Please Don't Eat the Artwork


Leave a comment

Hot Dogs and Cool Cats

I am absolutely thrilled with how these warm and cool color pets went down in first grade. The kiddos were so excited about this project and both the process and product are super fun!


On the first day we talked about warm and cool colors and how to use shapes to draw a cat and dog. Students created a guide for the colors in their sketchbooks.


Then they used This Handout from Teachers Pay Teachers to look at the different shapes that make a cat or dog. I really likes using these handouts as a guideline because it gave the kids a lot of choice and voice for how they wanted their animal to look.



The next week, each student picked if they wanted to do a cat or a dog. They drew their animal BIG on a piece of paper and traced over the lines with sharpie. Then, they decided upon a warm or cool color scheme to paint with water colors.


The third week was used to put it all together. Students had to choose a piece of construction paper that is the opposite of their color scheme. They used crayons and texture mats to create texture in the background.


So I feel like every single art teacher in the world has a big ol’ book of wallpaper samples or patterned scrapbook paper tucked away somewhere in their classroom. And I really wanted these to have some more visual pop so we used those decades-old wall paper samples as a rug/bed for the cats and dogs. The kids absolutely loved being able to choose a patterned paper to cut into an oval. They cut out their animal and glued it down.

Hot diggity dog first graders! These cats and dogs are really cool!

❤ Ms. K

Leave a comment

Clay Creepies

This is my first year doing an art club and there are a lot of things I really enjoy about it. I really enjoy getting to know some extremely talented and motivated students in a more focused setting. I am really enjoying the opportunity to try out exciting projects and materials that would be difficult or impossible to use with an entire class or grade. We are currently working on paper mache masks that I will post about soon.Our first project of the year was a clay “creepie.” This is a project that I have done a million times in a million different ways with 7-17 year olds. I thought it would be a fun and motivating first project for my art club kiddos!

We began with a hunka-chunka clay that we turned into a pinch pot. Then, extra clay bits were pinched, rolled, and attached to create all the features of a monster or creature. I am so impressed with the creativity of this group. They really put their imaginative efforts into their creations and created some crazy clay creepies.

Way to go art club!

❤ Ms. K

1 Comment

Psychedelic Succulent Still Life Paintings

The idea and resources for this lesson came from Art With Mrs. Nguyen! When I first saw her blog post about this lesson I was so inspired that I made one myself with gouache and watercolors!


I cannot emphasize enough how awesome this project is. It was a great way to kick off the school year with 5th graders because it gave them so many choices and opportunities to be expressive with colors, patterns, and composition. This one really involved a lot of choice and voice! We started off on the first day with a PowerPoint and handouts with examples of different succulents — both can be found in Mrs. Nguyen’s incredible TpT store!


Students were encouraged to add visual texture to their succulents for detail and use expressive lines and shapes to create a pattern on their pot. They added 2 horizontal lines for a table or the ground. The final draft was on 9×12 paper and all the lines were of course traced with sharpies. 5th graders could paint the background however they wanted using watercolors. They used colored pencils to color in their cacti. I showed them how to create gradients using analogous colors and they did not have to make their plants realistic. Many kids chose vibrant rainbow colors or used color schemes for their favorite sports teams to give their artwork a personal twist.


To get the table to look like realistic wood, we drew from observation by looking at the wooden tables in the art room. I also did a demonstration of how to make a galaxy design with watercolors and a few kids used salt to create lovely texture!


Awesome job 5th graders!!

❤ Ms. K

Leave a comment

Warm & Cool Self Portraits

The idea for this project came from Artsy Artful Amy .com!


This project took a looooooong time for 4th graders to complete and I still have kids coming to visit in the morning or during lunch to finish. But I must admit it’s totally worth is because these self-portraits are turning out absolutely beautiful.


On day one, we begin by talking about the proportions of a face. Students use mirrors to practice drawing their self portrait in their sketchbook. They also start brainstorming words that describe themselves. If anyone was having trouble coming up with descriptive words, they could ask their friends and the people at their table to describe them. Thinking of words turned out to be tricky for some, I had to remind students that we are looking for adjectives and descriptive words so no, “potato” is not going to fly.


