Monday, August 23, 2010


For our last day of the summer session, I introduced stamp printing. We began by using the stamps that the children made last week, a plate of paint, and a roller. Each child chose their own paint color and used the roller to cover the design of the stamp.

Once the stamps were fully coated, the children pressed them down onto the paper to make a print.

After experimenting with their original stamps, I brought out fruit and veggie stamps that I made by slicing each one in half to create a flat surface. The mushrooms made the most noticable prints, but the children still had fun trying out the potatoes, bell peppers, squash, apples, rubarb, and carrots.
As another form of stamping, I offered the children "dot" paint bottles to create circle stamps. At times the stamping sounded like a drum circle!

The children are getting to know the studio much better and feel comfortable going to the shelf to collect new items and tools to work with.

Interaction and collaboration between the kids is really what makes these classes so special!
Thanks for a wonderful summer session. See you in the Fall!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Stamp-Making, Collage, and Watercolor Target Practice!

This week we focused on gluing and collage work- and began by making our own stamps! I gave each child a thick block of foam, an assortment of thin foam shapes, and a bottle of glue. I explained to the children that they could glue the shapes down onto the foam blocks and when they dry, they can use them as stamps. As I observed this process, I realized that the kids who have been in art class for a while, were squeezing small dabs of glue onto their blocks and gently placing the shapes into the glue. Do you remember some of our first collage projects? The children would squeeze out an entire bottle of glue and dump as many collage items onto their paper as they could (no matter what age). In a past blog post, I explained that it is important to let them experiment with the glue and materials and eventually they will learn how to self-regulate. Well it looks like that time has come! Of course I'm sure they will still experiment with squeezing and dumping, but I'm ecstatic to see that they really are learning in here!

After putting their stamps to dry, I offered the children a tray of small materials and some colored glue to continue working in this collage medium.

The children moved around the room to work at the easels and collect items from the shelf.
Then they discovered the scissors again!

As the weather has begun to warm up, I wanted to end class with a fun outdoor art game. I created two bulls-eye targets on paper and hung them on the easels outside. Then I gave the children water color spray bottles to shoot at the targets from behind a line (thanks Rhian for this awesome idea). These kids have great aim!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Re-visiting old work and Monoprinting

Although our focus this week was on monoprinting, we began class working on unfinished projects from previous weeks. The children were first invited to use markers to add to their watercolor paintings from last week.

Another project to be continued was their salt dough sculptures that were finally dry and ready to be painted.

After re-visiting the old work, the kids were ready to get going on some monoprinting! We worked on two different types of monoprints, depending on the class. One type was done by paining directly on a plastic mat, placing a sheet of paper onto the painting, gently rubbing the back of the paper, and then peeling it up. Most of the kids have tried this technique on the acrylic easel, but it was a new experience to do it right on the table.

My niece, Naomi, demonstrated the printmaking for the kids. She may become my new assistant!
The second monoprint technique is a fun and very easy project to try at home. First I folded a large piece of paper (for each child) in half. They painted on one side of the paper, then unfolded it and refolded it the other way, so that their painting created a mirror image on the other half.
Eventually the glue, glitter, and all kinds of things came out- and the children led the way from there!

The children are getting more interested in using the scissors lately- what a hard skill to learn!