Leave a comment

New Art On Artsonia

Long after our in-house art show is over, our online gallery continues to display new artwork. Today, three new projects have been uploaded to Artsonia.


For this project, students divided the 2 dimensional paper plane of a still life using an abstraction technique called Contour Continuation. Once divided, they filled the positive space with warm or cool colors and the negative space with the opposite family of colors. These are painted with watercolor. The abstraction gallery is at this link.

Sadie Moore: Artist Statement (what Sadie2875 said this about his/her artwork)
I used water color, pencil, and sharpie to create my drawing. The color difference between my negative and positive space is, for the positive space I used warm colors like red,orange,yellow,and pink and in the nagative space I used cool colors like purple,blue,and green. You can tell the negative and positive space apart because the are the oppisite color from each other and also because the cooler colors are darker and fit for the negative space. A different shape I would use is a triangle because I think it will look really pretty, what I would to differently is subtract some lines because I had to many lines. I really liked painting with water colors because it was easier to wash off or change mistakes because there are very lite colors.

Digital Abstraction:

Once the watercolor abstractions were complete, some students had a chance to extend their learning to create artwork on their iPad using the same technique for abstraction, and incorporating layers, outlining, and flood fill in the Sketchbook Express app. The Digital Abstraction gallery can be found here.

Tia Wright – Artist Statement (what Tia1091 said this about his/her artwork) In my opinion, the digital one was easier to make than the watercolor one. You could get more colors, and easier shapes/lines. Although this is true, watercolor was more fun because painting is more fun than just tapping to fill.


Fifth grade students have been working with Abstraction as well, using a technique called “Painting with Scissors”, which is a term coined by artist Henri Matisse (there is an amazing show of Matisse work at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts right now). We also explored the Japanese concept of Notan, which is the dynamic of Light and Dark (opposites, contrasts, etc) and positive space and negative space with this project. Students used scissors to cut both organic and geometric shapes out of paper and then glued the base on sheet of paper in a complementary color. The pieces that had been cut out were then flipped rather than turned or slid and placed around the perimeter of the base shape. This project is a great way to reinforce math concepts as well as make dazzling art.

Once the four required compositions were finished, students used the Pic Collage app on their iPads to create a four-square collage. This was saved to the camera roll and uploaded to Artsonia. The Notan gallery can be found at this link.

Andrew Lindquist – Artist Statement (what Andrew33482 said this about his/her artwork)
Notan is a Japanese art. Complementary Colors- Purple and Yellow, Green and Red, Black and White, and Orange and Blue. Why I used complementary colors- I used complementary colors because they created great colors and patterns. Process of cutting my shapes- I first folded the piece of paper into fourths and then I cut out a geometric or an organic shape in each fourth. It was difficult to line the shapes up exactly the opposite of the cut-out, but every other step was fun and easy! What I would do if I did it again- If I did it again I would try more, and more complex patterns and cut-outs

Leave a comment

Flat Stanley’s Adventures on the East Coast

My middle level art education friend, September, who lives in Michigan, asked over social media for volunteers to take a Flat Stanley for her daughter, Lennie, who is in first grade. Of course, ever since my son was in first grade and had a Flat Stanley returned by President Clinton along with a packet of photos and a signed letter from the President, I’ve been a Flat Stanley fan and will be for life. Flat Stanley is a book by Jeff Brown and has featured illustrations by a few different artists over time, including Tomi Ungerer, Macky Pamintuan, and Scott Nash. Here’s the overview:

Meet Stanley Lambchop.

He’s an ordinary boy with an extraordinary problem.

He’s four feet tall, about a foot wide . . . oh, and half an inch thick.

At first being flat is fine.

It’s fun going in and out of rooms simply by sliding under the door.

And it’s exciting being mailed to your friends in California for a visit.

But it’s not always easy being different, and soon Stanley wishes he could be just like everybody else.

Will he ever be normal again?

And so the adventures of Flat Stanley begin. We had Flat Stanley with us for just about a month. We showed him around Boston (of course), Providence, Rhode Island, and Panama City Beach, Florida, where we traveled for our grandson’s wedding. We remembered to take his picture sometimes, other times we relied on the magic of Photoshop (when you give a Flat Stanley to an art teacher). All the photographs, with or without the little flat man, are mine. Here is a slideshow of the book we are sending Lennie. The photos follow the slideshow. Enjoy!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Leave a comment

Feeding Time Ain’t Pretty With Great Egrets

I usually use this blog to update my students’ parents, the school community, or my network of art educators about what is happening in the art room. I’m making an exception for this event my husband and I stumbled upon in the St. Andrews State Park in Panama City Beach, Florida, when we were in town for our grandson’s wedding a couple of weeks ago.

