Open House“My school’s open house was a smashing success thanks to you! It was fun to stand next to the murals and hear all the great comments the parents were making. The best was, at the end of the night, a parent said to my principal, “your art teacher is amazing!!!” He knew I was close by so he said, yes, she’s right over there! And the mom told me how wonderful it was that I was introducing the kids to all these famous artists. I just can’t thank you enough!!!!!”     — Stephanie, King Kamehameha III Elementary in Lahaina, Maui

Open House in Maui

Butterfly+MuralThe beautiful butterfly art was sent to me this week, along with a wonderful explanation of how it was made. I thought I’d pass it on as it is a very well thought out project, and so beautiful to look at. Thanks Mylien!
Dear Mrs. Barbro,
This was done in one of our 4th Grade classroom at Mirada Elementary School. We had 24 students, 6 parent volunteers, the teacher and her student intern and myself who help complete the artwork from start to finish (including faux canvas) in about 4 hours. Prior to working in to the classroom, I had experimented with sharpies, acrylics, and oil pastels. Between the three, oil pastels I thought had the best texture and were quicker to apply.
We had a mini art appreciation presentation before hand about Georges Seurat and his works. After deciding colors, we worked in groups asking students to create dots with oil pastels, starting with the lightest colors working their way to the darkest and leaving the black outlines for last. I’ve learned from past to tell them to start on the left side if they were right handed and vice-versa if the were left handed, and to wipe tips clean before starting. We had to show them how large the dots would be in order for us to finish the project in one session as we did not have the luxury of completing the project over several weeks. We assembled the wax paper using mod podge to adhear to canvas and a layer over the entire surface. I remember you told me pastels might bleed so we did not dilute the mod podge and tampered on instead of brushing on.
We have 25 classes, each class will contribute artwork to be auctioned off in our Winter Art Fundraiser in December. I’m not the art teacher, just the coordinator of the fundraiser and have found your blog to be both inspiring and invaluable to our project.
Thank you,
Mylien

Student Fundraiser

student+art“This is another project I got off your website. We did it with watercolor and crayon resist. After the paint dried, students drew the spider and web with a fine-tip felt marker. We love your ideas! Thanks” 

— Kate

Full Moon Drawings

Scream“My class did our own version of “The Scream.” I have a “Start Exploring Masterpieces” coloring book by Mary Martin (great book for easy art lessons). I made copies of the picture and had students color it with crayons. Then we glued them on brown construction paper and decorated the border to look like a frame. I took “screaming” pictures of my students, which they cut out and glued to the picture. Each one was unique and my students really enjoyed this project. ” — Kate Miller

Student “Scream” Art

Yellow+-+Orange+spiders“I’ve done this project for the past 2 years when my 4th grade students were learning symmetry. This year we did it the week of Halloween. I printed the 1/2 spiders on orange construction paper. Students drew the other half with a felt-tipped marker, then added the spider web with a white crayon. They turned out amazing! Thanks for all your great ideas. I can always find lots of great projects to adapt to my class.”   

— Kate Miller, Miller Elementary School, Santa Maria, CA

Spiders from California

American+flag+muralI am so happy to share this amazing creation, made recently by the residents of Southland Nursing Home, in Dublin, Georgia. Claire Livingston, a volunteer who works regularly with the seniors, planned this project that I hear was a huge success. In fact, here is what she wrote about the completion of the flag:

“When I went to Southland Nursing Home this morning to help hang the mural they painted, the activities director made an announcement over the loud speaker that we were putting it up and for everyone to come down.

We hung it in the large room that is used for a variety of functions. It was the only space we could find big enough to put it. Many of the residents came down to see us put it up, including the ones who worked on it. They all clapped when we put the last piece in place. Mr. “CJ” (lower right) said that “it makes me proud, so proud”…

If you look at it close up, you can see the shaky lines, the uneven paint, the blobs and smudges, made by hands that have done a lot in their 80+ years. But standing back and looking at it, the flag is absolutely breathtaking. Honestly, it brings tears to your eyes.”

I couldn’t put it better myself. Thank you Claire, and all the artists at Southland Nursing Home.

NOTE: Here’s an overview of Claire’s panel production. She printed them out large (10″x12″) and traced them on to pre-cut illustration board with old-fashioned carbon paper. After determining how many colors were needed, she gave each color a number and wrote them in the appropriate places on the boards. The panels were hung on the wall with Command Strips.

US Flag from Dublin, GA - Dublin, GA

ValentinesI’d like to share these two inspiring works of art that were emailed to me last week. Julia from Pearland, Texas wanted to show what her two children created following my “Valentine Heart Painting” project.

Joe, almost 7, is in the 1st grade and Bailey, age 5 is just in preschool. Aren’t these paintings beautiful? So neatly colored, but very creative at the same time. Julia wrote that she scanned the final art and is printing them on 3 1/2″ x 5″ cardstock to be given as valentines to classmates. Thank you Joe and Bailey for letting me show off your amazing artwork.

Valentine Art - Pearland, TX

LilyThese beautiful photos come from Lila Arsova in Macedonia, who has shared some of her creative ideas with me in the past. She wrote that these flower girls were made from natural materials in a creative workshop by students in the second grade: Rajko Zhinzifov and Veles Macedonia. It looks like they used pins to combine pieces of flowers and leaves together for these very lovely little creatures. Thanks so much for sending these Lila, and please thank your students too!

Flowers from Macedonia

art Kansas cityMelissa from Student Age Child Care (a school program provided by the local school district) emailed me her butterfly with a note that said, “We have about 60 students who all range from K-5 so its pretty hard to think up projects that are not to difficult for our kindergarten kids yet not boring for the older ones. . . I know the mural online is beautifully done so I was scared how it would come out since our different age groups have different levels of artistic ability. I think a lot of kids these days get caught up in the idea that everything has to be the right color, i.e: grass green, sky blue. I used our butterfly as an example of how something not perfect can be amazingly beautiful and unique.” I totally agree, Melissa!

Student Art from Kansas City, MO