The next art day, students used a ruler to create horizontal lines going down a piece of 9×12 paper.


They drew a simplified version of their self-portrait on top of the lines. Next, they were supposed to fill the rectangle spaces with their descriptive words and trace everything with sharpie. I showed them how to split up the words to make it fit around the face and how to streeeeetch their letters to fill the space horizontally. This was also tricky because some students started doing acrostics or drawing waaayyyy too small. With a bit or practice and patience, most were able to get the hang of it.

The next step was to choose the color schemes. Young artists decided if they wanted their face to be warm or cool and the background had to be the opposite. Then they used water colors to fill in each space with a different color. This step was tricky because many students instinctively wanted to paint their whole hair shape one color but they eventually got the hang of painting each tiny shape different.


I am SOOOOO excited about these masterpieces, I can tell the kiddos who really put in effort are so proud of their work. I love how personal and expressive these are and it was a great way to get to know my 4th graders. This project is definitely one of those that I will have in my art teacher bag o’ tricks for years to come.

❤ Ms. K!


1 Comment

Flowers and Portraits

I love kickin’ off the school year with 3rd graders by teaching about Georgia O’keeeffe and her flower paintings. It is such a great project to get them back in the swing of artistic habits and creative thinking. I have posted about this project before but I just couldn’t resist showing off this year’s batch of fantastic florals!


First graders are also finishing up on their tissue paper portraits (original post here) and they are amazing! Once again this project was awesome for teaching primary color mixing in a new way.

Way to go 1st and 3rd graders!


Leave a comment

Finger Print Flower Pots


This project was one of those that kind of morphs and changes as you teach it to each class. It was very much inspired by the little artists themselves!

We began by reading the book Mix It Up. I read it on the doc cam and invited students to come up to the board to “mix” the colors, press the spots, and push the pages. It was super interactive and fun!


Kinders were then given a piece of 9×12 paper and a palette with the primary colors. They folded the paper in half like a book and used their fingers to stamp patterns of prints on one of the sides. Then they did the same thing on the other side.


I went table to table with a spray bottle and gave each paper a quick spritz. Then the kiddos closed their “book” and pressed – just like from the story – and when they unfolded the paper they discovered that their primary colors mixed up!


These turned out so beautiful and the kids absolutely loved being able to use their fingers to paint! The next week, they began by cutting their symmetrical paper in half again and cutting it down the middle. They picked their favorite piece to draw a humongous letter “U” on the back. They cut it out to be the flower pot and glued it to another piece of paper.


Next, we talked about the lines and shapes that form a flower. They created 3 circles with straight or curved lines. They added small “U’s” for the petals and 2 horizontal lines for the horizon line.


The last step was to paint. For this project, kinders got to use water colors to fill in the shapes of their petals, circles, and the ground. I think these are so sweet and the process was great for young artists!



Leave a comment

Landscape Paintings

Second Graders completed lovely landscape paintings this week. We began by talking about the parts of a landscape (foreground, middleground, and background) and how to show depth by overlapping. Students sketched their landscape idea from memory, imagination, or a real place they have been.

Next, they created a final draft on 9×12 paper and traced their lines with sharpie. They used watercolor paints to add vibrant colors making their artwork come alive!

The last step was to fill out the Art Reflection Neighborhood. The first house says, “What do you like best about your artwork?” The second house reads, “What did you learn from making your art?” And the last house says, “What would you change to make it better?” This is a great way for young artists to reflect on their design and process. It is also a great literacy connection that reinforces key concepts and vocabulary.


Great job second graders!🙂


Leave a comment

My First Art Market & Classroom Updates

Well it has certainly been awhile since I have posted! Ever since the school year started, things have been incredibly busy.

I have made a few new paintings and a lot of new ceramic pieces . . .


I also achieved one of my long time goals to participate in an artist’s market! I have always enjoyed going to art festivals and for the past few years I have been scheming about how to participate in one. A couple of weekends ago, I finally did and it was AWESOME!!


