Monday 15 June 2015

Inspired by Patrick Caulfield

As a special project with Year 4 at Priory Lower School we decided that it would be good to focus on observational drawing. I raided my store of vintage crockery and we constructed low towers of cups and side plates on each table. We were so busy drawing that I have no pictures of the drawings! The class made preliminary sketches on their white boards and were then asked to redraw their compositions on paper with pencil. It probably seemed like a very dry session, drawing from life is complex, so we spent a lot of time looking, discussing, adjusting and re-scaling. Trying to draw everyday objects with regular yet different shapes in stacks was also a challenge. Sometimes it is essential to slow things down, to take time to draw what you see rather than what you think you see. Later I was delighted when one of the class told me how much he loved drawing an would I like to see his sketch book.

As a counterpoint to the observational drawing the pupils were then given brightly coloured card and asked to draw one piece of crockery on each piece of card. This approach lead us to look at the work of  Patrick Caulfield 
We were particularly struck by Coloured Still Life, 1967 a bold abstract and graphic still life featuring bowl, jug and glasses on a blue background and Pottery, 1969 Original: Oil on canvas 213.4 x 152.4 cm.

We cut out our card templates and then the children were able to make a Caulfield inspired composition, moving the templates round until they were happy with the design. 

We used a thin, quick drying paint which needed two coats and still showed the brush marks unlike the Caulfields which would have had a completely flat finish. Not everyone found the flatness an easy concept, some children took a painterly approach, others precision flatness the finish required. The characteristic black lines were applied with marker to give a firmer, steadier outline.

I have just noticed that the Tate Gallery shop has a new range of items in their Homewares range - The Patrick Caulfield Collection, oh dear, I might just need to add the milk jug to my collection!

Priory Residency - Woodland Creatures - Autumn 2014

I have been Priory Lower School's Artist in Residence for about eight years, visiting the school on Friday mornings for a wide variety of art projects. My Autumn project with Year 2 was to create woodland creatures and a woodland frieze from found or recycled materials. Luckily the trees outside the school had been shedding gorgeous, large leaves and I came armed with cardboard boxes and twigs from my garden. 

The children made drawings of insects they thought they might find in a wood then cut and glued them out of felt. They also made drawing of leaves on green paper which were cut out used and printed with some handy insect stamps. Pupils painted the twigs a base colour and then later added stripes and spots.

Everyone printed a pair of colourful birds each using 
my portable printing press and water based inks.

When dry they were laminated and added to our frieze.

The wonderful display was put together 
by Mrs Youngman and her team

During my second morning on the project

the children created birds and beasts

from boxes, wool cones and leaves.