Saturday, August 16, 2014

School is in session

I started teaching 5th and 6th grade art on Thursday at my childrens' school. I've taught art in my studio for the past 6 years, but teaching in a classroom setting is a big change. I have 8 classes that I teach over a two day period, with around 120 students. I'm so blessed to be teaching in a Christian environment where I can share my faith. I don't know how else I could teach art because my faith is such a part of my artistic journey. To me, you can't have art without God. His creation inspires all art; and because we are created in His image, we are have an innate ability to create.

After just two days of teaching and getting the year kicked off, I have a whole new appreciation for teachers. I have been working pretty much 24/7 for the past two weeks, but loving every minute of it. There's planning, parent correspondence, setting up a grading system, discipline policies, entering lesson plans, etc. I'm not a very organized person when it comes to these type of things, so they have taken a lot of energy to wrap my mind around. I finally had some extra down time this morning to sit and reflect, be thankful for God's provision and direction, and do a little art journaling.

I want to share my journey this year with you. I am so thankful for the web and all the bloggers out there who share their ideas. I couldn't have put my year together without you! I even purchased a great planner/curriculum workbook from Patty at Deep Space Sparkle that helped me to get organized-the link is HERE.

Here's my first couple days and a pdf that you are welcome to use. I found several great "Get to know You" ideas out there, so I combined all my favorites and created my own sheet. I've had so much fun looking through all my student's sheets and getting to know them better!

Here's the link. Feel free to use in your classrooms. I've never embedded a pdf in my blog before, so let me know if you have problems accessing it.

Another thing we did, was take a quick look at the art of Origami. The "art of folding paper", originated in China, but was brought to Japan by monks who coined the term oru-kami, to fold-paper. We talked about familiar origami like paper airplanes, boats, hats, folded dollar bills, and looked at some more detailed animal pieces. I found a template for the "fortune teller" pieces by googling origami fortune teller-there's a ton out there. I let the students choose their own questions and use these as an ice breaker to get to know their classmates better. It was a fun and great exercise for a short class period for those first days. One smart student told me that these used to be used to hold spices in the kitchen.

 I found a great website here with lots of info about these. Being a child of the 80s, I also enjoyed making mine-brought back some childhood memories!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Traveling Artist

My oldest child plays AAU basketball, so from April till August, we are on the road a lot. When I used to travel for an occasional vacation, I would just bring my art journal and usually a pencil, a small set of watercolor pencils and a few pens. Now, I have quite a collection of supplies that I haul along with me. As my husband affectionately said on our most recent trip, "We have to make room for all mom's arts and "crap" stuff. 

I've seen a lot of posts this summer where artists have shared their travel art kits, so as I packed mine up this week, I took some pictures so I could share with you.

I always include my favorite pens, pencils and a couple brushes. My favorite black and white permanent pens for writing, doodling and accenting, are from Scarlet Lime. I also always bring a few of my gelly roll pens.

For journaling and summer icad 2014, I usually always use the Elmer's painters pens. They blend and cover so well. I also like the Faber Castell pens, but mainly use the white one for accenting.

I bring a credit card for paint, a water brush, my mini mister (Scarlett Lime), sponge, binder clip, some mod podge, some baby wipes in a baggie and scissors. I also like the Uhu glue stick because it doesn't dry up like the other brands.

Have to have my neocolor water-soluble crayons. I use these all the time!

Some of my stamps and an ink pad.

A few small stencils.

A small collection of my favorite colors of ink sprays and acrylic paint. I also bring a small bottle filled with gesso. I usually always bring some of my mini bottle of Golden acrylics (they have a great sampler set that is perfect for traveling), but I forgot them this trip.

I put it all in the small rubber container that snaps shut and had a handle on the top. This is probably 9 x 6, and maybe about 6-7 inches deep. It holds quite a bit, and depending what I put in it, I can usually fit my journal inside (not this time).

I also bring a small baggie with some paper scraps and other elements to help spur my creativity. I have a couple of these for sale in my Etsy Store for $8. They are perfect for traveling, art journaling and mixed media projects.

This trip I took my three favorite journals. One sketch and two mixed media.

It all fits perfectly in this cute little bag that one of my students gave me for Christmas one year.

So there is my current art travel kit. What do you have in yours? Any of your favorites I need to add to mine? 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Index card a day-A creative challenge

If you've been following me on Facebook or Instagram, you've probably seen some of my posts that say #icad2014. If you've been wondering what that means, it stands for Index Card A Day, and it's a creative challenge hosted by Tammy at Daisy Yellow

I've followed Daisy Yellow's blog for awhile, and I've always thought there was no possible way I could find time to fit art into my life everyday. A 60-day creative challenge at this time in my life seemed like an impossible goal. I work full time, have three children and many other activities on my plate. But as I looked through last year's cards and challenges, I started to get inspired and think, "Maybe I really could do this".  So I committed...and it has been a life changing experience in an artistic sense. 

