Kim & Karen 2 Soul Sisters

Kim & Karen 2 Soul Sisters

Monday, October 31, 2016

Doodle Into Fall

I was looking for a 2 day lesson to do with my kids and I ran across this website. It had some great ideas. So, I started researching for a lesson for art club and thought this would work great. Guess what... it did! Scroll down to Activity 7 and check it out.
How we did it:
1. Start by making a curvy continuous line with several large loops. You can add lines later if you wish.
2. Rotate your paper around looking for images to fill in, such as heads, faces, eyeballs etc.
3. Add color if you wish
Supplies needed:
Black Marker
12x18 Drawing Paper
Description: Join this club (Link listed above) if you can draw. Better yet, join this club if you can't draw! Everyone can draw and in this club, you'll be reminded how by exploring ideas, techniques and creative nonsense using a line marker. There is no right or wrong result. Instead, you'll hopefully gain new skills and confidence exploring different techniques and approaches. Bring your enthusiasm, an open mind and your own black line marker if you can.
*activities subject to change at teacher's discretion

Studies show that sketching and doodling improve our comprehension -- and our creative thinking. So why do we still feel embarrassed when we're caught doodling in a meeting? Sunni Brown says: Doodlers, unite! She makes the case for unlocking your brain via pad and pen. 

5 Ways Doodling Improves Learning And Creativity


Do you still think doodling is a waste of time? Does it mean someone isn’t paying attention?
Well, it’s time to change your mind. Doodling and drawing can actually help you process, retain, and share information.

Doodling and Memory

According to a 2009 study by professor of Psychology, Jackie Andrade, doodling while listening to information can help our memory. Andrade conducted a study where she measured how well participants recalled details from a monotonous fake telephone message. Some participants were asked to shade in printed shapes while listening, and others simply listened to the message. Those who shaded performed far better at recalling information.
Andrade theorizes that doodling engages our minds enough to keep them from daydreaming. This is particularly useful when information is tedious or boring, but also seems to help concentration when listening to information-dense material.
In a Wall Street Journal article by Sue Shellenbarger, Jesse Prinz points to his experiences doodling during conferences. Prinz is a Philosophy professor at the City University of New York. He says that reviewing doodles actually helps him reconstruct what he heard, even if the concepts aren’t shown in the doodle—it’s like looking back on a postcard long after a trip, and remembering the details of your a travels.

Drawing to Explain and Understand Concepts

Shellenbarger additionally mentions that doodles can be used to communicate complicated emotions, “ten doodlers in a four-week study were equipped by researchers to share their sketches on social media…. Many of the participants’ doodles expressed complex emotions they wouldn’t have shared via written posts or texts….”
To visual practitioners, this is hardly news. The International Forum of Visual Practitioners (IFVP) describes itself  as “an emerging grassroots network of diverse practitioners who use visual methods to assist learning and communication between groups and individuals.”
As the IFVP website describes, “Generally we work with groups or in some setting where groups of people are coming together to do talk, think and collaborate.” Visual practitioners then use doodling and drawing techniques to help others visualize what they mean.
Giulia Forsythe,  argues strongly for doodling as “a form of external thought that allows you to visualize the connections you are making while thinking. In the conscious mind, doodling can assist concentration and focus but even in the unconscious mind, while doodling and day dreaming connections are made.”
Forsythe is a Special Projects Facilitator for the Center of Pedagogical innovation at Brock University. She works with course design and instructional strategies. Forsythe helps faculty make their curriculum using visual notes and doodling, and incorporate it as a teaching and learning method.
According to Forsythe, pictures can be used as metaphors to clearly illustrate a point. She uses drawings as a simple form of conveying messages, which leads to better problem solving.
When describing her own work, Forsythe says, “By sharing my thinking through visual means, my most important connections have been to people, by way of sharing my perceptions of their ideas, presentations and words back to them.”

