The Muslim community has spent Ramadan fasting and praying and this week my little artists and I took a look at the beauty of Islamic architecture. The symmetry and gorgeous domed rooftops, not to mention the crisp white walls and simple colours!
They drew and painted mosques that are set against an evening sky that is just bursting with gorgeous colours... partly because this is when Muslims are called to prayer, but also because I couldn't hold them back from painting the mosque in Carnival colours if I didn't tell them they could use some bright colours somewhere!
Eid Mubarak to the Muslim community!
The paisley pattern is a design used in fabrics and wall art. It is composed of a teardrop shaped motif with a curved upper end. Many forms of the paisley design originates from India. The design was originally called a buta or boteh which means flower.
Today the Doodlebugs explore the colours and patterns of India as they create their own giant paisley!
For Indian Arrival Day this year I thought the Picassos and I should practice some of the words the East Indians brought to Trindad! So I had them calling out the words they knew and I got quite a list! In one particular class I had a few kiddos who were eager to write down the words they knew and share with the class! So we learned several words and phrases in Hindi and Sanskrit not to mention how to count up to 14... yup my lil buddy couldn't go higher than that but hey... neither can I! LOL (Shout out to Anjaana, Pavan and Hayley!! Thanks for sharing with us!)
But today we were going to focus on some very special ones... our Nani and Nana or Ajji and Ajja. These are the maternal and paternal grandparents. We imagined Indian grandparents (in their younger days) posing for a portrait before they left their homeland for new adventures.
This was a very cool project because not only do they get to draw a seated person, so they get to practice drawing limbs and think about how to represent the body in different positions, but they also get to use patterns and colours that are common in Indian fabrics, so they got to do a tiny bit of research using my computer and phone in class. So of course this makes for a very gorgeous art piece! Not to mention a chance for us to explore what patterns and colours are native to India. See for yourself 😍
Halcian Pierre describes herself as a Caribbean Neo-Pop artist, but she is so much more than that. She's a true Trinbagonian cultural being. She has acted, created a cartoon series for a daily newspaper and last but not least of course she paints wonderful and vibrant Caribbean images that leave you thinking of Romero Britto but these are so familiar they are even cooler to look at!
The kids got to see an array of her paintings and then they were challenged to draw and paint one of her pieces. They aren't going to paint it exactly as she did though. They drew along with me and then painted independently, using what they learned of her style as a guide. I wanted to give them the freedom to put a bit of themselves into it but using her style and vibrant colours.
From the moment I came across the Trinidadian artist Brianna Mc Carthy I just knew my Picassos had to learn about her. She just emanates creativity and she's so real, and of course she's a mixed media artist that loves to reiterate that you don't have to have the best supplies or the most expensive materials to make art. All in all a great example for my kiddos... plus her stuff is gorg!
Also because it is part of my philosophy to use every chance I get to make art connections to the festivals, events and celebrations of our nation that I chose to end the term with these masks. The added bonus... they get to use a material they've never handled before and they expand their view of what constitutes art just a little bit more... Stretching and stretching their creativity!
Spiritual Baptist Day is celebrated on March 30th, a religion that has its roots in African ancestry. So my Picassos are creating these African masks Brianna Mc Carthy style in recognition of the day.
The Hindu community is celebrating another beautiful festival so this week the Picassos and I are learning all about this colourful event! Phagwa or Holi as it's also called is a celebration of new life and it marks the beginning of the Hindu year! It also coincides with spring (yet another point of learning since we get to discuss seasons we don't experience here at home), which is probably why all those beautiful colours are used to spray the joyous participants!
Our piece today portrays the lively colours of the abeer dye and the Picassos created a loose and expressive line portrait of a face drenched in the festivities of Phagwa!
Note: all tissue paper are not created equal! Because our colours were not as vibrant as I had hoped we added some splashes of liquids watercolours as well!
The Christmas season is fully upon us so I thought it was time to bring some holiday cheer to our class! This week we looked at the work of the artist Kandinsky and infused his style with our Trini Christmas flavour!
Kandisky is credited as the father of Abstract Art and he is also famous for having the condition SYNESTHESIA! Synesthesia means that colour and sound are inextricably connected in the brain, so a person with this condition can 'hear' colour and ascribes colour to music! It's no wonder then that his art came out looking the way it did! Putting Kandinsky and Parang together might seem an odd paring, but to me it seems quite natural and hopefully my Picassos left feeling the same way. They listened to a reading of The Noisy Paintbox which is based on the life of Kandinsky so they could appreciate the art and the artist we were going to try to mimic.
To make sure my Picassos created something unique to them and something they could relate to, we talked about the instruments used in Parang. They practiced simple versions of them and then they came up with their compositions using Kandinsky as a guide! They had to be sure to use at least 3 instruments, make sure one pair is overlapping, then divide the background using irregular shapes! Lots of instructions to follow and I could just see the problem solving skills developing in this project! LOL
They painted their compositions using a warm and cool colour combination... so yet another art concept comes into play!
It was just past 3am, the witching hour fell on the idyllic Mille Fleur on the Savannah, and just like that a once beautiful home turned into the spookiest place in POS! This is the intro my Picassos got to our Halloween piece... 👻
The Picassos drew out a silhouette of Mille Fleur on black construction paper and then stuck them onto a scary painted background. They practiced drawing spooky elements like bare trees, cats, bats and witches on the white boards and when they were confident, painted them onto their paper. I have to say this was really fun and the children really got into this collage piece!
Take a look :)
Although most of my Doodlebugs recognized the name Christopher Columbus not many of them showed any knowledge of the people that came before... which is not all that surprising since they range from 4+ to 6 in this class but they were very interested in hearing about them and of course they were thrilled when they realized we were going to make a head piece!
They had a great time decorating their feathers and choosing designs for the headbands. Some of them worked together and it was lovely to see the sharing and cooperation going on people! I have to say I was super proud :)
At the end I had them all saying Caribs and Arawaks... Turns out Arawak is a tricky word 😆
We celebrate the first people that settled in our beautiful twin islands soon so of course the Picassos and I took some time to explore what they knew about the Amerindians! Most of my smarty pants could chit chat about crops they grew and could identify the Caribs for their 'warlike' traits and the Arawaks for their peaceful nature. But I wanted them to go a bit further and we talked about some of the things they left us... Like a mortar and pestle, chandon beni and place names like Arima, Tunapuna, Mayaro and Couva to name a few. 😀 A few of my Picassos were very well-versed and I was very happy to hear them shout out place names and crops etc!
But things really got interesting when I told them the story of Hyarima - the chief of the Carib tribe who escaped enslavement from the Spanish and spent his life protecting his people from the invaders.
Hyarima is the subject of our art piece today... take a look as they paint their impression of this hero of our indigenous people. I just love that we get to practice our portrait drawing skills while learning more about our indigenous people 🤓
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 :)