This blog is intended to encourage others on their journey into their creative "artscape". I have enjoyed many years as an artist learner, creator, and teacher. Life is inspiring, and I want to share the vantage point that I have been fortunate enough to view life from. I want to move a smidge over, and invite you to sit right next to me, and enjoy a 360 degree view of my "artscape". Join me in discovering and uncovering the creative soul that we all possess.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

open house/ Middle School Art

Instructor:  Mrs. Julia Garnett

Building:  Western Middle School


Other:  Please contact me by email or phone.  The best time to call is after school.  I am also available from 12:56- 1:44 PM most days.  

Course Description:

Students will utilize a variety of media to create works of art.  Media includes, but is not limited to:  Pencil, colored pencil, acrylic paint, watercolor paint, ink, oil pastel, chalk pastel, and clay.  Students will learn about the Elements and Principles of Design, as well as some color theory, and art history.

Essential Learning Expectations:

Students will learn basic art skills, and proper use and care of art tools.

Students will learn how to plan, execute, and critique an art project.

Students will be expected to know the terminology and use of the following Elements of Design:  Line, Shape, Form, Value, Color, Texture, Space.

Text used and other recommended materials:

Students should come to class each day with a pencil.  Students will also need a 3- fastener folder. 


Student grades will be comprised from projects and participation.  Grades for art projects will be based on a set of requirements given for each assignment.  Requirements will include completion, meeting the deadline, creative use of limitations and peramiters, line quality, design elements, neatness and presentation.

Letter grades will be assigned by the scale below:

100- 91.5 = A 87.4- 81.5 = B 77.4- 71.5 = C 67.4- 61.5 = D
91.4- 89.5 = A- 81.4- 79.5 = B- 71.4- 69.5 = C- 61.4- 59.5 = D-
89.4- 87.5 = B+ 79.4- 77.5 = C+ 69.4- 67.5 = D+ 59.4- 0      = E

Grades will be rounded up only to the tenth place during this calculation.  Students will only earn a passing grade for a marking period if they achieve at or above 59.45% which rounds to 59.5%.

Classroom Management Plan:

The art classroom emphasizes the Nurtured Heart approach.  This approach focuses on positivity in the classroom, with little energy spent on negative behavior.  When a student misbehaves, the student will be given a “reset”.  A reset is essentially a time-out.  The student is then “welcomed” back to class.  For a continuous misbehavior, a written reset (a chance for the student to contemplate his or her actions) will be assigned.  

If misbehavior continues to be a problem, the student will write a “Behavior Improvement Plan”.  Plans are to be signed by a parent and brought back to school the following day.  If the Plan is not signed and returned the next day, the student will receive a lunch detention and a call home.

Students in the art classroom are responsible for set up, care, and clean up of materials.  Students will be expected to maintain their personal workspace, and storage space.  It should be neat and in order.  They will work at group tables, and are expected to cooperate, and complete tasks in a prompt and appropriate manner. They are expected to remain on task during class, and may not disrupt the creative flow of others.    All students will be expected to take pride in the maintenance of the art room, and take care of each shared area such as sinks, cutting station, glue station, etc. 

In addition, all Western Middle School Building rules apply in the art classroom.  Students will be respectful, responsible, and ready.

Students will be referred to the principal if he/she has behavior issues listed in the Middle School Handbook.

Additional Classroom Information:

Due to the nature of the art projects assigned, attendance is extremely important.  Many projects are very difficult to “make- up” or “catch- up” outside of class.  Individual cases will be determined as necessary.

Use of personal technology (phones, ipods, mp3 players, etc.) are to be kept in student lockers. Music players may be allowed with special permission on days determined as rewards or celebrations.  The school is not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged personal technology.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Creativity- A peek into my process

I am studying and thinking some more about creativity.  
I want to share a few postings about my creative process as things occur throughout the next few weeks. I have been told that I'm creative, but I truly think everyone is creative, I am not particularly special in this category. I watch people do things all the time that would never occur to me, if I'm so creative, why couldn't I have thought of that???. 
I am amazed at the creativity I see on the internet, aren't we all saying "Who thinks of these things?!" all the time?
I will say that I have allowed myself the gift of time to create, and to think creatively. I have made a daily habit of creating. I am about the businesss of being creative. I am not afraid to take chances and make things that don't matter to anyone but me. But, I'm ready to grow, I want to know more about it. I want to get better. I want my work to become more creative, 
So, my first step is to notice my own creative thoughts throughout the day- and perhaps point out to you that you have many creative moments too- maybe you just never thought of them as especially "creative".
Creativity is basically problem solving. Here's my "for instance" for the day:
I have a problem that has nothing to do with art but takes a little creative problem solving:  One of the blades on my food processor broke at the top. My processor is about 30 years old- but it is my kitchen buddy, I don't want to part with it easily. I depend on it daily.
I looked up on the internet costs of new processors- whoaaaa. I am a starving artist, can't afford one right now.
I looked up replacing the blade. I couldn't believe it! It costs almost as much as buying a whole new processor! Yikes! and, besides, what kind of people collect old blades?... not sure I want to deal with them.
I can use my blender, my mixer, my knife, etc. instead of a processor and get along without one, Yeah, right!!! gasp.

