A pink taxi

A pink taxi

September 19, 2011

Shades of Blue

My teaching experience is all tutorial. While all my students were related to me, siblings and children, I still pride in the accomplishments. My siblings have passed their SATs and my children have been home-school with the CNED French system for at least four years!

Yet, I discovered the wonders of group class last weekend when I decided five children between the age of 4 and 7 should "work" on an Art Project by this very demanding CNED program. Granted 5 children is not considered a conventional class but I had the pleasure of watching my own children and their friends follow my instructions in a subject I don't know anything about, except for having read the "teacher manual" that CNED sends to the tutors.

I would not have been able to attain the goal required, nor enjoy the process as much as the children did had I taken brush and paint palettes and worked on the art project myself.

I took out the gouache paint tubes, selected dark and light blue. The trick was to discover the complimentary colors. I spied on the teacher's manual: brought out some white, some black and some green and the experiment with blue began!

Unlike sciences, in art there is no right answer and all artistic endeavors (at least in primary school) are laudable. What a sight to watch the artists seeking the secret blue hue of Yves Klein! In the end, few did find the various shades of blue. There was a large deal of creativity and fun.

A single student, Maryam, lingered with the colors, wondering about the mysteries of turquoise, diluting with water, adding a shade of white or green. She asked me: "I wish I had an artist to ask, how do you make turquoise?" I took her to Mehdi Farhadian's painting, and told her: "I stare at the various shades of blue and wonder daily." Inquisitive Maryam won the competition of blue and deserves to meet Farhadian soon.

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