L' ATELIER ~ The Art Room

Welcome to the Preschools new Art Room Blog “L’ Atelier”

 

Fun Fact!

L’ Atelier is French for “The Workshop” 

An Atelier is traditionally a workshop where a principal master Artist and a number of assistants, students, and apprentices work together in the production of works of art. 

 

The use of the word to describe our creative working space, is to stimulate discussion and awareness of cultural diversity. Culture being one of many key elements which informs and colours every aspect of an individuals creative language.

Creative Capacity Term Two Quote

“You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not’?” – Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw

Term Two Master Artist

Margaret Olley was born in 1923

Margaret Olley is still one of our most recognised women artists and she was one of Australia’s most important still life and interior painters.

In the late 1940s she worked as a set designer in the theatre. She loved to paint everyday things and found beauty in their simplicity and colour. Many of her paintings feature arrangements of fruits and flowers and pottery.

Margaret brought a terrace house and adjoining former hat factory in the inner Sydney suburb of Paddington. This home and studio became almost as famous as the artist herself. With its richly coloured walls, it was jam-packed with thousands of things, many of which she painted. It looked very messy but was arranged by the artist like a still life.

Margaret Olley continued to paint into her early 80s.

For her service as an artist and to the promotion of Australian art, she was awarded the “Order of Australia” in 1991and made a Companion of the “Order of Australia” in 1996.

She died in 2011, aged 88.

Artist: Margaret Olley

Painter Margaret Olley poses for a portrait session in her studio in Paddington on November 17, 2005, in Sydney.

Photo Credit: Getty Images: Patrick Riviere

Term Two Masterpiece

Original Title: Untitled (Still Life with Poppies And Daisies)

Artist: Margaret Olley

Date: 1969

Style: Impressionist

Period: Modernist 

Genre: Still Life

Media: Oil on Hardboard

Dimensions:  76.0 × 61.0 cm

Location: Private Collection, Queensland

IN THE ATELIER: TERM TWO ~ “Onwards and Upwards”

Museo Aero Solar “The Giant Air Balloon Project"

Throughout the beginning of term one we spent some time reflecting on the “Giant Air Balloon Project” of 2017. The Giant Air Balloon evolved out of a yearlong investigation into the qualities and capacities of the Earths Air and the Sun. With the construction material being that of recycled plastic bags, collected by preschool families, the project was also a brilliant opportunity to generate thought and ideas centered around our over use of plastic bags and imaginative ways to repurpose them.

Although ambitious, the resulting Giant Air Balloon was successfully constructed and officially launched on December 19th. To everyone’s delight the decorative mass of plastic inflated and lifted off the ground with ease. Whilst the launch itself was incredibly successful we had underestimated just how effective our balloon would be at harnessing the Suns solar power, as it broke away from it’s anchor points, became airborne and drifted away. Despite our best efforts to locate and retrieve the balloon, its whereabouts remains a mystery.

Our response to this has been to further explore the children’s imaginative responses to where the balloon may be and what may have happened to it. To consider the impact it would be having and what, if anything, we should do next.

We have also been addressing the obvious environmental impact and problem of single use plastic bags in the environment. This is generating consumer plastic awareness among some of the children.

To support this awareness, preschool staff have been working on reinforcing positive recycling practices within the preschool. Apart from our long running food waste recycling routine, this term has seen the introduction of a soft plastics recycling bin and we now have an effective waste paper recycling system in place across all rooms of the preschool.

Children are participating in activities which allows them to be active participants in the reclamation of the paper waste, into meaningful and useful materials. By turning paper waste into paper pulp the children are now able to make handmade paper, paper clay and paper mâché. Apart from the satisfaction of participating in the processing of the paper into something useful, such materials allow for further creative exploration and expression.

This ongoing project has even generated new ideas of yet another balloon construction.

"When it comes back down from the moon on the water we can crawl into it! It will be warm in there you know and dry. And when it fly’s again we will know where it goes.(H.M.R2)

"We can make it out of paper! Then it won’t hurt the birds or the fish. Remember? You taught me that!" (M.O.R1)

IN THE ATELIER: TERM TWO ~ Week Ten

Tuesday July 3rd

Art Room Sink: Painting the Splashback Mural - Bringing together what we have learnt about colour mixing and blending

Discussions throughout the past few weeks, about the possible colour pallet for our splashback mural was all about rainbows!

 “It should be rainbow!” (S.M.R1)

“Yes! It needs pink and purple!” (S.Mc.R1)

"Sandii we can mix the colours like you have shown us! I can make orange and green!" (A.D.R2)

"But you need to get the yellow and the blue out of the bottles! Remember?" (K.P.R2)

"Can I help?" (M.C.R1)

So, with this in mind and a little professional artist wisdom as guidance, the children set about painting the panel background colours and managed to complete three of the four panels. Which look amazing!  

Tuesday Photo Gallery

Wednesday July 4th

Art Room Sink: Painting the Splashback Mural - Bringing together what we have learnt about colour mixing and blending

Today we completed the painting of our final panel background for the splashback mural. When seen together, they make for a fantastic collaborative artwork as is. But over coming days’ line drawings of the children’s favourite things about preschool will be worked over the colourful background surface, complete with artist’s accounts of each image. We are all very excited to see what the work will look like completed and installed.     

Wednesday Photo Gallery

IN THE ATELIER: TERM TWO ~ Week Nine

Wednesday June 27th

Art Room Sink: Designing a Splashback Mural

Further discussions with the children about the” Splashback Mural Project” led to some more wonderful drawings being produced by the children of their favourite things about Kurri Kurri Preschool. We now have enough drawn inspiration to plan the mural and discussions have begun about what colours we could use in the mural.

Wednesday Photo Gallery

IN THE ATELIER: TERM TWO ~ Week Eight

Monday June 18th

Margaret Olley, Oriental Lilies and Painting at the Easel

Introducing the children who have dropped into the art room this term to the vibrant still life works of Margaret Olley, has seen an opportunity to bring a little of the outdoors indoors while the weather cools. This week our vase featured some lovely giant oriental lilies, this inspiration was clearly evident in today’s works.

While the children painted, I was also working alongside them with a traditional, wooden artist mixing pallet. A few of the children asked if they could give it ago, so after a short demonstration on how to hold a paint loaded pallet while painting at the easel, the children tried their hand at it with varying degrees of success. The task is a difficult one to master as it requires coordination of the whole body whilst the two hands are engaged in differing tasks and controlled balance. This combination of gross and fine motor movement and control is a fantastic fun way to challenge our young artists.         

“Look Sandii! I am painting like an artist.” "I am a real artist! Just like you! See!" (R.C.R1)

Monday Photo Gallery

Tuesday June 19th

The Great Paint Dilemma! Learning to work with “Messy Paint” and the Broad Brush”

With the cooler weather settling in, there was a few children who were eager to participate in some self-directed painting and while the regular visitors to the space have developed some advanced paint handling skills, some of our less frequent friends were more spontaneous with the material. What followed was the production of a number of early works that were brightly coloured, then progressively the works became more blended and less colour was coming through.

“Sandii! Look at the paints! They are not using them properly! Their all yucky!”  (R.C.R1)

Sandii: That’s ok, some of our friends are still learning about the paints and how to use them.

“But I can’t use the red anymore! See! It’s all yucky! Can we have some more?” (R.C.R1)

Sandii: Well I could put out more paint, but then this paint won’t get used. What will I do with this paint?

