Henrico Humane Society Pet Portraits

I am so excited to tell you about a very special project the 4th grade artists at Greenwood having been working on!


We have again partnered with the Henrico Humane Society to help spread the word about the wonderful work they do in our community to help find loving homes for dogs and cats in need.

This year, 4th grade students each selected a dog looking for a home and created clay portraits of these pups!


We spent two art days building portraits of these sweet doggies!


Once we were finishing building with the clay, we glazed our pieces and added beaded name tags so that the projects would be easy to display.

Additionally, these students have been working on persuasive letters to explain why they think their dog deserves a loving, permanent home!

Now… the EXTRA exciting news!


30 of these amazing projects were selected to hang on the Greenwood Elementary tree at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden for their annual display of holiday lights!  In addition to their clay projects, ornaments that display a QR code will allow visitors to use their smartphone to listen to the student reciting their persuasive letter!

Thousands of visitors will have a chance visit the GardenFest of Lights display this holiday season.  We hope that these visitors will not only enjoy and appreciate our display but will understand the value of adopting a dog or cat from the Henrico Humane Society!



Fall Goodies

There were so many exciting things happening this week in the art room!


Kindergarten artists created “frightening” creatures inspired by painter Jean-Michel Basquiat’s paintings.  We read “Life Doesn’t Frighten Me” by poet Maya Angelou.  We had so much fun creating SCARY creatures!

First Grade

First grade artists painted big, beautiful pumpkins using primary colors!  This week we cut them out and added curly vines!

Second Grade

Second grade artists are learning about painter Yayoi Kusama, a Japanese painter who is obsessed with dots and pumpkins!  Last week students drew wiggly, wobbly pumpkins and painted them purple by mixing red and … blue!  This week, we worked on the backgrounds for the pumpkin collages by printing triangles with metallic paint.

Third Grade

Third grade students are studying the photographs of our universe taken by the Hubble Telescope.  We are experimenting with a variety of media and drawing and painting techniques to create our own galaxies!  This week students used vibrant watercolor paints and oil pastels to create the background for their paintings.  As a finishing touch we added a sprinkle of salt to make the illusion of faraway stars!  We’re putting the A in STEM for a little STEAM!

Fourth Grade

Speaking of STEAM, check out this cool monochromatic landscapes inspired by this summer’s solar eclipse!  Students were so excited to tell me all about their eclipse experience!  We used purple paint to make the backgrounds.  We used white to make it lighter and black to make it darker.  Finally, we added a giant moon blocking most of the light from the sun and a tree!

Fifth Grade

Fifth grade students are starting an art unit learning about how artists are inspired by dance to connect with our schoolwide theme of “Greenwood Grooves”!  We will be creating 3-D junk collages of skeletons in motion.  To get us thinking about how the body moves and bends as we dance, students worked on a series of fun stations.

The first station had photographs of famous dancers and lots of junk materials to experiment with.  Students created a skeleton collage using found objects then took a quick photograph with the ipad.

The second station had 4 photos of dancers from the Alvin Ailey Dance Troupe.  Students created gesture drawings of these dancers then put the sheets in a sandwich bag they will use to collect found objects of their own to use in the collages they will begin this week.  That’s right…. HOMEWORK! 🙂

The third station had more photographs of dancers and supplies for printing a skeleton moving like the dancer in the photograph!


We have a lot of fun things happening in the art room, including clay!


Kindergarten artists are working on one of my favorite clay projects – pinch pot pumpkins!

We sit together in a big circle and use our hands to make a little pinch pot.

Then we turn our pinch pots upside down to make an adorable pumpkin!


First grade

First grade finished their Statue of Liberty portraits by exploring warm and cool colors!


Second grade

Second grade artists finished their patriotic heart paintings by adding a variety of patterns.


Third grade

Third grade artists painted these lovely poppy fields in remembrance of Veteran’s Day.


Fourth grade

Fourth grade artists are making clay portraits of dogs available for adoption through the Henrico Humane Society.  They are so fantastic!


Fifth grade

Fifth grade artists are nearly finished with their Statue of Liberty paintings!  We will finish them up this week!

Red, White and Blue

Our Gator artists are wrapping up their Original Works pieces this week and working on a variety of new projects.


Kindergarten artists finished their Original Works art by collaging their self-portraits onto the name paintings they worked on last week.  They are so cute!

First Grade

First graders are working on a portrait of the Statue of Liberty inspired by pop artist Peter Max.  We took turns wearing her crown!

Second Grade

Second grade students are nearly finished with their patriotic heart designs inspired by Brazilian painter Romero Britto.  We’ve been working on developing patterns with shapes and lines.

