Art

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After more than ten years of experience teaching children of all ages the love of art in our beautiful studio in Istanbul, as well as in schools, museums and private events around the city, we wanted to somehow transfer our knowledge onto this site so that children and parents alike could recreate the Lola experience at home!
Here we will try to offer tips and tricks on how to be creative at home together with your children, be it making process art with your 2 year old, or learning about David Hockney with your 8 year old!
 
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November 2017 Artist – AI WEIWEI

One of our all time favourite Istanbul Museums, the Sabancı University Sakıp Sabancı Museum, is hosting Ai Weiwei’s first exhibition in Turkey, between the dates 12 September 2017 and 28 January 2018. The exhibition showcases an extensive selection from the artist’s oeuvre alongside new works. Focusing on Ai Weiwei’s wide-ranging production in the medium of porcelain, the exhibition presents a narrative informed by the artist’s life story and his approach to both the tradition of craftsmanship and art history.

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November 2017 Museum – LONDON DESIGN MUSEUM

We just discovered this lovely little museum in Kensington London, the Design Museum! Perfect size for the kids to discover with great interactive exhibitions, and a comprehensive (and FREE) show of the history of Design, this beautiful Museum is in itself a piece of art!
It also has two fantastic shops, and a lovely little cafe with cakes for the kids, and great coffees for mums and dads! Check it out if you are ever in this part of London…

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November 2017 Toddlerart – WATER PAINT COFFEE FILTERS

This year I truly discovered the power of the coffee filter! Such a versatile and affordable medium, and anyone can find them in their local supermarket… I especially love the XL sized ones that the children have more space to experiment on. The absorbency of this paper means it is fabulous to use with water paints, palette style or even liquid water paints!
With the toddlers we found it less messy to use the palette style water paints that you can find in all art and crafts stores, children’s shops or even newsagents sometimes! For this project we cut the coffee filters into quarters and then cut the centres out to make them appear wave shaped… We then gave the little ones paint, and water and brushes, and let them experiment with the feel and texture and watery effect of these “wave” pieces of paper!
Once the coffee filters had dried (this can take a while and sometimes it can be faster to just put them on the radiator for a few minutes!), we stuck them to the bottom of a blue paper to create a sea… and the rest is up to you! Sea creatures or boats, swimmers or whales, anything can be added onto this base.
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November 2017 Art Activity – AUTUMN TREES

Autumn has been so much fun this year now that we are in the countryside, and I think we have outdone ourselves with leaf art projects! One of our old favourites though is the good old group work Autumn tree collage. For this you need a big piece of brown recycled paper, some autumnal coloured acrylic paints, some autumnal coloured oil pastels, and some old wrapping paper, wall paper, magazine cutouts and scrap papers (yes, if possible, all in autumnal colours!).
Here are some tips, but this really can go any way your imagination leads!
Cut out the scrap papers in different shaped leaves.
Start by drawing the routine of your tree(s) in the oil pastels, adding on any branches , leaves and grasses you may like to the mix.
Try to make your tree(s) as big as possible!
Once you have drawn the waves, decorate inside each in a different pattern, anything that tickles your fancy, from polka dots to stripes to diamonds to bumps!
Go crazy now with your acrylic paints! It is always fun to do this as a group because everyone’s own personal painting style intertwines with their neighbour’s to create some beautiful and organic natural effects! remember that trees and leave are a mix of a lot of colours, and try to shade and layer your paint as much as possible!
Finally paste on all of your pre cut leaf shapes (with white glue if possible), using the wet paint to keep your layering effects going!
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September 2017 Artist – FAHRELNISSA ZEID

Until October the 8th the Tate Modern is holding a fabulous retrospective of the internationally acclaimed female artist Fahrelnissa Zeid. Particularly close to my heart due to her ties with Turkey, Zeid’s vibrant abstract paintings are a synthesis of Islamic, Byzantine, Arab and Persian influences fused with European approaches to abstraction. Her abstract and monumental work and kaleidoscopic paintings are particularly interesting for children due to their size, colours and geometrical shapes! If you are in London, don’t miss this great exhibition at the wonderfully child friendly Tate Modern!
 
