For our final week of summer camp, we focused on both creating and observing art. The week began with a study of colors, in which the children were given the 3 primary colors (red, blue, and yellow) and mixed them together however they wanted. Of course, with only 3 colors to mix, many children ended up mixing them all together at once, giving us many variations of brown—but what a great way learn about how certain colors interact with each other! Each child then painted their own piece of recyclable material and placed it on a big piece of paper to create a beautiful wall sculpture! The next day, we added more colors for children to mix (such as greens, purples, and white), and they created some beautiful colors for their second sculpture! We saw variations of blues, dark and light, as well as lovely pinks and interesting blue-greens and violets.
Another project we did center on the first Impressionist artist, Claude Monet. We began by looking at pictures of his works and noticing how many colors he put into one piece, as well as the interesting technique he used of using very small, visible brushstrokes. From there, we took out several bright colors, and the children took up their paint brushes and dabbed away all over their papers with beautiful colors, creating some really spectacular art—so imagine my shock and dismay as one child began completely covering everything she had just painted with orange paint! Of course, once one child began doing it, a few others joined in; but, fortunately, the next part of the project involved covering another piece of paper with water, pressing it to the painting, and peeling it off to help blend the colors together. For those paintings that had been covered by one color, the wet paper helped remove some of the top layers of paint, revealing all the colors that were underneath through the top color. It looked incredible! It was a wonderful experience, and just one example, of how children can take any kind of art and really make it their own in unexpected ways; I believe that was the most important thing that we—teachers and children—all learned from this wonderful week of art camp!