Drawing in Education

An article by Charlotte Hughes and Scott Asakawa for NOVA also describes that students encouraged, “to draw what they learned during lecture, and while doing assigned readings…. not only retained more information, but they also reported more enjoyment and engagement with the course material.”
In a paper published in Science, Shaaron Ainsworth and colleagues propose 5 reasons “drawing should be explicitly recognized alongside writing, reading, and talking as a key element in science education.”
  1. For Enhancing Engagement, studies have shown that students who draw are more motivated to learn.
  2. Learning to Represent in Science, students learn how scientific concepts are visually represented.
  3. Reasoning in Science, students learn how to think like a scientist and identify important features.
  4. As a Learning Strategy, the process of transforming written text into drawings helps organize and integrate knowledge.
  5. To Communicate, teachers are able to see students’ thinking and students can share knowledge.
Leah Levy covers additional reasons to incorporate drawing into learning. In addition to preventing distraction and quickly capturing complicated ideas, Levy points to drawing as a way to engage important visual and kinesthetic learning channels.
She also states that drawing can promote more innovative thinking by engaging the creative brain, “while verbal processing is certainly crucial for any student to thrive, all of those words and that verbal logic can mask a deeper, more intuitive form of visual thinking.”
Levy goes on to list 5 ways to use doodling in education:
  1. Note taking
  2. Brainstorming
  3. Bringing concepts together
  4. Processing difficult emotions
  5. Making difficult concepts concrete (like, Doodling in Math)

The Movement with Many Names

Shaaron Ainsworth and colleagues also mention that there are more and more programs to incorporate drawing into science education. They point to the “Representation in Learning Science” (RiLS) project. Saying, “it is an exemplar showing how, through hands-on activities and a variety of multimodal representations in which drawing was central, learners aged 10 to 13 were guided to generate, justify, and refine representations in science.”

Another project called “Picturing to Learn” was funded by the National Science Foundation from 2007-2010. It was started by Felice Frankel, a scientific photographer and Senior Research Fellow at Harvard University. A total of 5 schools took part in “Picturing to Learn”, including science students and faculty from Harvard University and MIT, and design students and faculty from the School of Visual Arts in New York.

Students were asked to create drawings in order to explain various scientific phenomena to high school seniors. According to the “Picturing to Learn” website, the project found that “the process was a powerful means of revealing student misconceptions.” That is, drawings made by students in order to teach others actually provided feedback for teachers, showing them how the students understood concepts.

In an article for Symmetry Magazine, Madolyn Rogers also covers the project. She interviews a professor who used “Picturing to Learn” to teach difficult concepts in chemistry lessons. According to professor Sadoway, it isn’t always clear if students understand a concept when they explain it verbally. However, when the students draw, he sees right away whether they understood the topic.

The Doodle Revolution

Beyond science education, Sunni Brown is spearheading a much broader “Doodle Revolution“. In her TED talk, Brown redefines doodling as “making meaningful marks that help us think.” According to Brown, doodling can give us the power of better recall, comprehension and learning. It can also improve our performance when we use it to make personal summaries and collaborate.
She aims not only to convince us of the benefits of doodling, but also to show us how to doodle better. Jennifer Miller describes a few of Brown’s techniques:

“Atomization.” Take an object and visually break it down into its tiniest parts. If you start with the word “racoon,” you might draw claws, a robber’s mask and a trash can. As Brown says, “any element of a raccoon—its body or environment—becomes a way of looking at the animal that you didn’t think about” when you considered it as a whole.
“Game-Storming.” Take two unrelated things, like elephants and ice cream, and draw them in their atomized parts. Then create drawings that randomly fuse these parts together. Like trunk-cones or melting ears. Brown has used this technique to help journalists think up unique story angles.
“Process Map.” Having trouble thinking through a problem? Create a visual display that illustrates (literally) the sequence of events. Brown calls this a “cause and effect doodle.” Sometimes, looking at pictures can help your brain make sense of a complex system better than words.

The Sketchnote Army

Designer Mike Rohde promotes a similar technique in his books “The Sketchnote Handbook” and “The Sketchnote Workbook”. Rohde focuses on personal note taking. He provides techniques for combining doodling, drawing, and writing to take notes that stimulate emotional engagement and promote easy review, as well as idea generation and mapping.

