There are some constants in the art room at Trinity.  To name a few; teachers, students, crayons, paint, glue, markers, oil pastels and a big yellow lab!  The constants remind me of a song from my childhood, “One of these things doesn’t belong here…” (seems pretty Sesame Street-ish but I can’t be sure).  The thing that doesn’t seem to belong is the big yellow lab but there he is every day mixing it up with the art students! From Kindergarten artists to 8th grade studio participants, Cisco pads over to explore their creative process.  You can see in the photo above, Cisco takes the blank canvas seriously and wanted to make sure the 7th graders that needed to turn that large canvas into the backdrop for a 2nd grade musical knew he was there to help!  As the girls started designing and paint, Cisco made sure that he padded through the wet blue paint, making sure that he left a few paw prints so everyone would know he helped.  That is simply how it rolls in the art room with a big yellow lab and the students just remind him to “get off the canvas”, they do not cry, get mad or start over.

When it comes to art materials, Cisco is a bit of a connoisseur!  Personally, I love a good Sharpie over an off-brand permanent marker so I feel that I am a bit of a material connoisseur but Cisco takes a different angle.  Cisco eats the materials that make it to the floor (and anyone that has been in an elementary or middle school art room knows that a fair amount of the supplies hit the floor!).  He has a special place in his diet for crayons and oil pastels but will give it all up for a nice plastic glue stick.  I bet he eats about 15 crayons a week and each one makes a colorful reappearance in the back yard!  A few months ago during one of his “counter surfing” phases he picked up a bowl as gently as a trained retriever.  If it was a duck, hunters would be proud of the care he took.  It was not a duck but rather a bowl of green paint.  As Cisco trotted to show off his “catch” he lifted his head and dumped the entire bowl over his snout and head! We all laughed HARD and Cisco just shook off the excess and went about his business.  Every day Cisco wears a bit of his job home…pink chalk down his side, blue paint on his ear, or black printing ink on his leg, all worn with pride by the art room dog!

In addition to being a material connoisseur, Cisco is a wonderful muse!  Students LOVE to draw, paint, collage, sculpt, and photograph him.  Here is a snapshot of the bulletin board in the art room…a close look will show you that majority of the board is dedicated to sweet Cisco!


And occasionally I find a gem like this drawing…


This drawing was on the back of a 6th grade boys mid-trimester self-reflection.  The drawing is of Cisco wearing his Trinity hoodie with the hood up (yes, he has a sweatshirt that he lets me put on him because he is THAT good!).  Love the imagination he added with the fangs and nails…a true look into the mind of a sixth grade boy!  I could go deep into my “art teacher philosophy” that this drawing symbolizes the visual maturity yet subject naivety of the 6th grade artist but instead I would like to just smile and cherish this little drawing doodled on the back of a young artists self-reflection!

Keep doodling but don’t eat the crayons…Cisco will get ’em!

~Jen and Cisco

P.S.  We will get back to our daily schedule soon.  We left off at 8:10 am so there is still ALOT of day to document:).