Thursday, January 31, 2013

Bonus Time...

I had a few kids finish earlier than I had planned so I reached into the supply closet and pulled out some Play-Doh.  The kids had a BLAST!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Gotta Love Sub Lessons...

My 6th graders werefinishing up their still life projects and I had to be gone for a Relay for Life commitment.  So that meant I had to have a sub during a super important step.  I knew they sub but I was still NERVOUS.  
Mrs. Hahn at Mini Matisse to the rescue.  
I was writing out my lessons when her blog post "I'm in LOVE with notans" came through my reader.  I just knew it would solve my problems... The kids would still get to do a fun project but I don't have to worry about them "messing" up an important step on their still-life drawings.  Thank you Mrs. Hahn for the idea and Mrs. Couch for teaching a great lesson... I love how they turned out.

The students were given the task of using one 6x6 piece of red paper and one 9x12 piece of white paper.  They had to cut out hearts, reversing the paper in and out (like you do with notans) BUT their goal was to create a graphic image and not a "valentiney looking" image.  I think they did a great job!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

White out...

We have probably all heard the joke about the art student turning in a white paper and telling the teacher "it's a white cow in a snowstorm."  Well I challenged my 6th graders to solve that problem.


  • You get 3 pieces of white computer paper to make a snowstorm collage.  
  • You may use a "dusting" of grey chalk to show edges
  • You are graded on creative thinking (not just snowmen) and craftsmanship
It was definitely challenging but some of them turned out super cute...
of course they don't photograph exceptionally well.  

Now if only we could get some snow around here!


Dirty, Nasty, Color Mixed Paint Trays..
They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.
Guess I am insane about watercolor trays.

Take apart dirty trays, wash

clean paint trays and brushes

let dry

refill colors, reassemble trays
And yet the continue to get horribly dirty.  I am thinking I am going to buy a new set of 24 for my 6th graders... let the 5th grade use their ones they insist on trashing. 

How do you keep your paint trays clean?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

WILD Wildlife...

We have all seen (and if you haven't...go!) Natalie from SmART Class' Zebras and Neon Animals... they are beautiful!  I was so inspired by them but didn't want to do a direct copy of the project.
In talking about this with another art teacher from my district, she asked if I had seen Andy Warhol's Endangered Animals Prints.  I looked them up and came up with my solution...
WILD Wildlife

We started by looking at Andy Warhol's Prints...
Then we drew out our animals (I printed pictures from National Geographic for reference).  We started by gesturing out the shapes.  Next we added in the details.  When that was done, we sharpied over the main details and added the other details (fur, feather, scales) with oil pastels.  We agreed the colors didn't have to be realistic.
When all the drawing was done and the details were in place, we started water coloring over them.  
When they were done they put them on the drying rack and used an iPad to look up the National Geographic website.  They had to create an "info" tag for their animal. 
I only have one day done but I already LOVE them...


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Celebrating Creativity - Keith Jacobshagen

This month we looked at the inspiring paintings of Keith Jacobshagen.  Here is one of his pictures from the Joslyn Art Museum.
We started our project looking at his "big sky" paintings.  We discussed his use of horizon line and how beautiful the sky was.  We all agreed we had seen something like that in Nebraska.  

For the project, we started by giving each student 2 pieces of watercolor paper.  One of the paintings was to be inspired by Keith's work and the world we live in.  The other was inspired by the beautiful watercolor paintings created by Mrs. Impey's students

The kids got right to work... it wasn't quiet but it was fun!

Here are some of their finished winter birch tree paintings 

Here are some their finished "big sky" paintings.  
Many of the students chose to use a black tree silhouette.

I even had a student who just wanted the "big sky."

Happy January everyone... Hopefully we get some good things finished soon to share with you!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Christmas Break....

I have been ENJOYING my time at home...  It has been the perfect blend of busy and peaceful.  We started break with our first "measurable" snow that made the dry brown outside a beautiful white wonderland.  We were able to enjoy the wedding of our friends Paige and Ryan.  We spent time with family celebrating our Lord's birth.  We we went sledding.  We stayed home and baked yummy meals.  We rang in the new year with dear friends.  We played board games, laughed, giggled, snuggled and enjoyed one another.
Merry Christmas from some 'crazies'
Another thing that I tackled was something that I had always thought would be fun but never really set out to do.  I illustrated a book.  Last summer a friend approached me about doing some illustrations for a book she was putting together.  I said sure but never really got around to doing much about it (something about life, 3 kids and a full time job).  Her husband was a preacher and every month he would write a parable for the church bulletin that illustrated a lesson he had learned from his beloved miniature donkeys or chihuahua.  I chose one lesson from each year to illustrate and below are the finished products...

I have 2 days left to finish enjoying this time.  Sadly that also means I have to take down my Christmas tree.  It is one of the saddest times for me.  We go to a tree farm and cut a tree every year (LOVE IT!).  It makes our house smell wonderful and it is so beautiful.  By now it is time to put things back in their place and the tree is starting to loose it's "sparkle."  However, I am going to let the kids have one more night sleeping by it's light... 

our family hand picture
~Welcome 2013~