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 🙂

Artist Mentor: Mona Rai, Day 4

The last and final session with Mona Rai began at 3 pm on 27th November.

All the participants reached on time and continued their work, which they were doing in the previous session.

 

Our mentor kept a close eye on each one of them, and the moment a few said they were done!!!! Mona asked them to work over again and try to deform the image.

On sensing a subtle reluctance, in doing so, by the participants, our Mentor indulged the participants in a discussion on, having the urge to work on issues.

A thought-provoking discussion that  began with addressing the major difference between an advertising poster and a painting. The discussion continued for nearly half an hour, that left the participants thinking.

img_3042

We are sure that the participants and the Mentor Mona Rai enjoyed the experience…..

 

 

 

Artist Mentor: Mona Rai, Day 3….

The third session with Artist Mentor Mona Rai began at 3pm on 26th November.

Despite the heavy traffic everyone reached on time.

The sessoin began with the discussion about the artists that each of them were asked to look up. Post the discussion all of them took out the Materials they had collected and began working on their works.

The materials they used ranged from threads, cloth, cardboards to found objects.

All of them worked on ideas that interested them, some worked on social issues, where as others indulged in surrealist landscapes. Some tried their hands on embroidery for the first time.

By 7pm it was time to go.

They were supposed to complete their works in the next session.

 

November 2016,Day 2

img_2740

img_2738

 

All of us look outside our windows, but how many of us observe?????

Do we feel the changes in light with the seasons?

Do we observe the changing textures of the trees and the land?

Most of us click a picture to savour the moment, hoping to enjoy it later, rather than pausing for a moment and observing it then and there……..

Our mentor Mona felt that the children need to learn how to observe more keenly, through   their eyes rather than their smart phones, they need to learn to pause and grasp things.

On November 13th by 2:30 when all the participants had come in the, they were just asked to stand in the studio Balcony and observe the landscape….. the texture of the trees, the colours, the ground etc.

 

Our Mentor Mona stood with them and hinted at the ways they could look at the different textures and colours. After that they were left to their own, to sketch.

Mona asked them to use only three colours in their work, and they were also allowed to use several spices for colours and textures.

img_2800

The work that they were to do on 13th was meant to be a preparatory sketch ….

All of them quickly began their work….

 

Unlike the other days one could see a disinterest in their works. Only after much coaxing did they divulge that they did not like working on landscapes much , this revelation lead to many more discussions about their interests and reading habits.

At the end our mentor suggested names of artist that each one of them had to look up and come, for the next session.

Looking forward to see, what challenges our Mentor has for them , in the next session…..

Partner a Master: Mona Rai… Day 1

The space of painting is often thought to be one of quiet contemplation, of refuge, seclusion and withdrawal from the world. For Mona Rai it is exactly the opposite: it is a space for experimentation and risk – taking, where danger can be courted and limits exceeded.

For Mona painting is a space, which allows things that are excluded from daily life to happen with passion, rigor and even rage. Her looming, square works epitomize her artistic attitude. Textures fascinate Mona Rai; dots, dashes, slashes, directional strokes and streaks create her particular style.

Mona fearlessly uses a verity of textures, materials and techniques in her works, and this is what she wants the children to explore through this workshop.

The first session of Partner a Master with Artist Mentor : Mona Rai began on 12th November at 2:30 pm.

The session commenced with an introduction to Mona and her works, the Participants were shown a short video produced by “Art1st” on the artist. The screening of the video was followed by few discussions and questions on Mona’s practice.

 

Our mentor also asked the participants about the curriculum they follow in their schools, and then asked them to choose various materials like: Bindi, Buttons, Canvas, Cloth etc. and make anything of their choice.

This exercise was meant to get a better understanding of the participants.

All the students were quick at making their material choices, and began working on their works immediately as they were to finish their works within 2 hours…..

The influence of the previous workshops was evident in their works….

They quickly began drawing….. but were taken aback as our Mentor strictly prohibited the use of pencils and pens!!!!!!!!!

Mona wanted them to engage with the materials directly and fearlessly……

While a few worked with the on going issue of Smog, most of them made faces and eyes and had a concept behind the works……

They were asked to stop as soon as the time limit was over, one could see them hurry and put some last minute strokes, seconds before the discussion…..

During the discussion Mona left them with a question…..

Why should there always be a concept behind their work?

Can they not do a work only for the sheer joy of exploration and creation?

Well that was a lot of food for thought for one day!!!!!!!!

 

 

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

23rd October, Day 2…

The Golden Mean: The state of In-Between

 

In Ancient Greek Philosophy, especially that of Aristotle, the Golden mean is the desirable middle between two extremes, one of excess and the other of deficiency.

For example, in the Aristotelian view, Courage is a virtue, but if taken to excess would manifest as recklessness, and, in deficiency, cowardice.

Gautam Buddha taught of the middle way, a path between the extremes of religious asceticism and worldly self-indulgence.

Confucious taught excess is similar to deficiency. A way of living in the mean is the way of life.

Our Histories and cultures have always talked about the state of in-between, and this is what the students explored though their art works, while working with our Mentor Sumedh Rajendran.

The second day of our workshop began at 10:30 am on 23rd October 2016. Everyone quickly resumed their works that they had started in the previous session.

 

The participants were required to cut and paste their works on three sheets of corrugated paper, in order to make the drawings free-standing.

Cutting and pasting sounded a bit too easy than it actually was. Our Mentor was constantly guiding them through all the technical hurdles.

By 4 pm everyone was ready with their works, and now it was time for installation. Two pillars were prepared on which works were to be nailed. Some of the works were free standing.

 

By 5pm, the perfect balance was struck by each one of them, it was evident in their works.

img_2601

Sumedh Rajendran/October 2016. Day 1.

Partner a Master session with Artist Mentor: Sumedh Rajendran began on 14th October 2016. It was a Seven hour long session…………

The Session was scheduled at Sumedh Rajendran’s Sculpture studio in Greater Noida. All the participants pooled and reached the studio at 10:30 am. The studio was unlike the one they would have imagined.

Studio based in the industrial area of Greater Noida was a Bicycle factory, which later became the studio of the Sculptor Sumedh Rajendran. Amidst the tall trees and the faint industrial sounds in the backdrop, the studio stands tall with its high walls and a gabled roof top.

Students were welcomed by our Mentor. The studio seemed like a factory to the students at first, as it was a huge hall with sculptures all around the space. Sumedh arranged some chairs for the participants outside in the open.

Our mentor began with asking the participants,

What is Art for them?

What they understand by the term “Being creative”?

img_2207

After a 20 minute discussion, while talking about his own works Sumedh Asked them to, draw something taking inspiration form their surroundings.

They were to take under consideration the extremes that they have experienced and how as individuals they adapt to those extremes. They were asked to express the state of being in the “In-Between” of two extremes.

It took the participants a little while to grasp what he meant………

After much discussions and speculations each one of them came up with a visual and discussed with our mentor.

After their ideas were in place, huge corrugated sheets were spread out for them to draw on.

Our mentor wanted them to draw freely with no inhibitions, use of digital images as reference was not allowed, as they had to use their imagination and experiences.

Students worked with utmost freedom, and confidence.

 

After seven hour long sessions of thought provoking discussions, making life size drawings, soothing music and some snacks…… the day was called quits at 5pm.

We meet next Sunday for another sessoin to continue exploring the

spaces……In-Between……….. two extremes.

 

By

Gopa Trivedi/Artist Mentor