Before our trip to Paris in July, I asked my family to share with me the spots that they would like to visit in this well known European city. My eldest daughter wanted to visit the Georges Pompidou museum of Modern Art. We set aside a day to visit the exhibitions at this venue.
There was plenty to see – and all of it different to the art we had seen until then. One piece really stood out to me – and I could not help but exclaim when I saw what the artist had done (so much so that the guard could not but help smile at my reaction). In order to appreciate the bust, you had to walk around the sculpture and look at it from different viewpoints.
The artist of this bust was Wang Du and the title of the work is called Le Baiser (The Kiss.) – 2005 The explanation accompanying the work is as follows:
Former Chinese dissident, Wang Du, found refuge in France in 1990 where he discovered the media whirlwind, typical of Western society, which would inspire his work. In Le Baiser he abandons the sphere of the media for a more poetic register. Based on an image from the film 3-Iron (2004) by South Korean director Kim Ki-duk, this sculpture alludes to the artist’s own project of acting as double to the media, as one actor may double for another in a film. In place of Rodin’s idealistic and almost abstract work of the same title, Wang Du offers a cold and precise image which he describes as “a hybrid configuration between treason and loyalty, sacred and profane, romanticism and realism”.
I spent quite a bit of time admiring this work of art and I will not forget it for a while.
(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge, Square in September. This month we are posting pictures featuring in the pink, i.e., photos featuring the colour pink, something ‘in the pink’ of health, or those which leave you ‘tickled pink’)
My eldest daughter is getting more confident in sharing her artwork. This year, she submitted one of her pieces to the Youth Arts Program run by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. The piece she submitted was created during the summer workshop she had attended during the summer at OCADU (Ontario College of Art and Design University).
When we attended the ceremony, we were so proud that her work had been accepted and was on display. It was also an opportunity for her to browse through the work of other artists her age.
Last week I could not help but smile as I passed my daughter lying on the floor in the living room. She was stretched out on the ground with her sketch book in front of her and planning her next assignment.
It is always a pleasure to see her enjoying the process of her work.
Last Thursday I went to an Exploration Classroom that had been set up as an Art Room. As with any place where art is created, paintbrushes were plentiful.The colours stood out and the careless arrangment of the brushes and makeshift palettes caught my eye. I like that the pots were recycled containers, and that the trays used to hold the vegetables we buy were being reused for another purpose. This is not a sight that would be seen in my classroom as we do not do painting often (maybe once a month) but it is a sight that I am sure is seen in may art classes across the Board.
When Fall begins in Toronto, the pumpkins begin to show. I like the look of the small decorative pumpkins and I knew my students would as well. I bought a few at the grocery store with the intention of doing some sort of activity with them.
I decided to introduce them to the concept of Still Life. I showed them some of the paintings created by the Masters, and some that had been created by modern artists. I then asked them to create their own Still Life of the pumpkins using the medium of coloured pencils.
After this exercise, I helped the children to create the Success Criteria for the next part of the activity. These are the criteria that they came up with after looking at the gallery of drawings:
I colour in between the lines.
I use sharpened pencils.
I am satisfied with my drawing.
I take my time.
I do not scribble.
I use different colours.
The next step in the Still Life activity was for the children to re-create their own Still Life using the medium of oil pastels. An improvement was seen in the drawings as the children focused on the criteria that would make their work successful.
Once their work was done, I had an one-on-one consultation with each child to discuss their success with the task. The children took note of two of the things they done successfully – and one thing they could do to improve the product of their work. I scribed for them and pasted the result of our discussion at the back of their work for their parents to read.
Then the real fun began: the painting of their Still Life.
The result is an array of beautiful, well thought out paintings that the children are proud of.
The bulletin board outside my classroom now shows the children’s progress through the Still Life activity. Some examples of student’s work is displayed for the parents to look at.
The completed works of art will be placed in each child’s portfolio which will be sent home at the end of the year for both the children and parents to admire for many years.
Last week my class finished their project (the post on the activities can be found here). The creative artwork was set up on the room door and on the bulletin board outside of the room. We have managed to create a festive scene in the hallway – a scene that all the members of the class are proud of.
I love the tree made up of all the students’ hand prints. Some children created tree decorations while others drew some presents to put underneath the tree.
The chimney stands tall, waiting for Santa to come by. Stockings, presents and Christmas decorations bring added cheer to the mantelpiece.
The artwork is not perfect: fabric is not cut perfectly straight, lines are not drawn exactly as is seen in reality, colouring does not fill in all the white spaces. And yet all the small imperfections are barely noticed when one admires the creativity of 5 year olds.
Do you enjoy looking at the imperfect art of children?
I have a student ECE working with me in my room at the moment doing her practice. A couple of days ago she planned an activity to do with the interested children in the class: she wished to create a panel depicting a forest of trees. She laid out a large strip of paper in the corridor and invited those who were interested to come and create. They were to use markers to draw the trees – and anything else that came to their mind. Craft glue was provided so that they could glue onto the trees the leaves that had been gathered outside.
The children got to work creating their forest. Imaginations soared as flowers and birds were represented among the Fall trees. As usual, chatter occurred while the student ECE encouraged them in their endeavors. The resulting trees were reminiscent of those that are currently outside, brilliant in colour and variety. The panels are now posted in the corridors outside of the classroom for children to admire as they walk past. These panels will be a reminder to the class that the season we are currently experiencing is Autumn, and that one of the signs of the season is the changing colours of the leaves.
Children enjoy creating and many in my class enjoyed the experience of using dried leaves as one of the available materials.
The day shone brightly on the people enjoying the last days of summer at the Toronto Buskerfest in 2013. The smell of food wafted in the air accompanied by the sounds of music and chatter. The art student, Marc, was excited to be one of the few picked to participate in the festival. His excitement came not from the potential to make a few coins, but from his knowledge that people would stop to admire his work. His dream was to be an artist, to make his living from it. And what he desired most was that people would stop to admire his work, that they would talk about it, and that he would eventually sell paintings to be hung up on walls in people’s homes.
He enjoyed the feel of the sun’s rays beating down on his shoulders. The warmth would not last for much longer as September was nearing as well as the cooler days that came with it. His hand stroked the tarmac with a piece of chalk, adding some colour to his creation. The sound of the chalk and the murmurings of those who watched him lulled him into what he called his artistic zone. The simple strokes of the chalk on the tarmac gave him a sense of peace. This was why he loved art so much: it was only when he was creating that he felt a sense of peace invade him.
He glanced at what he was creating. He knew he was getting better at his technique and welcomed September for the lessons he would have with his teachers this year. He was moving into his final year – and then he would move out into the world to try and make a living.
He knew that working as an artist would not be easy. He was lucky, though, in that he had parents who supported him in his dream. In the meantime, he would continue enjoy the sun on this last weekend before school began; and he would continue to enjoy the admiration of those who stopped to look at his work.