Mary McKinney Says “Hello, Yellow!” with a New Studio Project

Posted by Monica Hoel
Mary McKinney is diving into yellow….and she’s tickled pink.

Logo for ?hello yellow art studio? Mary has a master’s degree in arts integration, and she has loved teaching art to kids at Combs Elementary School in Raleigh. But she’s always wanted her own business, and that dream is coming true as she opens a process-based art studio for kids called “Hello Yellow.”

The idea of process-based art is to give kids experiences in art that allow them more freedom to create what feels like art to them. “For instance…I just had an event with a winter wonderland theme. I taught them a marbling technique, and gave them a variety of supplies – ribbon, paints, cardboard circles, fun scissors – and then let them create whatever they want within that theme.”

Mary says not having a completed project to “copy” takes the pressure off trying to create something that feels like it needs to be “perfect.” Kids can create art without comparing their work to what someone else is doing. They get idea instruction on how to use a variety of mediums and materials and tools, but then they have freedom to do what they wish.

She’s tried this method of teaching in the classroom, and Mary says the response is “…unbelievable. Those are the days the kids have the most fun! Because there’s no expectation of what their finished product should look like, and they end up so proud of what they’ve created.”

Mary says that around 4th grade it seems that kids begin to freeze up around art. They have convinced themselves they either are an artist or they’re not. And if they think they aren’t an artist who can create perfect drawings and paintings, they lose self confidence in trying anything artistic. “I always tell my students that art is something that can be an outlet for you, you can express yourself, you can relax, and there is absolutely no right or wrong way to do art.”

The name for the studio comes from an exercise she does with kindergarteners. Where they dip each index finger into a little paint. “They put one finger in the yellow paint and say, ‘Hello, Yellow!’ then they put their other index finger in blue and say, ‘Hello, Blue!’” After that, the index fingers do a high five and make green.” She says her students get a kick out of saying, “Hello, Yellow!” so it seemed like a fun name for the studio.

She has only recently opened the new business, but says she is already getting calls from excited parents – some who want to bring budding artists, some who want to do creative birthday parties, and some who want their kids to be artistic, but they’re happy for Mary to deal with the happy mess of creative expression.

Enjoy a conversation with Mary on the Duck Pond Wall podcast that includes some great advice for parents of budding artists!

  • Mary McKinney
    E&H Class of 2001
    Art instructor and Owner Operator of Hello Yellow Art Studio

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  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/1353-eamph-football-is-on-the-air-in-2020"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/577,339,1851,1613/7057_score.rev.1571769042.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/577,339,1851,1613/7057_score.rev.1571769042.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/577,339,1851,1613/7057_score.rev.1571769042.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/577,339,1851,1613/7057_score.rev.1571769042.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/577,339,1851,1613/7057_score.rev.1571769042.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/577,339,1851,1613/7057_score.rev.1571769042.jpg" alt="Oct. 19, 2019, Emory & Henry?s Max Yates catches a Hail, Mary pass to win the game against Wa..." width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/577,339,1851,1613/7057_score.rev.1571769042.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/577,339,1851,1613/7057_score.rev.1571769042.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1274" data-max-h="1274" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/1353-eamph-football-is-on-the-air-in-2020">E&H Football is On The Air in 2020!</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> When the going gets tough, the tough get creative! And sports fans will be pleased to know that the E&H football program is getting creative: they have found a way for us to enjoy a little Wasp Football this fall. <a href="/live/news/1353-eamph-football-is-on-the-air-in-2020" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/67-the-little-pony-in-the-cemetery"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2400,3200/728_19E35B9F-0C53-4243-A5C9-7BFA8720C009.rev.1506974918.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2400,3200/728_19E35B9F-0C53-4243-A5C9-7BFA8720C009.rev.1506974918.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2400,3200/728_19E35B9F-0C53-4243-A5C9-7BFA8720C009.rev.1506974918.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2400,3200/728_19E35B9F-0C53-4243-A5C9-7BFA8720C009.rev.1506974918.JPG 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2400,3200/728_19E35B9F-0C53-4243-A5C9-7BFA8720C009.rev.1506974918.JPG 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2400,3200/728_19E35B9F-0C53-4243-A5C9-7BFA8720C009.rev.1506974918.JPG" alt="The little concrete pony found in the Emory Cemetery" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2400,3200/728_19E35B9F-0C53-4243-A5C9-7BFA8720C009.rev.1506974918.JPG 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2400,3200/728_19E35B9F-0C53-4243-A5C9-7BFA8720C009.rev.1506974918.JPG 3x" data-max-w="2400" data-max-h="3200" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/67-the-little-pony-in-the-cemetery">The Little Pony in the Cemetery</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> A professor’s gift to his dying children shows the power of a promise. <a href="/live/news/67-the-little-pony-in-the-cemetery" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/723-alumni-couple-rescue-a-bit-of-eamph-history"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/222,0,944,720/6058_matt_and_steph.rev.1552355313.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/222,0,944,720/6058_matt_and_steph.rev.1552355313.webp 2x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/222,0,944,720/6058_matt_and_steph.rev.1552355313.jpg 2x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/222,0,944,720/6058_matt_and_steph.rev.1552355313.jpg" alt="Matt ('03) and Stephanie Armbrister ('02) Strutner" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/222,0,944,720/6058_matt_and_steph.rev.1552355313.jpg 2x" data-max-w="722" data-max-h="720" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/723-alumni-couple-rescue-a-bit-of-eamph-history">Alumni Couple Rescue a Bit of E&H History</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> Matt (E&H ’03) and Stephanie Armbrister (E&H ’02) Strutner (Knoxville, TN) snagged a trophy from the jaws of obscurity. <a href="/live/news/723-alumni-couple-rescue-a-bit-of-eamph-history" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/2110-nora-davis-helps-bring-jonesborough-to-life"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2048,1309/10534_F39A3771-2.rev.1638286255.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2048,1309/10534_F39A3771-2.rev.1638286255.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2048,1309/10534_F39A3771-2.rev.1638286255.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2048,1309/10534_F39A3771-2.rev.1638286255.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2048,1309/10534_F39A3771-2.rev.1638286255.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2048,1309/10534_F39A3771-2.rev.1638286255.jpg" alt="Nora Davis Emory & Henry Class of 2016" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2048,1309/10534_F39A3771-2.rev.1638286255.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2048,1309/10534_F39A3771-2.rev.1638286255.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2048" data-max-h="1309" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/2110-nora-davis-helps-bring-jonesborough-to-life">Nora Davis Helps Bring Jonesborough to Life!</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Nora Davis is the marketing and promotions coordinator for Jonesborough, Tennessee. And she says there is a lot of new activity in a town that is Tennessee’s oldest.</span> <a href="/live/news/2110-nora-davis-helps-bring-jonesborough-to-life" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>