapes, which they were to paste onto their masks however they pleased.  Some kids were really detailed in their designs, and stuck to a symetrical pattern.  Others went completely crazy with the shapes, going as far as to cover up the holes intended for the eyes--an eye patch, I presume?  The next step was to paint the masks.  ARI staff and volunteers handed out four paint colors--white, yellow, orange and a brick red or muddy brown color.  We wanted to stick to colors that would represent the Nigerian culture best, and these colors worked perfectly. 

The combination of interesting cardboard cutout shapes pasted onto a three-dimensional mask, with exotic colors painted all over, presented a gorgeous product that the kids could not wait to put on.  Toward the end of the class, I was surprised to find a few of our Young Lions crawling around our office making growling noises at one another.  They are kids afterall.

All in all, I think we succeeded in showing the kids another part of the world that they may not have known existed. 

Stop back in next week.  My sources say we are visiting another Asian neighbor.  I'll give you a hint: it's home to a wall that extends over 3,700 miles (or 6,000 km), and known to be the greatest human feat in history.

Odabo! ('Goodbye' in Yoruba)


Origami cranes at New Life

Hello everyone! My name is Kira, I am the new director for Art Relief International. I was blessed this morning with the opportunity to work with P'But on an origami workshop at New Life Center. Origami can be quite frustrating sometimes, but the  New Life girls really honed in on their patience and attention to detail to make hip, fashionable paper crane art. We began the morning with a discussion of Japanese pop art and traditional origami techniques as well as the story of the 1000 cranes, which have become a symbol of world peace and are also believed to help cure medical problems. The girls picked up the folding techniques very quickly and were soon making cranes of all sizes. While chatting and listenting to Thai pop music we made a series of cranes which we used to make hanging mobiles, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. It was so fun to watch them develop "new fashion" and utilize their creativity to make beautiful designs. They built on some of their skills of color selection and pattern from previous lessons while putting their necklaces and mobiles together. At the end of the day we had a little fashion show to model all our new jewellry. It was so fun and inspiring to work with them that I am looking forward to going home and making some crane decorations of my own.


Hope Home making dasiy pictures with beans!

Hello everyone!

Today we went to Hope Home and did a workshop on learning about the five senses. We specifically focused on the sense of touch. We had three boxes for each child filled with different types of beans. We would assist each child it shaking the box to hear each different sound the different boxes made. Joy and Boonrat, really enjoyed when we were shaking the boxes. Boonrot who has little to no motor control of his body, however, today he reached for the boxes and with a little help was able to shake the boxes.
Later when we put the beans onto the paper many of the children really enjoyed just spreading them around and feeling the different textures. I’ve been working with Boonrot during the last two workshops and I was excited that he really made an effort to move around the beans with his hands and got really excited when he heard the sound of the beans shaking. Phil one of the kids at Hope Home used his talented feet to shake and reach for the boxes. Overall it was a pretty exciting morning filled with lots of laughs and bean shaking sounds.

Today is my last day here at art relief and I’m sad to goodbye so fast. Three weeks goes by so fast when you get to work with wonderful people and organizations that truly are passionate about serving the needs of others. It was truly amazing to be able to share my passion of art with everyone I worked with.


Andy Warhol Part Two


Yesterday sadly was my last day helping out at New Life Center. We repeated the Andy Warhol self-portrait workshop with the younger group of ladies. In the lesson we walked about Andy Warhol’s contribution to pop art and showed many of his famous paintings. We also talked about pop culture and pop music and had a discussion on what some of their favorite bands were. We were not able to finish the project but from what they have completed so for the results look promising.

The girls naturally were a bit hesitant with the tracing, but once they got into painting the pictures, they really start to express their personalities. Two of the girls mixed their own paints and made their own color scheme. Many of the girls added or took away details from the traced images. When we began to wind down the workshop none of the girls wanted to stop painting and continued to keep going till the last few minutes of class. They will be finishing them up next week with Pbut and Kira and I’m really looking forward to hearing about the results on the blog. Currently we are talking to New Life about displaying the portraits in a special place for the girls.



Bonjour, Young Lions!

Happy Monday!