So.... I'm trying my jewelry glue (is that wise with food??? is it toxic??) to glue it back together. This may not seem like creativity, but it really is. It's the same process I go through when I make something. 
Step one: State the problem
Step two: Brainstorm solutions
Step three: Pick a solution and try it!
Now, I realize this may, or may not work. I don't know if it will hold, or if it will poison us. We will see. After it's dry I'll try it to make some guacamole- I picked some beautiful little cherry tomatoes from the garden this morning, and my avocados are ripe.

Blade from food processor and the glue I used to put the top back together.
Next problem- Sooooo... while I was twisting the cap back onto the glue, the cap broke. The glue was still coming out, and was now all stuck to my fingers. Raise your hand if you hate that feeling of having no feeling in your fingers when they are coated with intense glue. So, I covered the tip of the glue with aluminum foil while I washed my hands off. While at the kitchen sink I notice those beautiful tomatoes- so I rinsed them off and while I thought about my broken cap. I don't know what it is about me and caps- I seem to break them a lot. I usually use foil or plastic with rubberbands to keep the cap covered. 
Duh- it ocurrs to me that I can glue it together! 
Step one: Problem- broken cap
Step two: Brain storm solutions- different ways to keep the tube sealed so the glue won't dry out.
Step three: Try it- I glued it back together, and reglued my fingers, sigh, and waited about 15 minutes to twist the cap back on. I hope I didn't twist it on too soon or I'll be back to step one with a new problem.

Now, while I had the glue uncovered, after I rinsed off the tomatoes, and while I was waiting for the cap to dry.... I noticed my mail on the countertop. I decided to make a ring out of the Matisse face ( or is it a Picasso face?) from the Museum Membership card. :) Isn't it cute? I love it. 
Ring made from museum mail.
But again I had a new problem. I needed somewhere to set the ring to dry- it had to be flat so the resin wouldn't slide off. So, I stuck the in the gap on the scissors.

drying the ring in the gap on the scissors
Now, all this gluing made my nose run- you know how strong that smell is! So, I used the last tissue in the box and discovered, much to my delight, the box has shiny insides! Hooray for shiny interiors!
This is just the kind of thing that really inspires me! LOVE, love, LOVE this kind of surprise, don't you! Now I have a fun problem for my mind to really roll around with!
1. Problem: What kind of artwork will I use this in????
2. Brainstorm: I don't have words yet for everything that is flying around in my head! Everything is out there and hasn't been reeled in to verbal form at all. Some creative process just flows around in a blurr. That's when you need to rinse tomatoes, make guacamole, go swing in a swing- stuff like that slows it down and sorts it out, do you know what I mean? If you get what I am saying here, then you have a pretty good grasp on creativity already.
3. Solution: It's still mixing around in the mental blender, but I'll try to get back with you on this one.

Tissue Box with shiny interior.
When I took the box to my dining room table to take a picture of it, I noticed my cute little paintings I am working on. I'll be working on them after dinner. I will make my next post about the steps I took to get to this point.
One of nine small paintings I'm working on.
See the orange 9? under the shoe line drawing?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Observational drawing of simple 3D shapes

using simple forms to set up personal still life
teacher example of open design

Elementary students are enjoying setting up their own still life and trying to draw 3D forms.
Student drawing

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

making color books

Simple color books are fun to make.

I'm cutting out pictures from art catalogues to add to the pages.

Color Math

Thursday, March 8, 2012

LOVE when students...

