Pacific Rim International School (PRINTS) cultivates students with essential life skills through its focus on self-development, bilingualism, and internationalism in an AMI accredited Montessori environment.
Students at the Emeryville campus love to paint, from the tempera colors we introduce in the Infant Community to the watercolor and acrylics used by the Children's House and Elementary. When a Montessori colleague suggested that small paintings might be an ideal gift for our students to give their parents, we were all immediately excited.
Our first step was to set a stage in our own minds for our work. We are only days away from the longest night of the year, and so we primed our canvases with Mars Black. This would make the colors we added later shine like jewels in the night.
Some of the children wanted to create a smooth, even surface; others were more interested in a thick impasto and experimenting with different brush strokes.
When the canvases were dry, it was time to add our colors. We selected a deep forest green, red, white, gold, and copper for the holiday project. The children discovered that, adding the metallic gold or copper to the white, red, or green added iridescence along with a shift in color. Word spread quickly after a first student's lucky accident that blending red and copper with a little white made a luminescent rose hue that many of the students wanted to try to replicate.
Christmas trees (both indoor and outdoor) were a popular theme, but we were surprised to hear some of the stories the children told us about their paintings. One boy described the sea lions he saw on the beach on a trip with his parents down the coast; another child pointed to an abstract swirl of copper in a white corner and said her grandfather was making "snow angels" for her underneath the trees.
Now that our canvases our dry, we are ready to wrap them.
The children are so proud of what they have created, and so excited to
present their parents with these gifts, that it has been difficult to
convince them that we must wait until Friday!
We are aware that severe weather is forecast overnight and
for tomorrow. At this time, although there is no way for us to predict the
severity of the weather, strength of the winds, or at what time the storm will
be at its worst, weather websites are saying that this will be the worst storm
in 10 years. Most of the public school unified districts in the Bay Area
and many private schools will be closed due to the storm.
Therefore, please know
that both Emeryville and San Mateo campuses will be CLOSED tomorrow.
We plan to re-open on Friday; however, please check your
email for information from us to confirm that we will be open on Friday as
HS Class Trip to Visit Californian Missions and Hearst Castle
On December 1 and 2, the HS class took a short overnight trip down the coast of our beautiful state to visit a number of California Missions and the astonishing Hearst Castle.
Our first stop was San Juan Bautista near Monterey. This is an extensive mission with many different buildings dedicated to showing the timeline of California history from since before the Spanish settlements up until the gold rush.
The students were amazed that this tiny sleepy town used to be a bustling city on the main stage coach route that followed the El Camino Real up and own through Alta California. The development of the railroad caused the town to fall off the beaten path and decline to the little pocket of history that it is today! This mission is known for being featured in Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo."
Checking out the blacksmith's work in the forge behind the stables.
Eating lunch in the main plaza at Mission San Juan Bautista.
Next, we drove to Mission San Antonio de Padua - the most remote mission in California - and thus the most authentic in terms of setting and vistas. Set in rolling ranch country, this is one of the few missions that did not have a town evolve around it, so it is much as it would have been in the 18th century.
Mission San Antonio happens to be accessed through a U.S. Army base. It is quite a contrast to the charm and peaceful atmosphere of the mission to exit and enter a high-tech gate with a tank on display!
As we journeyed, we saw many beautiful views of the rolling California hills, now green from the recent rains.
We spent the night in Cambria, CA. The next day, we drove a few miles north to San Simeon. Visting Hearst Castle was a huge contrast to our previous explorations. The wealth and opulence of the castle was amazing after the simplicity of the missions.
It was a stormy day. The winds were high and whipping the palm trees on the top of the hill.
The Neptune Pool is probably one of the most famous parts of Hearst Castle. It is currently being renovated but we could still appreciate it's amazing beauty.
William Randolph Hearst filled his castle with antique furnishings and parts of buildings from all over Europe. Walking into the grand rooms is just like being transported to an old castle in Europe - even though much of the materials are "composits" of wildly differing ages and styles.
Steven liked the games room with two pool tables. The ceiling is a Moorish wooden artwork from Spain stained dark brown from years of burning coals in a brazier.
The Roman Pool is another masterpiece of artistic talent and construction. We all wanted to jump in and take a swim.
Sometimes, we can't resist the temptation to be dramatic in such a dramatic setting ...
Getting ready to leave the Hearst Castle Visitors' Center and start the journey back home.
This is the sunset over the ocean from our hotel in Cambria.
The interior of Mission San Miguel - we stopped in briefly. This mission has Franciscan friars who still live on-site, so access to the courtyard and grounds is limited.