Dear You Art Project

Mail Art + Pen Friends = Dear You Art Project

Monkeys make magic

2017, 5 years old, 6 years old, Australia, FinlandArlene TuckerComment

The Monkeys are very excited to have new friends from Australia!  We looked on the map to see where Australia is in relation to Finland. It's a looong ways away.  They already had a sense of that because one of their teachers is from Australia.  They are looking forward to making more friends from there!

We started off by talking about what it means to make a self-portrait.  We looked at one other and tried to be eachother's mirrors. As we were investigating ourselves, we were thinking about what part of us would we like to share and tell our new friends.

This was the first time using carbon transfers and they all did a great job! As they were understanding how the technique works, they were coming up with their own ways of drawing. At that time, the Monkeys were learning about space so a lot of the artists incorporated the moon and stars into their self-portrait.

Everybody got a chance to talk about their self-portrait.  Rafael said, "I have shabby hair and eyes."  Miro said, "I am playing a game on my tablet."  Adripto included a pictures of himself and his sister.  Alia said, "It's me and my little brother. We are looking at the shooting stars and their is the flag of Somalia."  Do these sound familiar to you?

We our very curious about you all and where you live!  The Monkeys would like to know, what do you see in Australia?

Looking forward to hearing from you!

My best,
Arlene & The Monkeys

The Monkeys from Your School in Espoo, Finland are making and sharing art with K1HT class from Bulli Public School in Bulli, Australia. All artists are 5-6 years old.

The Tigers are great storytellers!

2017, 4 years old, 5 years old, Dear You Art Workshops, Finland, USAArlene TuckerComment

The Tigers are super welcoming with their big smiles and good creative energy!  Today was extra special as I got to tell them that we have new friends from Moonstone Preschool in Philadelphia. Immediately the questions started buzzing and they tried to make connections.  They started sharing stories of who they know in the USA and if they have ever visited the country.

This was the first time the Tigers had ever made carbon transfers.  I am so proud that they all took their time to cover their paper with graphite.  The magic started when they began to draw.  That's when they got extra excited and thought it was magic at first!  Some got frustrated when the marks didn't go through, but they persevered and got it to work for them!

When we were finished we all sat down together to look at each other's artwork.  The pictures are so descriptive of who the artists of, where they live, and what they like.  Erik said, "I am on a bus. I am riding the bus to my home. This is big me and little me."  Mikelus said, "I am walking outside and stop in the forest for the postman."  Vanessa decided to make a family portrait.  Leevi said that this picture is of a happy person.  I love the positive image Leevi has about himself!  Reno said, "a tiny baby superman is playing basketball with me."  Who wouldn't want to play with you?!

Can you find the portrait of the carpetman?
Which pictures are of a happy person?
Which picture has somebody walking through an apple orchard?

We are so happy to make a collective book with our Moonstone friends!

With love,
Arlene & The Tigers

The Tigers from Your School Espoo, Finland are making and sharing with the Full Moons from Moonstone Preschool in Philadelphia, USA. Both groups are 4-5 years old.

Our first mail art exchange!

2017, 10 years old, 3rd Grade, 9 years old, China, United KingdomArlene Tucker1 Comment

Hey! Dear You!

We are from Taizhou Phoenix Primary School of Jiangsu, China. We are the children of Class 3 Grade 3 who are aged from 9 to 10. We just start to learn English recently, so we can not write well in English. But we can express ourselves by drawing or doing art works. You can guess how I look like and how I feel by our pictures.

On Sept. 26, the art teacher Miss Liu Chunjuan took us to the art room. Firstly, She drew a big body on the blackboard and let us discuss what makes humans unique to each other. For example, the DNA, the fingerprints, personalities etc. The children shared ideas and wrote many key words on it. Secondly, she asked us to draw a self-portrait . We took many pictures about them. Thirdly, Miss Liu showed us how to cover the parer with graphite, and we tried. Wow! The paper turned dark soon and so did our hands. Everybody was happy! Then, we took another different colour of paper to make a transfer drawing. Some of the kids used fingers , some used feet, some used hands, some used arms. All of us laughed happily. At last, we wrote ours name on them to let foreign friends know who I am.

