About this Site and Me

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Flower Mound, TX, United States
Hi, I am an artist, wife, mom, gamer and the Elementary Art Educator at Donald Elementary, a sweet and wonderful school in Flower Mound, TX (outside of Dallas). This is a great place to see how we are integrating studio habits with technology and interdisciplinary connections. I also love to share my "wisdom" (Re: Experiences. From mistakes.) about teaching Elementary Art. I love what I do, and I've been doing it for a long time. Creating and teaching Art is what I live for. Enjoy.

Friday, May 17, 2013

super close up: zentangles

I like to push my students to take a work of art as far as it can go. Who, me?

 Of course, knowing when to stop is a huge issue for artists. Case in point, check out these zentangles! I wasn't happy just letting them make a doodle, ooohhhhh nooooo, we had to blow it up!!!

This turned out to be a really cool project. I compared it to writing an essay. Imagine if you pulled one sentence or one thought from that essay and turned that into another story. Ah yeah! So that's where creativity comes from!

To teach my kids how to tell when they are finished, they are trained to look for the "strong" and "weak" areas of their piece. Once they have identified their strong areas, the parts they love, they are to leave it alone! So hard. Because we all want to keep working on that area! It's so pretty! Leave it alone.

Even harder is looking for the weak spots, the parts that we don't like. The parts that make us squirm or doubt or frustrate. You know what I am talking about! That's the part you get to work on.

When my 5th graders finished their zentangle ( my standardized testing week project), they used a viewfinder (a piece of paper with a rectangular hole) to find a strong composition. We reviewed some basics: Rule of 3, no splitting the middle, look for the strong, interesting areas that "read well". Yes, I talk this way to 10 year olds. They get it.

Using observational drawing skills, they re-drew what was in the viewfinder onto larger paper. I had Crayola Construction Paper Crayons, so many kids opted for black paper. Because those are cool! Some choose to work in marker on lighter paper. 

This is where "strong" and "weak" really came into play. Since this was so abstract, they really had to be honest with themselves about the process of their work. Very difficult concept, but they are 16 days from Middle School, sooo, yeah...

Once they finished, they attached the zentangle onto the paper, some choosing to create depth using scraps or cardboard.

The finished work is quite striking. And no two are alike in any way. 

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