Sunday, April 27, 2014

What the Art Teacher Wore #97 and Last Call for the Best Dressed Contest!

Feelin' Frida-ish Monday: I have a coupla after school art clubs, in those small groups, we have the most enlightening convos. One girl asked, "We learn about men artists a lot. Aren't there any girl artists?" I had already been thinking about how I'd like to introduce more contemporary artists next year (this guy does it all the time and has me inspired) but now I know that more female artists need to be thrown into the mix. So! What contemporary/female artists do you introduce in your art room? dress: thrift store; necklaces: Forever39, ahem, 21; belt: Anthropologie; tights: Target; boots: Seychelles 
I don't know what life is like on your end of the world but I'm sure it's crazy-busy. Especially if you are a teacher. End-of-the-school-year projects to wrap up, mountains of artwork to sort for our school-wide art show, let's-get-rid-of-this-stuff spring cleaning, the list grows by the day. So this week, I thought I'd share with you just some of the things we've been working on in the art room. Complete lessons on this here blog to come, but for now, you'll have to savor these sneak-peaks.

AND, just so's ya know, Wednesday, April 30th is the LAST CALL FOR THE BEST DRESSED ART TEACHER CONTEST! Yes, I'm shouting at you, that's how excited I am! So many of you awesome art teachers have sent me snaps that left me rolling in laughter (which is a good thing, I swear! Ya'll are the best!). 

What's the Best Dressed Art Teacher Contest, you ask? 
Well, here's the details:

Nominate yourself or an art teacher buddy!

Simply send an email to me at with a photo of your best artsy look. High resolution photos preferred, please.

 Please include a short bio about the art teacher and what inspired the look.

Photos and bio will be shared on this blog on April 30th.

Open voting on this blog will end on May 5th and the winner will be announced May 7th!

The winner will receive a magical prize along with an interview on this blog.

So! what are you waiting for? Shoot me an email, you crazy art teacher, you!
So if I'm not found Buried Alive under the 400+ clay projects that the kids have created over the last coupla weeks, it'll be a miracle. These clay stars were created a couple months back. Our original intent was to glaze them and "sell" them back to our parents with the proceeds going to charity. However, due to some personal stuff, that had to get placed on the back burner. But now we're back! And I just knew I'd never be able to get 400+ stars glazed and fired along with all those projects. So I lurked the interwebs for a possible solution and saw something about coloring clay projects with crayons...(well, construction paper crayons were recommended but, in the state that my room is currently in, there was no finding mine)...

We painted over them with watercolor paint (I asked that the kids pick just one color, por favor) and viola! Colorful and completed in a snap! More details about these stars and how they were created in an upcoming post.
Bump-It Up Tuesday: So I had a hair appointment after school on Tuesday (not that you'd ever be able to tell I got my hair cut. I'm such a chicken, I always just get a couple inches taken off. So boring!). Once seated in the hair-cuttin-hot-seat, I proceeded to unravel the following from my 'do: 11 Bobby Pins, 2 Pink Bows and 1 Extra Large Bumpit. My hair dressers reaction, after regaining her thoughts, "Ohmigawd, IS THAT A BUMPIT?!" I live in the South, ya'll! It's Big Hair or Die! shoes, sweater and top: thrift store; skirt and belt: Pin Up Girl Clothing 
Speaking of clay 3rd graders created these Chinese-inspired clay dragons. Ya'll, this project was such a hit! I would easily do this again with all grade levels. The creativity was off the chain crazy! I can't wait for them to glaze them so I can share the easy-peasy lesson with you. 

Some of my 4th grade students created Panda's with Personality (oh boy, ya'll. Do they ever have personality!) while another group created Asian elephants inspired by the painted elephants in India. Many added jewelry, fabric and flowers to their elephants. I have a feeling these are going to be the most colorful elephants ever.
So Stinkin' Tired Wednesday: Seriously. The end of the school year is near...and my work load only builds as I'm sure yours does as well. This photo was the only one I managed NOT to be yawning my head off in. dress: vintage, thrifted; tights: Target; shoes: Dolls by Nina
After finishing off our clay projects, We Returned to Our Normally Scheduled Program, Already in Progress (said in that officially dorky voice). Which means my 4th graders added either bamboo, cherry blossom trees or pine trees to their large (12" X 18") watercolor painted backgrounds. Lesson to come, promise!

What is Wrong with You, Thursday?!: Wow, this outfit was a let down to the folks, both big and small, in my school! The 4th grade decided that they had never seen me in "short shoes" (um, I'm guessing that means flats?!) and my librarian buddy dubbed this a "too normal" of an outfit. Humph! Time to get outta these Short Shoes and step up my Non-Normal game, I guess! top: Target; skirt: vintage, etsy; shoes: gift; headband: made by me; necklace: The Paper Source
Meanwhile, in 3rd grade, we excitedly finished these Ming vase inspired still lives. We spent a long time on this project but learned so much...I'll be sharing this lesson later this week. Stay tuned, ya'll!

