Art Home

Use the links above to see what’s going on in art by grade level.

Chapter 1. Monthly Newsletter

  • I am thrilled to have joined the staff as the new art teacher. I received a Masters of Art from Eastern Michigan University with a concentration in Sculpture and Jewelry. I am looking forward to bringing these skills to our students.

    Students have known me as an Instructional Assistant in Alexa’s classroom, an After School Teacher, a Lunchroom Helper, and a Substitute teacher. Many students were surprised to learn that I am also an Artist. I am enjoying the opportunity to learn with them in my new role in their school lives.

    I have been working hard to take photos of student work to post on the art website called Artsonia. This website allows you to view and purchase your child’s artwork on mugs, t-shirts, mousepads, and other merchandise. It’s also a great way to share your child’s artwork with relatives. They work hard to keep your child’s information private and also give the school 15% from every purchase. This year I was able to buy picture books about various artists to enhance lessons with K-1s and 2-3s.
    The website is I will be sending home permission forms with classroom teachers. Please read them over and consider granting permission in order to support our art program!


    I have been keeping the K-1s busy… or should I say they have been keeping me busy! Every project I have given them, they work hard to finish during class. We have read stories about Matisse, Kandinsky, and Leaf Man.

    The first project we worked on was drawing to music. It was a fun way to introduce the kids to me as the new art teacher. We listened to some jazz music which included Miles Davis and Ella Fitzgerald. They drew and painted to the music. It was a blast!

    One of the projects we’ve done so far is leaf drawings. We talked about different kinds of lines and the kids worked carefully to paint black outlines on their leaves. You’ll find some of their work posted in the B wing hallway.


    The kids have been learning about new lines and the resisting power of waxy crayons to watercolors. We read a story about Vincent Van Gogh and Starry Night. They made their own starry nights with crayons and watercolors. They cut out a silhouette of a landscape and pasted it to their night skies.


    We looked at the work of Paul Klee. With their drafting skills they were able to create a town of geometric shapes. They used watercolors to paint their towns. We also talked about foreground, midground, and background in their paintings and how it creates the illusion of space.

    Middle School

    I introduced them to Plein Air painters. We then headed outside to paint landscapes with soft pastels. They have been taking their time and have created some really lovely landscape drawings.

    Art Elective

    The class has been working on two point perspective using words instead of buildings. They were also given the task of creating a self portrait focusing on something they loved about themselves using only scraps of paper.

  • Art News – May 2017

    First I want to send out a special thank you to the HC community for the many awesome donations that I have found at my door lately. Your support for the art program is much appreciated! Please come to the curriculum celebration on May 19th to see all of the amazing artwork your students have been working on. Now here’s what’s happening in art….

    k-1’s have been making a series of creative projects inspired by books! We read books by visual artists who illustrated and wrote the stories too.  We learned about Harriet Tubman through the art and words of artist Jacob Lawrence and also discovered how artist Faith Ringgold used to imagine that she could fly over the city when she was a young child growing up in New York City. We concluded our book/art series by reading Chris Raschka’s visual interpretation of John Coltrane’s musical composition called Giant Steps. The students really enjoyed making artwork using layered tissue paper and black paint to represent how artists, like musicians create layers when the create work.

    Artwork by Tristan

    2/3’s started out this semester by learning about the artist Kehinde Wiley.  He reinterprets historical Renaissance paintings of the European aristocracy and replaces the main figure with a contemporary African American man or woman. Our students were photographed posing like nobility and altered their own images using a variety of media.  You and your family can see the beautiful artwork of Kehinde Wiley at the nearby Toledo of Museum of Art until May 14th!

    In 4th/5th grade art we used the field trip to UMMA as a jumping off point for an aerial collage /environmental project. A UMMA docent explained how L.A. artist, Mark Bradford used Google Maps to create large scale abstract ‘landscapes’ that were inspired by aerial maps of the city. During this unit we also learned about the artist Vik Muniz who constructed photographic images out of garbage and recycled materials at a landfill in Brazil. When photographed from the air these garbage constructions resembled pictures that Muniz took of impoverished workers who spent their days sorting through the garbage to retrieve salvageable material to earn money. You can watch a documentary about this project called Wasteland.

