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.
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 :)