Today was one of those kinds of days that remind me how much I like working in a school. My office is in the library and I could hear the laughter from the audio visual room where children’s book illustrator and artist Robin Brickman was giving a Power Point presentation to the kindergartners about making a sea-life, three dimensional mural. Another librarian said I should sit in on one of her working sessions as she was giving all the students, K-5, the experience of making 3-dimensional art for inclusion in a mural.
This is Robin working with a boy, who coincidentally, is the son of my former neighbors.
I did sit in and I was absolutely delighted with Robin’s technique and her ability to convey “how to do it” even to the five-year-olds. I snapped several photos and wished I didn’t have work to do or I would have also joined in on the cut-paper collage making. When I have time, however, I very much want to try Robin’s technique.
This kindergartner was totally immersed in her paper cutting.
In the children’s library, the parents had put up a huge, probably ten foot long strip of blue poster paper , and they were systematically gluing the children’s work. Below is a tiny portion of the mural.
Robin has illustrated several books, as you will see by her website, but today she had made shapes of sea creatures which the children traced, then colored, and cut. We first heard about Robin, who partially makes her living by creative and scientific “hands on” school visits, through an alumnus who teaches at UCLA and is considered the leading international expert on jelly fish. He is on the Board of the Long Beach Aquarium where Robin gives a workshop this weekend. She also gives workshops at San Pedro's Cabrillo Marine Museum.
Robin’s studio is on the Massachusetts/Vermont border, but she travels all over the U.S. doing school visits. Her own work is represented by these two galleries: Storyopolis, Los Angeles, and the Elizabeth Stone Gallery, Alexandria, VA.
A few parents stayed late tonight finishing the paste-up of the mural and all I can say is that it is spectacular. For those of you interested in the paper arts, illustration, and collage, I strongly recommend Robin’s work to you. And—I finished my tribute scrapbook for our former teacher’s 90th birthday about 6:30 p.m. I'm pooped from being creative.