Art, Happenings, Make, Create, & Share!, student artwork

Student Spotlight! (July 2021)

Each month I will be spotlighting one of my students – past or present, and their artistic ventures! I work with students of all ages and abilities and you’ll get to learn a little bit about these amazing artists and their work!

Our July spotlight is on:

Akosinachukwa Norbert

Hi my name is Akosinachukwu Norbert, I am 5 years oldI have been taking art lessons for 6 months! I like art because I can create things. My favorite thing that I have created is my Cuckoo clock because I can make the pendulum move and make my cuckoo bird come out! I look forward to creating more with Miss Jenell and our next project is to create a musical instrument! I also look forward to seeing Tux every week!

Name: “Twitter” Medium: Paper Mache

When you’re making your art do like to listen to music or watch tv for inspiration (if so what)? “Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t!”


Ako creating his “Twitter” in paper mache!


What is your favorite thing about art? “My favorite thing about art is that I can make things that I like!”

Ako and his “mycoocoo clock” that he made!

Is there anything else about you that you’d like us to know? “I like music a LOT! I play the musical instruments; piano, acoustic guitar, drums & bongo. I am still learning how to play the acoustic guitar, I am best at the piano. My newest music that I play is All of Me.”

Name: “Ako’s Fish” Medium: Mixed media

What or who inspires you to create your artwork? “I am inspired by my mom and Miss Jenell to keep creating and look forward to making more projects!”

Why do you think art is important? – Why is it important for you? “It’s important because I can create what I like!”

Name: “Apple Tree” Medium: Acrylic Paint

Do you have a favorite color? “My favorite color is Red!” “My favorite color for my mom is Yellow, and my favorite color for Miss Jenell is blue, and my favorite color for Tux is black and White.”

Ako creating his foil embossing “


How has your artwork improved/what have you done to keep improving as an artist? “By taking art classes with Miss Jenell and mainting a weekly schedule”

Ako is always excited to create and make art! He enjoys the process of taking an idea and turning it into a finished piece. The enthusiasm and joy he brings to all of his artwork is inspiring – Keep up the good work Ako, can’t wait to see you grow as an artist!


Craft, decorating, DIY, Make, Create, & Share!, paper art

Tissue Paper Flowers!

A fun, simple & easy project to brighten your day! Create these fun flowers from basic supplies and give your decor a fun burst of colorful flowers!

What you need:

  • Tissue Paper in multiple colors
  • Green Pipe Cleaners
  • Scissors
  • Button

Step one: Cut out circles from your tissue paper – I use a roll of masking tape to trace and cut for size. You will need approx. 5 circles per flower. I chose to use shades of one color but you could do all the same color or multiple colors for one flower!

Step two: Thread about an inch of your pipe cleaner through your button.

Step three: Bend the inch piece of pipe cleaner in half and push back through another hole in your button. Twist the end to your stem to secure!

Step four: Cut your circles to give your flowers different appearances – here, I cut slits in a radial fashion to make my flower look more ruffle like! For the red flower I cut waves around the edge of my circle. I did this step to all 5 of my tissue paper layers. *Note: don’t have cuts too close to the center of your circles – this may cause them to tear easily in the next few steps!

Step five: Poke the end of your pipe cleaner through the center of your tissue paper circle, gently push your tissue paper all the way up the stem so it’s under your button! Gently crinkle your tissue paper around your button, repeat with all your other layers!

Step six: With all 5 layers on your stem, crinkle the papers up around your button, being careful not to tear your paper! This helps give our flower some more dimension!

Step seven: Carefully “fluff” out your flower petal layers so your center is visible again. You can go back and crinkle individual layers more if needed! You can also add a drop of tacky glue, hot glue, or wrap some floral tape around the stem where the tissue paper is to help hold it in place.

Step eight: To create a leaf, use another piece of pipe cleaner, place across your stem and twist it tightly around a few times to hold it in place. Bend each end back to the stem, creating a loop, and twist it to the stem to secure.

Step nine: Make more flowers! Try different cuts to achieve even more variations of flowers, use larger or smaller circles and create different size flowers! Give as a gift, use as a gift topper, make into pins, hair clips, or just place in a vase and enjoy!

Check out other projects to make at home here!

Art, Happenings, Make, Create, & Share!, student artwork

Student Spotlight! (June 2021)

Each month I will be spotlighting one of my students – past or present, and their artistic ventures! I work with students of all ages and abilities and you’ll get to learn a little bit about these amazing artists and their work!

