Aw, Eric Carle, will we ever have enough of his
A sunny copy of his work inspired the children to want to create
their own Eric Carle paper.
Thus began one of the most rewarding art projects I have ever
participated in. We spent days creating every imaginable method of
producing interesting art on paper.
The children experimented with
crayons over water colour,
crayon under water colour,
finger painting designs,
sponge painting gold and bronze over top the
layering water colours for days,
using great varieties of tools to create a
design on their finger painting.
Sometimes, I think I forget that the process
is so much more powerful than the product! This process was truly
At times it felt like we were overcome with
discovering new methods, teaching each other the joys of our latest
discovery. When at last we had to stop for Christmas holidays
(otherwise we might never have satisfied this need to create), we
spread out all our designs and were over whelmed with the sheer joy
Katie making paper choices
We became so excited that
we imported a grade 11 student to teach us how to draw Eric Carle’s
8 point star (as I could not figure it out. Isn’t great to not have
to know everything?)
and Tea creating stars
Austin making artist’s choices
After several months, we
re-visited the papers we had created. I did this on propose as often
students of this age are not keen to cut up their art.
The children created
animals using their understanding of proportion, drawing skills, and
their observations of a week at Zoo School in January.
We had already begun
creating animals as a result of this week’s experience, so we had
many skills to “draw” from.
As one child said,” If he
was here to see this, Eric Care would be very proud of us!”
Our background problem (“Now what do we do?
This is a boring background?” lament led us to the grade 4’s and 5’s
who suggested that we either needed a sharp contrast with the
detailed animals or plain watercolour background. The paper we had
used for our backing wouldn’t hold watercolour so one of my students
suggested we use felt, as it had been successful with our earlier
project of “Ways of seeing Animals”. Thus was born the idea of
stripes rather than checks, as it is “Math Week” and we should
include some math (yet another student suggestion).
And she was right! He
would be proud! I truly believe that this study has not finished.
Not one wee piece of our art paper has been thrown into re-cycle!
They have tubs of paper bits left over for their next project!