Article Type Making Art Together Making Art Together Categories Painting Printmaking

A Honeycomb of Hexagons

Meg Nicoll

In one of our recent Everyday Art Projects we took a page from the exhibition Collecting Inspiration: Contemporary Illustrators and Their Heroes. Just like the illustrators who get inspired by images around them, we get inspired every day by the artwork guests add to our installations. We wanted to share that inspiration and create an installation that felt like a unified whole and also explored the many different ways a material can be used to create a unique outcome. Recently we tested out some silver and gold tempera paint, and we loved seeing how the paint stood out against different backgrounds. We decided to experiment with black and white paper, metallic paints, and stamps to create patterns within patterns on the Art Studio walls. We chose paper in a hexagon shape because we knew that hexagons would create an interesting pattern when placed together in a group.

We used foam rectangles and recycled trays to create our own home made tempera paint stamp pads and we designated our stamps as either silver stamps or gold stamps so that the stamp pads would maintain their color over the duration of the project (about one month). We invited guests to experiment with the stamps and make a couple of hexagons each. They could either take what they made home or add it to the wall.

When the project started there were a few hexagons on our display wall …

… then guests added more and more until the front wall was completely full.

So we cleared the back wall of the Art Studio and that quickly filled up with a honeycomb of hexagons.

Meanwhile, the front wall continued to grow beyond the display wall until the patterned papers reached down Art Studio hallway and all the way across to the windows on the other side of the room!

Stepping in closer revealed the individual patterns created with the stamps, many of which were made in the Art Studio with recycled materials.

This art work shows three different sized circles created with three different stamps. The medium sized circles in silver paint were made using a bubble wrap stamp.

Guests applied paint to the paper in a variety of ways.

The installation is as interesting from far away as it is up close and while the front wall has been cleared away to make room for the next project, we are still enjoying the hexagons on the back wall of the Art Studio. The papers that we took down from the wall have turned into beautiful textured collage papers. Check out for our blog post that will follow these Art Studio paper trails from project to project!


Meg smiling in the Art Studio.

Meg Nicoll

Art Educator at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art from 2016 to 2023, Meg enjoys working with artists, educators, and people of all ages to create opportunities for art-making.