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Positive Mindset Posters

Growth Mindset… Positive Thinking.. whatever you want to call it, there is power in changing the way you think about your day. This package has 24 colorful, positive posters to hang in your classroom. I choose to be positive. Attitude and Effort are more important than talent. Attitude is the mind’s paintbrush. It can color any situation. Is this my best work? A Challenge lets me exercise my brain. Don’t say “I can’t”. Do say, “I will give it a … Read more…

Big Giveaway! Book and $10 TPT Giftcard, Book Review and New Stuff

I have a lot of things to share with you today! First.  You have the chance to win a big prize for a special Back to School giveaway.  The winner will receive a drawing book, a $10 TPT gift card and my new Art History Icebreaker Foldable. First, this book by Mark Kistler! You Can Draw It in Just 30 Minutes: See It and Sketch It in a Half-Hour or Less. I am working with De Capo Press to share this book.  Mark … Read more…

Freebie! Draw Light Until You Know It’s Right POSTER

I have been teaching myself how to use Adobe Illustrator this summer so I can make some clip art to use.  I made a cute poster you could print out for your class.  I have seen this phrase on many posters online.  I made the pencil on Illustrator!  Ha Ha, I’m so proud of myself.  I’ve always used Photoshop to do everything, so Illustrator has been kind of a mystery to me. To download the high resolution PDF version, go to … Read more…

New Award Certificates!

I have new Award Certificates in my shop!  These are suitable for classroom teachers and art teachers.  They can be modified and used for a variety of reasons. I also have a set of Yearbook Cover award certificates.  I had a custom request to make certificates for winners of yearbook cover contest for a school.  I decided to include a modified version in my shop for other schools who may have an annual contest for yearbook cover designs. Finally, this is … Read more…

“Wild About the Arts” Fine Arts Night

It has been several weeks since our Fine Arts Night and I have been waiting until things settled down here to write all about it. Many, many thanks to my co-worker Katie McEnaney for taking photographs of the event! “Wild About the Arts” Fine Arts Night We had our first ever Fine Arts Night.  The night combined musical performances, an art show and art activities to celebrate the arts!  We decided on an animal theme. We displayed one artwork from … Read more…

A Few of My Favorite Posts from 2016

Another year has come and gone.  Here are some of my favorite posts from 2016.  Wishing you and your family a Happy New Year! My Top 6 Favorite Posts in 2016.. in no particular order. 1. Huge Printable List of “What Artists Do”  The list is two pages long and can be printed and hung in your classroom as a reminder of all the things that artists do!  Click on the image to find the downloadable pdfs. This goes along with a … Read more…

Huge Sale on Art Teacher Resources

Hi friends! Thank you all for your amazing support of my blog and my shop.  You have no idea what it means to me!  I love reading your comments on my blog posts. Like I mentioned earlier this week, I am part of the huge sale at Teachers Pay Teachers this MONDAY and TUESDAY– Nov. 28 and 29 ONLY.   Many sellers are participating and nearly all of my products are 20% (the only thing not included is the Growing Art … 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…

Blogging with Students: A Guest Post

Hi friends!  I have a treat for you today.  My very intelligent and dedicated co-worker Katie McEnaney is guest posting for Art is Basic today.  She was previously our 3rd grade Language Arts/Social Studies/Drama teacher and this year she moved to the 6th/7th grade level.  She also created the blog The Logonauts, which focuses on a variety of literature related topics. Many readers have asked me for advice about blogging with students.  Since my time is so limited with my students, I … Read more…

How to Get Traffic to a Blog: Blogging Basics, Part Four

  Are you interested in starting a blog?  Here are some tips for you! If you missed the other posts in this series, be sure to read: Blogging Basics Part One:  Why Blog and How to Choose a Platform Blogging Basics Part Two: Choosing a Blog Name and Getting Ideas Blogging Basics Part Three:  How to Write a Blog Post People will Read A big concern from new bloggers is “how do I get anybody to read my blog??”  That … Read more…

How to Write a Blog Post that People Will Read: Blogging Basics, Part Three

If you missed the other posts in this series, be sure to read: Blogging Basics Part One Blogging Basics Part Two So, you started a blog, picked a name and have a great idea for your first post.  Here are some tips you need to know. 1. Pay Attention to Permissions & Copyright Before you write your blog post, think about whether or not you got your idea from somewhere else.  Did you learn about this technique at a conference?  … Read more…

Blogging Basics, Part Two: Choosing a Blog Name and Getting Ideas

  If you missed the first post in this series, check out Blogging Basics for Teachers and Other Creatives, Part One.  In that post I share reasons to start blogging and how to choose a blogging platform. In today’s post, we will talk about how to choose a blog name and where to get ideas for your blog.   My blog was originally called Vivid Layers (raise your hand if you read my blog back then!).  The header is the … Read more…

Blogging Basics for Teachers and Other Creatives: Part One

So… you want to start a blog about teaching or art?  One of the questions I get asked frequently is how do you start a blog?  I asked the experts (other popular art bloggers) to share advice about getting started with blogging.   The bloggers, in no particular order: Me from Art is Basic, of course Lee Darter, from Art Room Blog Phyllis Levine Brown from There’s a Dragon in My Art Room and The Artful Advocate Don Masse from … Read more…

3 Tips to Make Assessing Your Students Easier

Patty Palmer from Deep Space Sparkle asked me to share tips about assessment with her Member’s Club.    I am no expert on assessment, but I thought I could share a few good ideas about what works for me when assessing my students in art.  If you are not a member of the Member’s Club, you can still see my 3 top tips for assessment by watching the video below. How do you assess your students?  Do you have any tips … Read more…

Annual Art Re-Swap

Today I am going to show you some fun pictures of super cool art teacher finds that I picked up at an Art Re-Swap.  My city has an art supply swap at least once a year and it is probably one of my favorite events of the year!  How it works is people bring in old supplies and “stuff” that can be used in art projects.  Then, you can take anything you want from the piles of stuff other people … Read more…

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