Card Making and Correspondence

Fall 2017

In this class we will be using a variety of art materials to construct both beautiful AND silly cards that we will mail to friends and family! For hundreds of years, letters and cards were the only way for people in distant places to communicate with each other. Nowadays, we often send texts and e-mails to friends and family, so on the rare occasion that we do receive a "real" card or letter in our mailbox, it is a delightful treat! There are numerous, exciting occasions when a greeting card can be given to someone, so let's work together to revive the lost art of written and mailed correspondence! Students will have the opportunity to make the following cards of their choice: birthday, Halloween, get well, congratulations, thank you, friendship, and love. Also, with the aid of fun templates and white board games, they will learn the four basic parts most letters contain (greeting, body, closing, and signature). Pre-printed greetings and poems (that can be simply glued into handmade cards) will be on hand for students who need extra help with writing.We will be creating cards using the following FUN materials: stickers, stamps, fingerprints, watercolor, collage (cutting and gluing from magazines), and drawing and coloring with crayons, colored pencils, and markers.  

Meditative Abstract Art

Spring 2017

The focus of most traditional art classes is on the end product (whether it be a painting, sculpture, or drawing), but with meditative art, the feelings and mood of the artist is the main focus. Most meditative art activities result in what's called "abstract" art (art that does not depict a person, place or thing in the natural world). With abstract art, the subject of the work is based on what you SEE, FEEL, and HEAR. In this class, we will complete the following meditative and abstract activities: we will learn about the power of music therapy, and finger paint to beautiful and exciting instrumental movie music. We will use brushes, forks, toothbrushes, spray bottles, and other tools to paint abstract artworks on canvas. We will learn Zentangle drawing techniques in which patterns are repeated (using fine point black pens) inside simple scribble drawings. We will tear pictures out of magazines and decoupage (glue) them onto wood panels to create collage art. We will work with two, professional abstract artists, who will show us their artwork and lead us in unique, fun, painting activities, complete with special musical selections that enhance the art-making process. Last but not least, we will participate in two art therapy-inspired activities: making "scribble drawings" and using colored chalks as we engage in "mark making" while listening to rhythmic drumming. The goals of this class are to feel relaxed when creating; be aware of our feelings as we paint and draw; learn how repetition, movement, and color affect mood; feel safe and comfortable creating abstract art in a group setting; learn how to get the most out of (how to really enjoy) a meditative art experience. It feels wonderful to experience the feel of various art media by using your hands and fingers to blend, smear, and swirl paints and chalks for abstract work, and tear paper and apply glue over collage work. This is a feel-good class designed for ALL students, regardless of artistic ability.

Adventure Classics
2012, 2014 and 2016   
Do you love adventure stories? Do you love to create and make art? In this exciting, hands-on class we will do BOTH by diving into classic adventure stories and making fun projects based upon them. We’ll learn about the characters, plot, and settings of these famous tales as they are read aloud and discussed in class, their meaning made VISIBLE via the creation of miniature treehouses, Secret Garden clothes pin dolls and dioramas, squid and submarine beanie toys, and more! We’ll be journeying into the following five CLASSIC books:

  • The Secret Garden
  • Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
  • Treasure Island
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  • The Swiss Family Robinson.

“Dahl Club:” Art and Discussion Based on the Works of Roald Dahl
2012 -2015, and Winter 2016-2017
In this class, we will learn about one of the world's favorite children's author: Roald Dahl "one of the greatest storytellers for children of the 20th century.”  
In this “Book Club” style art class it is recommended that students read the book selected (or parents can read it aloud to them) for that week’s discussion/art project as to make the discussions more meaningful and for all students to feel completely included, inspired and motivated.
The books we will cover are:

  • Boy: Tales of Childhood (Roald’s autobiography of his boyhood)
  • Esio Trot
  • James and the Giant Peach
  • The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me
  • George’s Marvelous Medicine
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Some of the art projects and activities include:
Making a diorama of your own Chocolate Factory by using real candy; creating a wicked “Dahl-style” villain of your own (inspired by “Fox’s” Boggis, Bunce and Bean) out of clay); creating a beautiful shadow box display of a giant peach floating over the ocean as it is pulled by tethered seagulls; making our own “Marvelous Medicine” potion using silly, edible ingredients; drawing your own three chosen animals and assigning them jobs based on their physical characteristics (a la giraffe is the ladder, pelican is the bucket, monkey is the window washer) and come up with a book idea based on your three animal characters.

