Category Archives: Uncategorized

ART Classroom Transformation!


Are you my student and need EXTRA CREDIT – then looky here! Cast your vote in all 3 categories below and the points will magically appear in the gradebook 🙂


The 2015-2016 school year is almost over and I have slowly been transforming my classroom into the environment that I desire for my students and I to be in on a daily basis. I tell my students that my desk is my ‘sacred space’, like their backpacks; but also my classroom is just as important to me because I live in it. The majority of my days are spent in this space shared with over 100 other beings.

It really bothers me as a Visual Art Teacher when I walk into other teacher’s classrooms and they are boring, messy, or just plain visually unappealing. My environment has always had such an effect on me in an academic and artistic setting – I find it easier to feel settled, get focused and be happy in a visually rich surrounding.

One of my classes has been working to ‘transform’ the room with paint! I wanted to make areas in the room that were functional as well as unify in with an overall design to produce a harmonious setting for my budding artists to explore and create in.

Our next step is to put several quotes all in different fonts on a wall of cabinets. I myself, can be a very indecisive person at times, especially when it involves something kinda permanent – so to make it easy on me, I would like my students and people I know who care about my classroom to have a say as to what goes on my cabinets!

I have separated them into 3 different categories to vote from: ART, CREATIVITY + LIFE. Please take the time to vote once in each category. You may vote for only 5 quotes in each category. Also, these are images that I uploaded from Pinterest, however, remember that my students and I will not necessarily be painting them on the cabinets they way they appear in the image. So, please vote on the words and meaning of the quotes versus the ‘style’ of the image.

Remember, please submit only once, 5 in each category! Votes will be tallied on Tuesday, June 7th, 2016!



Vote here for ART Quotes Category!



Vote here for CREATIVITY Quotes Category!



Vote here for LIFE Quotes Category!

Thank you for voting! There will be pictures when we are finished!!!

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?!

homework memeThe 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 voilĂ ! 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!




Bring in your RECYCLING for extra credit!

Our next project requires the use of 3 cereal boxes or foam board per student, so we need to collect as much as we can get! Bring in your recycling…

The best material for making a cube is foam board. It looks something like this and you can find it at Wal-Mart, Target, Staples, A.C. Moore, and/or Michael’s. The bigger the better:)


If you can’t bring in those, then grab your empty cereal boxes!


Other items we need are:

aluminum foil, lids and caps of all sizes, small cups and containers, like empty spice containers, pill bottles, applesauce containers, empty egg cartons, plastic easter eggs, medium containers with lids, for example, yogurt and sour cream containers, wine corks, empty tape rolls, paper towel and/or toilet paper rolls, gift wrapping rolls, Styrofoam and/or paper cups, Styrofoam pieces, light bulbs, plastic spoons and forks…








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

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!