Lainey: I want to mine to be a candy land!
Isla: With a rainbow in it.
Lainey: A Candyland with a rainbow in it!
Isla: I’m gonna do the Lorax.
Lainey: You could make these trees with pink fluffy stuff on top.
Isla: And it's rainbow trees.
Lainey: Yah, there’s stuff with pink fluff and orange fluff, and yellow fluff....
Isla: I’m gonna do the Lorax!

I went and got my Lorax book, and brought it back to solidify some of the imagery in our minds before we began exploring this idea. Lainey quickly adopted Isla’s idea of creating a lorax inspired scene too.

Isla: I'm not going to do it exactly like that. I'm going to leave a few things out.

Lainey: I want to paint the rainbow, then put some glue on it, then put some sparkles on. When I make a rainbow. I want my picture all sparkling. I'm going to make fancy little birds.


Isla: Can I do my rainbow however I want? Like Purple….Like, the colors however I want? It might be crazy. What comes after pink? What comes before pink in the rainbow?
Lainey: I think you just said it.
Isla: Pink?
Lainey: Not pink. You just said it. Purple before pink. I think Isla’s doing a backwards rainbow.
Isla: I am! This time red is going to be last!
Lainey: Poor red. Poor, poor red.



Isla then went through the color wheel, referring to the pictures on the wall, to draw her rainbow in backward order. When Isla finished her planning copy, she moved on to painting her shadowbox. Although, the rainbow she fashioned in the shadow box began with the color red, not purple. I gave her a few pointers on spreading the paint evenly across the whole span of the rainbow.

Isla: Do you like rainbows?
Lainey: She loves rainbows.
Isla: What do you like more, rainbows or outer space?
Rachel: Oh that's a good question. I think I would say outer space.
Lainey: Maybe she likes both.
Rachel: I do like both.
Isla: But she likes outer space the best.

Lainey: This is the little boy’s land. He lives here. He lives here. In this little place, in my little place, you always have to do the rainbow 1st because then that gives everything the colour. So when this place runs out of color, you've got to paint the rainbow. The boy now has colour! He’s so happy. He's dancing around. In little circles. Because he so happy.

Lainey: I just want to make land, and a pond. A crazy land. And the funny thing about this land, is that everything depends on the rainbow. Do you know why? Because if something is not colored for at least a month then it will die. Because everything depends on the rainbow. And if the rainbow is stolen, or unpainted, and they can't colour everything, then everything will die. Everything loses color, and they can't find food without color because they can't tell where their food is, because everything is white. The birds can't see the fish because they are invisible. They can’t see the colour of the fish through the water. Well, it's pretty hard to do without the rainbow. The rainbow colours everything.

Isla: I'm putting a cloud on the rainbow. Lots of clouds, blue and purple. Hey where is the pink? And there are some other clouds that are pink.
Rachel: If you add white, you can make the colours lighten up.
Isla: Yeah colours, lighten up.
Rachel: Serious colours.
Lainey: Yes colours, you are too serious, lighten up.
Isla: Check this cloud out. They call this the magic cloud.
Lainey: If you want that to be a rainbow cloud Isla, you have to make rainbow water.
Isla: This special cloud is not just pink, it needs all the colours, the rainbow to stay here and make all the colours.
Lainey: Then it would make rainbow rain.
Isla: Yep.

As the girls talked about their concepts, Lainey was teaching herself technique.

Lainey: Hey Rachel if you keep just painting and painting on one thing, look how smooth it gets.



When I told Abi about our theme of rainbows and some of the project ideas, she asked me if we HAD to include a rainbow. I told her that I never usually tell kids that they HAVE to add anything, but only asked that they think of the theme, and look for some sort of inspiration in it.
Abi decided to go with a mushroom house, and a mouse. She played with ideas about what pattern to decorate the top of the toad stool, and what her mouse should be doing. She took time to adjust the sizes of objects/ spatial relationships in her composition.

We started talking about channeling one idea into something good. Abi decided to go with a forest theme, because there was so much possibility in a forest.
Abi: I could draw a…what’s a wild animal that lives out in the wild? A wolf? I could draw a wolf. ….Are you really an artist?
Rachel: What is an artist?
Abi: A person who draws and uses their imagination and paints, like a painter, a famous painter. …Oh, you know what I could do, sometimes forests have ponds near them. Yah, and I could draw some little pine trees right here.