Zentangle-Inspired Art

July 2015

​In this class we will learn the basic Zentangle method and apply it to fun and interesting projects.  We will draw our Zentangles with pencils and black pens, sometimes using stamps and stencils to assist in our compositions, and we will decorate our "tangles" with various colorful materials such as: chalk (soft) pastels, watercolor paint, colored pencil, and gel pens. In addition, students will have the opportunity to mount their Zentangles on colored backgrounds for display and on greeting cards for friends and family members. Zentangle is a creative, relaxing family activity to engage in at the dinner table, and students will delight in teaching their parents and siblings how to create the art work they will learn in this class.

Clay Creations

November 2014 and Spring 2017

​The process of working with clay to create a unique project supports personalized learning, sensory development, fine motor skills, self esteem, self expression, problem solving skills, discipline and pride in a child. In addition, clay has a well documented therapeutic quality that settles and calms children. In this class, students will learn about four different types of clay and create simple, fun, step-by-step projects using Crayola Model Magic clay, modeling clay, Crayola Air Dry Clay, and polymer clay. Clay is an excellent art medium for children to discover and develop their creativity. Formless lumps of clay will magically transform into works of art. We will squish, roll, snake, stamp, embellish (googly eyes, beads, jewels), and sculpt. In the process, each student will discover their favorite type of clay! Knowing the four clay types eases frustration and helps parents and children make informed decisions when purchasing clay at the craft store. The instructor will keep all projects safe until the final day of class when students can take them home in eco-friendly "wall cubbies" (see photo) that can be used for displaying their amazing creations!

Poetry and Art of Shel Silverstein

January 2015
Come celebrate the poetry and illustrations of poet, cartoonist, and singer/songwriter, Shel Silverstein. Shel is the author and illustrator of four collections of poetry including the well-known 1974 classic collection titled "Where the Sidewalk Ends," and the 1981 collection "There is a Light In the Attic." Shel's humorous, odd, imaginative poems have been popular with families for forty years and counting. On the first day of class, the students will learn about Shel by making a "biography collage" on a large piece of construction paper. In subsequent classes students will: take turns reading poems aloud and responding to them; decorate drums and use them to count syllables and tap out poetic beats; write and illustrate their own poems (in groups or individually); learn the different types of poems and the definitions of poetic terminology; and do art projects based on selected poems. The goals of this class are to: have fun learning about Shel and his work; gain a better understanding of the magic of poetry and creative writing; and express yourself creatively through writing and with various art media (drawing, painting, clay, collage/mixed media, and watercolor). Activities from the "Shel Silverstein Poetry Workshop Kit" will be available for early finishers.

Activities for Creative Thinking

January 2014
I based this class upon the book "Art and Creative Development for Young Children."
Attention all you super CREATIVE kids out there! If you love problem solving in creative ways, coming up with new and useful inventions, watching your friends think up things you never would have thought of…then this is the class for you! In this class, we will finger paint (creative exploration), talk about how we could make a common toy more fun to play with (generate ideas), look at open-ended pictures and complete them in new and funny ways (learn to expand your mind), practice describing objects by focusing on color, form, texture and more (learn new, wonderful adjectives) and come up with new and useful inventions using unrelated objects (I will bring in corks, shoe boxes, rubber bands, balloons, empty tape rolls and an empty bottles – the possibilities are endless – you build it, present it, and take it home with you). Creativity peaks at age four, so come on kids, show us adults how it’s done! Get to know your “inner MacGyver”…your “inner Bear Grylls” (parents might need to explain these characters to your kids)! Come practice the art of creativity in a safe and fun environment, and let the CONNECTIONS begin!

Watercolor Painting
Dec 2013 to Mar 2014
Teaching the basics of watercolor, from pencil sketches to painting techniques.

Painting Studio 

November 2013

Students will explore the brush stroke and work with various textures, geometric shapes and more!

Creativity Workshop for Homeschoolers: Recycled Art

June 2012
Description: Express yourself creatively using a wide variety of recycled materials. Problem solve by using objects in new ways, and practice being resourceful. We’ll create both functional and decorative pieces

Jennifer has taught art, creativity, and literature classes and worked with children as a volunteer in various classrooms for 6 years. She has a passion for working with children in the creative arts, and loves connecting with her students. Her goals as an instructor include fostering a love of literature, and teaching students to use art and writing as their own personal forms of healthy, creative self-expression.