Children’s comments :
1. I won’t forget this drawing lesson one hundred years later.
2. It is the first time for me to make pictures with fingers. That looks great!
3. I want to try again to make it more clearly.
4. I know that everybody is unique .

Teachers reflection:
1. The children enjoyed the process of doing the art work. They are eager to be my little teacher to help classmates to finish. They become more helpful.
2. The open question ‘what is unique?’ expand the children’s thinking . Everybody learns to share.
3. We are eager to see the art works from the UK. Exchanging ideas makes human get close.

Thank Dear You for linking us together!

Miss Liu Chunjuan

The artists in Grade 3 (9-10 years old) at Taizhou Pheonix Primary School in Jiangsu, China are making and sharing art with the artists in Class 4 (8-9 years old) at Sneinton C of E St Stephens Primary School in Nottingham, England Both groups are aged 8-9 years old.

I am unique!

2017, 8 years olds, 9 years old, Dear You Art Workshops, Dear You Workshop Leader, China, United KingdomArlene TuckerComment
Heather Connelly, local artist to Nottingham and Dear You workshop leader, introduces to Class 4 where there new friends abroad live. In China!

Heather Connelly, local artist to Nottingham and Dear You workshop leader, introduces to Class 4 where there new friends abroad live. In China!

Class 4 had a fantastic art workshop thinking all about the topic of what makes them unique and how we are all different. After having completed some homework beforehand about their families, appearance, DNA, likes and dislikes, travel and heritage, the children were ready to explore their ideas in art. Heather showed us some fantastic images of how celebrated artists have created pieces focused on the differences in the human body and the idea of a map to represent uniqueness. The children then discussed how they were all different and how this diversity can be represented in artwork. The children loved comparing their fingerprints, as well as talking about their different heritages and how this influences their daily lives. 

After discussing the ways in which uniqueness and the idea of 'self' could be represented in art, the children then started practising their own ideas. Many children created a pencil drawing of the lines of their hands and their fingerprint. The patterns created on paper were brilliant! One of the children commented, "My fingerprint is completely different from my friend's. That means I'm unique. That's pretty amazing!" I hope it is clear that this uniqueness is expressed in the children's fantastic artwork. 

During this practice stage, many children were fascinated with how lines and simple patterns could be so effective in artwork. They soon realised that art is not a perfect picture with recognisable objects; it could instead be a representation of themselves through basic lines, swirls and strokes of their pencils. The children then used carbon paper to transfer their drawings, which created an interesting texture on the paper. Some pupils loved using the carbon ink to create more texture, which represented their own characteristics! 

Having looked at all of the pieces of artwork, I think it is apparent that Class 4 are a very talented and unique group of children! No piece of artwork is the same, and the little slips of paper tell the story of the artistic process for each child. 

We are all very excited to receive the artwork from our partner school and to complete our next piece of art! 

Many thanks, 
Alice Wilby

The artists in Class 4 (8-9 year olds) at Sneinton C of E St Stephens Primary School in Nottingham, England are making and sharing art with Grade 3 (9-10 year olds) at Taizhou Pheonix Primary School in Jiangsu, China.

Dear You: A Live Act at Ilmifestivaali

2017, 6 years old, Dear You Art Workshops, Dear You Workshop Leader, Events, Finland, HelsinkiArlene TuckerComment

(English below)

Pe 13.10. klo 9.30–11.30 työpaja esikoululaisille ja koululaisille
La 14.10. klo 12–16, avoin nonstop-työpaja
Su 15.10. klo 14–15 performanssi, avoin kaikille 

Vapaa pääsy! 

Kuvitellut tilat heräävät eloon Dear You –ryhmän A Live Act – työpajassa. Työpajassa tutkitaan ja toteutetaan unelmien maailmoita installaation ja performanssin keinoin. 

Lauantaina perheille avoimissa työpajoissa tutkimme multimediatekniikoita sekä veistoksellisia muotoja ja teemme niistä osallistavan installaation. 

Sunnuntaina on kaikille avoin tanssiperformanssi teatteritilassa, jonka osallistujat ovat itse luoneet. 

Jakaa sinun unelmasi! Paina tässä lisää infoa.

