Tuesday, April 23, 2013


During the winter months, we studied the artwork of American Folk Artist
She was a self-taught artist who began her painting career in her seventies. GRANDMA MOSES lived to be 101 years old and created many paintings during that time. She enjoyed painting the people and activities most familiar to her and her country lifestyle. Below is one of her many paintings we studied.

We decided to create our own version of a GRANDMA MOSES inspired winter LANDSCAPE.

 We began by painting a winter sky using water color.
When the painting dried, we glued a torn piece of white paper to the bottom for the snow.
This created a HORIZON LINE where the earth and the sky meet.

Next, we created two houses from cut paper. 
One house was big, the other was small.
We learned we could create an illusion of NEAR and FAR by placing the large house close to the bottom, and the small house close to the HORIZON LINE.

There's a difference between tearing and ripping paper. 
Tearing the paper allowed us to control the direction of the tear.
We used these pieces of torn paper to create winter trees.
The rough edges of the torn paper looked just like bumpy tree bark.

 We made some trees large for the FOREGROUND (near).

We created tiny trees for the BACKGROUND (far).

 Last, we created a person for our pictures.

 We had to make sure we dressed them warmly!!

 Cutting out those tiny hats, boots, mittens, jackets and snow pants was a challenge!

We think GRANDMA MOSES would like our winter LANDSCAPES as much as we like hers!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


For our most recent project, we learned about a French artist named
He was a painter who also created artwork using a technique called
"carving in color".
Matisse perfected this idea of cutting and layering painted papers into interesting compositions in his later years.
We based our project on the painting of his shown below called
The Beasts of the Sea. 

The Beasts of the Sea
Henri Matisse

Like Matisse, we started our project by painting many sheets of white paper in a variety of bright, bold colors.

Next, we each cut smaller SQUARES and RECTANGLES from the painted paper and glued them onto a tall piece of white paper. We OVERLAPPED the shapes carefully leaving a BORDER of white around all sides.

 Then, we cut out some "silly shapes" (shapes from our imagination that have no names) from the painted paper and layered them onto our colorful squares and rectangles.

 We saved our smallest silly shapes for finishing touches on the last (top) layer.

We had to be very careful while gluing so the wet glue didn't "lift" the paint from the paper.

We had to make sure we were layering colors different from those we had already used.

The finished pieces have a beautiful long shape
and are most colorful!
In addition to the sampling of individual paintings shown below, each class also painted a larger than life Matisse style mural which hang from the ceiling near the teacher's mailboxes.

We hope you'll stop by to take a look!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Continuing on with our study of LINES, we drew five different types on our paper using permanent marker.
 Try to find these lines in the painting below:
OVERLAPPING our LINES created SHAPES that were perfect for painting!

We used watercolors and worked carefully to fill in SHAPES around the paper. 
We left some shapes white for visual balance.

As always, we hung a few on the art wall in the kindergarten wing
for all to enjoy.

We invite you to stop by!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


For our very first art project of the 2012/13 school year, we learned about
He was a dutch artist who lived long ago and painted many pictures which now hang in museums all over the world. Some of his favorite subjects were sunflowers and night skies like the one above titled
The Starry Night.
(please excuse the glare in this photo)

Our challenge was to work as a group to re-create this famous painting as a large mural.
 All of the kindergarten classes worked on this project during our art time. 
We used small strips of colored paper to repressent
Van Gogh's brush strokes.

 Glue was applied to the back of each strip using our "handy dandy tool"
 (aka pointer finger). Each strip was then placed on the mural in a spot where each particular color was needed.

We had to pay close attention to the direction of his brush strokes. 
We found that some were horizontal, vertical, diagonal and wavy.
This is a close up of our finished mural.

And this photo will give you an idea of just how large our mural is!
It is currently hanging in the Kindergarten wing.
We love it and hope you will stop by to see it for yourself!

Monday, June 11, 2012


Creating these fish involved many interesting steps.

We began by using watered down tempera paint for the background.
We had to work quickly to paint the whole paper before we covered the wet surface with a piece of ...

plastic wrap! 
We used our hands to pat and twist the plastic wrap on the paper.
Once the paint had a chance to dry, the plastic wrap fell away revealing an interesting "water" design.

Using a piece of colored paper and crayons, we created patterns to represent the scales on a fish.
Then, we cut an oval and triangle from the patterned papers for the body and tail.

Finally, we glued our fish to the "water" background
 and then added a tissue paper fin and an eye. 
A stream of glitter bubbles created just the right finishing touch. 
Our fish sure looked happy swimming along on the display wall!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Illustrator: ERIC CARLE

We read Eric Carle's book
We liked the books so much that we decided to make some illustrations similar in style to his.

We began by studying reference photos of many different animals.

We practiced... 

 and practiced...

and practiced our drawing...

until we got things just right!

Next we used tissue paper and papier mache paste to cover a large piece of paper with an
"unexpected color"
just like Eric Carle who created pink rabbits and polka dotted donkeys!
Once it was dry, we turned it over and drew our animals LARGE!

Then we cut our animals out, and added them to our backgrounds.

We love how different each of them look!

And, we had fun adding details like feathers...

and spots!

Our display was enjoyed by all!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

OP ART using Complementary Colors

Op art, or Optical Art, became popular in the 1960's. It is a style of abstract art that gives the impression of movement, swelling or vibration when lines, shapes and/or colors are grouped together in patterns. Below are some examples of Op Art that the kindergarten artists studied while learning about this style of art.

 Do the images in this picture appear to be moving or pulsating?

Or shifting?

Or swirling?
Do they make your eyes "jump"?
The students thought so and this delighted them!!
In fact, they liked it so much they each tried their hand at creating their own piece of Op Art.

Each student was given a large cardboard circle.
They created a grid in pencil using VERTICAL and HORIZONTAL LINES.

Next, they lightly marked out a pattern by putting a small 'x' in every other shape.
(Look hard at the circle above and see if you can find them!)

The fun really began when the paint and brushes came out!
Each student chose one color to paint over the marks on their grid.

They worked hard to stay within the lines of these small shapes.
This was no easy task, but they were very focused!

When it was time for the second color, the students chose the
to the color they started with.
You can find out more about Complementary Colors in our previous post.

They painted and painted until every last bit of white was covered.

Here is a sampling of their fiinished Op Art paintings.
Stop by the Kindergarten Wing to see more!