“It looks like bones because the people are white lines!”

To finish up our exploration of the figure and figure representation, the Sunflower and Fern groups learned how to make styrofoam prints!  We began by passing around large sheets of styrofoam and tried to figure out what they were, what they could be used for, and what they felt like.

Nneka: Feels floppy and hard.

Trebor: Softly!

Zoe: Why is it so fragile?

Nayeli: I like how it feels.

Sarah: It feels like a plate.  It’s flat.

Mae: I really thought it was real paper, but it’s not.  It’s foam.  It’s squishy.

William: It feels like it could pop.

Next, I invited a friend to come to the stage and strike a pose.  With the back of a paintbrush, I modeled how to represent the pose onto styrofoam, just as friends have been doing for weeks with figure drawing on paper and on the Gelli plates.  Since the styrofoam was large, we were able to combine all poses from each art group into one image.

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Trebor: We’re going on the stage, oh yeah!

Zavier: I want to make one hundred million little people on here.

Adrian: Zoe did such a good job.  It looks just like me!

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Luke: I see movements on the styrofoam.

Iris: How do you draw in it? What do you use? Your nails?

Elijah: You know this is just how I stand so I could pose like this for an hour.

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Miguel: I see Briana has a little tiny button, even smaller than my button.

Destynee: I see it now!  The sun is on so I can see the people on the styrofoam.

Florentina: It feels really like a fabric sponge.  We capture the movement on it.

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This week, children created their edition of prints!  Friends picked a color of block print ink, rolled it out on plexiglass into a smooth layer, rolled it onto their styrofoam and printed it on large paper.  This is the first time we have ever done such large prints in the Studio, and they came out better than I even could have imagined!  Post Spring Break, this work will be on display in the PK hallway 🙂

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Andres: Why wont it go into the white part? Is it because we pushed down to draw?

Trebor: It’s on the paper.  Wow!

Nneka: Push down hard to get it on the paper.  I’m so strong.

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Maia: Sticky.  Ink is sticky.

Siena: I like how it sounds.

Rayyan: Rolling the ink sounds crunchy like a cookie or wood chips.

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Destynee: The ink doesn’t cover the hair.  Why?

Sophie: It looks like bones because the people are white lines.

Elijah: The blue ink looks like my toothpaste.

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Cameron: The paper is blue but the people are white.

Abigail: Don’t forget to roll on all the sides.

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Zavier: I made all the creative stuff because I’m a creative kid.

Mae: I was right! It printed on the paper!

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“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’s so hard to pose… it made my foot fall asleep!”

Sunflower yellow and Fern green art groups have just begun an exploration of gesture drawing, which has brought a whole new level of excitement and laughter to the Studio this winter!

To kick off this work, friends learned that they would have two very important jobs… to be an artist, and a model.  Children brainstormed with each other to try to figure out what those two words really meant.

Zavier: A model is like an action figure or a figure majiger.  A model is in a magazine.

Maia: A model is like a sculpture and a sculpture could be of a spider or a princess so that’s what the model is.

Miguel: A model is a person you draw.

Nneka: Artists make things that are really nice.

Trebor: If you want to be an artist, you have to think about your work.

Andres: Model is like a type of play dough.  Like Model Magic.

William: A model could look like a sculpture.

Destynee: Some people like artists hold their palettes.

Zoe: I want to be an artist when I grow up but I don’t know if I can because you have to work and practice so much.  Sometimes artists make things but they don’t know what it is for a long time.  You just make and make and then you decide.

Next, I shared that when it was your turn to be a model, you would carefully stand up on the stage (milk crate), and after a countdown, you would strike a pose that you could comfortably hold for 20 seconds.  We talked about different ways you could move your body to create shapes, curves and lines.  As you were modeling, the rest of the children were the artists in the audience, quickly drawing your pose.  (Side note: It was “Dress Like Your Favorite Character Day” and “Pajama Day” during these two classes, hence the costumes, which really added to the work!)

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Ra’Maya: It’s so hard to hold a long pose.

Zeina: I was smiling while friends were modeling so that they felt comfortable.

Nayeli: You got to stand still and the artists draw how your hands and legs look.

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Friends enjoyed posing for each other.  Most groups ended up doing three rounds, with 20, 40 and 60 second poses.  As they had more time, children added details to their gesture drawings, such as the stage, clothes, and background.

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Iris: Briana should be proud of herself because she was scared to model but then she was brave at the last round.

Andres: Mister Skinny Legs is a really good model, just like us.  He can stay really still, even more still then us when we pose.

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Zeina: It’s so hard to pose… it made my foot fall asleep!

Iris: I’m looking at Selwyn’s paper to focus so I don’t move.

After our gesture drawing rounds, Miguel and Selwyn were motivated to draw their own poses and then try to model from the illustration.  This sparked some interest that we might explore further in the coming weeks!

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