Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Sacred Heart Primary School Paintings

I thought you might like to see some of the paintings done by pupils of Sacred Heart Primary School in Dungannon in County Tyrone.

As part of a farming topic, they painted pictures in a variety of materials including paints and pastels, using my picture Farm Cottage with Harebells near Cushendun.  My painting is of a scene in Northern Ireland about 65 miles away to the north of where the school is in Co Tyrone, on the road to Torr Head from Cushendun on the Causeway Coast.  But obviously it must look like a pretty familiar scene to the children at the school.

Here's my original painting..

Farm Cottage with Harebells, Northern Ireland (Oil on linen, 32 x 32)

And here's the children's paintings.  

It's striking just how very different and individual they are, even though they're painting exactly the same thing.  Which just goes to show you how much a painting reflects the character of the artist.

This one has a lovely sense of pattern and composition and order.  It's very calm.

This one has beautiful, bold brushwork.  Just look at that amazing yellowy-green mark wiggling across the top golden section.  Howard Hodgkin, eat your heart out!

Summer - Howard Hodgkin

This one is really accomplished and lively, with a beautiful sense of animation and colour.

Howard Hodgkin -In Tangier
(1991, Silkscreen)

This one is great as well, because it not only has a really interesting, more subtle colour sense, but it has that amazing bold swipe straight across the middle.

Howard Hodgkin - Red Sky at Night (2001-11)
© Howard Hodgkin, courtesy Gagosian Gallery
photo by Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd

This one has turned out very differently because it is made using crayons, and has paid painstaking attention to the pattern-making two-dimensional elements of the original.

This child has also picked up on the pattern-making, but to quite different effect.  The final picture is beautifully abstract.

This one looks as if it has been made by printing or sponging, and is all house with some abstract landscape elements.

This one is all about careful control and order.

Another one using pastels, which emphasises the coloured line, but also has a joyous, bounding, energetic feel about it.

This looks as if the picture has been made using pastels, and then the paper has been soaked, so that the colours have softened and run.

I'd just like to say very well done to everyone, I'm so impressed!  Thank you for choosing to look at my painting in your lesson.


  1. I enjoyed seeing this post immensely! How wonderful! A school in London found one of my paintings on the internet and I came in to give them a talk about some of my painting techniques and process...It's a wonderfully rewarding activity for any artist to do, and they come up with amazing work...Keeps us in awe of what can be done with a few adventurous steps! Thanks so much for this!

    1. Hullo Jenny

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment, and I'm so pleased you enjoyed the article. Yes, there's so much to be learnt from other people, and children have the benefit of an uncluttered, fresh approach.

      As Picasso said, “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.”

      (Quite frankly, I doubt he ever painted like Raphael, never mind only taking four years to achieve it - after all, it took Raphael a lot longer than four years to paint like Raphael - but hey, that's the Picasso self-publicity machine at work.)

      He also said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” Which is true, because he's talking about a lack of inhibition and a freedom to express yourself. Unfortunately, in Pablo's mind that apparently only applies to male children though! But that's an axe to grind on another day...

      Anyway, yes, you're quite right, whenever you are in a teaching/learning situation, there equally as much to be learnt from your students or fellow pupils as from your teacher. Information and ideas flow in all directions!