I was at the Sunnyvale Art Gallery where there is a fabulous exhibit of high school children's art work. This is a very large gallery with tons of space, so there was a lot of work displayed, including ceramic pieces and other 3 dimensional things. The work is so original and creative. I think part of the reason is these kids are given challenging projects and concepts. They aren't just copying photographs. There should be a website that lists interesting challenges. Maybe there is. If someone knows of such a site, please pass it on.
There were a number of figurative images done with oil pastel on newspaper. I loved the look, so I decided to try it myself. I have these very creamy water soluble oil pastels called "Portfolio" which are available at Staples and very inexpensive but fun to work with. This was a lot of fun. I think I will do more in the future.