"Clean it away and put the clean colours in there!" (R.CR1)

Sandii: Well that’s a good idea, but where should I clean the paint away to?

“Wash it out in the sink!” (M.K.R2)

Sandii: But there is so much of it! I don’t want to put all this down the sink, it is not a good thing for the environment and I don’t want to waste the paint even though it’s not bright and colourful and clean anymore. I think I might know what to do! Let’s just use the paint anyway and see if we can come up with some new ways to make it look different!

"Ok, but how?" (R.C.R1)   

Sandii: Well! Look at the paint in each pot, see how the red is still in there but it has blue and brown and green swirled into it. If we take a broad brush (big brush) each and gently dip it into the pot without mixing with the brush, let’s see what happens?

The children watched me dip my broad brush into the paint pot carefully and then did the same. The brushes loaded with multiple colours along the bristle tips.

“Look its rainbow!” (M.K.R2)

Sandii: Now if we carefully sweep the paint brush across the paper and don’t go back over it, just go in the one direction, let’s see what happens!

The children discovered that the paint brush when swept along the paper in one direction left a multi-coloured mark on the paper and that they could alter the effect by using the same technique but with a clean broad brush and a different pot of “yucky” paint.

From here the children experimented with the way they moved their brushes across the paper and different ways of applying the same paint but with different sized brushes.

Tuesday Photo Gallery

Wednesday June 20th

Art Room Sink: Designing a Splashback Mural

In the lead-up to the preschool winter holidays, staff have been preparing the children for the term three changes that will take place in the current art room. The major changes being the relocation of some of the bag lockers and the installation of a wet area (Sink and Benchtop), which will allow us to contain wet production such as our current papermaking activities and felting to one area and will also make cleaning away paintbrushes easier.

The sink chosen for the space has a deep splashback that will back onto the windows dividing room two from the art room. This was going to leave us with a bland visual void of stainless steel. However, with some creative quick thinking we have come up with a solution “A Mural insert”, No one does a mural better then little artists! So today we discussed the “Splashback Mural Project” with the children and then enlisted some keen artists, who drew some fabulous drawings inspired by their favourite things about Kurri Kurri Preschool. These drawings along with further discussion about what the children would like the mural to look like when it is finished will inform the overall appearance of the mural. 

Wednesday Photo Gallery

IN THE ATELIER: TERM TWO ~ Week Seven

Tuesday June 12th

Waratah still-life drawing and experimentation with natural charcoal, chalk and paint.

The art room was previously setup by another staff member with chunks of charcoal and lengths of chalk to explore both on white and black paper. So, I thought I would extend on this and introduce a Waratah still-life for inspiration. And while the waratah did feature in a few artworks, most artists decided to explore the charcoal and the chalk through representations of meaningful things and people in their lives.

“This is Wally the bird! He is La La’s bird. She is my grandma!” (S.M.R1)

“Look remember the lines I did in the sandpit with the shovel? That’s these!” (T.A.R2)

“My nanna and me up the hill!” (R.C.R1)

“That’s the horse! And its gate! (M.O.R1)

“A tree with lightning, it’s going to be winter soon!” (L.B.R1)

Tuesday Photo Gallery

Wednesday June 13th & Thursday June 14th

Handmade Paper Bookmarks: Coloured Sharpies and Watercolour Paint.

We have been given the task of making 34 bookmarks as gifts to present to our visiting Chinese guests, who will be spending some time with us on Monday next week.

And we thought that this was the perfect opportunity to use our first batch of handmade artist’s paper. Not only will they look great! But they will be a demonstration of our waste awareness project and a good example of the reduce, reuse, recycle philosophy.

There was so much eagerness to paint a bookmark that there were many repeat requests to do it again. So, it is easy to predict what we are going to be doing with our new batch of artist paper when we make it next week!

Wednesday & Thursday Photo Gallery

IN THE ATELIER: TERM TWO ~ Week Six

Tuesday June 5th

Spontaneous Mono Prints and a little Paper Recycling

Today I thought I was going to oversee some paper shredding and pulp making, but as I arrived and began setting up, my attention was drawn to an easel in room 2 where a lone maker was immersed literally in her painting process. With paint rubbed and blended onto a sheet of easel paper and hands from the fingertips to the wrists covered in a dense layer of paint, this little maker was joyously engaging and delighting in the sensation of the paint on her hands.

Sandii: How amazing this looks! Is it fun?

The little artist smiled widely and nodded (Z.H.R2)

Sandii: Could I also have a go?

Another wide smile and nod.

So, I put the things in my hands down and knelt at the easel and had a go. The paper was heavily saturated with paint.

Sandii: We could set up in the art room on a big sheet of thick art paper and start a new painting if you like?

Another wide smile and nod.

So, we moved our activity into the art room where a few other little artists joined us. We started off with the three primary colours Yellow, Red, Blue, but before long the paint had been over worked into the paper which created variations on the colour brown.

I thought this would be a great opportunity to explore and make spontaneous mono-prints.

A mono-print is a single print taken from a design created in paint or printing ink on a flat surface. It’s a form of printmaking where the image can only be made once, unlike most printmaking which allows for multiples. The beauty of mono-printing lies in its spontaneity and its allowance for combinations of printmaking, painting and drawing.

It was evident that this activities sensory and tactile engagement with the paint was valued more than the end product!  

Despite this spontaneous and joyous diversion, we still managed a session of paper shredding later in the day.  

Tuesday Photo Gallery

Wednesday June 6th

Paper Pulp to Papier Mache

Toward the end of last week, I stole a moment to myself and made a small sample batch of Sculpting Papier Mache, using some of the paper pulp we processed. And to test its consistency I made a small bowl and left it to dry.

So today I wanted to discuss with the children the process we had all followed from hand tearing paper, to shredding the paper, “The machine was gobbling it up” (H.M.R2), to soaking the torn paper and then blending it into a fine pulp.

During the discussion, I past a basket around the room with the moist paper pulp and the sample batch of Sculpting Papier Mache in it and asked the children to touch it and describe what it felt like.  

 “It’s cold” ( M.K.R2)

“Squishy, Slimy and sticky” (H.L.R2)

Then I passed around the small bowl I had made last week as an example of what can be made with the Sculpting Papier Mache.

“It’s a bowl!’ (T.A.R2)

Sandii: Yes, but you can make anything you like with it.

I setup a table on the outdoor decking with some work boards and the Sculpting Papier Mache for exploration. The resulting mini sculptures now need time to firm up and dry. Next week we can give them a vibrant makeover with some paint.   

Wednesday Photo Gallery

Thursday June 7th

Painting the Lizard Environment

The group of children who had made lizard environments several weeks back, have been patiently waiting to paint the collaborative effort which involved many helpers. So with the day being sunny and warm we headed out side to do just that!

“We need to do a good job so the predators don’t get the lizards when they move in.” (A.P.R1)

“Like Green Ants” (J.W.R1)

“What about bears” (T.C.R1)

“Maybe dogs?” (H.S.R1)

“But we don’t have dogs at preschool.” (A.P.R1)

“A tiger, or something!” (J.W.R1)

Sandii: What’s a predator?

“A predator is a dinosaur like a T rex, it will eat the lizards.” (A.P.R1)

Sandii: What about birds, do they eat Lizards? Are they predators?

“Yes!” (J.W.R1)

“No, they don’t” (A.P.R1, T.C.R1)

“I know because I am an expert!” (T.C.R1)

Sandii: Why are we not painting in the water holes?

