Monday, December 17, 2012

Art Ed Blog Finalist and 200 Followers!

The results are in and I am happy to be a finalist among some amazing art education bloggers for Art Ed Blog of the Year! Congratulations to all of the winners and finalists. You can see all of us by visiting  The Art of Education

Over the last few days my blog has also reached over 200 followers! All of these confirmations of what I do are so appreciated. Remember that most bloggers are not compensated in any way other than knowing that you are out there, reading, commenting and sharing with each other. Thank you all for your support!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Best Artists in the Ocean: Animated!

Lovely things happen when you are part of a great community of art educators. I recently received an email from Ian Sands. His blog Art of Apex High School is also up for the 2012 Art Ed Blog of the Year at The Art of Education.  Ian asked if his students could use the squid paintings my students recently created after reading 'I'm the Best Artist in the Ocean!' by Kevin Sherry as inspiration for an animation project.
I was so excited that he contacted me and immediately agreed. What a great way for older and younger students to collaborate, utilize technology, and just have fun making art! Not to mention that we are in different parts of the country. Now it feels like we are sharing the same virtual classroom! Thanks Ian, to you and your students. It is just the coolest thing ever to have someone animate your art! My students are all smiles.

There's still time to vote for our blogs at The Art of Ed! 
Midnight tonight is the deadline. Good luck once again everyone! 
I'm off to find out about How to Milk a Dinocow!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Holiday Paintings

A few years back, my husband's grandmother requested a special gift for the holidays. She asked for each member of the family to create a holiday painting for her to display in her home. The older members of our family can be hard to buy for, and I was thankful for the request. So, this post isn't so much a lesson plan or tour of the art room, but a reminder that a handmade gift can mean more than something bought in a store. There's still time to create some art for family, friends, soldiers on a tour of duty, or the local assisted living home. Happy Holidays.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Please vote for Art Ed Blog of the Year 2012!

Woo hoo! I just found out from Jessica over at The Art of Education that my blog has been selected as one of the finalists to win "Art Ed Blog of the Year!" I am very excited, and hope you can take a minute this week to vote for My Adventures in Positive Space.

Voting is open this whole week from today through Friday the 14th. Follow this link
All you have to do is click on the vote now button, check off my blog and any others that you adore, and then hit submit! My blog is truly in great company, and it would be an honor to make it into the
Top 10 Art Ed Blogs of 2012!

Thanks so much to all that follow my adventures, and Happy Holidays!




Friday, December 7, 2012

Woven Space Invaders

Upper elementary and middle school students recently discussed the art of weaving and its parallels to computer technology and video game design. We talked bout how comparing the look of classic arcade video games to today's games demonstrates the advancement in technology for many aspects of our lives. 

This is a great lesson for weaving, art and technology history, careers in art, or you could also touch upon Invader, the international graffiti artist. I found the idea for this lesson at Minieco Tutorials, where there are lots of modern paper design projects as well as lots of other cool stuff.

I had examples of Space Invaders for my students to chose as reference, and they created a weaving using their own color choices. Then I asked them to design their own creation. For these original designs, we worked on graph paper and paid attention to symmetry and color. Students also had to figure out ways to make more than one color appear on a single row, and how to come up with an effective design with limited amount of space and color choices.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Nominations for Art Ed Blog of the Year!

Nominations for Art Ed Blog of the Year are now open at The Art of Education! This site has a wealth of resources specifically for art teachers, including information on classroom organization, curriculum planning, professional development classes, and more. They've got some cute videos as well. If you haven't visited the site yet, take a look.

If you enjoy my art education blog or any others, you can nominate them all this week by Friday December 7th. Visit this page and leave a comment with a link to your nominations, and reasons why you enjoy them. I'm going to nominate my favorites, why don't you?


This is a great opportunity to support the art education blogs we enjoy and rely on for inspiration, communication, and advocacy in our field. I'd love to be included among them. Good luck everyone!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Best Artists in the Ocean Paintings

As I continue the unit on literacy in the art room, our young artists read the book 'I'm the Best Artist in the Ocean!' by Kevin Sherry, and learned about squid, their tentacles and their ability to squirt ink.

