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Wooden Peg Dolls: Kokeshi

Thank you to all who entered the Beautiful Oops journal giveaway.  The winner has been randomly chosen and notified… and that winner is Amanda Shaw.  Congratulations! When I was at the NAEA conference two years ago, I saw a station where people were making wooden Kokeshi dolls in the vendor area.  Every time I walked by it, either it was too full or I had to be on my way somewhere else.  So, I didn’t make one.  But, I found … Read more…

Repeated Shape Designs

This is a simple challenge that leads to a variety of creative artworks!  Choose one shape to repeat throughout your artwork.  Use markers, watercolor paints or any art media of your choice.  The challenge is to arrange the shapes in a unique and interesting composition. Include a variety of colors and sizes.  Overlap some shapes to add interest.  Add patterns or designs inside the shapes. Limitations encourage students to think in new ways.. to be creative within the constraints. Repetition is … Read more…

Mixed Media Collages by Kids – Inspired by Sabrina Ward Harrison

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…

Mixed Media Artist: Sabrina Ward Harrison

We recently had artist Sabrina Ward Harrison visit our school to give an artist talk and workshop with the kids.  Today I am going to introduce you to her artwork and life as an artist.  In Part Two of this post, I will share with you some of the amazingly diverse mixed media collages that the students made in response to learning about her artwork.  All of the artwork on this page was made by Sabrina. Her message to the … Read more…

Clay Masks with 3rd Grade

  To make these charming clay animal masks, we used plastic face molds (with a layer of plastic wrap in between) as a slump mold for the clay.  Another option was to use the back side of a styrofoam bowl to shape the mask.  The children added and secured the parts of the face.  After firing, they were painted with clay glazes.

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?

Stitching on Burlap: A Painting & Sewing Experience for Children

One type of art skill that I haven’t been the best at consistently teaching in my classroom is sewing.  I was reminded of how you can sew on burlap after seeing some painted and stitched leaves at my daughter’s school.  My third/fourth grade classes were often asking me if they could sew and I already had a lot of yarn and a roll of burlap at school. I wanted to share this idea with you quickly without a whole lot of … Read more…

Animal Cloth Paintings inspired by Korhogo Cloths

My 3rd grade classes learned about African Korhogo Cloth paintings. They had been studying Africa in their Social Studies class.  Here are some of the resources we used:  information about the cloth paintings and a couple of YouTube videos– Take a Look at African Korhogo Cloth and Senufo Art (although I do caution you that there is some tribal nudity at the beginning of this documentary in the intro, so start it after 20 seconds in).  There is a really cool tribal dance portion … Read more…

Color Theory and Rhythm Drawings by 3rd Grade

This is a project I love to do with the 3rd graders.  Their drawing all turn out so unique and fun.  First, we talk about what rhythm in art is.  Rhythm is like a visual beat in a picture, created by lines, colors, shapes and space.  Rhythm can be made by repeating certain elements of art.  Here is a good handout about rhythm. Here is another handout about rhythmic line designs.   The students each drew their own line drawing showing … Read more…

All About Me Collaborative Puzzle Pieces

You are part of the puzzle!  Each student in my older grades (3-5) made a puzzle piece about themselves and their interests.  I should have written:  You are a PIECE of the puzzle.  Or, I could have said: We all fit together.  I know, it’s kind of corny, but the puzzle piece making was fun. I bought a set of wooden puzzle pieces (the package came with two pieces) and I traced them onto several pieces of tagboard to make … Read more…

Article in Arts & Activities Magazine

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…

Patterned Tape and Wood Scrap Sculptures

What can you make with patterned tape and wood scraps? This is an open-ended project that is sure to delight your kids.  For some reason, colorful patterned tape is very appealing to kids (and many adults.)   Materials used: Mat Boards (donated from a frame shop) Scrap wood (donated and picked up from an art supply swap) Colored and patterned Tape The students selected pieces of wood and then wrapped the blocks in colorful tape.  These pieces were taped or … Read more…

Chicks at School

We have some chicks at school.  Chicks, like baby chickens. One of the science teachers taught the kids about the life cycle of chickens and the kids watched as the eggs were incubated and hatched. They grow so quickly! With all the excitement of the hatching chicks, the students were thrilled to create some chick artwork.  Here is a mural/bulletin board that students in grades 2-3 worked together on. Next, we did a step-by-step project in kindergarten to make a … Read more…

God’s Eyes Woven Wall Hanging

My 3rd and 4th grade class just finished making woven God’s Eyes (Ojos de Dios).  Students chose yarn and wrapped the strands around the sticks.  Then they were all tied to a large stick I found in my neighbor’s yard.  Some kids made multiples so they could take one home right away. I was surprised how almost all of them had never made these before.  I guess I went to a lot of summer camps where we made stuff with … Read more…

What Do Artists Do? Signs about ARTISTS and Artistic Behaviors

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…

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