Published on January 26, 2016
1. Jolene Brushes Paint
2. Today I saw Jolene at the easel. By the time I got there with my camera she had already applied bold areas of each color in vertical stripes at the top of the page. I thought, “Hmmm. This is interesting. Look at how carefully she moves the brush.”
3. Jolene painted the vertical areas of color, up and down, but there still was white around the blue. She then carefully covered the white spaces with more blue in upward strokes of the brush. Now there was no more white in between the colors.
4. She continued to use the blue, sweeping downward.
5. The brush ran out of paint and Jolene continued to stroke downward with a broom-like sweep of her hand. The dry brush effect was strong. It seemed to interest her as she did the same stroke again and again.
6. She dipped the brush back into the blue paint cup and filled the dry areas with more paint.
7. Then, surprisingly, she stopped. She put down the brush and stood there with her arms spread wide. Something was going on in her mind, but I didn’t know what it could be. Maybe it could be, “What should I do now?” Maybe it could be, “Ahhh, look what I did.” Maybe it could be another idea for the remaining white space.
8. She chose a brush filled with green. She began to move her brush in a circle. No more stripes. Round and round in the same spot she moved the brush, using her wrist and fingers in a smooth and clever way.
9. Then she moved the brush to a clear space, and round and round she went again.
10. And again.
11. And again.
12. And again! Her hand moved with graceful ease each time.
13. I thought, “She is discovering how a brush works!”
14. She completed the final round green spot.
15. Then she painted green over all those spots. Goodbye, round and round spots!
16. All the spots except one were covered. They were gone. No one would ever see those other spots again. That was the end of her painting. She put down her brush and left the painting sitting on the easel.
17. I took a picture of Jolene’s painting. It has broad bands of brown, indigo blue, green and red filling the page. Three areas of white are left. All the brush strokes go up and down except that one remaining circle on the right. It reminds me of waterfalls in a forest. I feel relaxed, calm and happy looking at it.
18. What it means… Jolene, your way of moving the brush is interesting to watch. Your hand moves as gracefully as a squirrel. You are finding a way to say things and express feelings with paint that no one can say in words. Paint can say things you don’t even realize you feel until they emerge on the paper. Painting is something people do all by themselves. A painter tries new things, sees and feels what happens, and tries something else. That is what you did. You do, then you see, then you build on that. It is like talking back and forth to yourself without words.
19. Opportunities… Jolene is interested in effects of what she does with expressive materials that are at hand, so we will make sure to provide more means for doing that kind of exploration. We will provide more colors of paint, more sizes of brushes, and watercolor, too. It would be wonderful to make it possible for others to join Jolene so more children could discover the joys of artistic expression.
20. Possibilities… Fluid hand movement, exploration, and reflection seem to be life-long possibilities for Jolene. Art offers the possibility for people to come to understand not only ways of expression but also who they are. Such discoveries cannot be said in words. The more we closely attend, the more we see, and the more we learn. In this one story of painting, all of us are reminded of the possibility of listening more deeply to each unique human being.
21. Jolene Brushes Paint Tom Drummond Green Tree Early Childhood Center Seattle, Washington Holly Koehler, teacher
The brush ran out of paint and Jolene continued to stroke downward with a broom-like sweep of her hand. The dry brush effect was strong. It seemed to ...
This is the movie of Jolene painting at the easel that I used to capture still images for the Learning Story "Jolene Brushes Paint."
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