“There’s rainbow rainbows… everywhere!”

After spending three weeks pushing into the art center in PK classrooms, this week children FINALLY began coming to the Studio for art groups!  Friends were busy exploring the space, learning about new art materials and collaborating with friends.

Each art group began with walking around the Studio and noticing things that excited them or that they were curious about.  Children that were in PK last year enjoyed noting similarities and differences between the Studio, as many areas are new!

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Elijah: I remember the easel was turned this other way and you had a rectangle table, not a circle table last year!

Betsegaw: I hear a teacher?  I want to see the friends.

Irvina: This room is so amazing.  It’s like a rainbow.  There are so many decorations in here!

Cesar: Why you don’t got no bathroom in here?

Declan: I see centers in here, like different art centers.

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Kendul: Your bell sounds like a musical instrument.

Dayana: I hear a baby crying.

Julian: I see the park!

Charlotte: Your room has windows.  A rainbow window.  And that’s aftercare over there.

Daniela: Everyone belongs in here!

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Naila: I’m looking around the room so I know what I want to paint.  I love the rainbow on that window!

Marcus: I hear the “popcorn on the train” song.

Drew: I remember making those bug stamps last year!

Luca: The easel turned to the side.  I notice so many new friends, but not the bell… the bell was here last year.

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Asa: There’s rainbow rainbows… everywhere!

Alden: I know, we made that a couple years ago about insects.

Julian: There’s a hole in the wall so we can hear them singing the fishy song!

Uhura: I hear friends behind that wall.  I think they’re doing a dance party!

Vanessa: I saw diamonds!  I love diamonds.

Jax: How do you have play dough in here?

Nora: Where do the smocks live?

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Next, children were introduced to sketchbooks.  We will be using them throughout the year to collect art work and individual stories.  Children will have opportunities to share artwork from their sketchbooks with others as we build a collaborative community.  Friends used liquid watercolors to begin designing and differentiating the covers of their sketchbooks.

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Aurora: How does the paint dry so fast?

Frances: I see paint.  Pink paint, hooray!

Ahmari: It looks like blood but it’s really paint.

Avery: I’m covering all the white.  It looks beautiful!  Look what’s happening… the blue is going away because I’m changing the color.

Kaylee: I’m painting so much.  I’m working so hard!

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Theo: Before you paint, you have to tap off some of the paint from the brush.

Kourtney: The jars are made out of glass.  If you drop it, it will break and it will make a mess.

Brandon: The outside of the sketchbook (spine) looks like a slinky.  It moves!

Elizabeth: Remember when I mixed garbage green last year?  I’m trying that again.

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Nazeer: I can teach you how to put on the smocks!  Just go and put your head through here.

Katherine: I’m being so kind with this… I’m sharing the paint.

Adele: I’m so an artist.

Christian: We can share the paint in here, but we can’t share our germs.

Daniela: Be gentle gentle with the glass.

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As children finished painting, they began learning about other centers in the Studio.  This week, dry erase markers were available at the easel and Slick Stix were available at the back table.  Friends are VERY excited for the sensory table to open up next week!

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Frances: These feel good but they feel a little sticky.

Ahmari: Pop the top back on it.

Kaleb: The erasers are super soft.

Kendul: These look like lipstick.

Theo: I like the Slick Stix.  They look kind of nice and sticky like glue sticks.

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“Purple and yellow together made a dark yellow that looks like a rotten banana.”

For the second week of our color study, friends mixed colors using primary (red, yellow, blue) and secondary (orange, green, purple) colors.  We began by reading Color Dance by Ann Jonas, which gives really great visuals for how colors mix and change… especially highlighting that all colors mixed together make grey or brown.

Next, friends began mixing colors on their individual palettes and shared with friends what they noticed and wondered throughout the process.

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Autumn: What did I make? Red! But what kind of red? It’s yellow red!

Gerson: I made brown.  No, this is purple.

Phoenix: I made two purples… like twins.

Luca: Purple and yellow together made a dark yellow that looks like a rotten banana.