“Because the lizards could get sick!” (A.P.R1)

Sandii: You are all being so careful!

“Yes! Because it’s a new lizard home and we want it to be safe.” (H.S.R1)

“I accidently painted in the waterhole, will I wipe it out?” (J.W.R1)

“Yes! Otherwise the lizards will get sick!” (A.P.R1)

“I heard a lizard!” (A.P.R1)

“I am going to use green!” (T.C.R1)

“Um Sandii, I can see the tree down there, I am going to paint it down there.” (T.C.R1)

“Do lizards eat green flies?” (H.S.R1)

“No!” (A.P.R1)

“I saw a lizard eat a green fly.” (H.S.R1)

“Did you!” (A.P.R1)

“Yes!” (H.S.R1)

“I think we should stop painting it now! Because the lizards want to move in.” (J.W.R1)

Sandii: Yes, and it will need to dry! No lizard wants to walk wet paint all through its new home!

 

Thursday Photo Gallery

IN THE ATELIER: TERM TWO ~ Week Five

Tuesday May 29th

Citrus and Lavender Still-life Drawing

Our focus artist in the Atelier for this term is the amazing female pioneer artist Margaret Olley, who was renowned for her eccentricity and gorgeous still-life paintings, so I thought I would head out into my own garden and find some fresh perfumed inspiration for us all to draw…or not.

With this being citrus season, our trees are brightly decorated with masses of orange and yellow fleshed citrus, the perfect subject for a still-life drawing. I also picked a handful of our aromatic French lavender and bundled it together into a perfumed bouquet and headed off to preschool to share my gathered inspiration.   

And this was the result! Several carefully composed oil pastel and pencil drawings and much conversation about the colours, the perfumes and feel of the arrangements.

Tuesday Photo Gallery

Wednesday May 30th

Citrus and Lavender still-life drawing and more Paper Pulp Processing

Today in the Atelier the citrus and lavender arrangements were still enticing eager artists to draw, touch and smell.

While this was unfolding, I had noticed that some diligent children had with the assistance of a staff member, torn a whole bucket full of used paper into tiny pieces and added water which had begun to breakdown the paper particles. Perfect for now processing into paper pulp. So, for the latter part of the afternoon we paper pulped and now have a large stockpile ready for use! 

Wednesday Photo Gallery

Thursday May 31st

Citrus and Lavender Still-life Drawing

Today’s lovely sunny weather allowed us to head out onto the veranda with our still-life arrangements and further explore drawing them with oil pastels and coloured pencils. I offered to put paints out for today’s session, but the children were content to work with the oil pastels.

“I like these! Look! See! That’s my artist finger, I use this one to blend!” (T.C.R1)

“Sandii can I hold one too!” (H.S.R1)

Sandii: Sure! You can hold it and look at it! Even smell it if you like!

“It smells sunny!” (T.C.R1)

Thursday Photo Gallery

IN THE ATELIER: TERM TWO ~ Week Four

Wednesday May 23th

MARGARET OLLEY, STILL-LIFE DRAWING AND A FIRETRUCK VISIT

Taking inspiration from our preschool gardens and an Australian Art Icon

“What are you doing today Sandii?” (M.O.R1)

Sandii: Well I thought we might draw flowers! Like these ones (pointing to a copy of Margaret Olley’s “Poppies in a Vase”).

“Did you draw that?” (S.M.R1)

Sandii: No I didn’t draw it, it was painted by this lady Margaret Olley (pointing to a photo of the artist). I thought we could collect some flowers from the preschool garden and put them in a vase to draw.

“Can we help pick the flowers? We know where to find them!” (M.O.R1)

“What about this here! We can use this one!” (picking up a vase with paintbrushes in it) (S.M.R1)

Sandii: Sure, we can use that vase, it’s perfect.

After finding and picking enough flowers for the vase I asked the children where they would like to draw, outside in the sun or inside the art room. With a request to work outside (S.M.R1), we setup some easels and a table for the vase of flowers, our oil pastels and a picture of Margaret Olley’s “Poppies in a Vase” for further inspiration.

Anticipating the Firetruck visit!

While there was, an obvious visual inspiration driving our drawing today, there was also some very keen artists who wanted to draw firetrucks while waiting for the real thing to arrive and the vibrant oil pastels were ideal for the job.

 

   

Wednesday Photo Gallery

Thursday May 24th

Introducing the Paper Monster: Shredding Paper and Snow Angels!

Following on from our first successful paper recycling efforts, we now must restock our torn paper supply, so that we can continue to process our own paper clay and make our own art paper. 

Because of the volume of paper waste produced within the preschool, we thought it wise to purchase a general-purpose paper shredder to assist us on our waste awareness journey and to also introduce a mechanized element of fun.

So, today’s session was an opportunity to setup the preschools new paper shredder out on the veranda and see just how well it worked.

“What are you doing Sandii?” (J.W.R1)

Sandii: Well I am setting up our new paper shredder!

“Can I help?” (J.W.R1)

Sandii: Sure! It’s a bit big though, so how about I put it down over here and while I am plugging it in, you might like to go into the art room and bring out the “yellow paper recycling bin” and then the “red bin”, we will use the red bin to put all the shredded paper in.

“I can do that!” (J.W.R1)

As with the supervised use of any electrical appliance, the session began first with a demonstration on how the machine worked and then some important safety rules were decided on.

Sandii: What do you think might be dangerous about using the shredder?

“Well our fingers!” (O.R.R1)

Sandii: Yes! That’s right! Did you notice that when the machine began to make a noise and pull down the paper I moved my hands away from the machine and waited for it to stop making the noise? No noise means that the machine has finished shredding the paper. And it is safe to place the next piece of paper into the paper feeder. So perhaps our rule should be: If the Machine is making a noise we must move our hands away and wait for it to stop before we put paper into the feeder again.

“The paper feeder?!” (L.K.R1)

Sandii: Yes! The slot that we put the paper into has little rubber rollers that grab the paper and pulls it down, feeding it into the shredder blades that then cut up the paper. See (I open the top lid to reveal the inner workings of the machine).

“That’s funny! It’s like it eats the paper and we are feeding it to him like a paper monster!” (L.K.R1)

It’s at this point that I should reassure all that this unit was researched and purchased based on the built-in safety elements, automatic cut off sensor when detecting fingers and power down mechanism when over worked. The shredder blades are deep below the rubber rollers which only activate when all rollers are engaged. So, little fingers are not wide enough to activate the unit.

What followed was a lovely inquisitive session of paper shredding with children politely taking turns at feeding paper through the machine while others laid on their bellies peeping through the under-tray window, watching the freshly shredded paper drop into and fill the tray.

“Look! I can see it! It’s like monster guts! See! Look!” (A.P.R1)

Sandii: Would you like me to stop the machine and we can look inside the tray?

Yes!

The moment the tray opened little hands were pushing down into the mass of paper and pulling up with fists full of the shredded stuff.

“Look at it! It feels soft. Can we play with it?” (L.P.R2)

Sandii: Well, how about we fill the tray a few times and empty it into the big red bin here and when we are finished for the day we can leave some shredded paper for us to play with on the lawn.

It was evident that the highlight of today’s paper shredding activity was the joyous interaction with the shredded material on the lawn afterward. The stuff was thrown, raked up, piled up and rolled in.

