Please Don't Eat the Artwork

ART WITH MS K


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Cool and Warm Stamped Hearts

Third graders just finished up their cool and warm stamped artwork. We began this project by talking about the warm and cool colors. Students used watercolor paint and tempera to create a colorful background. They sprinkled salt on their wet paint for texture.

The next week, we talked about the artwork of Peter Max and Keith Haring we compared and contrasted their artwork and had a great class discussion talking about all of the elements and principles of art that are present in each artist’s work. Students were especially inspired by emphasis and symmetry to create their prints. They used a variety of materials to stamp on top of their paintings.

We talked a lot about symmetry for this one and I showed students how to create symmetry by stamping a shape on one side and then doing it again on the other side. We also talked a lot about balance and emphasis. I absolutely love how these prints turned out, they are so much fun!

Great job 3rd graders!

Mrs. K

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Autumn Trees by Kindergarten

Kindergarteners began this lesson with the story “Sky Color.”

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This story is super cute, it is all about a young artist who discovers that the sky doesn’t always have to be painted blue. I always find that my blue paint/crayons/markers/ANYTHING is the first to run out because it is the most popular color for filling up a sky. I wanted my students to know that the sky can be many different colors so this book was perfect to lead us into the project. Each student got a white oil pastel and filled their paper with  clouds. Then, they used water colors to paint “sky colors” which made their clouds magically appear!

The next week, we watched the BrainPop about Fall. We talked about all of the changes that happen when Fall comes especially the beautiful leaves. We reviewed color mixing too. Students drew a tree on top of their sky color background with a brown oil pastel.

They start off with a vertical line and then make it thicker. Next, they draw two diagonal lines to make the letter Y. They draw another vertical line in between and make all of those thicker. The little branches are created by creating little Y’s.

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Now the original idea for this project comes from here and they used aluminum foil to create the leaves. With my first batch of kinders I also had them use aluminum foil and that was the only time we did it that way because they did not turn out great. Most of the foil trees just looked like a big ol’ blob of paint on the paper and the detail of the branches was lost. So I racked my brain – and my supply closet – for something else we could use to print leaves. I found a stash of pine cones and they turned out to be absolutely PERFECT for this! So all the other classes used pine cones to dip and stamp yellow and red paint.

These are just absolutely charming:

Great job kindergarteners!

Mrs. K

 


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Eco Summit Quilt & Craftsmanship Poster

I LOVE teacher workdays. There is nothing quite like the peaceful sound of silence which is very conducive to getting work done. I am so thankful that I just got two because I have completed an amazing display and created a cool resource for my classroom. Lets start with the display.

My principal asked me to create an installation where students could reflect what they learned on Eco Summit day. Eco Summit day was a few weeks ago and it was AMAZING. It was basically a conference about the environment and students got to attend different workshops where they learned about fuel, water, animals, and the environment. As the leader of Eco Team I was so thrilled that the entire school would get some schoolin’ about the environment!

The art teacher who was here before me had the students create this really awesome display with cool colors:

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I really wanted to create something that would complement this so I decided that we would use warm colors. I was planning to create the same type of thing but then i was presented with an ENORMOUS vertical bulletin board. I was intimidated about filling it up! So whilst I was perusing through my blog feed, I spotted Art With Mrs. Nguyen’s quilt project. I was INSPIRED and knew it would be the perfect way to display the Eco Summit work.

I showed 2nd-5th graders a PowerPoint about modern quilting artist Libs Elliot. We talked about geometric shapes and negative space and quilts. Students got to choose their colors to create their own quilt square. They got one square, one triangle, and one rectangle. They could fold and cut to create a geometric quilt square.

Those blue booklets in the pictures are what they used to take notes during Eco Summit. They chose their favorite fact that they learned and wrote it on their quilt square.

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With nearly all of 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade creating a quilt square, I ended up with several hundred pieces. I measured out my gigantic bulletin board and figured I would be able to have 25 columns and 11 rows. I picked the 242 best squares and created a pattern of colors in Microsoft Word. This felt like doing a really weird crossword or Sudoku and I actually really enjoyed this problem-solving aspect of putting this thing together.

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In the end it didn’t really matter because the colors were so mixed up that I don’t think you can really tell that it is a pattern. It still looks pretty near though! The lighting in the hallway isn’t fantastic so you will just have to take my word that it looks much better in person.

