About Me

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

Monday, September 26, 2011

the first week of autumn

The leaves are swaying toward a colorful farewell. Trees are donning golden dresses and the mornings are far cooler than they were just a few weeks ago. Autumn has arrived. In the studio we have been busy exploring and experimenting with a variety of materials. This child is using liquid watercolors (I prefer them fully saturated, rather than watering them down) on 120lb cold-pressed watercolor paper.

The effects are beautiful and reminiscent of the changing colors emerging outside.The morning classes took a "Signs of Fall" walk to the park and I was invited to join them. While many of the children scurried across bridges, up ladders and down slides, some of us investigated pastels on black pastel paper. Pastel paper has more "tooth" than construction paper and is archival, thus preserving each artistic rendering over time. On thursday the toddlers enjoyed applying liquid watercolors to 6"x6" squares of watercolor paper. While the XP students added watered down color to spay bottles and experimented with the effects.

Meanwhile, puppets continue to emerge in the studio, with several new ones born daily. I introduced a book of puppets made by Paul Klee called Hand Puppets to several of the older students. They were entranced by his creations and came up with several new ideas for making puppets. I will continue to follow this interest in the weeks ahead.

The school is preparing for our annual fund raising auction and the studio is also being used to complete parent led art auction items with each class.

I hope all of you take a moment to breathe in the fresh air of a changing season and enjoy the magic of creativity within you.

Monday, September 19, 2011

toddler day in the studio

The toddlers are in the studio one day per week and this week they discovered the light table and projector with youthful awe and enthusiasm.

Occasionally, some of our older students and/or siblings will join us, modeling a different way of using a material. The toddlers love to emulate and soon they are attempting something similar. It is such a joy to be among the children while they encounter the newness of their world and such a gift to be included in their circle of trusted adults serving them.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Back in the saddle again

WELCOME BACK! School is in full swing again and the beautifully prepared environments are a hum of activity. The studio itself, didn't officially open until last week and students eagerly entered the space with a desire to explore. I decided to make a few changes. First, I am subtly introducing grace and courtesy lessons, with a tone and presence which supports what the teachers are already doing and builds on what the children learned last year. The returning students have been an enormous help in reminding the new children to put an apron on, tuck in a stool or put materials away. Second, I decided to begin the year with free exploration of the environment. I put out a variety of provocations, including: paint at the easel, water-soluble oil pastels, drawing tools, collage, mixed media supplies, light/shadow exploration and non hardening clay. I have been watching the children carefully and documenting their interests, explorations and questions.We continue to begin each day with a daily drawing. This remains a gentle transition from classroom activities toward more open studio explorations.Each child then has the opportunity to talk with me about the drawing. Occasionally they volunteer information and sometimes I offer comments about line quality, shape, composition, etc.An interesting study emerged in the first few days. The children began making puppets, one right after another, with interest and enthusiasm. I will continue to observe this interest and am already drafting a number of questions to unearth a deeper understanding of their curiosity and how best to follow it.The studio will take on a new role for a few weeks as we prepare for our annual auction. The studio will participate in creating class gifts in partnership with the parents. I look forward to another fun year with the children. Keep checking back to see how the days and months evolve.