top of page

Memory Maps, Overlapping Watercolors, and Art & Text

ART YARD Art Matters at PS 282 has begun our next cycle titled Unity/Community with Teaching Artist Richard Estrin. Richard explained to us that while in each session over the next three weeks we will create an artwork, these three pieces will ultimately be placed side-by-side to form what we call a tryptic.

Today we learned some very sophisticated watercolor techniques including working wet-on-wet which allows colors to blend on their own, and how to employ overlapping to create the illusion of space. Richard showed us some fine examples of watercolor painting (including my favorite John Singer Sargent) which we carefully analyzed for technique.

John Singer Sargent, “Egyptian Water Jars” 1885, watercolor on paper
Skip Lawrence, "Pulling Together",1994, watercolor on paper

Does this sound like a rigorous painting course in art school? I thought so too. But we were wowed by the fantastic accomplishment our 4-10 year old artists! Richard reflects: “The exuberance of these young kids is so gratifying. The love of creating that they demonstrated is sensational and inspirational!”

Jack really enjoyed this week’s lesson and thinks overlapping is a cool technique.

Jack, PS 282 Overlapping Watercolor

Lorenzo describes his composition: “one building, overlapping with another building, half overlapping another building, a little bit.”

Lorenzo, PS 282 Overlapping Watercolor

Lucy loved blending colors by adding watercolor to wet paper! She said “I liked how the kids made all their paintings so beautiful because of all the details.”

Noelle exclaimed, “ I just LOVE painting with watercolors! This is a blue dog, eating an ice cream (with chocolate sprinkles) at the Park.”

Noelle, PS 282 Overlapping Watercolor
Amalia, PS 282 Overlapping Watercolor

In critique Rhys clearly articulated: “I overlapped these flowers and a house behind it. And the doorknob is only half because it’s behind the flowers.”

Emma’s colorful painting depicts her community of stuffed toys -- Elmo, Cookie Monster and her fluffy unicorn Esmeralda. She tells us: “I decided to overlap them because they normally sit in a bunch.”

Emma, PS 282 Overlapping Watercolor
Kyler, PS 282 Overlapping Watercolor
Kyler, PS 282 Overlapping Watercolor

August painted a “rainbow, with a bird community, with a cloud raining over the ocean.”

August, PS 282 Overlapping Watercolor
Sabrina, PS 282 Overlapping Watercolor

Employing artistic license Lola made a painting of her school and the grass with the track which actually blue but she decided to make it purple.

Lola, PS 282 Overlapping Watercolor
Lucas, PS 282 Overlapping Watercolor
June, PS 282 Overlapping Watercolor

Coco’s piece depicts a big unicorn hiding behind a snake with a bear on the side.

Coco, PS 282 Overlapping Watercolor

These beautiful paintings are all depicting a particular community dear to the artist -- home, park, toys, pets and even a community of paint brushes painted by Max. Which particularly resonated with me – as I’ve painted a version of my own community of brushes more than once!

Check out this weeks video recap!


This week, fourth and fifth graders at ART YARD Art Matters at PS 6 began a 3-week memory mapping project with Teaching Artist Iviva Olenick.

Iviva summarizes: “After looking at artworks by Joyce Kozloff and Meridith McNeal, students identified places they haven't visited recently and miss, and drew maps of the journey to the place and the place itself. We used the term memory maps to designate the difference between a map based on geography and one based on emotion and memory, which might not be totally accurate or true to life. Students traveled places near and far in their memories, including local shops, school and their home countries.”

Meridith McNeal, Tiny Fringed Dress, 2007, NYC transit maps, Jade glue and glass bell jar

I was particularly impressed by the students observational skills and analytical thought process when viewing Iviva’s presentation. They concentrated very carefully as Iviva demonstrated the paper joining technique and enthusiastically worked on their pieces.

Artharva, PS 6 Memory Map
Matthew, PS 6 Memory Map
Thanmaya, PS 6 Memory Map
Harshita, PS 6 Memory Map

Elliot tells us: “I made a beach because I miss going there and having fun with my family and friends.”

Aarini, PS 6 Memory Map
Ved, PS 6 Memory Map

Vivaan explains: "I drew a picture of Pershing field because I used to go there frequently before Covid but now I can’t."

Manish, PS 6 Memory Map