Dear You Art Project

Mail Art + Pen Friends = Dear You Art Project


Expressing ourselves with carbon transfers

2017, 1st Grade, 6 years old, China, FinlandArlene TuckerComment

Teacher Tian Tian and her young artists in China have been busy making art!  They were experimenting with the carbon transfer technique and then used marker to add color to their self-portraits.

Their friends in Finland cannot wait to meet them!

The 6 year old artists at Shenzhen Primary School in Shenzhen, China are making and sharing with the Explorers, 5-6 year olds, from International School of Helsinki in Helsinki, Finland.

ISH Explorers create self-portraits!

2017, 5 years old, 6 years old, China, Dear You Art Workshops, FinlandArlene TuckerComment

It was so nice to see the two groups of Explorers have Morning Meeting in their own classrooms. Both Mrs. Nikurautio and Mr. Prebble have their own lovely way of being with their students. We then got all together to talk about the first Dear You project- Unique You!  Everybody was so excited to hear that we have new friends in China who will be making and sharing art with us. We talked about when we first meet somebody new, what would we like to share with them?  What would we like to know about our friends?  This guided us in making our self-portrait.

We first used pencil to make the carbon transfer and then added charcoal.  Once the mark making started to come through, their curiosity grew bigger and bigger.  The artists could see how the charcoal was also adding elements of their fingerprints, which is a part of who they are!

Some reflections from the artists are:

Enzo said, "me playing with my dog. My dog is barking at his dog friend. I held my dog so he didn't run away."

Devansh said, "I'm in a boat going to India. There's a submarine and fish following us.

Deethya said, "She's at the hairdresser because she needs short hair. She's with her mum and there's a rainbow behind you since it's a beautiful day."

Aishiki said, "There are hearts in the sky. Because I like them. I feel like I am hearts in the sky."

One little artist said, "My picture makes me happy."  

They all make me happy!!

Before closing the package we all sat down to write a letter for our friends.  We have lots of questions!

Do you like frogs?
Do you like fish?
What do you do in China?
What are your names?
What language do you speak?
Where do you go in China?

We can't wait to see your artworks!

With love,
The Explorers, Arlene, Mrs. Nikurautio and Mr. Prebble

The Explorers, 5-6 year olds, from International School of Helsinki in Helsinki, Finland are making and sharing with the artists aged 6 years old at Shenzhen Primary School in Shenzhen, China.

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 there is the flag of Somalia."  Do these sound familiar to you?

We are 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.

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. 


Looking towards the horizon in Estonia

2015, 4 years old, 5 years old, Collective Art, Dear You Art Workshops, Estonia, GermanyArlene TuckerComment

Töös osalesid lapsed vanuses 4-5 aastat: 6 poissi. Tööprotsess neile meeldis. Eriti see, et sai valida mitmesuguste pliiatsijoonte vahel, millega pind täita. Vaatasime rühmaaknast välja ja leidsime oma silmapiiri - taevas ja maa. Sellest tulenevalt ka värvid sinine ja roheline. Laste jaoks oli põnev koht, et piltidest kokku tekkis justkui pikk maastik orgude ja kõrgndikega - meie Lõuna-Eesti maastik.

Ja meile õpetajatele, mulle ja Lissile, meeldib lastega kunsti teha ja seda protsessi kõrvalt nautida.

Aitäh meie igapäevaelu rikastamise eest!



Most of kids from our pre-school have viruses, therefore only half of the group is together. 6 boys, aged 4-5 years participated at the project. They loved the process. Specially, that they could choose between different pencil lines with what to fill the surface. We looked out from window and found our horizon- sky and earth. From there the colours: blue and green. It was also interesting for kids that pictures together made long spanning landscape, with valleys and heights- our Southern Estonian landscape. 

And for teachers, to me and Lissi, we love making arts with children and enjoy the process. 

Thank you for enriching our everyday life!


Thanks to Evelyn Müürsepp for the English translation!