This week the Picassos finished off their cricket match paintings and all I have to say is... not a man (and I say 'man' loosely) was out for duck! And with that I have exhausted all of my cricket slang/terminology lol.. but you need to take a look at these figure drawings. They are fantastic!
If you want to check out the first part of this lesson you can find it here.
I love using children's books as inspiration for art but I especially love when a book delivers the trifecta! There is a great moral, exposure to new words or an expansion of language skills and last but certainly not least the illustrations are eye-catching and really help to add depth to the story.
This adorable little book delivers on all fronts. It explores the themes of diversity and individuality and reiterates the fact that we are all unique and special in our own way! It also uses lots of opposite words so before the story started I told the Doodlebugs to listen out for words that are opposites and they had to call a few out for me at the end. We also talked about what the story means and they got to say what it meant to them in their own words.
Then of course we got down to painting our ocean backgrounds and they each decorated a few unique You Be You styled fish which they drew, cut out and stuck onto their ocean backgrounds!
The Picassos started off the term exploring the body in motion. Not an easy feat for this age group but we are not known for shying away from a challenge! Since the actual drawing and sketching of the human figure standing still, let alone in motion can be an exercise in frustration I knew the subject matter had to be enticing...
So we're drawing and painting a cricket match! I brought out my trusty wooden man for the Picassos to bend and move so they could see the angles up close... and I also found a book on cricket with loads of great pictures of real cricket matches so they could mimic the poses.
Each child chose a different composition so they are training themselves to think about what they want to focus on and then making decisions on how to go about laying out their artwork to achieve their objective. So you will see some of them drawing up close cricketers with a crowd in the distance, while others chose to look at the field as a whole so the cricketers are less in focus.
So armed with these simple tools they got down to sketching a match! Take a look at what they've done so far... next week we'll be painting the scene.
This week the Doodlebugs delved into the wonderful world of weaving with me as their guide and boy was it wild ride! Getting the under/over rhythm required for this adorable paper blanket was a challenge for some while others took to it quite naturally but they were all super intrigued. At this age children are introduced to making patterns as well as sequential actions and so weaving is a very natural segue.
But this is art class so we're not going to simply make a paper weave and be done with it! Take a look as they turn a paper weaving into an adorable sleeping portrait! It's unbeweavably cute :) Ha ha... you had to know that was coming!
Karin Kelshall-Best is not like the other artists we've looked at this week. As a matter of fact her only real similarity is that she comes from Trinidad... San Fernando to be specific. Although she did a bit of art in secondary school she never pursued it and only seriously picked up a paintbrush in her fifties. So because she never went to school to study art or anything in the artistic wheelhouse like the others she is a truly self-taught artist and although she may have started painting later in life her passion and talent comes through in her art!
She has many many pieces for sale online. This is another stark difference with this artist and the others. She is not a 'gallery artist' although she has had shows in galleries. She seems to prefer selling her art both originals and prints online. My campers were very interested in this idea and I could see the wheels turning in some of their heads!
I chose to have the campers recreate The Roti Shop because I think it is challenging and it is a nice way to flex the painting muscles that we've been toning all week! The layers of bushes and trees are always a triumph and even getting the structure of the shop to look just right :) This final piece also means in the 4 days they would have done a seascape, a landscape, a portrait and finally a 'house' or some form of architecture! Not bad ey ;P
So proud of my kiddos!
After our painting today we had our GRAND DRAW for the free framing and well as you would expect that was tremendously exciting! They were crowding around poor Aunty Aurea to make sure their names were not forgotten! LOL... I'm pleased to announce that my winner is....
And boy was she excited! She chose to have this one framed so I'll be presenting it to her after the holidays! Congratulations sweetheart!
Shalini Seereeram is from Chaguanas and is a graphic artist by profession, but she ventured into the art world and boy are we glad that she did! She studied jewelry design at UTT and she was awarded the President's Medal for excellence in 1997.
She has a very recognizable style which is largely what accounts for her success. Her work is reminiscent of the works of Picasso and Modigliani (an Italian 20th century artist)... she morphs the proportions of the body and changes facial features so they are less realistic and more abstract. (of course I mentioned these artists so I had to give a brief chit chat about them and I showed them a glimpse of what their art looked like). You can see what they saw below.
However Seereeram also tends to focus on her use of colour and line possibly because of her background in graphic design. We also had a chat about what a graphic artist does and I may have seen a couple potential graphic artists in the room perk up :)
I also mentioned the trend in our artists so far... they all excelled academically and did degrees! Hinkson won a scholarship to go to QRC and then studied art in Canada and Paris, Stapleton went to St. Joseph's Convent St. Joseph and did her degree in graphic design abroad and Seereeram likewise studied graphic design abroad and also won a President's medal for excellence! No slackers in this bunch.
