“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!

“Celery looks like a beautiful paintbrush!”

Between selecting work for portfolios, and ice skating adventures, it feels like forever since we’ve been able to get messy in the Studio!  The week following winter break, children selected their favorite piece of art from the first half of the year for their portfolio.  At the end of the year, they will share their work with their families!

Today we kicked off a long-term printmaking study with the Yellow groups!  Printmaking is one of my favorite processes to teach, and I’m excited to try out some new techniques that I learned during my intensive study this summer in Greece!  We began by brainstorming what children thought printmaking was…

Abdoulaye: It’s like making footprints with something.

Florentina: A print is a stamp from a stamper.

Mackenzi: Is it like a printer?

Zoe: I think it means you print out pictures you already made.

Logan: You can print things that you love!

Friends had many great guesses and were excited to use different types of stamps to explore printmaking.  Children were curious about the process, especially when I brought over a tray of fruits and vegetables and explained that these would be the materials we would print with today!

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Ryler: It smells like celery in here!  Are we going to have a taste test?  Is that why we need smocks?

Bennett: Can you print an apple?

Friends got right to work on their fruit and vegetable prints.  Children explored shape through the organic patterns in the fruit, as well as color mixing.

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Chrishelle: You can stamp to make a picture of a snowman.

Sasha: You have to get the food dirty.  Real food!

Mouhammadou: I’m making a caterpillar out of celery.  Celery looks like a beautiful paintbrush.  It makes a different kind of painting.

Miles: I’ve painted before, but never with a juicy orange!

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