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.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


I'm experimenting with video in the art room. I got a little video camera from the tech dept to use. Mike told me it was so easy a first grader could do it- so maybe I could even do it! ha ha Today we took our first "how to" videos. I could never have expected how inspiring it would be to the students. The students who made their videos today were amazing! We have a video of how to make a clay person, how to draw santa, how to draw a car, how to draw a "chain inside of a chain"... Now, I just have to figure out how to post them so you can see them!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Christmas gifts

Have you thought about using your art to give as gifts for Christmas? Prints, cards, and tiles made from your work might make nice gifts. Think about it. It's personal, and doesn't have to be very expensive. You can print at home if you have the right set up- or use an office store. Buy a frame at a place like Michaels, JoAnne Fabrics, Hobby Lobby, or Walmart- they have great deals this time of year!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

more from the art room...

My students love to make "temporary displays" like these whiteboards and geoboards they leaned against the marker ledge.  Notice the timeline below- we stick famous artwork that we have talked about on our art timeline.

Modeling clay is also popular for "temporary displays". Here we have twisted clay in an interesting composition.

A tray full of clay on display.

A pinch pot nest and a chain out of modeling clay.
A First grader inspired by the still life.

More clay creations!
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Friday, November 19, 2010

What kids create

Kids love to use the whiteboard! This is a picture of a "mean girl" taking a pizza away from another girl! 

A child's interpretation of the flamingo by Audobon.
poster of flamingo by Audobon 
Child's interpretation of a Stella- This has been a very popular art card to draw, I'm not really sure why... 

We have had a lot of crayon resists lately at the painting studio.

Enter a Show- Cross your Fingers

Neighbors (diptych)
Acrylic painting on stretched canvas
H 48”
W 72”
D 1 ½”
Four Cupcakes
Acrylic painting on stretched canvas
H 40”
W 32”
D1 ½”
Acrylic painting on stretched canvas
W 40”
D 1 ½”
 This is what my reference sheet looks like- but I don't think the pics are coming through. You can see the paintings on
It's so hard to decide what shows to enter. I spend more money than I should already on my materials for my artwork- then add the expense of entering shows, and phew- no wonder I'm always broke.
I'm learning all the time how to do more of the process myself, or with the help of my wonderful family. Last night we took pictures of my work and Cara's work that we wanted to enter in the latest local show. My reference sheet probably doesn't look quite as professional as a few I've done before- but we did it ourselves, so I saved money!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

tricks of the trade- kid inspired

a girl's face created from strips of paper and yarn
a student finished this at home and brought it back to class
student developed technique for planning colors
tracing by the window lightThis student brought in some animal outlines that they had traced onto notebook paper. They retraced them onto plain drawing paper by using the light of the window. They are going to color and paint these drawings.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

art videos

At our school we have access to videos on United Streaming.
Today I discovered another site that has short educational art videos:
Do any of you have some good sites that you use in teaching art, or in developing your own work?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Roses- drawn on wallpaper
These will probably be some of the last roses of the season, but you never really know do you... I wanted to capture them before the snow comes. We've had some frost, but I still have roses- and it's Halloween! I'm always amazed at how hardy some flowers are. This drawing is done with sharpie on wallpaper. I think I like drawing and painting on wallpaper- we had a bunch of it in the basement, and I decided to test it out and see how I like it. This one has a really great texture to it- very fun to draw on!
another photo- ready to paint
Carolyn, my mother-in-law, is very creative. She is really into clay reliefs this year. She is 80 years old and still working on her art! She really loves paper clay and has enjoyed many hours working on her pictures. My daughter, Cara, got her going on this media. They've had a lot of fun working on their art together. Carolyn also gets together with her friend Bonnie to work on art together. What a great hobby! We all love her creations.
sunflower relief

in progress- this is the tray Carolyn uses. She sits in a recliner with this tray in her lap and she works on her art while she watches TV. 

Nymph sculpture by Cara

Bee Nymph
 My daughter, Cara, is a Nanny. But, her college degrees are in Art administration and sculpture. She is extremely creative. She loves being a nanny for now- it's a great job, and she has some time for art.
I thought you might like to see some of the sculptures that she left at my house. They are made from floral foam and paper clay. One of my favorites is the Bee Nymph. She has some high fashion designs that she is working on currently- they are lovely. I hope to show you soon. All sculptures are for sale. She has sold some for about $40.
Water Nymphs

Some of Cara's supplies-
inspiration albums, and bag of floral foam...

