today was day 3 of filling in the mural. we started by fixing some of the color that didn't quite balance out from the week before. mostly that bright green and bright yellow patch that was just puking all over our painting. it got lightened up and changed out. we tried to keep the color, but eliminate the yuck of the color combo. the main task for this session was getting the stenciled imagery started. this was a challenge. spray cans came out to play, which led some of the students to begin painting on each other. which i neither encourage nor discourage. i hope that my class is not confined so much that kids can't feel free to do something stupid sometimes. you learn from mistakes you make and often it takes a stupid idea to come up with a good one.
after the first hour of working on the color base, we decided that it was looking pretty good, and after cleaning up some of the drips, splatters and splashes, we started in on the stencils. this is the first time any of these kids have used a stencil. and that was evident by a few of the messier initial splotches of color that were intended to be images. we brushed on the ones that we needed to, and we sprayed on the ones that we could. i showed them how to brush, or stipple or not slop the paint on to the stencil. then i showed them how to hold the spray can so they don't end up with a black blob where they intended to have an image. after a few trial runs and some mistakes that were or will be fixed, we were off and running. instead of dictating where the images went on the panel (as i did w/ the color) the kids had free reign to cover the panels however they wanted to, with some input from me. but it can be intimidating to paint this and then try to figure out where you want to start putting imagery. we have simple landscape narratives and abstract compositions of repeated imagery. both work well together, because both are focused on repetition.
i'm excited about the piece. i think maybe i'll try to work to get it installed on the wall next week and allow the kids to finish it out hanging on the wall. it is looking great and we've gotten some buzz about it. the fact that the kids have such a huge role in the creation of the work from start to finish is really putting a bit of excitement in the air. keep watching. we're still working, but we will have it ready for the unveil on may 11th during the first gallery walk of the year!