Kenelle: Yli 3-vuotiaille, koululaisille ja perheille
Kielet: suomi, englanti, venäjä 
Työpajojen ohjaajat: Arlene Tucker, Anastasia Artemeva
Sunnuntain performanssi: Arlene Tucker, Anastasia Artemeva sekä tanssitaitelija Vera Lapitskaya ja muusikko Mayim Alpert. 

Kutsu yhteisen installaation tekemiseen löytyy Teatteri ILMI Ö:n kotisivuilta: 

Anastasia Artemeva on Venäjällä syntynyt, Irlannissa kasvanut, nykyään Helsingissä toimiva visuaali- ja yhteistötaiteilija. Hänen teoksensa muototutuvat monivaiheisissa prosesseissa ammentaen inspiraatiota installaatiotaiteesta, taidekasvatuksesta ja ihmisoikeustutkimuksista. Temaattisia lähteitä ovat sosiaalisten normit ja hyväksytyt totuudet, yhteiskunnallisen läpinäkyvyyden ja eksklusiivisuuden kyseenalaistaminen sekä niihin vaikuttavat sosio-poliittiset, kulttuurilliset ja henkilökohtaiset rajoitteet sekä kommunikaatiokeinot. 

Arlene Tucker on taiwanilais-amerikkalainen taiteilja ja kasvattaja, jonka alaa ovat interaktiiviset installaatiot ja arjen värittäminen leikillä taiteen keinoin. Inspiroituneena kielitieteistä, eläimistä ja luonnosta hän löytää tapoja yhdistellä ja etsiä merkityksiä jaetuista ympäristöistämme. Usein hänen teoksensa rakentavat tiloja dialogin avaamiselle ja julkistamiselle, kannustaen näin tulkintoja ja yllätyksiä kukoistamaan. Arlene loi Dear Youn vuonna 2013, jotta koululaiset, koulut ja taiteilijat ympäri maailman voisivat kerääntyä yhteen taidekirjeenvaihdon kautta. Hän on esittänyt töitään taiteilijana ja taidekasvattajana Euroopassa, Pohjois-Amerikassa ja Aasiassa. 

Vera Lapitskaya on Helsingissä toimiva tanssitaitelija ja kasvattaja. Vuodesta 2009 alkaen hän on sekä työskennellyt itsenäisenä sooloartistina että tehnyt yhteistyötä muiden taiteiljoiden kanssa, niin Suomessa kuin kansainvälisestikin. Hän lähestyy taidetta monialaisesta näkökulmasta, joka suo tanssille tilaa kohdata musiikin, maalaustaiteen, runouden ja kaikki muut taiteenmuodot. Opetuksessaan hän suhtautuu ihmiskehoon inspiraation lähteenä ja rohkaisee oppilaitaan, ikään katsomatta, ilmaisemaan itseään liikkeellä sekä löytämään oman kehonkielensä. 

Mayim Alpert on muusikko, säveltäjä, soitinrakentaja ja äänisuunnittelija, varttunut Arkansasissa ja kotiutunut Helsinkiin. Vuosia hän on rakentanut kitaroita jms., soittanut bändeissä, ja tehnyt musiikkia teattereille ja kaikenlaisiin tapahtumiin.


Friday, 13.10. 9.30–11.30 workshop with school children
Saturday, 14.10. 12–16, open non-stop workshop
Sunday, 15.10. 14–15 performance, open to the public

Free entrance!

Imagined spaces come creatively alive in Dear You’s A Live Act for Ilmi Festival. We will explore and realize our dream worlds through installation and performance. In the workshop open for families we will explore multimedia techniques and sculptural forms to build the set for the participatory installation. On Sunday, there will be a dance performance in the theatre space created by you!

Share your dream! Click here for more info.

For: children over 3 years old, school children and families
Language: Finnish, English, Russian
Workshop facilitators: Arlene Tucker, Anastasia Artemeva
Sunday performance: Arlene Tucker, Anastasia Artemeva with dance artist Vera Lapitskaya and musician Mayim Alpert

For more information about the festival: 

Anastasia Artemeva is a visual and relational artist, born in Russia, raised in Ireland, and currently based in Helsinki, Finland. Her work is developed through a process-oriented artistic practice, drawn from installation art, art education, and research in human rights. Conceptually, it draws from the codes of social norms and accepted truths, questioning transparency and exclusivity affected by socio–political, cultural and personal restrictions and means of communication.

