In Lafayette’s art studio classroom we are not only learning about the elements, principles and media of the visual arts, but are using the arts to gain a greater understanding, depth and richness of language arts, math, science and social studies curricula. Using the arts to teach, creates learning that is internalized and understood by children with all learning styles and on multiple levels. By educating students through the visual arts and traditional academic content simultaneously, I help inspire and nurture the truly creative thinkers needed for this new millennium.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Plateaus, Valleys, Volcanoes, Oh My!

Landforms were the focus unit in grade 2, 
artist Ted Harrison was our art connection and inspiration! 

Landscape painter Ted Harrison was inspired by his beloved Yukon to create colorful abstract landscapes. Second graders explored all the landforms visible in Ted Harrison's landscapes, discussed the northern lights that he often pays tribute to in his skies, and also the way he uses many values of a color and analogous colors next to each other. 
Ted Harrison's "Walking Alone" 

A selection of student work inspired by Mr. Harrison's landform landscapes
...And our new display! 
Thanks to "Colors of My Day" blogger for the inspiration for this lesson!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Top of the Heap Comes With Benefits!

5th graders earn some definite privileges as the senior students in the building! A popular option for budding artists includes working on the pottery wheel during lunch and recess. Yes, it's messy and I often question my sanity at making this option available, but the students' enthusiasm makes it worthwhile!
Also popular? Working on the computers!
Currently 5th graders are creating digital quilts inspired by code quilts from the Underground Railroad using the Pages program on the Macs. 

Next up? Every 5th grader will be sewing a piece of our own quilt, inspired to be sold at the auction on St. Patty's day so watch out for the lucky greens!!! 
Last year's creation:

Monday, November 20, 2017

Grade 1 Highlights Fall 2017

In addition to creating Patriotic stamp designs, first graders have been exploring how LONG artists have been creating art and what materials early artists used to create their art. We journeyed to the Lascaux caves in France (who were discovered by some young boys and their dog Rocket!) 
Patriotic Stamps are our inspiration for these layered collages!

"Cave Animals" running created after observing the Lascaux Caves!

We then explored paper made from bark (through Amate bark paintings from Mexico).

Next we worked with earth clay from the ground to create a slab leaf, and in the next class a coil pot in the ancient style of hand building!

Coming up! African masks made from wood, feathers, raffia, shells, and more!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Celebrating the Importance of Art in Our Lives

This month we have been celebrating creativity, both in ourselves and in our environment. 
This past cycle grades 1-3 went on an in-school field trip to visit, interact with and look more closely at some of the new art installations in our building. We drew and wrote how the artist was creative, how the art made us feel, what questions we would like to ask the artist, and more...

And on September 15, Lafayette students demonstrated their creativity, kindness, and the courage to make our mark through our Dot Day celebration. 
Here are a few moments captured on the day itself:
Photo by Sophie Hanrahan

Bubble Prints!

Tie-Dye Dots!

A Dot Day Interactive Mural

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Understanding the Meaning of DOT DAY 9/15

Celebrating Creativity, Collaboration, Kindness and the Courage to Make Your Mark along with 8 million children in 168 countries around the world! We have spent this cycle understanding the power of a simple story to create a movement and embracing the message of that movement! 
Some of the books we have been reading as we get ready for Dot Day

Grades 1-3 completed their self-portraits expressing their personality with a truly creative flair and much individual choice... adding a custom designed frame to complete the look... and they are so proud!

Grade 5 expressed themselves with altered selfies... 

...and by exploring the dot paintings of Aboriginal artists

Grade 4 continues to explore visual mindfulness and their own creativity as they complete their zentangle designs... adding shading and color to their centering drawings.

And on Friday September 15, we will proudly 
wear our dots to show that 
We'll play the dot challenge game, enjoy bubble and sidewalk chalk and art activities at recess and CELEBRATE!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Creativity Abounds... Exploring the Self-ie and our Uniqueness as Artists

Excitement is palpable, moods shift... acceptance and celebration of all our differences is our modus operandi in Lafayette's art room! This is a safe space to create and express ourselves!!!
#CHOOSEKIND in the art room!

Our new school year begins with exploring the variety of ways artists express the human face and spirit. Grades 1-3 use Beauford Delaney's "Portrait of James Baldwin" as inspiration for a "selfie" drawing.
Beauford Delaney on the left, and some grade 1&3 selfie portraits in progress on the right
Grade 5 is exploring the selfie with our own creative selfies!
Here's my selfie! Fifth grader's selfies to come!
And Grade 4 is exploring the power of the pen and the mindfulness of zentangling as we warm up our creative juices for the new school year and begin to think about the message of Dot Day!
This delightful book embraces the Dot Day message of having the courage to make your mark
and how empowering and freeing that can be!

What's Dot Day you say? Just a world wide celebration by millions of teachers and students inspired by Peter Reynold's Book "The Dot". This year our Dot Day message includes "Making Your Mark" by #CHOOSEKIND!

Check out for more information about the origin of dot day and check out these photos from Lafayette Dot Day 2016 . And don't forget to WEAR YOUR DOTS on September 15 to show you have the courage to MAKE YOUR MARK!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Growing Mosaic Art in the Garden

Piece by piece our first garden installation grew this Spring. Fourth grade exotic flowers, 2nd and 3rd grade leaves of all shapes and sizes, and 2nd grade butterflies, caterpillars, bees and other imaginary insect pollinators were created for a welcome sign to our brand new Bear's Garden! 
Glazing our clay flowers

Under the tutelage of local mosaic artist Bonnie Fitzgerald after the school year was over, I finally assembled all our grown pieces into the completed artwork you see here! We added letters purchased by Lafayette parent Hope Scheller and stones and vines gathered and made. We hope this is the first of many artistic additions to our Bear's Garden.

Adding the final few pieces on site

The completed mosaic!