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Free Printable: Faith Ringgold Inspired Quilt Template

Faith Ringgold Quilt Printable Art Project

Hi!  I’m here today to share with you a meaningful art project for your younger students.  This would be good as as a “getting to know you” activity.  The following examples were all made by kindergartners near the end of the year, but I would think this lesson would be suitable for kids through grades 2. Many art teachers have taught about the artist Faith Ringgold and had their students create paper quilts.  I have a free printable for you … Read more…

Mixed Media Collages by Kids – Inspired by Sabrina Ward Harrison

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In my last post, I showed you some of Sabrina Ward Harrison’s artwork and talked about what she shared with us at her artist visit.  Her artwork is very inspiring, messy and beautiful.  Please check out the other post to learn all about this artist.   After the presentation, smaller groups of kids in grades 3-6 had a collage workshop with Sabrina.  She demonstrated how to use Mod-Podge to paste down pieces of her pinwheel shape. While she demonstrated the … Read more…

Article in Arts & Activities Magazine

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I’m pretty excited my article in the October issue of Arts & Activities is on the cover! I wrote about an art project my students did after learning about the artist William Wegman. I had the awesome opportunity to interview Wegman on the phone and include the interview as a large part of the article. I’m very glad that they included a bunch of my students’ artwork (3rd grade). You can read the whole article here: http://pubdev.ipaperus.com/ArtsandActivities/AAOctober2016/?page=20 If you would … 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…

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…

Jesse Reno: ambition over direction

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When I found out that Jesse Reno was going to be at the National Art Education Conference this year, I was stoked.  I’ve been following his artwork and blog for several years and I love how layered and complex his paintings are.   You have to watch his process of transforming one thing into another while painting.  He has several videos on his blog where you can watch him paint.   I was excited to hear him talk, but it would have … 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…

Stuffed Animal Still Life Drawings with 1st Grade

Stuffed Animal Still Life Drawings

Do you want to know what will really get first graders excited about drawing still lifes?  Have them bring in their own stuffed animals!  I invited the kids to bring in their favorite stuffed animals to draw.  I also had a garbage bag full of my own stuffed animals from home in case someone forgot to bring in one. I demonstrated how to observe the shapes and positioning of the stuffed animals and then I let the kids get to … 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…

Fun Puns about Art and Artists

Are you looking to add some humor to your class? We had a “Funday Punday Monday” at our school where kids and teachers brought in puns to share.  I rounded up some fun art-related puns you could use in your class.  Sidenote:  When I read these in class and I asked “Why did the artist go to the bathroom?”  One of my second graders called out (without missing a beat) “because he was consti-painted!”  That was a new answer and … Read more…

Huge List of Contemporary Artists

Huge List of Contemporary Artists

Are you looking for some new contemporary artists to teach your students about?  On the Facebook Art Teachers group, members suggested LOTS of contemporary artists that they teach their students.  These are now all compiled into ONE HUGE LIST on Google Docs!  I added websites and short descriptions to most of the artists so it is easier to use.  Thanks to all the teachers who collaborated to share their ideas and add artists.  This huge list has about 130 artists … Read more…

Alphabet Art Project for 1st Grade

  This is a great project to try at the beginning of the year or as your students are reviewing the alphabet and beginning to learn to write words and phrases. I got this idea from the book Dynamic Art Projects for Children.  Ours are not exactly as the ones in this book, but very similar. We started by looking at the art of Stuart Davis and reading the phrases, words and numbers that we saw in his artwork.  The … Read more…

Art History Sketchbook Prompts: Set #2

My first set of Art History Sketchbook Prompts have been popular and I recently made a second set with all different artists and prompts. This new set has 16 NEW art history prompts!   16 DIFFERENT artists. These art history cards feature a selection of inspiring artworks with a prompt that can be used to spark drawing and writing. Print off the cards on cardstock, cut in half and laminate to protect them. You can print off as many copies … Read more…

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