Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The MOST Wonderful Time of the Year!

no, no, no.... I know what you're thinking... It's NUTCRACKER time! I'm one of those lucky girls that has a December birthday. So that means, Poinsettias on birthday cakes, joint birthday/Christmas gifts, birthday presents wrapped in Christmas paper... you get the idea.

BUT my most favorite part of having a December birthday is going to the Nutcracker Ballet each year as a birthday gift.

You can ask my friends, I'm a ballet snob... and I love EVERYTHING about it. If I could fit my size 9 feet in my size 7 old pointe shoes, I'd do it... and dance around. But alas....the closest I'll get to the stage is in seat Q14 this year.
and boy, did we....
big ones, little ones and even tiny, kindergarten toy soldier ones...
Merry, merry Nutcracker to you!

p.s. shameless shout-out to my friend, Lynn, who will run the Nutcracker Gift Shop for the Huntsville Ballet... and have my fabulous Nutcrackers on display. Thanks!


Friday, November 22, 2013

Cleopatra's Cats

I found this lesson on the ole reliable PINTEREST! With a few minor changes and improvements we made some beautiful Egyptian Cats.

We started with a paper grocery bag (I had a ton donated at one school, and parents recycle them at another). The paper bags were thick and the perfect color. We drew a frame and then our cat step-by-step in the center of the paper.

By breaking down the cat into easy shapes, the students did a fantastic job drawing them.

We added collars and Egyptian eye makeup for finishing touches.

The students colored with construction paper crayons and regular crayons and then... the BEST part...added gold paint!

These cats obviously lived very good NINE lives!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Thanks to the giving.

 I love Native American Art... but I really, really love portraits by Kindergarteners and first graders.
Once again, my little ones knocked it out of the park with these portraits.
We started by looking at examples of early photographs of Native Americans and a painting by George Catlin.

We discussed headdresses, and how eagle feathers were awarded for brave, heroic acts.

Then, using guided drawing, drew the face discussing proportions and proper placement of facial features. We added the headdress and feathers and BAM! Awesome work. The color was added with crayon and liquid watercolor to create a "fall landscape" effect.

Hope these wonderful drawings made you a little more thankful today.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Moody Blues

Finishing out our study of Picasso, my fourth and fifth graders made some pretty amazing guitar collages. We discussed Picasso's blue period and how artists can relay mood through color choices. We used cardstock and painted it with different hues of blue as step one.

Later, we added strings (yarn) tuning pegs (popsicle sticks), a sound hole, (newspaper or construction paper) and a bridge (another popsicle stick).
Now if only these guys would make music....

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Mummy Knows Best

To begin our Egyptian unit, my students discussed MUMMIES! Of course, most of my kids are only familiar with the mummies on Scooby Doo or Hotel Transylvania, so a little discussion was necessary.

After view a few NON GRAPHIC images of mummies, we discussed how the Ancient Egyptians believed you must be prepared to live in the afterlife...and needed certain things once you got there. The bandages and special oils made the body stay beautiful (for lack of a better word) until you made it to your destination.

The students used construction paper crayons on brown paper and completed the effect with a black watercolor wash... to make them look "ancient."
I love the way the repetition of line and minimal colors made the eyes really stand out!

Well done, my little embalmers.

Wake Me Up! Before You Go Go...

So, it only took me a month to finally get these fantastic roosters posted on our blog... Some how they slipped through the cracks!

My second and third graders took a look at Picasso's rooster...
analyzed the shapes and colors, and made an awesome Picasso-inspired rooster using oil pastels on black paper.
I loved the way the students found the anatomy of roosters so interesting (spurs?! on a rooster?) and loved blending the oil pastels to create secondary and intermediate colors.

Looks like another win for Picasso...


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Toucan't Miss Out On These!

Continuing with our theme of "Travel the World in Art" we "visited" Central America and discussed toucans! We began by reading a hysterical book called, "Toucan Toucan't" by Peter Francis-Browne. My pre k-3rd graders made these fabulous birds by coloring beaks with oil pastels or crayons, and cutting, tearing and gluing shapes from construction paper to make a collage.

The toucans were a bit ambitious for my little ones, but wow! did they look fantastic when we finished! Way to work hard my little artists, it paid off!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Shimmering Aztec Suns

Okay, fellow art teachers.... DON'T JUDGE: I just used glitter. Yep, glitter, the art teacher equivalent of handprint turkeys and macaroni rooster. BUT... Look at the end result!]

My 3-5 graders did excellent Aztec Suns. We first looked at the Aztec Sun Calendar and discussed Aztec Culture. This collaborated (ding! ding! ding!)  perfectly with the fifth grade social studies curriculum. The students then drew circles, a sun with a face and radially symmetrical designs around it.
Using construction paper crayons, they colored in the designs.

And finally.... THE GLITTER! It doesn't matter how much, how often or what color,

and I'm beginning to like it a little more.


Friday, October 4, 2013

Fancy, Schmancy.

