July 16, 2018

For this week's 'Artist of the Week', we speak to Lea Clidassou, a great friend of PTC and co-founder of Studio Brique, the quirky graphic design initiative which encourages an experimental and collaborative approach to graphic design.  

Founded by Lea and her friend Margot Sarret as part of their design Master, the organisation, Studio Brique, has grown into a shared space where Lea and Margot can pour all of their ideas and creations that don't necessarily conform to the conventions of traditional art and design. 

With a patient, thoughtful and unique approach, Lea and Margot have co-created an eclectic body of work which varies from cookbooks, to silk-screen cards, to fanzine. Always, there is this air of defiance, of disruption through creativity which Lea describes to me in detail, and which is echoed throughout their projects: "La création offre une résistance à l’état du monde" (Creation gives a resistance against th...

June 18, 2018

In this week's 'Artist of the Week', I talk memories, lost friendships, aliens(!), plants, and much much more, with textile artist and friend of Pass the Crayon, Diane Lavoie.

Diane Lavoie has experimented with many different styles over her artistic life, creating a large and eclectic body of work which fluctuates from multi-media installations, to hand-painted silk. Whilst her subject matter and methods have changed with time, Diane has continuously used textiles as her preferred medium, developing a sensitive and powerful story-telling ability.

Using small pieces of fabric glued or stitched together, Diane creates intricate works which sometimes take months to finish. Favouring a 2D approach rather than sculpture, she uses a large piece of material as the canvas for her work, and then builds up from there, adding layers of fabric to create detailed designs.

One of my favourite pieces by Diane is 'Badlands' from her 'Park' series. The fabric provides a gorgeous textu...

June 7, 2018

With a cheerful disregard for perspective, impulsive brushstrokes, bold outlines and flamboyant colour, Henri Matisse, the 'wild beast', and our Artist of the Week, creates paintings that excite the senses.

After ditching his legal day job, the young Henri Matisse (1869-1954) made the artistic pilgrimage to Paris, to seek out training at the illustrious Parisian art schools. But, like many of his contemporaries, including last week's Artist of the Week, Claude Monet, Matisse eventually gave up trying to curry favour with the traditionalist fuddy-duddys at the Salon du Paris, instead opting for a far more emotional and vibrant style, which spawned it's very own (if short-lived) artistic movement.

Inspired by artists such as Van Gogh (who Mattisse declared he loved more than his own father!), and taken under the wing of visionary teacher and controversial professor at the École des Beaux-Arts, Gustav Moreau, Matisse began to experiment with bold colours and brushstrokes, see...

May 31, 2018

Founder of Impressionism, and waterlily obsessive, Claude Monet, dedicated his life to plein air painting, with many of his most famous works inspired by, and painted, in his own garden.

Last week we hosted a Dream Garden painting workshop at the Pankow shelter, encouraging the children to imagine and draw their dream garden. Given the theme, it seems only right to dedicate this weeks 'Artist of the Week' to one of the most prolific garden painters in the world: Claude Monet.

Born in 1840, Monet became one of the shining stars of the French Impressionist Movement, his work widely regarded as a vital catalyst for the birth of Modern Art. This is due to his radical use of bold brush strokes and strong colours, paving the way for the more experimental art forms of the 20th century.

Nympheas (Waterlilies) II (1915), image via Draw Paint Academy

Monet was particularly interested in the relationship between colour and light, his pallet becoming increasingly exuberant to...

May 17, 2018

We are currently studying, 'Coast Village', by Roy Lichenstein, so it seems fitting to dedicate this week's Artist of the Week post to the Pop Art heavyweight. BUT, does Lichenstein deserve such prestige? Is Roy Lichenstein the avant-guarde creative the artistic community claims him to be, or just a cheap 'swiper' who has profited from the work of other's?

Pop Art was born in America and the UK during the late 1950's, in the wake of the post-war economic boom. The kitschy brand-heavy art form became synonymous with the economic prosperity and consumerist culture of it's time, now regarded as the Golden Age of Capitalism.

