Sorry I’ve been absent from the blog for a while. I’ve been working on the book but made some time to help my daughter’s first grade class with their auction project. The theme of the auction is based on Van Gogh’s The Starry Night painting, which I have to say didn’t excite me too much since this painting has taken on a life of its own through commercialization. Yes, I am jaded. But when thinking of it from the perspective of a seven-year-old who may not have ever seen it, it’s a pretty cool painting.
I talked to the kids about Van Gogh, totally unprepared to discuss the serious stuff. But of course a kid pipes up and says “Didn’t he cut off his ear?” So I clumsily responded by saying that he was in a fight with a friend and was so upset that he hurt himself. How do you explain that? I left out that he gave the piece of his ear to a prostitute. They were aflutter with more questions. And then, the question “How did he die?” I discuss all kinds of stuff with my own seven-year-old, but am not prepared to talk about these things with other kids, so I responded that I didn’t know. Those first-graders really made me sweat.
Anyway, so for the auction project we decided to make a night time scene of Atlanta using scratch foam printing. I got the idea from Glitter Goods, so you can read her helpful tutorial. But of course, I somehow managed to make this more complicated. Rather than having the kids make their drawings directly on the foam, I had them do preliminary sketches, then scanned these on the computer, reduced the size, taped them onto the foam and had the kids trace to make the indentations. An important thing to remember(one that I forgot), is that when you are printing, text will need to be in mirror image so that it prints the right way. I had to go back and fix those with words in them, but luckily I had scanned in the drawings so it wasn’t too difficult.
I’ll show you the finished project after the auction, but the prints above are from my daughter’s drawing of the Peachtree Plaza. She loves this building because it is a circular building with a rotating restaurant on the top floor that offers a full view of the city. It was damaged by the tornado in 2008 and they are still replacing windows, so she included some blacked out spaces. I made this series of her drawing to frame. I’m enjoying happy spring colors right now even though it’s still quite cold here.