Sunday, March 24, 2013

Clouds - A photographic diary

I love clouds.

I can't begin to count the times I have pulled my car over to take a photo.

Texas skies amaze me.

I could stare all day long.

These are probably the creepiest and coolest clouds I have seen.  This was Oklahoma or Kansas or one of those states.  Not too sure but we walked out of the hotel to see this.  

A little bit of panic rose in me.  Wow.  Mindblowing!!

Sunsets in Texas. 

I do not label myself a photographer but these pictures are special to me so if you like them too, that's wonderful but please do not use them for anything without permission.  I am pretty nice so you will probably get it, but be nice and ask.  Thanks!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The next Andy Goldsworthy

As I hunt for my art classroom, I spend my time during the week watching two of the coolest kiddos I know.  The are artistic, imaginative, creative, adventurous, with the perfect amount of silly.  I spend a lot of time with K.  He's my buddy, my dude, my quirky 'lil guy who constantly amazes me.

Yesterday, after picking him up from school, I could tell he had a mission when we pulled up to the house.  He ran in the house, shorts falling down, because they were on backwards, and his big cowboy boots and grabbed two cups and came running back outside.  He instructed me to fill my cup with berries from the trees in front of their house.  We were going to pick, wash and set them out for the birds to eat. 

Little did I know that he was going to do what he did next....

My thought was to add some berries to the nook... but he had a different idea!
I was amazed when he started fitting the branches in between the trunks.

These pictures don't do the piece justice.  It was amazing and changed over the course of about 45 minutes.  When things didn't work out, he improvised.  He did it all alone.  

 This is a piece he created for his "worm farm" which contained no worms, only rollie pollies.  (I just realized I have NO idea how to spell that!!!)

 This is his secret cactus in the woods.  He placed all of the rocks around it and posts to protect it.  Again, the picture... doesn't do it justice!

I love living here in Austin.  You can go places that are on your everyday route and see something special.  These are from a hike that I took in the Greenbelt.

 Love. Love. LOVE!  Now you can do it if he can do it.... and he's only 4!!!! 

Challenge:  Next time you are out, make something.  Nature art, installation, anything....snap a photo and send it to

If I get any submissions (since this blog is new) I will post them here!!

Tell me your first name:
What you call it:
Where you made it:

Have a great day!!!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Portrait Exercises

One of my goals for this blog is to share some of my lessons with everyone.  Let's kick Monday morning off with some portraits!!!

For this lesson, I had the kids divide their paper into sections and search for facial features.  This would be a great sketchbook lesson to keep up with throughout the year. 

Once they practiced the individual facial features, they had to choose a frontal portrait, fold it down the center and complete the other half.  They were to use the rules of proportion to make sure things were placed correctly.  (I also took the other half of the face so there would be no temptation to trace!)

This lesson was done with several Art 1 classes in a high school in South Carolina. We used these exercises to complete self portraits and then did a lesson on portrait stencils and collage inspired by artist Michelle Caplan.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

NAEA Session - Blogging & Shameless Self Promotion by Mr. E

This is Ted Daniel Edinger - otherwise known as Mr. E!

The NAEA conference scheduled over 1,000 sessions.  There were so many amazing sounding sessions that were held at the same time so it was really difficult to choose which one to go to. 

Mr. E's session was called Blogging & Shameless Self Promotion.  Winner!!  

Now, I don't like to brag but I do like to pat myself on the back time and again because I am proud of my accomplishments.  As a shy kid and teenager who broke out in hives just STANDING in a room full of people, I have overcome my fears, been a presenter at several conferences, events, and make public speaking a big part of my life.  I even went to grad school to get into a career that requires me to stand in front of judgemental teenagers and teach stuff that they roll their eyes at, AND I LOVE IT! I am also a huge supporter of shameless self promotion and Mr. E had some great suggestions about how to get yourself out there.

So, it was no question which session I was going to attend that morning, and boy was it worth it.  I teared up a couple times when he gave his motivational speech about us, his crowd, being awesome.  It was inspiring, motivating, and exciting.  He also had a secret word on his blog that scored you an awesome goodie bag full of art supplies!!

I had a Mr. E when I was in elementary school.  His name was Mr. Pitts and he was my elementary art teacher.  My friend Adrianne and I were kind of his class pets.  I wonder where he is now.....hmmmm.  Mr. Pitts!!?? Are you out there?  Mr. E is going to be those kids Mr. Pitts, for sure.  I will forever remember him and thank him for learning to love art at a young age.

Mr. E motivated me so much that I FINALLY got my Art Ed. blog started.  I have an art blog that explores the world of handmade, art, crafts, and DIY, but I really wanted to get an art ed. blog going to share resources that I find, my lesson plans, and anything else that I find that would float a teacher's boat (maybe even some administrators who are hiring in the Austin area?  Eh? Eh??)

So, here is the second post on my art ed. blog, dedicated to Mr. E.  Thanks for getting me excited about it!!!  

If you would like to read his blog, check it out hereArt With Mr. E.

Ted Daniel Edinger is an art teacher at Tulip Grove Elementary in Nashville, TN.
He was also named TN Elementary Art Teacher of the Year 2011-2012

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Let's get the party started!


My first post!

I think I will do a photo collage that briefly sums up my trip to the National Art Education Association Convention in Fort Worth that JUST happened this past weekend!!

My proposals were accepted so I was honored to share two of my lesson plans - Social Shacks and Needle Felting Self Portraits  (Links to the lesson plans COMING SOON!)

Fort Worth, TX is an amazing little town that is right down the road from me.

Enjoy my adventure and consider your own in this funky city!

This is Sandi.  She teaches art at Conway High School in South Carolina.  
We go waaaayyy back and got to have fun together at the convention! 

This is a peek into Hale House Vintage!  A fun and funky store that we came across!
Check out their FACEBOOK page and if you are in Fort Worth, go visit!!
(They now carry some Fartsy Arts jewelry! woo!!)

 The one thing I love about Texas is our SKIES!! Look at these clouds!
The Omni hotel, home of the NAEA 2013 convention!

Fort Worth has some of the COOLEST old signs.  I could have 
definitely taken a whole day to drive around and snap photos.

 A wonderfully eclectic coffee house called BREWED on Magnolia Ave.
It was hip, friendly, and filled to the ceiling with DIY! Drooool.

 Piranha sushi - YUM.

 Andy Warhol smooches.

The Stockyard Cattle Run.  Yeeehaw! 

I will save the rest for another time......