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.


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