Naomi: Wow, this is a new color.  It’s so new that I don’t even know the name for it.  I guess I can call it yellow gold.

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Elijah: I made a special color.  It’s called violet jam.

Nazeer: I’m holding the palette in my hand like I’m an artist because I am an artist.

Daniel: Red like the lobster.  Red lobster.

Brandon: Let me see what happens.  I used all the colors and see, it made brown.

Leonel: This color is called dark rose.

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Frances: I think I made grassy green. And this kind looks like cactus green.

Elliott: On sunny days, I want to be cooled down. On cold days, I want to be warmed up. I’m going to make a color to make me really warm. A color like the sun makes me really warm, I used yellow and orange to make that.

Isabella: Does anyone know this color? It’s a dark stormy color.

Cora: I’m mixing Christmas-y colors. It made purple brown.

Trebor: I mixed a little bit of orange and a lot of green and it made monster green.

Elizabeth: Look look look what I made, it’s garbage green.

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Mileena: This color is like the clouds. Like outside the window on those clouds.

Gionni: What happens if I put a little more green on the blue… it got lighter! I put more blue and now it’s darker.

Eden: That’s how real artists actually do when they paint on the walls they hold the palette.

David: What color this is? Blue. Yes.

Siah: Let’s see how it changes. Orange, I got orange! Uhhhh, I used red and orange.

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Avery: I’m making black. But I’m not finished yet, I’m still making colors.

Anders: Let’s see what happens to this. It made green. I made light green and dark green. It looks like trees.

Jax: Some red and some yellow, mix the colors and now let’s see what happens now! It turns to an orange with…. Blood!

Julian: Mater is brown and McQueen is red.

Joelle: I’m gonna mix two colors. Not a lot of colors, just two colors. It looks like green beans, right?

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“I need to take a little break… mixing colors is making me tired!”

Last week, friends began learning about colors and color mixing as we kicked off our long-term color study!  We started by reading Monsters Love Colors, a very silly book that introduces colors and color mixing to young children really well.

Daniel: Red monster!  Blue monster!  Yummy colors!

Elizabeth: I can’t wait to mix so many colors for the monsters.

Felipe: Will red, yellow and blue make a rainbow?  The monsters will be so happy!  We made new colors, too.

Next, I introduced some new materials, such as a palette.  Children learned that palettes are a tool that artists use for mixing colors.  They were very excited to hold it in one hand and their paintbrush in the other.  For the first week, each palette was prepared with the primary colors (red, yellow, blue) for children to mix new colors with.

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Leonel: We’re going to paint with Colombia colors… red, yellow and blue.

Sebrina: A palette holds the paint.  It’s important.

Finally, it was time to paint.  Children began mixing colors that they thought the monsters from the story would love!

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Autumn: Look at how I made it…  I mixed red and blue and it’s purple!

Phoenix: That color looks like the color of Ethiopian food.  My mom likes that food!

Luca: Red is the color for love.

Dafnee: Daniel was right!  Red and blue makes purple!

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Brandon: I’ll mix red and blue and let’s see what happens!

Isabella: How did you make that kind of purple, Elliott?  Does it have more blue or more red?

Cameron: I mixed all the colors… let’s see what happens!  How come when I did all the colors it made brown, not rainbow?

Nydelyn: I made red, like a strawberry red, because I like them.

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Trebor: I want to make rainbow.  Wow, I did it actually!  It’s because I’m an artist.

Cora: I can’t believe red, yellow and blue can make all of these colors!

Frances: I made turquoise with a lot of blue and a little yellow.  Now look, when I put a lot of yellow and a little blue it makes light green, like slimy green.

Bella: I made the color of ducks!

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Elizabeth: When you mix colors, the paint is loud.  When you paint, the brush is quiet because it’s busy.

Waju: I made dark green!  Now I have two types of green.  This one is darker because it has more blue in it.

Eli: I made green because I thinked about it and remembered that blue and yellow would do that.

Kwame: I mixed all the colors and it made brown.

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Siah: I made tropical blue, how did I do that?

Katherine: Blue and yellow I told you made green.