You can find inspiration in how others have used sketchnotes in their own work, education and daily lives at the “Sketchnote Army” website, Elisabeth Irgens also writes about getting started with sketchnotes. She makes the crucial point that “It doesn’t matter whether you call it sketchnoting or doodling or scribbling or simply “adding some joy” to your notes…. The goal is to create something that you would want to take out again and look at — and, hey, perhaps even show others.”
Good-looking notes aren’t the main concern. In creative note taking, you are the audience. So, how do you get started? Here are points Elisabeth Irgens mentions:
  • Choose your tools: She suggests using two widths of black pen to make contrasting lines, a light-grey marker for shadows, and a handful of colors to add interest. “The daring may want to venture outside the primaries and secondaries of the basic color wheel. Look for color names like salmon, asparagus and raspberry for a more elegant touch than your basic red and blue.”
  • Choose your surface: Blank sheets of paper can be daunting, Irgen proposes starting with a sheet you feel comfortable using, like a clipboard with single sheets of paper, a cheep notebook, a scrap or lined paper, or the back of some other paper.
  • Mix words and drawings: Using words and drawings boosts your ability to remember and makes notes more fun to look at. If you don’t think you can draw try to make some symbols on a page and combining them into objects. Draw straight, curved and zig zagged lines as dividers, to underline points, or surround text. Draw dots, boxes, triangles, circles. And don’t forget to mix and match to make arrows, smileys, stick people, browser windows, mobile phones, stars, clouds…. anything.
  • Use tricks: It’s hard to look, listen, and draw at the same time. Irgen’s trick is to draft notes in another notebook and snap photos of slides at conferences. “By jotting some words on the side, I can zip back to sketching what I was working on.”
  • Consider layout: Start from the top-left or top center and move to the right or directly down. Irgens says, “People often ask me how I plan a layout without knowing the structure of the talk. The truth is that I almost always either run out of space too soon or have trouble filling the page. Some speakers list the topics they’ll cover. Pay close attention if they do: This is a sketchnoter’s gold.”
  • Plan a color scheme: When going to a conference, Irgens made sure to pick “a series of nine matching colors, one key color for each talk, with touches of the previous and next colors as accents.”
  • Remember: There is no right way. As Giulia Forsythe succinctly puts it, when doodling to take notes, “the key thing is making it make sense for you.”

On a Final Note

While you’re into doodling, you can take a look at the doodles of U.S. presidents. A 2006 Atlantic article called “All the Presidents Doodles” include doodles by Theodore Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and George H. W. Bush.


Anna is an information science researcher who has worked closely with professors and educators in the United States and Denmark. She’s interested in how people seek, access, and interact with information. Anna received her master's in Information Science and Cultural Communication from the University of Copenhagen.
So, go on....get your DOODLE on! -1969

Friday, October 28, 2016

Cutting Corners with Silhouettes

I did cut corners for these silhouettes, but cutting corners did not make this project any easier.  Ha! 
The Silhouette Project was done by 4th graders to display during their Patriots' Day Program in November.  I prefer more exciting art.  Honestly, I really wanted to take the kids outside with the silhouettes and splatter paint on them, but I did not.
The kids stool still in front of the of the projector.
I traced their profile on black paper.
The kids cut out their profile.
Then, we glued them on the paper and added 4 corners.
The End.
The two silhouettes below are TWINS!

Twins?  Here is The Thompson Twins with "Hold Me Now."


Thursday, October 27, 2016

What do Heather Galler and Cathy Hicks have in common? Answer: ART

Have you ever heard of Heather Galler? If not, check out the links below:
You can find Heather on Facebook: 
Heather Galler is a well known, award winning, professional NY Artist for over 23 years. Heather has painted many large scale murals in restaurants, office buildings, and most recently the home of a long time art collector. Many art collectors have over 30 Galler pieces in their own personal collection.

I love color to the point some people would be turned off, but those who love color as I do really GET my work. I love to be inspired by movies, music, books, and of course other art, but the most important element of inspiration is environment. The Mexican, Italian, and French culture drive me to paint the most.

Heather Galler is a unique and talented artist who has become known for her very colorful abstract folk pet paintings. Her colorful dog paintings are highly sought after and can be found on ebay at her own ebay store.

Last weekend, Cathy, the lower school art teacher, and I went to school to turn off alarm and unload / reload kiln. Yes, we do this together as not to set the school's alarm off. Ya in numbers. Tee Hee. As we walked back to Cathy's room in lower school, I saw the fabulous pieces of art in her class. I had to take photos of them and blog. Are they not just the coolest. Cathy does way super cool stuff down in lower school. I am glad we make time to share with one another. 

