“Yellow, yellow, who do you see? I see pink looking at me!”

Welcome back to the school, friends!  After a summer filled with travel, art-making and lots of time to relax, it feels great to be back in the PK Studio and kicking off year 5!  I’m so excited to continue to work with PK4’s and to begin working with the new PK3’s this year.

During the first 3 weeks of school, I joined children in their classrooms and introduced materials at their art centers.  We worked with crayons, oil pastels and finally… tempera paint.  I also introduced Studio Sketchbooks for the first time, which will help compile all of their art work from the beginning of the year.  They will take their sketchbooks home at the first conference day!  Next week, children will begin coming to the Studio for art groups… and I’m beyond excited 🙂  Below is a snapshot of the beginning of the year work in their sketchbooks… enjoy!

Friends have used oil pastels, crayons and markers to begin illustrating stories and sharing their interests with myself and their peers.  Children enjoyed smudging and rolling the oil pastels, especially because they can be a little bit messy 🙂

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Kimi: This says K-I-M-I.  It’s my book!

Samantha: This is not Josie’s?  This is mine?  This is my notebook?  It’s not Josie’s, it’s mine?  My sketchbook?

Dafnee: Like your sketchbook?  Now I have one!

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Brandon: I don’t like the paper on the crayons.  I got to see all the colors.  I need to put the paper in the trash.  Now everyone can see the colors!

Isabella: When you drag pastels on the side it looks like a rainbow.  I love being here at the art table.  It’s so relaxing.

Amal: When you blow on it, the oil pastel doesn’t go away.

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Jax: Pastels make your hands dirty like a monster.  I want to keep drawing.

Torin: My fingers got messy too.  Just like Drew!

Elliott: Hear that scratching sound?  That’s called rubbing.

Aurora: It feels good.  They roll.  I can roll it fast.

Frances: I miss crayons, but these pastels are funny.

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Eva: Julia’s hands turned green like an ogre.

Belen: Messy, messy, silly messy.  I love doing messy.

Siah: What should you call this color?  I’ll call it rainbow water!

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Throughout the week, we have been using different sized brushes to paint with tempera.  Children also practiced putting on smocks to protect their clothes.  Friends mixed colors in their sketchbooks and are really excited to have paint open at their easels soon!

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Kaleb: The smock is covered in red paint because I have red paint on my hand.

Gionni: Did you know blue and yellow makes green.

Jax: Yellow, yellow, who do you see?  I see pink looking at me!  Pink, pink, who do you see?  I see red looking at me!

Luca: The purple paint covers the brush like magic.

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Isaac: What do you think of my painting?  It’s footprints!

Amen: When this fat brush goes in the yellow, it turns to brown.  I want to show all of my family.

Torin: Blue and yellow made a green person.  Guys look, it’s so mixed up.

Nazeer: I spin the red in yellow.  It’s orange!

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“You have to look really hard. Diggers do that to find the bones.”

Before the Blizzard of 2016, friends were working on a collaborative weaving in the Studio!  All children in Pre-K contributed to our weaving over the course of two weeks.  After a substantial amount of work was done, children began observational resist paintings as they noticed how lines differed, based on the type of yarn that children selected.  Friends began by drawing different types of lines (straight, wavy, zig-zag, curly, etc.) with oil pastels, based on what they observed.  Next, children add liquid watercolors.  Some friends painted on top of their drawing, and were excited to see that the pastels were still visible.  Other children chose to paint between the lines, filling in the background.

As the year progresses, children will begin longer term projects.  When finished, children will be asked to create observational drawings and paintings of their work.

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What does it mean to observe an object?

Mae: You have to look really hard.  Diggers do that to find the bones.

Carlos: You take down what it looks like.

Selwyn: Observe is when you look and know more about what you’re looking at.

Florentina: You draw what you see!

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Ryan: When you paint on it, it looks like fire.  It shines.

Ra’Maya: I can see my drawing, but I don’t know why!

Douglas: I see yellow lines that go up and down.

Zeina: The red lines are wavy and the red brown is a curvy line.

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“Do you buy smocks at the smock shop?”

During the first six weeks of a new school year, children explore new materials in different areas of their classroom. Learning about new materials is a great way to build relationships with both classmates and new teachers!

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During the second week of school, Pre-K friends began working with oil pastels in the art area. It was exciting to compare and contrast crayons, which children have been working with since the beginning of the year, with oil pastels. Children were able to draw freely as they acquainted themselves with the new material. Once friends were finished with their masterpieces, they learned how to clean up oil pastels and where they could find them the next time they wanted to draw with them!

