Friday, December 14, 2012

The Pinch Pot Conclusion

A little over a month ago I taught a pinch pot lesson to Aven's preschool class. The kids had an amazing time and a few weeks later I went back to have them glaze their creations. The pinch pots just came out of the kiln this morning and they turned out super cute! The ceramics teacher I work with was impressed with how the glaze came out. It turns out that letting small children layer copious amounts of four different glazes onto one surface creates some pretty cool results:


Thursday, November 29, 2012


I'm trying a new approach to Abstract art in my Drawing 1 classes. I came up with a more structured way of having the students complete their Abstract designs because the way I've done it in the past was so open-ended that a lot of kids really struggled and constantly second-guessed themselves.  Here are the two examples I came up with:


Abstract landscape

Friday, November 2, 2012

Pinch Pots with Kids

I had today off, so I decided to teach a pottery lesson in Aven's preschool class. I practiced the lesson on Aven last weekend since I had never taught a group of three-year-old kids and wasn't sure what to expect with their fine motor skill abilities. Some kids were naturals and got it right away, other kids just pinched way too hard and ended up with less of a pot and more of a plate with holes in it.

It was SO much fun. I'll have to think of another art project I could do with her class in the future. My favorite kid quote of the day: "So, we can eat soup out of here?!" Me, looking at his rather flat pot with a couple holes in it: " . . . maybe not soup, but you could probably put some kind of food in it".

The results, drying on my fireplace mantle.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

We Belong

"We belong to each other." A painting to serve as the centerpiece of my family photo wall. It perfectly describes how I feel about my family.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Stick Horse

Aven has been really interested in dressing up and role play lately. She's been having a lot of fun with the cowgirl shirt and hat my dad got her for her birthday along with other dress up clothes. Recently, while playing cowgirl, she's been "riding" a stuffed horse from Build-a-Bear which is hilarious but looks terribly awkward and not very fun, so I decided to make her a stick horse with some leftover fabric and a wooden dowel I bought at Home Depot. Here are the results: 

Friday, June 29, 2012


As part of this whole nesting phenomenon, that I did not experience while pregnant with Aven, I have been compelled to do all sorts of creative projects. I have been making teddy bears and blankets and was even inspired enough to make a painting for the room that Aven and baby sister will share. It's watercolor over an acrylic gel base- my favorite way to paint. My mom was jealous that I wasn't painting it for her. Hope you enjoy:

Monday, May 21, 2012

Seung Mo Park

Seung Mo Park is a pretty cool artist. He creates portraits using wire mesh- much like the kind that your window screens are made of. The process is pretty meticulous and it's really different from anything I've seen. There is an example below, but it's definitely worth your time to follow this link to read and see more.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


The assignment: to create a concept for a movie and then design a movie poster to advertise it. The result: Thinly veiled innuendo. Gotta love 7th graders.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

First Annual WJMS Chalk Art Festival

My Drawing 2 students wanted to do something special this year and since I wasn't really up for a field trip due to being pregnant I decided to plan a chalk art festival. Luckily my wonderful principal was completely supportive and even offered to buy pizza for my class and pay for my substitute for the day.

Since I had never done anything like this before it was really just a stab in the dark. I did some research and came up with lists of suggested supplies and techniques and picked several famous paintings for the students to choose from. I really didn't have any idea how big to have the students make the drawings, so I guessed on that as well. Most of them ended up about 5' x 7'. 

It ended up being a lot of fun and I learned a few things that I could do different next time to make the day even better.

Enjoy the results:
The Scream by Edvard Munch. Recently sold at auction for 119.9 million.
The Scream by Zach and Ed. They think that their drawing should sell for 120 million too.
Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh
Starry Night by Carl, Jaxon, and Lacey. The most focused group of the day without a doubt.
Self Portrait with Monkey by Frida Kahlo
Self Portrait with Monkey by Fernando, Yuri, Mishell, Juan, and Arianna.  They loved that unibrow.
Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali
Persistence of Memory by Tyler, Sebastian, and CJ. They were a little creative with their interpretation of the colors.
Madame Monet and Her Son by Claude Monet
Madame Monet and Her Son by Ariel, Andrew, Ariel, and Baylee. In case you couldn't tell, this group is all about anime.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Keith Haring Project

I really love the art of Keith Haring. I like how he turned his simple figures into complex designs full of rhythm, color, movement, and life. I also love how he used his art and fame as an artist to support positive causes such as AIDS awareness and anti-drug campaigns.

A painting depicting Haring's simple human figures.