LOVE when students add their own flare!
This student added a zombie on the windowsill of a Matisse style sketch :)

LOVE when students leave their tray super neat for the next class!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Still Life

This is a still life I created in honor of my grandmothers.
Each item belonged to one of them. I used a bible verse with special personal meaning to me.
"The pearl of great Price".
Julia Garnett
March 2012
Grade Level: 1-5
Subject: Elementary Art 
Duration: 40 minute class period
Lesson One- Still Life (possible 5 student points)
For Review-
Books:  Dropping in On Series (Warner), Artist Workshop Series (Parma), Drawing Series- (Take a photo or video of the section in the library where students can find the book.)
Websites:  Fugleflicks- I am Art, Colors! Colors!, Robot Clean Up, Songs in the Key of Art, Pinterest (my teaching art board)
Key Vocabulary: foreground, midground, background, overlapping
Element of Design:line, space, shape, form, value 
Principle of Design: variety, repitition
  • Still Life
Objectives and Goals: cognitive, affective, psychomotor 
The student will be able to recognize and identify a picture as a still life.
The student will be able to create a still life.
State Standards:

Bloom’s Taxonomy: 
I am using the new version, noted here. 
Remember: Do you have some favorite things that you play with, or that remind you of a special place, or a special person?  Would like to be able to make a picture of those things?
Understand: What are some elements you expect to see in a still life? 
Apply: What would you like to include in the still life you are going to create?
Analyze: Name some techniques that artists use to make their pictures look realistic.
Evaluate: Looking at the pictures in the slideshow, do you think the artist used some of the techniques that we have discussed? Which ones? 
Create: Create a 2D and a 3D still life using the techniques for creating the illusion of form. (shading, relative size, overlapping, etc.)
Multiple Intelligence: 
Spatial- fitting name on paper, using whole paper, creating the illusion of depth
Linguistic- discussion time, write an artist statement
Logical-mathematical-  groups of 4 or 5, pair with a partner, divide into 6 tables, divide up the “jobs”, pass out corresponding paper, countdown to silence, digital timer for countdown to “time’s up”, paper folding-cutting-dividing paper, one point perspective 
Bodily-kinesthetic- younger students begin class with physical activities such as “sky writers”, and “do what I do”, end class with “painters and statues game” or Colors! Colors! active song, cutting, gluing, coloring, drawing
Musical- listen to music during studio time, music for alarm, sing-song for reminders such as name on paper etc., art videos such as Songs in the Key of Art, Fugleflicks- song “I am Art”
Interpersonal- discuss (knee to knee) with a peer, “what are some items that are special to you that you could include in a still life”?
Intrapersonal- personal interpretation of assignment, adding elements to their work that make in meaningful to themselves
Naturalistic- inspired by nature, flowers and fruit in traditional still life
Anticipatory Set Artist Workshop Time (5 minutes):
Remember the “I Can Draw” pages? Remember drawing the still life?
Do you have favorite things? What would you include in a still life?
Direct Instruction (2 minutes):
  • Explain the elements of a still life.
  • Steps to follow for 5 points.
1. Turn paper the vertical direction. Using pencil write your first and last name at the bottom, back of the page. Write your art address
2. Draw a still life in the style of Matisse. Include table, vase of flowers, bowl of fruit, window.
3. Use the entire page. Draw large.
4. Add details. Use at least two values. Use outlining and overlapping. Work neatly.
5. Artist Statement
Closure (2 minutes):
  • Students should reflect and review the elements and vocabulary words used in a still life.
  • Students will think about whether they included these elements in their still life picture.
  • Simple and quick Check for understanding: Thumbs up if you drew a table, bowl of fruit, vase of flowers, window.
Guided Practice (5 minutes):
    • Demonstrate drawing a still life using the document camera.
Independent Practice Artist Studio Time (10 minutes):
    • Create a still life
    • *Reminder- Head Heart Hands
    1. Head- We put our head into our art work. We think about our work, and put our minds into it. Our ideas matter.
    2. Heart- We put our heart into our art work. We care about our work, and make things that are meaningful to us. What we love matters. 
    3. Hands- We put our hands into our art work. We use our skills, and do our best. Working carefully matters.
  We are productive. We are proud of our artwork.
Required Materials and Equipment:
  • Paper
  • Crayons, pencils
  • multi-media: computer, projector, document camera, videos, music player, digital timer
Clean Up (5 minutes):
    • Students will return pencils, crayons to bin.
    • Table manager will return portraits to table.
Assessment and Follow-Up Artist Critique Time (5 minutes):
  • Did students complete each of the 5 steps for 5 possible points?
  • Students will be able to retell or explain still life.
  • Critique:  
      1. Students will walk by the display of their work and consider what they did well and what they could do to improve.
      2. Students will “show and tell” about their work, either to another student, to their group, or to the class.
Did the class receive their points for the Class “Scoreboard”.

