Thursday, December 27, 2012

Let It Snow ....

 Well, looks like we'll have to be a little more creative in this part of the country. With December quickly departing and not a flake in sight, we will be inspired by the works of North Georgia folk artist Mattie Lou O'Kelly (1908 -1997.)

After studying the human figure through gesture drawings, fourth grade students will use paper to create collage children enjoying a snowy hillside in different activities such as sledding, snowman building, and snowball fighting.

Check back later for the finished project.

Friday, December 14, 2012

A Little Clay Project

K-2 got a little added treat right here before our Winter Break and got to work a little with clay.

Kindergarten and First graders discussed the texture of clay and worked to form a ball and then flatten it out to a smooth even disc. Clay tools, as well as found objects, were used to create a charming snow man. Finger painting helped us get just the right look. We even worked on letter identification by adding our names with alphabet pasta which burned away when the clay was fired in the kiln. (I colored over the names near the bottom before publishing.)

Second graders worked on creating an even rope of clay and then coiled it to make a disc. Clay tools were used on the back to join the coils so that they would not separate as the clay dried. A tree shape was cut from the disc and the other two pieces were joined by scoring and slipping. After the pieces were dried and fired, the students used glittery tempera paint to add details. Some trees were covered with snow while others were decorated for the holidays. The other projects became leaves or fancy old-fashioned ornaments. Needless to say, the kiln was busy and we had a great time with 2 favorites . . . paint and clay. Thanks to Mrs. Carter at HSES for sharing this lesson.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Nature Silhouettes

3rd graders have been studying positive and negative space and using space within a composition. We experimented with liquid watercolors in abstract / nonobjective paintings after viewing and discussing several examples. Next, we looked at silhouettes of plants and animals that we might see around our own homes. Each student worked to incorporate silhouetted shapes that considered the entire space in the composition.



Monday, December 3, 2012

First Grade Architects

Inspired by the works of American architect Frank Gehry, we created blueprints by stamping with white paint. We thought of the basic shapes that you find in architecture. After the paint was dry, we added color and pattern with oil pastels to let the builder know exactly how we wanted our structures to look. Some students threw convention to the wind and created  fantastical designs while others were a bit more restrained. Either way, it was a great way to learn about the legendary architect as well as work with some fun materials.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

New Use for Old Technology

When the elementary art teachers in the district were asked to donate some student-made ornaments for the holiday tree at the board office, I went searching through the cupboards to see what we had. I must have had a visible light bulb above my head just like in the cartoons when I saw 100's of empty ready mount slides. With a quick trip to the workroom recycling bin, I found scrap laminating film and cut it to just larger than the slide window. After I tried to explain what a slide was (haha,) fourth grade students used glue, wire, beads, and Sharpies to create these wonderful minis. I can't wait to them on the tree with the lights behind them.


I am also looking forward to seeing what ideas my creative fellow art educators came up with. I've heard hints of some birds made from scrap wood. I guess I will have to wait and be surprised.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Feels Like Fall

With a cool nip in the air and Mother Nature putting on her annual show, the art teacher's fancy turned to fall for inspiration. We were also inspired by students' works from Mrs. Knight's class at Dolvin Elementary.

Sunflowers are by 3rd graders with attention to texture and radial balance.

Fourth graders first worked on drawing fruits and vegetables from observation but then we took artistic liberty and experimented with water color paints. Our fall inspired projects will be on display when we have visitors on this Thursday for our Thanksgiving Feast and later in the evening for our Science and Literacy Night.


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Story Character Pumpkins

As a fundraiser for a local charity, homeroom classes decorated pumpkins as their favorite story book characters. Students and parents will be able visit the media center and vote a penny a vote through November 15th, our Science and Literacy Family Night.

Although I don't have a homeroom, I couldn't miss the opportunity to extend the art curriculum into the celebration. I chose Vincent van Gogh as my character (artistic liberty, of course.) Many of the students are familiar with his style and work, especially his sunflower still lifes and Starry Night.

The pumpkin is displayed with the others but is not officially in the competition. I still come out the winner because it offers students and parents an opportunity to talk about art outside the art room.


Veterans Day ... A Time to Remember

Now that most of the talk of the presidential election is behind us (yes, even our youngest citizens are full of opinions and debate,) it is nice to have a time of unity. With a theme of patriotism, we honor and celebrate our heroes who have fought and are fighting for the rights and freedoms that we enjoy every day.

Thank you, Veterans!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Take Me To Your Leader

Second graders did an out-of-this-world job on painting robots. Thanks to Mr. Post at for the great lesson.

After reviewing/comparing/contrasting shape and form as two of the elements of art, we worked on using highlights and shadows to create the illusion of depth. With a little bit of artistic know how, flat shapes became forms and our robots seemed to jump off the page. The students enjoyed putting on the final touches to make each robot unique.

I loved it when many 3rd graders said,
"Why didn't we get to do that last year?"

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

If the Shoe Fits...

Fifth graders have been working on a drawing unit focusing on observation and proportion.

After a review of contour drawing, the students completed both blind and regular contour drawings concentrating on careful observation.

Our shoes were the subject of our next class where students strived for realism and life-sized contour drawings.

Looking at proportion/scale, we used viewfinders to isolate interesting compositions within the shoe drawing. The small compositions were then enlarged to experiment with how a small part could be made larger and more important. We relied a lot on our math skills as we estimated 1/4 and 1/2 to help with "guideposts" for placement of lines and shapes.

The completed compositions were often abstract. We capitalized by tracing our lines and using primary and secondary colored watercolors to paint the shapes. The students felt very successful and enjoyed the drawing unit.






Tuesday, October 9, 2012


OKthat song reference probably dates me but color and feelings has been the emphasis with Kindergarten through Second Grade as Ms. Webster, our UGA student teacher, worked with the students over the past few weeks.

She introduced the idea by reading Dr. Seuss' last published book. His widow chose the husband and wife team Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher to illustrate the story. Although he had written it many years before his passing, Dr. Seuss believed that only a painter could capture the "feeling" of the story.

Kindergarteners identified the primary colors and matched feelings to each. We also worked on tracing, cutting, and gluing skills.

First Graders took inspiration from the story and brainstormed how animals (and people) show their emotions through their facial expressions and body language. All of this was used to create animal portraits. Artist statements were completed to share why the animals had the shared feelings.

The cheeda is mad because something hurched him. 

The horse is sad because he has no fraends to play with.

The lion is happy because yellow is the color of a real lion.


Second graders created self-portraits with mixed up feelings. The students used mirrors to observe how the eyes, brows, and mouth change to express different feelings associated with the primary and secondary colors. Artist statements shared the emotions and a time when the student felt that emotion.

mad and jealous
sad and happy

happy and sad


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Square 1 Art

We are all reviewing the Elements of Art as students at each grade level incorporate them into different projects. This is the biggest art program fundraiser and the support of families and friends is always great. Look for personalized packets at the end of October with products delivered to school in late November.  Just in time for holiday gift giving! 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Welcome Back

Looking forward to seeing all your smiling faces at
 Meet the Teacher and the first day of school.
I hope that you have had a great summer.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Last Day of School

Well, it is here.
With portfolios and pottery taken home, the art room is looking a bit bare. I've already started a folder for next year and put up table signs ready for August 8th. See you soon and have a great summer break!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Pure Joy!

Had to share more of the face jugs.
Too awesome to keep to myself. 

Not a face... but beautiful.

 Next Load to Fire.
Patiently waiting for Monday.