Our June spotlight is on:

Eden Rush

Hi my name is Eden, I’m 17 years old and I’m going into 12th grade. I’ve loved art for as long as I can remember and I’m happy to be developing my own art style. Besides art, I love horseback riding, the beach, music, and antiquing.

Name: “Louis Tomlinson” Medium: Gouache and watercolor
I found this picture of a artist that I like on Pinterest. I really liked the lighting in the photo so I painted it with a gouache set from hobby lobby.

How long have you been taking art lessons? “I have gone to art classes here and there ever since I can remember. My mom is an artist so I have also learned a lot from her. I have been taking Ms. Jenell’s classes in the art room for about two years now.”


Why did you begin to take art lessons/how did you become interested in art? “I have always loved art. I guess my mom saw that in me from a young age so she put in several art classes when I was younger. My love for horses has also helped to develop my art since horses were the only thing I drew for a while.”

Name: “Butterfly and Giraffe” Medium: Acrylic paint
This is a piece that I completed last year after Christmas. Since I had done so many art pieces as gifts for others I wanted to make one for myself, so I did.


What is your favorite thing about art? “My favorite thing about art is the uniqueness of every artwork and artist. If you tell a group of artists to draw a cow each artwork produced would be totally different.”

What are your favorite mediums and/or subjects for your artwork? “My favorite art mediums are graphite pencil, watercolor and gouache.”

Is there anything else about you that you’d like us to know? “I love the Beatles and Fleetwood Mac and a lot of my art is inspired by songs.”

Name: “The Queen of Hearts” Medium: Alcohol markers
I did this drawing in one of Ms. Jenell’s paint draw sculpt classes. We were doing a playing card theme. I’m really happy with the colors and look of this picture.

What or who inspires you to create your artwork? “Honestly something that inspires me a lot to keep making artwork is displaying the finished pieces in my room. I’ve also always been really inspired by my mom who is an amazing artist. I grew up seeing my mom’s artworks everywhere and wanting to be like her in that aspect.”

Why do you think art is important? – Why is it important for you? “For me, art is so important because it is a way of expressing yourself. If you’re mad draw about it, if you’re happy draw something happy. There are endless possibilities with what you can create.”

Name: “Strawberry Teapot” Medium: Ceramic
This is a tea pot that I completed in one of Ms. Jenell’s ceramics classes. It is the first ceramic piece that I have done. I love how it turned out.


Besides visual arts are you into any other art forms? “I love music! I often wish that I was a better singer but for now I’ve settled with learning the ukulele.”

Do you have a favorite color? “My favorite color changes pretty often but right now it is forest green.”

Name: “The Statue Graphite pencil” This is one of my favorite drawings that I’ve done. When I started it I almost gave up because it looked so rough in the beginning! I’m so glad I finished it! I also almost cut off the empty space above the people but I feel like it really adds to the completed drawing.

When you’re making your art do like to listen to music or watch tv for inspiration (if so what)? “I almost always listen to music or audio books when I’m working on an artwork.”


How has your artwork improved/what have you done to keep improving as an artist? “In the past year my ability to draw faces has improved a lot because I started drawing in a sketchbook way more often. I like to challenge myself with weekly goals depending on how busy I am.”

Eden is a talented artist who is always up for trying out new mediums and techniques. She takes on artistic challenges, and works hard with determination, to achieve what she set out to accomplish in her artwork – all while enjoying the process! Keep up the great work Eden!


Art, Art activities, Craft, DIY, Make, Create, & Share!

Shrinky Dink Pets!

Create your own magnet or key-chain of your furry friend on shrink film! Use a photo of your pet to trace an outline on shrink film, color you pet in, and then place your shrink film in an oven to shrink! Turn these mini pet masterpieces into a key chain or magnet! Learn more about Shrink film here!

What you’ll need:

  • A sheet of sanded shrink film (Learn how to make your own here)
  • Magnets and/or Key-chain pieces
  • Colored pencils
  • A fine point permanent marker 
  • A photo of your pet approx. 3.5”x5” or 4”x6” 
  • Scissors 
  • Hole punch & Pliers if making a key-chain
  • Oven or Craft Oven

Step one: Print a picture of your pet – a head shot will work best, with clear details & good lighting. If you don’t have a pet or picture of your pet you can use a picture from a book or magazine! The photo should be at least 3.5”x5” or similar – I wouldn’t go much smaller as it will make details more difficult!  

