Friday, December 14, 2012

All Grades: A note to you

To all of my students, I hope you know how much that I love you. You are beautiful, wonderful and creative souls. I love being your art teacher.

Today's events are painful with the news of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. My heart aches as a mother and as a teacher.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Grade 2: Klimt Trees

We're making progress on our "Trees of Life" paintings in second grade. I have not taught this lesson in a few years but thought they were in order this fall.
We started out looking at Klimt's "Tree of Life" and then learned how to draw a decorative tree. Drawing the tree can be tricky but my students did a nice job.
We outlined in sharpie and then practiced painting the trees with even strokes.
Next we are discussing the color wheel. Students will pick a primary color to sponge paint their background and then an analogous color sponged on top of that. I will post finished trees in the next couple of weeks!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Grade 5 Art Enrichment: Printmaking Self-Portraits

Grace's block
My early morning art enrichment classes have finished their carved self-portraits and did a marvelous job. I can't wait to hang them up in the hallway next to the eraser prints done with my other 5th grade groups.
Steps: Students used iPhoto and msWord to take a photograph of themselves and alter the image. They transferred their photograph to their blocks and then used the block carving tools, mostly the v-gouge, to carve their lines. Next up was using the brayers and paint to begin printing. My awesome students took it from there mixing colors and creating some really neat prints. The had to come up with at least 4 final prints and a maximum of 6 to arrange in their final composition.
Grace transferring her photo
Natalia working on her drawing

Molly M.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Grade 1: Marvelous Cezanne Paintings

There are times that it is impossible to contain my excitement over the art my students create, their wonderful creativity and the formulas for using art materials we come up with at the demo table. (see * below)


As my first graders finished up this project, I was overwhelmed with admiration, excitement, accomplishment, and a million other feelings. I stood there in the middle of the room beaming and mumbling how amazing the paintings were coming out...for a good 8-12 minutes. I just could not move past the beauty they had created. Here I go again.

These paintings were done much earlier this fall, but I kept forgetting to photograph them.
It is a spin I made on a project I viewed online.

I taught my 1st graders how to draw a large bowl sitting on a table and then how to fill the bowl with apples so that the apples were in the bowl and not floating. We used tempera paint and watercolor to make them the fantastic masterpieces that they are!

* At the demo table as I am explaining the project, how to use supplies, often a student will ask if they can use the materials a bit differently. Sometimes, the idea is genius or something I should have thought of and I call it a genius moment. These genius moments or just talking through the thoughts the kids have can enhance how we use the materials to our advantage.

My most overused words

We all have certain words we overuse (I think). I overuse the the words Awesome and Amazing. They are the two best words that describe how I feel about my students, the art they create and my daily feelings about exploring art making.
So, thanks to, expect to read and hear more of these synonyms:
 fascinatingincrediblemarvelous, shockingstunningsurprising,unbelievablewonderful

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Grade 4: White Birch Colorful Landscapes

My fourth graders did a great job with this landscape project. A couple years ago, I taught a lesson about birch trees but we created realistic background colors. This project called for lively, animated and colorful skies in which we painted and dripped paint using the wet on wet technique. We looked at an image of Klimt's 'Birch Forest' and then created our own.
Tyler 4VZ
Hall Display

Rachael 4VZ

My students practiced painting the birch trees using old Starbucks gift cards. The results were good but I think I prefer good, old fashioned, ripped cardboard for creating textures on trees.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

3rd Grade Monster Mama

My third graders are finishing up their Monster Mama portraits and did a nice job. For a better description, please click on the original post from last school year here.
Since I posted this project a year ago, I have seen it all over Pinterest so please link back to this blog if you do the project!
Sukhmani's, almost finished

Cole working on painting the hair
Alex working

Monday, November 5, 2012

Shells for the NJ Shore: Community Service Project

We have linked up with the Shells for the NJ Shore project to raise money to rehabilitate the Jersey Shore.
My students are spending the beginning 10 minutes of their art period designing a sea shell using marker. Parents, staff and I are coating the shells to seal the colors and adding a magnet to the backs.
We are also making wearable pins out of the small shells that have naturally pretty coloring and designs but are too small to turn into a magnet.
The magnets and pins will be sold for $5 in our community. All money raised will be given to the NJ Shore
Box of shells
4th grader working hard
Shell Details
Shell Details

Finished Shells

Friday, October 26, 2012

Frankenstein's Monster!

See yesterday's post below or by clicking here
Frankenstein Monster hanging in the art room window.