Image representing Etsy as depicted in CrunchBaseImage via CrunchBase
I just spent an hour looking at Etsy. Do you ever look at this site. I find it so inspirational! You can find so many fabulous handmade items. I think the pictures of the items are a treat to look at. So many great ideas for how to photograph your work. It makes me want to make something creative, NOW!
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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Time to Paint: Halloween Feast! Yum!

Time to Paint: Halloween Feast! Yum!

Time to Paint: Drawing of the Halloween Dance

Halloween drawing from last year- thought I'd post it again :) Happy Halloween! Time to Paint: Drawing of the Halloween Dance

Busy students

Here is a sampling of what has been happening in the art studios! I love watching what the students come up with when they are allowed a little freedom of choice, and they are empowered to be in charge of their own  learning.
Constructing with cardboard at the Build Studio

The student titled these, "Statue of Liberty" and "Cat Statue of Liberty" :)

This student chose to use a picture book for reference at the clay station.
They were very inspired by the clay reliefs in this book.

When this student couldn't remember how to mix the secondary colors, they reread "Mouse Paint".

Collage inspired by Matisse.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Painting Styles

The Mona Lisa (or La Joconde, La Gioconda).Image via Wikipedia
Tip of the day: Don't be in a hurry to determine your painting style. This takes time. There are so many styles to choose from across the spectrum, from the very loose and painterly, to tight and smooth brush strokes; from bright color palettes to neutrals; from large paintings to the very tiny; from abstract to realistic... It's difficult to choose what style suits you. Think about what you are most drawn to, what do you admire, what would you most like to spend time looking at? Think about your personality- are you pensive, sparkly, social, or more of a loner? Do you like to take your time, or do you tend to rush through things? Are you more analytical, or emotional? All of these aspects of your personality will play into your painting. They naturally come out in your work. The better you know yourself, the easier it might be to choose a style for yourself, but try your hand at everything you can!  Enjoy the journey of discovering yourself as a painter, have fun trying new and differing techniques. You might be surprised by what you like to do.
Who knows, maybe you will paint the next Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci, or the next Blue Poles by Jackson Pollock?
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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Studio Menus

I thought you might like to see a sample of menus I made for my students to use in their Studios. I have set up 6 studios for them to work at: Build, Paint, Study, Draw, Clay, Collage  Each studio has a variety of materials and inspirations.  I am using TAB (teaching for artistic behavior) ideas.  I have really enjoyed watching the students create this year. It's pretty amazing what they come up with!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Still Life arrangement

These are some of the objects I added at the drawing station. The students could rearrange them if they wanted to for their drawing. This was how I found them after one class. I thought it was interesting that they set it up like this. I don't think I would have ever thought of this arrangement!

Collage Kids!

Collage by Student

Henri Matisse, 1933, photo by Carl Van VechtenImage via Wikipedia
Here is a collage by a student in my art class. I love to see what kids come up with when they are supplied with scissors, paper, and glue. They are so natural in their concepts, color, and balance. They don't use any pencils at this station- it is just cutting and gluing.  They learned about Matisse for inspiration.
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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Complement Compliment

probably Claude Boutet's 7-color and 12-color ...Image via Wikipedia
I love the complementary colors this time of year!
Tip of the day- notice the complementary colors (across the color wheel) all around you this season. As the leaves turn I am noticing the deep contrast of shadow and color everywhere. This is always a time of year to marvel at the beauty of nature. How can it be so amazing every year? Later in the season the color becomes more subtle, subdued, and neutral. I'm so lucky to live where there are 4 Seasons.
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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Get your Glow On

At the start of the school day my student teacher and I were headed to the art room when one of our young students stopped us and said that there was a "glow on" our leaves.  I didn't know what he meant and asked him to show us. He was right! There was a glow on our leaves! The room was dark and the light was coming through the window in just the right way- it lit up the bag of leaves that my student teacher was using for a project. It was magical!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Underwater Sculpture
Check this out! It's a beautiful underwater sculptures.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

New school, starting again- deja vu

 Castle created and displayed by art students at the clay station.

Monday I started at my next building.  I had 4 weeks at my first 2 buildings- now I am starting over at another building. More than 200 students a day, over 400 in the building. 9 classes a day. This building is Young 5's to 5th grade.  The Young 5's come in for just 15 minutes! The other classes are 35 minutes.  I feel like its a rush all day long. I haven't got the room even all set up yet.  I will be here for 4 weeks, then I will move to the next building and start again!