Monday, October 30, 2017

Current Teaching Examples

This school year I mostly have classes I have taught before (yay!). Cultural art is new and the drawing/painting class got a new name.

  • Intro Art
  • Video Arts
  • Digital Photography
  • Cultural Art
  • 2D Art (Drawing/Painting)

Every time I give my students a project I make sure it's something I also enjoy doing. We've been working on many fun projects with different materials and concepts. It's been quite a journey. Here are some of my current art samples I have been making with the students.

Gridded portrait of Elvis using pointillism.

Painting form samples. I goofed up on the right ones and made the ground darker. It should have been flipped. My bad. 

Color Wheels... oh teaching color theory. I've had students create so many different kinds of colors wheels over the years. Some are more presentable than others, but I find that the standard bottom left color wheel works well enough. Fancy is not always needed. 

I love making stamps when we do printmaking. I've made three samples so far. I could make one myself every day, but then I'd use all the class supply. I already don't think I have enough for next semester. 

My 2D art students really wanted to spray paint, so I let them. We used the back of drawing boards. I created this multi-layered tape thing with a two-layered Elvis. I could have done more, but I may be too impatient for the drying of spray paint. I know the students really enjoyed it. 

In Cultural Art I had the students create African Tinga Tinga paintings using Minnesota animals and influences. My example includes the state bird (loon) and state fish (walleye).  

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Master Copy Paintings

Each semester I have my students create master copy paintings. This is a project I enjoyed a lot when I was in school. In eighth grade attempted to paint the Mona Lisa and I really wish I had a picture of it because it was just awful, but I loved it!

While student teaching, my co-operating teacher had the painting students do the same assignment. The first two here are my examples while student teaching. I've been having my own current classes do copies also. I believe it really helps to develop painting techniques. The bottom two are examples from my time at ERATS.

Click here to check out some of my students' examples. 

 Copy of a Chuck Close portrait
16x20 oil on canvas

Copy of "The Bath" by Fernando Botero
16x20 oil on canvas

Copy of "Starry Night" by Vincent Van Gogh
16x20 acrylic on canvas

Copy of "A Bigger Splash" by David Hockney
12x16 acrylic on canvas

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Summer Camp

Did I create a lot of art this summer? No, no I did not, but that doesn't mean I wasn't creative. I worked at an all girls summer camp for 9 weeks as a camp counselor and a drama instructor. I learned some quick skills on the fly like this stage makeup business and making myself look like I really got stabbed by nature. I also taught improve acting which I love, and singing... um... there's a reason I am a visual artist and not a musician, but we all got through it unharmed. It was quite the experience.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Art Classroom

I think of my entire classroom as a work of art. I am the interior decorator to the art room. When I first got my classroom two years ago it was in shambles. I did some wall painting and major organization. In the first year I had little storage space and a weird layout, but at least it looked pretty decent. By my second year I multiplied my storage and table space and got some new student tables that I grouped in the middle. It's a little tight when I have many students in the room, but it is WAY better this year. There is more usable space and storage these days. Of course, I will always wish for more space, but I do what I can. I'm lucky I have a lot of freedom to make it into what I want. 

This is my second year arrangement ^

This is my first year arrangement ^ 

This is what I what I started with ^

Friday, April 21, 2017

How to Be a Successful Art Teacher

One of the first projects I taught in the film making class was to make a how-to video. I was very surprised that none of the students have made or posted videos like this. In the age of technology I feel like every high school student does this, but maybe it's all about the snapchats and instagrams these days. Anyway, this was my example to show them. It also shows off how amazing and successful I am. 

Ball Transform GIF

I had my digital art students make GIFs using photoshop. They picked it up surprisingly well. The assignment was to make a ball bounce and transform into something else. I made this quick example during class when I was explaining the assignment. He's a happy little orange thing. Of course I had to explain squash and stretch concepts too.

These are a few of the student examples I very much enjoyed. Everyone is unique on their interpretation of the project. Go to to see more student art.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Watercolor Layering Samples

Hey look! Watercolor painting. These were some quick examples to show students the layering process. Still life art isn't usually my jam anymore, I like idea creation and storytelling better, but it's nice to know that I can still whip out some still life examples when I need them. 

Go to to see more student art.

Half Skull Portrait

I had my intro students make half skull portraits and I could not resist making my own. I love colored pencils and I have not done any of my own art with them for a couple years. I must say, I still got it. I am pleased with how this picture turned out. My students made some nice ones also.

Go to to see more student art.