Wednesday, September 16, 2015


In the inspiring tale, "The Dot," by Peter H. Reynolds, a young art student, Vashti, is afraid to draw on paper because she thinks she is not a good artist. Her teacher suggests that she just make a mark and see where it takes her. This journey of how Vashti discovered her creativity with just a simple dot inspired us to fill Panther Hall gallery with our own unique dots!

Here is a video of "The Dot" . . .

In celebration of this book and the encouraging message it brings to art students, schools all around the world join together in recognition of International Dot Day, September 15th! At our school, students worked together to create dots based on different styles of artwork.

Beginners, Pre-Kindergarten, and Kindergarten artists were were given paper, their favorite colors and a very big brush. We learned how to put on our big blue denim smocks and how to apply paint to paper. We also discovered what happens when we blend different colors together. These painted papers became the circles of our very own "Very Hungry Caterpillar," just like in Eric Carle's illustrations.

First grade artists drew a scene or a design on a square paper, filling all the areas of the paper with soft colors. A circle was then cut out of the center of the square to show the difference between a positive and negative shape.

Second grade artists collaborated to make their project. They each created a random design with bright colors of markers. Their circles were then cut apart into quarter sections and new circles were created out of four different artists' work. How much fun it is for each artist to find their contribution to the new compositions!

Third graders artists learned about the whimsical artwork of Wassily Kandinsky. This Russian artist was very much inspired by the sound and rhythm of music. His famous painting of concentric circles inspired us to create rings of painted colors inside our dots. We experimented with color and patterns and saw how some colors seem to sing out brightly next to other colors.

Fourth grade artists were introduced to abstract artist, Piet Mondrian. Using a white circle for their dot designs, they filled the the circle with a straight, Mondrian-like grid. Students used their design skills with this project, deciding how to turn a simple grid into more of an abstract composition.

Fifth grade artists looked at the assemblages of American artist, Louise Nevelson. She is best known for her large, monotone sculptures. Our dots started as a cardboard circular disc and we glued down all kinds of found objects in wood, foam, paper and metal. These collage discs were then spray painted white to give them the look of Louise Nevelson's work.

Unlike most of our Ranney School art shows, the work on the walls of the gallery for this exhibit is anonymous. (Names are on the back and all art will return home as always!) As we begin our year in art and we are getting to know our new friends, this story by Peter H. Reynolds encourages us to just make a mark and see where it takes us. Our dots represent our working together in unity and support of each other.