Blog

多听听,多问问,少论断

“我是一方面细心地追求模仿自然,另一方面我决不失掉心里的感受.现实的东西只不过是艺术的一部分,而只有感性才能使它完整.只有你真受感动,你才能把直接的感受传给别人.--柯罗

很多家长看到自己孩子的画有点迷惑,和别人的孩子比较,特别是上过画画班的孩子们比,似乎自己的孩子的笔触太稚嫩,题材太简单。我想在这里与有此经历和想法的家长们交流心得。
与其说一定让孩子的画像谁的,不如多听听他们说在画什么,他们画画的题材来源一定是生活。画画可以就是这么简单,没有任何教育和功利的成分。

有生养一个孩子以上的家长都会有个心得,怎么这些孩子是一对父母生的,确会这么不同. 可是你知道吗?科学上到现在还解释不清楚,为什么同卵双生的孩子,具有同样的基因链,却有不一样的指纹.这就是大自然的奥秘,我们很难去用理性解释,但是能从理性的角度积累经验.

每个孩子都要我们从不同的角度去观察和理解.然后抑制住自己的本能,放弃将一个孩子和另外一个孩子的比较.两颗种子埋藏了完全不同的DNA,一个长成高大挺拔的参天大树,一个长成娇小鲜艳的郁金香,做父母和老师的就做那个神秘的魔术师的助理,做好陪伴,浇水和观赏的工作.
每年夏天我让自己离开忙碌的新加坡,来到意大利的弗洛伦萨的大街小巷,想象这些艺术大师从前生活的地方. 我很享受这个艺术气息极浓的小城,以及那每个小窗口小时装店充满创造力和个性的表达,艺术就在这样的空气里弥漫着。当功利心减小的时候,单纯的热爱就自然而然的增加,灵感也由此不由而生. 当课堂上孩子们皱着眉头说不知道画什么的时候,我就知道他们的功课太紧张,生活太忙碌,少了点时间慢慢看看大自然.

可能很少有家长们听说过中国广州有个叫大芬村的地方.这个地方生产了全世界80%以上的油画制品,大量院校出来的,基本功很好的画匠在那里生产艺术复制品和定做油画.可以说,那里出来的作品很多人看了也认不出好坏.唯一的好坏标准是它们是不是原创.

每个孩子都是的天然的原创者,原创的素材来自他们细心的对外界的观察. 孩子们的家庭环境和教养方式给孩子的原创精神有很大的关系.经常依靠大人吩咐来做一二三的孩子很难从自我的角度想问题,也比较在乎是否得到家长的认同和赞美. 在这里对家长的最大的挑战是如何在纪律和自由之间权衡.在课堂上我有一句顺口溜,’多一份自律就多一分自由’.

 

的确自由度比较大的,玩耍时间多的,在大自然里放任自流的孩子们通常能有更多的想象力和创造力. 让我们多给孩子一些自我表达的机会,哪怕他们说的在我们看起来不对,很幼稚,那也是给他们一个创造的机会.

在这方面我做了些尝试,带孩子们到大自然中去放松一下,画画速写,画不出来也没有关系,但是在课程的结尾,我让他们问我回答不出来的问题.无论科学家和艺术家,都是从对大自然的观察中提出问题,然后寻找解决的方式. 在未来20年,机器人将代替60%-70%的人的工作,单纯的大生产的社会结构会因此发生很大的变化.每个个体的创造力和想象力是唯一不能被机器人代替的工作. 而能把这种想象和创造力用很有个性,很独特的角度,用丰富的视觉和语言表达出来的能力更是机器人不能代替的.

我们每问的一个问题都是给孩子的想象力打开窗口的一个机会.

 

“素描一方面来自理智,一方面又从无数的自然界物体的形式结构中获得普遍的见解,因为自然界物体的形和结构,是完全按其自身的规律构成的,都是独具特点的,都是无比卓越的.”--瓦萨里(1511—1574)意大利画家。建筑师。著名的艺术家

从画画到性格优势( Character Strengh)培养

IMG_4633

IMG_4638
IMG_4652
IMG_4322
2

有一位妈妈问我,我的孩子怎么也坐不下来做一件事,怎么能用画画让他能安静下来.这个问题我觉得要深刻分析一下,回答不能很简单. 每个孩子的个性不同,有的天生就能安静做很久,在学校里这样的孩子很容易完成功课,认真听讲,也能很快地进步.当然也比较容易升级进入快班.

 

但是我认为这里根本没有涉及到性格优势培养.