Take a look as the campers create their version of this different but beautiful piece by Shalini Seereeram.
Our local artist for the day is Ann Stapleton. She was born in Mt. D'or Champs Fleurs and went to St. Joseph's Convent St. Joseph. We talked about her childhood and school days as well as the fact that she worked for a long time in a 'regular' job before turning to art as her source of income.
So today we will paint our version of her beautiful piece entitled Picking Mango.
Her paintings are full of movement and her brushstrokes are as vibrant as her colours are vivid. She paints in the Impasto style which is like another of my favorite master artists... Van Gogh! No wonder I am drawn to this lady's work :) This is the point I make to my campers over and over... that we can be influenced by lots of different people, places and cultures, but what matters most is that we find a way to turn that influence into something that expresses what makes us unique! Stapleton may have adopted an Impressionist style but her themes are purely local and so her work is fresh! You don't have to wear blinders to appreciate your local culture... on the contrary you should travel the world, eat, drink and see all it has to offer and then use it to flourish in your own way.
They drew the main elements first and then starting laying down paint in the Impasto style to mimic the gorgeous texture that runs through this piece.
Donald "Jackie" Hinkson is one of Trinidad's artistic gems. Born in Corbeaux Town, Port-of-Spain in 1942 he grew up in what we would now call 'the old time days'. Can you really say that phrase without calling to mind the beautiful song "Bring Back the Ole Time Days" if you are above a certain age? I think not soooo I know we just started but... let's have a brief intermission and enjoy some good music lol.
Where were we... ah yes Hinkson grew up in a colonial house with a gabled roof and jalousies (my campers got to see pictures of these old houses which are a not-so-secret obsession of mine). His family home on Richmond Street POS became a liming spot for the neighborhood friends... boys who lived in barrack yards and other modest homes in the area, and this was quite extraordinary considering this was a time in Trinidad's history when the upper and middle income brackets had strict unwritten rules of association according to class, colour and religion. As a boy he also drove the length and breadth of the country with his father who was a travelling officer for the Colonial Government and this exposure to the landscapes of the city as well as rural areas influenced him greatly.
He won a scholarship to go to QRC where he made friends with like-minded individuals. One of these school-mates, Peter Minshall, would later turn into this country's finest mas man. My campers all found that this was seriously cool... This friendship with Minshall is credited with cementing his resolve to pursue art for a living. I guess you can say that he found the bravado he needed to take the road less traveled by meeting someone else thinking of going the same way!
Of course unlike many other artists he was fortunate enough to follow his passion for art by furthering his education in Paris and then launching right into creating art in many many different forms, from drawing, to watercolours, to acrylics and oils to sculpting.
The piece we are recreating today is called Jetty at Ashton and it was originally done in oils. I have simplified the piece by including only one boat and drawing attention to the shapes so it is easier to draw the boat and the back of the man and also calling attention to the different tints the artist used to depict space.
It's our last class before the Doodlebugs go off for their Easter break so I couldn't let them go without a project to celebrate the season!
My little Doodlebugs knew that Easter was an important Christian celebration with varying degrees of exactly what it represents but they were all very very aware that Easter is the time when the Easter Bunny shows up bringing all that chocolatey goodness in the form of colourful eggs!
So when I showed them the painting of our adorable bunny they were very excited to start drawing! Of course, although I tried to get them to leave the bunny white... let's face it... that would be kinda boring and I figure they're only 5 and 6 so they have lots of time to focus on realism... but now is the time to paint everything in rainbow colours! And that's just what they did :)
Easter is upon us and while most of my Picassos (both Christian and non-Christian) generally understand the religious importance they were all totally clueless as to the origin of the Easter Bunny and the significance of Easter Eggs... go figure lol.
So we discussed why bunnies are associated with new life... which is a popular theme of Easter! I told them that if you put a boy bunny and a girl bunny in a box you'd soon have lots of baby bunnies! As for the eggs well they are also a symbol of new life and birth but they may also have been linked to Easter because long ago the Church prohibited the eating of meat, fish and eggs during lent so having them again at Easter became a special treat! We managed to get through our entire discussion without ever debating whether the Easter Bunny is real or not to my great relief because I know that I have a mix of opinions in my class on that front!
Oh and of course I also pointed out my little homophone title... the Picassos had a brief head-scratching moment before the could recall the word in English for 2 words that have the same pronunciation but different spellings and meanings. English and art... squeezing in that learning whenever we can!
After we all of this talk I showed them our project for the day. We created a portrait of Mr. Easter Bunny and focused on the use of line (another element of art) to show how the artist can vary the shape, thickness and style of line to say different things to the viewer. They also deconstructed the bunny and put it back together again for a different look to the basic portrait.
Be a fly on the wall in our art room! Take a look at what we do, how we do it and the smiles that I get to see week after week :)