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 🤓
My tiniest artists were not to be left out of our Republic Day celebrations... ooh noooo! 😀 We talked about what it means to be a Republic and they learned that the President was our Head of State to which one little cutie replied "hmmm I did not know that." Lol So we painted President's House today - Doodlebug style which means His Excellency's abode is portrayed in a very psychedelic way... Because well these children are between the ages of 4 and 6 and in their eyes everything that isn't rainbow-coloured should be!
The Picassos finally painted their clay Scarlet Ibises today and goodness they are so gorgeous! 😍😍 They also took care to paint the beaks and some children added black feathers in the tails. Take a look at their beautiful birds!
The start of this term is smack in the middle of Independence Day on August 31st and Republic Day on September 24th so of course my little smarty-pants and I discussed what these days mean and the symbols that come along with our Republican status.
For our art project we will be sculpting the gorgeous Scarlet Ibis out of clay! There's also another reason I decided to highlight our gorgeous national bird and it's sadly because some people have decided that the Ibis is fair game for wild meat 😩. It saddens me to no end to know that these lovely protected creatures have become a target in a place that is literally supposed to be a SANCTUARY. Let that sink in. So our art is dedicated to these fine birds, OUR national birds and I hope that we can all take a moment to appreciate their beauty and vow to blow the whistle where and when we can to ensure their survival.
So the Picassos sculpted them today and they'll dry and wait to be painted in their scarlet colour next week! Take a look :)
Interested in art class? Join the Mailing List and you'll be notified in time for our next registration. We'd love to meet your little artist!
One of the great things about art is you can literally use anything to get creative! Today the Picassos painted an underwater ocean scene. But to add another dimension to our art we talked about the Buccoo Reef in Tobago and how much of our coral has been destroyed by a combination of pollution and mistreatment of the reef by tour operators. They looked at pictures and we got down to our art for the day.
I gave them very little direction. I simply put out some ocean colours in tempera and oil pastels and we talked for a few minutes about what we might see under the deep blue ocean. The only rule was not to paint any fish... we have a special plan for adding fish at the end.
When the underwater scene was done to their satisfaction I handed out styrofoam trays for them to draw a fish from a very simple one to that was as detailed as they cared to get. So they drew BIG fish, and tiny fish and I even got some eels!
When I started saving these trays I really didn't have a plan for them but lucky for us we have them today! My darling hubby has started asking "are we saving this?" before he throws any earthly thing away! LOL.. But I digress as usual... They cut the shapes out, painted them with black tempera and simply pressed them onto the ocean background, creating a school of fish silhouettes!
This was so much fun and the kiddos really took charge of their artwork.
This year for Indian Arrival Day we are casting our eyes across the shores to look at one of the traditions of the country that we have to thank for this very special holiday! In India elephants are highly respected and revered because of the Hindu God Ganesh. Every year there is a parade called the Elephant Festival and these animals are pampered and primped in all sorts of gorgeous finery before they are led through the streets for people to admire.
The Picassos took a look at some pictures and even a little video clip of this festival and they really focused on the patterns, colours and even materials used to dress up the elephants. Then they got down to drawing the elephant from the angle they chose. Next week they will finish them off with all their finery to look just like they stomped out of Jaipur!
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 :)