Art Home

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

Chapter 1. Monthly Newsletter

  • 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.

  • November 2015 News from Honey Creek Art


    Making art with our students at Honey Creek is a joy and a privilege. As always, if you have any questions regarding projects, how your student is doing in class, or about anything at all, please email me at

    K/1 Art Classes

    Over the last couple of weeks, K/1 Art students have been learning about collage. First, we read the story Perfect Square by Michael Hall. In this story, a perfect square is altered in a different way each IMG_5307day – crumpled, torn, hole-punched or cut into ribbons. When the various transformations take place, the square turns itself into different objects, like a bridge, fountain or park.

    Inspired by the story, students started with a small square a large square. They used hole punchers, crafting scissors and paper crimpers to alter their smaller squares and attach the pieces in a new way to the larger square, making a collage.

    The students enjoyed that so much that we made more collages the next week, with bigger paper and many more colored construction paper scraps available to them.

    2/3 Art Classes

    Art with the second and third graders has been a really exciting time this month. Students have made landscape sketches demonstrating their understanding of foreground, midground, background and horizon line. They have also mixed many colors of paint, using a combination of black, white, primary and secondary colors.

    They have drawn landscapes on big paper, and are beginning to paint, using only the primary colors, white and black. With their understanding of color mixing, and the ability to ask their neighbors for help, they can paint midnight skies, sunny skies, fluffy clouds, and many varieties of bright, light, and dull green grasses. This is a long process that will probably continue through December, but I will post photos of artworks, as they begin to finish.

    4/5 Art Classes

    IMG_5193Our fourth and fifth grade students made really interesting collages, inspired by the abstract collages of Henri Matisse. Some students made representational images, of things like horses, action heros or camper trailers, while others made non-representational designs. Images are soon to come on Artsonia.

    Since the wrap-up of the Matisse-inspired collages, the 4/5 Art students have done research on animals, especially regarding adaptations, like body parts, body coverings and behaviors. After reading a wonderful book, Mixed Beasts, by Kenyon Cox and Wallace Edwards, they are beginning to create their own mixed beasts. Ultimately, students will create tunnel books. By the end of the unit, they will have had an opportunity to use science, technology and language arts in the creation of their art project.

    Middle School Base Art Classes

    In the Middle School Base Art classes, students have begun learning how to draw using One Point Mathematical Perspective. We examined some artworks from the 1300s through the 1500s, seeing how they changed from before Mathematical Perspective was rediscovered and codified, to after. Students began exercises to practice one point perspective, and will eventually make a larger drawing to demonstrate the use of perspective.

    Middle School Art Elective

    Students in the Middle School Art Elective class recently finished creating recycled paper bowls from IMG_5147discarded magazines. Currently, they are currently making drawings featuring a blind contour drawing of the hand, with an Op Art background.

    A blind contour drawing is one in which the artist looks carefully at the object they are drawing, 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.

    On a day that I was recently out, students used the Chromebooks to do research on Op Art, and to choose a method that they would like to use for their artwork. When I got back the next day, many of them already had a fantastic start.

  • October 2015 News from Honey Creek Art


    Welcome to another year of Art at Honey Creek. I am delighted to be in my third year working in our great school. I am looking forward to investigating art history, writing about and discussing art, and of course, making art with your children. If you have any questions or comments, please email me (Sarah Van Loo) at


    Recently, I sent home permission slips for Artsonia, the online museum that we use to publish student artwork. These permission slips only went home to parents and guardians of students who do not already have permission to have work published on Artsonia.

    Artsonia is a fun and safe way to view and share student work. Artwork is only published for students who have permission, and it is only published using a first name – no last names are ever published. Once you have a parent account, you can view your student’s art, share it with family members, make comments (moderated by parents), and even buy gifts featuring your child’s work.

    20% percent of the sales of gifts comes back to the school to be used for art supplies. Sales are anonymous, so there is never any pressure to buy; however, I have received very positive feedback from families that they enjoy being able to buy gifts for family members. One parent even bought a tee shirt for her daughter featuring her own artwork. What a cool idea!

    If you would like to check out our Artsonia gallery, go to

    If you’d like to sign your child up for Artsonia, but didn’t get a permission slip, please email me:

    K/1 Art Classes

    Our youngest students are working on a series of exercises in which they are beginning to learn about the elements of design, starting especially with color, line and shape. They’re currently reviewing warm and cool colors and learning some art techniques, such as wax resist using oil pastels and tempera paint.

    2/3 Art Classes

    The 2/3s are beginning a unit on landscape in which they are learning the basic elements of Western landscapes. They will be painting their own landscapes, mixing and experimenting with color. For example, students will not get green paint to make their landscapes, but will experiment with a variety of blues, yellows and other hues to make their own perfect grass color.

    4/5 Art Classes

    During the month of October, 4/5 students will examine and discuss the abstract collages of Henri Matisse, while learning a bit about the life of this famous artist. They will then make their own abstract collages.

    Middle School Base Art Classes

    Over the past few weeks, Middle School students have taught each other about all of the Elements of Art and Principles of Design. Using the information that they learned, they will each make an accordian book of all the Elements and Principles, which they will be able to refer to throughout the school year.

    Middle School Art Elective

    This semester in Art Elective, we are going to make projects using a variety of materials. We began the semester by drawing outside in nature. Currently, students are making bowls from recycled magazines. Later, we will do some fiber arts, possibly weaving or knitting or crocheting.