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“It feels soft on my hands.” -Ra’Maya

“When I roll the pastel, it makes a funny noise.” -Zeina

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“It’s on my fingers! What! How?”Jax

“When I mix them with my fingers it makes new colors. I’m an artist because I always draw nice things.” -Siena

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“I’m going to mix these two colors together and I don’t know what it’ll make. It’s making purple! You need to use red and blue if you want to make purple!” -Elliott

“Does the oil in them make it so they mix? And smudge?”Mae

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 “I mixed blue and yellow pastels to make green. Someone took the paper off but now I can draw with the pastel sideways!” -Miguel

“They look like crayons, but they don’t really draw like crayons.”-Isabella

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The third week of school was very exciting as we began learning about different types of paint! Friends learned about primary colors (red, yellow, blue) and how to mix them to create secondary colors (orange, green, purple). We practiced putting on smocks to protect our clothing, and learned how to carefully carry wet paintings to the drying rack.

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“The drying rack is like an oven.” -Ayub

“To make green darker, I can add blue. To make it lighter, I can add more yellow.” -Miguel

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 “I like painting the most because I love, love, love it so much because it always looks so good.” -Siah

 “Do you buy smocks at the smock shop?” -Elijah

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 “I’m dipping the brush carefully so I don’t get paint everywhere.” -Waju

 “I mixed all the colors and it made it look black. The paint is really strong. Oh yeah, my painting looks good and really awesome, doesn’t it?”-Marquis

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“You can paint whatever you want. I’m painting a tunnel for spiders, ants and walruses.”    Jariel

 “I know that blue and yellow makes green so you can do that if you want to make green. I like mixing red and yellow… it makes a golden color.” -Zeina

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“Your room is adorable!”

It was a very busy week in the Pre-K Studio as friends began coming for art groups this week!  For children that were Pre-K 3’s last year, they acted as real leaders in showing new children around the Studio.  We spent some time noticing, wondering and asking questions about different spaces and materials that children noticed in the new space.

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Cory: I hear those teachers.  I hear Mr.Duque.  He’s in the wall writing his name.

Maia: Your room is adorable!

William: My sister be here in your classroom before.  Can I stay here for a long time?  Can I sit on your carpet?

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Sylvie: Wow, we’re here!  We’re at the Art Studio!  Guys, you just have to see this!  There’s a rainbow on Ms.Cushner’s table.  When it’s really sunny out the rainbow’s come out from the window!

Luke: The Studio has a hole in the ceiling so it’s next to our class.  The wall attaches to our classroom.

Garumma: I can hear people!  Other kids!  They are under the wall?  This is so interesting.

Once we explored the new space, we came together and learned how to work with watercolors! It was exciting to paint with watercolors after learning about tempera paint because it allowed them to explore their similarities and differences. Friends enjoyed mixing their own colors on palettes and experimenting with making colors lighter and darker.

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Jose:  Why do they love water?

Marley: The water is turning green.  It’s from the green paint.

Claire: Always clean the brush first.  Oops, don’t forget!

Mouhammadou: That’s not nice to the paint to not wash the brush.  That’s not kind.

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Maceo: Are you ready for bath time, brushy?

Mae: You can’t trick us.  We’re smart.

Justin: Give the brush a bath to get clean.  Kids do that too.  Dip it in the water, then put it in the paper, then put it in the water again.

Once friends were finished with their paintings, they had the opportunity to observe and draw a large flower arrangement that were leftover from an event this past weekend.  The flowers are beautiful and had many different smells, textures, patterns and colors.

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Daniel: That plant goes up and down like a hill.

Luke: They are so soft… when I touch them they feel nice.

Alberto: I found another match.  This crayon matches that flower.  I see little flower seeds on the table, too.

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Roman: They smell like roses.

Justin: The flowers smell like vinegar.

Amaya: Are there bugs on them?

Florentina: Are there bees in there?

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“When I squish them they are wonderful!”

During the first six weeks of a new school year, children explore new materials in different areas of their classroom. Learning about new materials is a great way to build relationships with both classmates and new teachers!

During the second week of school, Pre-K friends began working with oil pastels in the art area. It was exciting to compare and contrast crayons, which children have been working with since the beginning of the year, with oil pastels. Children were able to draw freely as they acquainted themselves with the new material. Once friends were finished with their masterpieces, they learned how to clean up oil pastels and where they could find them the next time they wanted to draw with them!

