Sunday, 12 February 2012

Unexpected stories out of paintings

I had been asked to look at using the stories that might come out of works by van Gogh (Year 3s) and Picasso (Year 6s)....Trying to let go of predictable responses, we made pop-up cards and waited to see n who else might wander into a scene or what voice might mutter in a portrait and just what could happen next.

the Cafe Terrace in Arles was quite clearly waiting for a bit of excitement...a runaway dog, chased round the corner by its owner dashed between the tables, niftily lifting a string of sausages as it went. Chaos! And the waiter set of after the dog and after the dog's owner. The angry cafe owner joined in and their chef, waving his apron. Not to miss any excitement, all the diners (after they'd mopped up a bit) join the pursuit and if van Gogh had turned up just 5 minutes later, the cafe would have been empty

Then there was the man in the park who couldn't read his map and the helpful policeman who showed him where to go, and the worker among the trees that wandered into the scene after van Gogh had wandered off and so missed his chance for lasting fame...

Picasso provoked somewhat darker stories and we met thwarted lovers (left lingering, until we found her, shared some cake and left some never seen before crumbs on a plate in the painting....), a prisoner pirate plotting his escape, mysterious Miss Blackandwhite, a grumpy old man with no friends.....but there was also the donkey who dreamed of escape and being able to give people rides on a beach somewhere and the stern, severe woman who wanted to ride a bicycle wildly through the streets of her home town...

A workshop to be recommended!


  1. I love your work on famous paintings Toad. Would it be ok if I adapted it a bit to use in my class? We already do something along these lines but not as good! A really good idea. Alison Wilkinson, Deputy Head at Whitefield Infant School (comment from LinkedIn)