We had been busy with wedding activities from the moment we arrived in Panama City Beach right up through the wedding. While everyone else was recuperating and resting the day after the wedding, we got up early and took a walk through St. Andrews State Park. We were enjoying the trails, seeing the herons and pelicans, deer and bitterns, and while my husband was busy keeping an eye out for alligators, we suddenly heard this noisy racket out of the blue. We followed the noise to see what was going on.

We stood and watched for about half an hour as Great Egret attempted to feed its young. I am not a bird expert and I welcome correction if these are not Great Egrets. This is the best guess I have garnered from the searches I conducted. These same searches let me know that this bird feeds its young through regurgitation (my initial response – gross!), and in order to do so, actually sticks its head down the throat of the smaller bird. We saw this and did not know what was happening.

Families with young children walked through and the parents ushered them past quickly before the kids became engrossed – it was such a racket! And it appeared to be so violent as the other young competed for food and attention.


I was talking about this experience with one of my classes after my return and they 6th grade students were equally intrigued and repulsed. What a thing! I have never seen this in the Boston area. Anyway, thank you for indulging me this post, I had to share it somewhere!

Leave a comment

So, You Missed The Art Show?

So, you missed the art show even after this relentless campaign of advertising (in a former life I may have worked for Burma Shave?).

The annual Miscoe Hill Art Show was held as part of the Miscoe Hill Elective Student Showcase (M.E.S.S.). It was a warmer and sunnier than usual April 11 (a perfect night for ball games as it turns out).

This is the second year we have contained the art show within the neighboring art rooms. In prior years we filled the upper gym.We guide visitors from the front lobby to the art rooms on the opposite side of the school through a darkened hallway filled with luminaries created by our students; each luminary holds an LED light:

The subject matter for the luminaries was open to free choice for the students, although I showed a Tibetan prayer flag and explained how Tibetans believe the prayers and mantras written on the flags will be blown by the wind to spread the good will and compassion into all pervading space.

gillette - 1

Photo of Tibetan Prayer Flags at Gillette Stadium for H.H. Dalai Lama by Alice Gentili 5/2010

Because we would fill the bags with light, I suggested to the students that they could write/draw their own messages of compassion and good will and share them through our vehicle of light into all pervading space. And some did. And one featured ham.

As the art show visitors entered the hallway to the art rooms, displays were set up outside the room.

And throughout the art room 2D art was on display on display panels, ceramic art was on the center table, sketchbooks were available from every student for perusal, and 3D printed models were on a table near the active 3D printer. The projector showed a video about the grades 5/6 art program, which can be found at this link::

Next door in the borrowed music room (thank you Lauren and Anthony Amitrano), Family Game Night was underway with Marie Brigham (4th grade Clough) as our special guest host.

Here. sixth grade students who had collaborated on game boards with 3D printed game pieces were available, with their games, to play with visitors. Popcorn was served.

The game makers created their games in the fall of 2016, and have since moved on to other electives. I am thankful that many students returned to school that night to showcase their games.

As all art teachers know, an art show never really just happens. It is an ongoing, conscious effort throughout the school year to curate artwork and set it aside for the show which happens months later. It is a collaboration with helpers who are willing to mount and label artwork and attach it to displays. It is a delicate dance with schedules and other events in the building to make sure everyone has what they need. And it involves collaboration with the maintenance and custodial staff to borrow tables and move displays from their storage spaces.

I’m so grateful for my 7th grade NJHS helpers!

I’m so thankful for help with the displays and tables from maintenance.

And the take down. I learned a few years back to trust this work to my students, who seem to enjoy doing it. They remove the artwork from the displays, wrap and label the clay pieces, and sort it by homeroom for delivery later on.

And so, you may have missed the art show, but you’ve had a good look at what you missed here. Just to give you plenty of notice  – you can SAVE THE DATE for next year – April 10, 2018.

Leave a comment

Miscoe Elective Student Showcase (M.E.S.S.) Tonight!

Leave a comment

Yarn Paintings On Display At M.E.S.S.

Don’t miss it! Huichol inspired fifth grade yarn paintings will be on display at the Miscoe Elective Student Showcase (M.E.S.S) – TOMORROW Tuesday, April 11 from 6-8pm.

Leave a comment


As promised !! BREAKING NEWS !! about our special guest host for Family Game Night! She is often found with her nose in a Harry Potter book. She is sometimes dressed as Moaning Myrtle. Yes, our special guest host is none other than fourth grade Clough teacher, Mrs. Marie Brigham! Stop by and play some handmade games and visit with Mrs. Brigham…she’ll be running the room and keeping an eye on the popcorn!

Miscoe Student Elective Showcase (M.E.S.S.) – Tuesday, April 11, 6-8 pm

%d bloggers like this: