Posts Tagged ‘art’

Fine art

November 19, 2011

Fainjin has been drawing pictures for me today.

by Fainjin, aged 4 3/4

“Look Mummy!” he said, “It’s Kevin!”

I thought of several friends all named Kevin, but couldn’t imagine why he would have chosen to draw any of them.  “Tell me more about the picture, Fainjin,” I said.  “Is that a bird?”

“Yes, that’s Kevin,” he confirmed, confusing me further.  “And that’s Russell on his back!”

“A-ha!” always be ready with an intelligent comeback.  “And what are those around Kevin’s feet?”

“Those are angry dogs.  And that thing [top centre] is the handbag, hanging from the roof.”

“A handbag, hanging from the roof?”

“Yes, because they have a flying house.”

Unexpectedly, this last sentence suddenly made everything clear.  Last week the kids watched “Up” on DVD.  I didn’t watch it with them, so the character names meant nothing to me, but the  flying house is a handy identifying feature.  Fainjin had designed his own movie poster.

This one was a little later in the day:

Picture 2

The top one is a dolphin.  The bottom one – with all the tentacles – is a squid.  “They are all under the sea.  And they are all blue!”

© UpsideBackwards 2011.


February 20, 2011

We went down to the Summer Festival’s closing ceremony and prizegiving this afternoon.  Certificates were given out for a few categories in the Teddy Bear’s picnic (most loved, scariest, biggest, smallest, etc); first, second, and third places in the sand-castle building competition, and then a large pile of certificates for participants in the “Art Prize Exhibition”.

But when they’d finished giving out the 25 or 30 art certificates, Pearl didn’t have one.  She sat very still, and blinked back tears.  I waited until one of the volunteers was free, and asked whether we had missed hearing Pearl’s name.  Surely, with so many certificates given out, all the children had got one?

The volunteer didn’t know, and directed me to the art show coordinator. “No,” he said, “not all the children get a certificate, I just picked some of them.   I hope she’s not too disappointed.”

“She is shattered,” I told him.

Poor kid.  She was desperately trying to be a good sport and put a brave face on, but tears were running down her face.  Of sixteen exhibitors from her school, fourteen got a certificate.  I don’t know the numbers from the other schools, but it was a small exhibition, and there were a lot of certificates.  It wasn’t even mentioned that there were other artists who didn’t get a certificate.

I could understand it better, and I think she could too, if there had been a smaller number of “prizes” -first, second, third, perhaps a few “highly distinguished” – and she had missed out then.  But to be one of only a few who didn’t get recognition, that really hurts.

The Dad and I have promised her that there will be an Art Prize, we will get her one because we’re so proud of her.  We’re also proud of how she handled her disappointment.  She was upset, but she didn’t let it ruin her afternoon.  She had a hug with me, then went off to play by herself for a little while before coming back to us and cheerfully playing with Fainjin and Babess.

Now we have to think of a prize – any suggestions?

© UpsideBackwards 2011.

Pearl-onardo da Vinci

February 19, 2011

In the last school newsletter of last year, there was a short paragraph congratulating a small number of pupils whose artwork had been selected for exhibition at the village summer festival.  As I idly glanced through, one name caught my eye.

“Hey Pearl, your art is going to be in an exhibition!  What’s that all about?”

She didn’t know anything about it.  As it turns out, the festival organisers had asked for some artwork at rather short notice, and the art teacher had just picked the best pieces she could.  One of them was Pearl’s.

The exhibition opened yesterday afternoon, and Pearl and I hurried there after school, excited to see which of her paintings had been chosen.

Birdhouses, by Pearl aged 8

Isn’t it fabulous?!

The background is a rubbing, done over various textured surfaces.  The outlines are a kind of black glue, which stands out from the page and gives a stained-glass effect to the dyed areas.  The bird, a tui, was drawn separately with pencils and charcoal, and cut out and stuck on later, giving even more depth to the work.

I think the fact that Pearl’s school has a full-time art teacher who spends whole days with each class (two or three days each term) really shows in their work.  Paintings and drawings aren’t just done-and-dusted in an hour or two after lunch, but planned, discussed and executed.  Technique and composition are explored in depth.

Ahem.  I might be a little biased.

The opening was lovely, with juice and nibbles provided, and community centre staff eager to talk to the young artists about their works, what inspired them, and how they accomplished such amazing work.  There is truly some great work in the show, including portraits, mixed-media, engravings (by 8-year-olds!), and whole-class projects – from five different schools.

I hear that certificates will be awarded tomorrow at the festival closing ceremony.  I hope that all the children selected for the show will be recognised.

When we get Pearl’s artwork back, we’re going to look into getting it framed for her.

© UpsideBackwards 2011.

But it’s daaark!

September 10, 2010

I went to a “Celebration” at Pearl’s school this afternoon.  They have them two or three times a year.  Each class stands up in front of the school and shows off what they have been working on.

Pearl’s class had studied self-portraiture, examining proportion and use of colour, and in particular Rita Angus’ self-portrait from 1947.  (Check out some of her other paintings, too – she’s one of my favourite NZ artists).  Pearl spoke very well about using colour to emphasise light and shadow, and emotion.  Each child had drawn their own self-portrait and coloured each side of their face differently.  Pearl said one side of hers was pink “because I feel loved” (cue awwwww from all the parents!) and the other side green “because I feel fresh and bright”.

But I think I learned something else at this event.  You see, Pearl’s class sang a song about being frightened to go to sleep.  They sang very well and very enthusiastically.  But the words!  “Hairy-legged spiders hanging high above the bed… Scary movies in my head and all the creepy-crawlies hiding underneath my bed… Please leave the light on!”

Hmm.  That explains a few things about evening antics in our house.

© UpsideBackwards 2010.

I believe Jackson Pollock suffered the same way

August 30, 2010

Fainjin brought home some fabulous paintings from daycare last week.  Bright bold colours, very exciting.  So I put them up on the fridge, as you do, and he was thrilled.

But tonight as he was (not) eating dinner, he looked over and laughed.  “Hey, Mama!” he chortled, “That one’s upside down!”

right-way up, not upside-backwards!

Oops.  Sorry, Fainjin!

© UpsideBackwards 2010.

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