Anders: I was right… red and yellow did make orange.

Joelle: A little bit of yellow and a little bit of blue makes a little bit of green.

Sammy: I need to take a little break… mixing colors is making me tired!

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“This is like a tiny paint… stadium!”

This was the first week that children came to the Studio for art groups, and we had an absolute blast!   Friends had many questions about the space and materials which made for enthusiastic and busy art groups.

Friends noticed and wondered many things about the Studio…

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Mariyah: Who’s making that sound over that wall?

Belen: You got a new carpet?  And an easel?  Wow!

Yuri: I hear Ms.Holmes.  Is she in that white box?

Dafnee: I wish there would be a wall so it’s more quieter.

Kaleb: Is this your house?

Brandon: You have a dee-doo dee-doo in your room for the fire drills.

Elliott: You got a new rug just like our class!

Nydelyn: Your bell sounds like the tooth fairy.

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Alden: Hey, that’s my classroom over that wall!

Eli: Why you got two boards now?

Gionni: This is like a tiny paint… stadium!

Kwame: That’s Mister Skinny Legs skin… do you remember him?

Frances: My very first time in this room!  There’s rainbows in here and now I’m turning into a rainbow!  And seashells! And a magical sink that makes a “bump bump” sound.

Anders: I just stepped on a rainbow!  It was on the floor.  Now it’s on my pants and my pants are actually my pajama pants.

Julian: I love it in this place.

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At the front table, children were introduced to liquid watercolors and used them to fill more pages of their sketchbooks.  We discussed mixing on the paper (not in the jars… for now…) and how to safely use and pass the glass jars.

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Luca: Glass breaks when you drop it.

Amen: I’m putting the brush in the green.  It stays green that way.  I’ll put the red on top like an experiment.

Mateo: Don’t break the glass so you don’t get a cut.

Isabella: Pass it gently and keep it away from that edge of the table.

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Naomi: Are the jars made out of concrete?

Amal: This is red like red blood on the bandaid.

Trebor: Phew, this painting is hard work!

Jax: Don’t hurt the brush.  Don’t bang it or the brush will die.

Elizabeth: This brush is big, but the one in the pink is small.

Isaac: I can’t believe it… I’m painting with blue!

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Once children were done painting, they could self select from the other centers in the Studio.  This week, friends could use markers at the back table, draw and erase at the easel, or build with shape and color puzzles on the carpet.

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Katherine: Let’s do this together because the board is really, really big.  It’s an ice cream cone with chocolate chips.

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* I have many group photos of children working that couldn’t be posted due to the confusion with media releases this year.  Looking forward to getting those lists updated so that more photos can be posted on the blog! 🙂

“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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“I’ll go sad when they go to Kindergarten and I’m gonna cry so loud!”

How is it already June?  This year really flew by!  One of my favorite parts of the year is when I split PK3’s and PK4’s so they can create gifts for their classmates who are either going to Kindergarten or staying in PK for another year.

This year, the PK3’s created their own colors of paint to send to Kindergarten.  The idea is that when children open their easel the first week of school, they will have special colors waiting for them and reminding them of their friends in PK.  We read My Many Colored Days by Dr.Seuss and brainstormed what types of colors friends might want to incorporate into future paintings.

Trebor: Let’s make them pink.  They like it and they be happy.

Eli: Let’s mix the paint and make it like chocolate milk.

Jax: Special red orange.  Really special.  Best day ever.

Cameron: Elijah likes green, let’s make him that.  And Sophie likes purple!

We narrowed it down to two colors per group to create and got to work on our color experiments!  Friends took turns adding colors to jars and mixing until they were happy with the color.  Finally, they assigned each color a name.

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Autumn: I’m just gonna cry about them.

Jax: I’ll go sad when they go to Kindergarten and I’m gonna cry so loud!

Dafnee: I won’t tell them what we  made for the surprise.  I’ll just say we make a flower!

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Fatima: We can call it lettuce… we grew that.

Amen: It’s turning to dark blue.  It’s turned to dark pink.

Dafnee: It’s getting lighter.  It’s mixing colors.

