The Love of Teaching Art

I received my bachelor’s degree in Art Education and had the opportunity to teach art in the public school system for 2 years prior to getting married and moving back to Utah.  While I was going to school I received a priesthood blessing that told me I would find joy in teaching art to children.  At the time it made sense, that’s what I was going to school in and that’s what I did for my profession for a bit.  After two years I moved to Utah, began to start my family and that blessing seemed short-lived.

The Lord could see farther down the road than I could in my narrow vision. Only he knew what lay in store ahead for me. Before I knew it my kids were old enough, and expressed an interest in all of my art supplies. We started to doing some projects together. I then also decided to homeschool my students and found myself doing art lessons and projects to supplement our other lessons ort for fun. I loved it. I loved seeing what they could come up with. I love seeing the joy that just jumps into their faces when I say “let’s do an art project!”

It then has expanded from there. I started teaching a couple of private lessons, and teaching some classes during the summer to other students. I started teaching art lessons for the kids at our homeschool co-op.  And I’m starting to see how that blessing is still being fulfilled today, and that I truly do find lots of joy in teaching art to children.  It relaxes me, it excites me, it gives me a creative out let, and it makes me so happy to see those little brains working, hands drawing or applying color, the smiles and watching them burst with pride to show their mom what they made. Here are some examples of the fun we’ve had. (Most of these art pieces are done from various ages from 5-11. Even though it’s the same project, there are different abilities of skills,  and yet they all come out feeling successful and proud of their work.

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Bubblegum portraits. I LOVED how these turned out and so did every one of my students and their mothers.  I try to do one self-portrait every year so they can see themselves grow over time and also see how their skills progress over time. This one was fun because it also had a 3-dimensional look.

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What little kid doesn’t love castles. This was a fun multimedia lesson that incorporated printmaking, collage and drawing. This lesson could also go great with any mid-evil time period, or fairy tale unit.

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This one was done by my little guys – ages 4,6,7. It was an activity to just complement our study of prehistoric times. We learned about nomads, cave paintings and then they created their own version using pastels.

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Iguanas. I love this project just because I LOVE color. There done by my 9 year olds, with chalk, oil pastels and construction paper. Those are two supplies every family should have. You can do so many fun projects with just those 3 supplies.  This is also a great example that even though I am teaching them how to draw the same iguana and to learn to draw by observation, they still have the ability to create their very own unique artwork by their placements of shapes, texture and color.

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Everyone needs to do a Dr. Suess project on his birthday. This one was a lot of fun, and the first time my 4 year old actually tried to do a project. I think hers turned out great! (Bottom left) This is a good example of the skills of various ages. These are done by my kids who are the ages 4, 6, 8, 9.

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This was a lesson I did with one of my summer art classes with kids ages 5-11.  They covered so many techniques with this lesson. Watercolor techniques, patterned paper, collage, and depth using size and overlapping.

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This is another version of a self portrait done with watercolors.  A self portrait about what they wanted to be when they grew up.

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I don’t know a kid that doesn’t LOVE pirates either. This is one I did with my kids after a lesson on maps. So we created pirate maps.  It was so much fun and they LOVED this lesson.

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This was a spin off of Vincent VanGogh’s starry night.  We talked about foreground, middleground and background.  We then created our own starry nights, while they created what was going to be the middle ground and foreground. We made them like pop up books to help them understand even more the aspect of depth.

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Our version of VanGogh’s sunflowers as well.

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This is another really simple basic lesson on the artist Miro, but one that really young children’ can do successfully. It’s a great one to introduce line, shapes, and primary colors.

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Matisse is another famous artist we studied for our co-op class, and created our own version of his fishbowl painting using collage and shapes.

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I’ve done this lesson twice and the kids eat it up every time. Both were done in conjunction with learning about the Aztec’s and the Inca’s. We used gold foil which they drew a face mask based on the style of the Inca’s masks. We learned about symmetry and texture and then dressed them up a bit with color and embellishments.

ImageWe were also studying Egypt at the time of Halloween. What better project can you do that Egyptian masks. They loved doing this. Especially because their mask fit only their face and wasn’t just the general plastic mask you get from the store. It’s quite messy but worth all the effort.

It has been so much fun incorporating the love of art and teaching in this way. I never imagined that this would be the way I would be sharing my talents, but it has truly been a rewarding and joyful one for me.

Occasionally I will post when I will be holding another round of children’s art classes out of my home. I have one here next week in August with a few openings still, and I’m contemplating a full Semester class here for the upcoming fall if there is enough interest. If you ever have any questions about any classes I do or ideas on how to do art in your own homeschool don’t hesitate to ask.

A great resource is DeepSpace Sparkle.  I LOVE Patty’s site. She is awesome. I wished I had her resources when I was teaching in the public schools. She has lots of great lessons, many of which we have done. She also has some great e-courses on how to teach art. I took her introduction one, which was the best online course I have ever taken. It was packed with great information. If you’re a homeschooling mom that would like to incorporate art into your school more, but not sure where to begin. Learn from her. She was just a parent that never had any art education instruction, that was asked by the school to teach art classes. She has learned all of it first hand, and built her own curriculum, is self taught, has become an incredible art teacher. If she can do it, so can you.

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