    Artwork by Kairos

    Middle School Artists in base class have been learning about color and photography. Students spent the last month learning about the properties of light and color in Jon’s science class and applied this knowledge to art class through a study of photographic composition and color theory. We concluded our photo unit by creating a digital collage.

    Middle School Art Elective have spent this semester experiencing many different ways to apply their love for drawing. We have used pencils, pens, markers and even wax but overall the favorite project this year has been using calligraphy pens and brushes to experiment with both Eastern an Western styles of calligraphy. Students practiced writing with the pens and painting with the brushes. They created some beautiful artworks using image and text.

    Please come and see all of these fantastic works on May 19th!

  • Art News- February 2017

    It was wonderful to meet many families on curriculum night. I hope you enjoyed the awesome art made by your kids. I am always impressed with their work especially when it is on display.

    Here’s what’s going on now:

    K-1 art: We are just starting to work with weaving. The K-1’s did a great job with this task. We all worked together on cutting the loom from paper and then practiced weaving paper strips under and over to create a woven look. It was a lot of fun and everyone did a great job.

    2-3’s: We are building on a big word we learned last year in 2/3’s..ANTHROPOMORPHIC! This is when someone adds human characteristics or features to something that is not human. Last year we made Aztec Sun’s with faces. This year we are making animals with human bodies. The kids enjoyed watching the videos by William Wegman, an artist that uses his own dogs that he has given human bodies to and clothing. Check it out here.

    4-5’s are making some great posters! We looked at poster art from 19th century France to more modern posters by Shepard Fairey. I can’t wait to see the finished artworks.

    We are going abstract in Middle School Base Art! We have spent a lot of time working on drawings that require a lot of thought. This week we started abstract color wheel paintings. Using the primary colors from the color wheel we mixed made our own abstract drawings that are filled with colors.

    Our new Middle School Elective is focused on Drawing. We started by learning about how the hemisphere’s of our brain help us to learn to draw. We made a Vase/Face drawing to create an optical illusion. This project comes from a book called Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards. It has a lot of activities that help train your brain to see like an artist.

  • Art News- January 2017


    Another year is upon us and it is time to get back into the swing of making art but not before we show off what we have been working on in the 1st half of the year!  Please stop by the Honey Creek Art Show this January at the Curriculum Celebration on January 20th.

    Each K-1 class will feature a different project that we worked on this semester. We have worked a lot with color and shape so expect to see a brightly colored display of work!

    Grades 2-8 art display will take on a different approach this year. Students in these grades are allowed to select which one of their projects they think is the best of their work. This means that you will see both 2d and 3d work from a variety of projects. Artwork will be displayed in the hallways and the gym. Please feel free to pick up any of your child’s artwork at the event. I look forward to seeing you at Curriculum Celebration!

  • Art News – December 2016

    Have you seen Honey Creek’s Artsonia page? Click on the link and you can get a look at some things we have have been working on so far this school year. Artsonia is a wonderful resource for viewing and sharing your students online portfolio. You can also purchase unique gifts featuring your child’s artwork. Funds raised from Honey Creek’s Artsonia page help to support the art program at our school! If you can’t find your child’s artwork on Artsonia you may need to fill out a parent permission form. I will be sending out new family permission slips before the end of 2016.  Please contact me at to find out more information.

    K-1 students are learning about the Elements of Art through each project. So far we have experimented with line, shape, color and now texture. After looking at photographs of this November’s Supermoon, K-1’s practiced cutting a circle from a square and then used rubbing plates to create unique textures to represent the surface of the moon.

    2-3’s are just finishing up their beautiful clay mice based on the story Mitt the Michigan Mouse. Once the mouse forms where dried the students created an environment from cardboard, rocks, fake flowers and other nature inspired elements to keep their mouse safe from harm.50761936

    Artwork by Hanh Nanh Ngo, 3rd grade.

    4-5’s finished their Day of the Dead masks and are ready to move on to poster design. We will begin by looking at graphic works by American artist, Robert Indiana  and Art Nouveau prints by French artist Theophile Steinlen .

    Middle School students just finished up making mini clay figurines from baked polymer clay. Here is a tray ready to go into the oven in the A-wing kitchen:


    Check back for more creative projects to come in the new year!