“Look! It’s Like snow!” (Throwing handfuls into the air and sprinkling onto the head of another child) (J.W.R1)

“Snow Angels!” (J.W.R1) and with that three children laid down on their back in amongst the shredded mess and flapped their arms back and forth making snow angels.   

Thursday Photo Gallery

IN THE ATELIER: TERM TWO ~ Week Three

Tuesday May 15th

Pre-Schoolers Reducing, Reusing, Recycling! Our first batch of recycled handmade paper.

With the sun still giving plenty of warmth, I was keen to commence our paper making project this week and wanted to setup outside.   

With some very keen assistance we laid out all the necessary equipment, a deep sided tray which the children filled with water, our paper pulp, a measuring cup, some chux cloth and a towel, a rolling pin and a paper making deckle.

Step 1. Line the deckle with the chux cloth

Step 2. Sit the deckle and chux cloth inside the water tray.

Step 3. Measure paper pulp with the cup and pour into the center of the sunken deckle.

Step 4. Stir the paper pulp until well mixed with the water.

Step 5. Lift the deckle out of the water tray carefully allowing the water to drain away.

Step 6. Carefully lift the chux cloth out of the deckle and place on the towel.

Step 7. Place another dry piece of chux cloth on top then using the rolling pin, squeeze as much water as is possible out of the newly made piece of paper.  

Step 8. Leave the paper to dry.

Although many steps were involved the children enjoyed the process and before long all the paper pulp had been used and turned into sheets of recycled paper. 

Tuesday Photo Gallery

IN THE ATELIER: TERM TWO ~ Week Two

Wednesday May 9th & Thursday 10th

WE MADE THIS! . . .  Little artists and their handmade paper clay

Over the weekend our paper clay had all the time it needed to firm up into the perfect working consistency.

Today during the morning inside group session, we discussed the sequence of steps we used to create the paper clay. We discussed how some friends assisted with the paper pulp process and then others with the crushing of the clay rock into dust and finally there was those who assisted with adding the dust to the paper pulp and stirring it through. These children described how "it made it muddy and wet! (A.D.R2, L.P.R2, L.H.R2, J.G.R2).

"Sandii! It isn’t like mud anymore!" (A.D.R2)

Sandii: No! Because the clay dust has soaked up ever last bit of the water. Just like a sponge soaks up water when we spill and then wipe up watery things.

After touching it “It’s cold Sandii!” (Z.B.R2), we took the paper clay along with some clay work tools and work boards and setup a paper clay studio on the outside decking in the sun.

There was a lot of experimentation! Exploring what the clay could and couldn’t do. While this was going on I was forming a small pinch pot with a ball of the paper clay.

“I want one of those can you make me one?” (X.S.R1)

Sandii: I have a better idea how about I show you how to make your own little paper clay pot!

"Ok." (X.S.R1) And with that, there was soon more requests for me to show the process in sequence. Soon we had a small collection of pinch pots to admire. 

Wednesday Photo Gallery

Wednesday Photo Gallery

IN THE ATELIER: TERM TWO ~ Week One

Tuesday May 1st

Paper Pulp, Compasses, Artist Pallets.        

With this the first day, back in the Atelier for Term Two, our preschool artists were keen to work outside in the sun. So, we setup todays project out under the veranda.

I thought I might pick up on the interest shown last term, in the water-soluble properties of paper and cardboard, by suggesting that we could make our own art paper by recycling some of the paper waste we have all so mindfully been separating from the rest of our preschools waste.

I know! Let’s use these! See! There’s lots! (M.O R1) 

With some keen makers, we collected up some egg cartons, removed the labels and any other stickers, then tore the cartons into small chunks which were placed in a shallow tray. To this we simply added water and watched as the carton absorbed the water and became softer.

Are we making the paper next? (A.D.R2)

Sandii: Not yet, we need to wait until the carton pieces begin to fall apart into tiny pieces called fibres. We can help that to happen by stirring and squishing the carton and water through our fingers every now and then.

Then we can make the paper? (M.O.R1)

Sandii: Well making paper is a bit like following a recipe when you’re cooking, there are steps to follow and we will need to be patient. The carton pieces need time to soak up as much water as possible, so what do you think about leaving it until tomorrow?

Will that make it good paper? (A.D.R2) Yes! We want it to be the Best! (M.O.R1)

Sandii: Well, I believe so! Let’s keep checking and stirring and squishing today and see what happens.

A decision was made to go back into the Atelier for some drawing and painting.

Can we take it in side to squish it and watch it? (A.D.R2). So we moved the egg carton pulp inside to watch it while we explored other things.

Last Term there was much interest in my use of a compass when I was working out the measurements and outer geometry of an artist colour wheel. So, this Term I wanted to encourage exploration of the use of compasses to create circles. I have observed that during Term One the circle was also very popular shape with all our preschool artist, featuring in many artworks.   

Through its use, children quickly discovered that it was more difficult then it looked to make a circle and some concentration was necessary to achieve a circle. Those who persevered beyond the first attempt experimented with different approaches and managed to master their own successful techniques. (K.P.R2), (A.D.R2)

We managed to create some concentric circle designs. (A.D.R2)

While this was happening, there was also a team of enthusiastic painters at the easels who had discovered the traditional wooden artist’s pallets.

Sandii, what are these? (S.Mc. R1)

Sandii: Those are called Artists paint pallets; an artist uses them by putting small amounts of paint on top and holds it in one hand while they use a paint brush in the other. Would you like me to show you?

Yes please! But can you show me this one! (picks up a plastic version with small paint wells, for the use of water colour/ liquid paint). (S.Mc. R1)

After a quick demonstration, some fun exploration followed which lead to watery colours being mixed and applied to easel paper. “Look Sandii! Its dripping onto the floor! And its making a different colour! Look! It’s made a different colour here too! (S.Mc. R1)

Tuesday Photo Gallery

Wednesday May 2nd

Paper Pulp, to Paper Clay

Following on from yesterday’s keen paper pulp making process. We checked its consistency and decided that it may need another day to soak. With the pulp, not quite fine enough for paper making today, we thought we would try to make our own paper clay for sculpturing. Paper Clay is usually a mix of paper pulp and clay that can be commercially purchased for sculpting. Where Clay its self is an amazing material to create three dimensional creations/ artworks, it is difficult for little hands to master. But with the addition of paper the clay becomes easier to use and has more forgiving qualities. It really is a great product for little artists to sculpt. And even better, when experiencing the fun of making it.

So, we had the paper ingredients ready to go, we just needed the clay ingredients.

I had saved a large 5kg block of rock solid earthenware clay from a trip to the local tip last year and had put it aside for potential later use. This was the perfect project!

“That’s a rock! Silly! See! It’s hard!” (A.P.R1)   

“It’s a dinosaur rock!” (J.W.R1)  

Sandii: Do you think?

“Yes!” (J.W.R1)   

Sandii: Well, I was thinking we could try and crush it up with hammers to see if we can make clay from it!

“But it’s a dinosaur rock! That will break the dinosaur!” (A.P.R1)   

Sandii: Oh! You think the rock has a dinosaur fossil it?

“Yes! Its bones are in there!” (T.C.R1)   

Sandii: Ok, now I understand! Well, how about we wrap it in a towel and gently tap it apart like an “archaeologist”, someone who searches inside the rocks for fossils and old things. We will just need to be gentle.   

“Yep! But if there is a dinosaur egg that will crack! Because that’s what they do!” (A.P.R1)

After some further discussion, it was decided that if we were to be sure it was a dinosaur rock we would need to open it to see.

