Melbourne Square Mall Art Show 2017

13 talented students were selected to have their work displayed publicly at the Melbourne Square Mall. The student exhibition can be viewed until February 12, 2017 in front of Dick’s Sporting Goods.



Artist Amy van Luijk Inspired Collage

The simple style of New Zealand artist, Amy van Luijk’s work is both inviting and approachable for students. Her illustrations are simple, yet amazing. When I saw her collage-weaving work I instantly knew I could use them to create an important lesson in our art room. It is important for students to understand geometric and organic shapes, as they are the foundation for observing and drawing the world around us. If you can visually break down an image into shapes, you can draw ANYTHING.

In class we cut geometric shapes out of painted paper and then students were challenged to create their own organic shape. Their own shape could be inspired by nature (broken leaf, trunk of a tree, blade of grass), something around the art room or from their imagination.

After looking at Amy van Luijk’s work 2nd graders created these beautiful collages (many of which I would love to hang in my home)…


Students were also able to create illustrations and use them to weave…

Painted Rocks 



In several cities across the country people are beautifully painting rocks and leaving these small pieces of art for others to find in public spaces. I think this unique movement is inspiring, and I wanted to emulate this at our school. Looking for painted rocks teaches students to be more aware of the world around them. Often times, the rocks are in plain sight however many people simply walk by, unaware of the beauty that is around them.

Finders Keepers…


Gyotaku – Japanese Fish Prints

Gyotaku is a style of printing that originated in Japan in the 1800s. Gyotaku means fish rubbing, and this technique was used by fisherman to keep a record of  the fish they caught. Today, many artist use this same technique to create amazing works of art.

I have been in love with Gyuoaku for a number of years. My husband and I always stand, drooling over these beautiful fish prints at fine art shows. I was eager to try creating these prints myself, but then decided it would be even more fun to try it with my students. We used fish molds because real fish are hard to obtain (and I feared that fish aroma would linger for years to come).

Click here to watch a short clip: Gyutaku Fish Rubbing Reveal


Step 1: Block Printing Ink and Brayers were used to achieve an even application of ink over the entire fish.


Step 2: Newsprint was placed on top of the inked fish, students used their hands to carefully rub.