The actual term 'pop art' orginated in the late 1940's, and was first used in the work of art, "I was a Rich Man's Plaything" (1947) , by artist, Eduardo Paolozzi, which incorporates the word "POP" within a montage of a pinup girl, a cherry pie, and other quintessential American symbols from that era.

Pop Art borrows images from popular...

April 16, 2018

“I think that is important, the wanting: the desire to hold it in your hands, to befriend it, to see if it bites.” 

We agree with Sheila Hicks, our PTC Artist of the Week. Art should draw you in. It should make you want to touch it, see it, smell it ... to see if it bites! Basically, good pieces of Art are kind of like animals- cute and furry animals that you want to play with, and cuddle, and sit on.

Sheila Hicks, image via  Eventbrite

Nobody embodies this tactile ideology more than weaving legend, Sheila Hicks. Born in 1934, Hicks has travelled all over the world, learning the diverse language of weaving from artisan weavers in countries including Chile, Morrocco, Israel and Japan. An art graduate from the Yale School of Art, Hicks was awarded the Fullbright scholarship in 1957, which saw her move to Chile to continue her artistic studies. It is while she was living in South America, that Hicks first began to develop an interest in textile art.

The depth of Sheila Hick's practi...

April 5, 2018

Beguiling in it's simplicity, yet filled with subtle layers of meaning, Gao Xingjian blends black ink and blank space to create works of art that leave you lost for words.

As an ode to ink, we dedicate this week's 'Artist of the Week' post to Gao Xingjian, a Chinese artist, director, playwright, poet and Nobel Prize winner for literature. His ink-wash art  is a mesmerizing example of the power of ink as a mode expression, and the wonderful symphony of Oriental and Western artistic traditions.

Ink drop painting is one of our favorite art activities, here at Pass the Crayon. We keep coming back to ink as a creative medium because it presents our young artists with a unique set of challenges. To bring some form of clarity to their work, they must learn to guide the ink, to harness its fluid energy.

Every child (and adult) finds an innocent enjoyment in the swirl of combining colours, the dripping and running into rainbow pools and gleaming estuaries of colo...

February 24, 2018

Maëlle Foix, our friend and long-term artistic partner, is this weeks Artist of the Week! She speaks with Manon Jourdan about her work, past and present, and her exciting future plans. We also speak about the power of creation, dreams and metaphor as a tool to help young people communicate and connect with other people- and themselves.


Maëlle is an inspiring graphic designer and talented illustrator from the ''School of Art and Design'' (Ensaama) of Paris. Looking through her various illustrations is like entering a bath of color - Maille creates a childlike, joyful and twisted universe of cheerful characters and stunning colors.

In June 2017 we were lucky to have her as an intern for one month, and in that time, we formed a very special bond and considerably benefited from her creative spirit. Not only did Maelle co-ordinate artistic workshops, but she also helped to build our PTC brand by designing all of our amazing bespoke logos and infographics (see right). Maël...

February 18, 2018

This week at Pass the Crayon, our workshop theme is Puppets! So, we thought it would be nice to dedicate this week's Artist of the Week post to the oldest puppetry association in the world, UNIMA!

Founded in 1929, UNIMA (Union Internationale de la Marionnette) is an international non-profit organisation and UNESCO partner, operating in over 90 countries worldwide. As a collective, UNIMA connects and supports thousands of puppeteers from all over the globe, promoting puppetry as an art form, and sharing its craft with future generations through performance, workshops, exhibitions and festivals.

UNIMA is one of the oldest artists collectives in the world, and has a long and beautiful history of connection and friendship, which transcends political or cultural divisions. In 1929, at the Fifth Annual Convention of Czech Puppeteers, a group of puppeteers from Bulgaria, France, Yugoslavia, Germany, Austria, Romania and the Soviet Union, gathered together and decided to form UNIM...

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