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Dafnee: This pink is pink lemonade.  It takes like sweet lemonade and it’s my favorite color.

Belen: C’mon purple, you can do it.

Waju: The stick is gonna turn purple.  Let’s write the names, like broccoli, on the stick so they know!

Kai: I put just the right amount of white.

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Below are some shots of the finished jars of paints and the sticks that show what children chose to name each color.  Along with the paint , we will include a sweet letter that friends wrote.

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Dear Friends,

We will miss you when you go to Kindergarten.  Be nice.  You are our best friends but you have to go and make something new.  We’ll miss your singing, I like playing with you and thanks for playing with me.  Don’t worry, when you go to Kindergarten, you will see all our friends.  We could visit you and we could play out back.  Will there be babies in our class?  We’re gonna be in charge of the little teeny tiny kids.  We will be kind to the new friends, and we can help take kids to another classroom so they can find their teachers.  I’ll be a leader, leading them, like you showed  us.  I’ll share with them and show them how to freeze.

We hope you like the paint.  Can you paint one thing for us so we can see the colors we made?  We can’t wait to see what you paint.  

Love, your PK3 friends

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“The okra looks like a flower!”

As I shared in my last post, friends have begun working on designing canvas shopping bags for families to shop with at our Market on May 20th!  Lavender groups have spent the last two weeks exploring fruit prints and have had a blast stamping with various produce!  Between the two weeks, we tried printing with 15 different fruits and vegetables so that we could narrow it down to the shapes, sizes and patterns we wanted to incorporate into our bags.

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Cathy: The okra looks like a flower. Celery makes likes like foot prints.

Kavalli: I got a seed from the apple.  We can keep them to plant.

Naomi: The grapefruit is the biggest, and broccoli looks like popcorn.

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Jariel: A green lemon… I mean, a lime!

Issabela: It makes bubbles! Poppy, poppy, pop!

Kai: The potato went splat.  I want to try this again!

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Siah: Broccoli makes little spots.

Jax: Like Mister Potato Head!

Isabella: Celery makes marks like the shape of a moon!

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“This… is art!”

The Rose and Lavender groups have been hard at work in the Studio on wooden sculptures. Friends spent a week exploring wooden shapes and trying to figure out which pieces worked together and which didn’t.  Children noticed that round shapes had a hard time balancing on flat shapes, but if both sides were flat, they could easily stick together.  Next, friends used wet glue to adhere their pieces to create one or more sculptures!

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Eli: I can mix the glue.  I can spread the glue.

Jax: Wow, so cool.  See, it can stand up!

Konone: I don’t know what I made!

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Christian: The ring and the ball look like a planet from outer space!

Bennett: I’m going to make a little kid.  It’s my sister.  No, no, I made a dinosaur with a spike on the back!

Naomi: This piece looks like a bracelet!

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Kavalli: Whewwwwww, the ball rolls.

Cathy: I balanced it!

Isabella: Wood feels cold, smooth and hard.

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The following week, friends were excited to see that their sculptures were dry!  Children used liquid watercolors to paint their wooden sculptures.

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Cathy: My sculpture looks like Mars.

Darby: This… is art!

Christian: My 3 headed monster!  I missed him!  I’m an artist because if someone is an artist, they just paint their sculptures.  Yep, I’m correct.  I’m an artist because I have to make him detailed.  It’s so crazy, the paint is drying so fast!

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Isabella: Victor, yours balanced!

Siah: I’m painting it gentle so it wont break.

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Jariel: The paint dried.  It dried fast.

Kai: Look at me.  I did this.

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This week, friends worked on adding collage materials to our sculptures.  Children collected feathers, buttons, googly eyes and other found materials from the Studio to add to their sculptures.

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Kavalli: It’s an experiment.  An eyeball fox man.

Naomi: Cathy, look! This material is shiny.  It can be the chocolate in the cookie.

Phoenix: The glue is rainbow.

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Siah: A star! A sprinkle star! So pretty.

Jariel: Mamma mia, stop sticking to me, you feather.

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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 🙂