I was recently asked to get involved with another project for the local Primary School to produce some artwork to take to India on their forthcoming trip.
As the artwork was destined for India, initial ideas decided on a subject matter of 'our local surroundings'; creating artwork representing the 'seaside' near where the children go to school and live.
I've just discovered canvas boards and thought they would be a great base to work on as they are easy to store and travel in the Headmasters' suitcase on the trip to India!
Children where picked from each year group, Upper Key Stage 1 (Year 2) up to Key Stage 2 (Year 5); due to the nature of how the boards would be hand delivered to India unfortunately only a few children where able to be selected in this task and a total of 15 final pieces of artwork was produced.
The development of the artwork
The project ran over four sessions, the first session the children were asked to think of their surrounding area and produce a quick sketch and paint the background colour of their canvas board. The second session the children were told to copy their sketch onto the canvas board (with a little guidance for the younger ones, to proportion the scale of the drawing so it filled the board) and then block the sketch in white paint to prepare for the colour.
The third session the children learnt the art of creating layers onto a canvas to get an overall better effect, by allowing the white paint to dry they were then able to add the first stage colour detail.
The final session was applying another layer of colour to get more depth into the paintings. During this session I also helped the children by tidying the edges and adding the final detail of outlines that were present in their original drawings.
The paintings were then taken back to the studio and spray varnished.
Beach Huts by Hannah, Class: Lions, Year 5
Beach Huts by Louisa, Class: Lions, Year 5
Beach Huts by Joseph, Class: Penguins, Year 2
Beach Hut, Sand Castles by Charlotte, Class: Badgers, Year 5
Beach Hut, Sea by Noah, Class: Meerkats, Year 2
Beach Hut by Chloe, Class: Badgers, Year 5
Beach Huts by Mishka, Class: Penguins, Year 2
Beach Huts by Amber, Class: Meerkats, Year 2
Houses by the Beach by Marney, Class: Chameleons, Year 3
Hatfield Hotel, Lowestoft Sea Front by Ewan, Class: Chameleons, Year 3
Fireworks by Mikolaj, Class: Sharks, Year 4
Happy Ice Cream by Chloe, Class: Dolphins, Year 4
Ice Cream by Hope, Class: Sharks, Year 4
Seaside Shell by George, Class: Lions, Year 5
Boat by Jude, Class: Dolphins, Year 4
We did have an abundance of beach huts but also had some hotels, houses, boats and ice creams!
So a special mention for students: Hannah, Louisa, Jude, Noah, Hope, Mishka, George, Charlotte, Marney, Chloe, Mikolaj, Joseph, Chloe, Amber and Ewan; you worked very hard and your work will be going over to India very shortly!
All together the canvas boards created this layout, a very bright and cheerful collage; by using the originals I have created a Fine Art print poster (first image) so the school can keep a memory of the art project up on the wall at school.
Last November 2014 it was 100 years since the Great War, around this time I was asked if I could create a large Poppy Mural for the local Primary School so they could get the children involved in remembering and learning about the significance of this piece of history.
The mural was an ongoing project, of which took us into the beginning of 2015, I have now got around to writing about it as it has now been officially opened and the ribbon cut (my myself!)
I thoroughly enjoyed working on such a large scale project, it reminded me how Liza J design first came about; as large scale mural work was always my passion before I came up with an economic way of sharing my work through the postal system to customers! It was also very rewarding working with the children throughout the whole school years doing art and watching them taking great care over their poppy art.
Official opening ceremony of the Poppy Mural at the local Primary School
May 22nd 2015- photo provided by the school.
Pictured - the children who helped paint the mural. Some of the school children wore their Brownies and Scouts uniforms and during the ceremony read a passage from "We Shall Keep the Faith" to reflect on why the school mural was created.
Leading up to the 100 year anniversary, children within their classes were asked to paint a picture of a poppy or scene to depict the Great War. With over 400 pupils, there was a lot of pictures to look through when I initially visited the school! After browsing through all the pictures, I was given the task of selecting those that I felt could be inspiration for a large wall mural, approximately 8-10 pictures were chosen from each class. After looking at the children's work, and given only one specified request (to paint the local church on the mural) and three large boards to fit into the designated space; an idea started to form!
Example of the poppy paintings, left -Reception Class (age 5), right -Year 4 (age 9)
Some of the children had painted scenes rather than individual poppies; this gave inspiration for the backgrounds of the three large canvas boards; so three different styles of children's work were copied and painted by myself onto the boards. It soon became apparent looking at the three styles that there was a darker scene, a mild scene and a brighter more cheerful scene; I used this idea as the initial concept when choosing what individual poppy paintings would suit onto each board.
The church and memorial stone that was required and given in the brief I painted onto the 'dark' board. Then gradually I looked through the individual poppy paintings and chose those that I felt would be better placed onto each board, for example some children had painted darker poppy's using black outline and gold centres, these suited the dark board. After choosing a few poppy paintings for each board at a time and roughly sketching the outline of them into position onto the board, those children who's poppy's had been picked were gathered from their classrooms and invited to re-paint their poppy straight onto the large board.
Children painting their poppy's onto the large scenes - images taken from school website.
The development of each board and what it represents
The project commenced late November 2014 and took several sessions to complete during the term time until the Christmas break. I returned in January 2015 in between working on customer orders to complete a forth board.
Board One - Darkness of the War
Board Two - Transition of the War. Remembering, calmer days ahead
Board Three - The War is over. Remembering, brighter days ahead
Board Four - School Commemoration Plaque. Artists own design
The final board contained the words supplied in the brief to commemorate the mural. As I hadn't painted one poppy onto the large mural I decided to write the words around my own poppy design.
I thought the children within the school throughout the years took such care and pride in painting their own poppy's onto the large scale piece and hopefully (after a final varnish) the mural will stand pride of place within the school grounds for many years!