Divali is in the air and while the Hindu community is immersed in prayer and fasting, the rest of us can't wait to take in the colour, food and fashion that culminate on Divali day!
When I first came across these Indian Dancers by local artist Danielle Rahael I was immediately drawn to them! I love her use of colour and her the fact that she stays true to her abstract style while also infusing our Trinidadian culture! Thanks Danielle for giving my Picassos such a fine example of how a local artist can interpret our life, our colours and our vibrancy into a style that is not always easy to digest.
Check out my 7 to 11 year old Picassos as they try their hands at recreating an Indian Dancer in the style of Rahael in celebration of Divali! Our focus here was on colour. They took turns using the colour wheel to figure out their split complimentary colour scheme starting with the colour of their backgrounds. Then they drew and painted in Rahael’s signature style!
My little Doodlebugs also created their very own sugar skulls! They learnt about the very special El Dia de los Meuertos.. which is a day to remember our loved ones that died. Grandmas and Grandpas and anyone we love. In Mexico families make special food and sweets (like sugar skulls) and of course they talk about their loved ones and sing songs and dance. It's a very colourful and vibrant celebration of life! Check out my sweethearts as they broaden their horizons and paint some not-so-spooky sugar skulls complete with earrings, shades and hats!
The Sugar Skull is a symbol of El Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead, a holiday celebrated by Mexicans in November that honors the life of a loved one who has died. It's not at all spooky or scary. As a matter of fact the day is a festive one where family members make special foods, collect flowers and make yummy treats all in preparation of this day of remembrance. I paralleled it to All Souls Day which is a similar Christian tradition in Trinidad.
I think it's important to expose my artists to interesting festivals and cultural elements from around the world, so they get a glimpse of life outside of Trinidad and Tobago. So they listened to the story Day of the Dead and then we got down to creating our sugar skulls which are really one of the sweet treats made for that day, but for our project we drew, painted and then collaged some flowers!
Inspired by Cezanne's painting Tulips in a Vase the Doodlebugs followed step by step and drew and painted their own gorgeous floral arrangement! They used watercolour resist techniques to create the cool texture effects and learned a bit about light and shadows!
This was fun to create but it also is just so beautiful! Hooray for my talented little artists!
Continuing on our artist study of Cezanne, the Picassos and Warhols took a look at some examples of Cezanne's landscapes. We looked at his use of complimentary colours and his brushstrokes as well as his shapes.
The Picassos went on to create a Cezanne-inspired landscape using simple plains and focusing on colours and brushwork.
Today we changed the pace a bit and the Doodlebugs learned all about volcanoes! We are going to spend the next 2 classes creating a beautiful collage set against a volcanic landscape... sooooo of course we have to learn what makes a volcano appear, we should know that there are different types and well... hopefully you'll hear all about it!
They were intrigued to learn that the islands of Hawaii were formed by volcanoes erupting in the ocean and that the eruptions cooled and formed the land. We talked about how most Hawaiian volcanoes are now inactive, though there are still three active volcanoes on the islands which are constantly being watched to make sure the people of Hawaii stay safe.
"Would you live on an island with an active volcano? " Resounding response... NOOOOOO MISS!! LOL
This piece has several layers so it will take more than one class to complete but take a look at our progress!
This week the Picassos were introduced to artist Paul Gauguin, who was born in Paris, but moved to Tahiti. He loved the tropical setting and native people. In his painting, Tahitian Women on the Beach, he depicts two women in their everyday environment. One woman is weaving a basket while the other keeps her company. In his paintings, he used colors that were much brighter and bolder than the colors found in nature. Because of his use of color and painting style, he was called a Post-Impressionist painter.
My artists focused on his use of complimentary colours as well as contour lines in recreating this piece. By looking at this piece they also got a good example of how an artist can be influenced by his surroundings... for instance Gauguin started using the bright, sun-drenched colours of Tahiti in his work.
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 :)