Last week I went into my son's class for a whole day of art. What a wonderful bunch of talented enthusiastic 8 year olds!
Linking into their botany topic our theme was flowers and initial inspiration taken from Georgia O'Keefe's flower painting.
I asked the children to really look at their chosen flowers and believe what they really see not what they think they see. I asked the children to fill the whole page even letting the image fall off the edges.
In one day this amazing bunch of small people drew their flower, painted their flower in watercolour using wet on wet technique, they made monoprints of their flower, they made a group stencil painting of their individual flowers and they made linocut plates and printed them.
The children's joy in exploring new techniques was wonderful, with each child feeling great satisfaction and confidence with different mediums. The monoprints were particularly enjoyed as the resulting prints were so surprising to the children.
Have a look at some of the gorgeous images these lovely little people made.
I say linocut, but in actual fact, due to health and safety the plates are polystyrene. Somewhat ironic as lino printing was invented by Frank Chisek, an Austrian educator from the beginning of 1900's. He recognised children's art for the amazing achievement that it is (totally disregarded before), lino was easier to cut than wood, enabling children to make 'woodcuts'. Chisek's work came to the fore when Picasso realised how versatile and wonderful linocuts were and used the medium himself. However, the thought of 30 children cutting lino with sharp tools does make me shudder.
One to one children cutting lino still does work. Look what my 8 year old son achieved the other day. By the way it's an otter if you didn't realise.