We then created an ocean background using cake tempera and large wash brushes. Next we made a directed line drawing of our artist squids. The pencil drawing was painted with liquid tempera, and then cut out and glued to the background painting. Options for our paintings were to include an artist's cap and/or mustache to the squid character. Younger artists painted solid black lines for the tentacles and older artists created outlines of black filled in when painting the entire body of the squid. I was inspired by fellow bloggers  Dali's Moustache and by This Little Class of Mine among others. I hope you enjoy our "Messterpieces!"

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

This has been a trying week for many of us due to Hurricane Sandy. I do hope that my art teacher friends, and blog followers have suffered little damage and that you are safe and well. Our town definitely took some damage! My street had many downed trees and power lines, and was closed to traffic. My home and family are safe, and power returned yesterday, November 5th in the afternoon. 

I have amazing neighbors and we all took it in stride with fireside chats, pot luck meals, outdoor fires, and the kids getting lots of fresh air! We lived on lots of candlelight, fireside chats, and heaps of blankets on the beds at night. No one went hungry, as neighbors took turns hosting dinners of whatever they could cook or provide. Halloween was postponed for a week and then canceled altogether, but we had tricks or treat on the block and a Halloween Party anyway!

So I am just checking in, wishing you all well, and letting you know that my art blogging life will continue as soon as possible. Please be safe and my thoughts are with you.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Lines that Wiggle Monster Collages

I am currently doing a unit on literacy, and reading children's books to inspire art lessons for my youngest artists. For this project we read the book Lines that Wiggle by Candace Whitman, and then stood up and pretended to be different types of lines.

Then they created a collage based on the cover illustration. First they glued pre-cut shapes to create the image of a monster sitting down to a bowl of spaghetti. They used crayons to decorate the table, the bowl, and their monsters. Lastly, they "drew with glue" to create the wiggly lines of spaghetti in the monster's mouth, the bowl and spilling onto the table. After drawing they covered their glue lines with black glitter and added googly eyes. To add skills to this lesson you could make templates to trace and cut the monster, it's mouth and the bowl.

Did I mention that my favorite part of this lesson was getting to hear everyone's pronunciation of the word spaghetti? So cute! Pasketti monsters have a lovely ring, don't you think?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Andy's Soup

Just went to Target yesterday and purchased some of the limited-edition Campbell's Soup cans. I love what a simple idea this is! Why didn't anyone think of it sooner? Thanks to Target and the Andy Warhol Foundation. This is the coolest soup ever!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

There's a Dragon in the Garden

Towards the end of the summer I donated my time and expertise to creating a new bottle cap mural for a local elementary school. This past school year the students, staff, and families all participated in the building of a school garden and outdoor classroom.

The timing never seemed to work for me when they were designing the space, building garden beds, etc. but I love to garden and wanted to contribute. So I decided that I would create a bottle cap mural for the school garden. Since 2012 was the first year of the school garden project, the year of the dragon, and since the mascot of the elementary school is a dragon, I decided to create a mural with the theme “A Dragon in the Garden.” It sounds a bit like a wonderful art teacher blog I know of, but it's just coincidence. Hi Phyl!

These projects are so wonderful and accomplish many goals for a school community, including beautification and school spirit, a lesson in recycling (bottle caps can not be recycled, but can be re-used for this purpose), and participating a large-scale community artwork. The families and children who participated brought me great joy, and were such a help! The principal was impressed and plans to install the mural soon on one of the outside building walls of the garden. They may even put it on display at the Board of Ed offices before it is permanently placed. I hope it will make the garden an even more beautiful space, and that the kids can point and say "I helped make that!"

Here is the finished mural. It is 4'x8' and used over 1,900 bottle caps. 

Transferring the design. 

Literally, in the middle of sorting.

The painting begins.

Beginning to install the caps, working from the middle out.

Capping the dragon's wing.

A parent and student working with the screwdriver drill.

Adding the finishing touches.