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Ryler: I rubbed my finger and now it’s on the paper and my finger.  I made lots of trees, a pattern, line, line sideways, line, line sideways.  What do orange and purple make?

Ronan: Why are these called oil pastels?  They don’t look like oil to me.

Moses: I want to try to make it white but the pastel is white and the paper is white so I think it won’t work.  The white on the blue made it indigo now.  I made ice cream but it’s too sweet for your bones.

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Mae: The colors turned to blue!  Now it’s green… I made broccoli!  I’m doing so much colors.

Claire: When I squish them they are wonderful!

Kofi: I remember, those are oil pastels!  You can mix with them.

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Sylvie: Smudging is putting your one finger on it.

Vivian: Let’s see how they make a person.  If I put pink and black and purple, let’s see how I can smudge mine.  Let’s see how it changes.  What is the white going to do?

The third week of school was very exciting as we began learning about different types of paint! Friends learned about primary colors (red, yellow, blue) and how to mix them to create secondary colors (orange, green, purple). We practiced putting on smocks to protect our clothing, and learned how to carefully carry wet paintings to the drying rack. Next week, we will begin art groups in the Studio!

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Chrishelle: You have to brush it for a long time to turn it to another color.

Madison: It turned black.  How?

Mackenzi: I can make a swirl with the blue.  It swirled in red and made purple.

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Adrian: I painted my name.  It wasn’t hard to do it.

Noah: Put on your paint jacket so you don’t get paint on your clothes.

Isley: The paintbrush made it look like footprints.  I made an elephant eating blueberry pancakes.

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Zavier: What does paint mean?

Justin: I’m going to make the prettiest one of all!

Zuri: I want to put it in the hall so everyone can see my painting!

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“Why’s the wall blank?”

Today, we started some BIG work in the Studio!  To make space for the paper, I cleared everything off of the bulletin boards and moved the tables around.  Many friends noticed the change right away and had many questions about what exactly we were going to be doing with all the space.  We began by reading Sky Color by Peter Reynolds and like Marisol in the story, children began by brainstorming what they wanted to illustrate for their large resist painting.

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Once friends decided if they wanted their paper horizontal or vertical, they selected materials from the table and began to draw!  Children used oil pastels, twist crayons, crayons, rainbow tape and blue painters tape to make their ideas come to life.  While some friends were inspired by the sky in the story, other children chose to focus on sea monsters, a skateboard with a nose and legs, and poisonous space plants!  

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Jude: A mural is a big, big drawing. Remember we did one last year and now it’s on the playground?

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Haley: One sea monster and then another sea monster.  Mine’s a lady one.  The seaweeds popping out… it’s green tape!”

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Mouhammadou: I’m making rainbow water like rainbow sky in the story.  It can be any color we want!

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 Jasmine: You have to be pretty tall to reach the top of the big paper!

Braeden illustrates “Snoopy and the Pilot!”

Friends have really enjoyed using liquid watercolors with oil pastels and colored tape this week!  It has given me many ideas for upcoming projects and I am so excited to get some of them underway.  Below is a conversation between myself and Braeden about his future career goals and his painting titled “Snoopy and the Pilot!”

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Braeden: Now I need another color to draw in the little triangle.  It’s part of the airplane wing.  Look Ms.Cushner, you just swipe the brush so we don’t waste the paint.  You’re the best artist in the whole world.  You know everything in the whole world.

Ms.Cushner: Wow, Braeden… thank you!  I think you’re a fabulous artist too, and you always take such good care of our materials.

Braeden: It’s because I went to the store, the art store, with my family.  I actually think I’m gonna be the best artist when I grow up.  I got some paints and papers from the art store with my dad so I can practice.

Ms.Cushner: Do you want to be an art teacher or an artist?

Braeden: Not a teacher, just an artist.  I’m practicing to be one now!  See, this is still an airplane… a Snoopy airplane!  Snoopy the Pilot… it’s kind of funny!

“My painting looks like tie-dye!”

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 Today, children used liquid watercolors, oil pastels and tape to create more resist paintings. This is the first time we have worked with liquid watercolors this year and friends loved the bright colors and found it hilarious that they were being stored in baby food jars!  While Neche was working on her painting, she flipped the page over and discovered that the watercolors had bled through to the other side.  By the end, she decided she liked the back of her drawing more then her original flower drawing because “it looks like tie-dye!”