Our annual art show, Young Artists & Their Work, has become a wonderful tradition here at NMS as well as an important fundraiser for financial aid for the Preschool Program.
The children have been deep in the process of art exploration over the last couple of weeks as they work with clay, experiment with spin art, the technique of dripping paint onto a canvas, and print with natural materials. Preschool children are using their study of the Connecticut River and waterways as a platform for their art showpieces, while Toddlers are experimenting with clay and stamping.
Young Artists & Their Work is here on our website for your viewing. This is a celebration of the children and all that they have accomplished. Each child has one piece of work posted on our art show page. The original is hanging in the center hall on the first floor. Stop and take a look! In addition, each classroom has worked collaboratively with their friends to create pieces.
Please enjoy these wonderful works of art.
Water has been our overarching theme in preschool this year. We were fascinated by its ability to be a liquid or a solid, and did a series of experiments around evaporation, filtration, and absorption. At our water table, we created waterfalls out of hollowed out pumpkins, and used pvc pipes to experiment with movement and flow.
Currently, we are learning about the Connecticut River, and the wildlife that inhabits it. We even created our own CT riverscape! We built a boat and have daily adventures—sailing down the river, catching fish and rescuing bald eagles.
As we began preparations for our art show, we wanted to find a way to incorporate the idea of water into our work. We explored working with a variety of mediums and materials, and created “watery” collages by manipulating yarn, ribbon, and tissue paper into wavy shapes. At the art easels, we painted waterscapes and then used tools to move the wet paint across the paper. We poured paint into the spin art machine and watched as it mixed and spread in waves.
For our final pieces, we chose colors that reminded us of lakes, rivers, and oceans. Using blues, greens, and purples, we rolled acrylic paint on to canvas paper to give a watery feel. We added more colors and used a variety of tools to scrape, pull, and twirl the paint to evoke the feeling of movement.
The process was thoroughly enjoyed by all and the result is a series of stunning paintings that are all similar, yet quite unique. We hope you love them as much as we do!
Merritt Compton-Price, "The Bumpy Waterfall"
Elbie Cox, "Colors Going Down the Slide, Having Fun"
Alex Dieckman, "A Fancy One"
Franklin Hu, "The Green Pea Waterfall with a Turtle on Top"
Morgan Hu, "The Construction Site With Demolition Ball and Drills"
Jialin Li, "Big Water Wings"
Jay Liu, "Me and Eli Throwing Jalapenos at the Monster"
Sofia Lu, "The Unicorn"
Nina May, "Color Party"
Lucian Nast, "Untitled"
Finn Ranfone, "The Waterfall"
Oliver Swartzell, "The Dragon Fight"
Akira Vining, "The Waterfall"
Enya Wen, "Waterfall"
Lily Wilson, "Bats Hanging Down"
For our group piece, we decided to use a different color palette. Continuing with the idea of movement, the children came up with the brilliant idea of creating an erupting volcano!
We painted the canvas using the same technique used on our individual pieces. We chose colors that gave the feeling of the rocky sides of a volcano and rolled them onto the canvas. Next, we created a paint bottle pendulum and filled it with red, orange, and yellow paint. The children took turns swinging the pendulum to make the paint swirl onto the canvas. By altering the direction of the pendulum, we were able to criss-cross the canvas, go side-to-side, and create spirals with the paint.
We had so much fun creating this piece together - enjoy!
In preparation for creating our individual pieces, the children explored several different hands-on experiences. When young children are given opportunities to experiment and use their senses to explore the world around them, they stimulate brain growth, engage in problem solving strategies, and promote fine motor skills.
Children are naturally drawn to organic materials, such as seashells and rocks. To begin our process, we gathered the children together at circle time and placed a ball of clay on a board in the middle of the circle. We talked about how clay is a material that comes from the earth, can be molded into different shapes, dries hard, and can even be painted. The children were invited to touch the clay and describe what it felt like. Cold, wet, and squishy were some of the words that they used to describe the clay.
The children were then given the opportunity to work with the clay at the art table. The children freely explored the clay and a variety of different tools for a few days before we started work on their art show tiles. They enjoyed the feeling of the clay, and each child had their own approach to molding the clay and using the tools to scrape, cut, and make holes in the material.
Once they had worked with the clay for a few days, they were ready to work on their clay tiles. They first smooshed and rolled the clay flat. Once flattened, the children decided on a shape to press into the clay to create their tile. After the shape was formed, they were offered a tray of different natural materials. Pinecones, sweet gum pods, dried orange slices, various seashells, and rocks with different textures were available to press into the clay to create impressions. Each child had their own approach for this part of the process—some children used two hands to press the materials deep into the clay, while others gently stamped them repeatedly all over their tile.
The clay tiles took a few days to dry, and while we waited for them to harden we did some experimenting creating our own watercolor paints to use on our dried tiles. We smashed raspberries and blackberries over a strainer and collected the juices into a bowl below creating a subtle red and vibrant purple color. We mixed ground turmeric and water together and made an orangey-yellow color—finding the longer the mixture sat, the darker the color became. Once the tiles were completely dried, they were ready to paint. The children used the paint we made from the berries and turmeric to color the pieces. After the paint dried, we applied a satin glaze and added a piece of twine for hanging. Each tile was created using the same process, and yet each one is unique. The children were delighted to see their finished pieces, and look forward to sharing them with their family and friends.
Ellery Autry, "Mama"
Aina Baasch, "Untitled"
Vo Bartiromo, "Vo Purple"
Hall Cox, "Untitled"
Hunter Greene, "Hunter"
Ronan Gutnik, "Pasta"
Zelda Hadelich, "Untitled"
Cairo Lewis, "Mommy, Dada"
Alaya Naziri, "The Ocean
Teresa Rego, "Untitled"
Jayden Sirvent, "Untitled"
Maurice Ben Zaquen, "Untitled"
We wanted our group piece and our individual pieces to share some of the same elements. To accomplish this, we decided to use the same natural materials to create both pieces of art.
To start our group piece, we first painted the canvas a soft yellow. The children took turns dipping a brayer in paint and then rolling the brayer across the canvas, ensuring the entire canvas was evenly covered. Once the base layer was dry, we took out the materials we used for the clay tile project.
We spread out the natural items on a tray along with several different shades of green and orange. The children were first asked to look at all of the different items available and to look closely at the different paint colors. Each child chose which items and colors they wished to use, dipped the items into the paint, and printed them on the canvas. Some children were excited to use the sweet gum pod and pinecones, while others found them to be too “prickly” and opted to print using the smooth stones and shells.
This process continued over several days, with both groups of children working on the same canvas. Look closely and you can see the straight lines of a seashell, dots created by a pinecone, and blotches of paint formed by printing with a bumpy rock.