Rory Mahon speed drying his final layer of paint. He used three stencils for this monster

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Guest Presenter: Rory Mahon and Frankenstein

Aren't we lucky??! 3rd graders in my 3W class are in for a treat tomorrow. Artist, Rory Mahon will be teaching students how to create stencils and use them in a piece of work. Mr. Mahon, who is a parent at BT has been so kind to create tomorrow's workshop and to work with students. I am excited to see the following stencil of Frankenstein and accompanying paintings that he created and is bringing in to share with us. 
Rory Mahon holding up his Frankenstein created using stencils

I have been impressed with Mr. Mahon's professional work knowing the difficulty of the materials that he works with, iron, metals and stone. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

5th Grade Yearbook Cover Entries!

Table full of entries for our annual yearbook cover contest. 
One cover wins, usually all covers are tiled on the back (which I love). 
All entries are displayed in our display cases outside my room by Mrs. Finnegan (one of the YB co-chairs) and voted on by the entire student body!  Fun times !

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Grade 5 Art Enrichment: Self-Portraits Carving

I couldn't wait to share the preliminary images of my 5th grade Art Enrichment printmaking project. We haven't started to print yet but my kids are doing a great job!
Here is Grace G. working on her transfer of a photograph she took of herself (using iPhoto and MS Word) and the start of the carving she did this morning using a v-gouge.

Image is in reverse on block so it will print correct


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Grade 4: Aztec Suns

My 4th graders did a great job on this lesson I found on pinterest. Have not found the originating site so my apologies for not linking to it.
We explored warm and cool colors along with oil pastel blending. My students really enjoyed this project. We began by talking about the Aztec sun and it's place in inspiring the depiction of The Sun for many artists. I was pretty flexible in how they chose to place the warm and cool colors as long as they used an opposite color scheme for each half component. (ex. half the face warm, half cool. Half the rays cool, half warm, etc.) We alson explored creating straight and curvy/wavy lines.
Franki G.

David K. 

Grade 5: Name Designs

Grade 5 finished their names designs last week. We practiced using bold use of color with colored pencils. As beautiful as these designs are, trust me when I say that each student felt as if their arm was going to fall off at times from pressing so hard!
I only repeat about 35% of my lessons from year to year but this project has been a staple for several years now. The kids love to see how their name transfers and rotates to create some really awesome, and hopefully unreadable names.
Students utilized and colored the positive (letters) and negative (individual background) spaces to help fool the viewers' eye. Here are a few:

Alina D.

Justin L.

Kelly C.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Art Bucks

I finally had a chance to use these art bucks today. It was unexpected but happened nevertheless. 

I had two super helper students in Mr. Belford's class that offered to clean a material we had used. The material (plastic cards) were a supply I didn't want to ask students to wash on their own after we painted with them because disaster could strike....
Two students, Sara and Kate, offered to wash them and did such a great job that I wanted to give them something. Candy as a reward is a no no and I didn't have anything else to give. I'm rambling. I gave them these art bucks to redeem for a free period of art. They asked to come in for recess today. They are happy, I am happy and appreciative and they get some extra time in the art room.

I found these art bucks on a site called Modern Met. They have tons of artists and other famous folks. Enjoy using them in your art room!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Oldies but Goodies: Grades 6,7,8 Projects

I was looking for a photo and stumbled across these projects from a few years ago when I taught middle school at Timberlane.
These projects bring back SO many great memories from my time teaching there. Enjoy!

8th Grade Value Drawings of Animals
The drawing techniques were great to see implemented. Some of these kids had such natural talent

8th Grade 3D Art "Mini Rooms"
This project was really fun to do because the students constructed a dream room with no budget. They created mini furniture and added some really awesome personal touches!

6th Grade: Henna Sculptures
This project reminds me of the multiple burns I got when using the hot glue gun. Wire supports the back and was hot glued into the styrofoam base. Came out great. 

7th Grade: Honors Art 7 class
This has to be in my top 10 favorite middle school projects. 
Students camouflaged their hands into a painting they did. They spent quite a while creating the painting and then spent one class period camouflaging their hands. Key here is to save enough of the paint used in the painting so that the colors match. Also, prints help to camouflage better.

Grade 6: 
This is a display of art objects still lifes' using complementary colors.

Grade 7 or 8: Macro "zoom" Paintings
Again, I love, love, loved teaching painting which is actually a surprise because I am not a painter normally.

Grade 7: Old Cars
We altered old photos of cars in photoshop and then used a grid to draw the car on newspaper. Acrylic paint on top and affixed to a wood board.