 

什么是性格优势培养? 这里从犹太人教育子女的方法说起.大家都知道犹太民族在人类历史长河中是个很特别的民族,他们家园不定,流离失所,,却能一次又一次的死而复生,并且在个个领域以远远大于她人口比例优势影响着全世界. 犹太民族是个神秘,智慧而富有的民族,这与他们如何重视教育是有密切的关系的.在每个犹太家庭,当一个孩子还刚刚开始懂事时,母亲会在圣经上滴一滴蜂蜜,然后让孩子去舔,这个仪式代表了他们让孩子认识到,书本是甜的.那么很多培养孩子的道理也从这本’很甜的书’里找到.

 

 

奥秘在哪里呢?

这本书里没有讲分数评比,但是讲了创造力来自人与宇宙的关系;没有讲如何攥更多的钱,但是讲了人是精神和物质的合二为一,只有建立在精神驱动上物质来源才是源源不断的; 没有鼓励竞争,却告诉每个创造者的唯一性和群体合作的力量.

 

在我们的课堂上, 当孩子们开心,充满对事物的好奇,并且能给自己和别人一点小幽默,我就知道这堂课一定是成功了. 当孩子们要放弃自己的作品, 他们能受到指导性的改变,目的是不要轻而易举的放弃,不断地找进步的办法和解决问题的能力. 当孩子过于悲观和苛刻地看待自己的作品时,他们会被鼓励从不同的角度接受自己,做个深呼吸,让自己不要和别人比较,回到一种自我的状态, 孩子们在越乐观,越放松的状态中创造出来越好的艺术品.

艺术课的挑战在哪里?

在艺术课程中我们可以从五个角度看待性格优势训练,这也是在平时忙碌的学业课堂上不容易有的机会,

 

第一, 直观感受自然界的美,并且以自己最优质的技术和纯熟的手工表达出来.

 

第二, 对自然,环境和他人充满感激之心,并能够用行为和语言和视觉元素表达出来.

 

第三, 对一切事物,人物充满希望,并用绘画语言描述乐观向上的精神.

 

第四,培养幽默的性格, 容易以笑容乐观对待身边发生的好的和不好的事情,并把笑容带给他人.

第五, 从艺术的角度寻找个人与宇宙的关系和精神领域的人生意义.

 

听起来有点高大上, 但是犹太人的父母就是这么从小教育子女的.他们的乐观向上和团体精神造就了这个民族功不可破的性格,这就是性格优势. 艺术课堂正式这种性格优势教育最好的机会.

 

 

.

 

Artean Studio 2016 艺术年展

我们2016年的成果终于有了展示的机会,很多学生们早早就准备好了自己的作品,甚至有的在课堂不能完成的作品也自己找时间做完。大家在这个学年里一共做了12套作品,我们选择了比较容易展示的作品呈现给大家。

 

我们从人类最早的原始岩洞绘画开始,给学生们一个人类文明起源的介绍,然后随着文明发展,又进入古埃及和罗马时代的宫廷画。让学生从艺术史的角度进入这个变化多端的艺术殿堂。于此同时,我们也穿插着艺术创意故事插图画,速写训练和记录假日的创作画。

 

孩子们和家长们很开心能够看到大家努力的成果和进步。这次我们是从儿童画的角度欣赏艺术,希望下次也能有妈妈们的作品和孩子一起展示。艺术在于家庭,特别是爷爷奶奶,爸爸妈妈的耳濡目染, Artean Studio提供给社区邻里家庭的就是一个耳濡目染的机会。

 

艺术在于互相交流和沟通,这次展览的成功就是给大人孩子们一个交流的机会,下一次展览我的准备在暑假前。请大家跟踪我们的微信平台。

 

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

When to Learn Art From a Teacher

A painting is never finished – it simply stops in interesting places.

Paul Gardner

Many parents asked this question. My answer is it is never too early or too late.

 

I always want to meet the child in person, normally at that time and space while he/she can be independent from the parents. It is not really a interview, but to create a free environment to she/him to express oneself. Let’s break down into three points to discuss how I see this.

30

It is never too early to meet the art educator in person and talk. Many parents brought the kids to me because they found their children always like to use drawings to express and telling stories, and they don’t feel they are competent enough to lead them anymore. I would say, yes this is the time the child is ready to be in my studio, get influenced by the atmosphere, potentially to enroll into the class.

 

However, I do realized that many preschoolers like to draw only in their comfort zone, they may feel shy or challenged by the other students around. They want to withdrawn. I felt the children can be open easily when they see their friends around in the class.

 

( Top Image Credit to Ragini, age 8)

21
26

Children at this age are learning by playing. Never underestimate the power of play. Children are encouraged to self led play are more active in art creation. If they are very playful individual, let them to explore drawing themselves, but observe them attentively. When they want to express more, but lack of the ability to do so, then it is time to bring them to me. I will give them a window for exploration.