So, we collected some hammers, a thick soft towel “It has to be this one! See it’s the fluffy one!” (O.R.R1), some plastic bags and two containers, one for the dinosaur fossils, the other for the broken rock (clay dust). And we set about the task of carefully braking down the rock and checking for fossils and eggs. Unfortunately, despite our long and careful search, this rock didn’t have any dinosaur bits in it. However, we did finish up with some great “rock dust” (JK.W.R1).

 After lunch, we mixed the crushed “rock dust” with some of our paper pulp. “It’s making mud!” (A.D.R2)  

Sandii: Well, that’s all clay is! Mud that has been mixed with some water until it feels a bit like playdough.

For the ideal sculpting consistency, our sample batch of paper clay would now need some time to firm up.

Wednesday Photo Gallery

Thursday May 3rd

Paper Pulp, To Paper Clay

A new day! A new quest!

Yet another search for illusive dinosaur remains in amongst the dinosaur rocks!

And although no evidence of dinosaurs was found, we were all happy to move on with making the paper clay.

Unlike yesterday we now had so much clay dust that it was impossible to make a big batch of paper clay without some electrical assistance. So, today our process involved the use of a blender, our paper pulp, clay dust and a lot of water! . . . Oh! and a lot of eager assistants! Who did an amazing job measuring the correct amounts of the three ingredients and placing them into the blender with great care.

Following a discussion on safety awareness when using a blender, turns were taken operating the appliance.

And Ta Dah! Just like that! We had more paper clay!

Thursday Photo Gallery

Creative Capacity Term One Quote

“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”― Albert Einstein

Term One Master Artist

Pablo Picasso was born in 1881, 137 years ago in Spain.

He is famous for pioneering Cubism Art, which is a style of painting where objects of the painting subject are broken up and re-painted in simple geometric shapes.

Pablo was 7 years old when his father, also a painter, gave him artistic training in figure drawing and oil painting.

Pablo went on to study art in Madrid,Spain, before moving to Paris, France, where he lived and worked as an artist for the rest of his life.

Picasso's lifetime works are divided into periods:

The Blue Period (1901-1904), which were sad looking paintings using blue and blue-green colours.

The Rose Period (1905-1907), which was a more happy style with orange and pink colours.

The African-influenced Period also known as Primitivism (1908-1909).

The Cubism Period (1909- 1919).

Throughout his life Picasso also made ceramic and bronze sculptures and was known for his drawings, etchings and poetry. 

He died in 1973, age 91.

Artist: Pablo Picasso

La cuisine, Pablo Picasso in front of The Kitchen, (1948).

Picasso in his rue des Grands-Augustins studio.

Photo Credit: Herbert List/Magnum Photos

IN THE ATELIER ~ Week Ten

Tuesday April 10th & Wednesday April 11th

Colour Wheels

Learning to mix paint colour this term has generated so much interest that last week we began looking at how colour wheels work as visual and sequencing cues to help us remember which colour combinations mix together to make new colours. This has also been an opportunity to explore geometry and the organisation of basic shapes to form interesting and colourful patterns.

Tuesday & Wednesday Photo Gallery

Thursday April 12th

Lizard Environments: Papier-Mâché, Exploring Water and Materials.

Today we revisited the lizard environments which we began constructing last week. We had decided that all the taped down elements needed to be made more sturdy for the lizards and that we would use torn up paper and glue to make papier-mâché and this might make everything stronger.

We realised today as we were gluing down the paper that we had not thought about how to make the water holes waterproof.

"What about the water for the lizards? When it gets wet, it will fall apart!" (J.W.R1)

“The glue could work” (T.C.R1)

“No! it will still fall apart” (O.R.R1)

Sandii: "I know, I have an idea, we could use foil!"

“What’s that?" (A.P.R1)

We looked at the foil together and the question was asked: “How does it work” (A.P.R1)

Sandii: "Well let’s see. Let’s put some water in a container and take some paper and foil and put it into the water and see what happens."

We discovered that not long after putting torn up egg cartons into the water, it began to go soft, while the balls of crumpled up foil remained firm and unchanged. We also noticed that if we squished the pieces of soggy carton between our fingers it began to fall apart and became mushy. 

Thursday Photo Gallery

IN THE ATELIER ~ Week Nine

Wednesday April 4th

Exploring Colour

With all the interest generated from our term long colour mixing sessions, today presented an opportunity to extend our skills and develop further colour understanding. 

Through the development of colour wheels we entered the world of Colour Theory and Geometry

There was lots of fascination around my use of a compass and protractor to create the outline of our colour wheels. 

Whilst colouring these wheels today we revisited the oil pastels and how to blend the “Primary Colours” Yellow, Red and Blue to achieve the “Secondary Colours” Orange, Green and Purple. This was achieved by using a logical sequence. This allowed me to talk about the third colour category “Tertiary Colours” (the colour tones that fall between the primary and secondary colours on the colour wheel.

"It’s important to show everyone! It should be a giant circle for the preschool Art room! Everyone can remember then!" (A.D.R2)    

Wednesday Photo Gallery

Thursday April 5th

Lizard Environments

Today’s weather was superb, so we took some recycled materials out onto the preschool veranda to make stuff!

“I saw a lizard in the strawberries at home”. (O.R.R1)

“I saw a big one today! It’s over there! (points to the native rockery near the chicken coop). (J.W.R1)

“What are you making Sandii?” (T.C.R1) 

Sandii: I think I might make an environment for those lizards you are talking about! 

What followed was a session of self evolved environments for the lizards. 

“But this will fall down on the lizards! It won’t stay up!” (T.C.R1)

Sandii: What can we do then to make it stay up and not fall over?

“More glue and sticky tape!” (O.R.R1)

Sandii: Sure more glue will do the trick. Do you think papier-mâché might also make it last longer?

“Yes! We can put water in them for the lizards to swim in and drink over here.” (J.WE.R1)

We developed our lizard environments further by collecting and attaching bark and sticks from the preschool playground. Then we began tearing old magazine pages into small pieces of paper ready for papier-mâché next week. 

Thursday Photo Gallery

IN THE ATELIER ~ Week Eight

Tuesday March 27th ~ Thursday 29th

Renovating our Bathroom Doors 

This week the Art room easels were empty as I worked on renovation of our bathroom doors, which had, began to show signs of surface ware and tear. So it was time for some major touch ups. As I worked from door to door, there was a lot of interest in what I was doing and many requests to assist. There was even some critical artistic feedback about my handy work. 

There were a number of suggestions that we should paint more of the bathroom and very clear ideas about which parts.

IN THE ATELIER ~ Week Seven

Tuesday March 20th

Museo Aero Solar (Giant Air Balloon) Project Discussion

Today we watched the short Museo Aero Solar (Giant Air Balloon) Project presentation again and then we decided to research what happens if plastic rubbish finds its way into the worlds rivers, seas and oceans. https://youtu.be/hKFV9IquMXA​

Then we asked these questions.

What would happen if the Giant balloon came down in the ocean or the bush?

What would that be like for all the living things.

We expressed our thoughts through our paintings.

