Monday, February 28, 2011

Masterpiece. Theater.

I am an artist of all trades (master of none). In any given week, I sing, write, act, paint, draw, design, sew... I perform and create. I am constantly up to something and beginning projects (far more often than finishing).

So I was excited to volunteer at my children's preschool, to help in a small way with creating a painting that will be auctioned off during a fundraiser in the coming weeks. My job was to usher little people from their classroom to the art room, since preschoolers have a tendency to wander, get lost, get distracted, etc.

The art teacher chose an ambitious piece for the children to reproduce. This is my first year in the preschool, but I hear tell the children's unofficial reproductions are gallery worthy.  This year, they are painting a piece by English painter John Dyer. He is known for colorful, whimsical landscapes, including "Green Olives Under The Stars":

I was lucky that the day I volunteered, my twins were in the rotation to paint. Here they are adding their contribution to "Green Olives":

The very wise art teacher created a square or rectangle of paint for each child, and then asked them to fill in the middle, reducing a complicated painting to one small, recognizable shape at a time. Because my children are tall, she had them help out near the top.

There was also a lot of hand over hand guidance, especially for two and new three year olds. The plan is to paint square by square, layer by layer, until there is a finished reproduction. Going from this:

Back to this:

Just over a hundred children, one art teacher, some parent volunteers... should be fun to see the end result. The school typically auctions the actual painting, and then sends it out to have official prints made, which are also sold.

I'm pretty sure Mr.Mannerz will recommend springing for the print - the painting, not so much. But we'll see.

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