“Lend your ears to music, open your eyes to painting, and …stop thinking! Just ask yourself whether the work has enabled you to “walk about” into a hitherto unknown world. If the answer is yes, what more do you want?” Wassily Kandinsky 1910
Music accompanies us throughout the day while we are driving, playing, or walking along with our ipods. It can create a peaceful ambience as we go about our reading, or stir powerful emotions begging to be expressed in some way, which brings us to this project. There is a wonderful connection between music and visual art which has been examined by many artists. Russian-born Wassily Kandinsky was fascinated by this relationship and explored it in many of his paintings. He is credited with creating the first truly abstract paintings like the one above, and is suspected of possibly being a synaesthete, having the ability to see sound as colour and vice versa. This project gives children the opportunity to think about the emotions music awakens, and how they choose to paint the sounds they hear.
Ten year old Sophie painted this while listening to E.S.T.’s ‘From Gagarin’s Point of View‘
“In the beginning it was relaxing like a day at the beach, so I made some blue and white waves. In the middle of the song it turned darker, so I decided to paint the other half with black and white which also turned to grey. At the end, both sides come together.”
Sophie painted this while listening to the 4th movement of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony.
“You may think it’s a pink background with a bunch of colourful splatters on it, but think again. The beginning is not too angry so I thought dark pink was perfect. To represent the anger and violence, I decided to do some black splatters, but then it became more joyful so I chose colour – like a war between colours. I chose to make splatters to represent the energy and anger.”
These felt balls were a lot of fun to make and became somewhat addictive. Colour combinations and pattern ideas are endless, so you can imagine how difficult it is to stop yourself unless you finally run out of wool, or simply can’t stand having prune fingers a minute longer.
Filed under felt, Felt Balls
It was after seeing the rather tragic and touching film, Seraphine, that I was inspired to try my hand at making natural dyes. The film is a true story about the self-taught French artist Seraphine Louis who lived in poverty, working as a housekeeper by day and painting by night. Her work was accidentally discovered by a German art collector, and through his support, she received some level of success as a naive painter until madness seemed to take over, with Séraphine ending her days in an asylum. She made all of her pigments using a variety of available ingredients including clay and animal blood. While she required pigments for her paintings, we’ll keep it simple, bloodless, and safe for kids by making some dyes to colour wool batting or wool roving. This will in turn be used to make some really neat felt balls in my next post.
Have a look around you and notice the way things are written. Look through a magazine or newspaper, the covers of books, CD’s, or the many products in your kitchen. See how the letters on the newspaper’s front page look quite serious, but those on a children’s cereal box convey fun and are usually accompanied by a little character who beckons you to bring it home. Nothing is random about the design of the words on these products. Their shape, colour, size, spacing have been deliberately thought out to convey information and emotion. This is the world of typography in the field of graphic design. Why not try your hand at designing your name to convey a bit of information about you, like your favorite colours, music, whether you’re more playful or serious…you get the picture.