Sunday, May 25, 2014

The American Flag as Art for Memorial Day: Children's Patriotic Art


Memorial Day has arrived. My heart is full. Pulling together this article and retrospective of children's patriotic artwork brings tears to my eyes. Literally. It is hard to type. I bring you dozens and dozens of images today, from my many Author Illustrator school visits around the country and around the world. Amazing and appropriate to re-visit all of this effort and creative energy today. 

Veterans Sanctuary Marble Marker via RainbowsWithinReach

We have so much to be grateful for as a country. Much of that debt is owed to those who have served us so valiantly over the years. Today we honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in their service.  

I took this next photo two years ago as I drove away from one of my favorite, annual school visits. I did allow myself to cry quietly as I took the picture. An entire hillside of flags 'planted' in honor of specific heroes brings tears to the toughest of individuals and I am not a tough anything. Walking midst the 'Field of Heroes' is the ultimate of humbling experiences. 

photo of: Field of Heroes: American Flags honor Memorial Day

At this moment very moment in time, our son-in-law, Captain Mettle is again deployed across the world and has been gone from our WonderPeeps for months now. The reality of having an active duty relative far from home, hits very hard on Memorial Day weekend. I took this picture of him several years back on the occasion of my receiving this 'quilted' thank you in the mail. Again with the quiet tears. {Feel free to join me in prayer for his safe return home.}

photo of: Captain Mettle displays Kindergarten Artwork inspired by "Red, White and Blue" picture book

It was actually my daughter's idea to include her hero in my picture book. 
At the last minute I added him in his dress uniform at the Thanksgiving table. 

*Since then I have learned how to add Scott into family picture of events that he misses. 
Here's an example from Christmas time. 
I took the family four photo during our cross-country adventure to FL. 
Quite by accident there was a spot where he was genuinely missing. 
As a surprise for Sarah, I had Scott take his selfie and I was able to crop him into the fun. 

Back to the task at hand. 
Honoring those who have sacrificed everything in service.

I have gone back through my files to create this patriotic RoundUP.
I hope that it will inspire you for your own creative patriotic expressions. 

Stars to Honor Veterans: Elementary Style Salute via RainbowsWithinReach

Stars to Honor Veterans: Elementary Style Salute via RainbowsWithinReach

Kindergarten Project Based Learning Picture Book via RainbowsWithinReach

I wrote my picture book's text as a children's song in the immediate aftermath of September 11th and as a result I am often showered with patriotic creativity upon my arrival at schools. 

I created the illustrations for the book from fabric as small quilts. 
I make 16 quilts to craft my traditional hardback 32 page picture book. 
Many of the examples of children's art responses will favor 'quilts' in their style and collaboration. 


One of the most AMAZING adventures I have been offered was to tour four of our US Army bases in Europe and share my work with the children of our troops stationed abroad. I got to sing and entertain in both Germany and Italy as part of the "Month of the Young Military Child." 

photo of: Debbie Clement's European Tour for "Month of the Military Child"

photo of: Enactment of Verona Italy Liberation

Now sit back and appreciate the artwork from my travels. 

photo of: Preschool Painted Handprint American flag

photo of: "Red, White and Blue" Collaborative Quilt at RainbowsWithinReach

photo of: Elementary School Children Waving the American Flag for Author Visit with Debbie Clement

photo of: Elementary School Patriotic Music Flag of Guitars for Author Welcome

Fireworks Art Project in Celebration of all things Americana by Kindergarten Students

Symbols of America project for children, kindergarten painting for Memorial Day

Author-Illustrator School Visit: Artist Residency "Red, White and Blue" Patriotic Response

Veteran's Day Observance: First Grade Art is Response to "Red, White and Blue"

Artist Residency: Patriotic Response to Picture Book, "Red, White and Blue" (Quilt Squares)

Artist Residency: Creating Art in Response to Picture Books with Debbie Clement

American Flag of painted handprints

Patriotic Anchor Chart from Kindergarten via RainbowsWithinReach

"Red, White and Blue" by Debbie Clement at RainbowsWithinReach

Patriotic Kindergarten Response to "Red, White and Blue" by Debbie Clement

Finger Painted American Flags on Window

Patriotic Preschool Hearts with Stars via RainbowsWithinReach

Patriotic Flag Art in Kindergarten in Response to "Red, White and Blue" by Debbie Clement

Kindergarten Art in Response to "Red, White and Blue" by Debbie Clement

Patriotic Quilt by 2nd Graders in Response to "Red, White and Blue"

photo of: Patriotic Quilt Squares in Response to "Red, White and Blue" by Debbie Clement

photo of: Kindergarten Created American Flag via RainbowsWithinReach

photo of: Patriotic Painted Handprints on School Cafeteria Poles

Patriotic Drawing for Constitution Day

Project Based Learning in Kindergarten via RainbowsWithinReach

Bulletin Board of Patriotic Images for Author Illustrator School Visit with Debbie Clement

photo of: Cooperative Painting with Young Children, Toddler Patriotic Painting

photo of: Flag paintings by young children, preschool patriotism

 Red, White and Blue: Construction Paper Quilts in Honor of 9-11 (in response to "Red, White and Blue" picture book)

Patriotic Weavings in Elementary School Art at RainbowsWithinReach

Heart Flags for America at RainbowsWithinReach

photo of: Kindergarten Created American Flag via RainbowsWithinReach

Flag image of photos of students, Patriotic projects

photo of: Monumental Construction Paper Quilt by Carie's Kindergarten Class in Response to "Red, White and Blue" by Debbie Clement

Classroom Quilt Collaboration in Response to Picture Book's Quilted Illustrations

New York City Patriotic Quilt for Author/Illustrator School Visit with Debbie Clement

I have the song in a digital file for immediate purchase and download at my little store at Teachers Pay Teachers. I decided to put my whole shop on a 20% savings this weekend. You and your family can sing it at your weekend picnic!

Teacher Feedback on "Red, White and Blue" by Debbie Clement
See what your peers are saying! 

The zipped file comes with a pdf of the chart to support your singing the song using sign language. 

I always conclude the song with a BIG burst of fireworks! 

We have two daughters and the other daughter is also married to an enlisted man! 
Zac is in the Navy and plays bass trombone for the Navy. 
He is finishing eight years of service with the Naval Academy Band in Anapolis and will be transferring this summer to the BIG LEAGUES and will be permanently playing with THE Navy Band in Washington DC. We are so proud of his hard work and service. 

He, too is pictured in my picture book! 
He is the furthest left in fabric below. 
Those two got married in a gazebo and so I chose that backdrop for his quartet. 

photo of: Quilted Illustrations for Patriotic Picture Book "Red, White and Blue" by Debbie Clement

Of course I would appreciate your pinning from this article! 
That's how people *FIND* me! 
Thanks for helping to spread the word. 

I do have an entire Pinboard dedicated to all things patriotic!
Just click the pic below to see those additional 500+ ideas! 

Click the pic to join the first 151,000++++ followers! 

Yup! That's me! 
In another century! 
Pre-September 11th! 
I used to march the littles around and we would wave flags! 
I've always had a flag bag! 

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1 comment:

  1. All of these flags remind me of flag day. I love flag day is because it is so patriotic. I feel like it is just getting us pumped for the fourth of July. Next year, I will have my flag out and ready. I love flag day is because it is so patriotic. I feel like it is just getting us pumped for the fourth of July.


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