Welcome Titans!


eller-bitmoji-2021-2022-school-yearWelcome to Mrs. Eller’s Visual Art Classroom!

I want to extend a warm welcome to all of my students! I am honored to be your visual art teacher this year, and it will be a great year!

I can’t wait to be back on campus at Alexandria City High School with all of our faculty, staff, and students! I wish you all a smooth & joyous start to the school year! I’m excited to share and explore visual art with ALL of my students, have a lot of fun, and of course, MAKE ART! 

 I look forward to getting to know each one of you. If you want to know a little bit about me, click on the picture below:


I wanted to share this video, “What Students Really Need to Hear” by Chase Mielke. It was shown to me during my induction with ACPS and I found it inspiring and authentic; as it truly speaks to how I feel about my students. So for all my new students, previous students, and fellow teachers I wanted to gift you with his spoken word. Maybe some or all of it will resonate with you as it has me.


Click here for Chase Miekle’s BLOG

Get ready to be immersed in the artistic process, push your creative boundaries, take a few risks, discover your inner artist, create some art, and most importantly, experience one of the most fundamental aspects of what it is to be a part of the human race.

There is little that shapes the human experience as profoundly and pervasively as creativity. Creativity drives progress in every human endeavor, from the arts to the sciences, business, and technology.

Scott Barry Kaufman

See ya soon!

Smiles ~ Mrs. Eller 🙂

What supplies do I need for my ART class?!

There are 3 items that you are required to bring to class daily:

pencil.png1. a pencil

Your very own drawing utensil…the best, especially in the beginning, is a wooden graphite pencil that can be sharpened and has an eraser. You will be working on shading techniques within the first month of class and a mechanical pencil does not have the same capabilities as the good ole’ No. 2 pencil! Towards the end of the year, when we begin Linear Perspective, you are welcome to switch to your mechanical pencil 🙂

2. a sketchbook

a book filled with paper to collect all of your notes, ideas and sketches for this year of art. The ideal sketchbook for this class is one that is either book-bound or spiral- bound with mixed media paper that is over 90 lbs. (Minimum: 9 in. x 9 in. /Maximum: 9 in. x 12 in.) You need to avoid the sketchbooks with tape along the top or perforated pages because the pages will begin to fall out sooner than later. Also don’t purchase the sketchbooks with the thin, slick paper, as that paper does not work well with a range of mediums. Follow this link for more info on sketchbooks: SKETCHBOOKS!

3. your chromebook


bring the school issued chromebook you received with a full charge for every class. You will use the chromebook daily for your warm-up and other assignments in class.

If you bring these items daily you will be prepared, good to go and ready for what is coming your way!




What is Your Story?

Hey Kiddos! Check out this art contest provided by the national PTA arts program:

T.C students, what is your story? Show us or tell us in this year’s PTA Reflections Art Contest. Express yourself in six different ways:

  • Dance Choreography
  • Film Production
  • Literature
  • Music Composition
  • Photography
  • Visual Arts

Enter as many times as you wish, and in as many categories as you wish. Entry forms and copies of the Reflections rules can be found at the Reflections bin in the Library/Media Center, or by visiting www.ReflectionsAlexandria.com. Place your entry in the Reflections bin located in the Library/Media Center by 3:30 pm on Friday, October 21, 2016 or give to me to turn in!


 This will count as a sketchbook grade!

(It could replace a not-so-great sketchbook grade or replace a NHI)


Blended Learning Camp: Using an Online Presence to Improve Class Flow and Student Self-Direction

Welcome to Blended Learning Camp 2016: Session 3 and 4!

Click on the link below to complete your warm-up:


Essential Question(s):

1. What is blended learning?
2. How can I create an online presence?

3. What online tools are available for use and how can I incorporate these tools in my classroom?

4. How can blended learning, an online presence and online tools improve class flow and student self-efficacy?

Mastery Objective(s): The student will…

1. engage with online tools by participating in online activities.

2. demonstrate understanding by designing a content-specific online resource for a possible lesson or activity. 

What is BLENDED LEARNING?    Could I already be using this in my classroom?    How can I make this work for me and my kids without MORE WORK?