(Middle Image Credit to Ragini, age 8)

 

Try not ONLY let the kids keep copying the images others are creating. Copying is a left brain activity, children can copy well definitely will learn faster in art making, because the best way to learn from the art master is by imitate what one does. We will explain it in another chapter.

If the kids get used to copy images, they tend to enjoy the crafts and spend less time to create. Creation is also a habit, always encourage this characteristic, skill set will be introduced when they are ready.

Never too early to evaluate the talents. Art making is like a language express in the visual atmosphere. There are all kinds of styles and genes, for the parents who are not used to express feelings and ideas in the visual format, they tend to judge the art by looking realistic , looking more alike, that is not exactly a standard for evaluating art making.

Bottom Image Credit to Ana, age 6)

 

Looking at a piece of art also needs the knowledge and background in understanding the historical content and context. Those will be introduced in the art class grade by grade. The standards of evaluating art have changed dramatically throughout the history.

 

In our art class, we encourage the students understanding the originality of art making, individualistic expression as well as craftsmanship.

 

 

 

Art Educator Vs. Artist

If I could say it in words there would be no reason to paint.

Pablo Picasso

The mind lifts the hands forever. For most of the artists, making art is not a profession but a calling. The most radical art of all is something that very last. Making art is the sense of urgency that can dominate at any age. Perhaps that is true that artists stay young for longer. As a practicing artist, I found teaching art to children and adults is a way to keep my spirit, vision and integrity intact, a sense of purpose through serving the community.

37

The ability of making art doesn’t necessary automatically transfer to a language which can relate with children.

The passion of education and serving through years of observing children and teaching children, makes me realized the need in this area in our local community.

When an artist making art, they are very much inside themselves; on the contrary, when teaching art, especially to children, she/he has to love the interaction with children and the ability to listen to young children before their own thoughts and ideas come in the way, then to imply the knowledge of art history, use of medium, skills, artistic inspirations into the communication.

29

At the time of teaching, I have to put students needs in front of my own, constantly looking for a better way to communicate with children rather than express my own. It is very satisfying to use my skill and knowledge to nurture the little ones. This is the area I found immense pleasure in building family and community, and at the same time, I always be down to the earth understanding lives through day in and day out activities, edifying one’s spirit through freedom and art making. Drawing and painting with articulation is one of the best form of art alongside with music and literature.

(Images Credit to Ana, Age 5.5 )

素描什么时候开始学

I dream of painting and then I paint my dream.

Vincent Van Gogh

这个问题似乎是每个中国背景的妈妈们爱问的问题. 而新加坡和欧美教育背景的家长不大关心的问题.

19

因为我本人在两种文化的教育系统, 创意工作坏境和理念的转向中权衡, 觉得有必要写一篇讲述我对艺术课的设计构思.

谈这个问题要从传统的苏联式教育谈起. 我从中央工艺美院毕业,经过了传统严格的苏联式素描训练,深深感受到作为艺术家能够有很强的基本功的确有一定的优势,对形体的理解和表达能够做到随心所欲. 由于多年在创意领域的欧洲国家工作的原因, 我也曾经经过创意性思维的深造.我认为孩子艺术教育的素描训练不需要过早, 一旦开始,也要阶段性的停止,穿插创意性的课程.

(Top Image Credit to Zhuo Lin, age 8)

10

素描过早训练,的确孩子们能做到画的比较像, 但是视觉语言也比较容易往一个方向发展, 反而容易形成思维局势化, 对直观感觉的创造的愿望往往忽视了.

但是速写是我很早就要提倡的,为此我想各种办法给孩子们一些小奖励作为鼓励,也会时不常地展示下大家的速写, 因为这种直观的用观察所作的勾勾画画往往成为以后艺术思想的快速表达,在写实训练深入的同时,速写会将最直觉的感情表达出来, 成为一种无处不可创作的状态.

速写的确是踏踏实实地基本功, 练习越多越好.

Bottom Image Credit to Zoe, age 6)

Teaching Art skills Vs. Express Feelings

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.

Pablo Picasso

When I came across this sentence in my reading, the key element that a teacher communicates to a student is neither experience nor knowledge, it is enthusiasm. I think it is so true.

Many children come to me because their parents are lack of skills to teach them. I have a set of curriculum setting up the standards based on the grades and levels. However, I realized whenever I have a new students, one set of rules and standards is challenged.

31

From the very beginning, I knew that whatever I do, it had to be meaningful, it had to be fun, and it had to be something the children could relate to and expressed their feelings with. So I try to digest the curriculum again and again, and not following one strict lesson plan, I would pick up on anything come crossed children’s life at the season, expand the lesson plan to no end experience and free flow rhythm.

