By Darren Lum
A couple weeks ago Haliburton Highlands Secondary School student Colleen Petric put one foot toward a post-secondary education in visual artswith an effective photo re-creation of Picasso’s Old Guitarist 1903.
The art assignment asked students to learn about famous works of art andthe artist behind them with the goal of recreating the work in a photo.The other goal was to replace items in the work with things found around the house.
Colleen who is a Grade 9 art student had nevercompleted a work of photography before and said it was a greatopportunity to learn about light in her photo My Poor Brother – the Life of a Young Guitarist 2020.
“I chose the Old Guitarist asinspiration for this exercise because I was intrigued by the depth ofcontrast created through Picasso’s lighting and his unique approach todefining shapes in his work” she wrote in an email. “I’m quitesatisfied with how I was able to recreate the lighting of the originalpainting in my photograph and how well the colours of my recreationmatch the original.”
Teacher Karen Gervais said she appreciated howColleen was able to maintain the same composition and mood of Picasso’soriginal through her use of light and the way her brother posed.
“Ilove the highlights in the hands in contrast to the rich darks andshadows behind and again putting that towel in there to create thatcompositional block in the grey there. Definitely pretty impressive for a first go at a photographic work” she said.
Colleen’s brother is a guitarist and musician which adds resonance to the image.
Having students repurpose things around their houses for items in the original artwork encouraged them to develop creative problem-solving skillsGervais said.
Colleen used the towel and a blanket supported by wooden skids.
Although her current focus is on watercolour painting her future goal is to study visual arts at a post-secondary institution.
“She’s a really motivated student. She’s very teachable. She makes reallyeffective use of the creative process and problem-solving skills andreally pushes her work with trying out possibilities and informingherself through her own initiative and seeking out resources to help her tackle her challenges. So she is a keen learner and I think she’ll beable to do anything she sets her mind to” Gervais said.