Friday, 26 November 2010

More Ooglies

Now if you've been reading my blog all week, I know you'll have been wondering what the shape shifting Ooglies look like. Of course, the answer was there all along - anything they feel like (they are shape shifters after all!). Here are two of them who have popped along today to share the story of where they came from.

You see it all began around a week ago when I took the prompt from the group I'm working with on the Drawing Lab book (on Gumnut's blog). We were to squiggle some shapes in watercolour then draw fantastical creatures. I thought this would be a fun exercise to do with my son and even tidied up my work table in preparation.

Unfortunately he prefered to shoot things on the computer and even uttered the dreaded words... "But, I don't like art Mummy". WHAT? Doesn't like art? I'm cut to the quick... (Don't worry - he's a child, fickleness comes naturally, he'll like it again tomorrow.... I hope....)

Anyway, Mummy played with her paints and made a bird and an elephant with jelly legs, then she sat on the sofa and created the land of the Oogley Baloobleys while watching drivel on TV. Since then it's become something of an empire build (we even had shoe design on Wednesday), but I guess that was the whole point of the art exercise - to try something different, see where it takes you (in my case, a whole other planet!).

I just love to stretch and learn. Why didn't I have this burning desire when I studied art at school? I just stuck to what I knew best (encouraged down this path by my somewhat useless art teacher). What was missing from my education was the message that it was OK to create silly splodges, that experimentation was all part of the fun and a finished piece could look like it was created by a five year old if that was what you fancied. It seemed that as we grew older we were expected to leave the merriment of creation behind and focus on the technicalities - it was all about what was going to come up in the exam and that was all that mattered - the teachers weren't bothered that this ridiculous system was killing the creativity of their pupils.

It's different these days thank goodness. Some sensible head in a committee somwhere finally realised that a portfolio of work created over two years was actually a far better indicator of ability than one painting and a pencil sketch knocked up in a 4 hour exam.

I'm off to paint more random lines and see what magic starts to appear out of the paper. Maybe I'll even sign up to re-do my A Level Art...


  1. How great are these! And I found that really interesting to read because it resonated with me.
    I am also thinking of re-doing my A Level art...
    At school, there was too much emphasis on the exam, you are so right. We had ace art teachers and then this new one came in and she was horrendous. She made us do an A1 piece once a lesson. Totally unfeasible and I told her so. She didn't like that. Art took time and observation for me and i would have been drawing stick figures if I had to do one a lesson...sheeeeeesh.

    If you do sign up for an A Level, let me know cos it'll be the boot in the butt I need!

  2. These are great. I love sketching and think this exercise would be fun.


  3. These are lovely. I like the elephant :-)
    I'm doing this challenge too.

  4. How fun and they are so adorable. Kids, gotta love em.

  5. Oh I do like your ooglies. I think they turned out fabulously. I just finished mine, I may even get them up on the flickr group by the end of the day. But I was too conventional with mine, I was looking for "real" creatures instead of imaginary ones.

  6. Maybe it's life and experience that has shown you that it's alright to do those silly thing. Whatever it is I'm glad you are because it's great to look at and inspiring as well.

  7. Excellent post. The stuff with your son made me laugh because I've had a similar one with my son. Luckily he was doing art stuff again the next day. So true about the old art curriculum and unfortunately that attitude still sticks in many places.

    Love the creatures you created. It reminds me of a writing workshop I did for primary kids where we created a planet and the creatures/people on it. We drew huge pictures, made character profiles and told stories - it was great fun.

    Kat X

  8. I love random lines and random sillyness! I don't know how people can create with so many boundaries attached to their "creativity"!

    Your Ooglies are very very cute!

  9. LOVE your ooglies!! :)

    I saw Drawing Lab at the bookstore and it looked pretty good. I might want to pick it up now. :)

  10. The ooglies continue to be charming! It sounds like a fun technique and a fun book!

  11. I like the almost rainbow colors! I wish I had that book it looks a lot of fun. I can't wait for the day that my son gets to draw with me! I am trying to be prepared for him not to like it though...SAD!

  12. HI Lisa...I love these little charmers...gorgeous creative work..I know they will take you on many adventures! Keep sparkling!


Thank you for your comments - I always love to hear what you think :)

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