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I can’t wait for the kiddos to see it all put together when they get back from the long weekend!

I also had time to create a resource for my classroom that I have been wanting to make for a while. My art teacher friend Alex made one for her classroom and I finally made one too! This craftsmanship poster will serve as a guide to students showing how to use art materials properly.

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And now I am off to check off a bunch of other things on my to-do list. 🙂 🙂

Mrs. K


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Moana Landscapes by 2nd Grade

The idea for this project comes from the Apex Elementary Art Blog. I wanted to start off the year for 2nd graders with a step-by-step drawing project. I often get the sense that my students are confident painters but when it comes to drawing their hesitation and doubt is very apparent. Drawing is a very difficult skill. You have to use a part of your brain that does not often get exercised to look at something and try and figure out how to remake it on your paper.  Most art media is much more forgiving and mistakes can be hidden or changed. Drawing can be frustrating for elementary kids because it is an art form in which imperfection becomes obvious very quickly.

That being said, I personally find that it is easiest to draw when using a drawing book or a youtube tutorial (lately I am obsessed with Draw with Jazza) so I wanted to bring that same experience to my students so they could gain some confidence. We began by drawing step-by-step together. The drawing was excellent for reviewing different kinds of lines and shapes and parts of a landscape (foreground, middle ground, background). Here is an animation of the steps:

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The kids drew with pencil and then traced over their lines with sharpie. We talked a lot about overlapping and size placement to show depth. A lot of students were wondering why there are flowers floating around in the foreground and I really didn’t have a good answer for them so I finally just turned on the Moana soundtrack and said that it is supposed to be from Moana. This seemed a reasonable enough answer to distract the students from the obvious weirdness of the foreground flowers. We continued the Moana jam sesh as we painted.

I love all of the unique details my students added to these whimsical landscapes like dinosaurs and sheep and houses and trees and all kinds of cutie little things.

Mrs. K


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Glue Resist Hearts

I really love the glue resist on black construction paper. I have done it in some way every year since I began teaching. For a while I had the kids make autumn leaves and even did a few where they made their initials. I can definitely say that this iteration of the project is my absolute favorite. In fact, this might be one of my favorite projects that I have ever taught because the product is just so incredibly beautiful. So how did we do it?

We started off talking about symmetry. We identified symmetrical shapes together.

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Students drew a heart on a piece of black construction paper and filed it up with expressive lines. Then they traced over all of their lines with liquid glue. The trick here is to make sure to keep the glue bottle close to the paper and squeeze and move so it doesn’t get blobby.

The next day, we talked all about warm and cool colors. We sorted out the colors on the board so students could reference while they colored.

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Originally I was going to have the kids use oil pastels but I decided to take the plunge into the ocean of messiness that is chalk pastels. And I am GLAD that I did! These were totally worth the mess which wasn’t even as bad as I thought it would be. The kids did a great job coloring their work using warm and cool colors.

I love love love LOOOOOVE how these came out and I want to do more chalk pastel amazing vibrant magic artwork with other grades asap.

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

-Mrs. K


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When You Promise Not to do Wedding DIY But You Are an Artist so You End Up DIYing

Hello! This post is about some of the wedding DIY things I did. As the title indicates, I promised myself I would not under ANY CIRCUMSTANCE stress myself out with diy  and then of course I ended up DIYing.

The first thing I DIYed were the save-the-dates and invitations. Did you know that it costs several hundred dollars to get wedding invitations designed and printed? I did not know this until several months ago and was absolutely shocked at the exorbitant prices for literally paper that people look at for one second and then throw away. SERIOUSLY!!! So i decided that to achieve the price and look I desired, I would try and make my own. Here are the supplies I used:

(Not pictured: masking fluid, liquid water color, salt, and paintbrushes (duh))

I created paintings and then took them to UPS to have them scanned in high resolution.

Then, I uploaded the images to Vistaprint and got the invitations printed with exquisite detail for about a quarter of the price of most wedding invitation suites.

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I also hand painted our Welcome Sign using the same materials on 18×24 watercolor paper. Finding a frame for this size was surprisingly difficult but I managed to finally find one at Target.

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On a dollar store frame I painted “Please Sign Our Guestbook” which went along with our incredible handmade paper and leather book from Mind’s Eye Journals. I also set our invitation in a shadow box displayed with it.