Third Grade

Third grade artists are working on a painting of a field of poppy flowers in honor of Veteran’s Day.  Poppies are symbols of remembrance for soldiers that have died in battle.  This week we painted the sky and field.  Next week we will add the lovely poppy flowers.

Fourth Grade

Fourth grade artists are beginning our first clay project of the year!  We are partnering with the Henrico Humane Society and making portraits of the dogs available for adoption!  A selection of our portraits will go on display at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens for their GardenFest of Lights display!  We hope that by sharing our artwork with the public we will raise awareness and interest in the good work that the Henrico Humane Society does to find loving homes for dogs and cats in our community!

Fifth Grade

Fifth grade students continue to work on their Statue of Liberty paintings.  They’re looking awesome!  More pictures next week!

Original Works

Our Gators are wrapping up their Original Works projects this week!


We are exploring color mixing and paint techniques to create the background for our self-portrait collages.

First Grade

First grade artists created adorable cats inspired by painter Paul Klee.

Second Grade

Second grade artists created owls using a variety of lines and patterns.

Third Grade

Third grade artists are designing deliciously creative cupcakes!

Fourth Grade

Fourth graders are creating unique cups and mugs!

Fifth Grade

Fifth grade students are working on radiating name designs!

Gator Gratitude Wreath

I have introduced two new items in the art room this week. The first is our classroom wreath. When students exhibit outstanding G.A.T.O.R. behavior in the art room they will be invited to add a ribbon to our wreath. The ribbons are color coded to show all of the amazing ways we’re showing Gratitude, Accountability, Trustworthiness, Optimism and Respect.

Second, I introduced the Gratitude Station. This space is for “early finishers” that have a few moments to either write a thank you letter or make a thank you card to share with a friend, teacher or parent. It has been a hit!

Original Works

It’s officially Original Works season!  OW is the company that can print your child’s artwork on a variety of cool items: water bottles, t-shirts, stickers and more!  This project is my favorite fund raiser of the year because it allows you to support our amazing school AND purchase adorable keepsakes!


Kindergarten artists are learning how to draw the human body using shapes.  Our inspiration was artist and illustrator Rob Dunlavey.  We used the promethean board to go on a hunt for shapes in his drawings then had a chance to work together to build a person of our own with shapes.

Students used permanent markers to draw self-portraits using basic shapes!

First Grade

First grade students are finishing their fall tree landscapes this week!  We read the book “Sky Tree” and talked about how trees change through each season.  We observed the tree illustrated in the book and painted the trunk and branches of one tall tree using a variety of lines.

Aren’t they lovely?!

Second Grade

Second grade students are drawing wacky owls using a variety of patterns.  I love them!

Third Grade

Third grade students are drawing crazy cupcakes!  I forgot to take a picture of their drawings but trust me, they are awesome!

Fourth Grade

Fourth grade artists are designing their own coffee/tea/hot cocoa cups!

Fifth Grade

Fifth grade artists are creating these amazing radiating name designs!  Check out our beautiful cursive!

Houses for Houston

Thank you all for your support during our fundraiser event at Glen Allen Day!  With our art friends from Brookland Middle School and Maybeury Elementary we raised nearly $200 for the Houston Food Bank!!

Image result for youtube

Finally, I’m excited to announce that you can follow TheArtsyArtRoom on YouTube!  I am using this channel to share drawing directions and demonstrations and procedures in the classroom but you are welcome to explore the channel (with a parent’s permission) to see what we’re working on! 

Welcome, Fall

It’s the first official day of Fall and things are really rolling in the art room!


Kindergarten artists are finishing their Mondrian-inspired collages with horizontal and vertical lines.  We are using cardboard to print the lines on the shapes we added last week.  This is a good reminder to send in an art shirt for your beginning artist 🙂

We used a big fuzzy stuffed snake to practice making straight horizontal and vertical lines!

First Grade

First grade artists are beginning to work on a fall tree landscape.  We used warm colors to paint a variety of lines for our autumn sky.

Second Grade

Second graders are working on a patriotic painting inspired by Brazilian-born painter Romero Britto. We are using bright colors and a variety of patterns!

Third and Fourth Grades

Third and fourth graders stuffed their new sketchbooks with a collection of art activities and sketching paper.  We are so excited to use these throughout the year!

Fifth Grade

Fifth grade artists are working on a painting of the Statue of Liberty also inspired by Romero Britto.  I’m hoping these paintings will be finished in time for our Veteran’s Day program!

Don’t forget: Our shrinky-dink pins house pins will be available for purchase tomorrow at Glen Allen Day!  Proceeds will benefit the Houston Food Bank.

Dot Day!

Happy Dot Day!

