Sunday, September 28, 2014

What the Art Teacher Wore #116 and an Art Project Update

Oh, Flowery Day!: I've already started the long-drawn out process of packing up my summer duds and replacing 'em with fall frocks (which I'll do all over again in two months when I pack up the fall clothing and bust out the winter stuff. The fun of being a clothing hoarder never ends. Sigh). Howevers, since we are learning about colorful Latin America, I wanted to dress the part one more week before saying adios to all my colorful clothes. dress and belt: thrifted; jacket: Lucky Brand; sandals: Frye; big fat hair flower: DIY
And another photo because I just wanted you to see the back of this groovy jacket. I can't take credit for it but it's long inspired me to do the same to some snooze-fest sweaters in my closet. 

Well, hello there, kids! I dunno about you but these past coupla weeks have seemed to swallow me whole. By the time I get home from work, make some feeble attempt at cooking dinner (by the way, am I the only one that will occasionally [and by "occasionally", I mean once a week] have Pop Corn/Ice Cream dinners?) and kinda clean, up it's practically bedtime. Which is driving me crazy because my DIY mountain is piling up. My sewing room currently looks like a studio for a dozen different nut-job artsy types who lack direction and have seriously low standards of cleanliness. Which is pretty much how it always looks, dunno why I'm acting like that's anything new. 

Aside from all that slack-tasticness, I gotta tell ya that my email inbox has been filling up with some super fantastic Costume Contest entries! Are y'all planning on dressing up as an artist or artwork? If so, don't forget to send your photos my way ( to enter to win a feature here as well as spot in SchoolArts magazine! Looking forward to see your costume!
In other news, I'll be speaking at Bowling Green State University Monday, October 6th! I'm excited to share with y'all how I use my (questionable) fashion sense as an inspiration for teaching. At least I think that's what I'll be sharing. Regardless, I'd love to see and meet you there!

All that aside, I thought I'd share with you the start of some Latin American-inspired work that my students began this week. Last week, you saw our inspiration and now here's a sneak peak at our works-in-progress. What in the world are your kids doing in the art room this week? 
In first grade-ville, we're working on our Amate-inspired drawings of floral and fauna. After learning about Mexico, Amate paper and macaws, we were introduced to a lil Spanish by this guy:

That's right, I totes upped my geeky art teacher game and used this giant macaw puppet to teach the kids Spanish as well as the primary colors (thanks, Folkmanis, for that wise choice of feathers!). I picked up this guy from amazon and the kids loved him. They were so excited to draw their own macaws after Manuel (his name) made his appearance.
Warm/Cool Days of Fall: I never know how to dress when it comes to fall. Cool in the mornings, warm by noon, this weather is as moody as me. dress: thrifted; scarf: Urban Outfitters; belt: Anthro 
My second grade artists are working on collage landscapes with the arpilleras of Chile in mind. We worked for several days creating painted papers (inspired by one of my fave blogs, Painted Paper! Thanks, Laura!). Now that our land is complete, it's time to add some fun details. I'll keep you posted on these beauties.
Florals and Frida: Did anyone else scoop up those Frida shirts that Forever 21 was selling? Did you know they have a "Artist Series"? They've featured the artwork of Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat which is awesome. What's not so awesome is that it's usually crop tops and tube tops. Not exactly teacher attire. But I suppose they aren't expecting teachers to shop at a place called "Forever 21", now are they? Frida top: Forever 21; skirt and shoes: thrifted
My third grade is getting ready to embark on one of my fave projects: Tree Weaving. This week they created their backgrounds. We learned how to mix three different values to create space in our landscape. The kids were allowed to use whatever colors they wanted for their paintings which meant some created deserts, fields or beaches. I can't wait to see how their woven tree looks in the foreground. 
Bird Brained Friday: Since my first graders were drawing birds, I thought a bird-themed dress would be appropriate. Not that it could compete with that bird puppet, lemme tell you. They were all, "cool dress, Stephens, now BRING OUT THE PUPPET!" Kids these days, I tell ya. sweater and dress: thrifted
Lastly, we have my fourth graders Metepec suns. These kids used the same method that my third grade students did to create a three-dimensional face. Several kids are creating a sun/moon face (those are the unfinished ones). I borrowed heavily Denise Logan's book Dynamic Art Projects (great book, y'all. Check it.) but I'm planning on having the kids do a little something different for the rays of the sun. For that, you'll have to stay tuned. Until next time!

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  1. I covet thy Frida top! What an amazing shirt! I'm working on my artist contest as we speak! I love every outfit you put together! I'm totally inspired by your awesomeness! Go Cassie! Go Cassie! How do ya find the time? I wish I was in your class!

    1. Ha, you the best, you just made my day :) I wonder...could you find the top on Forever's website? I picked up the two different tops they had this summer. I bet you could ebay 'em. I can't wait to see what costume you put together, I know it will be EPIC!

  2. Cassie, this question doesn't necessarily apply to this post, but in reading your post about gnome landscapes from last year, you mentioned that it was a project that spanned several class sessions and took a long time because of all the detail many of the kids wanted to add and how creative they got with it. So I was wondering, how do you deal with the kids who say, "I'm done" and there's 15 minutes of class left and you want to keep everyone on the same page so you don't want them to move on to the next step yet? Do you have a go-to fast finisher activity? Maybe you've already posted about this and if so can you refer me to that post? Thank you!

    1. That is such a great question! I usually resort to "free draw" time, writing up a little artist statement (that will get them back to work on their project as not too many of them are fans of writing about their art...but we're working on it) or reading. I have a bunch of kids books out that they can read. They also looove to help each other so I'll often make them my "special assistant" and assign them to help out a buddy or help me clean. I hope that helps you!

  3. Yes, that does help a lot! Before the school year started I had thought about having a picture book station but it totally slipped my mind, so thanks for reminding me! And I could always use cleaning 'special assistants!' Thanks.

  4. I'm not sure how I got here but I'm glad I did.

    Awesome. I love the drive in you that shines so abundantly through in the photos. Great Outfits.
    I sometime have pleasure of working with at stylist that also goes 100% in to what she does an sows it with her wardrobe... If we shoot flowers, she will be wearing hat, jeans, blouse, shoes, whatever with flowers on them and if we shoot something darker of nature she will step out of a Tim Burton movie... You get the picture.
    It's so inspiring be in the midst of others who gives a 100% I truly hope you surroundings appreciate it. :-)


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