Blended learning–instruction that combines online and onsite (in-classroom) resources and practices–is a research-based approach that leverages technology to build a collaborative, engaging, efficient, and effective learning environment. Blended learning takes many forms: teachers can blend a single lesson or activity, or use blended learning as a framework for an entire course.



Click on the link below to participate in our answer garden!



Click the image below for the link to the Blended Learning Camp Folder on Google Drive:

google-drive-logo (1)


  1. Design your own content-specific online resource!!! I’m here for help and questions!

New Sketchbook!

Art 1

Sketchbook No.8: Identity Silhouette

Processed with VSCOcam with 4 preset

“Who in the world am I?” asked Alice (in Wonderland).


This is one of those universal questions. Every person on the planet can relate to this question, can’t we? When you ask yourself this question what comes to mind?

You are tasked with exploring your own identity and creating an artwork that visually tells us (your viewers) about yourself. Can you use mixed media and/or collage to produce a silhouette that speaks to us visually about who you are? What do you want us to know about you? What do you want us to feel when we look at your artwork?

This sketchbook assignment is geared towards making this task a successful, creative + artistic endeavor for you as a student artist. Click on the following image to be navigated to Sketchbook No.8:

silhouette female

Blue day DUE Tuesday, March 15th   

Red day DUE  Wednesday, March 16th

We have HOMEWORK in Art?!

The short answer is…YES!

The long answer is yes, we do, it’s called our sketchbook!




An artist’s sketchbook is a bound book with blank pages that artists use to keep visual records of observations, plans for future art projects, ideas and themes with which they are interested, and verbal, often personal, reflections. Artists may incorporate some or all of these uses into their personal sketchbooks in order to best suit their needs as an artist. – Debban

limitThe sketchbook assignments are a way for students to explore art concepts and techniques that we do not have time to devote entire class periods for. They are a mixture of assignments requiring creativity and/or skill.

Each sketchbook is designed for students to spend at least 1-3 hours of after-school time over a 1-2 week period, depending on the complexity + mediums required to render the artwork.

Some sketchbook assignments have even been outside the blank page of a book…for our latest sketchbook  assignment each student completed at least one CD Weaving to contribute to a larger collaborative piece that is going to be hung as a decorative wall hanging in Minnie Howard!

(this is an example I found from the internet, our pics are to come!)

cd picture 4 For a link to this teacher’s blog click here.

Sketchbook assignments are to help you grow as a creative + innovative individual! Students are often held back from their own hesitation or fear of not doing something right. I love this excerpt from Chase Mielke blog about people being born as ‘natural risk-takers’, but that changes as we grow:

We are born risk takers. We will do just about anything as babies, no matter what the outcome of the risk. Some of these risks are idiotic. Others are critical. Think of one of the most basic functions: walking.

Picture Baby A about to take his first steps. His parents are probably staring at him, rooting, clapping, smiling, videotaping. Now, this move will not bode well for Baby A, who will most likely crash to the ground in an uncoordinated thump. But Baby A don’t care. Baby A is a risk taker. And as the much anticipated fall happens, the parents no doubt scream and cheer rather than chastising their tot for failing.

What does Baby A do after this failure? Try again. And again. And again (at least until his parents can get that perfect Facebook-worthy video posted). Baby A will do this until he can walk. And voilà! We have learning. Walking is not the most employable skill, but we have progress, people.

This natural risk-taking is critical to development. And yet, at a certain point, we stop taking risks that help us grow. But we don’t stop taking risks because of physical danger (I once saw a kid kick himself in the forehead just to see if he could, so I can tell you physical danger is not an issue for today’s youth). We ultimately stop taking risks—positive risks that lead us forward—because of social danger. And so a critical question educators must ask themselves becomes: Are we creating a culture of academic risk-taking in our classrooms?

