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Collaborative Dot Day Art Project

I’m going back in my archives!  I’ve got lots of folders of photos I’ve been meaning to share but haven’t yet.  One of these is the Dot Day collaborative circles.  Four students complete one section each of the circle, and then they are put together for display. Nic Hahn shared this lovely idea and template. Visit her TPT shop for a free download of the template.   International Dot Day is celebrated September 15-ish!  More information can be found here. … Read more…

Whimsical Landscapes (Justin Vining artist study)

I love this lesson!  I teach about contemporary artist Justin Vining and the kids explore the qualities of watercolor pencils to create their own whimsical landscapes. You can see artwork from another year at this blog post. You can read my interview with Justin Vining here. I even got this lesson published in a magazine! Here are some of my 4th/5th grade students’ artworks from the end of last year. When teaching this lesson, I show the students some YouTube … Read more…

New Products in Shop: Little Doodle Sketchbook & More!

New Products in Shop:  Little Doodle Sketchbook & More!

I have a few new products in my shop you may be interested in. First is the Little Doodle Sketchbook. Learn all about Inchies, Twinchies, Thrinchies, Artist Trading Cards and Artist Trading Coins in the Miniature Artwork Package!   Need a simple Artist Award?  I’ve got one!! Click here to check it out. Big Bundle of Growth Mindset Coloring Pages— fun for early finishers

Positive Words Banner: Inspiring for Back to School

At the end of the year last year, my students created this colorful and inspiring banner that we are displaying in the hallway now.  We loosely marked out the ABCs on a large banner and kids thought of positive words to go along with each letter.  Then, we used letter stencils of varying sizes to write the words.  These were colored in with patterns and designs. I had this project set up as a choice activity after they were done … Read more…

Model Magic Insect Sculptures

I often like to connect what we are doing in art to what they have learned about in science class.  Insects can provide a lot of inspiration for artists.  The colors and designs in insects can be intricate, beautiful and amazing. Start by showing the students pictures of many types of insects (or collect real ones, if you are brave.)  Talk about the parts of an insect.. head, abdomen, thorax, antennae, wings.  Looking at reference photos and begin sketching insects.  … Read more…

Getting to Know You Activity: Art History Folded Petals

Art History Folded Petal– Getting to Know You Activity     This is a fun and educational “Getting to Know You” activity I did with some classes last year.  I have these art history folded petal templates in my shop. On one side are artworks from art history with a little prompt.  For example, Dog Lying in the Snow, by Franz Marc.  The prompt is “Draw a favorite animal.  On the reverse side of the folded petals, the students draw … Read more…

Flash Back to School Sale & $10 Gift Card Contest

Tuesday, Aug. 21 only will be a ONE DAY ONLY flash Back to School Bonus Sale sitewide at Teachers Pay Teachers!  Get up to 25% off at all your favorite teachers’ shops, including my shop, ART IS BASIC! Use code BTSBONUS18 at the checkout to receive a 5% off savings on top of the up to 20% off products at my store.  SHOP NOW!   Visit my Instagram to enter for your chance to win a $10 gift card to Teachers Pay Teachers.  … Read more…

Zen Houses Workshop with Jodi Ohl

I have been a fan of Jodi Ohl‘s artwork for many years.  She has a fun, whimsical style.  Last summer, I went to a workshop taught by her and had so much fun that I signed up for another weekend painting class with her.  The theme last summer was Zen Painting (in an abstract style).  This summer, the class I signed up for was Zen Houses, which uses similar techniques taught in the Zen Painting class.  I loved both of … Read more…

9 Kindness Books for Kids

I was on a mission last year to find some excellent books about KINDNESS for kids.  I found NINE books to recommend to you.  There were others I came across, but these were my favorites.  If you have any good recommendations for books about kindness, please share in the comments!  Thank you!  (Amazon Affiliate links have been used in this post at no extra cost to you.) I think kids need to be taught kindness.  They need to be made … Read more…

12 Highly Relatable Art History Memes

I don’t usually have guest submissions, but when I do, it’s because I think it is really worthwhile or just really entertaining.  I think you will really enjoy these art history memes from Invaluable (a gallery/art auction site). 12 Highly Relatable Art History Memes Joseph Ducreux, “Self-portrait of the artist in the guise of a mocker,” 1793. Image via Wikimedia Commons. When it comes to a work of art, context is everything. Today, one of the greatest challenges for art historians … Read more…

Back to School Ideas

I am not quite ready to go back to school yet and I am guessing you are not ready either.  But, the Art Ed Blogger’s Network is here to help you start planning!  Our topic this month is the “first week of school”. A few years ago, I compiled a huge list of tips for the first days of school.  These tips were submitted by art teachers all over the world.  This gigantic list of tips will help you get … Read more…

New Kindness Themed Products– Outerspace and “Wonder”

I have three new packages out in my Teachers Pay Teachers shop, which are available individually or as a bundle.  These three products have a theme of KINDNESS!  The art project and coloring pages can be used as part of lesson on kindness, acceptance and character education.  The art project can also connect with science through the study of outer space.  Coloring pages are fun for free-choice time, after school programs, indoor recess, day camps, etc.  I never use coloring … Read more…

Children’s Mural at Church about the Beatitudes

I realized I never posted pictures of our finished mural at church.  I’ve been so busy with end-of-the-year stuff for school. I worked on this mural all year with the 4th/5th grade Sunday School class.  It is 4 ft x 8ft. These were the best kids to work with! They had great ideas, were mature and got along so well! The process was a long one, with a few mistakes along the way.  We started by getting plywood for our … Read more…

Create a Summer Art Journal

Isn’t this graphic the cutest?!  I am part of an Art Ed Blogger’s Network which is a collective of writers who blog about a certain topic each month.  At the bottom of the post is a link to all the participating bloggers.  The theme this month is about Summer Art. What is an Art Journal? An art journal is a visual diary… it is place for artists to express themselves using imagery, words, colors, patterns and designs.  An art journal … Read more…

Lego Capitol Building at Madison Children’s Museum

This 12,000 brick model of the Wisconsin State Capitol building was built by my husband Andrew.  It was commissioned by the Madison Children’s Museum to help celebrate the 100th birthday of the building.  Hear about this project in his own words. 1. How did this opportunity come about? “I was contacted by the Children’s Museum after the staff found a picture online of a much smaller version of the Capitol that I had built. They were interested in commissioning a LEGO model … Read more…