It’s Original Works Time!

It’s that time of year:  time to make amazing art for our annual fundraiser with Original Works!  This company can print your child’s art on just about anything.  Cups, magnets, t-shirts, pot holders…. you get the idea!  These items make great gifts AND support your school!  WIN/WIN!

Students in grades kindergarten, first and second grade are making colorful self-portrait collages!  We started by experimenting with liquid watercolors using the primary colors.  It’s always fun to hear the squeals of excitement when we discover new colors!

Next, we created a frame, added our own image and a few details about US!  We also used paint sticks (they are new and amazing!) to add patterns, lines and colors.  THEY ARE ADORABLE.


Students in grade three, four and five are working on expressive self-portraits inspired by the book “Wonder” written and illustrated by RJ Palacio.  We started by reading the picture book, “We’re All Wonders” also by RJ Palacio.


We used liquid watercolors to paint our self-portraits using expressive colors.  Next, we added a frame and brainstormed positive words that describe our unique qualities.  THEY ARE FANTASTIC!



Keep your eyes out, parents!  You should be receiving a packet of information toward the end of October and how you can order items (and support our school)!


Welcome Back!

Welcome back, Gators!

We’ve had such a fun week or so getting to know the art room.  I’m introducing some new exciting changes to our art studio that I think will lead to loads of fun and creativity!

I am transforming our room into a student-lead art studio.  Our studio will be full of choices and I will be helping our amazing Gators to learn to think and work like artists.

What does this mean..?  It means lots of experimentation and exploration!  It also means reflecting on our work and sharing it with our friends.


This week our younger artists are learning about LINE.  Students met my stuffed snake Loretta and talked about all kinds of lines.  We used permanent markers to draw with a variety of lines.  We had lots of cool ideas!















Our senior students are learning how to use the drawing center and all of its choices!  This week we are concentrating on drawing things that we can see.  Students selected a drawing station of their choice and made observational drawings.



Our “magic art glasses” help us draw what we see! 🙂


Each artist found something of interest to draw from observation, selected their drawing materials and helped maintain our studio by gathering and cleaning up their supplies.  I am so proud of these hard working artists and I look forward to sharing more new additions to our studio with you.  I will be posting updates weekly as well as on our classroom Instagram page @TheArtsyArtRoom 🙂



Donor’s Choose

doors choose

Hi family!

I hope everyone is having a restful (and creative) summer!


I wanted to let you know that I have submitted a Donor’s Choose classroom grant for our art room.  I would like to purchase a comb binding machine and supplies to help our young artists create bound visual journals, sketchbooks and graphic novels.  Our artists LOVE making books of all kinds and with the help of this machine we will be able to make our books sturdier and long lasting.



The comb binding machine will allow us to more easily share our books and treasure them for years to come!








If you are interested in contributing to our project or learning more about the specific supplies please click here!

Thank you!

Spring Wrap Up!

We are having so much fun as we are wrapping up another amazing school year!


Kindergarten artists learned about Japanese pop painter Takashi Murakami!  He is best known for his bright and joyful flower paintings.

50030 Takashi Murakami

Each kindergarten class collaborated on a large mural.  Every student created their own (silly, happy, mad…) flower.  We worked together to finish our murals.  They are so amazing!

First Grade

First grade artists created “gardenscapes” inspired by our day sketching in the school garden with magnifying glasses.  We looked at the work of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” artist and illustrator Eric Carle for inspiration.  We used collage techniques to make our own garden complete with interesting bugs!


Second Grade

Second grade artists used Takashi Murakami as inspiration for our GLOW IN THE DARK collaborative mural!  The art room was transformed into a black-light gallery to show off these amazing pieces of art!


Third Grade

Third grade artists learned about illustrator Lucy Arnold.  She researches insects and creates very realistic paintings of all kinds of wonderful bugs.  We did our own research about insects to draw either real or imaginary bugs.  We used markers to create a series of prints of our bugs.  Finally, we used glow in the dark paint to create a habitat for our cool bugs!


Fourth Grade

Fourth grade artists learned about astronaut (and Virginia native) Leland Melvin.  He has participated in two space missions and has written a wonderful book about his life called “Chasing Space.”  His love of science was *sparked* when he created an explosive chemical reaction in his living room as a child!