Step two: Place your shrink film over your pet’s photo with the rough/sanded side facing up. We will want to color on the sanded side! 

Step three: With your permanent marker trace your pet; Tracing from a photo can be tricky – we want to include some details but not EVERYTHING, especially with shrink film as our artwork will become very small and details become more condensed. Focus on outlining the main features of your pet (like the eyes, nose, coloration spots) and the main outline.  

Step four: Slide your outline off you photo to see what it looks like without your photo! Sometimes this helps us see what more we need to add! If needed, finish up any lines or details with the marker. You can also use the marker to color in any black areas (such as the pupils). *Tip: When making eyes be sure to leave a little white dot to help make them look more alive!  

Step five: Color your pet in! Use the colored pencils to add color to your pet – you can make your drawing any color you’d like or similar to your pet’s real colors! The colored pencils will look very light on the shrink film – this is okay, when we “shrink” your film the colors will become more vivid and bright!  

Step six: Be sure to color any white areas of your pet in with the white colored pencil – it’s hard to see on the shrink film before it’s shrunk but if we don’t add the white colored pencil these areas will look grey! You can also layer and blend your colored pencils to create different shades and shadows!  

Step seven: Once you have your pet colored in you can add a background or outline! 

Step eight: Cut out your pet – I like to leave a little border space around my drawing but you don’t have to do this. If you’re going to make your piece into a key-chain, make sure to leave an area where you can punch a hole!  

Step nine: If you’re making this into a key-chain or anything else that you need a hole for, use a hole punch to create your hole before baking!

Step ten:  Bake your shrink film! Place your shrink film in an oven @ 325* F for just a few minutes – You can bake it on a piece of parchment paper or tin foil on a baking sheet. You’ll notice your shrink film crinkles up and then will flatten back out as a much smaller and thicker piece of plastic. Once flat remove your shrink film & let cool. 

Step eleven: Finish your shrink film! Add your key-chain piece by connecting the jump ring to your shrink film and key-chain part with pliers. Or adhere magnets to the back of your piece to create a magnet! These could also be made into zipper pulls, ornaments, hair clips, pins, necklaces, earrings, etc.! Check out other ideas for shrink film projects here!

Art activities, Greetings!, Happenings, Make, Create, & Share!, student artwork

What’s up in the art room? (May 2021)

Check out some of our current projects happening in the art room and how they’re made!

Having some fun at Roaring Point Campground the past month with kids crafts! We’ve created Thaumatropes, Embossed metal designs, String art, & origami hopping frogs!

Monthly classes have been working on ceramic pieces using hand-building techniques. They’ve created unique fun pencil holders and personal creations! We were also inspired by Alberto Giacometti: Students were asked to create a tall, lean figure depicting and action or movement with wire & tin foil armatures covered with paper mache!

Students finished up and created many different things this past month…..

Paper Mache & Paper Clay Sculptures! Students created an armature out of paper, cardboard, wire or tin foil, and used either traditional paper mache or are working with paper clay, to create 3-D sculptures! These are then finished with acrylic paints and extra details such as feathers, eyes, and more!

Charcoal water drops: Students created a watercolor wash and formed waterdrops with charcoal! Special attention was taken in creating shadows and highlights to give a 3-D appearance.

Watercolor & Pen: Using pen to give texture and shading to their drawings, students then used watercolor to add color!

Mixed Media & Collage: Using several different mediums and techniques in these pieces to create some fun, one of a kind, pieces of art! Expressing personal style and technique! 

Painted botanicals on wood with acrylics – creating designs and patterns with shapes, colors & textures in a botanical theme!

Polymer clay faux taxidermy! Using polymer clay, students created miniature sculpted taxidermy pieces and turned them into magnets!

Students have been busy the past month working on creating collages inspired by children’s author and illustrator, Eric Carle. We have finally finished them all up and they are awesome! Students chose an animal as their collage subject, then drew the animal out. Using crayons, watered down acrylic paints, and stamps, they painted sheets of rice paper – incorporating several colors, textures and methods into each piece. Students then use their drawn animal as a template for cutting out their colorful papers and apply their cut-outs to their final paper. Finally students incorporate smaller details and design elements to their collage with crayons and/or pens.