Abi was cheerful every step of the way.

Abi: Okay, I’ve already got my idea, I don’t even have to draw I can just.. get started. I think I should sketch it out in there first.

With a teeny tiny push of encouragement, I told her she could probably manage without drawing first.

Abi: I think I could do that, I think I could that. I’ve got a simple idea.


I gave Abi and Isla a mini lesson on how to make evergreen trees with a fan brush. Lainey had done it before, so I asked if she had any advice to give the girls.

Lainey: Don’t use a giant splotch of paint. Don’t get a giant glob of paint, get enough just to create one of the pieces, just get enough, not a whole blob.

Abi was a natural when it came to the trees. She listened to my instructions, and followed them to a tee. She thought about making her trees all different heights, and shapes and sizes, and what sorts of trees belonged in her forest by the pond.

As Abi worked on her trees, her vision for her little scene got clearer and clearer for her. She decided on a little path, leading up from the pond, to go between the trees. She made her trees very dense, and explained that “Forests are bunched together”.

Lainey kept focusing on making her paint as smooth as she could. She paid close attention to the direction of her brush strokes.

Isla made some wonderful purple trees.

Isla: I like this tree the best. Because it’s tall, and it looks like a real tree.

Abi: I think the trees are done, I really like the way I’ve done the trees I think I’m ready to do the sky.

Isla: Mine’s too cloudy for sky.

Abi was pleased with how fast she completed her background scenery. And then she went about searching for stuff.

Abi: Ooh, this is perfect for the pine tree!

Abi found some crinkly paper grass, and decided to glue it to brown pipe cleaners. And it really looked amazing when they were finished. I helped Abi by gluing it, with the hot glue gun, as she hadn’t used one before.

Abi: I’m looking for something good to use for the water. Can I use marbles for the water?
Rachel: Sure.
Abi: I want to try that!

From that point, Abi’s mind really opened up, and began gathering up potential, inspiring materials for next week. Because her picture was still wet, she couldn’t glue anything down yet. She found a bouncy ball, and really wanted to use it.

Abi: I’m going to do something with the bouncy ball. What do you think I could do with it? I could glue it to a pom pom. I could pretend it’s a beach ball.

So she glued down the bouncy ball, and then she got inspired. You could almost see the sparkles coming out of her, as she imagined her new idea.

Abi: I’d like to glue some pom poms, Fluffy balls! Fluffy balls is my idea. I like the idea of fluffy balls. You got one ball, you could put some more balls! It could be ball city. With a whole bunch of balls, any kind of balls, even fluffy balls. And the water will be marbles still. I’m just going to glue it around the ball.

Out of all the jars of coloured materials, the girls loved the jars of coloured sand the most. They sprinkled it on their backgrounds each in a different way. Abi enhanced her grass and sky, Lainey sparkled up her rainbow, and Isla probably had the most fun of all. She tried many different colours, and ended up having a great time playing with her sand/glue mixture, calling it her cookie dough.

Each of the girls had really neat observations about the sand.

Lainey: Hey, Rachel check out this. Check out where I’ve been dumping. It looks like a rainbow.

Abi: It looks like a misty forest. Can I put some other colours on here too? Of the sand….. I know! I could make some other balls!

Isla: I’m making cookie dough.
Abi: Cookie dough?
Isla: Cookie dough. With my glue and paint. It feels like cookie dough, at least with my spoon it does.
Abi: That does look like cookie dough.
Isla: Cookie dough, nummy! I noticed something. I noticed when you put glue on the sand and the sparkles, it moves, and it doesn’t stick as much. The glue doesn’t stick and the sparkles don’t stick.

Rachel: There is something quite beautiful about this.
Isla: The sparkles?
Rachel: The sparkles, the colours, the details, the leaves…
Lainey: The hard work she put into it?
Rachel: The cookie dough…
Abi: The cookie dough land!
Isla: Cookie Dough Flower Sparkle Land.

Lainey found the pom poms, and got inspired.

Lainey: Hey Rachel, these could be bushes! Fluffy bushes. I’m going to make coloured bushes. Here’s the duck face. Pink! I’m gonna make a pink bush!

Lainey: Can I start taking pictures of my little animals? And put their names with them. A little name tag. I’ve already named my little man Edward. It sounds cute. Eward’s napping in the bushes. I’m going to name the trees Kokimon trees. Instead of Poki.