Comfort’s song



20141207_131320  I was inspired by some of the renaissance and pre-raphaellite artists. I love the way the supernatural/spiritual realm often interacts and collides with the earthly and temporal.  Angels and bodies can float, size and gravity is obsolete…yet nature still peaks through in sunlight on leaves and folds of material. It’s something worth remembering, too, that the spiritual realm goes beyond fantasy. Like the wind, you can’t see it, but it is there.


Charles Blackman in Wonderland

Charles Blackman in Wonderland

I love the work of Aussie artist, Charles Blackman. He has done oodles of paintings based on the Alice in Wonderland story. One of his paintings hangs in the W.A art gallery (‘Blue Alice’). It’s my favourite. Some artists really know how to capture whimsy, without being contrived or clumsy.
Hence, it was a small step to make Blackman and Lewis Carroll’s famous story the catalyst for an art project with my upper primary students. This picture is of their final art piece; a painted table (and chair) setting…a great opportunity to transfer a Blackman masterpiece onto a functional tabletop! This is the unfinished version, but I’m so proud of students from both classes (I have done this project in 2 different schools). Kids worked so well together and we all learnt how complex seemingly ‘simple’ paintings are to reproduce. It’s like getting into the mind of an artist, brushstroke by brushstroke! More pics to come 🙂

Process or product: An art activity gone wrong

Process or product: An art activity gone wrong

I was pretty excited to lead my grade 2 class in a messy spray-bottle edicol dye experience the other day in art. Worked really well with the pre primary and grade 1s at another school. The idea was to get squares of canvas, make masking tape ‘pictures’ and then spray the canvas with brightly coloured edicol dye. Rip the masking tape off, and wallah…masking-tape-resist prints. Easy. Unfortunately though, having anticipated a repeat experience with the yer 1s and 2s, I found I was sadly short of the canvas I had been using. Oh well, there’s heaps of donated fabric in my art room, so I decided to use it instead. This fabric was heavy, but somewhat soft and furry, so when the grade 2s excitedly removed their masking tape, all the dye bled through creating psychedelic blobs of colour on material. 😦  Needless to say, I aborted the plan to do the same thing with year 1s (sigh).

Next week we had a go at salvaging our psychedelic muck ups by getting them to do black fruit prints over them. I actually loved the process of doing this. There’s something old school about using fruit and veg to print with, reminds me of when I was in kindy (well I don’t remember actually doing fruit prints, but I have a kindergarten association with them nonetheless). Whilst the finished product is a bit ‘meh’, it made me realise how very important the art process is, not the finished product. I now have a whole saga of edicol dye Meanderings to act as catalysts for conversations about texture, colour and focal point with the kids.

Smartie & m&m primary + secondary colours

Smartie & m&m primary + secondary colours

I’m busy creating an art programme for pre primary to grade 3s at one of the schools I work in. Starting off with colour. Hopefully these little tasty things will engage some interest!!! It may provide a fun discussion about what colours might taste like or what they may say if they could talk (these colours all taste the same. Maybe I should have used skittles, but I don’t think there are purple ones!!!)

Elements of design

I need to start thinking about how I will set my art room up. From experience, kids really engage with visual stimulus such as posters, trinkets, found objects….and of course their own artwork will be given pride of place.

Since much of my planning is focused around the formal elements of design, this little video may come in handy. It also provides a bit of needed inspiration for creating a classroom display around these principles….