Artist in Residence

As a teacher who emphasizes visual literacy, it is always a thrill to find that one of your student’s parents is a professional artist. Our class came to know the abstract painting process of Ursula Lyon when she visited the classroom last month. Harleaux’s mom brought in a large canvas, a HUGE drop cloth, many, many colors of paint, cups, and NO PAINTING TOOLS.

Ursula pushed aside the furniture and spread her drop cloth in the center of the room. She invited the children to remove their shoes and join her around the canvas. She read the fabulous Mix it Up! by Herve Tullet, which asks children to use their imaginations to “combine” paint colors as they read. The kids loved it.

Next, she had the children come up one at a time, and select a cup of paint that exemplified their favorite colors. Once instructed to dump, the children took turns splashing the canvas with color!

throwing paint

Next, Ursula, assisted by her daughter, lifted the canvas and started to spin it.

tilting the painting

The children oohed and ahhed at the transformation.

class painting

Later, the class shared their feelings about this unique and messy painting experience:

how it felt to paint

My co-teacher, Maria, documented the children’s experience for classroom display with the painting:

painting with Ursula

Thank you for this wonderful experience, Mrs. Lyon!

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