Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Bye Bye for now....

In the Art Studio is saying goodbye for now...

I hung up my apron today. I am retired and must cease this blog with my school district. I think I will continue at some point because I love to put these mini lessons together and new ideas are always presenting themselves to me. I think the blog will look different though.  I am not sure what will unfold. I will look at life and see what might be worthy of sharing. 

 In the meantime, I will be presenting TAB inspired professional development and will continue to sell my Artifact Assessment Books  for grades 1-5. I appreciate you and wish you the very best...you do important work. If you need to get in touch with me,  contact me at:


Bye Bye......

Lines, Lines, Everywhere

The lesson today is about something that you can use in every studio. We are going to talk about how artists see line. This year, we talked about the artist, Andy Goldsworthy, we could see that he used line in his work. See it here...

So what does line look like when we think about our studios at school?


This artwork was done by the artist Mondrian


This drawing was done by the French artist Edgar Dega

fiber Arts


Roxy Paine....American artist from New Mexico created the above lovely organic nature shapes.

 Brice Marden was born in Brooklyn NY and was interested in eastern calligraphy. Do you see the connection?

Lines are also used in architecture... 



Train Station in Lisbon

 London Building

How can you use line to get your idea across to others. Art is all about sharing ideas, thoughts, problems!

Thursday, April 14, 2016






What does it mean if someone tells you that you have a "sense of humor"?


  Where do ideas for cartoons come from?

Is there something in your life that is funny? 

Did someone say something to you that was funny?

What would a funny situation be?

 If something is funny to you, is it funny to someone else? 

 If you go to the drawing studio and want to create a cartoon, use sketch paper (newsprint) to make a quick little drawing of your idea. 

After you draw your sketch you can complete your cartoon on nice, card stock. 

You can  choose a piece of colored construction paper to frame your cartoon.

 When you glue your cartoon down on the construction paper, put the glue on the perimeter so that it will lay nice and flat. 

Be sure to sign your name in the right hand corner!


 You could create an idea for a cartoon at home, sketch and draw it at school. 

You could paint your cartoon. 

You could use your sense of humor to create a funny sculpture or a funny fiber art work. 

It is fun to be funny, but remember a cartoon or joke should never be hurtful.

Here are some examples of cartoons...are they funny to you?


The one below was made by Maria and Joey's dad...

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Radial Designs In Art

A radial design is an arrangement of shapes and lines that radiate out from the center of an artwork.

Think about a sun radiating heat and light...

Look at this image of a radial design. 

Do you see how it radiates out from the center?

 Radial designs are used in many kinds of art all over the world...

These are Italian designs on clay tiles...

These hands have henna (plant dye) painted on them. In India, a woman decorates her hands and feet for her wedding celebration. 



A radial design is a symmetrical design....if you divide your art in half, the marks on one side are the same on the other side...

If you divide your art in half and it is not the same on each side you have an A-symmetrical design!

How can you use the idea of radial design in your art? Could you create a radial design collage, painting, building? What could you use to create a perfect circle to begin your art?

Key Stage 2

An Indian Mandela is an image of a circle which represents the universe. It comes from the ancient Indian language called Sanskrit. Sometimes a Mandela is used in meditation.

 Many times it is created using a radial design.

We also see radial designs in nature...

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Take Something Common And Make Something New!

Tara Donovan 

Tara is an installation artist. She installs her art into a space or environment.

Tara uses many of the same objects to make her installation. She take these objects to build, connect, and show them in a fun and interesting way.  Sometimes you cannot tell what the actual object is until you look REALLY close.

In her art, Tara uses slinkys, straws and cups. Sometimes the objects by itself are geometric, but when Tara puts the objects together, they turn into a giant organic shape.

Geometric tree...notice the straight lines...do you see triangles? 

 Organic trees...notice the curving shapes.

In this photograph, you can see Tara took simple, clear plastic cups and stacked them on each other over and over and over again. By making art out of an ordinary cup, Tara gave her art materials a new meaning. She transformed her material.

See how she transformed straws...

In the art room, we have many materials that are the same things.  What could you make from these coffee lids?  


Or these straws?

What could you create with a common object like a cup or straw to make something new? 


*What is a new meaning for a cup ? 

*What is a new meaning for a straw?

*what can you make?

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Paste Paper Fun

Artists can make interesting "papers" to use for projects. Eric Carl makes papers using layers of paint. He puts a texture on them using brushes, fingers or tools. He keeps his papers in color coded drawers. When he needs a green he just goes to the green draw to see what shade of green is needed.


You might recognize his work:

One way that you can make an interesting paper is to make paste papers.

Here is how you do it!

 The set up is to have card stock papers, brushes, old combs or marking tools, paste/paste mixture and paper towels. 


1. mark your name on the back of a piece of card stock

2. lay out paper towels to place your paper on

3. with a brush evenly spread some the paste across your paper

4. take a comb or marking tool and twist or pull it to make marks

5. after it dries, do another color and another design


You can take these papers to the collage studio to make art. 

You can take these papers to the fiber arts studio to sew them in an interesting way. 

You can take them to the sculpture studio to create sculptures. 

You can paint with a detail brush on top of a paste paper.

They are beautiful and so much fun to do! They are handy to collect...you never know when you need just the right piece of paper for your art!