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The last bit of DIY was the card box. I ordered this house terrarium from Amazon which kinda matched our terrarium centerpieces. Then I used white acrylic paint to add leaves and vines.

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Another lovely bespoke detail was this set of corn hole boards created by Rusty Nail. They were a big hit for wedding guests!

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So that’s about it for my Wedding DIY! We also did bubbles with ribbons but I can’t seem to find a picture of those at the moment. I will leave you with a selfie of me and my Mister:

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xoxo,

❤ Mrs. K


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Rainbow Lines that Wiggle & Mouse Shapes

When on of my kindergarten classes got dropped off during the first week of school, the teacher frantically explained that there were several four-year-olds in the class. This happened more than once. So basically this year’s batch o’ kindergartners includes a whole bunch of teensy little tots. With this in mind, I knew that the first couple of projects needed to be verrrrry basic and verrrrrry step-by-step. After all, many of these kiddos had never painted before. So we started out low and slow with Rainbow Lines.

This project is all over Pinterest, I am not really sure who came up with it so if you know, please comment so I can give a proper shout-out :). On the first day we read Lines that Wiggle and painted lines with black tempera paint. Students began to learn about painting procedures like getting a smock, treating the brush responsibly, and putting art on the drying rack. They got to practice all of that again on the second day of the project. We read Planting a Rainbow and talked about the order of colors in a rainbow. Students used watercolors to fill in the space between their lines. How fabulous!

As soon as they got the hang of lines and identifying colors, it was time to take it a step further. The next project – Mouse Shapes – took it to the next level while still keeping it simple for young kindergarteners. On the first day, we watched the Shapes BrainPop and talked about all different kinds of shapes in the world. We painted shapes with back tempera paint. The next day, we read Mouse Paint and talked about mixing primary colors to create secondary colors. Kinders mixed up their mouse paint inside of their shapes to create a masterpiece!

These projects were a really great way to start off the year for kindergarteners. They got to practice painting procedures and learned lines, shapes, and colors in a very hands-on way. Now that they have all of those skills we can move on to more challenging projects.

❤ Mrs. K

p.s. . . . .

Is that an ‘R’ in between the M & S??? Why yes it is! As of one week ago Ms. K is now MRS. K! I will be keeping my last name but I am indeed a wife 🙂 So if you were wondering about the lack of posting lately it is mostly because I have been sooooooo busy with wedding things. More posts coming soon 🙂


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Summer Recap

Hello there, it’s been a while! Usually this back-to-school blog post is some sort of art-room tour where I talk about all the shiny, brand-spanking new things going on in the art room. And I’m always like “yayyyyy back to school!” But I can’t really do that this time for a few reasons. First, there isn’t much that is shiny, and brand-spanking new in my classroom right now. By now (my 6th year teaching) I pretty much have a good system in place and it only needs small tweaks and adjustments rather than huge over hauls. Also, I am planning a wedding right now so most of my creative energy went into that over the summer rather than tons of classroom things. And, my school got renovated over the summer and my classroom is currently filthy and not in any sort of state in which pictures should be taken.

So, while I am of course excited to be back, this blog post is going to be more of a summer recap. I had a great summer that was filled with a lot of relaxing (thankfully) but it also (unfortunately) lacked any international traveling. That being said, hopefully next summer will have the international trip of a lifetime.

Anyways, in lieu of international traveling, I was able to attend some professional development this summer at the Woodruff Arts Center. Their annual educator conference is one of the biggest and best in the South East and encompasses high-quality workshops for visual, music, and performing arts. I have been to many conferences over the years and this one is definitely one of the best!

I really appreciated how hands-on the workshops were. I feel like I learned so much and I was very inspired. One of my favorites was learning how to do Shibori or Indigo dye. The process is fascinating! The dye is made out of fermented plants and variations can be found in many cultures all over the world. There are so many academic connections like history (farming and agriculture) and math (geometry/shape/symmetry) not to mention it is an insanely cool process.

I also learned all about printmaking and cardboard automata

There were two excellent exhibits at the High Museum of Art which I got to see. One is the artwork of illustrator Ashley Bryan. I just love his use of  bright colors in his paintings and paper collages.

The other exhibit was prints by Andy Warhol. So cool!

A few weeks after the conference I taught summer camp at Johns Creek Arts Center. This was my 11th year doing clay camp!