This is the plastic inside the bird and it died. With the bones and feathers and plastic. (M.K.R2)

This is the sky and the balloon. And this is the water and the bird. (M.C.R1)

This is all the rubbish in the water. (K.F.R1)

When the bird ate the rubbish his legs disappeared. (X.S.R1)

On the beach these are all the plastic bottle tops. Just pretending that the birds ate them. (S.Mc.R1)

The bird died when it had all the plastic. (S.M.R1)

The bird that was happy. Then it ate the plastic and the plastic bottle. Then its tail disappeared and then I was so scared that I made this face because I wanted to take a photo of the bird but it had eaten all the plastic because it died. And that was the end of it. (M.O.R1)

Tuesday Photo Gallery

Wednesday March 21st

Museo Aero Solar (Giant Air Balloon) Project Discussion

Today we watched the short Museo Aero Solar (Giant Air Balloon) Project presentation again and then we decided to research what happens if plastic rubbish finds its way into the worlds rivers, seas and oceans. https://youtu.be/hKFV9IquMXA​

Then we asked these questions.

What would happen if the Giant balloon came down in the ocean or the bush? 

What would that be like for all the living things.

We expressed our thoughts through our paintings.

That red and blue is the plastic. This is the beak and that’s the legs disappearing. (X.S.R1)

This is the bird and it is flying away because the lake is dying. This is the whole lake and it is dying and the balloon is under the water. (A.P.R1)

So, the fox died because the fox ate Styrofoam in the bush because people put it there. (M.O.R1)

This is the sky and the air balloon and it has come down on a tree. And this arrow is pointing to the moon because the moon and the balloon is going down. The balloon is stuck in the tree and they (the tree animals) can’t get out. (L.B.R1)

Wednesday Photo Gallery

Friday March 23rd

Cicada and Moth Paintings

Today we focused our creative energy on practicing the "Paint Pallet to Paper" skills we have been learning all term. These are the skills that allow us to use just one paintbrush and work between the primary colours to mix the secondary colours on our paper, without discolouring the primary colours in our pallets.

And we had the perfect subjects to paint! Earlier we had discovered out on the veranda, a spotted Moth and a Cicada. They were resting up above room ones window. So we took photos of them and increased their size on the photocopied. It was these images that inspired our morning workshop. 

Friday Photo Gallery

IN THE ATELIER ~ Week Six

Museo Aero Solar (Giant Air Balloon) Project

Throughout 2017 the Kurri Kurri and District Preschool Kindergarten participated in this collaborative enviro science project with art students who attend my Art Studio and local artist Andrew Styan.
The project exploring the qualities of natural wind and air and its unexplored potential capacities for not only advanced clean energy production but future effective modes of transportation and highlighted societies over consumption of plastic. 
This air balloon project was in principle a concept based on the innovative scientific investigations of Argentinian artist Tomás Saraceo and his international “Museo Aero Solar project 
http://aerocene.org/buildit/ . And we were excited to learn we were the first Australian exploration of Saraceno’s project.

During term two we teamed together with the art students and Andrew Styan to begin making an 8 x 16-meter unity balloon constructed from approximately 500 biodegradable shopping bags which we had cut down and joined together using packing tape to form the base material for the giant air balloon.

We beautified the cut down plastic bags with colourful drawings and join them into long manageable panels, which were then assemble into one large united piece of plastic and then origami-fold into a tetrahedron shaped balloon back on December 9th last year at Black Hill Public School.

Once the balloon was together a launch date was set for early in the morning, on December 19th at the Cricket Grounds, Chinamans Hollow where the balloon was inflated with air, which then heated rapidly as the sun emerged from behind low clouds. The strength of the lifting force was not anticipated and tore the balloons tether attachments for the mooring rope and snapped a backup safety rope within a few minutes of the

8 am launch. The balloon rose quickly and drifted off on the wind currents and was last seen 1 hour later 15 km north of the launch site.

It was never our intention to release the balloon to free fly and we could not have predicted the intense power drawn from the sun on such and excessively hot day or how successfully our collaborative balloon would fly!

A powerful demonstration of solar power and its endless potential being just one of a multitude of issues and emerging awareness that was provoked throughout the project.

However, it is a regrettable situation that we now find ourselves in. We are keen for and are committed to the retrieval process, which in its self will have powerful learning outcomes. https://www.facebook.com/HVAerocene/

The project was an incredibly powerful learning experience for all involved and moving forward we view it as a foundation for ongoing learning and as such we are focusing on learning outcomes which will equip these future custodians of our planet “Our Children”, with practical understanding and the mindfulness necessary for better environmental stewardship, through embedding recycling awareness and practice into the preschools ethos and exploring related areas of interest with the children throughout the year.     

Museo Aero Solar (Giant Air Balloon) Project Photo Gallery

Tuesday March 13th

Museo Aero Solar (Giant Air Balloon) Project Discussion

Today was an interesting day in the art room, we didn’t create or make an artwork with our hands! Instead we spent time reacquainting ourselves with an arts and environmental science project that involved many of the preschools children and their families during 2017.

We sat and watched a small video presentation which documented the various stages of the Museo Aero Solar (Giant Air Balloon) Project. And then we discussed the most obvious questions. 

Where did the giant balloon go?

Where is the giant balloon now?

These questions generated enthusiastic, imaginative and practical answers along with discussion about even more questions.

Child 1: How did it brake?

Child 1: Then what happened? Where was it going?

Child 2: When we were driving, we saw the balloon follow us!

Child 2: It went up to the moon.

Child 1: It got away! So, you can’t catch it?

Child 2: No! it got too high.

Child 3: I wasn’t there.

Child 1: Did it go to the moon?

Child 3: Then it went into outer space

Child 4: It went into space and it will fall back down at preschool and all the kids will fall out! But it could land in a tall tree, or the park and the birds will snap it and bring it down for us.

Sandii: Do you think it will come back down to earth?

Child 5: No! because the air is pushing it up and it never come down

Sandii: What if it pops?

Child 3: It will come back down onto the ground

Child 6: It could have gone to the beach or sea!

Child 2: Or on a car or on a fence!

Child 5: If it lands on a house in the carpet then they could fix it and then it could be theirs.

Child 6: If it lands on the water it will float all the way down to the sea and it will drown.

Child 6: The sea animals will get sucked in side of it and they will die.

Child 3: Because they won’t have any air to breath and they will get stuck in there and they will die.

Sandii: What happens if it comes down in the bush? What will happen to those animals and plants?

Child 7: Some animals might come and eat it and get sick and go to the vets.

Child 6: They will eat it and it will all be gone.

Child 3: They will get sick now all the plastic is in their bellies!

Child 1: They will throw up!

Child 2: They will chock!

Child 3: And it will hurt their throat!

Child 1: They will take them to the vet.

Child 8: Then those (the vet) can help get the balloon out of those animal’s bellies.

Child 2: I don’t think it was a good idea that we made the balloon because it might have flown up to the moon.

Child 6: And then it will get popted.

Child 3: Then it might go to outer space and the moon.

Child 7: I think it went to God’s sky and I think it will fall into pieces, so we won’t see it again. But if it pops and doesn’t fall into pieces well then it will come back down to us.

Child 1: But if it comes back to our house we could bring it back over to the park again.

Child 2: But what happens if it pops in outer space, it could land on a car! While they are driving!

Child 7: If it comes down in the water we will never see it again because I think it will sink! But maybe something will get it, like a monster! Like a crocodile or a shark or maybe a crab. They will eat it.

Child 1: No! they will be stuck inside it forever!

Sandii: If we ate plastic, what would happen to us?

Child 7, Child 2, Child 1: We get sick!

Sandii: Do you think we should make another balloon?

