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.
Cézanne is known for his still life paintings–mostly of household objects arranged with various fruits. Cézanne would spend hours arranging the fruit and moving his easel around to get just the right perspective. We talked about how particular he was how long he took to complete his paintings. It is said that he took so long in fact to complete his still life paintings that his fruit would often rot in its place! EEEEW! LOL.
My Doodlebugs then started recreating our very own still life! They drew their bowls and fruit and we talked about overlapping! Introducing my little artists to new words and terms helps them to develop great vocabulary skills all while having a great time!
These gorgeous bright bowls bowls will be completed in our next class so stay tuned till then!
My Picassos are continuing their exploration of artist Paul Cézanne. This week we tuned our attention to his still life paintings. They looked at his ‘compositions’ and the colours he used... he’s known for using complimentary colours to develop contrast and shadows.
I talked to them about the process of setting up a still life and then they got down to recreating our own version. This piece will be completed next week.
Our still life pieces are complete! Shadows and light were added and the Picassos learned how to use shadow to create a 3D look out of a 2D surface.
For Republic Day this year my Doodlebugs are creating a piece that we're calling Every Creed and Race. It shows our multi-ethnic nation working together under one flag! This was so fun to create and packed with skills like using shapes to create a whole picture as well as hand-eye coordination in following the directed line drawing aspect. Not to mention we put the ART in Smart yet again by focusing on our Social Studies tie in! I’m proud to report that most of my littles could identify the phrase “every creed and race” as a line from our anthem... needless to say it also prompted them to burst into song! 😆🇹🇹
Cezanne is called the Father of Cubism and the Warhols got to really focus on what that means in creating this piece. They looked at how Cezanne famously reduced the subjects of his paintings into geometrical shapes like cubes, cylinders and cones. The were also asked to observe his brushstrokes and mimic his choppy style.
Cezanne of course never painted coconuts because they were not native to his home country, France. His works are full of apples, oranges and other fruit. But local artist Che Lovelace created a piece in Cezanne's style and I thought it would be nice to show them both side by side and have them try their hands at this master's style but with our own local flair!
They focused on drawing this week, next they will add colour and texture to complete their Cézanne/Lovelace inspired coconuts.
My Doodlebugs started off the term listening to Not a Box by Antoinette Portis! From mountain to rocket ship, a small rabbit shows that a box will go as far as the imagination allows and I thought... what a perfect way to set the tone for the term! To send the message that we must all dig into our imagination and let ourselves dream!
They followed a directed line drawing of the simple rabbit illustration from the book and then we talked about what they wanted to turn their boxes into. They got to see how they could transform their 'box' into a number of different things just by adding more lines and shapes!
Hooray for expanding imaginations and stretching the creativity of our kids!
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 :)