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!
Today we looked at another one of Van Gogh's works of art... Olive Trees with Yellow Sky and Sun. The expressiveness of his brushstrokes and his use of colour just makes it sooooo beautiful!
We took a cue from him and painted our own gorgeous Poui Tree and gave it the Van Gogh effect! Check my little campers out as they get into painting these trees. This was such an enjoyable experience... the kids really got into their paintings and the room was actually quiet! GASP!
Much has been said about Van Gogh's painting of his chair. It is lauded by art critics as a powerful statement by the artist on his own mental and emotional state. His chair is personalized by the placement of his personal belongings the pipe and the pouch of tobacco. His name offset to the back of the painting also leaves the viewer feeling like Van Gogh feels removed from his work and alone.
Today the Picassos recreated this piece but in a very different way! They were challenged to create a floor and back wall to set their chair against. The chairs were made out of clay and painted to make this a 3D piece. Each child designed their own floor and wall so this project is one that I thoroughly enjoyed seeing them bring to life.
Today my older campers looked at the gloriousness that is Van Gogh's Starry Night and we then re-imagined it in our context. We brought Starry Night to the POS Waterfront using Van Gogh's characteristic colours and his brushstrokes but with our local scenery.
Take a look!
Of course one of Van Gogh's most famous paintings is his Sunflowers and we recreated it with a bit of our very own flair!
The campers created a textured background and learned how to make the vase look roundish... They really focused on making those characteristic Van Gogh styled brush stokes. Then they used clay to make the different sunflowers and leaves.
I think it's important for children to see that there are sooooo many ways to make art and literally anything goes!
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 :)