Child 9: Yes! So the kids can get in it.

Child 10: No! Because if it falls down on the animals they will die and be squashed.

Child 1: Yes! Because it will go outer space again. I know! If the balloon goes to the moon, went into the spiky bit moon, it will just popped and then come back down to you.

Child 4: We could punch it with a pencil and it would come back down and we could make another one. And we can put something inside it that’s strong. Then it will come back down.

Child 2, Child 8, Child 6: No!

Child 2: Because it might like cut off the string again and then it will be a problem with two balloons.

Wednesday March 14th

Where did our giant air balloon go?

I think the balloon went to Santa up in the sky. I think it might have popped! And went up to the mountain and fell apart. (A.D.R2)

It went up to the moon. I think it popped. It’s come back to the world and fallen onto the grass. We will need to run around to find it! (H.L.R1)

This is the balloon and I think it went to the sea. (L.B.R1)

I think the balloon went into the sea under the garden. (K.P.R2)

The balloon is flying up! Up! Up! To a rainbow. I think it popped and came back down to the ground. If we found it, it would be broken. (X.S.R1)

My painting is the big balloon on the grass. I think it went to the moon and stayed on one of those planets and it popped. (E.C.R2) 

Wednesday Photo Gallery

Thursday March 15th

Where did our giant air balloon go?

The balloon went into the sky and it will stay there. (D.H.R1)

I think it went to the dark moon and moon. (M.H.R2)

It went to the moon. We could look for it in the sandpit! Because when it’s not floating and has no rope, it drops down. (A.B.R2)

In my painting see! This is to tell how high the balloon went, this is the balloon and this is a cover so that when the balloon hits it, it will come back down. This is just when it comes back down and lands on the soft grass. When it came down, well, then it stayed big forever.Then animals stayed alive because the air made them breath. We need to go up! Up! Up! To Sydney. (J.G.R2)

This is the big balloon. I think it went into the bush. It landed in one piece and the animals ate it but they didn’t die, but they nearly did!  (J.W.R1)

The balloon went passed the trees and a rainbow. (M.H.R2)

Thursday Photo Gallery

IN THE ATELIER ~ Week Five

Wednesday March 7th

Today we revisited mixing colours directly onto the surface of the paper using one paint brush and the three primary colours Red, Yellow and Blue. We experimented with mixing orange, green and purple and when we tried to make pink we learnt that we can do this by simply adding lots of water to just a little bit of red.

In my colour mixing demonstration, I painted a yellow giraffe with brown spots. This seemed to set the tone and inspire several little artists and their paintings. 

We challenged ourselves to see how long we could manage to keep the primary colours in our painting pallets from turning into murky tones of brown. Then at the end of it all we realised that we had learnt to mix the colour brown without even knowing it!   

Wednesday Photo Gallery

Thursday March 8th

Today we took our creative energy outside onto the verandha where we utilised the treasure trove of stored empty boxs to make an array of box construction sculptures.

This all came about because one little artist was keen to make a boat.(T.G.R2) Soon there was a small group of children exploring their making skills. All sorts of things developed, there was two houses and two boat and a number of non descriptive sculptures, all made with just some masking tape and a great deal of enthusiasum, fun and the odd teacher assisted hole cutting.

IN THE ATELIER ~ Week Four

Thursday March 1st

Today we were making fresh fruit kababs, using lovely fresh strawberries, kiwifruit, pineapple and apple but we had some trouble keeping the fruit from slipping down the sewer sticks onto our fingers, making them sticky!

So to problem solve we tried using some tin foil. Scrunching torn strips around the stick and tightly securing into place at one end, then we slipped our fruit onto the other end. This seemed to do the trick! But after a while we ended up with little balls of foil everywhere! So we discussed what we could do with them instead of putting them into the rubbish bin. While the children ate their kababs they began gathering up all the foil balls and arranging them on the table and decided that they could make stuff.

“Its eggs” “Thats the nest of the eggs there” (A.M.R2)

“Lets make a zebra” (A.B.R2) This suggestion resulted in some collaborative sculpture making, which saw us create a horse like shape that we all agreed looked great!

During the course of the morning there was some brilliant additions made to the “horse” and entire environment developed around it, grass, a water bowl and food bucket.

“This is a zucchini for the horse!”.

“Look Sandii, it’s horse hair! I am amazing!”

“This is a cowgirl hat for the horse”.

“I am making a wet snail for the horse”. (H.L.R1)

 

“Can you make me a boat Sandii?” (T.G.R2)

“I can show you how to make a boat!”

This request lead to a group of little makers constructing simple canoe shapes form the foil. (A.B.R2), (J.G.R2), (C.F.R1), (C.M.R.2). We wondered if they could float like a boat? (T.S R1) Tyler. So we took them out into the sandpit to see if they would float in the water filled tractor tier. We discovered that Yes, our tin foil boats did float and could even carry a small load in the form of a shell. But our boats could not carry the small pebbles we tried to put inside them, they just tipped over and filled with water. We noticed that our boats became heavier each time they tipped over and filled with water. Eventually they became too heave to stay upright and sunk.

 

Our Art Room session ended with the creation of a brilliant little masterpiece especially painted for Room 2 Teacher, Kate, as a thank you and farewell gift from some of the children that were fortunate enough to have had her as a teacher last year.   

Thursday Photo Gallery

IN THE ATELIER ~ Week Three

Tuesday February 20th

Today we unsealed the Atelier’s beautiful collection of silky new paints for the first time and used the new soft bristled paintbrushes that have been assigned to the art room. 

This was the perfect opportunity to learn a little about how to care for the new brushes and have a go at mixing and working with the acrylic paints like an artist, trying to keep the individual colours from mixing into one murky tone. The result was a session of experiential colour making which was grounded in developing skills for working between colours using one paintbrush or even just the artist’s finger.

The joyous textural experience of using such lovely quality paint and brushes was evident in the engagement with the mediums (paint/ brushes) and this is reflected in the finished paintings.

Tuesday Photo Gallery

Wednesday February 21st

With this weeks Atelier focus being on the development of experiencing beautiful quality paint and paintbrushes as an artist would, todays preschool artists had the opportunity to learn a little about how to care for and work with the beautiful quality new paints and brushes assigned to the art room. This meant having a go at mixing and working with the acrylic paints like an artist, trying to keep the individual colours from mixing into one murky tone. The result was a session of experiential colour making which was grounded in developing skills for working between colours using one paintbrush or even just the artist’s finger.

The joyous textural experience of using such lovely quality paint and brushes was evident in the engagement with the mediums (paint/ brushes) and this is reflected in the finished paintings.

Wednesday Photo Gallery

IN THE ATELIER ~ Week Two

Tuesday February 13th

Today in the Art Room we extended on our experimentation with oil pastels and graphite pencil. 

Last week we worked with our lovely quality oil pastels to explore the technique of blending with our fingers. This week we followed the same basic steps but with the addition of Water Soluble Oil PastelsWe could now work over the areas where the soluble medium was applied with brushed on water. It soon became apparent that the addition of water to our drawings was only effective on the water soluble medium, leaving the standard oil pastels unchanged.

What followed was a vibrantly busy session of experimentation with colour, blending and painting. Some adventurous artists began experimenting with the addition of coloured pencil and graphite to see what would happen. The resulting gorgeous works are the foundations for developing further exploration and understanding of how to best use and care for the beautiful materials we have access to in the Art Room. 

