So far in our world “travels,” I have had no trouble at all giving a taste of a region and its people, and connecting them to the sort of art they create. After all, it only has to be at a very superficial level even a 6-year-old can begin to relate to. With India, not so much. I really wrestled with the contrasts of this region. And where will we take our inspiration, since the vast majority of India’s art is inspired by Hinduism, not God’s creation? They sure picked an extraordinary national bird, though! So our younger artists started with the peacock. In fact, Kinders started just with a peacock FEATHER. We practiced our guided observation, and how to translate what we see to our own papers, and these luminescent feathers are the result.
First and second grades are working on whole peacocks and learning a lot about tints and how dark colors affect other colors. Some are almost finished, but will miss next week’s class due to Thanksgiving, so it will be a bit before I can get their peacocks up. Kindergarten has started on spiral pattern snakes, but this year we will add a hood to make them cobras, like the ones in our Rikki Tikki Tavi story. I actually just retold very very briefly the Kipling story accompanied by some of the beautiful illustrations of Jerry Pinkney. The kids cheered when the mongoose saved the family!
Third through sixth grades are doing a glue resist batik with acrylic paints. Their subject was an Indian animal of their choosing, but for most of third and fourth, that was the peacock. Designs were drawn in Sharpie on wax paper, and set under our fabric, then traced on fabric with Elmers blue gel glue. Monday we begin adding color!
Little by little we are making inroads into exotic India.