Last week, our Young Lions ventured to one of the most culturally-rich countries in Europe--France. The kids trudged through the pouring rain, armed with umbrellas and raincoats, to get a little taste of French culture right here in Chiang Mai. The inspiration for last week's art class came from one of France's most famous impressionist painters, George Seurat.  Known for his avant-guarde creations, Seurat made major contributions to the artistic evolution in France in the late 1700s. Seurat is considered to have developed the artistic technique referred to as pointillism, which was a term first used to mock artwork--and the artist--made by strategically painting small, distinct dots together in a pattern in order to create an image.

Pbut and Jessica started the class by pointing out where France was on our large world map and having the kids find the country on their personal maps, and coloring it in. An interesting thing to mention: in Thailand, all Westerners are referred to as farang--derived from the word farangset, which  is the Thai name for people who are from France.  So, Pbut lead a short discussion about Seurat and his paintings. We showed the kids some pictures of his artwork, pointing out that they were made completely from dots. The kids were so surprised to find out his method of painting, and they could not believe the beautiful images were created by piecing a series of dots together.

The project for the kids was to make their own Seurat-inspired masterpiece. We thought it best to chose one symbolic representation of the country, and to have all the kids paint what they saw. We chose the Eiffel Tower, of course, and talked about it with the kids. Several of them actually knew what it was called without us having to tell them. The concept for the project was to paint a picture of the Eiffel Tower by only painting dots on their paper. We had an assortment of colored paint ready and waiting for them, along with Q-tips to make the dot design. Jessica showed them how to go about dotting the color onto their papers, and we strictly encouraged them not to make lines, but only DOTS.

The kids got really into it and they started to chant "jut, jut, jut" throughout the class, which means dot in Thai. I thought the paintings came out great, and the kids seemed to grasp the idea of pointillism. The basics, at least. Our Young Lions have really creative minds, using a wide array of colors to paint their pictures. Some were inspired by real life scenes, painting the grass green and the sky blue, while others experimented with purple skies and orange grass. We like to preach that there is no right or wrong when it comes to art.

Maybe we can incorporate this technique into other painting projects in the future. It was simple enough to teach a class of all ages, but interesting enough to produce artwork that was aesthetically pleasing.

After an hour and a half of "jut"-ing, we ended the class with some sweet tea and crackers, and sent the kids on their merry way.

Check in next week to see where the Young Lion train stops next.



They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself. - Andy Warhol

Another great day at the New Life Center and for today’s lesson we did self-portraits using Andy Warhol’s unique style as our guide. We took pictures of the young ladies earlier on in the week and I photo shopped them to the best of my abilities to provide them with their own stencil to trace. Pbut gave the lesson and explained to the young ladies Andy Warhol’s contribution to the art world and the influence of his unique style today.

The ladies traced their faces then choose a color scheme for their four paintings. The girls seemed a bit unsure at first, but they defiantly put a lot of effort into the project. All the paintings are unique and I think they came out great. After the lesson they invited both Pbut and I to have lunch with them and we got to know them better. We did the Andy Warhol lesson plan with the older group of girls and we will be doing it again with the younger class on Tuesday. These lovely ladies are a gift to work with and have profound understanding of working in their community.


Making friends and Weaving at New Life Center

Hello everyone!

On Tuesday we had our first art workshop with New Life Center, a church-supported foundation that works with ethnic minority women and girls at risk for, or victims of, exploitative labor, human trafficking, and sexual abuse. The center provides education, vocational training, and community support resulting in self-sustaining confident young women.

We learned to weave using yarn and a hand-made loom. I was bit early for the lesson and so were some of the young ladies; I was a bit nervous at first because I don’t speak Thai, but they quickly pulled out an English-to-Thai dictionary and began trying to communicate. They are also currently taking English and I practiced with them throughout the lesson.

Once Pbut arrived she began teaching the lesson on the two methods of weaving. The girls took to it quickly and worked two to a loom. These groups of girls are truly a community and would offer to help each other out when one was behind. We were not able to finish the looms in one class, but they will have the opportunity to work on it again before their exams. Unfortunately I will not get to see them done in person, but I look forward to seeing final projects on here later. Time here goes by way too fast and my time spent at New Life Center makes its go by even faster.