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September 2017 Museum – LOUISIANA MUSEUM

My absolute favourite museum in the world, just a train ride out of Copenhagen in Denmark, its beautiful architecture and stunning gardens, nature and location on the Sound make this museum as special as does its fabulous sculpture garden filled with Calders, and its outstanding ongoing collection including Giacomettis, Hockneys and more!
It is also very special in that it has its own wing for children, Lousiana Bornehus, a beautiful and inspiring space where children can attend workshops and activities related to the ongoing exhibitions at the Museum. The Cafe and Shop are also great and so it is worth spending most of the day at this fantastic creative space!

 
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September 2017 Toddlerart – MESSY TABLE!

This year at Lola we have been learning and experimenting much more with process art, and although it seems like we have always had a “messy table” at the studio, this year I think we have really made the Messy Table our own! Children of all ages absolutely love the freedom, experimentation and tactile aspects of this medium, and it is especially useful when introducing Toddlers to art and painting.
What I realised all of a sudden as we moved to our Summer house for a month, is that in fact EVERYONE can have a Messy Table in their own homes! Yes, as you can tell by its name, it IS very messy, but if you choose the location of your table carefully (in the garden if the weather permits, in the corner of the kitchen close to the sink, in a playroom with a plastic table cloth underneath it to protect the flooring…), and protect the floor around the table as much as possible with an oil cloth or old tablecloth, then actually in a funny way it is controlled mess!
My tips to you are:
Make sure that the table is at such at height that when your children are standing next to it, it reaches up to about their belly button, or at a height that they can freely paint with their hands without having to lean up or down too much.
Make sure the table is close enough to a sink!
It is best if the table is made of unvarnished natural wood so that paint sticks well to the surface. What we did is made a few tabletops out of cheap plywood, that we turn over or replace when they get covered with too many layers of paint and it starts to lose its flat smooth surface. (Keep in mind that at the end of each painting session it is a good idea to scrape off as much of the excess paint as possible.)
Squeeze paint straight onto the table, and let the children experiment as much as possible with their fingers and hands. Then we give them a variety of other instruments to play around with, anything works, but we have used: old toothbrushes, rolling pins, kitchen sponges, toy cars, forks, plastic balls, big legos, fly swatters etc. Sometimes we also add shaving cream, glitter or even collage materials such as feathers, pompoms and mosaic papers.
Make it up as you go along, but once you have either stripped your child naked or put them in a painting apron/t-shirt, just let them go wild and follow their lead! And have lots of fun!

 
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September 2017 Art Activity – HOKUSAI WAVES

This month, in the spirit of the summer and sea, we made some beautiful Hokusai wave paintings! I love this artist and his beautiful depictions of violent huge waves, and normally when studying his work with students we tend to create our own prints and stamps out of styrofoam. This time we felt like trying something different, and with a large A3 paper started sketching layers of Zentangle type waves in Sharpie marker.
Here are some tips, but this really can go any way your imagination leads!
If you place the paper height wise, you get more room to do even more layers of waves!
We love black Sharpies, but any black marker would work. However sometimes its a good idea to sketch out your ideas in pencil first so you can erase any “mistakes”.
Try for about 8 layers of waves, each with a different roll, ripple or shape, some rounded, some more pointed. Also go for variety in the width of each waves so some are thick and some are thin.
Once you have drawn the waves, decorate inside each in a different pattern, anything that tickles your fancy, from polka dots to stripes to diamonds to bumps!
We absolutely LOVE liquid water colour paints! They are not always easy to find but if you have them this is the medium to use for this activity! If not, normal water paints would also work beautifully! I asked the children to think of sea colours, and how the sea is darker at the bottom and lighter at the top due to the sun, and then off they went with their shades of black, blue, green, turquoise and purple, painting and shading each wave a different colour.
If you have time, kids can also draw a tiny boat bopping along the top of the waves, and paint the sky black if it is night, pale blue if it is day, and so on! The options are endless, have fun!One of our all time favourite Istanbul Museums, the Sabancı University Sakıp Sabancı Museum, is hosting Ai Weiwei’s first exhibition in Turkey, between the dates 12 September 2017 and 28 January 2018. The exhibition showcases an extensive selection from the artist’s oeuvre alongside new works. Focusing on Ai Weiwei’s wide-ranging production in the medium of porcelain, the exhibition presents a narrative informed by the artist’s life story and his approach to both the tradition of craftsmanship and art history.

 
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