Today they finished their Silhouettes Selfportrait.
Today we painted our silhouette. I brought some recylced paper to paint on, and a lamp and paint. I draw the siloutes because I'm fast and precise with the pencil and it was 8 of them and only one lamp and i wanted them to recognize some of themselves in the silhouette. I realize more and more that real creativity needs bounadries, even with all the limitations we already have for lack of materials. I must remember to bring black color paint for next week and set some boundaries. It was interesting they all wanted to have a "face" and Nicholson was the "oficial face painter". Each one came to him with instructions on what and how they wanted. There was a line to wait and off course Nicholson could not work very much on his own project but was pleased that everyone trust him as the official artist. They will finish the project next week.
Today I asked the students to imagine they had a rock band, or a reagge band and to desing the cover of their cd. They were suposed to find a name for their band or a pseudo name for themselves and to illustrate with images and words their cd cover.
While working, we listened to Santana and Los Pericos. I left them still working in their cd covers... they liked so much they used their break time on finishing their projects!
Today we completed the projects we had started last tuesday. Mahalia and Anna were not there last tuesday and honestly I didn't know exactly how to manage it. But I gave them a pair of scissors, and Mahalia made her "monster" in record time to paint it. Anna was helping everybody. They were both happy but Mahalia's smile made my day that day. We were listening to Putumayo North African Groove.
I found all this cardboard ready to be thrown with the rest of garbage and decided it would be perfect for an art project. We learnt how to do 3D zoomorphic and anthropomorphic figures with the cardboard. First I asked the students to draw geometrical shapes on it, then cut them, then i show them how to make joints to make the 3D figures... It was fun!
Today we used organic and inorganic shapes to create an abstract work. I asked one group to use old toothbrushes "spray paint" organic matters like coconut branches and seaweed. The other group I asked them to trace some geometrically cut wood pieces (actually debris I treasured from Gregor's wood crafts) and make a composition with them on paper, then paint them...
Today i tried to do my best to present a sort of "exhibit" of the artwork we have been doing until now. Not all the kids came but I really liked the dedication of some new faces: Lovely and Joel, among others who will be coming to the art classes on September.
Today I prepared almost all the material the students would glue: heads, curly hair, crowns, hands, big shoes, small shoes, high heals, and eyes, many eyes. I use a book Gregor was throwing in the garbage (something EXTREMELY superficial political analysis on the Caribbean from early 90's). And I found some discarded cardboard at a local Supermarket. I had only a pair of scissors and that was one of the reasons I had to bring all the paper already cut. When I tried to explain the kids what they were to organize this parts to create characters, a landscape, whatever they wanted, I realize it was important that i had brought almost every possible shape pre-cut. The students, I don't think, had ever experience collage before. Soon I was cutting shapes "custom made" basically taking orders of what they needed to glue. It took some persuasion but with they finally started to enjoy themselves and their work I ended up with a feeling of "Mission Accomplished"
I feel very proud to have been the catalyser for Ms. Grogan (currently the Principal at Ross preparatory School) to perform a workshop on conflict resolution on June 5th. Both students and teaching staff at CALLS actively participated in the 3 hour long workshop that Ms. Grogan prepared for CALLS
Today I tried in vain to teach them the "fun" principles of perspective and how to create a "realistic" sea scene. It was very frustrating. I don't think anyone had fun. I need to learn to NOT try to teach anything and really make the class about exploring. They are not familiar with the concept of a "realistic sea scene" at all. They did not grow up looking at "painted marine scenes". I don't know what they learnt. But I'm learning my lessons, for sure!
Today the students were supossed to bring a "homework": find materials from nature: beads, seeds, shells, pieces of wood, etc and they were supossed to also bring a big piece of cardboard to work on. They brought nothing. I felt so frustated because I had no idea what to do with them and because i had a guest: Mary Grogan who was very excited about the work i would do with the kids. I decided to go ahead with the part of the plan that we could still do: we read the famous Mandela fragment on what we really fear is our light...
That light was the epiphany I had after warming up with some dance and actual physical exercises we did. I had brought some black paper hoping to use it later, on a different project. We worked then with the yellow chalk the teachers use on the blackboard, on the black paper, doing contour exercise first of our hands, then of each other.