Looking around the classroom I noticed that we have so many pieces of work demonstrating our explorations with blue and yellow. But now, when I look outside I see the fiery colors of fall – red, gold, orange. It got me thinking about how we need to do some more color exploration.
Just this thought gave me a huge rush of relief and excitement. In all the activity of these last few weeks of school I feel that simple exploration of materials has been lacking. How did that happen? Isn’t that one of the things our school is based upon?????
Well, out came little glass dishes, plastic droppers and watercolor paints.
When the children came in there were several squeals of delight. How wonderful! They remembered how to use the droppers and were soon hard at work. Discussions about what the colors were and what they could make by mixing them together.
“It is going to be pink”
“I am going to make gold. Like princess slippers”
“Look at my truck. It is all orangey”
Later in the morning, when they were busy elsewhere, I quietly refreshed the paints. Another rush of exploration occurred. This time one child discovered he could make bubbles in the paint with the dropper. How exciting! Soon all of the children were trying it. There needed to be a few reminders about keeping the paint on the tray!
No “this moment” this week because I have a dilemma I want to share with you!
We have been doing “wet on wet” Waldorf style painting throughout the year and I had found a supplier of watercolor paper that works well for us. It is not as good as the high quality Strathmore paper but it is much more economical.
So, today I opened a new pack to do some painting. We are getting ready to make some lanterns for our Autumn Equinox celebration next week.
The children painted some beautiful work but I could not work out why the paper just was not withstanding their painting. In the past they have been able to use the watercolors with ease but today I had to keep telling them to not keep working in the same spot. It was so frustrating all around.
Finally it came to me that the paper was different. The packaging and price was the same but I am so sure that the quality was different. I am going to contact the supplier, but I wanted to also ask for your input.
Do you use watercolor paper? What do you use and where do you get it?
Wouldn’t it be great if we could all learn about some wonderful paper at a truly affordable price!
As promised, when the children came in this morning their painting was there waiting for them…..along with blue and yellow tempera cakes for today’s painting.
They were so excited and they really got stuck in! They were so much more free than I have ever seen them before when painting. Somehow, already having ownership of the work, and working collaboratively was freeing for them. There was some discussion of content,
“I’m painting a bird”
And, some discussion of their experimentation,
“Boom, boom….the brush makes a scratchy boom noise when it bangs the paper”.
And the final piece looks pretty darn good if I do say so myself! We talked about where to put it and they decided it should go on the playstand to be the sky!