The children started the new year with much enthusiasm and it was great to see everyone jump right back into the Art Studio routine.
Our Toddlers continued working with texture and they made paintings using scrapers and sponges to express the way different materials feel. We talked about touch and qualities like rough, smooth, soft and bumpy.
We also talked about snowmen and used circle stampers to build one with white paint, then added the details of a face and clothing.
The children know their shapes so well and they learned how to put shapes together to make a new one: five triangles around a pentagon made a star. The children then used big and small stars to make a star collage.
Some of the afternoon Toddlers and Nursery children were learning about Arctic animals and we worked on some projects to complement that as well.
This past month the Nursery and Pre-K children looked at "The Red Room" by Henri Matisse and we talked about how it was an interior, or "inside" picture. The children painted a background, and I limited their colors to red, white and black. It was a challenge for them to mix these colors and see how much variety they could arrive at. The second art session that week, the children added to their paintings and created a "room". The Nursery children glued on a window, a table with a tablecloth, a bowl and apples, while the Pre-K children added these things as well as flower pots and bowls. The children used chalk and their imaginations to draw other details.
We also looked at "In Blue" by Wassily Kandinsky, "Composition on the Word 'Vie', 2" by Auguste Herbin and "Composition" by Joan Miro and began exploring shapes on a deeper level. When discussing the Kandinsky and Herbin works we talked about geometric shapes that the children are already familiar with. I took it a step further with them by introducing 3-dimensional shapes and allowing the children to see the relationships between the flat shapes they draw, cut and glue. Those shapes that they see around them and interact with when they play and move throughout the day. The children made collages using these geometric shapes: starting with the largest ones and then progressing to the medium and then small shapes. We also talked about how shapes can overlap. The children added shapes with pop-up tape, so that their collages became dimensional. The Pre-K children used pencils and crayons to draw geometric shapes, then drew smaller shapes on top of the bigger ones.
When I introduced the children to "Composition" by Joan Miro, I talked to them about creating abstract shapes--shapes that they can make up--ones that don't have a specific name, like a triangle or a circle. Starting with a dot, I showed them how the dot progressed to a line and that the line could travel around until it came back to where it started. Once it was all connected it became a shape. The children learned to recognize when a line turned into a shape and they made up their own "silly" shapes. The Nursery children glued abstract shapes that were pre-cut to make collages and also tried drawing their own shapes while the Pre-k exclusively drew their own. We read books like "It Looked Like Spilled Milk" and "Silly Sally" to complement the pictures we were looking at.
Finally, we had some snow, so all the children could create snowmen. The Nursery children made theirs using torn paper.
Our full-day Pre-K children were learning about weights and measures, so in afternoon art class they made wood sculptures, collages of cardboard shapes, and played with clay.
The Kindergarteners started the new year by making paper sculptures. They cut strips of paper and folded and curled them to build their pictures. They imagined that their paper sculpture was a playground or water-park and they thought of the paper strips becoming roller coasters, stairs and slides.
We talked about shapes that are symmetrical and the children spent an art class cutting snowflakes from different sizes of paper, then layering them on top of each other.
The children spent time mixing colors and in particular learned how to mix skin tones. They mixed three different skin colors and used them to paint a picture of three friends during the following art class. They also painted a self portrait.
Right now the children are busy working with printmaking and I look forward to sharing their creations with all of you soon.
I wish everyone a wonderful winter break next week!