My sons and I with Leland Melvin!

We decided to make our own amazing chemical reactions!  We drew laboratory tools using art techniques to show depth and used GLOW IN THE DARK paint to make them EXPLODE!!!  I wish you could hear the squeals of delight when the UV lights were turned ON!


Fifth Grade

Fifth grade artists learned about the human figure and how artists pay attention to the body to show action in their work.  We built human figures using Model Magic and painted them with… yes… GLOW IN THE DARK paint!  Students worked collaboratively in groups to bring their figures to “life” by making stop motion movies!  They are AAAMMAAAZZZINNGGG!


Click here to view Ms. Baum’s videos

Click here to view Ms. Koenig’s videos

Click here to view Ms. Edward’s videos

Mr. Taylor’s students have been working on a SECRET gift for their teacher: designing a bowtie to print on our 3D printer!  I can’t wait to see the finished product!!




Spring Has Sprung!

It’s been a while since an update, but here’s what we’ve been working on!


Kindergarten artists are learning about the primary colors!  We know how to mix the primary colors to make all of the secondary colors and used them to create silly birdies!


First Grade

First grade artists learned about author and illustrator Eric Carle!  Not only does he make collages, but he also paints his own paper before collaging…so… that’s what we did, too!  After making lots of colorful paper, we made tiny sketchbooks and took them outside to our school garden to make some observational sketches.  We used magnifying glasses to find very tiny bugs and flowers!

We used what we learned about the garden to make our own collages!



Second Grade

Second grade artists enhanced their study of the life cycle of butterflies by making lovely symmetrical Monarchs!  Did you know Monarch butterflies migrate each year from Canada to Mexico and back again?!  We used a printing technique to make our butterflies symmetrical and added bright colors with chalk pastels.


Third Grade

Third grade artists also made their own DIY sketchbooks for garden exploring!  We even found a few four leaf clovers!


Students learned about illustrator Lucy Arnold, an artist that draws and paints real and imaginary insects!  We drew our own insects and are using foam to print them with markers.  Next week, we will create a habitat for the creepy, crawly creatures.



Fourth Grade

Fourth grade artists learned about the RVA Mural Project and explored the work of five local muralists including Hamilton Glass, Mickael Broth, Wing Chow, Ed Trask and Amelia Blair Langford.  Each student had the opportunity to develop a mural concept for one of Richmond’s iconic buildings including the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Institute for Contemporary Art, the Science Museum of Virginia or the Virginia State Capitol building.  There are so many wonderfully creative ideas!


University of Michigan @VMFA by Bryson

Fifth Grade

Fifth grade artists worked on creating paintings or drawings of the Washington Monument in DC using perspective techniques to show depth.  Artists had the ability to select the medium to complete their artwork.  We used graphite pencils, watercolor and wax resist, tempera paint or colored pencils or a combination of materials.  They are stunning!


Fifth grade artists are gearing up for their end-of-year stop motion animation project!  We started them last fall (!) and we’re finally ready to start filming.  We’re trying something new… using neon paint under a black light for a GLOW IN THE DARK effect!!  I’m so excited to see this in action!!



Spring is (almost) here!

Our artists have been busy, busy, busy!


Kindergarten artists are finishing their home collages inspired by the Heidelberg Project!  Artist Tyree Guyton collaborated with his community to transform his Detroit neighborhood.  We are making some wonderful, colorful neighborhoods of polka-dot houses!




First and Fourth Grade

First and fourth grade artists are working on Artist Trading cards in honor of women’s history month!  Each student is making a series of 3 cards and learning about some amazing women at the same time.

When all of the cards have been finished our 1st and 4th grade partners will meet for a trading card party!  We will share our art as well as what we’ve learned about our “shero” 🙂

Fourth grade artists are using packing tape to transfer photocopied images on to painted and collaged book pages.


Ms. Green’s proud artists!!

First grade artists learned about painter Amy Sherald, most famous for her portrait of former First Lady Michelle Obama.  We used her work as inspiration for our collaged images.  They are so lovely!


