St Matthews N.S. | Artist Journal
Artist Anna Spearman, Week one – 4th Class, St. Mathews N.S.

St Matthews N.S. Artist Journal : Artist Anna Spearman

Week one – 4th Class, St. Mathews N.S.

November 30, 2017


Today I visited the school.  As I am working with a different class to last year we thought it would be nice to get to meet them in person at the beginning of the project.  Louise had taken a photo of each child with a treasured object in advance of the session and I had sent on a slideshow of a variety of self portraits ranging from quite traditional to more contemporary.  We talked about these and how they made us feel, what we noticed, what the artist was trying to convey.  Some included objects maybe symbolic as in the Durer or Frida Kahlo, some were quite playful like the Cindy Sherman wearing jewellery made out of sweets, or Yayoi Kusama’s dotty figure.  All of them captured something about the individual that might make us give us an insight into an aspect of their personality.

With this in mind we set out to make our first self portraits.  Using carbon paper the children transferred their images from the photos onto cardboard.  This is a really simple way of making a striking image, the marks from the carbon paper on the cardboard have a lovely quality.  I forgot to tape down the pictures so on some of them there was a bit of slippage which gave a nice three dimensional quality – almost cubist.  I was amazed at the confidence of the group.  After transferring the drawings we set up a range of materials: paint, felt pens, colouring pencils, oil pastels, and collage.  We asked everyone to use at least two of these.  It was great to see how easily the children moved from one media to another and back again.  The resulting self portraits have  a real sense of freedom and confidence.