Arlene Tucker, is a Taiwanese and American interactive installation artist and educator interested in adding play elements to daily life through her art. Inspired by translation studies, animals and nature, she finds ways to connect and make meaning in our shared environments. Often her artworks create spaces for dialogue to be opened and to be divulged, making way for interpretations and surprises to flourish. Arlene created Dear You in 2013 as a means for school children, schools, and artists from all over the world to come together through mail art exchange. Over her career she has presented her work as an artist and art educator in Europe, North America, and Asia.

Vera Lapitskaya is a dance artists and educator based in Helsinki. Since 2009, she’s been working as an independent solo performer and in collaborations with other artists in Finland and internationally. In her artistic work she is looking for a multidisciplinary approach which gives space for dance to meet music, paintings, poetry and other art forms. In her teaching she approaches human body as a source of inspiration and encourages students, regardless age, to express themselves through physical movement and to find their own body language.

Mayim Alpert is a musician, composer, luthier and sound designer, raised in Arkansas and based in Helsinki. For many years he has been building guitars etc., playing in bands, and making music for theatre and many kinds of happenings.

From single to double self portraits

2017, 5 years old, 6 years old, AustraliaArlene TuckerComment

We had fun on our first Dear You !

The kids had done the priming activities before the day, discussing identity and DNA etc with Barbara Turner, the classroom teacher. 

They had also spent some time preparing their "transfer paper" with 6B pencils so that when it came time to doing their self portraits, they were able to hit the ground running.

On the day we did two activities - the first was doing a self portrait with the eyes closed, and i did a demonstration of this on the whiteboard, which was a source of much hilarity - the resulting self portrait is pretty odd! 

Self portrait with eyes closed using hand to feel the face. Demonstration on whiteboard for K1HT class, for the Dear You Art Project with a class in Finland.

Self portrait with eyes closed using hand to feel the face. Demonstration on whiteboard for K1HT class, for the Dear You Art Project with a class in Finland.

Some of the kids were able to concentrate on this for a bit - many of them found it challenging to keep their eyes closed and focused, perhaps because of the proximity of all their friends - but at any rate it offered an alternative way of "seeing" the world through touch. 

For the second activity, I had found some double mirrors from the university - our visual arts students use them for a self-portraiture activity in first year. They are on a hinge, I think these mirrors are designed for hairdressing apprentices originally.

So I asked them to do a 'double self portrait'. There were a few tricky things about this - the mirrors were standing up at 90 degrees on the desk, and so their reflective surface was a bit low for them to see their own faces. So Barbara got them to take away their chairs and kneel down on the floor so they could actually see their own faces. 

The other tricky bit was just how to do a double self portrait. I didn't give them a demonstration - partly because I wanted to see what they would come up with - but in retrospect it might have been good to do so. There are some basic things about drawing your own face in a mirror which would have been worth pointing out - like observing specific things about the visual characteristics of one's own face, rather than just taking for granted that we all have two eyes, a nose and a mouth. You know, the usual "draw what you see, not what you think you see". 

So I reckon if we were to do something like this again, I'd focus more on the actual mechanics/principles of observational drawing, so we would generate more specific, less generic, faces.

However, some of the kids did do some really interesting double self portraits, strange doublings, where two faces sit side by side, or one next to the other, or one slightly at different scale but otherwise almost identical. 

We then got them to do their transfer print, using their double self portrait. This was a process involving a normal pencil - so that a harder tip could push the image through the 2 layers of paper onto the sheet that was receiving the image. 

The transfer prints came through successfully, a bit faint perhaps, but it worked. They have a nice low-fi feel to them I think.

Barbara had photocopied lines onto the back of the paper, so the students then wrote a letter to the Monkeys in Finland - they enjoyed this process - for some reason a lot of them want to write "Kind Regards" at the end of their letters - very formal!

After the class, Barbara and I (together with a couple of young artists)  experimented a bit with using crayon or pastel rather than 6B pencil as our transfer medium. This has advantages, as its much faster to cover the surface of the transfer paper with crayon, and the image transfers much more darkly to the final print. I reckon if we were to do this activity again, that's what we'd change. 

