Friday, October 30, 2009

A Whole New Mind

Daniel Pink was the keynote speaker at the Kansas Art Education Association Fall Conference and his lecture was amazing! He is a best selling author of books such as A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule The Future.

Here is a video of a similar speech from the MCAD commencement ceremony.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Complementary Colors!

I know I have made a ton of posts tonight, just trying to catch up! I still need to post about my weekend at the Kansas Art Education Association conference in Hutchinson (with speaker extraordinaire, Daniel Pink!)

Book Inspired Pumpkins

These are the two pumpkins I have carved so far this year! The first one, with one of the Where The Wild Things Are characters was for my niece, Rosie, who is a big fan of the book. (Almost as big a fan as me.) By the way, there is an awesome blog for the WTWTA movie: I made the Very Hungry Caterpillar pumpkin last night. Part of a PTO fundraiser for my schools is a pumpkin carving contest so we'll see how much the students like it!

5th Grade Landscapes

These are a selection of the 5th grade students' landscape paintings. They were given primary and neutral colors in tempera paint and mixed all of the variations for their paintings.


4th through 6th grade students are making still life drawings of miniature gourds. The most common question so far has been if they are real! My parents planted them for me this summer (when I was busy working at Wal-Mart!) The middle gourd in the top picture was already getting mushy when I took the picture at the end of week one of drawing. I offered to find another similar gourd to replace it but the students wanted to keep that one. I think they are curious to see how squishy it will get. We'll see if it lasts through two more weeks! It is way mushier now and several of the gourds are starting to get little mold spots. Kinda gross but I guess that's just what happens when it has to last that long! I will post pictures of the drawings as students finish.

Random classroom photos

4th Grade Landscapes

4th grade students painted fantasy desert-ish landscapes with watercolor. Sprinkling table salt on wet paint created a really cool texture. I love how colorful the paintings are!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Note to Self

If you order 24 x 36 inch paper because it is cheaper, make sure your paper cutter is big enough to cut it. Otherwise you save money from your budget but lose time trying to cut it in half with scissors so you can fit it on the paper cutter. If time is money, where does that leave me and my big sheets of paper?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Overlapping Pumpkins

Kindergarten students learned how to make objects in drawings overlap to create depth. I drew two pumpkins and cut them out so they could be moved to show students the visual difference between drawings of objects that are side to side and overlapping. Overlapping is kind of a difficult concept for Kindergarten students! The drawings turned out really good and it was fun to see the students get excited when it clicked. Some drew 4 or 5 overlapping pumpkins! I showed them how I blended crayon colors on my example but I let them use any colors they wanted. Who says pumpkins have to be orange?

Worst Idea Ever

These are the most successful prints from two very chaotic class periods. I planned a 1st grade lesson where the students were to apply paint to leaves and create a monoprint. I demonstrated and talked about being careful with paint and care of brushes and thought everything would be fine. The only bad part of my first class was a little boy, who doesn't try to get in trouble but just doesn't think about things, started shaking his paintbrush in the air which sent watered down paint everywhere. In the second class within about 5 minutes the following things happened: Boy 1 spills very dirty water cup on table which colors girl 1's paper, girl gets mad at boy 1. Girl 1 was sent to the bathroom to try to clean up (thankfully was wearing dark colored jeans so no stain showed) while I used paper towels to mop up the mess. While I was cleaning that mess, boy 2 across the room also knocks over water cup. As I was trying to move and clean up mess number 2, girl 1 came back in, tried to sit down on chair and missed, landed on the floor and started bawling. In the mean time, several students decided that since I was cleaning instead of standing over them, it was a good idea to wander around the tiny classroom (which used to be a storage room behind a stage.) I changed the lesson for the next first grade classes but at least the students had fun, and when I looked back, some of the prints turned out pretty nice.