Picasso and the Girl with a Ponytail

History might not be the most favorite subject of children, but they all love stories. And in fact, history is nothing but stories.

But it is all about how a story is told. History becomes interesting when we add a bit of our own imagination and experiences to it, otherwise, it will all be about dates and nothing more. It’s the times spent between two dates that tell us the story about people and their lives.

“Picasso and the Girl with a Ponytail” written by “Laurence Anholt” is a historical fiction book that offers a glimpse into the life of the famous artist” Pablo Picasso” and a little girl who became one of his models. The story is told from the perspective of the child.

Sylvette first met Pablo Picasso in 1954, when she was a girl in the southern French town of Vallauris. At that time, she was the shyest and dreamiest girl among her friends When Picasso set up his studio in a nearby house, he spotted young Sylvette and was taken immediately by her classical profile and her lovely ponytail. When at last he convinced her to pose for what became the first of more than 40 works of art, the two gradually became good friends.

Picasso’s portraits of Sylvette later became famous around the world.

Author and illustrator Laurence Anholt captures the spirit of this warm-hearted story in words and pictures. In the process, he also introduces several of Picasso’s most famous paintings. Young readers are sure to be intrigued by how Picasso transformed Sylvette’s image into a variety of fantastic and whimsical forms.

Truly a Magical Garden:)

Laurence Anholt, author of “The Magical Garden of Claude Monet, is a british writer and illustrator. This story is about a young girl Julie that lives in Paris, but always seeks country life. Her mother takes her to Giverny, Claude Monet’s house and gardens, where she befriends Claude Monet himself. This book gives students the opportunity to gain perspective on this famous place. It gives children the opportunity to travel to a place far away that they may not otherwise ever experience. They are also able to learn about Claude Monet’s paintings as well as view them throughout the story.

Anholt does a magnificent job weaving Monet’s painting into the story and illustrations. The use of color in the illustration is quite eye-catching too!

This book is intended for all children. In addition to offering children a look at Giverny in Paris, they are able to study Monet’s art. They are also able to learn more about Monet from the short biography at the back of the book.

It is a must for all the little creative beings 🙂

Vincent….. This world was never meant for One as beautiful as you..

Camille and the Sunflowers” is a very well written and illustrated book by “Laurence Anholt”. Based on the story of the real relationship between Camille and his family and the painter Vincent Van Gogh, this beautiful book would serve as an excellent introduction to the life and art of Vincent.

Camille was the son of the postman in a little town in the south of France. The book narrates the remarkable story of how he got to know Vincent, and how he hand his family tried to help this penniless and lonely man.

Camille gave Vincent a huge bunch of flowers to decorate his home and the two of them went out into the countryside to finds scenes for Vincent to paint.

Camille saw the beauty and wonder in Vincent’s art and it hurt him to discover that the other villagers did not appreciate Vincent’s talent and did not like having him live in their village.

The author’s art work remind us of Vincent himself and he includes reproductions of some of Vincent’s most well-known paintings including portraits of Camille and his family, and the remarkable picture of a bunch of sunflowers in a brown jug.


Even though there is a sad element to this story, the author did an excellent job of making it suitable even for small children, and sparks their interest in learning more about his life and works.


Gopa Trivedi

Artist Mentor

She says “I am going to be an Artist”


“Through Georgia’s Eyes” written by “Rachel Rodriguez” and illustrated by “Julie Paschkis”, has successfully conveyed the contemplative beauty at the heart of Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings and life. The prose is simple and reflective, mimicking the rhythms of the natural world: “A canyon calls her. From the bottom at dusk she sees a long line of cows above, black lace against a dusky sky.” The illustrations, cut-paper collages, mimic the vibrant intensity of O’Keeffe’s works with the simplicity and wonder of a child.

This picture book biography describes some of the influences on painter Georgia O’Keeffe, touching briefly on her formative years and her family’s wishes that she become a teacher. Despite those wishes and the trends of those times which dictated roles for women, Georgia followed, and perused  her dream to paint, which led her to New York City and the wide spaces of New Mexico.

Both the text and the extraordinary cut-paper collage illustrations help readers understand the personality, determination, and brilliance of this vibrant woman with exceptional talent.



Gopa Trivedi

Artist Mentor

Even Red can be sad……

Even Red can be Sad saw a successful screening, graced with the presence of  the Veteran artist Krishen Khanna, Director Amit Dutta and several other art enthusiasts, at the Vadehra Gallery, New Delhi.

The screening began with an address by  Krishen Khanna , who infused the evening with nostalgia through his recollections of the artist Ram Kuma, while it ended with an interaction with the Director Amit Dutta, and his understanding of Ramkumar and his works.

We thank the entire team of Vadehra for making this a success!



Bidding Farewell to S.H Raza

“I have never been a good student. When I was seven years old, my school teacher Nandaji Acharya made me wait after the school time, drew a dot on the black board and asked me to keep looking at it till he returned. He had realised that my mind was wandering and he wanted me to concentrate my energies and thoughts”

S.H Raza


Art 1st pays its tribute to the legendary painter S.H Raza , who passed away in New Delhi on Saturday after a prolonged illness, leaving a huge void in the artistic world.
He was a Modernist who, connected the contemporary art of independent India with that of the European ‘modernity’ as early as 1956.


May his soul rest in peace……..