I was a part of the Indie Craft Experience Made market. If you are from Atlanta you may have heard of this amazing group that hosts pop-up artists markets all over the city. This one was at the Hudgens Center for the Arts. I worked really hard on my booth setup and ended up having an excellent day meeting art-lovers and sharing my work. I can’t wait for the next opportunity to sell my artwork!


I believe it is so important for art educators to practice creativity in non-school environments. You have probably heard that old saying “those who can’t teach” but I think that the best teaching comes from authentic, hands-on experience. It can be hard to make time to create especially after a long day of managing a classroom but it is truly meaningful development professionally and personally!

So while I have been gallivanting around as an artist I have of course gotten into the full swing of things with my art students! This bulletin board was created and inspired by our school mission statement.


After the first couple of weeks of easy-going-getting-to-know-ya type activities, we jumped right in to some great projects! Kindergarten is currently working on fingerprint flower pots (I’ll be posting a blog about this process soon.)


First graders are also learning about mixing primary colors and are using tissue papers to create a background for tissue paper portraits:



Second graders are creating a lovely landscape with a foreground, middleground, and background.


Third graders learned all about Georgia O’keeffe and painted beautiful flowers:


Fourth graders are creating a warm/cool self portrait and they are turning out AMAZING!!!! (Blog post about this one coming soon too!)


5th graders are drawing and painting a succulent still life. They are so whimsical and fun and there will also be a blog post about these soon as well.


I am loving my new school and have been completely enchanted and charmed by my incredible students. I am so thankful to be a part of the Northwood community! As we are wrapping up projects, be on the lookout for blog posts of some fun new things in the works🙂

❤  Ms. K




Hello Northwood!



Leaving Mimosa at the end of last school year was bittersweet. I was excited to be offered the opportunity to be at a school for five days a week but I will definitely miss the kids I have grown to know and love over the past four years. It is hard to say good-bye to students you are watching grow up before your very eyes. Students you have created relationships with and care deeply about. Ultimately, I am thankful for the experience and will always remember my Mimosa artists.❤

After a heartfelt end of the school year, this summer was full of adventure, more endings, and new beginnings. I traveled  to Ireland and Portland, Maine. I taught clay camp at a local art center for the 10th summer. I finally finished writing my thesis and completed my graduate degree from Georgia State University (YAY!!!!!!!!). All in all, it was an incredibly fulfilling and exciting summer! I feel reinvigorated and inspired for this school year.

Now I am at a school called Northwood Elementary and I am absolutely thrilled. I have an art classroom that is a dream come true – fully stocked with everything I could ever need. This space is so full of good energy and I can’t wait to meet the kiddos that will learn and grow within these walls.

So, without further ado – check out my new classroom!


I have two doors to my room, this one will be used for entering. This is the view from my desk. You might spy a lovely Doc Cam which I am just itching to use. Currently on my desk are piles of papers that need to be copied or laminated – I am very excited about a Mystery Drawing activity from Mrs. Knight’s Smartest Artists which will go in my sub folder. (If you haven’t visited her Teachers Pay Teachers store you ought to hurry over — it is chock full of amazing resources and currently having a  sale!)


Here is the view looking towards my desk corner. All of my tchotchke magnets are on the filing cabinet. My kindergarten self-portrait and a second grade seascape hang on the wall. I like to display these to encourage students to pursue art as a lifelong appreciation. Students often ask, “How did you get so good at art!?” to which I always point to my own childhood artwork and tell them to keep practicing.

The shelf holds books, files, and handouts. On the bulletin board there is a poster of my daily schedule, an Artwork Checklist poster, and the rules. Above the bulletin board are the words “Try Your Best.” I find myself constantly telling my students to try their best so I finally made a visual for the wall. I think it is one of the most important expectations of the art room and studio experience.


Next is the whiteboard, projector, and chalkboard. I have a large, beautiful rug that adds some pops of color to the room.


Here is the example board with standards listed by grade. (Don’t you just love the fabric and borders that the previous art teacher left for me? I adore it! Thanks Gina)


This is the door students will use to exit the art room. The crayons and cute little signs were purchased from the Target dollar section this summer. They had some super sweet teacher goodies!


