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, January 16, 2011

adorable horses from

Gennine's Art Blog-
Love this blog -check it out!
These sweet donkeys remind me of my horse Desi!

Illustration Friday - "Communication"
In other news...My friend Carla Sonheim is having her super fun
Silly Online Drawing Classes in Spanish!
contributed a couple of my watercolors for Carla's "Drawing Lab" book last year.
Para todos mis queridos lectores de habla hispana:
Mi amiga Carla Sonheim va a impartir una clase de dibujo online en Español!
Si están interesados en participar, hagan click aquí para obtener más información.
*The beautiful Donkeys were made by Carla :)

that artist woman and another cool lesson

wowie kazowie! love the results of this lesson!

"Postcard from Paris" Valentine

I've been putting together a few projects for St. Valentine's Day and this is one of them. A vintage looking photograph/ postcard idea.

- watercolor or heavy paper
- white and black paper scraps
- black and white tempera paint
- pieces of corrugated cardboard
- red felt
- template (Paris Postcard)
- glue
- bubble wrap
- fine black sharpie
- glue
- photo

Mask off your paper to get a nice finished edge.  Draw in a faint horizon line and paint the sky with a light grey.
Using a Kleenex light off some clouds while the paint is still wet.
Put in a few drops of color into your clouds for some contrast.
Using a darker grey shade paint in the ground and add a few shapes into the background, they look like blurry trees or buildings in the background.
You can add some texture using a piece of bubble wrap.

Now I'm planning to do this with Grade 2 so I needed an easy way to make an Eiffel Tower.  This is where the cardboard comes in.  You need a variety of sizes to construct your tower.  There is black tempera in the plate and you will be using the side of the cardboard to make your print.
Taking a long piece curve it slightly so it flares out on the bottom and stamp in one side of your tower.
Do the same for the other side.  You can always add some extra length to the bottom to make your tower bigger.
Now you need to add the 3 levels......

With a fine sharpie you can add a few details to your tower.
Now you can borrow my templates but it would be great to get your students to draw out their figures. Use your photo for the face if you wish.
Add some details to the clothing.  I want the kids to keep to the black and white theme.
Glue into place and add a red heart for that punch of color.  I'm using some red felt cutouts I got from the dollar store.

The last thing the kids have to add is the "From Paris with Love" and that's it.  I will mount them on black paper so they look like an old fashioned photograph.

See you soon.

This is a wonderful post from

Handwork, in the traditional sense, are activities such as sewing, darning, mending, embroidery, weaving and knitting.   One of my Waldorf mentors told me that handwork is deeply related to the development of morality.   Just watch a five year old sew!  It is magical!  But I also think that all acts of creation by the use of the hands is handwork!  Joseph Chilton Pearce said that the fingers were the eyes of the heart.   I loved this!   It is so true - I see children love the process of learning when they get hands-on and dig in!  Taking children away from hand-based activities, we take away a child's access to an education with heart.  Pencil and paper is not handwork - it is intellectual work.  This is not bad - it just isn’t what engages the heart.

Frank Wilson, in his book "The Hand: How It's Use Shapes the Brain, Language, and Human Culture" traces the pivotal place of the human hand and the amazing opposable thumb in the evolution of the species.  The density of the nerve ending in the fingers is mind boggling.  When engaged in lively hand activities, the neural pathways of learning are laid down in the brain that will serve the child for the rest of their life! Until recent history, children were taught to plow, sow, weed, cultivate, harvest, grind, bake, care for the animals and more!  These were meaningful activities that contributed to the family.  Through the training of the hand, a deeper understanding of the world they lived in was forged. 

It is important in early childhood to provide the first experiences of basic human tasks such as wrapping, sewing, tying, knotting, decorating, painting, picking, shaping, drawing, stirring, rolling, building, constructing and so forth.  These are a child’s beginnings of using unskilled hands in experimentation and creative expression.  Truly, it is just play at this point.  But this play offers multiple opportunities for learning about the world, for constructing one’s own understanding and for developing skill.

Learning through the amazing and complex wisdom of the hands...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Going to the next building...

This year I am on a 4 week rotation between the elementary buildings that I teach art at- vs. 2 weeks in the past. Tomorrow I start at the next building. I haven't seen these students for 8 school weeks, plus vacations- it's been almost 3 months. It will be interesting to see what they have retained.
I have 2 University interns that are working with me. It's great having their help!