I think Barbara was going to post them to you in the day or so after the activity - so with any luck the Monkeys will receive our parcel soon!

All the best,

The K1HT class from Bulli Public School in Bulli, Australia are making and sharing art with the Monkeys from Your School in Espoo, Finland.

Moonstone Full Moons + Your School Tigers = MoonTigers!

2017, 5 years old, 4 years old, Dear You Art Workshops, Finland, USAArlene Tucker2 Comments

Dear Tigers,

We hope you will enjoy our collective contributions. Enclosed are our portraits along with our handmade transfer (carbon) paper. Feel free to separate them from our portraits and reuse them in your transfer explorations. It was fun (and messy) creating transfer paper.

While we worked on our portraits we thought about shadows and became shadow catchers, trying to capture illusive shadows casted by flashlight and lamp. Shadows have no eyes and they do not speak. Sometimes they grow, other times they bend under doorways and hide in dark corners. Our transfer paper making inspired us to take two large collaborative pieces of art and make a huge transfer portrait/piece, representing our unique and collective selves. Like unique individuals, groups are often unique assemblages. We are excited to art pal with you. We are calling our unique collective: MoonTigers.

Paint, pencil, charcoal, graphite and pastel are the featured materials in this piece along with our imagination (an essential). We applied our paint with squirt bottles and casted shadows with brayers, tiny little rollers. They really helped us spread the darkness. This large piece was then placed onto (above) for transferring. Here are our portrait samples (below).

We look forward to making art with you!

Moonstone Full Moons + Johnny Buckley

Moonstone Full Moons, 4-5 year olds from Moonstone Preschool in Philadelphia, PA, USA, are making and sharing art with the Tigers, 4-5 year olds from Your School in Espoo, Finland.

Ripples in the valleys

2017, 6th Grade, Canada, FinlandArlene TuckerComment

We followed the suggestions in the project outline (closing our eyes and feeling things, then crumpling and flattening out our paper). The idea that most students went with was the use of watered down tempera paints. We were hoping that the paints would be watered down enough to flow through the wrinkles or the "valleys" on the paper. Students could either use the paint brush, tilt their paper back and forth to move the watered down paint, or blow on the drops of watered down paint.

Most used a brush to drop paint onto their paper and tilted the page. We were doing the painting outside (finally some sunshine and warm weather!) and it was a very windy day, so the wind was also a factor in how some of the paint was moved around... :)

Much of the finished artworks look very abstract and like the paint was flung, but that was not quite what happened. Also, some of the students made comments like "this is New York City" or "this is a metropolis" for a paper very full of paint. Others made comments about it being more rural when there were areas with less paint, just as we would expect to see on a road map.

Overall, they had a really fun time with the activity! It is also more fun to paint outside than in the portable! :)  To see a presentation of Feel the Flow project, please click here.


Kaarina Losey is the 6th grade teacher at Ryerson P.S. in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada.  Her group of artists are making and sharing art with the Päivi Huhtinen and her group of 6th graders from The English School in Helsinki, Finland.

Crinkles and wrinkles from Singapore

2017, 3 years old, 4 years old, Dear You Art Workshops, Singapore, South AfricaArlene TuckerComment

Children had fun playing with paper. Folding and unfolding the papers to observe shapes and patterns was interesting. The curious minds were able to observe designs on the papers and connect them with the surroundings. 

Our inquiry on skin and how it looks was explored further with comparison to the lines on a paper.  

The artists were asked to:
•Close your eyes and feel the paper
•Crumple the paper into a ball or fold it as you wish to.
•Close your eyes and feel the creases.
•Find a section in the paper that might mean something to you.

Below were some ideas shared by our children.

Warm Regards,

The 3-4 year old artists from EtonHouse Bilingual Pre-school in Singapore are making and sharing art with the 3-4 year old artists from Oakdale Montessori Preschool in Cape Town, South Africa.

Experimenting with marmor colours

2017, 6th Grade, Dear You Art Workshops, Finland, CanadaArlene TuckerComment

We tried marmoring colours. Pupils did different experiments with other colours as well. They added for instance dishwashing liquids on colors and/or used wet papers & salt.

