Art Inspiration from Alaska

Alaskan-Inspirations

To celebrate my 50th birthday (I need to start owning this number), Neil and I took the kiddos on a cruise to Alaska. Just saying those words makes me feel more grateful than ever. It was truly a trip of a lifetime. Of course with any trip, inspiration is everywhere. We decided to do as much as we could while in Alaska as we all felt that Alaska was unlikely to … Read More →

Best and Worst Art Projects for 2013-14

Watercolor-Ducks

Creating art lessons is what I do. Developing cool techniques, inventing simple ways to teach hard art concepts and incorporating unique subjects into art is why I love teaching. It thrills me when a lesson resonates with a child and for one small moment they know they are a great artist. I am fortunate to be able to teach pretty much what I feel is best for my students. I get a feel for each … Read More →

Chengdu: Panda Bear Art Project

Chengdu Art Lesson

I received this book in the mail a few months ago and as soon as I opened up the package and saw sleepy Chengdu, I knew my first graders would love him. Chengdu Could Not, Would Not, Fall Asleep by Barney Saltzberg tells the story of how little Chengdu couldn’t fall asleep no matter how hard he tried. The illustrations are simple and created with a limited color palette of black, white and greens. Although … Read More →

Kimmy Cantrell Inspired Ceramic Tile Mural

Kimmy-Cantrell-Inspired ceramic tile mural

The most anticipated projects of the year for my sixth grade students is the theme selection and creation of a ceramic tile mural. Starting around January, the sixth grade teachers and I start bouncing around some ideas.  This year, we considered Egyptian Art (no gold underglaze available), Rainforest, Endangered Animals and a few more. I ended up with a Kimmy Cantrell inspired mural all because of Donna Staten’s Pinterest boards on the … Read More →

Father’s Day Portraits Art project

Father's Day Portrait Project

For the last art project for my third/fourth combo class, I asked the teacher if she had any requests. She didn’t hesitate to say that she has no idea what to do for Father’s Day. Could I create some type of art project to celebrate Father’s Day? We brainstormed for a few moments and then decided that a portrait would be fun. Drawing a grown-up male face isn’t something I’ve done … Read More →

End of the year clean-up strategies

clean-up-strategies-for-the-art-room

For many of us, the end of the school year is fast approaching. For me, it ended this week and if your art room is anything like mine, it can be overwhelming to think about cleaning up. There are some things I need to do, like get boxes and supplies off the tables and clean up the sink area–things that the office manager assigns in a checklist–but the boxes of dried up clay, the mismatched markers … Read More →

Jacques Cousteau and Jane Goodall Art Projects

Cousteau-and-Goodall-art-lessons

Sometimes books take me away to that creative place where I just want to break out the tissue paper and pastels and get busy making art. The illustrations in Dan Yaccarino’s book, The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau were that inspiring and that beautiful that they were the launching point for a collection of art lessons based on scientists and explorers. Soon I was browsing through books stores looking for the … Read More →