I do believe we have the strongest Visual Arts Team in Tallahassee. We are growing our program by leaps and bounds. It is nice that we can spiral our curriculum vertically and horizontally. Upper School Art can learn from Lower and Middle School just as Middle and Lower School Art can learn from Upper School. It is awesome the way we feed off of each other to further grow our student's artistic abilities.

9x12 paper
Cheers to my Visual Arts Team...Dressel, Hicks and Maurey - you guys make coming to work fun!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

7th Grade Painting Poppies That POP!

For the first project of the year, I decided to keep it simple for my 7th Grade.  I wanted to ease them into drawing and painting with a project with pop.  I found the artist, Rachel Austin on Pinterest.  Rachel is an artist from Portland, Oregon.  For her website, click HERE.  Also, she is on Etsy.(Click Here for Etsy Page)

Kids drew overlapping circles with stems.
Kids painted with Acrylic.
Kids outlined to make the art pop.

Results posted below:

Here's some Pop Muzik to go along with the Popping Poppies!


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Volleyball Senior Night (You need those VISUALS to make the night complete)

You see over the years, I have been involved in senior night for Volleyball. I researched several places to find funky art ideas for our special Volleyball Senior nights here at Maclay. This blog post is to share with you all some of what our creative parents have made. 

The first 2 photos are a shout out in appreciation for the support of MF from over the years. Above is 2Mama and her side kick Sally. They are always ever so wise in the realm of volleyball. Pretty much they have been there and done that at a young age or with their own kids. We appreciate all you have done for MF over the years!

Below is a photo of MF's village. These folks met her in lower school and have always been her advocates. Amazing support from such a fabulous group of teachers. You all are the bomb-diggity!

Got to love the painted support from this guy. I think he has been at 99% of the games since 9th grade. Thanks HB for the support of #13!
Aren't these just way super cool! Thanks Charisse and Jewel for making them for our seniors. This is a gift that will be treasured for a very long time.
We love the color and we really dig the lay out of MF's volleyball. So stinkin' CUTE!
Gina Weaver, you have a knack for the photographs and we love you for it.
For information on the collage numbers see the link below:
These cookies were created Katie Gainey of Katie's Cakes and not only are they really artsy but delicious. Thanks, Katie for the special treats.

 Yet, again a Gina captures a special team photo around The Oak tree at Maclay. This photo will be treasured for many years to come. And a side note, is that as we are shooting Hurricane Hermine was on its way to Tally. What an eerie afternoon shoot. One I will never forget.
 GW, you know just the right moments to capture. These 2 make my heart smile. Thanks for all the memories captured by your camera.
 Thanks, that Allison is all decked out in that PINK Tutu!!!!
Always love the group shots by Blue Canopy! She sure does capture the moment of these sporting events.

Tshirts created for our 5 seniors in 2012. Class of 2013
Fat Head / Bobble Head created for our 1 senior.
The back of the Fat Head.
Back of our Class of 2013 Volleyball Thsirt.
Fat Heads / Bobble Heads created for class of 2013
Both sides of the Fat Head / Bobble Heads
Thanks, Blue Canopy for these photos!
Super student body with lots of school spirit!
2016 Senior Volleyball shirts
2017 Volleyball Tshirts
Back of 2017 Tshirts
Senior Tshirts designed for our Class of 2016 Seniors

Look at that artistic ability! See, you have to have visuals for these events to make them more memorable!

Love this cake! It has artsyness flowing all over it! Thanks Jennifer Winegarder.

How to support our Maclay teams - with visual aids! Sings and Mini Bobble Heads

We all use social media to promote all kids of events and you must have art to help get your point across.

Above is the Fat Head Proof
Below the 2016 Fat Head Shoot 
Class of 2017

It has been a fabulous ride over the last 5 years on varsity. I have watched my daughter grow and become the athlete she is today due to the people mentioned in this blog and her coaches. Thanks to all for your creative ideas and for helping add those visual aids to a sporting even to make it a memorable time caught in our hearts and through the lens of Blue Canopy Photography.