That really made a mess, but it was worth it and they helped with cleaning. The group enjoyed last lesson of this school year a lot.

I saved all mini paintings for the next year, when we can somehow continue the work and draw on them.

I feel very grateful for our collaboration. Thank You both!

Enjoy the summer!

Päivi Huhtinen

The 6th graders from The English School in Helsinki, Finland are making and sharing art with the 6th graders at Ryerson P.S. in Cambridge, ON, Canada.

Our Shadow Selves from Canada

2017, 6 years old, Canada, Dear You Art Workshops, FinlandArlene TuckerComment

Unfortunately we had very poor weather with gray skies and rain for much of the time, so were unable to check out our shadows outside. As a result, we created our "shadow selves" by reflecting what we felt and liked on the inside, into a drawing for others to see. We gave our nod to the idea of shadows (e.g., being dark) by drawing with charcoal on the black background. The students really liked the opportunity to explore and draw the things that they liked and that represented them with charcoal. They were very eager and excited to explore both the medium and the topic!

To see the wonderful presentation Kaarina made of the artworks and creative process, please click here.

Kaarina Losey

Kaarina Losey is the 6th grade teacher at Ryerson P.S. in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada.  Her group of artists are making and sharing art with the Päivi Huhtinen and her group of 6th graders from The English School in Helsinki, Finland.

The Universe and beyond!

2017, 3 years old, 4 years old, 5 years old, Dear You Art Workshops, Iceland, South Africa, SingaporeArlene TuckerComment

Dear Art Friends,

We at Oakdale Montessori really enjoyed this project as it touched on a part of our curriculum. With our theme being the Universe. We’ve been learning about all the planets and we were able to zoom in to show the children that there is more than just one continent that they live on, on the planet earth.

We showed them that the earth is round with our Continent Globe and showed them how to read it as a map on a 2D surface.

With this we showed the children that the only way to get to our “Dear Art” friends is by an airplane or by ship and that is how we will be sending our art.

The children pointed out where we lived and then where their friends are.

Hope you enjoy our art as much as we enjoyed making it.

With love from
Oakdale Montessori

The 3-6 year old artists at Oakdale Montessori School in Cape Town, South Africa are making and sharing art with the 3-4 year old artists from EtonHouse Bilingual Pre-school in Singapore and the 1st and 2nd graders from Grunnskóli Fjallabyggðar in Siglufjörður, Iceland.

Shadow portraits of our stuffed animals!

2017, 6 years old, Dear You Art Workshops, Finland, Pre-School, United Arab EmiratesArlene TuckerComment

The Monkeys were so playful and adventurous when creating our shadow portraits.  We first started the workshop by searching the space to find shadows and to see how we can make shadows using natural light and flashlights.  Some questions that came up were, "Hey, where did my shadow go?  Why is my shadow chasing me?  What's the name of my shadow?"

Then we talked about how we were going to make our shadow portraits using black paper and graphite pencils.  While we were drawing we were testing to see the different affects graphite and light have on each other.  So lovely to see how a "normal" everyday medium can be looked at in new light.

After our works were made we gathered around to see the what came out of our shadows!

V: I made a dinosaur and butterfly. They are friends.
N: I drew a dog with a lot of teeth so that he can eat.
I: I drew a sun, hearts, a dog, and a banana.
C: I drew a dinosaur.
J: I drew a chair and its shadow.
P: I drew the sun, speeder and a rock.
E: I drew a smiling dog.
O: I drew a monkey and hearts because I like monkeys.
K & N: W drew a hand with a heart in it.
L: I drew a dog.
A: I drew my hand and a hare bunny.

Some of the Monkeys got out their stuffed animals or toys to make shadows and then use as a still life. Very clever artists these bunch of Monkeys are!

With love,
The Monkeys, Arlene, Ben, and Atefeh

The 6 year old Monkeys from Your School in Espoo, Finland are making and sharing with the 4-6 year olds in KG2D from Collegiate American School in Dubai, U.A.E. 


The Tigers shadow play

2017, 5 years old, Dear You Art Workshops, Finland, Pre-School, United Arab EmiratesArlene TuckerComment

How are shadows made?  What are they?  How can we play with them?

