Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Ashalim: ART II

Oh my goodness, what a week this has been. I began to add a second day to each after school and after two days in the same place, I feel like I'm really starting to make a great connection with the children.  Yesterday many were puzzled when I showed up a day early and when I explained that I'll begin coming an extra day every other week, most of them pumped their fists, jumped in the air, and yelled, "yesh!" which is my favorite Israeli expression and means "there is" or "I have" but kind of translates more as yayyyyy! But wow are the kids difficult. They come with all different needs--broken families, difficulties with learning, difficulties at home, language barriers, poverty, everything I saw in my work in the Bronx and Harlem and more. But here, instead of influencing them as their classroom teacher, I have been afforded the unique opportunity to come at the problem from a different angle.

Here in Israel, every program connected to youth at risk seems to revolve around three central themes that are very connected: providing a family/home environment, academic support, and therapy. So even the after schools, through their daily routine of a beginning meeting, a hot meal, homework, outside play, an activity, and an ending discussion, approach the children's needs through the lens of all three mindsets. And I get to help them through the expression of art. We not only provide them with exposure to new fields of thought, famous artists, artwork, and art movements, and technique, but every lesson builds on itself and is also geared towards helping the children to become more confident, experimental artists as they improve their skills. I am so proud of what we have accomplished so far!

Today we continued our exploration of spots and were given more of a background into Seurat and pointillism. We talked about shadow and light, the use of color, and density of dots to create the effect we want. The children began by sketching out a landscape with light, simple lines and then carefully filled them in with dots of color. Through this work, they're not only learning about composition, color, and technique, but also about patience, planning, and the development of a piece of work. The results are already incredible!

Take a look at today's work: 

We drew outlines and began to fill them in. Take a look at how E. drew such careful branches for his tree. It's simply gorgeous.

Some more examples of beginning with dots around the outline. See how A. filled in one part of the sun with density of colorful dots to create a fuller shadow. I spoke to her about the idea of a light source and explained that the shadow should be on the left side of everything in the picture. 

S. is thinking more about color than light and shadow. She is thinking about mixing cool colors together and warm colors together. All of the children are taking their time. 


Just look at the gorgeous work on this one that E. began. We also talked about the idea that clouds aren't just white--they have a lot of color to them also. She's going to work to add shape and volume to them next time we meet. 

Examples I Prepared
For each lesson, I prepare a sample piece and then also do a demo of how to accomplish the finished look. I showed them this picture and explained how I added more color and denser dots to places where I wanted more shadow and more spread out dots to where I wanted more light. 

 Then I walked around and showed them the different effects between up close and far away. 

Up close
Far away

I can't wait to see how the kids' work comes out and hope this teaches them patience, creativity, and a new technique!

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