Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Two new signs

Thanks Ms P from Create Art with Me! for directing me to this terrific new site for making signs for your classroom.  You type in the quote and then select the template you want to use to print out a classroom sign.  This is terrific.  All those things you want to say in a professional looking format that is super quick and easy.  I had these typed up and printed out in minutes.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Crayola Ultra-Clean

I recently purchased a box of the new Crayola Ultra-clean Washable crayons and Washable Markers at the local big box store.  I immediately opened them both and tried them out for coverage and color value.  I was happy with the product.  I colored my skin and just like in the promotional advertisements, it washed right off.  I didn't want to try the wash ability on clothing; wasn't brave enough.  What if the advertisement was hyped a bit and I ruined my clothing.  Then it occurred to me to pull out my swag apron from the spring AOE conference.  I had used it for printing earlier in the week, note the post prior to this one.
coloring the bird with washable crayons

adding a zentangle and flower with the markers
After rinsing out the marker and crayons with running cold water

Conclusion:  They work great!!!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Printmaking Unleased

I jumped on board to follow the latest readings with the Artsy Book Club.  I have spent the last couple of days pulling together some materials for a few of the projects from "Printmaking Unleashed"  For starter, the projects are a lot of fun...for me.  I think I would be reluctant to try many of the procedures with my elementary students.  I started by creating some stencils using a hot glue gun.  I grabbed an old Teflon pan from the kitchen and my glue gun and started drawing.  It was a blast however,  the stencils wouldn't lift off of the old pan.  I went in search of a Teflon sheet and was not successful so purchased another Teflon baking pan and created some new stencils.  This time it worked like a breeze and the stencils were a snap to create.  Very successful procedure but I would not place hot glue guns, even the low temp ones in the hands of a classroom full of students.  I might consider it in a well supervised environment and small group for an after school program or club.  Most of the experimentation I have done, I feel the same way about.  Not for a classroom full of elementary students but manageable for a smaller group when well supervised.  I  am not finished yet and will experiment more.  I also intend to take all the methods and combine them in some way for a completed project.
 To the right you see me showing off my hot glue gun stenciled apron.  This was from the Swag of the AOE Convention back in the spring.  I used the painted paper towel method with the stencils.  I can see this being a colorful hit in the art room.  I'll try it this method again and see if I can get it to look a bit more refined and with cleaner lines.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Today I met Kristy Patterson

Today I met dictionary artist and fellow art educator, Kristy Patterson from Oklahoma.  I don't remember where I first discovered her work, maybe pinterest or her etsy shop.  I instantly connected to it and have purchased several of her prints for gifts for family members and friends.  I love her work but had never bought anything for myself. She, along with her husband traveled to the Berkshires this holiday weekend for the Berkshire Arts Festival where I had the opportunity of chatting with her for a period of time and purchased the original of the work above.  I am really excited to own this piece and especially excited to own a Kristy Patterson original.  I plan to share it with my students to demonstrate that anything is possible with their art and then to proudly display it in my home.  You can see more of Kristy's wonderful work at Flying Shoes Art Studio and she has a etsy shop.  

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Children writing children's books - Connecting Art and Writing

The Boy Who Met Aliens by Sabrina, Caitlyn and Michael

Planet Wheeee by Paige, Rachel, Jordyn, and Elisalyn

Ultimate Cheer by Chloe, Kacie and Taylee

The Butler Gets Fired

Party at Pig's House by Alyssa, Kassidy and Tatumn

Planet Wheeee

Jenny's Flute Lesson by Julia, Kileigh and Tori
All of my fifth grade students worked to create an illustrated children's book this past school year.  Out of the approximately 25 books being written, only about four were successfully completed.  I had taken a course on writing children's books last summer and thought it would be a wonderful project idea for my oldest students when school began last fall.  In many ways, it was a wonderful project idea.  Students studied the work of published authors and illustrators, learned about writing manuscripts and how to create a storyboard.  They worked in collaborative groups of their own choosing to write the manuscripts and to create the illustrations.  The downfall, it took all but about eight weeks of the school year and as I previously mentioned, only a small percentage of the books were completed.  If I were forced to measure growth for this project; I would have several measurements to qualify the learning that was taking place.  I was most impressed by the engagement in the project.  The last month had many groups "checking out" their work so they could add illustrations at home and during rainy recess times. I think this was a success and good project but I am disappointed that I wasn't able to cover some of the other projects that I normally complete with 5th graders.  So, my take away, I will do this project in a much more concise way next fall.  I'm thinking I will make the books smaller, they had concentrated on a standard 32 page book.  I'm also thinking books will be an individual project instead of collaborative group work.  I loved the enthusiasm my students showed for this project so I am sharing some of the successful illustration with you here.
The Butler Gets Fired by Jeremy, Jacob and Jeffry
Niecko by Amira
The Butler Gets Fired

The Butler Gets Fired

The Butler Gets Fired

Rex and the Rainbow Mountain by Oliva, Sadie & Jenna

Rex and the Rainbow Mountain

Rex and the Rainbow Mountain

Sunday, June 29, 2014

I've been learning

Final days of my AOE class "Showing Student Growth in Art".  It has not been a disappointment.   I have been challenged to extend my thinking and definitely stepped outside of my comfort zone.  The discussions have been enlightening and thought provoking.  I will begin school in a few weeks fully armed to face the discussions of DDMs (District Determined Measures) and feel like I can make an worthwhile contribution.  I was most surprised to learn how far ahead other districts seem to be in this new phase of teacher evaluation.  I was thankful to be able to view some of the materials other educations are using and to gain deeper understanding as they shared previous experiences.  
And now....summer vacation!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Art is everywhere

I have come to realization that I am undoubtedly suppose to be an art teacher.  Yes, it must be true.  After having owned a couple of businesses, and done a wide variety of different type of jobs in my longggg lifetime I came to this surprising revelation today while calmly eating some cutesy sugary candies.  Whatttt?  I can hear you say.  So here is what happened. I was slaving away at straightening up the homestead a bit and cleaning the kitchen when I stumbled upon a container of flower shaped little candies that I had bought on a whim a while back when I was craving a sugar high.  Since I had worked through lunch and the tummy was a little rumbley, I cracked those candies open and began to much away.  In the process, the candies developed a life of their own and I felt drawn to creating patterns with the fun colors.  Before you knew it I was down to just a few of the enticing and tasty little guys and Ta Da...I had created a Tessellation!!!!  But, being that my mind is now obsessed with being an art teacher what was I next drawn to do.  Of course,  I grabbed the camera, you can't let that terrific visual get away!  Candy is now gone but the Tessellation will live forever!