Picasso has been the inspiration this term. Early in the term I went to Canberra and Sydney in a professional development tour of Galleries. I came back to my studio charged with books, inspiration, new ideas and emotion.
We started by studying the expressive paintings that Picasso did of weeping women, as studies to paint “The Guernica”. We had an insightful discussion, of the style and the emotions involved in these paintings. Students were absolutely brilliant on their comments, commenting on the lines and colours the artist used to create feelings like sorrow, astonishment, horror, anger. After our discussion, I encouraged the students to look at themselves on a mirror and “make faces” expressing emotions allowing them to make their own decisions on how to interpret Picasso’s style. Students did wonderful expressive portraits of themselves and their peers using black crayons and painted them using gouache paint.
Our next project focussed on Picasso’s ceramics, we had great fun creating our terracotta vessels. Again, we discussed Picasso’s work and his unique style to decorate pottery with drawings of birds, hands and faces. Students made beautiful vessels of terracotta clay decorated with their own decorations of hands, birds, dragons, caterpillars etc., painted with white slip and “carved” with different tools.
Then came “Las Meninas”, our story for this project started with the painting by Diego de Velasquez, Spanish painter, done in 1656 and we moved from the story of the Infanta (the princess) and her maids of honour to the interpretation that Picasso did of the same painting in 1957. It was fun, we dressed up with old ballet costumes and students became princesses, princes, the painter, ladies in waiting and so on. While some students stood in a group the rest of the students drew them, after a while, we swapped groups so everybody had a go to dress up. The students used their drawings to create paintings on canvas resulting in brilliant personal interpretations of the paintings by the two Spanish artists.
We are finishing our term with still life drawing. Students will draw the pottery as a still life and next week they will draw seed pods connecting to the season of autumn.
Next term we will do printmaking and timber assemblage based on Picasso’s sculptures and prints. We also will study colour and collage.
We start again on Monday 16 April, have a very nice holiday.