Some of you know I was working on a art project for my daughter’s 4th grade class last week. Each year, the school holds an auction to raise money for the PTA. In years past, the most popular items have been pieces of pottery decorated by the kids. This year, they decided to expand this concept to other mediums. Some grades still did pottery projects. There were also decorated benches, quilts, and painted canvases.
In years past, I have donated small rhino canvases (the school mascot) to be auctioned off. I’ve painted sports themed rhinos, superhero rhinos (Spiderman was my favorite), girly-girl rhinos, Sponge Bob, Harry Potter, Dr. Seuss, camouflage rhinos and many more. I even painted a rhino that looked like a Louis Vuitton purse. I don’t do that anymore, but I did offer to paint the rhino canvas for my daughter’s class.
I won’t go through a blow by blow of the process, just the basics. 1) Each child was given an outline of a rhino I created with a stencil and was instructed to personalize it any way they wanted. 2) I xeroxed the rhinos then transferred each image onto a canvas using graphite paper. 3) I completed the rhinos to look as close to their original artwork as possible.
When I sent the blank rhino sheets for the kids to decorate, I also sent pictures of some of the rhinos I have painted in previous years. I wanted to give the kids some ideas about how they might want to decorate their own. A few kids used my ideas, but most of them personalized their rhinos to reflect something about themselves. I was very impressed with what they came up with:
Of all the great rhinos the kids sent me, I did have a favorite. Mostly because while other rhinos reflected a hobby, sport or other interest, this particular rhino was a reflection of the artist, a self-portrait in rhino form. I hope this suggests that the artist is a rugged individualist and comfortable with who she is: