“We can’t stay, we’re getting bigger!”

Just as the PK 3’s made gifts for the PK 4’s, the PK4’s returned the favor and created two special gifts for our rising leaders!

You may remember back in Spring when some children spent months learning about figure drawing through different printmaking processes.  We accumulated so many gorgeous Gelli prints of children posing alone, and with friends, that it seemed to lend itself to illustrations for a book.  Figures in the prints were expressive, and evoked many feelings.  Children added text to each image, ultimately creating a feelings/classroom rules book that friends will read at the beginning of the school year!  Below are some pages from the book…

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“You can always hug a teacher if you feel sad.”

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“That’s your teacher.  They help and play with you.”

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“You can look out the window to see your friends and remember how much fun you had.  You can look for us, but it might make you miss us more.”

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“You can give a friend a hug, a handshake or a high five.”

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“See, that’s being teamwork!”

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“Looks like they’re making a mess.  Don’t forget to clean it up!”

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“They’re playing.  The big one is four and the little one is three.  They’re going for a walk together and holding hands in the line.”

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“You can walk in the garden.  There are tomatoes, strawberries and flowers in there.”

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“Raise your hand is how you talk to someone.”

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“Technically, he’s not a spider.  He’s using his imagination.  Anything’s possible.”

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“Sometimes you’re gonna cry.  Teacher’s help you, friends can give a hug, or you can go to the cozy nook.”

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“Even though you’re small, you’re strong.”

In the back of the book, children wanted to take group photos for the authors page!

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PK 4’s also drew on transparent colored paper that was compiled into a stained glass window.  Their art will remain on the window next year so that PK3’s can continue to be inspired by their friends!

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Zoe: I’m going to miss you.  I want to stay!

William: My sister and Adrian’s brother might  be in the same class next year.  They will be friends.

Nayeli: They will miss us.  They can ask us to come back.  Can you please come back?

Maia: We can’t stay, we’re getting bigger.

Rayyan: I’m gonna miss you.  I’m gonna make you gifts.  Are you going to cry when we leave?

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Zavier: I’ll make my name and me and tiny lava I can step on.  Don’t tell no one about this because they will want to do it.  I can’t believe I’m going to Kindergarten.”

Zeina: Oh, it looks beautiful when the sun is coming through.

Destynee: When you be a leader, you show them how to do stuff.

Selwyn: We can still come back and visit.  We can see you in the hall.

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Have a great summer, everyone!

“I saw an artist on TV, but it wasn’t your dad. It was a girl artist.”

Once friends felt comfortable posing by themselves in front of their art group, we began doing partner poses!  Children would get together in groups of two or three and make a plan for how they would stand, what they would do with their arms/legs, and how they could move their bodies in interesting ways.  Friends had so much fun doing partner poses that it actually stretched for two weeks because of the excitement around it!  See, figure drawing can be fun 🙂

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Trebor: I can pose with Kwame.  We can pose together!

Nayeli: It’s hard to model with a friend.  It’s silly and I couldn’t stay still.

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Sarah: I have an idea, you put your foot out and I’ll twist my leg.  That’ll look cool.

Destynee: Two people at the same time?  Oh, that’s why we need two stages!

Luke: Ayub, let’s pretend were calling each other.

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After sharing with my family how enthusiastic friends were with figure printing on Gelli plates, my dad asked if he could come in and model for a few of the groups.  Friends were SO excited to meet him, and couldn’t believe that he was an artist and an art teacher, too!  He modeled alone, with partners, and even did some of his own prints while others were modeling.

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Siena: You’re dad’s an artist?  I’m an artist too!

Carlos: I saw an artist on TV, but it wasn’t your dad.  It was a girl artist.

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Fatima: Mr.Cushner and Ms.Cushner? Ha!

Zavier: He paints all day? Whoa!

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Abigail: One day, I’m going to be a painter.  I love art.

Zoe: I can’t fit his legs on the paper, he’s too tall.

Zeina: Don’t forget, he has glasses.

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“You guys got to show me when you’re done. Whoa, it’s me!”

Children in the Sunflower and Fern groups have been studying the figure, while also learning about the process of Gelli printing.  I have shared a bit of the figure drawing work, as well as the into to Gelli printing, but I am so excited and proud to share the work that came as a result of combining the two.

To refresh everyone’s memory, every child had a turn (or two) to be models for their peers.  When it was their turn, they would stand on the stage (milk crate) and on the count of three, strike a pose.  Children were encouraged to think about different ways to make interesting shapes and lines with their bodies.  Once we got into the routine of modeling, friends began coming into the Studio week after week asking if they could pose first, or share that they came up with a pose that they hadn’t seen a friend do yet.

Incorporating the Gelli plate into this routine proved easier than I thought.  One child would be the model and come to the stage, while the other artists would prepare their Gelli plate at the table.  Artists at the tables were invited to use the back of a paintbrush to represent the figure on their Gelli plate.  When the timer went off, they could use the finger stamps to add detail to the background.

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Carlos: This is something so new!

Andres: I can see Trebor through the paper!

Nayeli: You guys got to show me when you’re done.  Whoa, it’s me!

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Sophie: That’s a hard pose because he’s on one leg.  He looks like a bird.  I want to pose like a flamingo, too.

Ryan: It’s hard to balance when I do a karate kick.

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Ra’Maya: Remember, just a spot, not a lot, or you wont see the person.

Ayub: Are you ready, artists?  Here’s my pose!

Florentina: I had fun posing up there!

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Even Ms.Berger came in to give it a try!

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Below is just some of the fabulous work… enjoy! Hoping to post about the VERY special visitor that came into model for some classes this week.  I’ll save that for tomorrow 🙂

“It feels like a squid. It’s fabuloso!”

Sunflower and Fern groups have been working on representing and depicting the figure in many different ways with a variety of materials.  Three weeks ago, children were introduced to Gelli plates, which are plates made out of durable gelatin that can be used over and over for mono printing.  I absolutely love to work with this material, both in the Studio and at home.  We began by passing Gelli plates around and friends described what they looked like, felt like, and even smelled like.

Andres: It feels like a squid.  It’s fabuloso!

Trebor: It looks like jello.

Zavier: I think it’s made out of old paper.

Madison: Like, strawberry jelly?

Kwame: It’s so sticky.

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Miguel: It’s floppy and I can drop it so easily.

Waju: It’s made out of water and ice and it mixes together to make that.

Nneka: When I rub it, I see the lines I made.

Ra’Maya: It smells like crayons.

William: Squishy and stretchy.

Adrian: It’s gooey.

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Elijah: The name is kind of funny.  Smells like goo.  Really, really stretchy.

Douglas: They look so shaky.

Selwyn: It looks like a piece of cheese for the Krabby patty.

Sophie: It wiggles!

Next, I walked friends through the steps of how to use a Gelli plate.  We began by putting a small amount of paint directly on the plate.  I suggested using the squirt bottles to put one spot of paint in each corner, which seemed like the perfect amount.  Then, we used a brayer to roll out the paint.  Friends said the brayer reminded them of what you use to paint a house, or a wheel on a big truck.  Once the paint was in a smooth layer, we used finger stamps and scrapers to create images in the paint.  Once they were happy with the composition, they set a piece of paper down, rubbed it with their hands and VOILA— their image transferred to their paper!

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Zeina: I know, the paint will go from the Gelli plate to the paper!  This is going to be super fun.

Adrian: This is so amazing and fun.

Destynee: It’s so pretty, isn’t it?  It makes other shapes.

Ayub: This is my favorite!

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Selwyn: My Gelli plate is clean again.  I love this.

Elliott: Guys, look what I made.  It looks pretty great!

William: I can’t wait to see mine.  Wow, it looks like an underwater jail!

Mae: Oh yeah, go gelatin!

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Zoe: You have to make big decisions before you put the paper down on the Gelli plate.

Zavier: I used the scraper to make a “Z,”  isn’t it gorgeous?  It’s a painting of rain.

Carlos: It’s so quick.

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Elijah: I’m an artist making my hands dirty.  Wow, this turned out really good!

Stay tuned for a post on how we combined representing the figure and Gelli printing!

“Mine looks like a masterpiece. It looks like the Northern Lights!”

Over the past few weeks, friends in the Yellow art groups have been continuing to learn about and experiment with different printmaking processes.  Children spent two weeks working with Gelli plates, which are durable, gelatin printing plates that allow you to create monoprints over and over again.  This is the first year that I have working in the Studio with this material, but am so happy that I was able to take a class on it and introduce it to Pre-K friends!

How does the Gelli plate feel in your hands?

Sylvie: Soft like the ground floor.

Sophie: Like peanut butter and jelly.

Mackenzi: Ooey gooey.

Zoe: Whoa, it feels like jello!

Nneka: Squishy wishy.

Justin: Is it a jellyfish?

Abigail: Don’t squeeze the Gelli plate or it’ll break.

Next, friends began by putting a few small spots of paint on their Gelli plates and then rolled the paint over the plate with a brayer.

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The first week that we worked with Gelli plates, children used different types of stencils to make patterns and images to transfer to their paper.

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Next, children laid down a sheet of paper and applied pressure with their hands to transfer the paint.

Chrishelle: I remember… what you stamp will be on the paper.

Ryler: You can never make the same thing again.

Sasha: It’s so pretty it’ll make my dad cry!

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While friends were learning about this process, Ms.Lewton, the Head of the Art Department, stopped by and children had the opportunity to teach her how to use the Gelli plate.

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The following week, friends used finger stamps to create marks and images on their Gelli plate.

Miles: The finger stamps are boinging on the Gelli plate.

Reese: I like how squishy the Gelli plate is.  The paper gets stuck to it because it’s sticky.

Zoe: Mine looks like a masterpiece.  It looks like the Northern Lights!

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This week, children signed their finished prints for their portfolios!

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