Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Art of Todd Parr

Children's book author Todd Parr is an incredible artist. He is also incredibly humble.

Todd often tells children that they too can create art that is just as good as his, all they have to do is try.

So, when it came time to collaborate with our artist in residence (Margaret Phelan from The Children's Museum of the Arts) on an upcoming art project, I suggested we do something based on the art of Todd Parr.

I shared a few of Todd's children's books with Margaret, who was immediately smitten, and before our meeting was over she had decided that it would be fun to make masks with the children based on Todd's book It's Okay to be Different.

How cool is that?

Margaret began by having the students examine his art with a focus on color, shape and detail.  Todd uses bright, happy colors and he uses a thick black outline in his work.  Children asked, "Where are the noses?" and commented on the "funny hair".

And then as Todd suggests, they gave it a try!

Some children created a mask to represent themselves or a family member, while others wanted to design an alien or a cat like Todd's Cool Kitty.  I even gave it a go and created a baby version of myself (not what I intended but I went with it - art is not my forte).

After several weeks we completed our project and mounted a bright, happy and gorgeous display.

Thanks Todd for being an inspiration to our students!

Below is a brief slide show of our process.  Enjoy...

"Be imaginative! Be kind! Feel good about yourself!" - Todd Parr


Steve Reed said...

A great idea, and it looks like a lot of fun! I like your baby mask! :)

Storyteller John Weaver said...

Such a brilliant project!

Pauline said...

Fabulous! May I borrow this idea? My second graders would love to do a similar project!

Gary said...

Thanks Steve! It was fun.

Storyteller John - Thanks for stopping by and for your support.

Pauline - Of course! I can't wait to follow your progress. Keep me posted. :)

Barbara said...

What a great project! Looks like everyone was successful and there were no two alike -- just as in the real world.

Gary said...

It was a wonderful experience Barbara and so nice to see the children make Todd Parr-ish versions of themselves.

Mrs. Clancy said...

I love love love the art project!! I am totally doing this lesson next week!!! I love Todd and I always read his books this time a year so this is perfect!! Thanks you for sharing Melissa


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