Monthly Archives: December 2016

Clouds and Black Mountain


Fifth graders study clouds and I thought it would be fun for them to paint them. As the students walked in, the teacher asked what we were doing, I said clouds and Black Mountain. He said we just learned yesterday about Lenticular clouds.  The timing was so perfect.


We have a local mountain that can be seen from many of the upstairs windows and the school parking lot.20161206_160453.jpg

It is called Black Mountain.It is 1,500 feet.


The top is covered with various radio and other antennae. It is covered in scrub brush and has dusty trails and loads of rocks but people love it for local hiking and mountain biking.


I thought we could put the two together: the mountain in our backyard and the study of clouds. We talked about all kinds of clouds and looked at pictures of clouds. We talked about clouds in art and looked at work by Beirstadt and O’Keeffe among others


As always, I did the demo, told them my thoughts about it and let them have a latitude of choices. I suggested Black Mountain but the kids could choose any landscape they desired.


Some kids chose Whistler or Half Dome- yes, this artist made sure I knew that Half Dome is NOT a mountain. I even had some choose to create beaches.


My only real requirement was that they had to paint some clouds.



Jack Frost Portraits



Apparently, right now, I am into kids creating a background, making a second image or two then putting it all together.


This lesson came about because I was talking to my kids about Jack Frost. It got me to thinking who is he? Where did the idea come from?


Well, I did some research and found out that he likely originated from Norse fables. He is usually represented as an old man or a sprite or fairy.


I took this information to my 1-2 combo classes and told them to create their own version of Jack Frost.


Their reference was The Rise of the Guardians Movie and “Jack Frost nipping at their nose”. Here are a few of the images.


We used giant snowflake stamps on the blue paper for our backgrounds and our new crayola oil pastels! Man for an inexpensive student grade pastel, they are pretty creamy and easy to use.





Students in Grade 1 looked at images of poinsettias and created these paintings.


They learned the history of the Poinsettia.


We also talked about Georgia O’Keefe. 50985541

I demoed the basic leaf shapes and center circles. 50977680

We also talked about the veins in the colored bracts.


This one I really like because the student ran out of blue paint. Rather than bother asking for more, just put a red border around it. I love that kind of creativity and resourcefulness.

Ice Skaters



It is always fun to do a project that kids ooh and ahh about. This was one of those. They seem to love when they lift up a paper and find an image they created underneath.


Unfortunately, the markers in the art cabinet were a little dry but we still had decent results.


They drew their winter scene on one half of the paper in marker then painted the bottom half with water, folded over and revealed a mirror image that looks like it may be a reflection in water. They created skaters to go on the pond.50980111