Second Grade

Second grade artists learned about Chinese Lunar New Year traditions and created a print inspired by an animal.  Many students chose to draw a pig, as 2019 is the YEAR OF THE PIG!  Some students selected the animal that represented the year they were born or… just drew their favorite animal!  We printed our images several times and selected the most successful print to mount and “frame” with a pattern of painted paper.


Third Grade

Third grade artists also recognized the Lunar New Year by making clay piggy banks!  These amazing projects took a veeeery long time to finish but are awesome!  We made shrinky-dink coins small enough to fit in our banks so they do actually work.


We are also working on an Earth Day project with our community partners at Publix.  We are making collograph prints inspired by nature to print on donated brown paper grocery bags that will be used by customers.  We hope that our art will remind folks to remember their reusable grocery bags and to take care of the earth!


Ready for printing!










Fifth Grade

Somehow, each 5th grade class is currently working on a different project.  Ack!

Ms. Edward’s class is finishing their zoomorphic clay pots:


Mr. Taylor’s class is designing and building cardboard arcades:


Ms. Koenig’s class is making color wheels inspired by pop artist Chris Uphues:


Ms. Baum’s class is using green screen technology and old school printmaking to create symbolic self-portraits inspired by artist Kehinde Wiley:


I will post more about this special tech project soon!

STEAM fun!

Ms. Kouri invited me to join her after school STEAM club this week.  We made some outrageous pendulum paintings!

Happy YAM!


Happy Youth Art Month!

The month of March is dedicated each year as a time to highlight the importance of art education.  I have planned several fun ways to share the joy of art with our community!

  1. Art books @ Bedtime!  Tune into @TheArtsyArtRoom on Instagram each Tuesday in March at 7:00 pm as I share an artsy bedtime book LIVE!  The first book I will be sharing is “Pocket Full of Colors: The Magical World of Mary Blair, Disney Artist Extraordinaire”! 61OIch0-EEL._SX497_BO1,204,203,200_
  2. Shoe Design Competition!  Students can submit design ideas for my new pair of shoes!  I will select 2 artists (1 k-2, 1 3-5)  to decorate my new pair of ARTSY kicks!!  Submissions will be due on Friday, March 15.81za2ZmRH-L._SX480_
  3. We will be connecting with Publix grocery store on Staples Mill road for a collaborative Earth Day art activity.  We will also have art on display at the store (more info to come)!
  4. The Henrico County Public Schools YAM Art Festival @ Varina High School will be on Saturday & Sunday, March 23 & 24th!  Please join me! images

What’s New!

February is coming to a close and there are many new things to share!


Kindergarten artists are starting a new unit about the Heidelberg Project!  We made SO MUCH beautiful painted paper to use as we build a colorful neighborhood of “art homes”!


First Grade

First grade artists made clay coiled hearts just in time for Valentine’s Day!


Second Grade

Second grade artists are beginning a printmaking unit inspired by the Lunar New Year.  Students began drawing animals of their choice on printmaking foam plates.  Next, we will print the animals on paper we painted!


Third Grade

Third grade artists are also recognizing the Chinese celebration of the Lunar New Year!  Did you know 2019 is the year of the pig?  We made clay piggy banks!  Although we began with the same basic shapes, students had the opportunity too add all kinds of unique details!



Our piggy banks do actually function but when I discovered that the holes were slightly too small for pennies… I had a plan!  After looking at traditional Chinese coins and learning about lucky symbols from around the world, we created our coins on SHRINKY-DINKS!  After shrinking, the teeny tiny coins are just the right size for our banks!

Fourth Grade

Fourth graders are finishing up their radial weavings.  They are always a favorite project!  The students LOVE weaving and they look amazing!



Fifth Grade

Fifth graders are wrapping up their zoomorphic clay pots (finally!!).  They all have so much character! 🙂



I was excited to host a kindergarten station during our STEAM Day rotations!  Kindergarten artists used paper techniques to build roller coasters!  Artists used their communication and collaboration skills to complete a circuit of hills and loops!  It was so fun!


Black History Month Artist of the Day

I have been highlighting important African-American artists on my Instagram feed throughout the month of February!  Follow me @TheArtsyArtRoom to see the artists as well as keep up with all of the fun things we’re working on in the art room!


Topiary Artist, Pearl Fryar