Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Finished Clay Faces...

Some of these were just too cute not to share.  The students really did a neat job on them.  I wish our school budget allotted for glaze but maybe someday it will...

Merry Christmas!  I pray everyone enjoys their break and comes back refreshed and ready for second semester.


I try really hard to convey to my students that inspiration for your artwork is all around you.  This project was inspired by one of my student's shoes.  Devin had the COOLEST shoes on at the beginning of the school year and I told him I just HAD to have a picture of them.  Of course he thought I was weird.
This last quarter I finally put them to use when we created our contour line drawings.  The students did shoes.  The tricks was that they had to add watercolor animal prints to the drawing... in honor of Devin's shoes.

They were pretty fun... some I would even consider buying!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Mrs. Sunderman

My son is currently a kindergartner and I was bummed to find out that they wouldn't have art class with a certified art teacher.  Rather their classroom teacher would handle all art projects. (No offense to Kindergarten teachers but)  My fear was that he would only learn how to glue cotton balls onto Santa's beard....

A while back he asked if I knew that red and yellow make orange, that blue and red make purple and that yellow and blue make green.  They had been learning about mixing colors in school... YEAH!

Yesterday while he was hanging out in my room he drew this...
Jarrett's Flowers
Picasso's Flowers
When I asked him about it, he shared that it was a famous painting by a guy named Picasso.

Oh how I love his kindergarten teacher even more now.  Thank you Mrs. Sunderman for knowing that your students aren't too young to learn about art!  We are blessed to have you as a teacher for Jarrett.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Celebrate Creativity Night #1

So a while back I wrote about going to Omaha for Celebrate Creativity at the Joslyn Art Museum.  Today was our first meeting for "Celebrating Creativity Art."  Since challenge art was cut from our district, I thought this might be a good fill in.  We started by looking at Keith Jacobshagen's work as he had a painting at the Joslyn. 
Next we looked at Karen Krull Robart's work as she is currently showing at our local art center.
Next we looked at the work of Catherine Meier (my personal fav... and not just because she is my cousin).
 We discussed how all three of them used the wide open spaces of Nebraska for their inspiration.  We also discussed where/how they placed their horizon lines.  The students then created some large (18x24) wet-in-wet watercolor paintings of the open spaces.  We played with salt and saran wrap to get neat textures in our skies. 

While we were working on these paintings and waiting for them to dry, we looked at the artwork of Darryl Norem.  We worked on creating some collage pieces that also reflected the open spaces we live in by again altered the size of the project.  The kids really enjoyed playing with paint to create these images.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Fun Sub Plan...

Early Friday morning I was blessed with the working mom's favorite... sick kiddos.  So while the hubby was home manning the fort, I flew up to school and pulled out my emergency sub plan. (It is so nice to have this ready to go).  My school kids were to finish any missing projects first (found in their art folders).  Then they could work on our pop art hip hop George Washington.

I bought this book earlier this year ...
And it included Gilbert Stuart's George Washington.

I had some copies ready to go of the coloring page.  The trick was that the students had to look at Andy Warhol's Beethoven and then make George Washington into a pop art version of himself, thinking about how he might have looked in today's hip hop world.  They were definitely creative. 

... hope our first president forgives me.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Clay Days...

I love and hate clay.  I love how excited my students get when I mention clay.  I love how many of my struggling students blossom in this medium.  I love how most of the kids ask if their projects will be ready for use as Christmas gifts (maybe... Mrs. Carlisle didn't plan the best).  I love the creativity my students show.  I love getting dirty...    
I hate dusty, slippery floors.  I hate rolling out all that clay for slab projects (I dream of having a slab roller).  I hate that my budget doesn't allow for glaze.  oh well....
This year we are making face pots.  We are rolling out a rectangle of clay, building a face and then adding a slab base.  Some kids are getting really creative with their faces while others are nervous about the time limit (we only have one day to build them) and they just draw their faces on. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

For this am I Thankful!

