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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。

 

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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.

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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 They want to withdrawn.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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)

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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.

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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!!

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 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.:)

 

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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.

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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.

 

 

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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)

孩子画的画像还是不像

The object of art is not to reproduce reality, but to create a reality of the same intensity.

Alberto Giacometti

作为美术教育和专业从事艺术的我,经常也在这个问题里徘徊,我要解答的是孩子和家长如何在这个美术史的长河里来认识。

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无疑的是,孩子画的像能赢得很多的掌声。就像不是很懂艺术的人对能看懂的画自然而然有亲切感一样。多数人如果看到画得像的孩子就很赞美,让那些不大画得像的孩子觉得自己没有能力。每到这个时候,我就会提醒孩子们画画像不像不是唯一的标准。


我觉得要解答这个问题要从我们的大脑功能说起。


通常的认知是右脑左右创造性的思维方式,左脑左右逻辑性的思维方式。当然我们大脑远远比这两句话的概括要复杂的多。而是否能把一个东西写实的拷贝出来几乎是左脑的思维方式。那能不能画得像就只代表这个部分大脑的思维活跃程度而已。

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我经常拿学习钢琴和读谱来比较。亚洲大量的家庭给孩子学习钢琴,学习钢琴的好处很多,比如对大脑的开发。但是大多数的孩子接受的是读谱,考级和严格的古典音乐的训练。在欧美很多孩子接受的是此种训练,但是老师也会给他们另外一种学习音乐的办法,就是以听觉和感觉入手的办法,通常对音乐很敏感的孩子们对这种方法比较热衷,同时也比较早的可以做自己的创作。


与绘画比较,第二种方式在我看来就有点儿像鼓励孩子脱离识谱考级的束缚,由感知出发,在有效的引导下对绘画更感性的尝试。经过观察,我发现孩子对像不像的要求是个自发的过程。如果在没有这个条条框框的束缚下,他们完全可以自我要求什么时候要成长什么样的技术

艺术课的标准在哪里?

The main thing is to be moved, to love, to hope, to tremble, to live.

Auguste Rodin

回答上次的问题,我的孩子怎样才能进步。绘画如果没有标准的话,如何衡量呢。钢琴有考级,体育有标准,没有看到标准衡量的妈妈们心里一定会纳闷,怎样才能知道我的孩子上了艺术课是不是进步了呢?

这是个很好的问题,也应该是艺术教育工作者认真回答的问题。

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我从几个方面来解释艺术的标准。


第一,原创性。很多家长以为孩子先学好基本功在讲创作。其实对自我的表达就是创作。有意识的创作随着年龄的增加而深入和自我,无意识的创作从很小就已经开始了。我认为传统的音乐教育有偏向技术,忽视原创的弊病。我一直以来想在这方便多借鉴和学习如何在艺术原创上从小给孩子们植入敢于原创的性格。


第二,阶段分区理解程度。 艺术教育是循环上升的,每个年龄阶段孩子的大脑和手的运用有循序渐进的过程,个体也有不同。所以不能用简单唯一的标准论断好坏。我经常在画室里强调的是,艺术没有好坏,只有好和更好。当这个唯一的标杆去掉的时候,孩子的压力一下子减轻,创作顿时变得真实和自我。每个孩子在一定阶段能超越自我就是进步。



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第三,独立学习能力。很多时候在理解艺术的道路上,能够开始感触到大师作品的韵味就是进入艺术大门的第一把钥匙。独立学习就是能够在大师的作品里通过模仿来理解更深的韵味。能够理解和欣赏是第一步。


第四,模仿能力。模仿是感受的过程,而不是结果。但是能有很好的模仿能力就好像有了个快速到达的电梯,能更快的领悟一些道理。


我在这里始终没有强调的是像还是不像。接听下回分解吧。