This week marks the beginning of a new session. The theme for the next five week is Collaboration and Teamwork. Each week students will work together to make one large piece or collaborate to make a series of small works. Teamwork will be emphasized through books, games, and group activities. Techniques will include: drawing, painting, printmaking, collage and mixed media. In the final class students will bind together a collection of pieces from each week in a keepsake book.
The first project was a coffee-table-size contact paper collage. The concept is so simple. You stick paper ephemera to the sticky side of the contact paper. When it’s complete you place another piece of contact paper on top. These can be hung on the wall or in a window as a sun-catcher.
We used tissue paper, card stock shapes, wall paper samples, and recycled paintings from unclaimed art.

As an introduction to the concept of teamwork I read “The Enormous Turnip”, by Tolstoy. This book comes in a variety of versions by different authors and illustrators. The book below had vibrant illustrations and simple text since it is geared towards young readers.

Our second project of the day was a great adventure in painting and printmaking. We began with a full rainbow of tempera paint and a variety of car toys. I love hunting at thrift stores for cars with varied tracks and tread.

I covered the table and wall easel with heavy weight butcher paper and let the class create directly on the surface. it was refreshing to break away from segregated trays.

After some time with the cars I offered a box of wacky tools which included different mashers for printing, sponges, combs, and texture brushes.

The wall is such a great place for kinesthetic learners. If offers an opportunity to stretch and reach and go BIG!

I just had to add this photo because this sister and brother pair are so precious together (at least in the studio!).

My son has been asking to join the art class lately and I was excited to incorporate him into our Friday morning. At 2.5 he LOVES to paint and like several students throughout the week was excited to do hand prints. I find there is always a natural movement towards hand painting and printing when I provide paint in open containers and trays.

The combs provide a great challenge. It’s important for the student to realize they need paint on the surface first before the comb is applied versus using the comb to apply the paint. Secondly the comb requires specific pressure and the right angle to get good results. This student really mastered his technique by the end of class!

For our third and final project we made plunger prints. From previous experience I have learned to limit this activity to three plungers for every six kids because it can become crowded and chaotic with too many plungers. When slammed down plungers can splatter paint, so for safety reasons I monitor this project closely and remind students regularly to press gently.