Tuesday Photo Gallery

Wednesday February 14th

This morning there was a number of request from little artists for some help with drawing flowers for their mums and so that is where we focused our attention. We identified the different parts of a flower to make sure that we didn’t miss anything as we drew. We began with the centre of the flower and then added our petals a stem and finally some leaves. Some artist chose to focus all their energy on the giant flower heads.

Returning artists experimented with "Drawing in the Negative" with an eraser. This technique involves laying a foundation of graphite on the paper then working into the graphite with an eraser to reveal the paper underneath. Both steps required great hand / arm control and strength for success. Further experimentation saw artists layering coloured pencil into the erased areas with great effect.

To end our flower drawing session together, we had a go at oil pastel “Sgraffito”. This is a technique where a foundation colour is worked into the paper and then another, usually darker colour is layered over the top. Then a stylus or scratching stick are used to scratch away the top layer to reveal the underlying colour.    

Art Room Paper Waste Recycling Bin and “Paper Making Project”

Just before lunch Nicci invited me into her classroom to discuss the Art Rooms “Paper Making Project” and importantly the “Paper Waste Recycling Bin”. This is the big YELLOW wheelie bin, which is located in the Locker Room/ Art Room. We discussed that this bin is not for food or plastic waste/ rubbish and that most paper and cardboard could go into the bin. But there was an exception, used paper towel and tissues must not go into our YELLOW wheelie bin because these are unclean and not suitable for our paper making project. 

I explained how we are going to use the paper / cardboard by first cutting it into tiny pieces and placing it into another bin (Also found in the Locker Room/ Art Room), which will then be soaked in water until the paper becomes mushy… perfect for paper making.

The children in Nicci’s classroom were so keen to begin the project that after lunch I was asked if the YELLOW wheelie bin could be wheeled into the room so that children could begin cutting up the recycled paper already collected.

Wednesday Photo Gallery

Thursday February 15th

Today saw the opportunity for some Outdoor Drawing of the preschool’s two Guinea Pigs.“Rock Star” and “Spot Butterly” were out for the day in their lawn enclosure which was very exciting because this allows use to see the two Guinea Pigs up close and even hold them if we wish to. So this was a perfect place to sit and draw! We used clipboards with our paper attached to them and sat these on our laps as we looked at the Guinea Pigs and drew them with graphite and coloured pencils.

Then we carefully and respectfully helped to return Rock Star and Spot Butterfly to their special preschool home. We then took our drawings back into the art room where we made additions to them and then we tried to draw Rock Star and Spot Butterfly again without having them to look at. This was a task easily handled by todays artists. 

Throughout the morning there was also a lot of engagement with the oil pastels, as children continue to explore the sensory and textural aspect of rubbing and blending the medium into the paper. 

Art Room Paper Waste Recycling Bin and “Paper Making Project”

Much  like yesterday, Maryanne invited me into her classroom just before lunch to discuss the Art Rooms “Paper Making Project” and importantly the “Paper Waste Recycling Bin”. This is the big YELLOW wheelie bin, which is located in the Locker Room/ Art Room. We discussed that this bin is not for food or plastic waste/ rubbish and that most paper and cardboard could go into the bin. But there was an exception, used paper towel and tissues must not go into our YELLOW wheelie bin because these are unclean and not suitable for our paper making project. 

I explained how we are going to use the paper / cardboard by first cutting it into tiny pieces and placing it into another bin (Also found in the Locker Room/ Art Room), which will then be soaked in water until the paper becomes mushy… perfect for paper making.

Thursday Photo Gallery

IN THE ATELIER: TERM ONE ~ Week One

Tuesday February 6th

Today was our first opportunity to begin to think and work like artists in what is currently the preschools locker room. During the course of the year we hope to make a start on transforming the space into a thriving dynamic art specific environment. Throughout the preschool there is much excitement about the Atelier, with imaginative input, limitless ideas and suggestions already being put forward by the children.

So we spent much of our time becoming familiar with each other and the potential of our new art space. We did this whilst exploring some of the simple yet lovely quality artist materials that we now have access to. We learnt about lead pencils and oil pastels and  began developing an understanding of colour “Blending” and “Smudging”. These are fundamental skills which we can build upon throughout the year and develop into more complex actions. 

For students who have returned for another year at preschool there was an opportunity to discuss how we would like the new art space to look and what should be in it. It was unanimously suggested that we need to put colour on all the doors leading into the space and there was also a very enthusiastic discussion about painting the ceiling rainbow. (K.F.R1)

We also found a moment to discuss the Giant Balloon “Museo Areo Solar” and its launch. “Museo Areo Solar” was a collaborative project which involved the creation of an 8 x 8 meter, recycled plastic bag, solar air balloon and culminated in the balloons eventual launch back on the 19th of December last year. The balloon launched successfully, inflating and rising into the air with ease. In fact the uplift generated by the power of the sun was so powerful the the balloon broke free from the ground anchored tethers and became air born. Eventually drifting on the wind currents out of sight and to an unknown destination. To date we are still looking for it.

The balloons whereabouts has generated many imaginative possibilities and not just from the children who participated in its construction and launch. A number of children who did not participate in the project also had some clear and strong ideas about what happened to the balloon, its journey, how and where it went!

“It was kind of blue. Maybe it went to gods Sky! Maybe it flew to gods sky and someone tied it to a stick and pulled it backdown to the ground. We should go back to the park and search for it!” (S.M.R2)

Tuesday Photo Gallery

Wednesday February 7th

Today, much like yesterday, we spent our time becoming familiar with each other and our new art space. We learnt about lead pencils and oil pastels and had some fun learning how to use them to colour “Blend” and “Smudge”, both are fundamental skills which we can build upon throughout the year and develop into more complex actions. We also learnt how to take care of them so they do not brake or become lost in the space.

Most of our images where inspired by the effects we could create from the blending and smudging technique. We also had some flower like examples created in oil pastel during yesterdays Atelier to inspirer us.

We have some photos hanging in the Atelier which document the Giant Balloon “Museo Areo Solar” and its launch. These photos ignited discussion among the students about the balloon and its whereabouts. 

“Museo Areo Solar” was a collaborative project which involved the creation of an 8 x 8 meter, recycled plastic bag, solar air balloon and culminated in the balloons eventual launch back on the 19th of December last year. 

The balloon launched successfully, inflating and rising into the air with ease. 

In fact the uplift generated by the power of the sun was so powerful the the balloon broke free from the ground anchored tethers and became air born. Eventually drifting on the wind currents out of sight and to an unknown destination. To date we are still looking for it. And today as it was yesterday many imaginative possibilities were put forward about where it might be and not just from the children who participated in its construction and launch. A number of children who did not participate in the project also had some clear and strong ideas about what happened to the balloon, its journey, how and where it went!

“The balloon it went up high to the shops and trees, then it popped! It’s in the park now near the trees.” (T.G.R2)

Wednesday Photo Gallery

Thursday February 8th

Today in the Atelier a number of our newest and youngest preschoolers were drawn to the oil pastels. Each spent time exploring the colours and developing a drawing either inspired by the flower like examples they found on the table, or just tapping into their own inspiration. 

While a few of our older students also pulled up a seat for a quick spontaneous moment with the pastels.

Some questions were asked about the Giant balloon photo documentation hanging in the space and as has been the case throughout the week, this inspired some beautifully articulated stories.

“I didn’t see it! The balloon! Its gone up to the space!” (T.G.R2)

Thursday Photo Gallery