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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

New School Year

Welcome back to a new school year!

Clean Classroom

Origami Hanging from Ceiling

Conduct Contract taped to inside of sketchbook
Decorating the sketchbook covers with our names

Saturday, August 27, 2011


I'm on Pinterest too.... I know a lot of my art teacher friends have joined recently.   I don't think of it as one more thing online to keep up with, but just to browse through whenever I get bored!  It's a good way to see lots of inspirational photos.

Find me:

Here's some fun photos from pinterest.

Friday, August 26, 2011

First Week Books

During the first week of school I like to read books to my younger classes to introduce art. I think it is good to tie literature to all subjects and allow them to see connections through storytelling. These are ones that I am going to read this first week:


1st Grade:

2nd Grade:

3rd Grade:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

What to do with all of your kid's art?

Here is a post that I am putting on my school class website for parents:

Children are prolific artists.  I have found some interesting ways to document your child's art journey and display favorite works of art.

1.  First, you could create a book!  Take photographs of your child's drawings, sculptures and paintings and use a service like to create a photo album.  Many of your child's artworks are already photographed by me on our Artsonia gallery.  You could download the photos from there and put into a book.  I recommend using a regular digital camera to take your photos and then use the editing program on the Walgreens site to crop the photos.  Sure, it takes some time, but you could shoot a whole stack of artwork while watching your favorite tv show.   Older kids can take their own photographs.  If you have access to a scanner, you can use that too, but I find it takes more time and is much more cumbersome. 

Sources:  and JoJoebi

2.  Rotating display.  Choose your current favorites and hang.  Then, when the artwork is rotated out, decide what to do with it.  Gifts?  Scrapbook?  Store in box?

Use wire strung across a wall.  Attach colorful clips.

Source:  The Wilson World

More displays using clips, wire, boards and magnetic trays.

Source:  Style Files, A Little of This A Little of That, and Laura Winslow

3.  Frames-- Choose some of your child's favorite artworks to frame.  Go to the thrift store and find a hodge podge of interesting frames.  Spray paint the same color or leave as is. 

4.  Bulletin Board-- Very easy way to create a rotating display---  cover the bulletin board with a large piece of pretty thin fabric to make it fit in with your decor.


6.  Turn it into canvas art--- take photos of your kid's artwork, shrink them and collage them onto a canvas using Mod Podge.

Source: Decor8 blog

7.  Another example of using Mod Podge to secure a child's artwork to a canvas.

   Isn't that gorgeous???

Visit the Cheeky Kitchen blog to see a step-by-step tutorial for this. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

First Days of School

We start our teacher meetings this Thursday and Friday.  School starts this coming Monday!  I was looking back at my blog to see what I did last year on the first days of school.  I did this creativity exercise. 

I'm still up in the air about what we're going to do for the first week.  I have some good ideas, but I haven't finalized anything yet.  What are you going to do?  What have you done in the past?

Keep your eyes posted here for pictures and descriptions of what we do.

Add your link to a blog post about your first days of school, or what you did last year for your first days...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Paintings from my watercolor class

I've been taking a watercolor class this summer, which has been very useful in learning new techniques and basically how to approach painting.  Here are a few paintings that I made this summer:

I think it will be useful especially when I teach the lesson about American Landscapes.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Craft Gossip

My lesson plan is on Craft Gossip today!  Check it out. 

I'm biased.

I know I'm biased but I think my daughter has amazing artistic sense.  :)  It's so wonderful to watch her drawing.  She is so focused and intense.  Her little book is almost totally full of her colorful drawings.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Giveaway Winner

I did a random number generator and the winner of the book giveaway was #3, Stephanie!   Congrats.  Send me your address and I will send you the book.

Painting I finished...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Inspirational Book I'm "reading"

I am going through this book called The Element, by Ken Robinson.  I'm actually listening to it in my car on cd!  I find that listening to books on cd is a good way to pass the time in the car.  I've only listened to about a half an hour, but I already recommend it.  It is all about creativity, nurturing different types of intelligences, finding and developing talent and pursuing a career that utilizes all of your creative talent.  So far it is fascinating.  I heard of this book from Jessica Balsey's website, the Art of Education.  I would love to take one of her classes and I will probably do so someday. However this year I already have all of my professional development workshops and conventions lined up, but maybe next summer.  Have you read anything good lately?

Don't forget to sign up for a chance to win an art teacher book!!  There are only 3 people signed up so far, so your odds are pretty good :)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Book Review!

Here is a really cool book I found. It's called "Willy Whyner, Cloud Designer."  I'm not really sure how I would use this in the classroom, but the pictures are awesome.  It's about a boy who's a dreamer and thinks about clouds.  Then he goes into the business of designing clouds.

Look!  His parents look like the people from American Gothic!

Clouds in the sky!

A moon cloud!  A whale cloud!

Even advertising clouds!

Don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a cool art book:  Teaching Art with Books that Kids Love.  Click here.

If you want to see this book, go to amazon:

Friday, August 5, 2011

Giveaway, Part 2

Part 2 of my Giveways starts now!  I am cleaning out my book shelves.  Several of the books I have are duplicates from my home collection with the ones my school has.  Since I have reached 200 followers, I want to thank the people that read and respond to my posts and contribute awesome blog posts in return.  Even if you have never commented before, now is your chance.  If you would like a chance to win this book, I will randomly pick a winner next week Friday.  Simply leave a comment to be entered in the drawing.  U.S. and Canada only please.  The giveaway is for the book Let's Meet Famous Artists (seen to the left).

And because I need to have a picture in my posts:  here's your photo for the day:

Summertime Funtime at the Fair

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Changing and how you communicate

I changed the look of my home page on this blog and changed the title to "Art is Basic"... the url will remain the same, because I figure I don't want to change that and have people be confused.  

I also updated my school's art page.  I changed the whole look of it and deleted all the old posts from last year, so it's ready for a fresh new start. You can see that here:

What do you all have on your website for parents and students?  Or, is your blog your website?  Would you mind posting your school art website below, so I can see what you do?  My blog posts are more conversational/how to's and just in order by date.. the updates for my school website are divided by class and more organized.   I do a lot of copy and pasting though, so it doesn't take too long to update both.  I really don't know how many parents actually look at the art page website.  I also put up a lot of artwork on and the parents often comment to me about that, so I know people do appreciate that gallery of art. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Winner of Giveaway

I did a random number generator, and GirlChris3 was the winner.  Yay!  Send me your address and I will send you the book.    Another giveaway will go up soon.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Last day to comment

Last day to comment on this giveaway post for a chance to win an art teacher book!

greeting card I've been working on


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