Dot Day is a day to celebrate your creativity!  It was inspired by the book “The Dot” by Peter Reynolds.  We celebrated Dot Day throughout the week with a variety of activities:

First Grade

First grade artists were challenged to create something new and unique with a simple dot.  Each student was given a piece of paper with a colorful sticker.  After some brainstorming the students used a permanent marker to turn that dot into an amazing creation!  When we were finished drawing, we put our art in swirly gold frames just like Vashti’s teacher did in “The Dot”!

Second Grade

Second grade artists were challenged to cooperate and collaborate to create a dot with their friends.  Each artist was given a piece of a dot to decorate.  We looked at a variety of lines (zig-zag, bumpy, loopy, straight) and used a permanent marker to draw our designs.  We colored our dots with colored pencils.  When the class was done, we worked together to make a collaborative dot quilt!

Each student placed their part of the dot in a special place.  Everyone was proud of their contribution!

Third and Fourth Grades

Students in 3rd and 4th grades were inspired by “The Dot” when working on decorating the covers of their new sketchbooks!

We used bubblewrap (!) to print dot designs on folders that will become our classroom sketchbooks.  We will use these sketchbooks throughout the year for practice drawing and building our art skills.

…a few Non-Dot Projects…

Kindergarten artists learned about painter Piet Mondrian and looked closely at the shapes and colors he liked to use.  We were inspired by his work when making our collages using similar shapes and colors.

This artist made an elephant: eyes, trunk, tusks and legs!

Kindergarten artists loved sharing what they were working on and are now glue bottle experts!

Fifth Grade

Fifth grade artists are working on a special project which will benefit victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, TX.  Each student designed a home on a piece of Shrinky-Dink.  That’s right… SHRINKY-DINKS!  These pieces will be turned into wearable art and will be sold at the Glen Allen Day festival on Saturday, September 23.  Please join us in our efforts to help!  Each pin will cost $5 and all proceeds will be donated to the Houston Food Bank.

Welcome back!

Welcome back, Gators!

I’m so happy to be back in the art room, having fun with my Gators!

I have been sharing our art room rules and expectations on this first week of school with this fun animation I made using a neat tool called PowToon!  Check it out!

Our first project is a collaborative and colorful piece that is still a work in progress…

Each Gator is working on a small self-portrait using just one color!  We are experimenting with materials (markers, crayons and colored pencils) and drawing our faces expressing our feelings about the first week of school.

Most of us are pretty excited!

I love looking at the variety of pieces made by our youngest and oldest artists!

The pieces will be displayed together to show off our “true colors” 🙂

Today I helped a third grade friend place her donated book in our Little Free Library!  It was a LEGO Fairy book, you guys!  Our Little Free Library is located in the school garden and is ALWAYS open for taking (and keeping) books as well as leaving previously loved books.

Better than a Fidget Spinner!

Fidget spinners!



​​​The timing is perfect to introduce one of my favorite art activities… Kumihimo weaving!  You can call them friendship bracelets 😉

Students in grades 2-5 made small looms and started their own bracelets.  The weaving is fun, relaxing and absolutely more fun than a fidget spinner!  In fact, some creative friends in Ms. Leigh’s class named them “Friend-get Spinners”!  Isn’t that a great name?!

The looms are super easy to make.  We’ve been using scrap cardboard and cereal boxes (thanks for sending in those donated items)!

Cut the scraps into a square:

Poke a small hole in the middle (ask an adult for help with this step):

Cut the 4 corners off to make an octagon:

Draw 4 short lines.  We used compass vocabulary  (I see you, Social Studies SOLs!!)  Draw a line at North, South, East and West:

Draw 4 more lines at Northwest, Northeast, Southwest and Southeast:

Cut each of the lines:

… and your loom is finished.  Here are great directions for getting started with your bracelet:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=595xAvXMp0Q

Once you start, it’s hard to stop!  Here’s Ms. Kouri’s class lined up and ready to leave the art room:

Our new art room rule is, “watch where you’re weaving”!

While we’re talking about fidget spinners I thought I’d also share these fun directions for making a LEGO fidget spinner and a neat LEGO fidget cube.  Better yet, invent your own way of making a fidget spinner or cube!


Students in kindergarten made this funny big mouth fish after reading the book “Swimmy” by Leo Lionni.  They couldn’t stop laughing!

First Grade​

First grade artists made wacky big mouth ladybugs inspired by Eric Carle’s book “The Grouch Ladybug“!

#HCPSArtFriends Poscard Swap

Finally, I am excited to send off these awesome 5th grade postcards for the first ever Henrico County Public Schools art swap!  Students in 7 area schools made art postcards with happy messages.  You can follow our art swap online by searching #HCPSArtFriends 🙂