Children’s Art Week

In-between the ongoing house renovation, I nipped up to London for a week to run an Arts Week for  the KS1 classes in a school.  The children were aged 4-7, and I had 270 of them over a week to create 3 large pieces that could be kept on permanent exhibition in the school.  This seems to have become an annual event, and although it is the most hectic and pressured timescale, I absolutely LOVE doing it.  The only downside is the amount of stooping I have to do to get down to their level, plus trying not to touch heads in case I catch nits.  So far no nits, and Pilates sorted out my aching back and knees.

Artwork 1:

This was done by 90 children in Year 2 (ages 6-7) over one and half days.  They were staggered into groups of 6 throughout their allocated times.  We took the artist Paul Klee as a starting point, and looked at his landscapes.  I love his little villages and towns.  We showed the children his work, talked about his art, and we broke down his style into a series of shapes and perspective tricks so they could get inspired to create.

klee 1

klee 2

The children started by hand printing miles of coloured paper and card with patterns in acrylic paint.  These were then cut up into various sized rectangles, squares, triangles and semi circles.  A huge MDF board was primed, and a basic sky painted and sponged onto it.

The fun then began when we got the children to work out a staggered townscape.  They had to think about perspective, layering, scale and so on, and work from the back of the town forward as they created a collage of the shapes.  Finally they added embellishments with inks and created line drawings on top to enhance the details of the buildings.

Finally the piece looked like this, brilliant and colourful, the children named it ‘City of Lights’.

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Artwork 2:

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An educational Art Week for very little people….

Although most of the blog tends to be about Crafts & Interiors, I also tutor art to children and paint myself.  Last week I was in London to run an Arts Week for 4-7 year olds at a Primary School.  They are very small, and there are 3 classes per year group and three year groups.  So it worked out to be 270 children over the week, EEK….!  Actually it ran very smoothly….!

I had been asked to provide large scale works for the school, with each year group basing one on a specific genre of art and helping to make the pieces.  Reception Class  have Andy Warhol, Year 1 have Salvador Dali and Year 2 have Georges Seurat as their artist to study.   The school want large pieces to have as permanent exhibited pieces, and we will be making them with the children.

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My partner in crime Marianne and I, who run these weeks through Primary School Art, came up with ideas for large impact pieces.  For the tiny ones in Reception we  used Marilyn Monroe screen prints by Warhol as the theme, and prepared 4 very large canvases for the children to mosaic using EVA foams and glues.  As they are so little, we felt glue and cutting was ambitious enough!

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Canvas’ ready to mosaic onto (bit of a painting by numbers theme going on here)

For year 1 we looked at Dali, so rather than do the expected dripping clock painting, we planned a 4 ft sculpture of ‘The Persistence of Memory’ instead.  This is using steel, concrete, wood, plaster, plastic wrap, and paint.  We  made a maquette below of the piece to see how the balance worked with a melting clock at an angle (all OK),  and it looked fun, if not challenging, to get it made in 2 days with the little ones.

Maquette of the main sculpture
Maquette of the main sculpture
Sculpture large 4ft base awaiting attention by the children next week
Sculpture large 4ft base awaiting attention by the children next week

Year 2 are doing Seurat, so we marked up a very large 5ft canvas with the ‘Bathers at Asnieres’, ready for them to get dotting on.  We planned to only be using 3mm diameter dots, and also using Seurat’s method of colouring using adjacent primaries to create new tones.

Colour washed canvas for the children to paint over
Colour washed canvas for the children to paint over

The week went really well, and here are the finished pieces by the children.  Each one only had 8 hours in total to create, minus breaktimes, and we managed to stay on track.  The children loved the week and the art is amazing considering they children range from 4-7 years old:

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Reception Class mosaics
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Year 1 Dali Sculpture
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Year 2 Seurat pointillism