Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Cherry Blossoms!

Cherry trees bloomed today in MMS!

In anticipation of the first day of spring, the kindergartners painted cherry trees in bloom! It was a wonderful project  with amazing results but it was messy. Parents, I apologize if your child came home looking like a cherry tree! They were wearing their aprons -- but they managed to get messy anyway.

For those of you who pick up at school, these pieces will be on display beginning tomorrow (Wednesday) in the main hall. For everyone else, scroll through and see the final pieces at the end of this post.

Our project began with the kids mixing their own light blue paint and using large paintbrushes to paint their whole paper blue. This blue was the sky and background for the piece. Using the large brushes give the kids a chance to paint fast and increase their hand strength and control.

Next we mixed browns and used squares of cardboard to dip and print the branches and trunks of the trees. This is the part of the project where the style of the artist and the character of their tree really starts to shine through.

Finally, no summertime cherry tree is complete without cherry blossoms. The kids mixed their own pinks, making sure that the color was just right for them, then added the blossoms using a bottle cap as a printing tool.

It was also a pleasure to hear the children complimenting each others work. Making art can feel risky sometimes. We might think: "Is it good enough?", "Is it right?"  But in a classroom full of thoughtful friends, everyone can feel safe, supported and appreciated.

Scroll through these beautiful pieces below. I'm happy to say that these trees are just as varied and unique as the children who made them. Beautiful work kids!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Van Gogh's Waterlilies -- In Watercolor!

Welcome spring!

To celebrate this beautiful weather, today the kinder class made landscapes based on Vincent Van Gogh's classic waterlily paintings. We began today's class with a quick introduction to Vincent Van Gogh as an artist. We viewed a wide selection of his paintings. We quickly noticed that his favorite subject was nature -- and his favorite colors blue and yellow!

Vincent van Gogh, The Portrait of Dr. Rey (my favorite van Gogh ...
Waterlilies by Vincent Van Gogh
With this in mind we began work on our own pieces.

First we prepared our watercolor paper by adding waterproof electrical tape to the pages in the shape of the bridge. The children added the rails in tape as well and then began their paintings. Here are photos capturing the works in progress. The children were free to make whatever color and design choice they chose as long as they made sure to paint the whole page with color.

After the paintings were full of color and the kids felt they were complete, we laid them out to dry and took some time to work on sketchbooks and free drawings. Then, when the paintings were dry, we peeled off the electrical tape to reveal the bridges! These are GORGEOUS. Stop by school and take a look!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Outstanding Outer Space Art

Ready for the final frontier?

This week the kindergartners finished the outer space scenes that they began working on last week. We began with a guided drawing of a rocket ship and a UFO. Line by line, shape by shape, we built our ships.The kids were free to add their own details and to draw any additional spacecraft that they felt inspired to design on their own.

Next the kids cut out their spacecrafts and along with all the planets, stars, asteroids, shooting stars and comets that they painted last week.

And finally, the planets and spacecraft were arranged and glued onto the outer space background that everyone painted last week.  Check out these amazing scenes! Each one is so unique and inspired.

Come in to school this week and these amazing space scenes will be on display in the main hall of MMS!