William spent the last four weeks attending Saturday Art School at a local University known for its outstanding art program. Taught by students in the undergraduate and graduate art education programs, he had two glorious hours each week to explore art beyond the boundaries of regular classroom instruction. He created artwork with natural pigments (foods, minerals, plants), worked with tissue paper in warm and cool colors to create stained glass images, and made mixed media artwork along with many other projects. Most work centered on themes of the natural world. On their last day, students studied van Gogh's self-portraits and created their own. At the end of the session they held an exhibition where all student artwork was displayed. The teachers told us about each project and the goals for instruction, then the children got to talk about their work.
Here is William's natural pigment piece, created with charcoal, grape juice and "something green."
Here is his pastel piece on the food chain. If shows a snake, meerkat and scorpion. (Yes, we're faithful Meerkat Manor watchers!)
Here is his final piece, the self-portrait.
William has always been highly engaged in looking deeply and reflectively at the art in the picture books he reads, commenting on the aspects that appeal most to him. This experience has given him additional tools with which to look at art, and given him a new appreciation for the work that illustrators do.