Monday, November 30, 2015

what they noticed 5 - squirrel

My wife invited me to speak to her fifth and sixth grade art classes November 16th, 17th, 18th  and 19th. Four days, eight classes, about fourteen students to a class. Portions continue from one class period on Tuesday, Nov.17th. Sharing painted panels with art students at Carrollton Elementary School, in Carrollton, MO (Students are unnamed) Double click on images.

Karl Marxhausen: Shhhh. Listen!!

A student with Frizzy Hair glasses Striped shirt (FHS) holds 11 x 14 inch panel.
"Okay, I have a picture that looks like a tree with a little squirrel in it. A little tree with a squirrel in it. These are words on the back of it." FHS
KM: Can you read what it says?
"Title: Holy Child." acrylic 11" x 14" 1999 accompanied with poem: "Weak Like Me." Karl Marxhausen 1999"  FHS

KM: Good. Hold it a minute. SO THIS IS A PUZZLE. I am purposely throwing you a curved ball. Does anyone else have an idea? If the title is called the "Holy Child" and it looks like a squirrel in a tree, what do you think, what do you think? Thank you for your presentation! I really appreciate it. I am OPENING THIS UP to conversation. RAISE YOUR HAND if you have an idea. This guy here. Just your thoughts. There are many ways to look at a painting.
"I was thinking it was like an ultra-sound of a kid." BB
KM: What is an ultra-sound?
"Like his mom was pregnant, like an ultra-sound." BB
KM: So WHAT does THAT have to do with THE TITLE? But he has a CLUE there. What do you think?
"I think what he is saying, is that that could have been a baby like Jesus." XG
KM: Yeah, he was a baby. So here was a baby. So, it was a thought. Yes, I want to hear another thought.
"It looks like a baby in the womb." XV

KM: Now, NOW let's take it to ANOTHER LEVEL. IF it is a baby in the womb, that is what this might look like, WHAT would ALL THAT YELLOW around there? Now see, some art you see it "what-it-is." Some of it is more SYMBOLIC. Artists try to take it to another level. Sort of like Play Station goes to another level. Yeah, what do you think? Why would there be yellow all around there? Think about it for a minute. What is yellow? Is it a dark color?
"It's a bright color." DS
KM: Raise your hand if you have any thoughts. Yes?
 "Could it be the SKIN?" DL
KM: What?
"The skin?" DL
"A happy color?" DE
KM: A happy color. So, with Christmas right around the corner. Some people go with the baby Jesus and all that, maybe the yellow is saying something HAPPY about that occasion. That is what I did one Christmas. But it could be a squirrel in the tree.
"It could be HOLINESS. The bright light from heaven or something." MJ
KM: Oh yeah. Maybe that's a picture of heaven around it.
"Yeah, that's what I was thinking too, Ms. Jan!" DZ


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