Monday, August 31, 2009

Art Pals

They idea of Pen Pals is so much fun, and getting to know a "stranger" has been a classic way for teachers to teach letter writing skills.
Many years ago, my husband facilitated "Art Pals", through the use of his technology skills. He simply posted some messages on internet bulletin boards and set up an art exchange program for the art class at his school.
The response was phenomenal and so enlightening. Kids felt like they got to know other kids' perceptions in different parts of the world.

Here is some of the artwork received back in 1992:

From students in Japan

From students in Russia. All Russian students were age 11.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Good Advice

2 woodless graphite pencils in plastic sheaths...Image via Wikipedia

"Knowing the capabilities of your tools is the first step toward feeling pleased with your drawing." February, 1986, Marla Kantor, Instructor Magazine

As a teacher, the ultimate enemy is - time. So much to teach, so little time.

I'm glad I read this quote because I need to be reminded that kids need the opportunity to explore with their tools without regard to creating a beautiful product.
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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Nature in Art/Art in Nature

Arch at Goodwood, a monumental sculpture by Br...Image via Wikipedia

Here is "Arch at Goodwood", a monumental sculpture by Andy Goldsworthy (born 26 July 1956) at the sculpture estate of the Cass Sculpture Foundation in 2002.

This artist leaves me speechless! Last weekend I visited the de Young Museum in San Francisco with a friend. The courtyard contains a sculpture by Goldsworthy titled "Faultline". I've seen it three times now, and every time I'm in complete awe.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Power Tools!

When I find a small blow-dryer at a yard sale, I buy it!
In the classroom, we call them power tools and kids love the "power" to speed dry their art. Our rule is that the blowdryer must be kept on "low" to keep the noise down and also to keep the paint from moving if it's really wet.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Frida Kahlo Quote

Frida Kahlo, Self-Portrait, 1940. See discussi...Image via Wikipedia

The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration.

Frida Kahlo- Mexico, 1907-1954
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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Cartoon Fun!

Cartoon Fun with fantastic summer artists:
Brigido, Seth, Jennifer, Julia, Clio, Keara, Ellie, Kahler, Josh, and Hannah!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Kids ARE relevant artists!!

PlantersImage via Wikipedia

More reason to never underestimate the value of kid's art. This logo of Mr. Peanut came from a 1916 contest. The winner was a 13 year old school boy named Antonio Gentile, and he took home $5 for his effort.

Almost 100 years later, and the logo still holds up. No changes have been made, except for the version of where Mr. Peanut puts his right hand on his hip, and leans to the left on his cane.

Way to go Antonio!!

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Landscapes on odd size paper

Here's a colorful art project done on "odd" sized paper. Keep kids' creative juices flowing by veering away from the standard size papers generally used in school. Instead of using a standard 12x18 or 9x12 piece of construction paper, this landscape was done on a 6x18 piece of white construction paper.

To make their hills interesting, the kids chose 4 different colors for each hill.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


The concept of getting children to appreciate their own art has always been of interest to me. Every teacher knows that child that struggles to find beauty in any of his/her art. I'm inspired by this work of photographer Simon Roberts. His poignant perceptions illustrate that beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder.
A lovely portrait of observing beauty in Russia.