I recently taught a lesson about Keith Haring to my Drawing 2 students and had them complete their own Haring style drawing and then paint it with watercolors. Here are some of the lovely results:

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Art Fair 2012

The annual WJMS Art Fair is on once again. It is the biggest show we've had in my 7 years here. The library is busting at the seams with about 450 drawings and paintings, about 80 ceramic pieces, and a large teacher art display. It was a lot of work and very stressful, especially being pregnant, but now that it's on display I'm very excited to be displaying so much talent. It never ceases to amaze me how much talent and creativity pours out of 12-15 year old kids. At the end of the year, when I'm tired and feeling run down by the job the Art Fair always rejuvenates me.
It was impossible to get a picture of the whole Art Fair since it stretched around almost the entire library.
We advertised like crazy this year and had a good turn out.
Winner of 9th Grade Best In Show. Advanced Grid Drawing.
Winner of 8th Grade Best In Show. Illuminated Manuscript.
Winner of 7th Grade Best In Show. Texture Landscape.
Winner of Ceramics Best In Show. Elephant Teapot.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Blue Teddy Bear

I've never made my own pattern before since I really stink at thinking in three dimensional terms. I decided to make a super-simple teddy bear pattern despite my shortcoming. The result isn't perfect, but I think it's pretty cute:

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Long Exposure

Meet Michael Wesely, well, meet one of his photographs anyway:

Michael Wesely is a photographer who has been experimenting with incredibly long photographic exposures. By incredibly long I mean 2-3 years long. Pretty incredible. What he has tried to do is capture urban development over a long period of time. He believes it's possible to create exposures that last 10 years or even more. Here's a link to an article about him with more of his images:

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


As I was grading 7th grade texture projects this morning I came across these gems. This is exactly what I needed to see on this cold, wintery day.

I want to go there.

And there.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Workplace Safety Posters 2012

It's time again for the annual Utah Labor Commission "Workplace Safety Poster Contest". I both hate and love this assignment. I hate that I am giving my students an assignment so that I can get money for my art program (even though they benefit from that money). I love the results- both the really good ones and the ones that are unintentionally funny. I also love that my art program gets $500 just for participating plus matching money for any student winners. Last year I got an additional $200 because one of my students won $200.

I'll begin with my favorite category: Unintentionally funny/ Just plain awkward.

I love that Jose "accidentally" drops a brick on the other guy's head as he's eating his lunch.
That was no accident, if you ask me.

Where are their legs?!
I have absolutely no idea what this has to do with safety. If you're not safe your heart will bleed and grow wings?
"So that baby's don't poop on your hands or arms . . . Always have safe sex". I tried very hard to explain that using condoms has little to do with workplace safety, but this kid could not be deterred. Ian thinks it might be relevant in Nevada or Amsterdam. I also don't quite make the leap from un-safe sex to having a baby that poops on me. I guess my mind goes straight to disease. So deliciously bad on so many levels.

Now on to the next and last category: Possible winners. I had some pretty great entries this time and am very excited to see if any of them win a prize.

This kid is super-talented, but also really gang involved. It's kinda sad. I think he could make a living doing art in some form if he doesn't get sucked too far into gang life.
I just thought this one was cute.

The earth as a hard hat- I love it!

I think this one has an excellent chance. It's touching and has a good "be safe" message.

Another one that's just super cute.

This girl should write slogans for an advertising agency.

Last, but not least, a tree with branches that spell out the word "Safety". Kinda cool.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Art of Mexico

Last night at WJMS the Fine Arts Department celebrated The Art of Mexico. This project has been in the works since September and many, many hours of planning and hard went into it and I feel it was hugely successful. 

There were many steps along the way starting with buying and matting several prints of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo paintings. I then had my Drawing 1 and Painting classes create Mexican Folk Art projects while my Art Foundations classes created "skeleton party" drawings for Day of the Dead. Kate, our ceramics teacher, had her students make Day of the Dead calavera masks. Our instrumental music teacher, Lauren, had her Advanced Orchestra learn mariachi music, which she had to transpose herself. Last, but not least, our choir teacher and resident Mormon Tabernacle Choir member, Phil, taught Mexican Folk songs to his students. Unfortunately the timing was bad for any participation from drama classes, but our amazing Drama teacher, Lisa, helped with every step of the planning process. 

The last step was getting everyone else in the school involved. I created a lesson about Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera for the Social Studies teachers to present before taking their classes to the library to view the art show. We also planned a community night, which is what we did last night.

Here's a run-down of the evening:

A view of about half of the visual art part of the show. Student art work mingling with the art of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo.
The choir performed Mexican folk tunes in the library two different times. Phil played the accordion and three of his students accompanied him on guitars and ukuleles. 
LOTS of Mexican candy.
The event drew quite a large crowd.
Students and community members viewing the art.
The Orchestra performed mariachi music in the auditorium.
Several kids got into the spirit and wore festive hats and clothes.

I think this turned out to be a very successful cross-curricular project that also included the community (bonus!). I am very proud of all the hard work we did to achieve this. Thanks Fine Arts peeps!