While we were discussing Emily Carr, I shared with the campers a book I have from an exhibit that ran last fall at the Vancouver Art Gallery with Emily Carr and Wolfgang Pallen.
Paalen visited Carr while traveling from Europe to Mexico and it was very interesting to see their artworks side by side and see how his visit to her and British Columbia influenced his work.
It was also a wonderful opportunity to show the campers the difference between Carr's abstraction and Paalen's pure abstraction.
We then created pure abstraction acrylic paintings inspired by the patterns found in the different tree trunks we saw while hiking in the woods.
Each young artist sketched a pattern they found interesting from a tree trunk.
I too was taken by surprised at just how many different patterns and textures you find in tree trunks when you really stop to look!
Then when we were back in the studio, each camper sketched their pattern on acrylic paper and we discussed monochromatic color.
I then asked them to choose one color they felt best described their time in the woods. I showed them one particular painting that Paalen created after his visit to British Columbia where the color choices he made are said to be inspired by his time here in the forest up and down the coast.
Then each artist began mixing their chosen color with white and black and quickly discovered the wide variety of colors within just one color!
The final results are some of my favorite of the week! And I think the kids were pleasantly surprised with the results too! It was most exciting to watch them discover that pure abstraction is not just paint splattered on paper. That there is real thought and concept behind what abstraction artist are creating.
What beautiful paintings the campers created inspired by the forest of British Columbia, just like Carr and Paalen all those years ago.