Fingerpainting the Moon: self portrait project
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up” – Pablo Picasso
I have so much going on right now in the studio and lots of paintings to share, but I wanted to write one last post on this project before too much time passes. Last month I wrote a post about the school-wide self portrait project that I was volunteering to help with at my son’s school. He goes to preschool, but the whole school goes up to 8th grade. For my son’s class, ages 3-5, we did mixed media portraits that included oil pastels, watercolors, photography, and poems.
Here is my son’s finished project:
Noah, age 5
And here is the wall of portraits of him and his classmates:
Earlier this week, all the artwork that the kids in the whole school made was finally put on display on the school’s wall. It was so great to see the energy and creativity that occurred in all the classrooms. For me, it was a wonderful experience to be in the classroom again with kids, but this time as a visiting artist/mom. I wanted to share some of the artwork that came out of the classes because I think they are fantastic. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the grades that go with each picture.
I remember reading the process that this volunteer wrote about her project with the classroom- something about blindfolding the kids and having them draw their portraits, and then using acrylic paint, sand, other miscellaneous items to add onto their portraits. I think this was a 3rd grade class, but not for sure. Very impressive!
The thing to remember about all these projects is that the parents or community artists that volunteered, did so to help a Chicago Public School raise money. We also had to dig into our own pockets for the supplies. Therefore, a lot of what was done had to be done thinking resourcefully and very budget-conscious. I think all teachers can relate to that! But it just goes to show that you don’t have to have fat wallets to create art projects with kids.
I have always loved children’s art. I remember writing a paper on it in college during my coursework for cognitive development. I even got to go into a first grade classroom for one of my clinicals and have the kids draw for me. Fascinating stuff.
“What adults call ‘wrong’ in Child Art is the most beautiful and most precious. I value highly those things done by small children. They are the first and purest source of artistic creation.” – Franz Cizek