Article Type Making Art Together Making Art Together Categories Painting Theory and Resources

Rainbow Window Shades

Meghan Burch

Our Art Studio is blessed with an entire wall of windows on our South-facing side. That means, in the months of short days, the sun’s glorious rays stream right in…to our eyes. That kind of direct light is great for feeling like a cat- relaxed and drowsy, but is sometimes tricky for working.

Art studio with guests at 4 tables making art. The tables have supplies and books on them.  A window display with colorful paintings.
As you can see, we’ve turned the slight architectural inconvenience into opportunity! Every November we break out the tension curtain rods and dream up aesthetically pleasing ways to shade our worktables. I’ve been a little obsessed with rainbows and the spectrum lately so with lots of help from our volunteer, Cindy, and more help from other volunteers we put this together.
A window display with green, blue, yellow, and black paintings with shapes stamped on them.
The papers might remind you of Eric Carle’s tissue papers.  Most of them were made in one of my Eric Carle Tissue Paper Workshops. The workshop goes over the nitty gritty of adapting Eric Carle’s processes and techniques to create unique collage papers with students or just yourself.
A window display with red, pink, and yellow paintings held together by metal binder rings.

You could make similar papers yourself or with kids using with paint, tools like our Silly Brushes, tracing paper, and/or Folia Transparent Paper but any art measuring 8.5” x 11” would work. We put the papers in plastic document sleeves and then used a 3-hole-puncher to make holes for the 1” binder rings that connect the sleeves together.  

We’ve used this display method before and have noticed educators and parents taking pictures and talking about how they would use the idea in their class or at home. A few have even come back to tell us about their variations. A local class displayed theirs in an area restaurant.  One teacher said she used paper clips instead of binder rings. The possibilities are up to you!

Is this idea inspiring to you? Tell us about how you might or have used tension rods, document sleeves, and binder rings in your home or classroom.  


Meghan, smiling and wearing a grey shirt with a blue background.

Meghan Burch

Art Educator from 2003-2016, Meghan has a BFA in Illustration from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She tries to think with materials and work with her hands every day.
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Experiment with paper and scissors to create layered artwork.
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Check out how we created a collaborative installation exploring light and color.