Today before I leave for Thanksgiving break I would like to take a moment and reflect on those things I am thankful for...
  • I am thankful for to live in a country where I can believe, do, think and say what I want without fear of persecution.
  • I am thankful for my family... they raised me to believe in God and to know that even though I can believe, do, think and say whatever I want; there are moral guidelines.  This includes my two little brothers (who are no longer little) who constantly amaze me by being the men they are growing into. 
  • I am thankful for my husband who works hard everyday to provide for our family.  I am thankful that he loves me unconditionally and accepts my kind of crazy.  I am thankful that he is the greatest father my kids could ask for.
  • I am thankful for my son Jarrett.  His kind heart and creative mind amaze me everyday.  He is a wonderful big brother and the joy gets from learning something new and his love of the Lord is inspiring to me.
  • I am thankful for my daughter Haylee.  I aspire to live my life so fully and so joyfully.  Her laughter and zany ideas guarantees that life will never be boring with her. 
  • I am thankful for my daughter Lauren.  Her need for me makes me feel treasured and her calmness and gentle demeanor help us all stop and enjoy life.
  • I am thankful for a job that I love.  I can honestly say that I enjoy going to work on a daily basis. 
  • I am thankful for the amazing group of children I get to work with. (thank you parents for sharing them) They make me smile (most of the time) as I am blessed get to see their minds open up and discover new things.  I enjoy that I get to see them share information about who they are while creating amazing works of art. 
  • I am thankful for my building and my administrator.  I truly enjoy the people I work with.  They are a dedicated staff who puts the needs of students before their personal needs.  They work together to find solutions and do what is best for students.
May all of you have a blessed thanksgiving break filled with rest, laughter and safe travels!

Thursday, November 17, 2011


     A few years ago I went to the National Art Convention in New York where I attended some sessions that were about having students create their own lessons.  The teacher would develop stations for the students to create at and then "let the student creativity flow."  I loved the concept but was never able to figure out how to apply that to a schedule of 600 kids a week and keep my sanity. 
     Lately, I have been struggling with how I teach.  I teach the same lesson 4 days a week to 300 kids.  That means 300 projects that look very similar.  I talked with some of my colleagues during our PLC and they suggested switching materials for every day of classes.  That would work, but then I would have to keep track of which classes used which materials and I would have a different set up everyday.  Did I mention I have 3 kids at home under the age of 7 to keep track of also :)
     For my latest 5th grade project I tried something new and I think I like it! 
  • We talked about watercolor... it's qualities and how to use it. 
  • We talked about how artists have used text in paintings...from illuminated letters to modern artists. 
  • We talked about geometric and organic shapes and how artists use them... they looked at Paul Klee and Gustav Klimt to compare styles.   
  • Then I gave them homework (something I don't usually do).  They had to sketch out an idea that used text to create an image that reflected geometric or organic design. 
     Today they came back and most of them had their homework done...YEAH!  Some of the classes used poetry they had written in English class for their text prompt (thanks Mrs. Schmidt and Miss Riese!)  Some of the classes they had to come up with their own ideas and I enjoy hearing them discuss the ideas behind their writing. Even though they all were given the same assignment and we are using the same material, I am loving all the different projects I am getting.  I think this will inspire me in the future...

Here are few of the projects in progress.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Guys on the Ground

Today was the final day of our Keith Haring work for my Wednesday class.  We went outside to do some drawing.  Using our shadows, we created Haring Inspired Guys on the Ground.
tracing our shadows with a partner
filling in our figures with Haring inspired lines
our finished "guys" drawn in our public spaces
We had a lot of fun drawing and completeing these projects.  One group even made it look like the school building fell on their guy.  They also had a lot of fun playing with their shadows and the guys.  I even love my shadow in most of the pictures. 
The only thing the kids didn't appreciate was the 32 degree day I made them do this on.... well it is November in Nebraska.