The wall next to the doors has plenty of storage space. Artwork and supplies will be stored here.


The entrance door and huge sink in the back corner:


Another wall of supplies and storage:


I am incredibly thankful for this enormous, beautiful, bright space but in every art room I have had the pleasure of setting up (this is #4!) there always seems to be just-quite-not-enough space. That is certainly true here for the giant drying rack which is currently awkwardly residing in front of shelves:


The door next to it leads to a little courtyard with a garden and a pond; it’s so stinkin’ cute! I can’t wait to take kids out here to draw and get some fresh air.


The wall with the windows has even more shelves with some pretty neat-o things.


I found a whole bunch of awesome materials/resources that I can’t wait to use with my new students. First of all, a class set of color wheels:


These are going to be soooooo handy for mixing colors and choosing color schemes! Speaking of color, check out these little color paddles. They will be another great resource to talk about color mixing.


I also came across packs of batik paper, shrinky-dinks, scratch paper, and cyanotype paper (the one in the envelope). I have never done any of these with kids so if you know of a good activity or lesson you would be willing to share I would truly appreciate it!


Perhaps the most exciting treasure I found in this room of magical abundance is the class set of 3D glasses! They make everything look really colorful and bright with swirly-trippy-magical awesomeness. I keep putting them on to look at artwork and the sky and down the hall and pretty much everything. I am pretty stoked to use these with the kids.



Woah, Dude!

I am attempting to keep my centers activities very organized this year. I don’t know about you but I feel like these items tend to get destroyed pretty efficiently by the end of the year so I am really trying to stress the importance of treating all art room materials with respect. I’ll let you know how that turns out lol. Do you have any tips or tricks on avoiding the destruction of materials?

And that brings us back around to the front of the room. BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE. Not only have I been #blessed with all of this shelving,  there is an entire closet full of cupboards and shelves and EVEN MORE art supplies. 


Oh yeah, AND four throwing wheels! I am going to have to watch a YouTube or two to refresh my wheel throwing skills before I attempt to teach it. I might try to get a guest artist in here to demonstrate one day or maybe even break these babies out for Art Club (more on that soon).

Next to this supply room is the kiln room which also comes fully-stocked with all the glaze my heart could ever desire and a beautiful, clean, not-sketchy kiln!


It will require hulk-strength to turn so that the control panel can be accessed. Or Tinkerbell-like nimbleness to squeeze on over to the other side. . . . 

So, there you have it! My new art room where you can find me five days a week :-) 

Next week it will be filled with budding young artists ready to learn!

I think the word that best describes the feeling that has been building up for the past few weeks is gratitude. I am so incredibly thankful that the stars have aligned and I have this dream job. I am deeply appreciative to all of the people who helped me on my journey to get to this place in my life and I am so excited to see what comes next.


photo cred: Instagram (@mal_wingostarrjewelry)

Here’s to another back-to-school flurry of excitement and energy. Here’s to bittersweet endings and exhilarating new beginnings. Here’s to trying your best all day, every day. Here’s to the new backpacks filled with bright and happy school supplies on the backs of bright and happy eager students. I can’t wait to meet you, welcome to art!


–Ms. K.



Ireland – An Adventurous Road Trip

Hellooooooo lovely readers! And happy first day of summer🙂

Those of you that have been following me for a while know that I have many passions – teaching art, making art, and travelling in the summertime. While my chosen career path will never pay enough (monetarily speaking) the two months off during summer is nothing to complain about!

I have had the extreme pleasure of being able to travel around the country and around the world for the past couple of years: from Israel to Italy and GreeceSan Francisco and Portland (OR), Chicago, and even Burning Man I have been to some breathtaking places. But nowhere has surprised  me and captured my heart quite like Ireland.


I travelled with two companions and we began in New York City. Though we weren’t there for very long, I had to get some snaps of the awesome street art we saw!


