Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Their Home, Too!


Okay – I’m just gonna dive right in to all of the artwork that I have to share with you concerning the Peacebus art project entitled, “Their Home, Too!” For any readers who would like to see the previous artworks and read the first two stories…



So… this is where we left off. As you can see the project is about half done.

As more and more artworks appeared on the roof of the bus, more and more students asked if they could create some art for the project. Of course, I said, “Yes!”

To help some of the younger students, I began to create simple colouring sheets for them. It was their job to use their imagination to find ways to complete their colouring sheets using the proper colours needed.

This happy bunny rabbit is a fine example showing the skills of Anastasia, who is only in Grade 1! When I gave her this colouring sheet, I told her that most of the drawing needed to be coloured in with green pencil crayons. I explained that she could use a little bit of yellow and brown in just small areas. You can see that the rabbit was coloured in using four different shades of green and that the sky is a blend of green and blue. I was very impressed with the skills used to create this peace!

Mira’s little fish got a lot of smiling attention by the other students. I heard many comments stating that it was cool that peace symbols were drawn in the fish’s air bubbles.

When I first introduced the students to Haida Native art design, I wasn’t sure if they would think that this style of art was interesting. I was surprised when the students started asking me to tell them a bit more about the history of this kind of art.

In this design, Kailey used two separate Haida designs to create this peaceful expression.

Angela is an ‘Art Monster!’ There was no stopping her!!!! As soon as she finished one peace of artwork, she would ask to do another. The variety in her design concepts and her ability to blend colours together never ceased to amaze me!

This project was filled with a many different examples of evolution. It started as an idea for creating images of animals. Then the colouring sheet concept idea presented itself. Then the Haida Native art design concept emerged. Then I came up with the idea of using sentences -that expressed thoughts of animals – in the project.

I explained to the students that art is a form of communication. By drawing a picture of an animal we are sharing information about that animal with the world. By drawing a picture of a sentence that tells a short story about animals we are being more direct by expressing a well thought out statement.

I had mentioned in previous stories how I had asked some of my Facebook friends to help out with this project. Zeineb was one of the first to accept my challenge. The students on my bus thought that it was really cool that someone from, “all the way across, and on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean,” had created art for this project, too!

Ahhhh! Looking better and better, every day!

I couldn’t figure out what was more difficult – drawing pictures of animals or using sentences to create some fun art expressions.

So… I decided to limit the use of sentences to the magic number of three. I just wanted to use these as examples to fuel the students’ imaginations, so they would maybe think of using this style of art in some of their own future creations.

Over the next short while, two other artworks were emailed to me by Facebook friends. This one came from the US of A…

… and this one was sent to me by a friend who spent one afternoon with me and several others, planting Day Lilies in a ditch – here in London, Ontario – in the shape of a peace symbol!

If you’ve never heard of ‘Guerrilla Gardening’ then you will truly enjoy this story – http://bitsandpeaces08.blogspot.com/2010/04/guerrilla-gardening-attack-2.html

I’ve noticed how some animals attract the students’ attention more than others. I think there are four images of penguins in this artwork, two dolphin drawings and this drawing is the second image of butterflies.

Oh, how I love Haida Native art designs! I thought that this design was one of my simpler ones, but the students really ‘Ohhhh’ed and ‘Ahhhh’ed when they saw it on the roof of the bus.

Slava is another one of my ‘Art Monsters!’ I think that this is the fifth design that he completed for this project. He asked me if he could do another drawing. Of course, I said, “Yes!” He told me that he had a special topic that he wanted to do… something that hadn’t been done before. I became curious. He explained that he wanted to invent his own animals. I became delighted!!!!

Yet, another example of how art evolves through time!!! And ‘yes!’ that is a frying pan on one of the creature’s heads and a large tea mug balancing on the head of the other imaginary animal. Slava was very happy to use his imagination and sense of humour in his artwork!

My oh my!!! Almost done!

And speaking of imaginary animals… Thalia thought that creating an imaginary animal would be fun for her younger sister, so she had Kendra design this creature and Thalia helped her with the filling in of the colours. It thrills me to know that silly little art projects – like this one – help to bring people together: sister and sister, mom and dad and daughter and son.

With only a week or so left to complete this art project, I had to pick up the pace a bit. Many artworks were still being worked on by the students and I wanted them to relax and have fun with their art, so I decided to work of a few more designs by myself…

As you can see, I had a lot of fun dabbling around with my pencil crayons, too! Why should the kids be the only ones having fun?!!!!

Did I mention that penguins were a popular topic?

Kaela really blew me away with her third drawing for this project! Her first two artworks were just great, but this one really delights the eyes! When this drawing made it to the roof of the Peacebus, the students were so thrilled that they made up a song about, “The great big Panda… who likes to eat a lot of bamboo…” Art influencing music = inspiration!!!!

This is another ‘third’ artwork for this student. Michaela’s drew her first two artworks all by herself, but she asked me to help her out with this one cuz she really wanted to draw a picture of a polar bear.

When my Facebook friend from South Africa said that she wanted to create a peace of art for this project, I was extremely happy! Sasha told me how she had come home from work, emptied her pockets on the kitchen table, sat down with a peace of paper and began to wonder what she would draw. Her eyes wandered to the coins that had just been in her pocket and where now on the table and she told me that this was her moment of inspiration!

The coins of South Africa all have images of animals on them. So, instead of drawing one animal, Sasha put the coins underneath the sheet of paper and used her pencil crayons to create these ‘rubbed’ images of her coins. It’s a little hard to see, but upon close inspection I was able to make out three different images: an antelope, a yak and another animal resembling an antelope – I’m really not that familiar with all the varieties of animals living in South Africa, so I’m not positive on their names.

Hmmmm! Well! Look at that! All the artworks have been completed and if I could have a little drum roll…

… so I can present to you, “Their Home, Too!”

Yup! 3 ½ months of work has finally come to an end and I couldn’t be happier! It was interesting to watch all the evolutions that emerged during this process. It was even more interesting to witness how this one project united students on my bus, families and friends from around the world! Truly a global art endeavour brought to fruition through the dedication of many! I’m impressed!!

So… some of you may think that this should be the last story, since the artwork has been completed, but it’s not.

For my next story, I’ll be sharing photos from the ‘Unveiling’ and I’ll tell how one London news reporter got wind of this story and was inspired to share this art with the entire city!

Until soon,

Mr. Jim

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