(top Image credited to Athina, Age 7.5)

34
25

I would pick up on events, festivals, holidays, classroom stories, birth of the siblings, anything that going on around.We often discuss the things that elicit emotions, but even here we had to do quite a lot of talking to get beyond.

Good piece of art is always more than what we can see, but how it makes us to feel. We use some famous artist work as an example, how artist goes beyond how it looks, instead of drawing in super realistic manner which he/she can master, but using a scribble, dribble style to express it. This is just one example how a skillful artist express feelings.

 ( Middle Image credited to Ana, Age 6)

Then now it is a question about teaching skills. I myself love to express art in a skillful way, seeing art through articulated design and craftsmanship. In the curriculum session, you can read step by step introduction on how to lead the students from a preschooler to a bold and confident skillful O level students.

 

 

 

How to balance the art skill teaching with the feeling expression, how to understand this paradox and work in the frame work to improve both areas.

So I teach skills and feeling expression independent from each other. There is only 1.5 hour lesson each week, the more focus on our time spending the better the result. So we do these two areas separately. I found after few lessons of technical learning, the students tends to go for one direction and formality. I purposely pause at this stage, and add more free style expression, stories of the artist and style analysis, let the students to feel how the masters feel.

 

 

 

By time, the students will build up the habit to express feelings aided by the skill sets.

 

Why I Love to Teach

Great art picks up where nature ends.

Marc Chagall

There is no more enjoyment and satisfaction than seeing little ones eagerness to learn, passionate to express, and joy on their face when they making a piece of art during the class.

28

I have a natural instinct on how to find out who this little person are, making them to lead themselves to explore the unknown world through art. Children enjoyed it and can’t wait to come back again!!

 

When children are happy they are learning.

 

I see this in all my three children, none of them are forced to learn anything, but be prepared structurally for various things they love to do. And they haven’t stopped any classes they enjoying.

22

I am currently doing my yearly absence from the busy, practical mentality Singapore, to explore more ideas and new way of making my art. Sitting on the little streets of Florence doing people watching, I can see a new art form starts to evolve in from of my eyes. I am grateful. 

 

When I am alone and making my own art in the studio, there are a lot I want to express as a person, and I can relate with the kids easily in this area, and trying to nurture the little space for them to do so. I know when I was six I will be working with my hands, since I enjoyed so much satisfaction in doing that myself, I would easily relate with the children how they feel, and try to listen to them attentively when they express themselves, verbally or visually.

It is like you live your childhood once again. J Absolutely love it.

 

 

Learning from Home Studio

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.

Pablo Picasso

Why I like to teach at home studio instead of schools? It is as simple as the question was asked. It is like to be in the home!!

14

 I strongly encourage individuality as I think this is a core characteristic of any art activity. However, creativity goes hands in hands with skills. As it is a small home based setting within my home studio, I only conduct the lessons within a group of active member of 5-6.  This small set up allows the individual child to be their own leaders in exploring art, in the direction I encourage them base on my observation of natural development of each child. 

While the art studio was my own practice in the morning, it transformed into a cozy classroom in the afternoon, I like the freedom of creativity flow throughout the day. There is nothing better to be in your own zone to invite the little ones in.:)

 

13

Grouping and Teaching in Small Set Ups

There is a vase difference in each child, their ability with visual expression using visual art medium. However, just like the caveman, every child starts to explore art with drawings.  Especially before and during their language developing, many children felt the need and pleasure to draw.

12

At this stage of children lives, drawing is coming naturally. Children don’t have the concept of right or wrong, real or not real. That makes it very naively beautiful and true with who they are. I try to integrate language learning into their drawings, given them a set of tasks, but allow the students a lots of freedom to express, through the progress, I will observe the learning patterns of each child.

 

Some children could be naturally like to follow a set of system, some children like to explore their own ways. Both ways are correct, it is important to understand it is still too early to judge anyone has more talent than the other. Confident in making art is more important than anything else. I try to nurture this characteristic as early as possible, leading them with little steps each time. The confidence in character lost in the childhood could be lost in a long term, mainly due to the judgmental and critical style tone of voice, or a set of rules for comparison.

 

 

23

Therefore, I conduct lessons not strictly based on the age, but based on the development of each child. There are great benefits to learn in groups, one interact with another spontaneously.

It Makes a lot easier for me as I do for small group of kids with hands on practice. When bigger kids and small kids together, they also learn to not to judge themselves too quickly, knowing that every step of way, there is a help from me.  

Based on the Steiner & Waldorf theory, the children are introduced knowledge and skills in a spiral fashion, they learn art history through stories as young as pre schooling years, and come back again to build on more understanding on art works through the historical context. When the students are encouraged to discuss the art work and form their own opinions, they also begin to build dialogues that determine what types of art reflect our culture views, beliefs and values.

Images credit to Ishita, Age 10)