connecting curriculum and creativity through art

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Big News: Classroom Makeover and Art Alphabet Picture Cards

Welcome Back to School!  

Whew! This week was an exciting week 
and also an exhausting week! 
I love seeing my artists. We jumped right into finding our seats and painting within the first 10 minutes of class!
When I was a student I hated hearing all the rules and procedures over and over again so now I try not to bore my students. Basically my art rules are as follows: be nice.  

Ok. Now that I have that covered, as well as the important items, seating charts and rules, I wanted my students to jump in and start creating. But, before we started working, I had many comments about how my classroom looked. See, I revamped my art room and gave my boring classroom a makeover! In the past I’ve spent so much of my time decorating the hallways I really never spent time on my room. I only had some basic art information displayed.

Let’s face it. We are in our rooms all the time.  I wanted to make the art room a visually appealing space. No more cardboard boxes holding scrap paper or mis-matched food containers with oil pastels spilling over. My students deserve to have a beautiful space to create in so here are the details of my classroom makeover.

First, I wanted to use this adorable mural that my second grade students created.

I created a couple flowers to be displayed with the mural. Fun party fans were also used.

I purchased some awesome storage bins from The Dollar Tree and decorated them with fun ribbon. 

One of my goals this year is to stay organized. I am hoping these containers help. The pencil tub is totally paying off since I don’t have to dig under a cabinet now to find pencils. These are so easy to grab from when a student needs one.

Communication Center


 Want the lesson plan for these fabulous flowers? Head over to the shop for a free download

I have always loved the alphabet cards used in the primary classrooms.  
But hey, there were never any for art! 
Well, I decided to create my own. 
I displayed my colorful and laminated cards 
for all to see. 
These were a big hit with my students!
You can find these at the shop

Labels for storage bins 

411- Call Center

Exploring the World of Art

Thanks for stopping by. 
I hope your school year is a terrific one! 

Keep on Creating
Laura :)

Monday, August 17, 2015

Home Office/ Art Studio Makeover

We are busting at the seams over here at Painted Paper Art Studios.  Our tiny little closet bedroom just could not hold all of us when we were creating!  My husband suggested I come down to his office- an office which we never used. In fact, it held his small desk and all our camping equipment! I guess with little kids we just never had the time to work on that room. Now that the kiddos are getting older and need a nice place to do schoolwork, we sat down and designed an efficient layout for a home office, art studio and quiet place for homework.  Here is our finished makeover-

Top 10 Ingredients 
for a Successful Home Office/Studio

First, pick a color scheme. 
We love color so we went with all of them! 

The fabric bins were the punch of color that was needed, they hide all my supplies while making it look clean and tidy.  Bins:Target

You never know where fun things turn up. 
The rug was found also at Target in the kids bedroom section.

I love children's books. Period. So we used a bookcase that was in the basement and slid it under the desk top. (The other end of the desk is a small bookcase.) The books are easily accessible and ready when I need them for lessons. 
Bookcase- IKEA

We found these awesome stools at the local grocery store. The kids love them because they can move them wherever they want. 
Plus, they are stackable! We found these at Krogers.

These fun bookcases are perfect if you don't have a lot of room. Each fabric square contains coloring books, chess games, card games such as Old Maid, Go Fish, etc. The crayons in the glass jar are left over from previous school years. They are easily accessible, fun and colorful in the glass jar. My daughter comes in and grabs her coloring books while I work. Win win.

Bookcase:Walmart, Fabric Bins: Target, Glass Jar: Crate and Barrel.

These storage boxes are up on a shelf out of the way. 
We put some fun labels on them and added a painted paper banner for decorative eye candy. 
Boxes: IKEA,  Labels: Creative Teaching Press

Desktop organization is a must! I used some old tins that stored tea and added some fun duct tape to decorate them. Here is the details.
 Duct Tape: Target

Since I paint ALOT, I put my paints on a lazy susan so I can access them when needed. No digging thru shelves or boxes. 
Lazy Susan: thrifted at resale shop

Glue is a must when creating mixed media projects. 
For some reason these bottles just multiply!!!

So my hubs was totally on board with us coming into the office zone! He loves to organize and when I showed him these hanging pocket folders he strolled into the teacher store in delight. His labels are for all the documents needed for our household. 
Love the color wheel set up too!
Hanging Pocket Folders: ABC Teacher Store

Of course, I use construction paper for most of my projects. I have to have construction paper easy to grab along with my scrap paper too. I neatly tucked clean construction paper under a shelf and put the scraps into a sealable tub. 

Hopefully these tips help get you organized for your
 school year and home life. 
Have a great school year and keep creating!
Stay tuned for my post on classroom organization! 

Laura :)

Monday, August 3, 2015

Back to School time!

