A World of Artist Journal Pages Review

I am excited to share with you the book A World of Artist Journal Pages.  It just arrived in the mail yesterday and it is thick.. just full of inspiring art pages.  And I am super excited because five of my art journal pages have been published in the book! I put together a video flip-through to show you some of the pages of the book.  I have really low voice and my voice is even scratchier with a sore … Read more…

Making an Assemblage & Learning about Louise Nevelson

Learning about Louise Nevelson and making an assemblage with children

  I have seen variations of this project many times but have never tried it with my students.  I am pleased with how our assemblages turned out!  This was a great opportunity to clean out the junk in the classroom and teach about using found objects. My Primaries (or first grade) learned a little about American sculptor Louise Nevelson.  There is a short clip on YouTube that explains about her artwork. I put a call out to families to donate … Read more…

Paper Masks and Paper Sculpture Techniques

Paper Sculpture Techniques Poster

These lovely paper masks were made by my second graders.  The students learned different paper manipulation techniques including controlled tearing, punching paper with Fiskars squeeze punchers, cutting with paper edgers , crimping paper with a paper crimper, making forms, cutting spirals, folding zigzags and more. I created a poster with paper manipulation techniques using ideas that I had seen on other sculpture posters, like this one.   I should have made a poster like this years ago.  I have referred students … Read more…

Printing with Cardboard Strips: First Grade

Easy Printmaking: Stamping with Cardboard Strips

My first graders created these unique and expressive pictures by stamping with pieces of cardboard. Here’s how you can print with cardboard.  First, cut pieces of cardboard into strips small enough for young kids to easily hold.  Pour a bit of black paint on to newspaper.  Dip the edge of the strip into the paint and stamp on your paper.  The black lines of the faces were all made by stamping with cardboard.  After the paint has dried, color the … Read more…

Easy Dot Pictures

Pointillist Pictures

I was out for a couple days with a sub earlier this year (around Valentine’s Day) and I found this easy dot picture idea.  Since it was around Valentine’s Day, I left in my plans that kids could make hearts for their design or if they wanted to draw a different design that was fine too.  The steps are simple and easy, which is great for a substitute lesson.  I usually don’t leave paint for sub lessons, but I figured … Read more…

Tissue Paper Bowls – Paper Mache

paper mache bowls 2

I’m excited that I am now part of the Elmer’s Crafty Blogger Crew!  I have long been a fan of Elmer’s products and already frequently use their glue sticks, glue bottles and paper mache paste.  I decided since I am elbows deep in paper mache already, I would create some fun paper mache bowls. Learning Activity Topics: art in three-dimensions, paper mache, translucent quality of materials, layering Activity Description: Students will use paper mache paste to layer tissue paper and … Read more…

Our Silhouette Mural is Finished!

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Our silhouette mural is finished!  It went pretty quickly once we got started.   Each of the figures represents different subject areas at school.  Students in grades 4-6 did most of the painting and I had some students in 7-8 grade do touch-ups, edging and fine details.   I made a video slideshow of the steps we made to paint the mural to show for the whole school.  The school presentation has lots of photos of students in it.  I made … Read more…

Inspired by Artist Justin Vining: Abstract Whimsical Landscapes

Abstract Whimsical Landscapes

This may have been my favorite unit we studied all year!  We looked at the whimsical landscapes of contemporary artist Justin Vining.  Here is one of his paintings: We watched videos of him talking about his influences, watched time lapses of his paintings and emailed him some questions about himself.  He responded to our questions in this interview I posted previously.  This was a perfect artist to study for us because Justin lives in Indiana in a rural area and … Read more…

Emily’s Blue Period – Personal Collages for 3rd Graders

personal collage details 2

Our school librarian introduced this book to me and I think it is such a sweet story.  This book is called Emily’s Blue Period by Cathleen Daly.  The illustrations are lovely. This is a story about Emily, whose parents are divorcing and now she has two homes.  She goes through her own “blue period” of sadness. Emily was learning about Pablo Picasso, his Blue Period and his collages in her art class.   Her art teacher asks the class to … Read more…

