Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Last of the Trees

So the murals inside the library are done. I finally wrapped up painting on July 22. I think it will be a great addition to the library.  

I'm sure I will find things to fix, but for now I can breathe easy it all got done before school starts. 
Here is one I've gone in and added some details since posting. 

I think the Winnie the Pooh is my favorite. 
All of the trees were a bit of a challenge because there wasn't very much width to the spaces, but lots of height. 

While I am finished with these, our PTO is having me do another tree mural as a donation tree. 
So now I'm just trying to get that done before they start waxing the floors of the hallway. We will see, hopefully it will all work out and painting is done before the floors are shiny and new looking.   I sure don't want to make the custodians upset with me!  I try to stay on their good side.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Art Camp with a Native American Theme

This summer I hosted two art camps.  The first camp was held in June and I decided on a Native American theme.  This first project is also the portfolio pouch.  That way everything goes home in a neat little packet. I also love this, because as a Mom that keeps everything, I can write the date on it and it makes it easier on me when I am putting work into a keepsake box.  

So, on one side of the portfolio they did their name and on the other they did a Native American inspired design.  Of course, they could adapt these if they wanted.

I always start off with the portfolio the first day, they usually don't need a lot of instruction which is great, because I'm busy greeting the incoming campers and talking to parents.  
We usually end up working on these over several days in 30-40 minute increments.  And it is great to get these out after we have finished something messy and it takes everyone a while to get cleaned up.  
For the shrink art project, I chose to do a bull skull.  I almost always do a shrink art project.  Usually an hour of work and then I take them home to shrink.  They love seeing the way they turn out.  
Here are a few of the shrink art close up.  

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Tree Murals Continued

This was the third of the ten murals painted. It is from the book Tree: Seasons
Come, Seasons Go. I spent the most time on this mural. It actually still has a few
details that I'd like to add. But, I felt like it was time to move on and start filling up
other spaces.

It was one of the two largest, and had the most color changes. 
Most elementary teachers will recognize this next one as Scaredy Squirrel. 
This is not the finished piece, I think I spent another hour or so on it after 
this picture was taken. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

And a Few More Tree Murals

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, seems to be a favorite amongst the adults. This may have been the first of the ten that "sold". 
For $1000, there will be a dedication plaque near the tree. I think 6 sold before school was out. 
This one was a lot of fun to do. It comes from the book Stars. Even though we can't totally black out the library, because of the emergency lights, we added some glow paint for when the lights are turned down. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

School Murals

Since March I've been working on this mural project in my spare time. The library staff asked me if I would be interested in painting some murals in the their library. Not knowing exactly the number, I said yes.

Things didn't quite come together for that summer, but I was able to make a Pinterest board and brain storm some ideas. When we started this year, I met with the librarian and he had done the same. We had both been pinning literary trees. 

The hope for the library was to transform and be more versatile with tables that could function in a variety of ways easily and include a makers space with a 3-D printer. And of course the murals, 10 to be exact. 

To be honest, I had never painted a mural and was a little intimidated. Where do you start? What kind of paint is best. They are offering to pay, how much do you charge? I'm still working on that last one. If anyone has advice on this...I'm all ears,

 Well, after a budget was approved for the tables, chairs, shelves, printers and so on they approached me a couple days before spring break to start on the paintings. Luckily, we had decided to do a staycation for spring break. So, over those 9 days I worked in the library on these two murals, a Truffula tree from The Lorax and the cover picture for We Planted a Tree. I'll be sharing more pictures soon.

Thursday, April 28, 2016


So this spring I was trying to be a tech savvy teacher and incorporate QR codes into the student art show.  I researched and looked and researched some more.  Each time feeling a bit overwhelmed and really disappointed.  I DIDN'T want an ugly QR code next to all this wonderful work my students had created.  I searched high and low for something more pleasant and attractive to add more content to the student show.  Well, I love watching the videos with Principal Gerry and his Southern accent and his humorous out look on education.  In one of his videos, he showed his music teacher's bulletin board and how she made it come to life with Aurasma.  I knew instantly that my search was over!  This was such a great tool.  I wasn't sure how many I would be able to produce, so initially I said I would do 3-5 per grade level.  This would have amounted to 18-30 kids with the Aurasma App added.  It was so easy that once I had the 5 per grade level, I kept adding more.  I ended up with 52.  Next year, my goal is to add all the kids who are in the art show.  So, if you are looking to add more to your art show, keep Aurasma in mind, I give it a thumbs up!!

Friday, April 8, 2016

The Great and Wonderful Dianna Aston Hutts

Spring is in the air, and there is so much inspiration all around us from flowers and insects and birds.  As everything starts to come back to life there is  inspiration to draw and create everywhere we look.

I love to incorporate literature into my lessons as often as I can.  It adds another layer to the lesson that helps our young learners understand the world around them.

Well, here is a series of books that is a must have for your personal collection, or at least in your school library.  The words are beautifully arranged and the illustrations are just gorgeous!

I had the privilege of teaching Dianna Hutts Aston's children in elementary school, many years ago.  She was just beginning her career as a hopeful author.  I remember sitting and having conversations with her about artist styles and what she was hoping the illustrations would be for some of her first books.
After a while, I lost touch, but one day I searched her on facebook and we have reconnected some.  I'm so glad, she is just one of those individuals that you can't help but like, no...love.  
She would give you the shirt off her back and not blink twice.  She herself is a true artist.  One of her personal favorites of her own collection of books is Dream Something Big.  The story of the Italian immigrant Simon Rodia, who created the Watts Towers in California.  It was an endeavor that would take thirty-four years to complete, made out of broken glass, seashells, pottery, any found object treasures.  A really great book to use for the upcoming Earth Day on Friday, April 22.  
I also love this, one of her newest passions, SOS: Messages of Hope, Love and Peace. Seriously, look it up!  She really is one of those people that make you evaluate yourself and makes you think about how you contribute daily to bettering our world.