  • Art News- November 2016

    Each day we are greeted the cool crisp air of the changing seasons as we watch the world turn from summer to fall. K/1’s are learning more about color as they move from primary colors to secondary colors. There is no better time than Fall to explore green, orange and purple! We looked at a variety of gourds, pumpkins and squashes and discussed the shape, color and textures that we observed. Once everyone had a chance to look, feel and even smell our Fall harvest, we created beautiful artworks using green, orange, and black oil pastel on purple paper. The results are lovely!

    November brings a new dimension to art… the 3rd dimension! 2/3’s, 4/5’s and Middle School are all beginning 3D projects.

    2/3’s have recently read the book “Mitt the Michigan Mouse” in their classrooms. We will begin making a clay mouse to compliment what they learned from reading the story.

    4/5’s are celebrating November by learning about the Mexican holiday, Dia De Los Muertos! We will be making plaster masks inspired by the festive holiday.

    Middle School students are just finishing up their human proportions drawings and will now have a chance to make a “mini” humans from polymer clay. We are sculpting a figure from this oven-baked clay which will be painted with acrylic paints.

    Art Elective is continuing our exploration of light and shadow as we begin to make shadow puppets. We watched examples of shadow puppetry online including Chinese Shadow Puppet Theatre and Shadow Puppets made just with your hands and light. We will be making our own puppets and then collaborating on original shows written during class.

  • Art News – October 2016


    We are back into the swing of creative thinking here in art class! Our overall theme for this year’s class is Don’t Worry, Be Happy!  You may recognize it by the Bobby McFerrin Song of the same title. This book features art by Alexander Calder and lyrics by McFerrin.  We discussed how sometimes kids and adults get frustrated when their artwork doesn’t turn out perfect but when you worry, things get worse so it’s better to think positive and be happy with your efforts!

    In our K-1 classes we started the school year learning about the Art Cart and all of the supplies available to them through the year. The first three weeks of class children had the opportunity to engage in free exploration of art materials on the art cart starting with drawing media and finishing with watercolor paints. Our first ‘official’ project involved the primary colors! Students learned that artists use line, shape and color to create art. We looked at a variety of red-blue-yellow inspired art and then made our own work using yellow paper, red paint, and blue tape.

    2-3’s started October by showing off their personalities in a self portrait drawing. We looked at a variety of self portraits by past painters like Van Gogh and Frida Kahlo but also some more contemporary artists like  Yayoi Kusama from Japan. We learned how our faces are proportioned and used mirrors to really get to know what makes us unique.


    Is this science class or Art? 4-5’s learned about the connection between science and art. We looked at observational scientific drawings made by scientist documenting their work before the invention of photography. We also compared that work to more recent work by artist Katie Scott whose work resembles these scientist/artists of the past but also has an element of contemporary design. The best part of this project is hanging out in the greenhouse drawing and painting!

    Middle School students are learning about proportion and scale. Our first project of the year started out with gesture drawing. Students posed for each other in action or sports poses as we did quick ‘stick figure’ sketches. The next step was to figure out how to draw the human figure to scale. We discovered that the adult human body, no matter how tall or short is generally around 7 to 8 heads tall. Using a one inch head, we made figure drawings with unique details and backgrounds.

    The theme for Middle School Art Elective is ‘All Things Light and Shadow. This is a class that focuses on artwork that has something to do with either shadow or light. Our first project was to ‘capture’ a shadow. Students either traced shadows using flash lights or sunlight or took photographs of shadows. A couple of students even made 3d work using flash lights, cast shadows and boxes!

    More art news next month….



  • December 2015 News from Honey Creek Art

    This will be the last newsletter posting from Sarah. As many of you know, I am heading off on a new adventure. I am going to a local school district where I will be the elementary art teacher full-time. It is a wonderful opportunity, but I will miss Honey Creek very much. The school community has come to be like family, and I will miss you all. Thank you for the love and support you’ve shown to me over the past couple of weeks. I appreciate every note, artwork, flower, treat or other special item that so many of you have given me.

