Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Final Exams

Check out these these sites to study for your final exams!

Remember along with the written is a hands on portion to the test!

Advanced Art

Crafts Class


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

What is an art teacher

An amazing piece found on has a great shop on ETSY

When you hear the words  " ART TEACHER" you probably have an image that you have attached to them in your head.  I know you do...whether you admit it or not.  You think about your elementary art teacher with the crazy hair and glasses or maybe you think of a hippie chick. Or maybe you think of the retro chic lofty people.  I don't know, really.  All I am saying is that we all think about the art teacher with an expectation in mind.

I know my students do.  I just can't imagine what image they think of when it comes to me.  Wouldn't that be interesting to know.

Each year I wait for the student or parent who asks what my favorite style of art is or who my favorite artist is.  As for my favorite artist, that's always changing.  My current and has been for a while is Jack Vettriano.  He draws on emotions and questions.  Although not all of his work is appropriate for school, it is my personal favorite.  As for my favorite style of art.  Its simple its not an art but a  fine craft and it is a love and a passion.  I love creating vintage re purposed art.  My style is simply vintage. I love altered collage, antiques, junk remade.  I like shabby chic, and the things others would throw away I treasure.  I will always say I was shabby chic before it was cool.

Creating art like this takes true talent because it is made with creativity, mixed with some happy thoughts, and a lot of love.  Artists that create this put love into each piece because they know that when a person finds their art, they follow in love with it and they don't know why.  So here's to all the shabby chic lovers out there.  If you find a great blog or have a shop, share it on the comments so we can link it and others can see what we are!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

ceramic plates

The first ceramic project for the semester was a basic plate style assignment.  The subject matter was left open so with only one requirement, that they must demonstrate a use of high/low relief in their assignments.  This is only a small sampling of the projects.  we had some really different ideas happening.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Today I sympathize and empathize with those teachers who are in schools with out air conditioning on days like this.  I was one of you up until last year. At that time, my air unit was final fixed and my room no longer was sweltering in August and September. And I was no longer the teacher with her hair matted to her forehead, clothes drenched as if I had been out running a continuous marathon all day.

 Today one of the five schools in our district was let out early. That poor school is like an oven. I feel horrible for those teachers. I know what they were going through.   The high school kids however stayed in as we have 3/5 of our classrooms with air of some type.  Although, I must admit when I entered our main building this morning at 7:45 the hallway heat about took my breath away.  It's really hard to go in and out of the air conditioning all day long.  You would almost rather just stick with one or the other and deal with it.  So needless to say, by afternoon my kids were slightly cranky.  So today as I ran out for lunch, I decided that it was a Popsicle kinda day.  It's amazing that something so simple makes such great changes and makes cranky kids happy again.  And happy is a good thing....especially in the art room.

No.2 Pencils

The first drawing assignment for our painting and drawing classes always works with the basics as a refresher.  We start with contour line drawing and then simple shading.  I have found a project that the kids loved!  Ken Vieth has a book entitled From Ordinary to Extraordinary In it there is an assignment called "No.2 pencils" It simply teaches the kids to look at everyday objects that go unnoticed such as the basic pencil and use them as a creative form.  The project itself took around a week of 50 minute classes to complete, of course we all know with art students that time varies with per student.  The most important two things to remind them while working on this assignment were to draw the pencils with the form of the subject matter rather than in straight lines, and when it comes to shading to consider the cylinder surface of the pencil Here are some of their results.  We have a lot of students with a variety of artistic style and skill level and I was pretty pleased over all at the efforts.



Friday, September 6, 2013

The Renaissance

 I have often struggled with teaching art history and making it entertaining and educational for my students. Let's be brutally honest,  I hated art history in high school.  Anytime my teacher would start talking years and artists, I totally zoned out.  It wasn't until college that I began to understand and appreciate it.  And actually enjoyed my classes.  I loved learning all the little secret parts and pieces in drawings and painting or the stories behind them.  I realized that the most important part about artist history was not memorizing it, but finding things that made you remember it.  So as a high school teacher I feel like its my job to figure out a way to teach art history and make it memorable for my students.

Today we began a new era of art in our Art History class.  The Renaissance. My art history course is more of a basic first year art class where we combine the study art and artists with project based applications.  I don't follow an art history timeline when teaching this class.  Instead I work with eras that I think the students will enjoy.  I have found that they are a lot like I was in high school, if i bombard them with dates, times, places, etc they zone me out.  What they will listen to and remember is that Poor Ginevra was 16 and married a middle aged man, but yet another man had her portrait commissioned.  Or that Leonardo was only 6 years older than what they are now when he painted her portrait.  I want them to learn about these artists and the paintings, rather than memorize for a short period of time.  We are focusing on Michelangelo and Da Vinci for this unit.  Today is one of our Fun Friday days in which we are watching a DVD about the painting Ginevra de Benci and the history and mystery behind it.  Put out by the National Gallery the students actually paid attention to it because of its mystery.  Kinda Fun.

On Monday, we will be beginning facial proportions and beginning to look at and draw out portrait contour line.  Wish us luck and I will keep you posted!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

I'm Back

Well in case anyone has noticed, I kinda disappeared for a while (I'm sure not too likely).  OK not just a while, but a really long while..a year.  I think as teachers we all go through phases in our lives where we simply get overwhelmed.  Last year was my year.  I don't know if counts that I intended to blog here and there, but I simply couldn't force myself to do it.  Now, coming back into this school year, I think it was one of the best choices I made to refresh and come back excited.

My classes this year are looking pretty fantastic!  A couple freshman art history classes, crafts class, two drawing and painting, advanced art, and photo 1 this first semester.  The kids seem excited and so am I! My focus this year is trying some new projects with the kids, and to get crazy organized (well as organized as an art teacher can get) SO here is to the 2013-14 School year!  It is gonna rock!