Archive for August, 2011
Monday, August 29th, 2011
Now that the whirl of summer is coming to an end Alison and I finally had a chance to test out The Studio’s new Speedball Printmaster’s Press. We’ve been looking for a printing press over the years but most presses are heavy, take up a lot of floor space and can be very expensive. I was excited when I saw the Speedball model because it attaches to any table top with C-clamps and can accommodate fairly large sized prints (12”x24” size bed). The best part is it’s small enough that I can stash it away on a shelf in our office until we need it for a workshop. I’m happy to say that we setup this press in a couple minutes and started cranking out prints in no time!
Alison and I experimented with plates made of mat board, foam core, Plexiglas and Safety-Kut and inked them with Speedball Water-Soluble Block Printing Ink. We did not use press blankets. If you wanted to print with wooden blocks or metal plates I would recommend using blankets to protect the press from cuts and scratches.
We’re really excited to start using the new press in upcoming Studio workshops. For more information about Classes for Children at The Carle, click here. For more information about Workshops for Adults and Professionals at The Carle, click here.
Sunday, August 28th, 2011
Last week, my friend came over with her 33 and 3 month old daughters. “Will you draw baby ‘S’?” Asked 33 month old ‘A’ as she handed me a piece of paper and a green crayon. I’m not one to draw for children, but I wanted to accept her invitation to create something together.
“Okay,” I said as I took the crayon. “What part of her should we draw first?”
“The head,” she replied.
“What shape is the head?” I asked.
“Circle.” I’m a lefty, but I drew a circle-ish shape on the paper with my right hand.
“And what part should we draw next?”
“The eyes,” said ‘A’.
I handed the crayon back to her saying, “You do it” and she made multiple dots inside the circle.
“And then what?” I continued.
“A chin.” She made a small mark at the base of the circle. “And ears,” were made by two marks on the perimeter of the circle, one near the chin and one near the top, which then turned into zigzagging lines for hair.
“Okay, what next?”
“Feet.” Two closed circular shapes below the head.
Finally, she drew the circular shape between the head and feet and said it was the chin. I wonder if she forgot she drew a chin, or just wanted to draw it again? I should have asked but at that point she declared the drawing done by asking me to write the letters of her sister’s name, her name, and my baby’s name along the bottom.
Friday, August 26th, 2011
Its hard to believe the summer is nearly over. For the Studio, the season goes out with a bang in our annual four-day program Animals, Art and the Imagination. This year’s program concluded yesterday, so we need a few days to process some of the significant moments, but I couldn’t start the weekend without sharing a few images from the week:
Each day started at The Carle where we looked at and talked about art, . . . (The newly installed Imaginary Garden by Leo Lionni pictured here)
and books, . . .
met Author/Illustrator, Ralph Masiello, . . .
and imagined new plants and animals together.
After lunch we hiked to Hampshire College’s farm center, stopping to pick apples and make observations.
At the farm we met chickens, pigs, goats and rabbits, …
and made more art.
It was a fun week!
Saturday, August 20th, 2011
I have a 4 month old at home, so I’m experiencing up close and personally how engaged babies are with faces, especially human faces. My baby is constantly reaching for and touching the face of whomever is holding her. Its no surprise to me then, that “With rare exceptions, children draw people before they draw animals, houses, vehicles, or vegetation… (Rhoda Kellogg, Children’s Drawings Children’s Minds, 1979, p. 25)
Not all early childhood/educational experts agree with Kellogg’s theory, but in her opinion “Children teach themselves to draw by a long process that begins when first scribbling movements leave some kind of visual record of interest to the child. The human figures they draw in early childhood are not a first effort to draw a living person. They are an outgrowth of much previous work…But these figures are often the first ones to interest the adult who is unaware of what has gone before (Kellogg, p.1)
Her idea is that children move themselves (without instruction) through four stages of drawing. The pattern stage, starting at 2 years or younger, includes Basic Scribbles and Placement Patterns. The shape stage, starting around 2-3 yrs., is followed closely by efforts to combine shapes. Around 3-4 years, the design stage is marked by balanced combinations of lines and shapes such as Mandalas, Suns, and Radials. By about age 5, children are likely to have started creating pictorial work such as humans, animals, plants and buildings. (Analyzing Children’s Art, 1969, p. 39)
So I’m curious. At what age did your child start scribbling? Did they move through Kellogg’s stages of scribbling development? When did they start drawing humans? Did you encourage their scribbling at home? How?
The drawings above were left behind by visitors to the studio this week. I didn’t meet their creators, but If I had to guess their ages based on Kellogg’s theory I think the top one was done by a 3 yr old, and the bottom by a 5 year old.
Saturday, August 13th, 2011
Since we’re focusing on portraiture in the studio for the next month, I’m going to devote my next few posts to how young children represent people. As an artist and educator, I’ve been really interested in the mark-makings of very young children ever since the studio was gifted Rhoda Kellogg’s Analyzing Children’s Art and Children’s Drawings /Children’s Minds by one of our volunteers. Rhoda Kellogg has examined millions of drawings by young children from all over the world and has shared her observations in numerous books and articles. I’m going to let her words inspire my own examination of the works created by our visitors over the next month and hopefully I’ll have some interesting things to share with you.
Wednesday, August 10th, 2011
We’re gearing up for the new Public Art Project in The Art Studio and we can’t wait to see visitors “Swish, Dab and Wiggle” some paint around!
Here’s Looking at You
August 11 – September 13, 2011
Free with Museum Admission
Create a portrait of yourself or a friend. A variety of drawing tools, watercolor paints and mirrors will be on hand to help you capture every expression.
Have you ever made a portrait of yourself or a friend using watercolor paints? Stop by and give it a try!
Friday, August 5th, 2011
I was walking around outside collecting leaves and flowers for my workshop tomorrow when I remembered some flower paintings five and six year old students of mine did in the summer about five years ago. I remember being struck with how many details they noticed in the different kinds of plants, and how they translated those details to paper.
I first offered china markers, crayons and white watercolor paper. Then, each student choose one complementary pair of colors to add through gouache paint.
Summer is a great time of year to draw some flora and fauna from observation. If you want to replicate this experience and don’t have gouache, you could use tempera cakes or watered-down tempera paint. The week of the class, we also looked at picture books by Douglas Florian for inspiration. Douglas also makes some great non-picture book art, which we didn’t happen look at in that class. (I didn’t do quite as much Google-ing then as I do now!) Next time I use his books in a class I’ll share some of his non-picture book art too.