    Because of my departure, Honey Creek is taking applications for a new permanent art teacher. In the meantime, Chris Bruxvoort will be serving as our interim art teacher. Chris is a Certified Visual Arts Educator and has a Master of Fine Arts. Her experience on the board of directors and then as executive director of FLY Children’s Art Center in Ypsilanti ( will serve her well while she acts as the interim art teacher. She has already met many of our students, and was well-received by all.

    Artsonia Update

    Artsonia is the online gallery that we use to display our students’ artwork. It is a cool way to view and show off your students’ artwork, including digitally sharing it with family members and even buying gifts featuring your children’s work. Student artwork is displayed using only first names, never last names. Family members can comment on artwork, but parents moderate the comments, only allowing the ones they want to be displayed.

    When you buy gifts from Artsonia, 20% of the proceeds go back to the school, directly to the art program. In the past, we have used the funds to purchase a new camera for the art program and to buy more art supplies. All purchases are anonymous to the school, so there is no pressure to buy anything. You can simply use the site to share your child’s work. Students love seeing their work online, and I have received many reports of how much family members love seeing it, too.

    If you would like to view the Honey Creek gallery online, go to If you would like your child to participate in Artsonia, send your permission slip to school from earlier this year, or email me at I can make sure that you get a new permission slip, or a code to give your permission at Artsonia’s site, for your child’s artwork to be viewed.

    K/1 Art Update – December 2015

    Yellow Red Blue, Wassily Kandinsky, 1925

    Yellow Red Blue, Wassily Kandinsky, 1925

    Back in November, our youngest art students exercised their fine motor skills with several weeks of cutting and gluing while making collages. At the beginning

    of December, they examined two of the artworks of Wassily Kandinsky, an abstract painter of the late 1800s. Inspired by Kandinsky, they began their own abstract, layered artwork that will take three weeks for them to complete – the longest these young artists have spent on a single artwork in school.

    2/3 Art Update – December 2015

    Middle elementary art students have worked very hard over the last several weeks, building many skills. First, we examined landscape p23_IMG_5671aintings from different art periods. Students identified features of landscape paintings, including horizon line, foreground, midground and background. They also recognized that objects that were lower in the picture and larger appeared to be closer than ones that are higher on the page and smaller. This creates an illusion of depth in a flat space.

    After practicing mixing colors, reviewing the concept of perspective and making sketches to demonstrate their understanding of landscapes, students painted their own landscape paintings. The only colors they started with were white, black, red, blue and yellow. Notice the beautiful variety of colors and textures they created with only those five colors!

    4/5 Art Update – December 2015

    In 4/5 Art, students did scientific research toward preparing for their current project, tunnel books featuring original mixed beasts of their own creation. They discussed animal adaptations in nature, including body coverings (such as 45_Mixed Beastsspotted fur or white feathers), body parts (such as long legs or hooked beaks), and behaviors. We then read the book “Mixed Beasts” by Kenyon Cox and Wallace Edwards. If you ever want a really fun book to read at home, I recommend this book to children and adults of any age.

    Using what they learned about body parts and body coverings (those adaptations that they can see), students created their own mixed beast, including a made-up habitat and imaginary hobbies.

    Students are currently designing and creating tunnel books, a 3-D object where the viewer can see depth in a single scene. It can be a challenge to go from 2-D to 3-D, but our students are doing a wonderful job.


    MS Art Update – December 2015

    Middle School art students are continuing to create drawings using one-point perspective. They have moved from creating small sketches to creating large, 12”x18” drawings, to which they are adding shading, color and texture. They are making a lot of progress, but will still be working on these artworks through the end of December.

    MS Art Elective Update – December 2015

    After finishing their recycled paper bowls, Middle School students practiced their observational drawing skills by making blind contour drawings. A blind contour drawing is one in which the artist looks carefully at the object they are MSE_IMG_5749drawing, but without ever looking at their paper. Some students find the blind contour drawing to be very frustrating, because the results can look a little strange; however, the process forces the artist to very carefully observe while drawing, and it helps to improve their drawing skills.

    First, they spent a day  making drawings of each other, and then giving their drawings to their models, like trading cards. Next, they made blind contour drawings of their own hands, then created Op Art to be a background for their hands. Their Op Art is 2-dimensional art that gives the illusion of being 3-dimensional.

Font Resize