Shape Paintings and Color Mixing with Kindergartners

Shape Paintings

Wow, I’ve been so busy.  Aren’t we all though, right?  But really, this is one of the most busy times of year.  Parent-teacher conferences this week and March is when the yearbook needs to be finished up.  I also put up an art show at the public library (which I will post about later) and we have been working like crazy on our mural in the hallway!  The mural is almost done and I am just waiting until everything has … Read more…

Art Inspired by Microscopic Things (3rd grade)

Art Inspired by Microscopic Things

My students are really interested in science and I always love when I can connect an art lesson to things they talk about in their science classes.  This unit came about because on a day when I was absent last month, one of our Science teachers subbed for my classes (we have quite a few part-time teachers at our school and teachers will often fill in for each other when there are absences.) The students went to the Science room … Read more…

An Interview with Artist Justin Vining

justin vining

Back in September, I posted a huge list of contemporary artists.  One of the artists, Justin Vining, saw that I included his artwork in my post and left a comment on my blog.  We exchanged a few emails and I decided to use him as a resource in my classroom.  I was excited that one of the artists reached out to me through my blog and I thought it was especially cool that Justin used to be an elementary art … Read more…

Starting a Mural at School!

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  We are starting a huge mural at school!!  I will keep you updated as we start to paint it.  It’s hard to see what’s going on in these pictures, but we traced figures on to large white banner paper, cut them out and then traced those on to the wall.  Next week the painting begins! I was thinking of something school themed and since the wall is so long a parade of kids would be fun. The idea evolved … Read more…

25 Awesome Art Books for Kids

Art Books for Kids

I’m back with another list of 25 more of my favorite art books!  Be forewarned, this is a long post.  I have given you extra details about the books and some ideas to spark your lesson planning. It is no secret that I love children’s books.  Previously, I wrote a list of 25 amazing art books which I like to use in my art classroom.   This has been one of my most viewed posts.  Since then, I have discovered some … Read more…

Triangle Collage on Canvas for School Auction

Every year, my 5th/6th grade class carves rubber stamps with symbols they have designed.  This year, we stamped extra prints on tissue paper with acrylic paint to make collaborative artworks.  To stamp, simply use a foam brush to lightly paint acrylic paint on the stamp. Then, the tissue papers were decoupaged (with hard-finish Mod-Podge) on these fun triangular canvases called Squangles.  These are going to be put in our school auction at the end of the year.  We made three … Read more…

Group Eagle Bulletin Board with Patterned Feathers

Many of my students contributed feathers to this giant eagle bulletin board.  Our school is Eagle School and I wanted to do a group artwork where many kids could participate in designing a piece of the picture.  I was out sick one day and I had my students each create a patterned feather with the substitute teacher. I left the sub some examples of patterned feathers such as these Colorful Feather Examples.  If your mascot is not an eagle, you … Read more…

Beautiful Oops Painting Project

Artwork based on Beautiful Oops book

Did you Celebrate Oops!?  My kindergarten and first graders started this open-ended project by reading the book Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg. We were inspired by the page in the book that said, “A smudge and a smear can make magic appear.” Each student received a piece of paper with a smear of paint on it.  They were challenged to turn that piece of paper into a “beautiful oops” and create a wonderful work of art incorporating the smear. What … Read more…

Monoprint Hearts on Gelli Plates with 1st Graders

Gelli Print Hearts

Hello friends!  Have you used Gelli Printing Plates before?  I was introduced to this a couple of years ago because I received a couple samples to try out for my blog.  They are a super fun way to do monoprinting with kids.  You can read all about the process and see videos of techniques at their blog, Gelli Arts.  There’s also a way to make your own gelatin plates, but I’ve never tried it because it seems like a lot … Read more…

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