India Ink and Rice Paper – Art with Grandma

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The twins do art every week with their Grandma at her studio. They love this time of coffee drinking, art talking, and art making. This week they and a few other students had fun working on rice paper. I was going to write a blog post on the topic, but I wasn’t sure exactly what they did, so I decided to have my mom write up a short post. She was happy to oblige.

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This week in my teen art class I taught the kids how to let go of control and introduced them to moderately uncontrolled drawing! I had the students pick a a few long sticks from their yard or park or wherever the gardeners haven’t been over zealous and cleaned the yard of fallen branches. They brought them to my studio and I supplied india ink and rice paper. Traditional rice paper is an absorbent, white paper that feels almost like fabric. It happens to be very responsive to ink which is why I choose it. Although other papers do some of the same things but I have always liked the way rice paper feels.

I cut long sheets of it and put it on the floor and showed the kids what to do. Here’s what happened: they stood and dipped their long sticks in a tub of ink and without getting too close to the paper proceeded to create an image that reacted in a way they weren’t expecting. Some of them were very abstract and resembled to me, Joan Miro’s work, some resembled the artist Cy Twombly and others looked like self-portraits but in a whimsical way. They had fun and used up almost all of the roll of rice paper! Some of the surprises:

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