Thursday, December 29, 2011

James will be missed.

I am very sad to find out of James Rizzi's passing.  He has been a huge inspiration to me and my students (and will continue to be).  I am blessed to have gotten the chance to collaborate with him the past few years.  Mr. Rizzi, you will be missed dearly!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Silly Monsters

I have been inspired by all the cute and colorful monsters that I have seen on Pinterest recently.  My 2nd grade students needed a  project for their our annual fundraiser through Art to Remember.  I think the monsters were a good choice, they all turned out so cute!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Skype Interview with James Rizzi

  As many of you know, I love the art of James Rizzi and so do my students.  I had the privilege of conducting a Skype Interview (along with my after school class) with James Rizzi.  My  after school students generated questions  and  got to personally ask Mr. Rizzi.

Her are my two YouTube videos...

Part 1

Part 2

Mr.Rizzi was very generous to spend this time with my class.  The kids loved him!  If you would like to learn more about this experience, I will be presenting at the Michigan Art Education conference in November.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Whimsical Trees

One of my favorite lessons I did this past school year was whimsical trees inspired by the story Willow.  (I know I saw this on another art education blog, so please let me know if it was you so I can give you credit).

After reading the story we looked at several tree pictures and discussed how we could come up with our own creative trees.  Each student received a piece of 12x36 paper (I think this size really contributed to the overall success of the project).   We began with tempera cakes and then used pre-mixed tempera paint. 

ArtPhotos 10 2011 385ArtPhotos 10 2011 386ArtPhotos 10 2011 387ArtPhotos 10 2011 388ArtPhotos 10 2011 389A few students even decided to add a background.  ArtPhotos 10 2011 393

The kids really seemed to enjoy the process.  I loved how they turned out!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Loving these flowers...

My third graders have been studying the artist Georgia O'Keeffe.  I had them draw close-ups of flowers then outline with oil pastel and paint.  We used Crayola 16 pack to achieve the nice blending colors.  We are going to use these paitings for our Art to Remeber Fundraiser.

View Beautiful 3rd grade Flower

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Creating Sub. Plans

   Every year I dread taking days off of school, because I hate writing sub. plans.  They always take so long, and I feel like it would have been easier to just go to school (even when I am sick).  Last year I got the stomach flu unexpected and had to scramble to get something together.  This is never good…I think the kids worked in drawing books or something along those lines.  This may work for my elementary students, but there are always a few kids who take advantage….especially my middle schoolers. 

  With all that said I am trying to be proactive this year.  Many of you have started Pintrest accounts…which I am loving.  I just started one for sub lessons:


Check it!  If you would like to contribute to this board let me know…or make one of your own…I would love to follow it :)

Here is a sub lesson that a fellow art teacher shared with me….

   Share with students about the Cow Parade.  Different artist create painted cows around different cities in the world.  I bought the above book off Amazon and it has pictures of cows that were created in New York.  I like this book because It shows a cow James Rizzi Painted and Romero Britto.  Also refer to the Cow Parade website.

Here are a few examples:

I made an outline of a cow and then kids color it with a theme.  I don’t have many examples.  Here is an U of M themed cow created by a 3rd grader….

Monday, July 11, 2011

Painting Owls…

I don’t know about you, but I do love owls (especially colorful ones).  I have been sucked into all the cute art and jewelry there is out there.  I even started an owl board on my Pintrest account. 

I was at a school book fair and ran across this book…
Little White Owl
It is a cute little story about a lonely white owl who meets a group of colorful owls.  At first the colorful owls don’t know what to think because the white owl is “different,” but they soon learn to be friends.  I like the the patterns in the colorful owls.

I read this story to my 1st graders and then we drew a simple owl together on 12x18 paper.  I showed the kids how to make different eyes and beaks.  Once they had their drawing done, I had them outline their owl in black oil pastel.  Then students started painting with tempera cakes.

