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.
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.
For our first Picasso class I decided to do a fun little piece depicting a circus tent! After all who hasn't been to see the Suarez Brother's over the vacation?? Yup... I think they stayed long enough to ensure every single Trinidadian child made it to the circus! LOL
This piece was meant to serve as a kind of warm up for my newbie Picassos as well as a relaxing welcome back to my oldies! A nice, fun and easy piece that still delivers a gorgeous end product!
They had to create the tent curtains and also draw who was onstage so that when the curtains were pulled back you would see inside! Loads of fun and we got their creative juices flowing, while having a nice time chatting about our vacation.
So I wouldn't normally make Republic Day about the specific president. In the past I've focused on our national symbols but I figured this President is special! She's our first female president so I think a portrait is in order!
This term we're also focusing on the work of French artist Paul Cezanne so my Picassos and Warhols are going to be applying Cezanne's style in this piece. Two of his pieces are shown below.
They used a limited colour palette (in our case we chose red, white and black... I'm sure you can guess why) just like Cezanne and focused on making tints and shades and studying how light affects the appearance of colour.
Homework for Warhols:
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!
Sulphur Crested Cockatoos are large white parrots that are native to Australia. They are very social and have a great sense of humor like most Aussies do. Often found in groups where they just look like they’re fooling around and having fun. Their yellow crest rises when the birds are threatened, angry or excited. This Cockatoo is clearly very excited to say G’Day to you!
The background of this piece references another aspect of Australian culture. The Aboriginal people of Australia commonly use this dot technique in their art pieces and it makes for a work of art that is strikingly Aussie!
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.
The Great Wave off Kanagawa is one in a series of woodcuts entitled, Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji. Mount Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan. Mt. Fuji can be seen from many angles in this series and in this piece of art, it is placed in the far distance. It almost looks like another wave. It stands quietly and observes the power of the great wave as it crashes into three tiny boats filled with fishermen. This painting is so popular it has influenced not only other artists but it's printed on clothes, turned into tattoos and it's even an emoji! Go ahead, check 😬😂🌊
The Picassos heard all about Japan back when Hokusai (the artist) was alive... Tokyo wasn't called Tokyo then, it was called Edo, and you couldn't buy paint in a store you made it and colours were limited. This artist also used a method of woodblock printing to create his art. They learnt all about that before they got down to drawing and painting our Great Wave interpretation. Talk about a fun lesson full of cultural immersion!
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 :)