Saturday, January 26, 2013

Representing The Nields

Lucy's Nields project is still going strong, and it is so exciting to see all the many ways she's found to pursue this passion.  In just one day this week, she:

Told imaginative stories with Nerissa and Katryna as the main characters.  (I didn't write them down, and am wishing I had!  Will return to that...).  She tells stories about "when Nerissa and Katryna were little" or about the reasons they did what they did in concert. 

Imagined how Katryna might do things: "I think Katryna would do it like this, don't you?"  (Katryna has a unique loose-limbed way of dancing, a quick smile, and a sense of humor that Lucy appreciates, and she's applying those characteristics to aspects of her own life, like how Katryna might paint.)

Pretended to be Nerissa in dramatic play, asking me to be Katryna.  "I like doing them.  I mean making--doing it with ourselves.  With our bodies."

Painted several pictures of them.  I was preparing materials for the kids to paint something else, and she told me "I'm going to do something different.   I'm going to paint Nerissa and Katryna."  I asked if she'd like to look at their photo for reference, and photocopied it from their book. She cut around the photo and clipped it to the easel. 

She began with the portrait, and then added imaginative elements:

Katryna, in red, has just stepped out of the shower, and water is spiraling down from her hair and puddling below.  Nerissa, in blue, is holding a guitar and dripping from the shower, too.

Her next painting showed Katryna and her daughter on a path, across the street from a building where they were to have a concert, with a crosswalk leading to the building.   She was thrilled with how it came out:

She was much less thrilled when she tried to draw clasped hands ("I think Katryna and Nerissa would hold hands, don't you?") and Nerissa's guitar.  She's not very confident in her drawing abilities yet, but was motivated by this passionate interest to keep trying through the tears.  (Below, she's starting again, after scribbling out one attempt.)
Read her book to a friend.  Here, she's showing a picture she drew of Katryna throwing up (she's fascinated with throw up these days).  Her book's waiting beside her: she read the title and sang every song.  She's also got Singing in the Kitchen "in case C. and E. want to know more about Katryna and Nerissa."

Dictated a note to the families in my program about the Nields.  (I'd asked the kids' help in writing an email about something else, and she asked me to add this.)  "Favorite singers: Nerissa and Katryna.  Are my favorites of singers.  And Nerissa and Katryna are my favorites because they sing all these good songs.  And they sing (she bursts into song) 'Babar the elephant rides the elevator up, up, up, up, up!  Babar the elephant rides the elevator down, down, down, down, down.'  That's one of their songs.  And they sing 'Living on a farm, an organic farm.  And on that farm there was an organic chicken, and the chicken said bok, bok, bok, bok, bok, bok.  And the chicken laid eggs.  And the chicken had a baby, and they called it a chick.'"

Wrote her own song (about doctors) while playing guitar.

Gave guitar lessons" a la Nerissa.  She'd wanted to have her guitar out while the kids were here, but didn't really want to share it with them--until I told her that Nerissa teaches guitar lessons.  Suddenly, she was eager to "teach" the kids how to play.


Lori said...

love seeing that beautiful project work! love the reference photo on her easel — and the fact that she cut it out herself!

this is such a great example of varied work — can’t ait to share it on my facebook page and twitter! :)

amy said...

This is amazing!!

Luisa said...

Love the artist at the easal.

Unknown said...

It's really neat to see another child who loves story telling soo much! My daughter who is also three is telling constant stories all the time. We have an imaginary character named Lupine and she tells stories about her all day long. I often record her stories with a voice recorder when she asks.

Nerissa Nields said...

I am blown away by this, and humbled. I love the photos on this blog, the joy you capture in the artist's face! Right now my 4 year old is going through his own Nields phase, though his focus is more on the electric guitars. Grateful for you in our lives,Lise!