Saturday, October 22, 2011

clay pumpkins

Primary aged students, and even my pre-K students love making clay pumpkins in October.  Their parents and my principal always comment on how cute they are too.  This assignment is quick and easy.  First we made a practice pumpkin using oil clay.

 The next time the kids came to art class they made a "real" clay pumpkin.  The kids looked at some real clay pumpkins from the garden.  We made the ridges using wooden clay tool knives and our fingers.  Popsicle sticks work great too.

I let them dry for a couple of days before firing them.  The next art class the kids glazed them.

Friday, May 20, 2011


 I don't typically think of art class as a place to create gifts.  I know some people do.  These are the same people who think that elementary art class should be holiday themed.  I couldn't disagree more. However...

 by nature, I'm very generous!  I love making gifts for people, and I know my students do too.
 This year, shortly before Christmas one of my favorite teacher friends gave me a huge basket of pine cones, to do what ever I wanted with them.  I dipped them in red candle wax.

It was a little messy to fill my crock pot with red wax, dip each pine cone individually, and set them out to cool, but they were so pretty when finished.  I screwed in a little eyelet onto each one, in which I added a red ribbon, to be hung on a Christmas tree.  They also make great fire starters for the fire place.
They made  beautiful little gifts.


 My classroom really is my home away from home.  I love teaching and spend so much time in my classroom.  My desk is an extension of my handbag.
 It's a bright, cheery, colorful place to want to come and create, for me and the kids.
It's a practical art studio too, where we get very messy and make tons of art.  Being organized and tidy is so helpful!  The kids love to come to a place that's clean, where they always have fun.  They also love to help clean and organize.


 I love working with clay, and so do the kids!
 I have several standards, that I have the kids create every year.
 I keep adding new things too, which is why I like looking at other kids art work, at art shows and art teacher blogs.
Turtles of all types are so fun!  I've done them in so many ways.

Friday, May 13, 2011


Printmaking can be very easy.  Keep the lino-cut block small, and repeat!

These were done with large erasers and colorful markers.
A few lino- cut tools and a safety lesson and 5th to 8th grade kids are ready to go. Boys especially love this assignment because they typically love working with tools.


Tissue paper collage is one of my favorite projects to do with third and fourth grade artists.  This poppy flower collage is great for spring and/ or veterans day.

The kids really love this project!

It's easy to create with scissors and glue on a paint brush (over and under the tissue.) It always looks beautiful!

My inspiration... The late, great Georgia O'Keefe!

Monday, May 9, 2011


 I call this project, crayon batik.  It's super simple!
 We melt peeled crayons in tuna cans and then paint the melted crayon onto a fabric drawing.
 I use old white sheets to create batik work on.  I find illustrated kids books provide great inspiration for imagery.  I have the kids draw onto the fabric using sharpie pens, this provides a coloring book style image to fill in with color.  We iron off the wax, between newspaper, when we're done coloring.
The fabric is left with simply the dye from the crayons.  This is always super successful!

Thursday, May 5, 2011


 Little friends are good friends.  They come in with a smile and a hug, and leave even more joyful!
 My little students love art and they are so perfect for this subject because they are present and have no preconceived notions about how something should look. 

 For this age, it's all about the process, and not about the finished product.  Which is why my job is multidimensional.  I need to develop lessons where kids can experience art, and parents and principals can appreciate the lesson.  This Eric Carle inspired project is perfect for this age level.

Students paint thick heavy color onto card stock and scratch into the wet paint to create texture.  When the paper and paint are dry, paper is cut into cute bug shapes by each student.
 Now you can see why parents and principals alike are pleased, and the kids go home so happy!
This is a great lesson in symmetry.  We all share our painted papers, because each one is so beautiful and colorful, and learning to share is icing on the cake!

Friday, April 22, 2011


 I really like to use portraits as a subject.  All ages of kids can be taught the rules of portraiture.
 This assignment was done by my middle school kids.  Some are not complete, but all were successful.
 I let them use a thin black sharpie to create the original image, and I think it's cool that you, the viewer can see it through the tissue paper.
Some of the kids personalities really shine through their work, I love that!

Sunday, April 17, 2011


 This weekend was our annual kids art show.  These are some of my favorite pieces.
 Owls make a great theme for kids projects.  This was done with colored pencil, and six 6th graders.
 First grade clay owls are super cute!
 Third grade student, soft chalk pastels.
 These little ceramic dogs were all made by one sixth grade child.  I loved the display!
 This Australian inspired art assignment was created by a sixth grade child, and so beautiful!
A fifth grade girl made this Georgia O'Keefe inspired mosaic with construction paper. 
It was a fun and successful weekend show.  It's so fun to meet the families there, the kids truly shine!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Make it Fun!

 I love teaching middle school art, but they are a totally different breed of student than the little guys.  You must earn their respect, and it won't come just because you're an adult.  They are incredibly social, and they are very driven by fun.  Given all of that I try very hard to provide an avenue for socializing and fun, while they create.  Trust me, it works!
Beaded Bug

They are fun to be around, and make me laugh every day, not to mention the art work which they are capable of creating is absolutely amazing!

Sunday, April 10, 2011


 I love working with pre-school kiddo's!  Three and four year old children love art!

 I'm here to provide them an opportunity to explore with a wide variety of art media.
 This is a perfect time in a child's life to take art classes.  Even if they can't read and write yet they can improve fine motor skills and learn to share and create.


Kids love colored chalk!

  Chose a simple subject and the kids create the most beautiful drawings.  This project was done with third graders and owls as our subject.
Pastels always look beautiful on colored paper.

Friday, April 8, 2011


 My students love making big paintings together.  I love watching them, and providing the materials, space, and experience.
 Paint and brushes excite me.
 The kids love to paint murals too.  Murals are a great team building activity.
 I love this job so much!

Monday, April 4, 2011


  Pets inspire us,
and in fourth grade we're using them as inspiration for art.
 Zucy is a wonderful source of inspiration.
 The kids love their pets and making art.
 My art teachers desk!