Happy Friday Folks!
I have to unabashedly brag on the latest contribution to one of my schools... Thanks to a fundraiser night from Zoe's Kitchen, generous parents and extremely talented students, I was able to purchase and fill ten large frames with student art work. Voila! AN ART GALLERY!

The plan is to change out artwork every 6 weeks with the help of parent volunteers and the Student Council. Come by and visit. It even has free admission!


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Super Secret Native American Bandolier Bags

My fourth and fifth graders learned a lot about Native American bandolier bags this week. As usual, we looked at examples on the ACTIV board and discussed details and pattern.

My students also learned some pretty interesting facts about how the medicine men of the tribe carried bags with very sacred, secret items in them. These bags were so special that no one in the tribe was allowed to look in them, and the medicine men were actually buried with their bags.
The students really took ownership in their bags and did a marvelous job of decorating them with traditional Native American symbols as well as creating their own symbols.
Great job kids! One more country checked off our list!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Moody Artists from Spain

Yep, that's right... believe it or not artists can be a little moody...passionate even about their work.
When I was in college, I had a professor who made us complete a 24"x30" pencil drawing of a magazine collage. It took me around 20 hours to complete. Using my drawing as an example, he took a brand new pink pearl eraser and ERASED parts of my drawing in front of the class, looked at me and said, "Don't ever get too attached to your work."
Ouch. So that's MY story.

This week in art class, we talked about Picasso, and his moodiness and passion for his work.

The students immediately saw happiness in the bright, beautiful PRIMARY (ding, ding, ding!) colors and loose, passionate lines.
Pre K, Kindergarten and first grade, y'all. Awesome.
My 2nd and 3rd graders also discussed color and line, but we kicked up a notch and added ANALYZING (buzz word) subjects. Basically, just breaking them down into simple shapes to make it easier to draw... a prequel to introducing Cubism.
Looking first at this work by Picasso:
We created this:
I don't know about you, but it makes me want to strut around a bit.
More to come with the moody blue period guitar collages.... Stay tuned.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Stomp Out Bullying!

Welcome back my friends!

I'm so glad to be back in the swing of things... our first art class was a collaboration between the guidance counselor and myself. Our school system has started a new campaign called, "Stomp Out Bullying" and we decided to work together to create fantastic footprints to incorporate this theme into the art class.

Fourth and Fifth Grade used rulers to create parallel and intersecting lines (sound familiar?) and added their name to the footprint.

Second and Third Graders drew an abstract organic design and colored it in using warm or cool colors (lots of vocabulary, right?)
And my brand new kindergarteners and first graders practiced their cutting skills and used tissue paper squares to fill their footprints with color.
All the footprints will be hung around the school as reminders of our zero-tolerance policy for bullying. I love the way every footprint, just like every child, is different and special. and I love the was the lesson teaches children how art can symbolize a big idea or movement... pretty big abstract thinking for such little minds. Amazing what art can teach.

Thanks Zoe's Kitchen!

A big Blossomwood "THANK YOU" to Zoe's Kitchen on Whitesburg drive for our school fundraiser!

Zoe's provided our school with canvases and paint, and in turn, we provided them with beautiful artwork to display during the Summer season.

With the money raised from the sale of our artwork and Zoe's Blossomwood Spirit Night, we are creating a Blossomwood Student Art Gallery!

Be sure to visit our Gallery soon!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Camping, anyone?

This is a classic...."hmmmm what do I need to get rid of?"..... lesson.

Over run by matboard scraps, construction paper scraps, and random craft materials, we came up with this campground lesson. I say, "we" because literally that's what happened. I started teaching them to make an organic, abstract design with construction paper scraps and it turned into these adorable campgrounds.

Students, folded, crimped, cut and glued paper to make their own campsites, complete with tents, cots, blue cellophane "fishing holes," campfires from orange party streamers and tree and bushes galore.
Well done, campers! You are ready for Summer!

Monday, May 20, 2013


Okay, go ahead and laugh... but I couldn't help including that pun!

With our new building at Blossomwood came the return of clay projects.... which I know are my students' absolute favorites.

Beginning with a pinch pot, the students added paws, head and tail with tiny details. Then came my students second favorite part: PAINTING!
And here is the end result... absolute cuteness.
So when you put this precious little piece in your china cabinet, just remember all of the CHEMISTRY and SCIENCE your child learned in art class while working on these...Trust me, there have been many "kiln explosions" that have taught me how to become a better art teacher.
Ceramics isn't easy. Your kids earned these guys.
**Special thanks to my super art assistant, Danica, who helped me load and unload the kiln without a single broken piece!


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Art That Makes You Go "YUM!"

Hello Friends! Welcome back to Tiny Talent!
After a brief maternity leave, I'm back and ready to show you guys the wonderful artwork by my students.

Our Pop Art Hamburger lesson is always a winner with the kids. We begin by discussing Claus Oldenburg's Two Cheeseburgers Sculpture, then using construction paper and several different cutting techniques, create our own cheeseburger and fries. Some of the kids got really creative and added onion rings, bacon, grill marks and even toothpick frills!