To my awareness there aren’t many books for children that talk about looking at an artist’s exhibit whether the fine art is in a book or on walls.
I think looking at a book of fine art is similar to looking at a wordless picture book. Looking at one artist’s series of paintings on a gallery wall is like a wordless book too. But looking at fine art, while there are similarities to wordless picture books, it is also different; a collection of fine art often refers to the feelings and lived experiences of the artist in addition to any visual story there may be within the artwork itself.
So I’ve been lucky enough to work with Storyberries to create a childrens book On Looking At Odditorium that I hope will help kids enjoy looking at artwork and be able to speculate about the artist’s thinking.
Towards that end I created cartoon drawings of myself so they could take a trip (or tour) through a book of my Odditorium fine art exhibit and explain what I was thinking and how I created each painting.
Here’s a closer look at all of the avatar drawings. In many of my childrens books on Storyberries.com there’s a photo of me wearing a sweater. For consistency sake I drew myself in a sweater pointing this way and that.
Below are several sample pages from On Looking At Odditorium. You can see the avatar and a speech bubble on each page.
I want to encourage imaginations so in the book I try to both show and tell what using imagination is like.
For a childrens book I didn’t want to get too technical about art materials and methods but I did want to share something about them. I wanted to share especially when the materials and methods directly interacted with my imagination.
Below is a look at the book layout so you can see the little avatars on tour across a page spread.
The adult version of my Odditorium exhibit coffee table book does not have the avatar or descriptions. Here’s what the cover of the adult book looks like.
And here’s the childrens book version titled “On Looking At Odditorium“. The cover design is very similar to the adult book on purpose – to emphasize that anyone of any age can look at art. The layout inside this book is different as is the kind of paper for the printed books. I wanted paper likely to withstand children’s hands.
Storyberries has a extra special ebook edition that went live within hours of this post. And I love the nesting specialness of this project: it’s a fine art exhibit called Odditorium at Burnt Bridge Cellars via Caplan Art Designs that has a companion exhibit book titled Odditorium. The Odditorium exhibit book then has a companion childrens book version titled On Looking At Odditorium. Then the special ebook on Storyberries – which you can see here for free – about looking at On Looking At Odditorium! Here’s what the Storyberries ebook version looks like at the top…
Did you get all the nesting nuances to this project? I’ve hopefully laid it all out clearly on my portfolio page about this project… but even if no one besides me sees the nesting qualities – thinking about it in this interlocking way served to help me construct it all – my main point is for people to have fun.
Needless to say it’s been a very busy week. There’s been food, some of it tasty and blog-worthy, but I was tired and just ate it without photos or noting recipes.
Also due to busy-ness not much was done on my new crocodile project mentioned last post. But I have kept up my sketchbook activities and reading books of an evening. Sketching and reading are like breathing.
So I’ll not promise anything specific for next Monday… but there will be something. Hopefully, something that encourages your own creative life or is at least entertaining for you.
Till next time – have a good week looking at stuff.
13 thoughts on “On Looking at Odditorium”
I love it Sue! I feel like I got to take a stroll around your exhibit with you- with a cup of lemon tea- and be inspired and delighted once again with your take on art making.
Oh goody!!!! I’m delighted you liked it and felt that way!!!! Thank you so much!! I hoist a cup of lemon tea and say “cheers” to you!! ❤❤
Absolutely wonderful, Sue! Teachers everywhere could benefit from using this! Your avatars are priceless:)
Thank you so much Becky! Here’s hoping teachers can find my book!!! Thanks again for your kindness!
Knowledge of wonderful things tends to spread!
I absolutely love the concept behind this book. I used to take my kids around galleries, from when they were very small, and ask them thought-provoking questions. I love that you are encouraging that same engagement for other kids and getting them to understand that their imaginations, their ideas, and their experiences can add a layer of interpretation to a work of art. Excellent stuff!
Oh your comment makes my heart sing!! Thank you for understanding what I’m doing in this book – and even more thank you for having done this with your kids!! Thank you, more than words can say, for your comment!!! ❤
You are most welcome.
What a great idea Sue. I love that you engage the child as a reader and as the artist within. Awesome!
Thank you so much Louise!!! ❤
I love, love, love what you’ve done with creating an avatar to introduce children to the artistic process!! It’s never too early to celebrate creativity and self-expression!!!!
Thank you!!! Your comment makes me smile so big!!! So true – it is never too early or too late to celebrate creativity!!!! ❤🦋
Thank you so much for your comment!!!
You’re most welcome, Sue!! Thank you for being an artist.