Sunday, August 24, 2014

5th Grade: Celebrity Portraits

One of my students asked me yesterday what my favorite lesson to teach is. I couldn't give him an immediate answer but realized today that this "Complete the Photo" lesson has got to be on the list of favorites since I have been doing this lesson on and off for 10 years now. Galit Breen wrote an article about the lesson and published photos of my students work from a couple years ago in All Parenting Magazine. Read Here
My 5th grade Art Enrichment class sailed through (most of) this drawing lesson. They did as good of a job as my eighth grade drawing class years back. Ultimately, patience is key.

Here are a few:




Saturday, August 23, 2014

"Oxie's on the Map!"

"Oxie's on the Map!" I can't take this phrase out of my mind that a BT parent said to me. So here it is... Oxie's little spotlight

I am loving this picture of Dexter Philip Oxford, III or simply "Oxie" traveling to Bear Tavern for installation a little over a week ago. Doesn't he look noble? Living up to the name, I guess. Speaking of the name. Oxie's name is a combination of a few names the Bear Tavern kids mentioned last spring. Honestly, the name could be much longer but I am content with what we've got.

Photo from

Enjoy viewing all of the oxen throughout Hopewell Valley, the energy for these oxen is through the roof! 
See you soon!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

For those that missed it: here's the Link to Last Years Summer Drawing Challenge Post HERE

Heya! And the Ox is finished

Hey everyone,
I am back from my temporary blogging vacation. I've missed writing but ultimately had some things on my plate that took up the end of my school year at Bear Tavern.
The first was matters of the heart. I spent every single free moment that I could with students (especially 5th graders before they moved on and up to 6th grade).
Every year it has been tough to let go of students and make the transition from seeing and speaking to them daily to not knowing for sure that our paths will cross again. So, I spent as much time as I could with my lovelies and wish them the best of luck in September and always. Part of that fun was watching World Cup soccer. Ok, a lot of the fun was soccer. I am a huge CBF, Selecao, Brazil through thick and thin fan. Over the years, I've realized and cherished the events and experiences that happen outside of the classroom or off (art) topic things that bond us. We spent some incredible quality time working on projects, talking soccer, thinking about summer and those sorts of things.

The second thing was our Bear Tavern ox. I blogged at the start of the spring about a project that the arts community in Hopewell Valley had been working on-- designing and painting full sized oxen for the Hopewell Valley Arts Council 'Stampede'. You all saw the "Ox Selfie Cam" of my colleagues and me posing with the blank canvas. At our art night, the school community had a great time painting the ox and then a smaller group of students, staff and I went in to finish it up.
Our ox was finished in July and I was able to view our ox along with the majority of the others at an estate in Pennington before they were placed throughout the community. Here are some pics of a few of my favorites and the oxen that my colleagues created with their schools.

Love this one AND it's on my way to and from school

Another favorite
Another fav. Loved this concept by Timberlane artists and Donna Cariola

Hopewell Elementary- cute fingerprint froggy's!
Stony Brook Elementary- intricate stars 

Toll Gate Grammar-super neat paint lines!
Hopewell Valley Central High School- gotta love the primary colors!
Soooo pretty 

Grazing in the Field
 Hopewell Valley is buzzing with the excitement of these new public art pieces. Check out the Arts Council web page for a map to find the 60+ oxen, artist bios/art statements and a ton more by clicking on the logo.

Glad to be back, I hope that you are all well and my best wishes to you for a great end of summer and start to the fall.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Grade 1 and Grade 5: Mixed Media Sunflowers

This was a fun one. When I was a child, I was OBSESSED with drawing sunflowers... and I wore a t-shirt with a huge sunflower on it and I doodled sunflowers on my Converses. Nature was a huge part of my formative years which made these two projects based on my favorite painter Vincent van Gogh a pleasure to make. 
The first is this slightly mixed media project in which the 5th graders used a dictionary page to draw a sunflower. Outlined in Sharpie and painted with a wash of color, the kids did a nice job capturing 'Sunflowers"

The second project was a ton of fun to make. We read a book about van Gogh's sunflowers and discussed the content in the story which talked about van Gogh's passion for painting and the struggles he encountered along the way.
We examined sunflowers..the center, the petals and referred to "Sunflowers" to see how van Gogh painted these top heavy flowers in different stages. 
We began by mixing colors for the background and added texture. The kids created their vases with a simple line drawing followed up with an oil pastel outline. Next up was painting the vases. Finally, we had a fun time creating the sunflowers and adding details to them after they were glued down.