Hey all you guys! 
Just wanted to say Good Luck as you start your new school year! 
I know I always get a little stressed trying to get everything together, organize my classroom and figure out what am I going to teach the first week of school. 
Is there anyone out there that can relate?

If you need a fun, successful project and want it to be done in 40 minutes, here is an adorable lesson inspired by 
Vincent Van Gogh and his painting of 
Wheat fields with Crows.

Vincent Van Gogh's Wheat fields with Crows introduces students to the colorful world of landscape painting. Children will learn about the artist Vincent Van Gogh, create a beautiful wheat field landscape along with mixed media crows inspired by his artwork.

You can find it at the shop

This 11 page digital lesson contains 2 colorful lessons that are designed so that every child will be a successful artist.

These lessons are great for ages 5-10 but any age student can create a beautiful painting with these directions. 

The Digital PDF includes:
Step by Step full-color photo tutorials for each lesson
Historical Background Information about Vincent Van Gogh
Full color images of his paintings
Van Gogh inspirational quotes
Van Gogh Time Line
Supplies needed for projects
Learning Objectives
Crow Poem
Student Gallery
Helpful tips
National Art Standards Checklist

Thanks for stopping by and for letting 
Painted Paper be your top destination for art lessons.

Keep on Creating,

Laura :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Blast off to Outer Space

Are you excited for Back to School? 
I know I am getting excited to head back to the classroom to create with all my little artists! 

There have been years that I just was not ready to head back. I was not sure what I was going to teach and the stress of coming up with new ideas put me in a downward spiral. 

My school does thematic units every year and here is one of my favorite themes- 

Well, I am happy to say that I have finally put some of my favorite projects and 
thematic units in full color PDF's. 

If you need some guidance getting started for your new school year head over to the shop and look around for some fun projects. 

All of these lessons are kid approved and administration approved too. :) 

Need more space lesson ideas?

Here is another fabulous project created for our Space Unit.

Here is another fun, super large project
 for your kiddos!

My art club, containing lots of happy 3rd graders, meets in the bright and early morning.  

Some of those kids need that nudge of a template to get their ideas rolling. Some just need the supplies and blast off, they are creating.

 I find it interesting that many of my boys are not afraid of taking risks. Whether creating shapes or expressing ideas they are happy with the "process" of creating. 

My girls are much more into the layout. They plan things out to the last step before even beginning. Then their art teacher has to explain to their homeroom teacher why they are tardy to class.

For materials I put out all different scraps, foams, 
old paper borders, painted paper
and of course, our placemats that we use
 for cleaning brushes while painting.

Lastly, we outlined with black tempera paint. Pop!

I just love the wild colors and added streamers on these fun cruisers. 
Dig out some scraps and paper and start creating! 

So hopefully if you are struggling on what to do the first few weeks of school, don't worry
I have given you some fun successful projects!

Keep on Creating!
Laura :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Tennessee Arts Academy 2015

Tennessee Arts Academy 2015

Just another day in Paradise!

Where do I start? What an AMAZING week of Professional Development and 
Inspirational Theatrical and Instrumental Musings
 presented at the beautiful campus of 
Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Luckily, I was offered a faculty position to teach a workshop for the 2015 Tennessee Arts Academy. The workshop session I created involved teaching elementary and middle school art teachers the process of painting with children. 
So I packed my bags and paint brushes and headed south. 
After the first 10 minutes of teaching, I knew I was where I was supposed to be. These were my folks, more like family! 

We did not waste a minute! The studio was a buzz with laughter, fun and lots of painted paper!

...and of course

The first project was to create a mixed media still life art piece inspired by Claude Monet's 

We used Model Magic air dry clay to create our beautiful flowers. They were then dried on a piece of 5" x 5" cardboard. 

On the second day of the workshop the participants painted their flowers with tempera paint. They then created a painted paper arrangement and glued them with tacky glue on to the painted paper background.
These were so beautiful when completed.

Here are just a few......

 The next project was to create painted paper.
We painted paper. Lots of paper 
with lots of fun materials.

After the painted paper session was completed we started on various painting projects based on the artist Paul Gauguin.
 Tahitian landscapes, tiki heads and 
tropical flowers to name a few.

       Tahitian Landscapes & Tiki Heads lessons can be found at the shop

Just look at these awesome students creating projects bursting with colors! My heart was just filled with delight.

Symmetrical tiki heads 
created with painted paper.

We also created large tropical flowers with tempera paint.

**Freebie alert**
 you can download the Painted Flower lesson plan here

We also had time to do 
Reflections of a Day with Claude Monet!

If you ever have the chance to visit 
Tennessee Arts Academy 
it is a must!

The folks in Nashville are lovely and will treat you wonderfully!

Love to all my new friends in Tennessee!

Keep on creating!