The next class period they finished painting with tempera cakes.  Then I gave them a variety of regular tempera paint.  Students added details and designs to their pictures. 
I was happy with the cute results.  Each owl seems to have it’s own personality.  My 1st graders always love painting :)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Summer Art Camp...


This past week I taught art camp with my 3rd - 5th grade students.  The morning session was Painting and Printmaking and the afternoon session was 3-D Art.  I used a lot of ideas from my fellow bloggers.  A big thanks to, and for ideas and inspiration!!!

Here are a couple of pieces completed during camp.  Check out my school blog for more pictures....

Landscape of the courtyard at the high school.  Water-soluble oil pastels, watercolors and gouache. 
Folk art painting inspired by artist Karla Gerard.  Thanks Sleepyhead Design Studio. Students painted with tempera and acrylic.
Paintings inspired by Wayne Thiebaud.  We used acrylic and modeling paste. 
Group Mural inspired by circle painting.

Crayola air dray clay.  Unfortunatly a lot of the sculptures broke.  Has anyone else ever had trouble with this kid of clay? 
Wacky sculptures with model magic and wire (a Dick Blick lesson).  I never realized how well the primary colored model magic mixes.  I wish it wasn't so expensive. 

This coming week I will be doing the same classes but with 6th-8th grade.  I hope to share their projects soon.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

More fun with "Ugly Dolls"

    My last group of 7th grade students had fun taking pictures with their felt dolls inspired by  popular "Ugly Dolls. "  Check out my school blog for more pictures....


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Working on Another Blog....

   Blogging has been a great outlet for me in the past 6 months.  I can't believe 73 people follow what I write.  I love being a part of this art teacher community. You guys are great and I am very thankful!
   I have been struggling with the idea of starting another blog that is mainly for my students.  I wanted to be able to put up pictures of the kids working and links to neat art cites.  Here is what I have come up with so far...
  I would love to hear your feedback and any recommendation for fun art websites for kids.  Some of the posts are modified repeats from this blog, but others are not.  I have found that loading pictures as a album has been a lot easier too.  Thanks!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Origami Pictures

 Third graders are learning about art around the world.  We recently studied Japan and the art or paper folding, origami.  As a class we created a cat and dog.  Then students were allowed to try other simple animals.  Then they turned their origami animals into a picture.  Here are just a few examples....

Dundee Art 448Dundee Art 454
Dundee Art 457
Dundee Art 451



Check out this website for more origami ideas….

Monday, April 4, 2011

Magnetic Paintings…Inspired by James Rizzi

  The past couple months I have been running an after school art class inspired by the art of James Rizzi with 3rd and 4th graders.  One project that I was excited to try was magnetic paintings.  Since I had a small class of 12 students it was feasible. 
   First we looked at some of Mr. Rizzi’s magnetic paintings (Click Here).  What is neat about these paintings is that the viewer can interact with the work.  There is a background and then several magnetic pieces that can be rearranged to make different pictures. 
  Students used a 12x18 piece of tag board and made a background.  On each back corner we added a strip of magnet.  Then using poster board the students drew and cut out accessories.  Each item also had magnets put on the back.  Then the students arranged their picture on a magnetic surface. 
Below are my students’ examples…
  If I did this project in the future I would try to use stronger magnets.  At times we had trouble getting the small pieces to stick.  Overall, I thought it was a good project, and exposed the kids to new kind or art form. 
  Soon, I will be sharing  my students' Skype interview with James Rizzi.  Once, I get the huge file to upload to YouTube Smile

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fluorescent Picasso Portraits

    My second graders just finished learning about Matisse, so Picasso worked perfectly as the next lesson.  We started by reading/watching the book When Pigasso met Mootisse. I used the video on Storyline Online (  The kids seemed to really enjoy this story.
   Next, we looked at some Picasso paintings and began our silly faces.  Once the faces were drawn, we used oil pastels, including fluorescent (a tip from a fellow teacher), a colored the whole picture.  Lastly, the kids outlined their features with black oil pastel. 
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