Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Frida Kahlo Party Part 4a - The Art Activities

Girls' Portraits from Frida Kahlo Party

The structure of the party went similar to S's Mad Artist Party. I had three art/craft activities picked out for the girls to do. But first, after everyone arrived, we discussed Frida. I wanted to give them a mini art lesson on Frida but most of the girls didn't even know who she was. So we combined a history/art/self-awareness discussion into a very nice talk about Frida.

Studying Frida before the painting

First off, I had to figure out how to approach Frida's more scary/dark artwork. Thankfully I ran across this wonderful post by Jimmie's Collage. She addressed the issue of Frida's scary/dark artwork and how to explain that to kids very nicely, I thought. So, I explained to the girls who Frida was and how her life unfolded, with her accident, her tumultuous marriage and the pain she constantly lived with....but I made sure to use language that was appropriate and understandable to the girls. I explained that what I most admired about Frida was her ability to keep to her motto - VIVA LA VIDA - (Live Life) while she lived in such physical and emotional pain.

Paint palettes 2 - Frida party

As we looked through some of her more sedate paintings, I explained that I could really appreciate her style of using her paintings and her personal journals as a healthy outlet for her emotions and thoughts, be they good or bad, happy or sad. I thought that was a great skill for us as women and girls to be able to practice. I also told the girls that we can learn to appreciate art and not have to LOVE everything that an artist does. Because frankly, I can appreciate what Frida's dark paintings are saying and what it must have taken for her to let that out of herself, but I don't really like those paintings myself. We also talked about what it must have been like for a woman artist at that time in the world and how brave she must have been to share her very private work even when she was constantly criticized and misunderstood. R picked her favorite Frida paintings and we copied them onto paper to show the girls (obviously we didn't pick anything that was disturbing). We talked a bit about what she included in her portraits and how she painted them and what symbols she used and what role tradition played in her work. Not only did I use R's Frida book for information but I also used some art ideas from my FAVORITE art series by Joyce Raimondo. Oh yeah, and we also had the Art Museum Mad-Lib leftover from S's party. I asked the girls if they wanted to do it and the answer was a resounding "yes". Then they asked to hear what the boys wrote from the first Mad-Lib round. The girls were much grosser than the boys with their nouns and adjectives, if you can believe that!

Paint palettes 7 - Frida party

So our first art project was the main one - a self-portrait of course. We discussed various ways to paint a self-portrait and we placed a few mirrors around. Two girls asked if they had to paint themselves and I said I would love for them to try it, and that they could put whatever spin on it they wanted, but that they could paint something else if they really had to.....both girls ended up painting fabulously unique self-portraits.

The beginning stages of the girls' portraits

Thankfully, two of my close girlfriends stuck around to help and we spread acrylic paints and paint palettes around, paint brushes here and there and the girls got busy. We mixed various skin colors on request.....some girls found the toothbrushes leftover from S's Pollack painting activity and used them very creatively on their paintings....

Paint palettes 5 - Frida party
Frida party portraits 4
Paint palettes 6 - Frida party
Frida party portraits 9


some of the girls whizzed through their portrait....

Frida party portraits 7
Frida party portraits 8
Frida party portraits 5

some of the girls spent quite a while working on their portraits.....

Frida party portraits 3
Frida party portraits 1
Frida party portraits 2

But they all turned out so fabulous...way beyond even my expectations for 10 7-9 year old girls. Their beautiful portraits make me smile...

The girls' self-portraits from the Frida party 3
The girls' self-portraits from the Frida party 2
The girls' self-portraits from the Frida party 1

Phew! This post is getting long. I better continue with the other art activities on the next post.

1 comment:

  1. all i can say is what a wonderful party it must of been,your awesome!!!

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