Blankets 1

Over the last few months I’ve had the great pleasure of working with children via an artist in residence pilot program at Ryerson University.  Curiously I think I learned more from them than they did from me…

The first experimental tranche involved working on large painting while encouraging them to do their own.  That idea didn’t last too long once they decided they wanted to help me instead.  photo 1 smallThe interesting thing is that the large painting wasn’t quite coming together until they started helping and working with tools and ideas I hadn’t even considered.  Check out these tiny little hands doing incredible stuff!  Some of them were even jumping to reach the top of the canvas – we decided then that this was dynamic painting in its most literal iteration.  🙂

photo 2 small

This was the final happy result, representing about 12 small hands, 24 wide eyes, and 12 open imaginations.

photo 4 small

I’ll post a few things on the sculpture experiments another time, but wanted to end this post with the following lovely poem by Margaret Atwood.

You Begin

You begin this way:
this is your hand,
this is your eye,
this is a fish, blue and flat
on the paper, almost
the shape of an eye
This is your mouth, this is an O
or a moon, whichever
you like. This is yellow.

Outside the window
is the rain, green
because it is summer, and beyond that
the trees and then the world,
which is round and has only
the colors of these nine crayons.

This is the world, which is fuller
and more difficult to learn than I have said.
You are right to smudge it that way
with the red and then
the orange: the world burns.

Once you have learned these words
you will learn that there are more
words than you can ever learn.
The word hand floats above your hand
like a small cloud over a lake.
The word hand anchors
your hand to this table
your hand is a warm stone
I hold between two words.

This is your hand, these are my hands, this is the world,
which is round but not flat and has more colors
than we can see.
It begins, it has an end,
this is what you will
come back to, this is your hand.

               — Margaret Atwood

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8 thoughts on “Blankets 1

  1. What a great experience. There’s no way this doesn’t bring out ones inner child and it would be very cool to see this done with adults. Why is this post titles blankets 1?

  2. Wow, what an awesome project you’ve got going! I like the story you’ve weaved together with the painting photos, and how you’ve paired these with the insightful poem that itself is full of imagery. This post certainly was a complete dish for the artistic senses! Bravo!

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