I would highly recommend that if you want to grow as an artist, or just as a creative person, to give ICAD a try. Here's what I've learned in just a short 43 days.

I've learned not to over think, and go with my impulse-to trust myself and my artistic instincts. I really have more natural ability than I give myself credit.

I have shared the challenges with two of my children, ages 12 and 9, and they have loved doing them, plus we have spent quality time together creating.

I've found a great and creative way to memorize and display my favorite scriptures, and share them with others.

When I'm finished, I will have a beautiful supply of cards to use in my art journals, as idea reminders, and for color inspiration.

I have loosened up and started to see my style emerge, and I even like it. 

I've gotten to practice up on my skills like drawing, color, stamping, collage and more.

I'm inspired daily by other artists and their creative ideas-they do things I would never think of.

I've gotten brave and tried things I didn't know I could do-l like carving my own stamps, trying new techniques and experimenting with new materials.

On the downside, I've spent way too much money on art supplies since I started it. Every time I learn about a new product, I want to buy it :)

I have also met so many talented artists through this summer's ICAD challenge, and have been encouraged by their kind words. I have been so inspired, that half the time I don't even need the prompts. They are great prompts, but it's like my creative fire has been ignited! 

 Thank you Tammy for hosting Index Card A Day Challenge. It has really helped me to believe in myself at another level!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Zazzle-Printing your artwork on products

I'm trying out a new site called Zazzle where you can have your own artwork printed on a huge selection of cool items, from t-shirts to bags, art journals to stationery, and even pillows! While the set up took me quite awhile-and I only got one product listed-it looks like they have a great program. Check out my store here.

It seems to be set up a lot like Etsy where you can favorite stores and follow stores, but you have the added benefit of customizing items with your own art--plus they do all the shipping!

Here's some designs from my design from Index Card a Day challenge. I love the pop of color against the soft background. I can totally see this on my couch!

Here's another fun design on a laptop sleeve.

Beachcomber Lap Top Sleeve
Beachcomber Lap Top Sleeve by SpanglerDesign
See other Vibrant Laptop Sleeves

I also will have some index sized scripture cards available for $1.25 each, so check my store over the next few days and follow if you want to keep to notified when I add new items.

Art Journal Sneak Peak

 I don't know why, but I've get envious when I see pictures of overstuffed art journals.

I have so many unfinished projects…I hope I'm not alone here.? And I'm the worst at starting Art Journals. I've started about 10 different ones, and have yet to fill one, until just recently. I challenged myself this spring to have at least one art journal completed by summer. I know summer has already started, but I can officially say this one is ALMOST finished. 

Here's a sneak peak into this journal-thought I would highlight of some of my favorite pages. 
My journals are mainly mixed media...

I use them as a place to play with new mediums and products…

Experiment with new techniques…


Record ideas and color combos…

Be thankful and worship.

When I get it totally finished, I promise I will give you a tour! 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Work in Progress

I thought I would try to start posting what I'm currently working on in my studio-paintings that I have in progress or have just finished. Here's a 12 x 12 mixed media on canvas that I just completed today.

I started out using my Gelli Arts Printing Plate. I used some stencils and acrylic paint and printed in three different sections. Using india ink in a liner applicator, I drew in the flowers. I used acrylic paint and a hand made stamp for the small flowers. I applied the white dots with my fingers.

Here I've added more detail with a hand carved leaf stamp and added color with Elmer's Acrylic painters pens. I painted the flowers using a stencil and acrylic paint. Doodles and writing were done with a white Uni ball Signo  and  black Scarlet Lime Permaball pilot pen. 

I finished off the piece with some shading with my Neocolor II crayons, some more stamps and a little distress ink around the edges. Look for this piece at Reinvented Vintage in West Little Rock.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Index Card A Day Challenge and summer

Ahhh, summer is finally here! I started June 1st with the Daisy Yellow ICAD (Index Card a Day) challenge, and it has really sparked my creativity! I even created these cards as the foundation for my Art Journaling Adventure workshop I taught this past week. They are all my favorite verses about creativity. 

I spent four days teaching a group of 5th-7th graders tons of fun techniques for art journaling. They left with their own mixed media art journals. I didn't realize how much I've missed teaching, and I'm so excited that I get to do it full time again this next school year as an art teacher!

These are all 3 x 5 index cards. Tammy has prompts each week that you can use if you want, but the challenge is to create a card a day for 60 days. My girls have even enjoyed the process! If you love creating, this is a fun and easy way to create every day-you can join in at anytime.

If you want to see more of the cards I've created, and the one's my girls have been creating, follow me on Facebook. Here's some highlights from my art journaling workshop…

Students learned about color...

Backgrounds, layering, stencils...

Journaling prompts and beautiful pages to fill...

Each student made their own stamp…

Collage and texture

Taking journals apart and putting them back together.

And celebrating that we are all created in the image of the greatest artist of all times!

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