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We did lots of cool projects this summer. One was a succulent pot inspired by Mrs. Knight’s Smartest Artists.

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Teacher Sample 

Another neat project was these chameleon dudes inspired by Cassie Stephen’s Blog.

These cutie pocket animals were also a hit:

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Teacher Sample

And one of my absolute favorites was the slab house which I wish I had more pictures of:

Here is my sample:

Aside from teaching art at summer camp, I got to make a lot of art too.

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And how can I forget the very best part of my summer — getting a puppy!! His name is Rory and he is absolutely delightful. Here he is on a hike:

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I am so excited to see all my students in a few days. I have some really fun and exciting projects planned for this year!

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See ya soon, kiddos!

❤ Ms. K


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Stitched Mandalas

When I found a bunch of burlap in my supply closet, I knew I wanted to do a stitching project with it. I have really enjoyed the challenge of teaching stitching and textiles this year to my art club. The kids were really engaged and excited about the projects and it made me want to teach the skills to my regular classes. At first I looked around on Pinterest to find ideas of what I could have the kids stitch. I saw all kinds of cute things like animals and flowers. While those were all really cool, I wanted to do something ore abstract so that new stitchers could feel more confident with their skills, especially when their work doesn’t “look like” anything. So when I saw a stitched mandala, I knew it would be the perfect inspiration.

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Teacher Sample

We began with a PowerPoint about mandalas and radial symmetry in nature, culture, design, and architecture. It was very inspiring and many students had personal connections.

We talked about how the mandala is symbolic of space and time and even watched a Tibetan Monk mandala ceremony.  Their minds were blown when they saw the monks sweep away the sand at the end which prompted a lively discussion about what it means to make art. With that, we began to create. Students started off by tracing circled onto a piece of burlap.

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Then, I did a needle-threading-and-knot-tying demo. This was really tricky for some kids who had never done this before but there were enough kids who had some prior experience so they became helpers.

 

I taught students how to use the “Paper Taco” to more easily thread their needle. Then we talked about how when you stitch, you have to go straight up and straight back down. The most common mistake that anyone made was that they tried to loop their thread around the side of their burlap. This resulted in a big tangled mess more often than (k)not. (Pun intended!)

There really was a tremendous amount of dexterous problem solving with this project. I constantly reminded the kids to be patient with themselves and with me.  They also had to be patient with each other when getting yarn because only so many kids could crowd around the yarn boxes at once. These boxes are the coolest ever – you put the yarn cone in the compartment inside and just pull the end through the slit at the top. I always have trouble with spools of yarn getting tangled up and messy so these boxes were the perfect solution!

After a few class days of stitching on the circles, we moved on to creating designs in between the circles. I showed students artwork by Elizabeth Pawle so they could get ideas for other types of stitches and designs to create.

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Textile by Elizabeth Pawle

Students were challenged to create more designs other than the regular stitch. They also chose buttons to sew or hot glue into the center. The process of stitching was very motivating for students. I had groups of 4th graders come visit me in the morning to work ore on their projects. It is now the second to last day of school and I still have kids coming in asking to work on these! But as you can see, they are absolutely phenomenal – great job 4th graders!

🙂

 


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Sleepy Weaving

The idea for this project came from Mrs. Elder’s World of Art. We began by weaving. This is a really tough skill for kindergartners to get the hang of. I think that many of them just don’t quite yet have the fine-motor skills necessary to successfully weave in an over-under pattern. A few kids usually get the hang of it but most are usually on the struggle bus. Because of that, I always teach weaving very sloooooowly. We begin by folding a paper in half like a book. Then I walk around and draw 5 dots on each paper.

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The students write their names above the dots then draw a vertical line going down from the dots.

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Next, they “cut on the line and stop at the dot.” This essentially created a loom on which to weave.

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They cut another paper into strips and unfold their loom.

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Then, they go “over the river and under the bridge” with their “snake” to weave.

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I show them how to do the opposite for the next one so that it creates a pattern. I also tel the it is ok if all of the snakes are next to each other, it still counts as weaving!

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That pretty much took up every single second of the first day. The next day, we created a colorful background with crayons and watercolors. Some classes did not have time to do that so they just used construction paper. On the last day, I did a demo of how to draw a portrait of yourself sleeping. Students could also add a stuffed toy.

Sweet dreams, kindergartners!

❤ Ms. K