About Me

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I am the studio teacher in Zach's Place Studio, an AMS Montessori teacher, an artist, a mother and much more.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

week 13

The studio was a hive of activity this week. The students are excited by the many holiday preperations that are swirling around with cooking projects and gifts exchange. The students enjoyed exploring the water soluble oil pastels introduced last week in combination with liquid water colors. There were several other activities as well, including: adding the last details to our second fall mural, several fall compositions, drawings and block building.
The daily drawings continue to provide a peaceful transition from class to studio and a welcome respite from the often busy feelings surrounding the season.
Happy holidays to all of you and have a lovely winter break. We look forward to seeing you in the new year.

Friday, December 10, 2010

What a busy week! With winter break fast approaching the school is buzzing with activity, cookie baking, gingerbread houses, wreaths made of cranberries and popcorn and more. Amidst the hustle and bustle we celebrated our new murals with a special unveiling celebration for the artists...our students and Tony Ortega. Kathryn made some incredible sugar cookies with the afternoon class, employing colors inspired by the murals! The students shared their culinary treats with Tony during a wonderful, song-filled assembly.In the studio we continued many of our existing activities and added a few more. Some of the older students began exploring a new medium, water-soluble oil pastels. We talked about composition and introduced the process of blending. The students are eager to keep experimenting.
I introduced charcoal this week and we had a fun conversation about its origins. Some students announced that charcoal was used to fuel trains, others thought in was inside chimneys and others expressed more fantastical ideas of its origins. We talked about the many tools we get from nature and how charcoal is left over from a fire, pressed and formed for us to draw with. This led to some eager, messy explorations. The student pictured here spent twenty minutes meticulously transforming a white sheet of paper into coal black (with intermittent hand washing).
Watercolor has an increasing appeal. We are exploring wax resists with white oil crayons and liquid watercolor on the easel and there are large cake watercolors set out on a work table with pencils for continued exploration and expression.
We have added a large block building area to the studio, which has been received with enthusiasm and lots of collaborative structures and demolitions.

Next week is shortened due to Winter-break. We plan to continue many of the same activities for indepth exploration.

week 12- scale

Every day in the studio I am surprised by the artistry and innovation of the children I serve. I typically invite students to begin a visit to the studio with a daily drawing. I will occasionally offer a provocation like, "Think of something that happened this morning and how you would like to draw a story about it". It is a nice way to transition from the classroom environment and it is a great conversation starter. This student began with a drawing of "Me kicking my brother". His drawing was beautiful with clean lines and strong shapes. When asked how he felt about kicking his brother, he smiled and said, "good". He seemed to be really interested in his drawing. I asked if he might be interested in making a larger one. He eagerly agreed.He took a black pen and drew the same image but larger on another sheet of paper. Still interested, he eyed the laminates for the projector. He stood up and brought back a tray with clear laminates, a dry erase marker and a cloth. He began to draw the picture again.Next, he placed his drawing on the light projector, asked for another sheet of paper and transferred the image again in larger scale.
When complete, he smiled and said, "I like my brother", obviously at ease. It is inspiring to see how the many languages of art can help each of us process our emotions and the events of a day, in a rich and fulfilling way.