The April school holiday workshops were a great success. The mornings were filled with energetic 6-8 year olds eager to look at and make art. In each workshop we visited a work of art in the Degas to Dalí exhibition and had a discussion together to gather inspiration and ideas from the work of art. We then returned to the studio to experiment with materials and create our own works of art in response to what we saw, what we talked about, and our own ideas.
The children on the Sgraffito and Sand workshop really enjoyed looking at
’s painting Villa sur la route [Villa by the road]. Armed with ideas about the physical quality of the paint, the children were excited to get in to the studio to experiment with applying thick paint and the technique of scratching a drawing into the wet paint with a stick. The children loved the scratching sound the sand and paint mixture made when they brushed it over their pastel under-painting. Jean Dubuffet
Pablo Picasso’s Mère et enfant [Mother and Child] was the focus work for our exploration into colour mixing and the way artists use colour to express emotion. Sitting in front of the painting from
Picasso’s Blue Period, children discussed how the colour blue made them feel. They named emotions like sad, frustrated, lonely, as well as feelings like relaxed, still and calm. We were able to use these words in our brainstorm in the Studio to give us ideas for the subject matter in our own blue painting.
We enjoyed energetic discussions in front of Giorgio Morandi’s Natura Morta [Still Life], particularly when we focused the discussion on comparing his work to a reproduction of highly detailed and realistic Dutch still life painting. After discussing the soft tones and shadows and the simplistic shapes and forms of the Morandi work, the children worked on experiments mixing tones using paint.
It was such a successful fortnight of workshops. The uncomplicated way the children responded to the challenges and opportunities of each workshop was truly inspiring! The Gallery Educators and I really enjoyed working with the 6-8 year olds that attended the workshops and are eagerly awaiting the July School Holiday programme!