YOUNG ARTISTS & THEIR WORK
The Preschool Art Show
Our annual art show, YOUNG
The Preschool children have been deep in the process of art exploration over the last couple of weeks as they dab, draw, print, paint, and collage. Room 2 children are using their study of dinosaurs as a platform for their art showpiece, while in Room 1 children have been looking through books and learning about how mandalas are created.
YOUNG ARTISTS & THEIR WORK is here 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. In addition, each classroom created a group piece collaboratively.
Artist Statement - Individual Pieces
Mandala art is a geometric design that holds a great deal of symbolism in Hindu cultures. Mandala is a Sanskrit word for “magic circle”. Mandalas are circles contained within a square and arranged into sections that are all organized around a single, central point.
There are numerous types of mandalas found in different cultures and used for many purposes, both artistically and spiritually. But three types of mandalas are very popular.
- Teaching Mandala
It is symbolic, and each shape, line, and color of teaching mandalas represent a different aspect of a philosophical or religious system.
- Healing Mandala
This type of mandala is more intuitive than teaching mandalas. Healing Mandalas are made for the purpose of meditation and intended to deliver wisdom, evoke feelings of calm, and channel focus and concentration.
- Sand Mandala
Buddhist Monks and Navajo cultures used sand mandalas for a long time as a traditional, religious element. These intricate designs use various symbols made from various colored sand which represent the impermanence of human life.
We began our journey of exploring mandalas by reading “The Dot” by Peter H. Reynolds. This book follows the journey of a child named Vashti who does not believe she can draw. One day her teacher tells her to make a mark on her paper and see where it takes her. She grabs her marker and makes a dot and signs her paper. The next day it is hanging in a gold frame above her teacher’s desk. She then unlocks her creativity, confidence, and growth. She creates a series of dot paintings that end up in her school's art show.
We then started to create our own dot paintings using several different materials and techniques. The children painted dots with their fingers standing at easels using tempera paint on large easel paper, and sitting at the table using thick finger paint and glossy finger painting paper.
We then created dots by printing with a variety of tools. We used Q-tips on different kinds of paper, such as watercolor, photo paper, and construction paper. The children learned how to mix colors within their dots while still keeping the round shape. The soft cotton tip made it easy to swirl colors together.
We then used acrylic sticks (a thick transparent painting tool with a round end) to print patterns. This was a new tool for us to use. The children enjoyed experimenting with how to hold the tool to get a round shape on their paper. They found they had to move the stick up and down to get a full dot, and the acrylic stick made it more difficult to mix colors.
Another tool we used to make dots were round sponge brushes in a variety of sizes. The children made patterns, mixed colors and worked carefully to keep their round shapes. They liked using the large sponges to fill up their paper and using the different sizes to make dots inside of their dots.
For our final pieces we chose to make Mandalas on canvas boards. We primed our canvas boards with acrylic paint using rollers, once it dried we were ready to use the Mandala tool set! Each child chose their own stencil from the kit to get started. They used a pencil to fill in the circles on the stencils before painting with Mandala dotting tools. The stylus comes in various sizes and and is a metal stick with a rounded tip on each end. They worked on their pieces for several days, starting in the middle of the canvas and adding more details each time.
Artist Statement - Individual Pieces
The theme for our Art Show this year developed organically from the children’s interest in dinosaurs.
Much time had been spent playing with dinosaurs, sharing dino facts, drawing pictures of and reading stories about dinosaurs. We decided to look at dinosaurs from an artist’s perspective. We took our inspiration from the mural, The Age of Reptiles, painted by Rudoph Zallinger for the Peabody Museum of Natural History. We took a long look at the mural and noticed that it had lots of dinosaurs in it and other things too - birds, fish, flowers, trees and volcanoes. We decided to create our own dinosaur mural and worked side by side on a long piece of paper.
We went back to the mural and looked at it again. This time, each child took a photograph of their favorite part of the mural. These photos would be used as a guide for our final pieces.
Next, we experimented with printing. Using different shapes, we created all the parts of a dinosaur. We dipped the shapes in paint and stamped them up and down on paper. Circles and ovals became dinosaur eyes, triangles became sharp teeth and dinosaur spikes. To create the bumpy, scaly skin of the dinosaur, we rolled paint onto a fish, put our paper on top and pressed down.
Now we were ready to move on to our Art Show pieces. The first step was to create a background color by rolling acrylic paint onto canvas paper. Using their photographs to guide them, the children used a printing technique to create dinosaurs, flowers and volcanoes. Q-tips, tooth picks, netting and popsicle sticks were used to add tiny details and finishing touches.
Your children worked hard to create these colorful, vibrant masterpieces. We hope you enjoy them!