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My Art

I studied art at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago where I earned my BFA in 2007. My primary studio concentration was in painting and drawing. My medium of choice was oils and my style tended toward a modernist aesthetic. My paintings from that period have been displayed in galleries and private collections across the United States.

Over the course of my career, I started to shift my perspective. Teaching elementary art has informed my own art-making practice in a number of ways. In developing a curriculum to address the needs of diverse learners, I was forced to expand my knowledge base giving me inspiration from different styles and movements. Teaching children and having my own children has helped me to re-connect with art seeing things through the lens of a child. I started to approach work more in the way that I did when I first started making art- unabashedly taking elements from whatever I saw that I thought looked cool. I could prattle on about "the democratizing effect of synthesizing disparate influences in a direct manner eschewing the esoteric nature of modernist abstraction," but I prefer to simply say I do what I like and hope others like it too. I try to make work that my kids can enjoy and I have started making limited edition prints (pigment based inks on archival, acid free paper usually in runs of 50) all priced at a point that is affordable for the average person. My current practice mixes digital and traditional media. Typically I will sketch on paper then transfer the drawing to an iPad using photographs I take (often of my paintings) of various colors, textures, and patterns. I  digitally collage and hand draw over the top then print on museum grade paper. Every print is hand signed and numbered.


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My First Post!

Welcome to my elementary art blog. I will be posting various lesson plans and resources used for teaching k-5 Art. Check back regularly as I intend to update this weekly with videos and other resources that help in my classroom and they can help in yours too. One thing that has been transformative in my teaching is video demonstrations of key skills. I started making videos after coming to the realization that when I did a live demonstration of clay or origami, half the class could not actually see what I was doing. By recording video, I could project it larger so kids could see better, but I also found that it freed me up to focus on my students and my instruction better. I no longer had to worry about the creation of a sample project, I could simply focus on the explanation while also looking at my students to find signs of confusion, anticipate problems etc. If you have not flipped your art room, I highly recommend it. In addition to the relative ease of direct instruction, crea

FREE eLearning Resources

With so many of us shifting to eLearning, I thought I would share some resources I created. First, I am doing Arts Madness again this year. I crowdsourced it to create a field of 64 diverse artists. Each round participants fill out a Google form with the simple question of "Which is better?" in a series of head to head matchups until we get down to just one winner. You can check out the brackets and vote at my google site here. The second resource I am happy to share with everyone is my Google Slide doc that gives different challenges kids can try at home. The beauty of the slides format is kids simply make a copy of the original, rename it and share it with me. They get a document with different options for them to explore, links to supportive resources like demonstration videos and a digital badge board to track their progress. As kids complete projects, they upload a picture of their work onto the appropriate slide, so I have a digital portfolio making it easier for me to

Who ARTed Season 1 Episode 1 Georges Seurat

For the first episode of the Podcast, I talked to my favorite LC Director, Tony Kresl about Georges Seurat and his masterpiece, Sunday on la Grande Jatte. Every episode features three parts: In Situ - where we discuss the art history and the context in which the piece was created In Gallery - where we look more closely at the piece sharing what we see, what connections we make In Studio - where we share our takeaways and tips for making better art Click to listen to Who ARTed - Georeges Seurat