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Tree of Life and Talking Sticks

I forgot to share these pictures of our display when I wrote the blog post about Talking Sticks.  My co-worker Jayne taught the lesson behind these talking sticks which were Tree of Life acrylic paintings on canvas boards.  They were done by middle school kids.  Aren’t they gorgeous?

4th and 5th Grade Profile Drawings: In the Style of Egyptians, Mixtec Codex and Duncan Tonatiuh

My students were treated to a visit by illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh.  He is both Mexican and American. He grew up in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and graduated from Parsons School of Design in New York City. His images are inspired by ancient Mexican art, especially the Mixtec codex of the 14th and 15th centuries. Like the people and animals in the codex, the figures in his illustrations are always drawn in profile– their entire bodies are usually shown and their ears … Read more…

Duncan Tonatiuh: Author/Illustrator Visit

illo_ch64

On Friday, we had a visit to our school by author and illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh.   See his artwork here.  He is both Mexican and American. He grew up in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and graduated from Parsons School of Design in New York City. His artwork is inspired by Pre-Columbian art, particularly that of the Mixtec codex. His goal is to create images and stories that honor the past, but that are relevant to people, especially children, nowadays.  His books are … Read more…

A Great Way to Communicate with Parents in Art Class

This year I have started using a new way to communicate with parents.  After receiving some feedback last year that parents didn’t know quite what we were learning about with each project, I decided to type up description statements that would explain artists we learned about, skills and techniques practiced and any other goals of the art project. After the projects are completed I have a student helper tape the descriptions to the back for the younger classes.  The older … Read more…

New Art History Sketchbook Prompt Set!! Set #4

I have a brand new set of Art History Sketchbook Prompts to share with you! These cards are a great way for students to do some independent learning if they finish an art project early. This is set #4 of the Art History Sketchbook Prompts, with all NEW artists! These art history cards feature a selection of inspiring famous artworks with a prompt that can be used to spark drawing and writing.  Only $5!  The price reflects the increase in … Read more…

Create a “Create” Banner

create-a-banner

I’ve been busy this school year, but proud of myself that I feel like I’m keeping on top of things.  It is so easy to feel like you are drowning in artwork, messes and things on your to-do list.  Am I the only one sometimes that feels like I am swimming in a sea of student artwork trying to figure out what’s what, what’s finished and what still needs to be done? I wanted to share with you a fun … Read more…

3-D Bedroom Constructions and Perspective

Student-directed vs. teacher-directed and choice vs. “cookie cutter projects”  (I hate that phrase, it’s so annoying) are big discussions with art teachers online lately.  This is an example of how teacher-directed projects (perspective and interior models) can include lot of student choice and opportunities for creativity. When I went to the Art Institute of Chicago this Spring, I was lucky to be able to see the traveling van Gogh bedroom paintings exhibit.  My friend Dawn told me that she used … Read more…

New Products and Big Sale! Up to 28% off

Elements of Art Sketchbook preview photo (1508x2000)

Teachers Pay Teachers is throwing a huge Back-to-School sale.  I am joining in.  I keep my prices affordable as it is, but this sale is a huge steal!  I have over 50 art teacher resources available in my shop.  Everything is 20% off (EDIT: except the HUGE GROWING BUNDLE,  because that is already ridiculously cheap) August 1-2.  Add the coupon code: BestYear for additional savings (28% off total). I have some resources you might be interested in! NEW:  Elements of … Read more…

Huge Printable Art Advocacy List! What Do Artists Do?

Many of you probably know of Ian and Melissa from Apex High School.  They have developed a list of Artistic Behaviors for the high school level.  I have been following along and seeing how they teach their students.  Seeing their list gave me the idea to create posters that shows kids what artists do and what exactly is an artist.  I decided to simplify the behaviors for elementary school students and start from the basics.  Start from the ground and … Read more…

How Well Do You Know Art History?

How well do you know artists throughout history?  Take this quiz to test your knowledge.   If you are reading from a blog reader or email, you may need to click on over to the actual blog post.  Art History Quiz from Marcia Beckett This past week I had the pleasure of attending the National Art Education Association conference in Chicago, IL.  I have lots of information to share with you from some of the great sessions I attended.  Coming … Read more…

What Do Artists Do? Signs about ARTISTS and Artistic Behaviors

What do artists do?

I have something to share with you that I’ve been working on for a long time.  Well, a couple of months.  It takes forever for me to accomplish anything lately (I have a clingy toddler who doesn’t like to sleep) so I work in short spurts whenever I get a chance. Many of you probably know of Ian and Melissa from Apex High School.  They have developed a list of Artistic Behaviors for the high school level.  I have been … Read more…

Vassily Kandinsky and Abstract Art

Art inspired by Kandinsky (11)

Vassily Kandinsky was one of the first pioneers of abstract art.   Abstract art is art that does not attempt to show things realistically, but uses lines, shapes, colors and textures to show emotions and meaning.   Kandinsky was from Russia and initially went to law school.  He was always fascinated by color and in his thirties, he decided to go to art school.   Kandinsky thought showing the inner beauty was most important.  He believed that color could express … Read more…

Paul Klee Castle Collage

Paul Klee Inspired Castle

Paul Klee was an important painter in the history of modern art.  I have always been drawn to his colorful, abstract pictures.  Children can relate to the simple geometric shapes and bold colors.  His art has been related to Expressionism, Cubism and Surrealism. Swiss artist Paul Klee painted the Castle and Sun with simplified shapes, but viewers can easily see the way the shapes form a castle or city-like scene.  For this lesson, we are going to paint colorful swatches … Read more…

Flower Paintings by First Grade: Learn about Van Gogh and Hundertwasser

Painted Flower Art Project for Kids

I’m proud of this lesson and how colorful and unique each of these pictures turned out!  I like to introduce a bit of art history to the younger kids, but I didn’t want the kids to copy a famous painting. Artistic Behaviors: Artists develop their own style. Artists create art that honors someone or something. Skills & Concepts: Discuss the differences and similarities between two artworks of a similar theme. Develop hand/eye coordination through painting and collage. Learn various techniques … Read more…

Spirals, Flowers and Patterns: Learning about Hundertwasser

Dab and Dot Markers:  Hundertwasser inspired art project

“A good picture is when the picture is full of magic, when you can feel the happiness in it, when it makes you laugh or cry, or when it makes something happen. It should be like a flower or a tree. It should be like Nature. It should be that we miss it when it isn’t there.” Hundertwasser Friedensreich Hundertwasser believed that nature and beauty was the key to happiness. He was born Fritz Stowasser but created his “artist name” … Read more…

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