Check out these projects you can do at home! And if you’re interested in upcoming classes check out the new session and summer art here!

Art, Happenings, Make, Create, & Share!, student artwork

Student Spotlight! (May 2021)

Each month I will be spotlighting one of my students – past or present, and their artistic ventures! I work with students of all ages and abilities and you’ll get to learn a little bit about these amazing artists and their work!

Our May spotlight is on:

Isaac Clayton

I am a 14yr old homeschool student in the 8th grade.  I enjoy art, soccer, spending time with my family and friends, eating, and the beach.  I enjoy my church, have fun at youth group, and love to go to camp in the summer.

Pencil Sketch “This was just a rough sketch I made when I was working on more realistically showing movement in my art.”

How long have you been taking art lessons? “I started art lessons with Miss Jenell when I was about 9 years old.”


Why did you begin to take art lessons/how did you become interested in art? “When I was little, I always enjoyed art and crafts.  As I got older, I started to work on more projects.  One of the fun things I did with my friends was make up stories and illustrate them.”


What is your favorite thing you’ve ever created and why? “My favorite creation so far is my Mandalorian helmet.  I made it out of just plain cardboard boxes, hot glue, wall spackling, and paint.  I think it turned out quite well.”

Mandalorian Helmet “For this I used cardboard, hot glue, scissors, and wall spackling. I came up with the blueprint from some things I found online, and then scaled it to the correct size. After I finished, I painted it. For the visor, I used a covid face shield, so that’s kind of neat. I did this project during the shutdown, and I will always remeber that when I see the face shield visor.

What are your favorite mediums and/or subjects for your artwork? “My favorite medium is just simple pencil and paper because I love to sketch.  I also really enjoy painting and ceramics.”

Is there anything else about you that you’d like us to know? “I like cool t-shirts.”


Besides visual arts are you into any other art forms? “I really enjoy making costumes, especially superhero themed ones.”


Wall Mural “I was going stir crazy during the pandemic, and my mom wanted to repaint my room.  I begged her to let me do a mural on one wall, and she agreed.  This took me a long time to complete, but I love it!  We went to Lowes and got several sample sized paints in the colors I needed.  I sketched on the wall with my pencil first, then I began to paint.  It was a long process, but it was worth it.

What or who inspires you to create your artwork? “I don’t really have a specific thing or person that inspires my art, but some of my pieces are inspired by things I have seen or experienced. “

Why do you think art is important? – Why is it important for you? “I feel that our world without art would be boring.  Art is fun, and it allows me to express myself even though I’m not a big talker.”

Do you plan to have a career in the arts? “I haven’t really thought that far ahead as far as a career in art goes.  I want to be a missionary, but I’m sure that I could use my art in some beneficial way.”

Vans “I got into customizing my white vans.  I did the first pair with one of my favorite shows, Avatar: The Last Airbender. I sketched with pencil first, then when I was happy with that, I used fabric markers to color them in.  I used the same process with the Gravity Falls vans.”

Do you enter your artwork in any shows or contests? “I have entered two contests, and I won one.  I have also had several pieces in the Ward Museum student art show.”


Is there a certain style, or type, of art that you’d like to someday try? “I’ve always wanted to get into digital art.  I also think it would be awesome to use spray paints, kind of like street art or murals.”

Isaac takes his time, mindfully working on his creations with passion and determination. He always puts forth his best effort and focus into his work. It’s this perseverance and calm manner, along with openness to new mediums, ideas, & techniques, that help him grow and evolve in his artwork, and his humble personality is sure to inspire others!


Art, Art activities, Craft, DIY, Make, Create, & Share!

Sand Clay!

Create some cool sand clay sculptures and pieces of art with this simple recipe! This clay recipe dries hard as a rock when left exposed to air or can be wrapped in plastic to save for another time! Finished sculptures can be dried out and displayed as is, or painted with acrylics! Gather shells, rocks, sea glass to press or encase in your clay. Make ornaments, wall hangings, or fossils!

What you need:

  • 2 cups of sand (I used play sand but any sand will work!)
  • 1.5 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of salt
  • Warm water (approx. 1-1.5 cups)
  • Mixing bowl & wooden spoon

Step one: Gather all your supplies!

Step two: Measure the flour, salt & sand in a mixing bowl.

Step three: Mix your flour, salt & sand together!

