PTC Weekly #10: Colourful Paper Cut-outs in the Style of Matisse.
Welcome to this week's bumper edition of PTC Weekly. It's been a busy (and very colourful!) few weeks for us, filled with paint, mess and pieces of coloured paper...
Two weeks ago (June 3rd) we implemented our new 'Age Strategy'. We decided to do this because we have a large amount of kids to cater for at the Pankow shelter, and certain art activities are not suitable for younger years, and similarly, some of the older kids often do not wish to participate in activities that are not geared to their age range. For this reason we have introduced an age restriction. Our current series, "Painting like the Masters", is open to kids of 9 years and above. We decided to make this change because we realised that by working in smaller groups we can devote more attention to individual kids, they have the benefit of working in a quieter atmosphere, and our art activities can be specifically tailored to their age range.
This was the first week that we tried it, and it was really successful! We continued with our Lichenstein paintings, this time focussing on colour.
"The goal of this workshop was for them to learn how to use the primary colors to make all the colors they needed. During this workshop, a few children showed great interest in following the task, and really searched for the perfect colors and shades to match the original. Others preferred to do something different and invented their own design. "
This workshop was a lot quieter than previous sessions, and the kids responded really well to the less chaotic environment, painting methodically and calmly.
We continued our 'Painting like the Masters' series the next week (June 9th), but this time with a new artist- Henri Matisse! Matisse (our current Artist of the Week) experimented with paper cut-outs during his later years, producing gorgeous geometric designs. We chose to focus on his paper cut-outs because we decided this would be easier for the children to replicate. The workshop went very well, with the children producing some really creative designs!
This week, it was our last session at our workshop space, Voodoo55, in Wedding. Voodoo55 is a pop up art space, and very soon it will be closing, so we decided that this week would be our final session. We made a tiny party for Salam and Ayiat (our two loyal artists who come every week!). They were sad to see us go, and Ayiat's mother said that she would try to send Ayiat to our future classes once we have found an alternative location.
We had some food, and organised some little games, including "1,2,3, soleil" and a race course game, which involved the children running around the whole of the art space, and being timed on a stop-watch to see who is the fastest. When we said goodbye, we exchanged contact details with both their parents, and we are very hopeful that we will see Ayiat and Salam again soon. We are also hoping to put on an art exhibition at Voodoo before the end fo August, to showcase all the wonderful art work done by the kids.
Two weeks ago (29th May) we launched our 'Paint like the Masters' series, with the kids recreating Lichenstein's 'Coast Village' (1987). Similarly to the kids in Pankow, some children got very involved in the task, whilst others became easily discouraged by the level of complexity of the image. We got them to really study the painting first, before sketching it onto their canvas. After they completed their sketch, then they could begin painting.
"The kids followed the assignment well at first, drawing and painting the main components of the picture, but then lost their patience and copied one of the kids who started to just paint over her whole painting with as much colour as possible. The kid who started the revolution had some kind of plan though and started to make scratch art out of her painting which was cool to see. Using the different layers of paint she got rainbow coloured letters on a brown base."
"When the children were ready, we gave each of them pencils and paints, and they started the painting process. We realised it was a bit hard for children who are mostly 8-9 years old to stay focused for nearly 2 hours on such a delicate task. Each child required a lot of attention and supervision (explaining to them how to play with colors, how to create some effects with the pencils etc.) Children mostly enjoy to just play with the materials, to experience the paint. After 1h30 of workshop, most of them ended the workshop by simply painting what they were feeling. However, 9 year old, Ronya, stayed focused for 2 hours on her canvas and produced a really nice painting. She says she will give it to her school teacher as a present. :) "
The week after, on June 5th, we moved on to Matisse. The paper cut-out technique was a fun and tactile form of art which the children appeared to really enjoy!
"At the beginning, most of the children were a bit doubtful, but since we were 5 volunteers for 8 kids, we were able to really monitor them and help them to get confidence in their abilities. And it worked really well. At the end, every single child had produced an amazing colorful paper creation.
The most impressive thing about today's session was to see 8-year-old Mustafa's progress. Mustafa is, by nature, a really sensitive kid, and he managed to stay focused for more than two hours long (long after all the other kids had already left). He cut very small pieces of paper, thinking really hard about what forms to give them, then sticking the papers with a lot of precision. At the end, his creation was more than awesome!! We were all really impressed, and he was super proud of it!"
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