Special Guests- Glass Blowers


On October 17 two glass blowers, Stephen Redmond and Parker Ford, generously donated their time and talents to our school by giving a glass blowing demonstration for all K-5 students. They taught us a little about history and science at the same time. Some of the things we learned were-

  1. The art of making glass started in Egypt, Sumeria, and Mesopotamia 3500 years ago.
  2. Glass is made of sand (or silica). If lightning strikes sand it will make glass.
  3. Obsidian is another naturally occurring type of glass that is made from lava.
  4. Glass is a solid, but when it is heated up, it acts more like a liquid and can flow, bend, and be molded. It must be heated to about 3200 degrees to be shaped.
  5. Minerals or precious metals, like gold can be added to glass to make it a color.

To see more photos and videos from the demonstration go to@walkerparkart on Instagram.


Van Gogh 3-D Bedrooms


Another awesome spring project I forgot to post was the 3-d bedroom sculpture project I do with 4th grade every year.  We study Vincent Van Gogh’s “Bedroom at Arles” (after drawing the bedroom in 3rd grade) see here for that lesson.

In the sculpture project, we make a paper room with a 12 x 12 inch piece of paper. Students use many found objects to make the furniture. We talk about coordinating colors too. It’s neat to see how each bedroom is so different. At the end of the month of working on this, we play a game where students choose their favorite fancy bedroom, funnest bedroom, bedroom Van Gogh would like best, etc.

Bedroom Paintings

This project is from the spring, but I never got around to sharing it and it’s so good, so here goes.  The third graders always study Vincent Van Gogh’s “Bedroom at Arles”, 1889. We talk about how he made things go back in space in the painting.


I teach them how to draw a bedroom using their ruler and diagonal lines in the corner of the room, coming out of the center rectangle wall.  Then I show them how to draw items in the room getting smaller as they go back in space.  I love the fun details the kids add to make the space unique. We painted these with watercolors and went over them with black Sharpie marker.  I think in all this took about 3-4 class periods.

Working with Visually Impaired Students


One of the most challenging parts of teaching art can be coming up with lessons that visually impaired students can be successful at.  How do you teach them about art, which is all about seeing, when they can’t see?  The answer is to do a lot of projects using texture and three-dimensional elements they can feel!  The artwork above was made with Model Magic clay on cardboard, cotton balls, felt, yarn, google eyes, pipe cleaners, and pom-poms by one of my visually impaired students. I love it!


I recently bought this container at Michael’s that has a ton of little drawers. I stuff it full of small textured materials that my visually impaired student can use in his artwork.  He often works on small canvas boards or cardboard (recycled from cafeteria boxes) and glues down materials first.  Then after a few sessions of that he may paint over them or leave the collage as-is.  Some of the materials in his box are: bubble wrap, wood shapes, popsicle sticks, cotton balls, google eyes, fabric or felt scraps, plastic wheels, noodles, beans, buttons, pom-poms, wikki-sticks, pipe cleaners, paper shapes, foam shapes, yarn, and ribbon.  He loves his new box and I love seeing what he will create with it!

Tree Collages


One of my favorite beginning of the year lessons to do with 2nd grade is a tree collage.  We talk about the different types of lines- thin, thick, vertical, horizontal, and diagonal.  The following week they add watercolors.

 img_0430 img_0431

Then the students draw a tree along with me and then glue different types of string and yarn on each line for texture.


Then oil pastels are added for details or shading.

Meet Mrs. Phillips


Welcome to art class! I’m Mrs. Phillips.  I have been teaching art at our school for 15 years. I have both an undergraduate and a graduate degree in Art Education from the University of Georgia.  I studied art abroad in both Italy and France in college.  This summer I traveled to Ireland with my husband.  We visited a lot of old castles, archaeological ruins, and beautiful rolling hills and cliffs.  These are some of our pictures from the trip.

I love to travel the world when I can and I bring the knowledge I gain from those trips into my classroom to make art experiences for children that are rich in art history and culture. This year in art we will be studying:

5th grade- Italian Renaissance, Modern American art

4th grade- Prehistoric cave art, Native American art, China

3rd grade- Africa, Greece

2nd grade- Ancient Egypt, Japan

1st grade- Mexico, France

Kindergarten- Leonardo da Vinci, Eiffel Tower (Paris)