Friday, October 31, 2014

Color Me Happy!

A busy and exciting day at the school today.  Halloween parties, costume parade, treats and games. All these special activities and still time to make great art in the art room.  These two third grade students show off their 3D Piet Mondrian composition.  A detail lesson plan will be posted soon.  :) Safe trick or treating everyone!
Yup.  I made my costume.  Maybe I can use it for a Halloween race next year?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Jewels in the Kiln

I am always amazed at how beautiful a glazed piece of art looks after opening the kiln door for the first time after a glaze firing.  It is breath taking.  Fourth graders have finished up their first project of the year ceramic leaf dish.  This is one of those lessons that have to stay in the art curriculum no matter how many new or interesting clay lesson you come across to take its place. The students look forward to it and parents wait eagerly for this piece to add to their fall decorations.
Fourth grade ceramic leaf projects.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Day of the Dead

Middle School Art Club, Day of the Dead

Art Club was a hit tonight creating masks inspired by the Mexican celebration Day of the Dead. This Mexican holiday celebrates the memories of friends and family who have passed away. This is a three day holiday that begins on October 31st. Our next art club meeting will be November 20th 3:30 to 4:15 pm with an Abstract Watercolor painting as our theme. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Starry Night

First Grade Art
3 Class Periods
First Grade Art Lesson, Starry Night
First grade students wrapped up their first lesson in art for the 2014-2015 school year.  We started the year learning about Vincent van Gogh and his beautiful creation Starry Night.  For lesson details you can check out my earlier post about this project Starry Night and see even more examples from the year before.

Creating stars with oil pastels.

Day 2: painting sky, creating wind, painting land, drawing houses and trees.

 Student Examples:

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Mouse Paint (Version 2)

Kindergarten Art
2 Class Periods

* If you were to search my blog you would find that there is already a kindergarten lesson entitled Mouse Paint that I do with my students. This lesson has a new twist on an old idea thanks to a photograph that I came across on Pinterest inspired by the book Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh. You can find details to the first lesson here: Mouse Paint

Mouse Paint, Kindergarten Art Lesson

What are the three most important colors in the art room?  Ask any kindergarten student and they should be able to tell you RED, YELLOW and BLUE.  Students learned that these three very important colors are called primary colors and that when mixed, create all the other colors that we know and love so much on the color wheel.

Day 1:

To introduce the idea of color mixing students listened to the story White Rabbit’s Color Book by Alan Baker. 

Students were then instructed on “Mrs. Allen’s Rules for Painting in the Art Room.” This discussion showed students the proper way to clean their brush between colors, how to clean their palette and how to use the drying rack.  Students then set about painting their masterpieces using only the primary colors.  They were allowed to paint their compositions however they liked.

Day 2:

On the second day we reviewed the primary colors and read the story Mouse Paint
by Ellen Stoll Walsh. 

After a brief demonstration on how to use a glue stick correctly in the art room, students created three mice for their compositions inspired by the story read in class.

Students were given three white rectangle pieces.  They were instructed to tear the corner off to create a more round shape and a fuzzy look for their mice. 

Students glued the "mice" to their paintings from the day before.  A black sharpie marker was used to draw a nose, eyes, ears, whiskers and fur for each mouse. 

A pink oil pastel was used to color in the ears and draw tails for each mouse. 
(On the Pinterest example I found, it looked like the ears and tails were created with construction paper.  Since this was my first lesson with my kindergarteners this year and I had yet to assess their cutting skills and understanding of shapes, we went the route of coloring.)

Student Examples:

Medtronic Full Marathon

I did it!  26.2 miles.  Full Marathon with my sister on October 5th, 2014.  It was great summer of training and an even better race.  The crowd at the Twin Cities was amazing.   Cheering, music and food the entire 26.2 route.

Although, my sister and I did not run together most of the race, during the last mile and a half our paths crossed and we ended up finishing at the same time.  Truly the best moment of the entire race.  We ran this race for each other.  To find one another near the end and cross at the same time was a complete PRICELESS moment.

When's the next race?  With winter approaching, I only have plans to run for fun now.  I am thinking my first race for 2015 will take place in March.  Stay tuned!

Friday, October 3, 2014


This week I set some time aside from our regular art projects to help celebrate our school theme ONLY ONE YOU.

Our theme is based off the book by Linda Kranz entitled Only One You.  After viewing the beautiful pages in her book, I thought it would be fun to have my students design their own special rock to remind them how unique they are.

I spent a week making little clay "cookies" to use as our rocks for painting.  The clay gave the students a flatter surface to draw and paint on vs. a real rock, which would have been just as neat, but would have been a lot of extra weight for me to bring into the school. Four hundered plus rocks.  For me,clay was the better choice. I'm a runner after all, not a weight lifter.  :)

Students viewed pictures from the book as well as other examples that I had prepared.  A pencil was used to plan the design, a sharpie marker outlined it and tempera was used to paint.  Tempera paint cakes are great for painting on the clay.  It dries super fast!  We used an acrylic sealer to make sure the paint would not rub off.  As a last touch, students were allowed to add a wiggly eye if they wanted one.

It was a pretty fun week!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Colorful, Wild, Wacky, Wonderful Wednesday

Today at school students were asked to dress in bright, colorful and wacky clothes to celebrate our school theme:  ONLY ONE YOU!

Seriously.  What art teacher doesn't love BRIGHT, COLORFUL and WACKY clothes? 
 What a great day!