We first started this Dear You workshop by exploring different ways of creating shadows using natural light and flashlights. The light was shining so beautifully that day in Espoo that we didn't need to try so hard! 

After we got the hang of shadows we then used it to create artwork! Some of us took a more realistic approach and others took a more imaginative and symbolic approach. During the artistic process a few Tigers wanted to turn their creations into shadow puppets!  

At the end of the workshop, we all gathered around and shared thoughts about our own works and what we thought about our fellow artists' creations.

L: V's drawing made me real scared.
Ad: I saw that my shadow looked silvery.
Misk: The shadow of myself.
R: It's the shadow of my hand on the floor.
Ne: I draw what my body looks like with a heart. I like Miska's shadow.
P: My shadow portrait is a story of my family and the jungle. My daddy is 99 and my mommy is 36.
U: Neha's artwork is awesome. I drew the shadow of my hand. My hand controls everything.
V: How was it possible that the pencil shined when we used it on black cardboard? My shadow portrait is a long story about me and some animals.

So much amazing insight!

With love,
The Tigers, Arlene, Toti, and Zeynab

The 4-5 year old Tigers from Your School in Espoo, Finland are making and sharing with the 4-6 year olds in KG2E from Collegiate American School in Dubai, U.A.E. 

Shadowing our shadows in Singapore!

2017, 3 years old, 4 years old, Dear You Art Workshops, Pre-School, Singapore, South AfricaArlene TuckerComment

Moving from shadows of constructions to shadows of people was interesting. Shadows that move and shadows from still objects differ. Sometimes objects do not move but their shadows do.

When Arlene shared a sample of a picture of shadows, I pondered how children might think and draw about their shadows . Initally children drew the shadows of their friends at the carpark.. Then they drew shadow images of their friends on the paper. It was tough for friends to keep still. But what was even more challenging was drawing their own shadows. They shared that it was nearly impossible after trying.  Watching a shadow drama on youtube helped children realise that they could actually form different shapes with their body. 

Sometimes the shadows do not look anything like how we expect them to be. E.g. Caitlin formed the shape of a table but the shadow formed under her was different from the shadow that appeared on the side wall. The shadow did not appear like a table on the floor. Sometimes they look abstract and formless but at times they look like something else, decieving our eyes.

This was what children shared:

Jordan: Can you see an elephant spraying water? Can you see a lion eating a Zebra? Can you see a giraffe trying to fight a tiger? Oops! I forgot to draw the tiger!

Xi Wen: Can you see a giraffe? Can you see a dinosaur? Can you see a sea-lion? Can you see a chair and a castle?

Lin Jia Wen: Can you see an elephant eating a carrot? Can you see a Prince and a Princess?

Oliver: Can you see a lion growling?

Leeann: Can you see a panda at the Zoo? Can you see the Prince and Princess too?

Emilia: Can you see a giraffe eating leaves? Can you see a human shadow?

Caitlin: Can you see lines inside each of the shadows? But how can a shadow dance by itself?

Advaith: Can you see armours here? Can you see a dinosaur roaring?

Aahan: Can you see a shadow of a lepoard? Can you see the shadows on my name?

Avinaash: Can you see the shadow of a tiger? Can you see the shadow of a tall building and a house?

Warm Regards,


The 3-4 year old artists from EtonHouse Bilingual Pre-school in Singapore are making and sharing art with the 3-4 year old artists from Oakdale Montessori Preschool in Cape Town, South Africa.

Cy Twombly and shadow self portraits

2017, 4 years old, 5 years old, 6 years old, Dear You Art Workshops, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, United KingdomArlene TuckerComment

Here are pics of a few of our shadow drawings. The children used different mark making techniques in white crayon around their shadows to had more complexity to their works.

We looked at Cy Twombly's paintings to think about mark making. Catching our shadows was actually a little challenging as we had some cloudy days here this winter! Plenty of sun now however! 

Thank you,

KG2B class from Collegiate American School in Dubai, United Arab Emirates are making and sharing art with Class 1 from Sneinton C of E Primary School in Nottingham, UK.

