Sunday, January 19, 2014

Painting With K's And Ones

I've been busy preparing to work with children in the schools this year. The first workshop was last Thursday with two separate workshops with Ks and Grade ones. I was slightly terrified and I over prepared and now I can say I did it! And I am still working on finishing all the children's art pieces. The process was a true learning experience and I did a lot of things wrong yet it seems the children had great fun and their pleasure with paint was a delight to observe.

I took a few photos and I am busy cutting out shapes to complete the project now. We really needed another two hours in order to complete what I wanted to do with them. But they didn't get around to cutting out seahorses because the paint would not dry and because I misjudged the time frame slightly !!!!
I offered to cut them out myself at home without much thought. So since Friday I have been taking each piece and cutting out shapes which should have been cut out by the children themselves. And since I am not five or six years old my scissors skills are pretty advanced when compared to the children (as long as I my brain keeps working right, touch wood) I began to see other shapes in their paintings and I began to ditch the seahorse idea and I started seeing other sea life in each child's painting. This is probably highly unethical when working with kids but after all I am not a teacher, and since it is too late to go back now that I have begun cutting, the project has taken a whole new direction. Woops.

I think I will blame it on creative process and I plan to give each child full credit for their brilliant colour use and brushwork and then I will add that an artist in residence did the lesser part of cutting out shapes that turned into fish and other things. I am sure there will be critics but I do believe the children will be happy with what I am doing with their paintings. I HOPE this will happen. I do hope nobody bursts into tears when they see their creature. I will definitely find out because there is no going back.
 Follow Up February 3 - By their reactions, I believe they all loved their sea creatures. And one teacher posted an article about the first part of the project on the school blog last week.
You can find it HERE.

I think they are happy and I am so glad. The second part of the workshop is in the above post. This time the children did the cutting out and they had so much fun!
This week I am going to another school to begin a similar project with a Kindergarten class.
The image at the bottom of this post is of the result of the first workshop with one class. The children did the painting and I cut each painting out freehand after I ditched the template idea. The other class ordered their own choice of sea life so the work is similar but different. I regret that I didn't take a photo of the entire batch.
Perhaps, if you are interested enough in doing a project like this one and have perhaps read this far, you get the idea. I have to admit, it took a lot more time than I had planned and I worked every day on it for two weeks until I finished all 44 painting collages. My home was covered in paper bits and glitter and the smell of tempera paint emanated from the recycle box in my work area but I had fun and I wanted so much to create something special for each child. And in the end it seems it all worked out.


Jacquie said...

The pictures look great! I look forward to hearing what the kids think of them.

Mary Jane Muir said...

Me too!

Celeste Bergin said...

oh my gosh....this art is awesome!!