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Abstract Shape Collages and Artist Reggie Laurent

Shape Collages Reggie Laurent

Reggie Laurent:  Contemporary Artist Reggie Laurent is a self-taught artist living in Georgia.  He creates very intricate abstract shape paintings.  I saw his paintings online and I was immediately drawn to all of the fun patterns and colors. My first graders learned about his abstract pictures. They are filled with lots of different shapes, fitted together like a puzzle.  His artworks are highly detailed and very colorful. Student Shape Collages The students learned about and used organic (freeform) and geometric shapes … 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…

First Day of Kindergarten & 1st Grade Art

First Day of Art Class (5)

We had our first week of school!   Beth Carter posted wonderful pictures of her students drawings on the first day with the title “I had art today!”  I borrowed the concept and made sheets for my kindergartners and first graders to take home on their first day of art class. Here is the PDF download of “I Had Art Today!” I had my students draw a picture of themselves as an artist or a picture of themselves in class with … Read more…

Day of the Dead | Symmetrical Paper Skulls | 1st Grade

October 31 to November 2 is the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead.  My first grade students learned about the celebration a bit in their Spanish class and then in art class, we read a story about the holiday and drew these symmetrical skull pictures.  The book we read was Day of the Dead, by Tony Johnston.  It’s a nice story with great pictures.  My only complaint is that the book is very very small, so the kids have to … Read more…

Reach for the Stars – Back to School Bulletin Board

I hope you are enjoying your first few weeks back to school!   Here is a Reach for the Stars bulletin board my students made as their first art projects. The tape letters were made by 1st graders.  I don’t know how people use painter’s tape for this technique, because it just caused my paper to rip.  I discovered the Post-it Label Roll which worked great to block out the letters. The kids painted over the label tape with a crayon … Read more…

Have You Ever Drawn Flowers with Watercolor Pencils?

The week after winter break was up in the air.  Due to construction, we weren’t sure if we were going to be able to use our art room and we didn’t know if we would have easy access to supplies.  I planned for most of my classes to complete observational drawings during that week period, since they all could use the same supplies and learning to observe the edges and shapes of objects is great training for the eye. It … Read more…

15 Favorite Posts from 2013

  Another year is rapidly coming to a close, so I thought I would spend some time reviewing my favorite projects and blog posts from this year.  Here are my favorite posts, in no particular order! 15.  How to Paint Gorgeous Clouds with Watercolor 14.  Clay Castles 13.  Postage Stamp Art Project 12.  Heart Photography Project with 3rd Grade 11.  25 Amazing Books for Teaching About Art 10.  Editorial cartoons are a unit I teach every year.  We even were … Read more…

Lego Art Projects

Our school is building an addition, so I thought projects related to “building” would be fun.  Legos are the perfect building blocks! So, we designed our own mini-figures with this template.  I originally saw this idea from The Art Teacher’s Closet. We also stamped with Legos (idea via Lego Stamping from Filth Wizardry).  Thanks to wonderful bloggers for these two ideas!  My students LOVED them!  They were so excited about these proejcts. Place your piece of paper on top of … Read more…

5 Valentine’s Day Projects for Kids

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Each year, I tend to try something different for Valentine’s Day.  I like to spice things up, don’t you? Here are some from the past that I have done. 1.  Valentine’s Heart Collages  2.  Cool Hands, Warm Heart 3.  Easy Clay Hearts for Kindergarten  I have made these for Christmas presents, but they would be perfect for Valentine’s Day. 4.  Maps of My Heart (by Kindergarten) 5.   Styrofoam Printed Valentines Follow @marcia_beckett

Holiday Round Up

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Two of my classes made pictures frames like these: They turned out really cute and I did not take pictures until after the kids glued their pictures in, so I did not want to post any of the frames with their pictures in it. This year, I did not do too many holiday art projects, but here is a round-up of some that I have done in the past. Sock Snowmen  Snowflakes with Glitter Snowglobe Pictures Picture Frame with Tooling … Read more…

Mixed Media Canvases with Kids

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Thanks for your kind comments about my fingers!  They are actually healing much faster than I expected. As you might know, I am a lover of all things mixed media!  I also enjoy occasionally teaching an after school art workshop for my students (I’d love to do more, but since my daughter goes to daycare it’s a bit tricky.)  I thought painted canvases would be a great gift for kids to give someone in their family, so I decided to … Read more…

Found Object Faces– 1st grade

Found Object Faces-- 1st grade

(these are the projects I burnt my fingers on!)  USE LOW TEMP GLUE GUNS!!! Anyways, these are really charming and fun projects. The 1st graders learned about recycled art and how to use unconventional materials in art.  We read 2 books by Hanoch Piven, which feature portraits made out of objects. The children brought in objects from home that represented aspects of themselves and we assembled the parts into faces in art class.   We used foam board and matboard for … Read more…

Frogs in a Pond (with Monet) 1st Grade

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            I love lessons where I can tie in different areas of study, art history and art techniques!  This is a project I developed that incorporates study of frogs, Monet and watercolor painting. To start this project, we learn about the artist Claude Monet and his paintings of ponds and lilypads.  We read a book about Monet: (This series is awesome for read-alouds in class.  I love the picture books about art, but I want … Read more…

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