Saturday, January 22, 2011

Children's picture book art

Last Thursday, a friend and I visited Look! The Art of Children's Picture Books exhibition at the State Library of Victoria.
We had a lovely time, reminiscing about books we had read in the past, the detailed pictures that provide so much information and enjoyment for the children (as well as the adults) and some favourite stories.  Of course, there were books represented that we were unfamiliar with too.
Some of the work was bright, lively and happy.  Others were from darker stories and they reflected this in their choices of medium and the illustrations. Not for the younger reader!
Most of the illustrations were drawn but there were some that incorporated collages and some that were 3D, using wonderful soft sculpture and textile techniques.
One of the most interesting things for me, especially after hearing about the illustrators' process at the book launch I attended recently, was to see some of the sketches and works in process that were included in the exhibition.
You'll have to go to the show to see it all.  It is on for quite a while yet - probably so schools can use it for first term themes. Not that I have to care about that anymore.
One of the best things about it, for me, was that I no longer go to an exhibition of this sort and get distracted by thinnking of ways I could use it, or its ideas, for my teaching. I could just enjoy it.
Of course, I did reflect back on my teaching, especially on one event just before I resigned from teaching.  Terry Denton, whose work was in the show, visited our school and gave a very informative and entertaining presentation on some of the process he goes through when illustrating a book. (He's a wonderful person to get in, the children were all most attentive and it was a very large group!)
Giving a demo in very difficult setting

story board
I took lots of photos for our teaching, recording the whole process of writing, drawing up a story board, doing the individual pictures, etc.  I took so many that he eventually drew me - with camera.  So now I have my own Terry Denton picture!

1 comment:

parlance said...

I know what you mean about finally turning off that 'teacher' brain that tries to spoil visits to interesting places. It's taken me years to allow myself to just enjoy places without planning how I would make the visit enjoyable for kids.