Hittin' the Town, Friday: Almost everyday after school, there's something going on. Whether it's an art club or meeting up with buddies, I'm always running. I had decided that, with art show approaching, I should spend more after school time in my art room...but I just can't! Not with buddies that I need to chat and shop with. Tamara, thank you for snapping this photo at my happy place -- Anthropologie (where I walked out with a not-at-all-necessary $298 dress for $26, eeee!). dress: made by me (go here for the craziest food-processing-foot-cutting story everrr
My 1st grade friends made clay koi fish...and while those dry, they are creating these koinobori (Japanese for Carp Kite) for May 5th which is Children's Day in Japan.

I actually picked up these die-cut paper fish years ago through Roylco and never got around to having the kids create them. This time it worked to be the perfect tie-in, as well as a super short project while our clay drys out. I'll share with you more about this project soon. Ah! So much to share with ya's!


  1. I love the Roylco fish! I get them every year for my 3d grades for Children's Day ! We are a wee bit behind this year so we will be making them after Children's Day, lol.... I have the kids draw out designs on them with a black Sharpie and them color them all over with Crayola markers. Then they wet them with water( to make the marker run like watercolor) that I mix gold tempera into. When dry the gold tempera gives them a sheen. It's a favorite project! :)

    1. Oh, I LOOOOVE the gold tempera idea! I'll have to remember that for the future, thank you :)

    2. Sounds so pretty!

  2. I eagerly await all your updates on all the art lessons you are doing! they all look amazing!!!

    1. Aw, thanks, Amber! I'll keep ya posted ;)

  3. Female artists studied this year: Louise Nevelson, Frida Kahlo, Elizabeth Catlett, and Georgia O'Keefe. In the last few years, Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson, Faith Ringgold, Betye Saar, Marisol Escobar, Kara Walker.

    I used the crayons with tempera paint last year and I think I like them better than glaze in many cases. With any work that has a lot of texture, it really brings that out more than my students glazing, at least.

    Love, love, love all of your clay pieces.

  4. Awesome, thank you for the Lady Artist suggestions!! I appreciate it! I love Kara of my faves.

    Well, I just might be hooked on this crayon/paint thing, it's so easy. I'm a little concerned about breakage a the kids have to press super hard with the crayons. Someone suggested oil pastels...I might give that a go on one of my pieces this week.

    Thank you!!

  5. Maud Lewis, Louise Bourgeois, Aminah Robinson, and Lisa Congdon are some of my faves. Oh, and Deborah Butterfield too!

    Love the cray-clay. Totally going to try it.

    1. Oh! Lisa Congdon would be good, she's contemporary. I bet she'd even be into chatting with the kids, great idea!! AND "cray-clay" SOOOOO saying that in art class tomorrow!!

    2. lisa congdon is great! i've done a couple projects inspired by her. one had popsicles (win) and spray paint (double win;)

      love the still life you got here and tahnks for the shout out lady:)

  6. Love Love Love the lime green dress!!!!!

    1. Oh, thank you! That one I can take credit for :)

  7. I love "Bump-it Up Tuesday"! There are so many great women artists. My kids love learning about Grandma Moses. Her work is so kid friendly, plus she used to say "Oh ishkabibble!" when she got mad - they love it. Native American potter Helen Cordero is another favorite when we make clay storytellers. Maya Lin is a favorite contemporary sculptor and there are great resources out there on the wall in DC. Here is a great list to explore:

    1. Thank you!! I love this list, perfect :)

  8. I couldn't remember this artist's name and then I found her featured on IG!

  9. Is it Yayoi Kusama? (that's what the IG says). Awesome!!

  10. SO loving the still life! Black paper behind it really makes it pop!

  11. Love the stars so much! Wish I had access to a kiln at my schools...

  12. Looks like some great projects- love the colorful stars and the dragons!

    Here are some women artists I have used for lessons...
    Alma Thomas-African American abstract painter-great for colorful patterns and rhythmic brush strokes
    Emily Carr-Canadian artist painted forests of Pacific northwest
    Janet Fish- gorgeous still life painter
    Lois Mailou Jones-African American painter -portraits/still life/masks/patterns
    Yvonne Jacquette-Aerial perspective love her work!
    Carmen Lomas Garza-Chicano artist-family/culture/still life/-wonderful paintings also Papel Picado-traditional mexican cut paper art

  13. So I'm looking at a hundred or so clay bowls to be finished by the end of the year and your crayon and watercolor idea sounds like the perfect solution! Any more details on how that was done? Did you bisque fire them first? Any helpful links? Thanks so much!

  14. Cassie, questions about the clay stars. Did you have a cookie cutter for the stars? If so, did you cut them out or did the kdis? Did you water color after the coloring? Thanks, Julie

  15. That is a great idea! Passion and Creativity are the most important thing to have, So beautiful!!!
    Tranh theu tnc


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