March / April / May 2019
Mandy Bohner '83
The beginning of March brought the conclusion of our study of René Magritte. The final piece studied was, L'Oiseau de Ciel (The Sky Bird), which provided an excellent base for our own drawn and cut out cloud-filled birds. To date, Magritte was one of the favorites of most of the children and I am glad he has become part of their art history database!
From Magritte, we moved onto the art of Wassily Kandinsky. Kandinsky was a German/Abstract Expressionist, wanting abstract forms and bold colors to be the focus of his artwork. The first painting of focus was, Color Study. Squares with Concentric Circles, which facilitated visual understanding of concentric shapes, as his painting appears just as the title suggests. In effect, the children made their own study of squares with concentric circles using tempera paint sticks on paper. While Kandinsky’s piece features 8 squares, the children were in charge of folding their own paper, leading to a more simplified 4 square study. The studies are hung above each child’s/creator’s cubby.
We also looked at Composition Vii, in addition to several others that have the same basic style. These abstract pieces laid the perfect foundation for the children to play in paint. Upon entering the art room, the children were greeted with tubs of bold colored paint, large papers, and various tools that could be used to not only put the paint on paper, but also to create movement through line and texture (a perfect use for my old Dora the Explorer forks!) Though abstract painting can appear to not be “as hard” as realistic ones, it is often more challenging. There is a fine line between being done and overdone, and that is a difficult line to maintain - especially when you are in ELC and have gobs of paint available! We definitely had some work that fell on the more brown side, but for the most part, the children kept their colors un-muddied and successfully painted their own Expressionist masterpieces!
After painting with abandon, we reined it back in and learned how to create a very basic one-point perspective scene, using crayons on paper. The main requirement of the drawing was to have a road (or something) disappearing into the distance, and what that was and how it was presented was totally left up to the kids. There were candy lanes, video games - the list is endless of their fun ideas! As I have told the kids, my brain doesn’t really like perspective and the fact that they, our youngest members, tackled the concept so well is astounding, and I am very proud of them! The perspective drawings are displayed in the ELC hall and will come home soon.