We had just enough time to stop by the CW Pencil Enterprise Shop and score some sweet pencils! #artteacherdream


From JFK we flew into Dublin. As we drove in (on the left side of the road!) I was delighted to see a modern city on the river with some excellent architecture.





Dublin is a very old city with some magnificent cathedrals and parts of the original fortress wall still intact.


The big park in the middle of the city (St. Stephens Green) was stunning on a somewhat sunny Dublin day!


And of course I couldn’t leave without some more street art snaps:



The view from the top of the Guinness Storehouse was stunning!


From Dublin we travelled south to Cork. The drive was beautiful, we passed lush green fields of cows, sheep, and wind turbines looming in the distance.


We spent a couple of hours in the city of Cork.



There was a building block covered in murals:

From the city of Cork we continued south to the charming seaside town of Crookhaven (also quite possibly the most charming town in the entire galaxy). It is the most southern point of Ireland and while we were there freezing our Georgia tushes off in winter gear, many Irish tourists were enjoying a summer holiday in shorts and t-shirts!

The town lies across a bay and has only 40 full time residents. It was quaint, quiet, and quite the hidden gem.




It was in Crookhaven that I enjoyed one of the finest meals of my life and here I am laughing about how deliciously divine everything is. #YUM


The bed and breakfast we stayed at had the cutest donkeys that were so sweet and gentle.


The real highlight of the trip was the impromptu kayak excursion in the Celtic Sea. We paddled through cold water that looked like liquid silver in the cloudy sunlight – it was the experience of a lifetime.



After kayaking, we headed up to some castle ruins. The townspeople were very excited to inform us that it will be in the next Star Wars movie – cool!



We journeyed west to Portmagee from Cork. Portmagee is another small seaside town with more delicious seafood and salty Irish fishermen than you can count.

IMG_20160606_213300 (1)

We were extremely fortunate to be able to book passage to the Skellig Islands for a tour. Only 12 boats of 12 people each are allowed to visit this world heritage site everyday. I thoroughly enjoyed the choppy, chilly boat ride to the islands:


The big Skellig island was inhabited by monks a thousand years ago. They lived 600 steep steps up into the fog on cliffs above the sea.


The cliffs were covered in precious puffy puffins!


The climb into the sky was surreal and when we got to the top we walked around the dwellings still standing after a thousand years.


If these structures look familiar, that is because this is also a location from Star Wars. This is where Luke Skywalker was chillin’ at the end of the Force Awakens. This island was fascinating not only for Star Wars purposes but the ecosystem and habitat the monks cultivated.

After visiting the Skellig islands, we traveled a few kilometers to the Kerry Cliffs. Ireland has many natural and beautiful cliffs and we were thrilled to visit this one. In the distance you can see the Skellig islands:



Next we traveled to the west coast to Galway. Galway is a lively city along the water with lots of fun things to do including walking the green way and going to the beach!


I definitely got a sunburn at Salthill Beach – was not expecting that in Ireland! We miraculously had gorgeous weather the entire time we were there.


And the very best thing to do in Galway is a small shop called Dungeons and Donuts where you can enjoy delectable donuts inspired by nerdy pop culture references while playing board games. We stayed with the Star Wars theme and played Star Wars Carcassonne🙂



After spending a couple of nights in Galway we headed back to Dublin. On the way we stopped at Birr Castle. Birr Castle was beautiful, we strolled through the lovely gardens and enjoyed scenic views. Unfortunately we missed the earl who still resides there which is a real shame because I am sure he would have enjoyed our hiking boots and flower crowns!

3bff41b4-30e1-4e8d-8723-0b29b1a169b4IMG_20160609_143256IMG_20160609_150306 (1)IMG_20160609_151104IMG_20160609_151434IMG_20160609_151600IMG_20160609_154549

From there it was back to Dublin for a couple more days then back home. I loved this international adventure. Ireland should definitely be on your bucket list if it is not already. It is a country filled with friendly folks, beautiful scenery, delicious seafood, and the adventure spirit. One week was certainly not enough time to fully experience all of the beauty, history, and fun Ireland has to offer so I hope to return one day for more adventures!❤