Mondrian Windows


I have large windows in my classroom. They let in a lot of light and go from my waist to the ceiling. So lucky! One thing I don’t have is a lot of space to hang work or decorate (I don’t know what to do with myself!). I decided to take on a little window decoration before school started this year and combined Frank Lloyd Wright’s border windows with Piet Mondrian’s primary, geometric paintings. The result is a fun, eye-catching window that can be seen from the door of my classroom. We like to stand out as art teachers! No word yet if this is considered a window covering by the fire inspector. I will be so sad if it has to come down so soon!

I used electrical tape and tissue paper but would have used cellophane if I had it, but didn’t.


You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile!

I hope my middle school and young high school students take this to heart everyday, their smiles are the best but they don’t show them enough!

I had seen this process on Pinterest but it really isn’t me to be super-crafty and this felt so crafty. When I spotted the perfect ugly paint-by-number in the thrift store, I noticed the nice wood frame and then remembered a spray paint craft I had seen popping up on my Pinterest feed all of the time. The painting was $2.99 so it was worth a shot.

This is the painting before.


I found some great little post it notes at Target and then bought gold and white spray paint at Michael’s. I then had to think of a quote. Annie was always a favorite of mine and I’m pretty sure I have every line in the movie memorized, so this was a great go-to quote for me.

You’re never fully dressed without a smile

I had to perfectly space the lines and letter and when ready, used rubber cement to adhere to letters to the canvas. This was a little time consuming and I suppose letter stickers would work better, I just liked the size and font of the post-it’s I found.





At last, the big reveal! I peeled off the letters and inserted the canvas into the newly gold frame (spray painted) and there you have it, a perfect, new, inspirational mantra for my high school art room.


Kindergarten People Brainstorms

My little kindergarten friends came in today. I have done this project every year since learning about this activity when getting my MFA at Boston University. It is such a simple idea, but a challenge for these little ones. Kids at this age typically draw all people the same and with details to differentiate who is who. The project is simply an exercise in brainstorming people but thinking about adding details so that each person is different. We talk about height, age, clothing, and other details these kids probably haven’t thought to add before. Such wonderful stories come out of these narratives- I’ve had students draw their grandparents as angels and also have hear all about their imaginary friends, which is so much fun. They love talking about these drawings, which is such an important part of the art education process. I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!




Facial Features

Here are some reference pages I made for my students today! We will be creating large scale portraits where students will paint each body part on a note card and the assemble them together on a large sheet of paper. Here is an example from last year- I didn’t include ears on the notecards last year but I’m thinking about doing it this year. I love drawing ears- the folds and shadows, they are so interesting, different, and are often overlooked.





Almost Ready!

Things are just about ready here at school! I just had a parent drop off these magazines, which is so wonderful. Art teachers out there, send out an email or put a blurb in your weekly reading about magazines for picture references and collage. I have found that any cooking magazine, gardening magazines, and architectural magazines work the best because there are very limited amounts of inappropriate content. There is nothing worse than a fifth grader flashing around an ad for bras to the entire class. You don’t find as many of those distractions in these types of magazines.

I also finished a couple last bulletin boards today and just need to prep what I am actually going to say to the kids on the first day!





Prepping for Day One

Well, the big day is almost here! My sixth first day of school (as a teacher, that is) is coming up quick and I am pretty excited about it. It’s time to get back into the swing of things, and to be honest, I miss my little friends and their stories so much! I am working on a few improvements this year- my favorite is a silent solution to the age old question, “Mrs. Brown, what are we doing today?” I hope all of the teachers out there enjoy your last few days of summer and are able to return to work rejuvenated, inspired, and ready to do something great. We really do have the best jobs (I’m sure I will feel slightly differently the week before Christmas Vacation, but for now- positivity!).