Points Possible
Points Received
Class Time

Artist Workshop 
Class will listen attentively to the speaker. 

Artist Studio
Class will cooperate with others at their table. They will put their “Head, Heart, Hands” into their work. They will strive to complete  all points for each assignment.

Clean Up
Class will cooperate with others at their table to complete all clean up jobs assigned. They will meet the 2 minute challenge calmly, and efficiently.

Artist Critique
Class will think about whether or not they have completed the expectations for the assignment. They will assess their work and think about improvements for future assignments. Class will listen attentively to the speaker when it is a Presentation Critique. 

Presentation, Video, Ppt., etc.
Class will look and listen attentively to the speaker, video, or slide show.
Required Materials and Equipment:
  • Video ““I am Art” on Fugleflicks
  • Ppt. still life
  • White paper
  • Crayons, glue, construction paper, scissors
  • Book- Matisse
Clean Up (5 minutes):
    • Students will return pencils, crayons, and all materials to appropriate places.
    • Table manager will return folders.
    • Wash tables.
Assessment and Follow-Up Artist Critique Time (5 minutes):
  • Did students complete each of the 5 steps for 5 possible points?
  • Students will be able to tell one way to create the illusion of space.
  • Critique- The still lifes will be spread out on a table. Students will walk by the display and consider what they did well and what they could do to improve.
“Springboard” References for future lesson:
  • Pinterest (my teaching art board- landscapes)
Western Schools Elementary Art Rubric

Elementary Art Rubric

Grade Earned
(as shown on Western Schools report card)
Work Ethic
I produce high quality/creative work. I receive the full 5 points possible on my assignments. 
I produce acceptable work. I receive at least 3 out of 5 points possible on my assignments.
 I produce work of inconsistent quality, or no work. I receive 0 to 2 points out of 5  possible on my assignments.
I apply all skills, especially those stressed for the assignment.
I apply some of the skills that are expected for the assignment.
I rarely apply the expected skills for the assignment.
I participate in class and use time well.
I usually participate and use time well.
I sometimes, or never participate and use time well.
I cooperate with the teacher and with my peers.
I usually cooperate with the teacher and with my peers.
I sometimes, or rarely cooperate with the teacher and with my peers.
I solve problems and work independently.
I sometimes solve problems and work independently.
I rarely, or never work independently or solve problems.

Lesson #
5 Minute Mini Lesson
Main Content
Review Class Procedures- slide show
Create Matisse Still Life
ART.I.VA.EL.3 Use visual characteristics and organizational principles of art to communicate ideas. 
Review Point System
Continue Matisse Still Life adding color
ART.II.VA.EL.1 Apply knowledge of materials, techniques, and processes to creative artwork.
Essential Question-
Why would artists create still life paintings?
Vocabulary- value, shading, shape, form
Begin Still Life with observational drawings of shapes.
ART.III.VA.EL.2 Identify various purposes for creating works for visual art.
ART.V.VA.EL.1 Explain how visual arts have inherent relationships to everyday life.

Element of Design- Color Wheel, Primary colors, line, shape, form
Continue Observational Still Life
ART.I.VA.EL.3 Use visual characteristics and organizational principles of art to communicate ideas. 
Art History- Matisse, Cezanne
Continue Still Life artwork
ART.IV.VA.EL.1 Know that the visual arts have a history and specific relationships to various cultures.
ART.IV.VA.EL.2 Identify specific works of art as belonging to particular cultures, times, and places.
Use of Materials- Using glue stick and scissors
Begin creating a 3-D still life
ART.I.VA.EL.1 Use materials, techniques, media technology, and processes to communicate ideas and experiences.
ART.I.VA.EL.2 Use art materials and tools safely and responsibly.

Cultural Art- Dutch Art and the symbolic meaning
Continue 3-D still life
ART.IV.VA.EL.1 Know that the visual arts have a history and specific relationships to various cultures.
ART.IV.VA.EL.2 Identify specific works of art as belonging to particular cultures, times, and places.
Careers in Art
discuss Designers and Artist role in still life
ART.V.VA.EL.2 Identify various careers in the visual arts.

Artist Statements
Create Artist Statements
ART.V.VA.EL.3 Understand and use comparative characteristics of the visual arts and other arts disciplines.
ART.V.VA.EL.4 Identify connections between the visual arts and other disciplines in the curriculum.
Critique/ Rubric/ Assessment/Presentations/Display
Final Critiques, and Assessments
ART.I.VA.EL.4 Be involved in the process and presentation of a final product or exhibit.