Chase Mielke and AffectiveLiving, 2014.

willingEach day I push my student artists to go beyond a realm they are comfortable in. To be successful in art, a creative field, or an innovative job, individuals need to take risks. mistakesWe learn from the process and we learn from our mistakes. mistakes 2High School Art class is a great time in life to do some learning. (That is when you have a bit of safety net below your feet.) All of the answers will not be in black or white in the real world – the gray matter is what is tricky, so the point is: TAKE RISKS IN YOUR SKETCHBOOK! I use a rubric where creativity and effort or worth more than half of any other criteria. You are rewarded for being an artistic risk-taker! Fight the blank white page!

talent and hustlrI would love each student to view their sketchbooks as something personal they can identify with. Even if ‘it’ is not assigned by me and they want to practice drawing or explore a new medium, they should use their sketchbook for it! It is his or her book of blank pages for him or her to make their very own mark in. Even if I grade a few assignments in the book throughout the year, it is not mine – it is their property to use for art’s sake.

Here are a few things you can do to improve your sketchbook:

  • Take it everywhere! You never know when something might deserve remembrance in your sketchbook. Additionally, if a potential employer happens to notice, you will always have something to show.
  • Include a lot of writing and annotations.
  • Treat it like a work of Art. Employers will look at your sketchbook like a resume and portfolio. Treating it with the same care as you do your finished works will add to your professionalism.
  • Include a lot of contemporary artist research coupled with a few historical artists.
  • Add a lot of technical research.
  • Consider a handmade sketchbook. Many artists prefer to make their own books to use and some even prefer to use sheets of scrap paper rather than a bound book. You might find these alternatives more conducive to your working atmosphere so always make room for experimenting.
  • Add a collage of found objects that you find interesting and design your page around them.
  • Collect in the name of sketching! Certain items such as stamps, tags and receipts might give you inspiration.
  • Experiment with various tools and materials. Be sure to also organize these materials so that you can easily travel and sketch in any environment without many restrictions and without much mess and frustration.

Melissa McDonald, Oklahoma City Contemporary Art Examiner 2011

If you are having trouble getting started or you are procrastinating click here for advice.

And for further advice, if you find yourself relating to any of these memes, you are better than that (even though I adore #3480)!

For any of you that are on the same page with the captain, willy or the minion…follow my blog + sign-up for remind. You will get email updates on the class and get group reminders texted straight to your phone! It’s a no-brainer.

It will help you avoid this…homework meme 3

and when you are wishing for a better grade…homework meme 2

Remember, I am trying to prepare you for the real world that is lurking beyond these high school walls, however, full of opportunity for the persistent + strong! Use this time to be ready to make your mark on the world!

splatter hand

Again, for all my kiddos and parents, this icon is a direct link to our SKETCHBOOK PAGE!


Back to School Night!

back to school night

Hi there PARENTS 🙂
Please join us on Wednesday night, September 15th at 6:30 pm in the auditorium of T.C. Williams High School, the Minnie Howard Campus for BACK to SCHOOL NIGHT! It is an opportunity for parents to visit their children’s classrooms, meet teachers and learn more about this year’s classes. Your children were given a letter to give to you and on it, you will find their schedule. After the administrative team greets you in the auditorium, you will get to visit each of your child’s classes and get an overview of what is being taught in each class. I hope to see you there!

Back to School Night craft letter

Back to School Night art 1 letter

T’was the Night Before the 1st Day of School…

…and Mrs. Eller is up late because she can’t go to sleep!

I wanted to share this video, “What Students Really Need to Hear” by Chase Mielke. It was shown to me during my induction with ACPS and I found it inspiring and real. So for all my new students, previous students, and fellow teachers I wanted to gift you with his spoken word. Maybe some or all of it will resonate with you as it has me.


Click here for Chase Miekle’s BLOG

Goodbye Knights!

I am going to miss my knights! I am so grateful to been given the opportunity to be your teacher for the past 4 years. I am a better person, artist, and teacher because of my time with all of you. You have taught me just as much as I have taught you. Teaching is  my calling in this life and there truly isn’t anything else I would want to do in this world as a career other than teach art. I wouldn’t have that happiness in my life if it were not for you, my students.

You all have come so far and have made me so proud. I know that every student may not follow with ‘art’ in college or as a career, but I believe you will continue to be creative students that can think outside of the box! Each one of you are amazing people and I wish you the best in your future journeys.

My website will be changing soon! Contact me for the new address and if you need anything, especially help with AP, let me know. Please keep in touch with me, I will always be thrilled to hear from you!