Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Our Encaustic Monoprints

As I’ve written here many times before, for me preschool art is about the process of creation with the end result being at best secondary, and in many cases totally irrelevant.

In fact, we produce a lot of art that goes directly into the recycling bin at the end of the day because it was either a group art project and we’re out of wall-space, or because the “finished” work can’t be practically saved, such as a collage project upon which the child has emptied several bottles of white glue. We have the luxury of doing this, in part, because as a cooperative preschool the children’s parents are in the room to observe their child making art so the need to take home a “trophy” at the end of the day is less pressing than it might be a traditional setting.

Last week both the 3-5 and Pre-3 classes had the chance to experiment with the process of drawing with crayons on hot plates, then if they chose they could press a piece of paper on their result to make a print. A parent asked if these were “encaustic paintings.”

My blogging/Facebook friend and Seattle-area artist Kari Young (here are her website , blog) has been working with encaustic paints (a mixture of bees wax, resin and pigment applied to wood boards with a heated iron, torch and brush) for the past couple years so I posed the question to her. Her answer was that they could probably be called “encaustic monoprints,” then asked me to share some of the finished pieces with her.

Now, it is the nature of preschool process art to go through a beautiful phase, but young children rarely stop there, so much of what we wound up with were gray and brown puddles of melted wax, but I told her I’d check our cooling racks to see what we had. And much to my surprise I found some beauties:

Bookmark and Share


SkyGoddess said...


These are amazing works of art!! You guys did a great job and I think you should have an exhibition at your school!!

Thank you so much for sharing these with me I love them.

Keep creating!

Kari J Young

Eternal Lizdom said...

You should frame them and sell them to some corporate office as a fundraiser for the school. Seriously. Those are far more pleasant to view than what I currently have in my office!

MOM #1 said...

Those are fantastic. I'm not sure if I'm supposed to say, but my favorite one is the 3rd one from the top, but they're all beautiful.

Jenni said...

Oh I am struggling with my teachers right now with this. They get completely shocked when I tell them that they are not to put the child's name on the work, let them do it themselves because, "How will we know who's it is?"

"you ask"

"What if they don't know"

"If it's important to them, they will know. If it's not important to them, it was more about the process. They don't need that."

"But what are we supposed to do with it?"

"Toss it or hang it or whatever you want with it."

...complete and utter shock that I would say toss it, then..."But it's there work!"

"But it's all about how they GOT to that's not about the work."

Yes, that "trophy" is a huge struggle with some teachers; I don't have as much problem with the parents...actually, some are relieved they don't have another work to bring home.

Michelle said...

Beautiful work!! I have been wanting to try the crayon melting process for a while now... just waiting for a day without the little one... the kids did a great job!!

Unknown said...

I just love their art! It is so beautiful! I was reading your blog via my phone upstairs in bed tonight and I told Gary that I had to go downstairs and leave a comment since I couldn't on my phone :) . He said, "I don't think anyone cares about comments Becky" and I said, "I know that if anyone appreciates them, it is Teacher Tom." : )

Pumpkin Delight (Kimberly) said...

I love them! The colors are great!