Experimenting with experience

2017, 4th Grade, Canada, Dear You Art Workshops, RussiaArlene TuckerComment

We experimented with light and shadows of various objects. We used flashlights, daylight, doc. camera light...... Unfortunately, there was no sun today and we couldn't experiment with the sun light. This is what the kids discovered: 

- Shadows appear if there is a source of light. We experimented with flashlights to see the shadows of various objects around the classroom.

- The size of the shadows change depending on the distance of the object from the source of light

- Some students used the day light to see the shadows of real objects. They noticed a difference in shadows created by flashlight and daylight.

We learned how the light travels, what happens to the light when passing through objects.  We will continue exploring shadows and light building rich imagination and creating our self-portraits.  We are sending pictures from our class exploration on shadows.  

They worked together, observed, tried, made errors and tried again which is huge experience in character building.   

I can't wait to see what would their self-portraits look like.

Thank you!

Dance A-V

The 4th graders from Ryerson Public School in Cambridge, Canada are making and sharing art with the 10 years olds from Kepa School in Karelia, Russia. 


Мы использовали фонарики, дневной свет, вспышку от фотоаппарата. К сожалению, солнца в тот день не было, поэтому не смогли поработать с солнечным светом. 

Вот что нового наши дети узнали:

- Тень появляется, когда есть источник света. Мы рассмотрели тени от разных предметов в нашей классной комнате.

- Размер тень зависит от расстояния между источником света и предметом.

- Мы поговорили о различии между тенью от естественного и искусственного источника света. 

Мы узнали, как свете перемещается сквозь предметы. Мы продолжаем изучать свет и тень, и создавать с их помощью свои автопортреты. Интересно, какие же они получатся!


Welcome home!

2017, Canada, Dear You Art Workshops, RussiaArlene TuckerComment

The children loved this assignment! 

How to fold and cut and which way to crease the paper was a great experience for the children. 

The kids love the assignments and your projects inspire them to look for various art work with attention to how that particular art work is made. They think as artists. 

Thank you,
Dance A. Vasileska

The 4th graders from Ryerson Public School in Cambridge, Canada are making and sharing art with the 10 years olds from Kepa School in Karelia, Russia. 

Experimenting with pop-ups!

2017, 6 years old, Canada, FinlandArlene TuckerComment

As a class we visited the website of Robert Sabuda and examined some of his more complicated designs, and how he used different techniques to create “pop-up” art, or art that was three-dimensional. I showed them the basic, fold and parallel snip technique to make individual tabs for items.

Students were tasked with creating their favourite place/setting, whether it is their home, their bedroom, an imaginary place, or some other location. Their place/setting had to incorporate some pop-up or three-dimensional features. The rest of the task was up to their individual artistic interpretation.

Students had very mixed reactions when starting this project. Some were very excited, and some intimidated. Others seemed very confused with the actual construction process, and went through several pieces of paper until they figured out what worked, and how to put it all together. Students were encouraged to do a bit of planning and try different techniques, and most took the time to do that, with excellent results!

These projects will hopefully arrive in Finland shortly!  Feel free to check out the different techniques that students used to create the pop-up and three-dimensional artworks when they arrive! Click here to see the full presentation.

Kaarina Losey

Kaarina Losey is the 6th grade teacher at Ryerson P.S. in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada.  Her group of artists are making and sharing art with the Päivi Huhtinen and her group of 6th graders from The English School in Helsinki, Finland.

Listening to who is there

2017, 3 years old, 4 years old, 5 years old, 6 years old, Dear You Art Workshops, Iceland, Pre-School, Singapore, South AfricaArlene TuckerComment

We introduced this theme in a very special way. The class sat in a big circle and closed their eyes. The played the Montessori “Silence Game” which is a calming, meditation like game which allows the child to use their senses like hearing. Once they closed their eyes, I asked them to tell me what they can hear.

- The trees in the wind
- The birds chirping
- The doorbell ringing

We got the children to paint, colour in and stick paper to make 3 sounds that they heard.

Enjoy our art project! 

Oakdale Montessori 3-6 years class

The 3-6 year old artists at Oakdale Montessori School in Cape Town, South Africa are making and sharing art with the 3-4 year old artists from EtonHouse Bilingual Pre-school in Singapore and the 1st and 2nd graders from Grunnskóli Fjallabyggðar in Siglufjörður, Iceland.