Posts tagged art teacher
Back in the Studio
One wonderful thing about not being on the road is having a studio again. Knowing I have a space for art and a space I can leave things out is such a privilege. It was tough to make art in the van with Dominik always around. He's not judgmental or critical at all, but I need alone time to get making. Being alone in the studio gives me artistic mind-space and space-space to create. 

I haven't officially announced it on the blog yet but I'm preggy, 20 weeks now. I'm beginning to feel better and starting to feel a bit like myself again. I think that may be why I haven't made much work since being pregnant, I haven't felt like myself. The beginning of pregnancy is f*&king terrible. Anyways, back to why it's great to be in the studio...

Getting back into making is hard too. I don't feel very much self-confidence and don't quite know where to start. I've been teaching art for 4 years now and I am super comfortable with teaching how to make art and giving assignments, but getting started on my own work always takes some time to finally get to it.

So, I started back by doing some tiny paintings. I didn't know what to do, but I just knew I had to start somewhere. I picked out a little quail egg. I had bought a set at an after easter sale and began painting. I'm not super practiced in watercolor so there is definitely room to grow.

I have false expectation that all my work needs to be fantastic. I'm an art teacher after all, so I have to prove I can do it. But especially at the beginning, getting back into making. But, I need to have some grace with myself. Give myself time to experiment and play. I'm sure I'll figure out some great series' to make once I have began making.

 How do you start being creative after a creative break?


Being a Creative Risk-taker
Time and time again I tell my art students, they should be ready to take the risk of creating something, with the chance it could turn out wonderfully or terribly. I tell them there is no having successes without the risk of failing. 

This summer I took on my own challenge, which honestly was scary. I had built up a lot of pressure because I haven't created art intentionally for 6 years, pretty much since art school. I'm also an art teacher, so man the pressure it on!!! 

Here are a few things I learned to keep in mind and hope to carry on through out this school year, as I continue to make art. 

1) Once you have an idea, act on it right away. 

A few times this summer, I had a spark of inspiration which somewhat made sense with my theme (ish) and just went with it. It felt so good just to dive into the making without thinking. Just making felt so good. It's hard to stay motivated. So, when you have the inspiration, utilize it or as the Germans would say, "Nutz es aus!" 

2) Take time to make.

I had the luxury of taking 3 whole weeks to create art here at our home in Heidelberg, Germany. I know many of you don't have this much time or space. But, oh man, it felt so good to designate time and space for my creative work. 

Throughout this school year, I am hoping to take at least 4 hours a week for my art. I have long days at school, but I have a few days off a cycle which should give me some time for my art. How much is realistic for you? 

3) Keep the inner-critic at bay. 

I was creating new work this summer, trying new things. It's only natural that I wasn't a master at it in my initial attempts. My mind flooded with critical and discouraging thoughts.

The most eye opening things I noticed when creating this summer. Having a critical discouraging voice in your head while creating is detrimental to the beginnings of the creative process. I am so used to being critical. I have been teaching art for a few years and it's my job to give kids feedback and tips for improvement. Shutting off that inner critic was super tough. If I would have let the thoughts take over, I wouldn't have created anything this summer. There is a time to be critical, but when just beginning something, it's best to be open and just make. 

4) Share your progress. 

For me, sharing tidbits of what I'd been creating on was a real encouragement. People's comments and likes helped me to see that people were enjoying seeing me create and were liking my work. I was surprised at the reaction a few times because again, my inner critic had won a little bit and I thought everything I created was shit. Share what you're doing with others, whether it be family, or friends in real life or on the inter-webs. 

I hope to keep these things in mind as I continue to be a creative risk-taker this coming school year. 

Thanks for reading lovelies!


This summer I am hoping to take time to make, and to practice drawing. I have challenged myself, my students and now I am challenging you!

Draw this summer! Draw as many drawings as you can. I am hoping to draw 50 drawings. I am hoping to draw daily for at least 10 minutes. I will use real-life objects, people, books, whatever gets me to draw something!

I always struggle to come up with what to draw! 

So here are some ideas of things to draw:
  • toys
  • bicycles
  • cars
  • your animals
  • fish
  • whales
  • sharks
  • birds
  • insects
  • flowers
  • your friend
  • your parents
  • your relatives
  • eyes
  • mouths
  • your hands
  • your feet
  • your body
  • your bed
  • a chair
  • lamps
  • cups
  • bottles
  • glasses
  • plates
  • cutlery
  • food
  • vegetables
  • desserts
  • beverages
  • candy
  • landscapes
  • mountains
  • trees
  • cityscapes
  • streets
  • buildings
  • tools
  • house plants
  • what you are wearing
  • hats
  • dresses
  • pants
  • underwear
  • glasses
  • shoes
  • socks
  • sports
  • sports equipment
  • sports players
  • just a doodle
  • a book/comic book character
  • your name in a new bubble letter font
  • an emotion

Here is a link to download the handout that I gave my students...if you're a nerdy teacher like me, or if you would like to print this list out easily!

P.S. This other lady named Anna has some great intros to drawing on her youtube channel. Youtube is a great resource for learning new things!



What are you hoping to foster this summer?
Art Studio Tour-Classroom
Welcome to the art studio!
I've been working in this space with my seven grade levels for almost one school year so far. The space is really well lit and has most everything we need to create great pieces. Here's our art studio.
I split the classroom into 4 table groups, colours.

Every table has a job:
Distributers= pass out materials
Collectors= collect materials at the end of class
Polishers= wipe tables when it's time to tidy up
Sink= watch the sink to make sure everyone washes their brushes and tools.

The jobs really help students to know what to do and keeps them accountable. But the main benefit is that it keeps materials and the space in order. There is only one art classroom and one set of materials for the whole secondary school. So, it needs to be a space where everyone can work and enjoy their time creating.
I use a bit of sign language to streamline communication when students are working. That way I don't have a student waiting 5 minutes with their hand up, when I could just nod my head "yes" when I see the toilet sign. 

Labeling jars for brushes helps keep them clean and accessible.

This last photo is my back storage room, which is gradually getting organised. There are a number of doo-dads that still need to find their homes. 

Have a great day.

Proud Teacher
I am so proud of my gr 12 students. As I mentioned earlier, they had an exhibition last week and their hard work was celebrated by family and friends. And by ME!  I had only 5 Visual Arts Diploma students and they shared over 60 works all together.

Check out their fantastic pieces.

This is my first year teaching the IB Diploma Program (grs 11+12) art. It is a very vigorous program, with lots of criteria and hours the students have to put in.  It's a big accomplishment to have created so many and such fine work. Many of these artists had not had many visual arts skills before taking the course.

I don't normally share things about school much here on the blog but I am super proud and it feels good to share it with you.

I hope you have a lovely sunday!



Oh Don't forget, there is a DIY Werkstatt today in Heidelberg. Here's a link to the event