As the year winds down and each new day brings us closer to the Hanna Art Show, the children’s investigation and celebration of rainbows is culminating with two pieces of art. While both are based on the results of our nearly yearlong investigation, the one piece that is being featured in this week’s writing, is also the result of a generous gift and a serendipitous find.
While deciding to spend the year exploring “color” I had no preconceived ideas how to do that. After observing how children were creating rainbows out of every type of medium available, I realized an investigation of rainbows offered us the perfect forum for an exploration of color.
Early on in our rainbow investigation, one thing struck me. While listening to Israel “Izzy” Kamakawiwo’ole version of “Somewhere over the Rainbow” the most significant line that resonated with the children was the importance of “blue skies” and their knowledge that a rainbow comes out “after a storm.”
As our discussion deepened, I came to realize that each and every color was a “happy” color to one child or another. (Although blue represented sadness to one child because blue was the color of tears.) While the rainbow is universally viewed as a symbol of hope, I believe that all the information gathered up in our investigation of the rainbow adds up to the feeling that a rainbow represents happiness to our artists.
Although we started our final project in the last week or so,,the process actually started a couple of months ago, after being initially inspired by our lovely collection of rainbow, hued yarns donated to the school. I wanted to use this collection in an age appropriate, yet engaging way. I decided that weaving was a technique that the children might find intriguing. The children practiced weaving by creating a “rainbow” on a metal piece I found in a thrift store. Once a child learned the technique, I asked them to teach another child the technique.
Besides the yarn, my inspiration was a thick piece of wood I pulled out of the trash. This was going to serve as the base and sky of the project.Several of our artists worked with oil pastels and watercolors to represent a blue sky.After reaching a consensus, a tint of blue was chosen and the wood prepared for painting by sanding.
Several children participated in painting the wood block. Watching the transformation of the wood was glorious! I’m not sure any of the children understood where this was going, but all were on board for the experience.
After looking at pictures from our book, “The Colors of the Rainbow,” it was decided that it was important to have fluffy, white clouds be a part of our background of a blue sky.
Now, I am sure you are all wondering how yarn, wood, and the children’s fascination with rainbows will come together. The next step will explain everything and also offered an invitation to even more participants to the process.
I hope you can envision the next step of “weaving a rainbow.” We will start weaving the top row of red (Red is always at the top of the rainbow, unless it is a double rainbow, then it will appear at the bottom.) on our first day back after Spring Break and invite attendees to our Art Show to weave some of the other rows!
More than anything else, our project was a happy process and my hope is to leave everyone viewing our art piece in a happy state of mind.
Please visit The Garden Classroom while attending the Hanna Art Show and see this and other projects inspired by the children’s curiosity and interests!
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