Thursday, June 7, 2012

Be present

Absorb each line and curve.

Delight in the tiniest of detail.

Wonder about a canvas that is round.

Observe the focus and concentration on the face of each painter.

Feel the pleasure as the colors dance to create

Enter the  "mind's eye" of the children

See the forest as they see it,

with texture, layers, life and moments embedded

How does a collaborative canvas evolve?

Moment by moment by moment

Time slowed 

So that decisions are intentional and thoughtful

The children paint using the smallest of small brushes

Breathes are taken and then exhaled

The painters stand back from the canvas and reflect

The painters leave the studio to touch, smell, observe and examine their subject.

It evolves two or three children at a time

It transforms from a white blank space

in moments, hours, days and weeks

without deadline or rush or hurry

free of judgement or expectation

(Beautiful striking pictures taken by Cheri Wolff, our artist in residency)


Think past the eye
Think past the stars
Think past the possible
And think of the impossible

a poem written by Kate Driebe (a fourth grader at our school)


  1. Mary and Cheri,
    In a year filled with astonishingly lovely moments and projects, this may the one that resonates most deepy for me, and the one that most fully embodies Sabot's philosophy and practices. Kate Driebe's poem captures the spirit of this endeavor so beautifully - look at the children's eyes as they think past what we adults might have thought was possible. Thank you.

  2. I agree Susan. I think it is my favorite, too. The experiences in the forest, Anna's thinking about the child's perspective to the walk, Pippin actually making a circular wooden canvas and then watching Cheri slow the children down and reflect on each stroke.....I have learned so much!!!

  3. I am moved by the loving gifts from the adults in this project... Anna's imagery suggestion, Pippin's extraordinary gift of skills and time, Cheri's artistic support, Mary and Mary's inclusion of each child's essence....thank you all for taking and encouraging our children along this journey....

  4. Hi Mary
    I just found a link back to this blog from Opal School's blog and was so thrilled an inspired by what I discovered here! Please let me know if there is anything I could do to support connections between Sabot or your readership and Opal School Online -- I am really hopeful about this extended community -- and I am hopeful that you will return to this blog when the school year begins! I can't wait to see what happens next!

  5. Susan, we have spent the last two weeks training new teachers at our school and sharing our visit to Opal with returning teachers. Everyone was inspired by the images that we shared and incredible inquiry questions and documentation that we noticed. We had an opportunity to discuss the similarities in our growing pains and our discoveries and breakthroughs with your teachers during the conference. It was incredible and reaffirming.

    I have passed your name to our administrators and hope that you all can soon have a conversation. We would jump at any chance to collaborate.