Step four: Add a little bit of warm water to your bowl at a time (around 1/2 cup at a time) and mix, then add a little more water & mix. Depending on if your sand was super dry or a little damp you may need more or less water – we want your clay to hold it’s shape, not be too crumbly, and we also don’t want it to be too wet and soggy. You may find it’s also easier as you get started to mix with your hands instead of a spoon! If you add too much water you can always add in a little more sand, flour, & salt, to firm it back up. Once completely mixed, the sand clay should not be too sticky and hold its shape!

Step five: Create with your sand clay! Make sculptures, faux fossils, hand print impression plaques, or draw a picture in the sand! Some examples of what I’ve done with the sand clay are below – get creative! Let you creations fully dry – this can take several hours to several days, depending on how thick & wet your clay is. Place it in the sun or use a fan to help speed up dry time! Once dry, clay becomes very hard and can be painted (I’ve used acrylics)!

Check out other projects you can do at home here!

Make, Create, & Share!

Mini Table Top Gardens & Sculpted Toadstools!

Put together a cute little table top garden complete with a handcrafted toadstools! Add your own finishing touches to your garden – like fairy houses, gnome houses, rocks, signs, etc.! These gardens are great for small indoor plants (these are not meant to be kept outdoors) and make great additions to desk, counter, windowsill, or sunny table centerpiece!

What you’ll need:

  • Decorative bowl or dish for your garden (I use a ceramic cereal bowl from the Dollar Store – it’s approx. 5″ wide)
  • Soil
  • Pebbles or rocks to add a drainage layer to your bowl
  • Faux moss – I use reindeer moss
  • Polymer clay (I use Sculpey III)
  • Toothpick or jumbo paper clip
  • Tin Foil
  • Chalk pastels
  • Soft paint brush
  • Wire – 18 gauge or similar, cut to approx. 2″ (this is only needed if you decide to use the paper clip – see instructions below!)
  • Scrap paper
  • Pliers for cutting & twisting the wire

MAKING YOUR GARDEN!

Step one: Place a layer of rocks or pebbles in the bottom of your bowl – this gives your plants some drainage so you’re roots aren’t sitting in water!

Step two: Fill you bowl with soil and top with your faux moss.

Step three: Make your toadstools! Use the directions here for a polymer clay toadstool bookmark to make your mushrooms! You can eliminate the paper clip and wire and replace it with a toothpick or wooden dowel instead (or the paper clip will also work as a stake for mushroom too)!

Step four: Plant seeds or small indoor plants in your bowl and water! Add you sculpted toadstools and any other creations or adornments!

Use a toothpick or wooden dowel instead of the paper clips if desired!

Get creative and add fairy houses, pathways, signs, rocks, shells, gems and more!

Make, Create, & Share!

Simple Monochromatic Landscape!

Create an easy monochromatic landscape painting with your favorite color! Monochromatic paintings only contain a hue of one color – By adding white to your color you create a tint, by adding black to your color you create a shade, and by adding grey to a color you create a tone! By creating different tints, shades & tones it’s possible to paint a picture using only one color!

What you need:

  • Acrylic paints – White, Black, & one color of your choosing (Start with a bright color that doesn’t already have black, white or grey added to it).
  • Brushes – A 3/4″ flat brush and a smaller round brush (or something similar)
  • Canvas – I used an 8″x8″ stretched canvas
  • Palette and Water for rinsing brushes
  • Paper towels

Step one: Gather your supplies and pour your paint – you’ll need black, white & one color.

Step two: Paint the top inch or two of your canvas with just white paint using your larger brush.

Step three: Mix a little bit of your color into your white paint to make a very light tint of your color!

Step four: Paint a wavy line just at the bottom edge of your white paint

Step five: Mix another scoop of your color paint into your light tint you made in the last step.

Step six: Paint another wavy line just below your last wavy line!

Step seven: Add more of your color paint to your tint created in the last step.

Step eight: add a thicker wavy line below your last one!

Step nine: Use just your plain color….

Step ten: And paint another thick wavy line below the last!

Step eleven: Now mix a little bit of black to some of your color paint (not the tint, just the color).

Step twelve: Use this shade to paint a wavy line and rest of your canvas

Step thirteen: Use a thinner brush and paint vertical lines at different heights, from your bottom layer up. These will be our tree trunks.

Step fourteen: Go back to your larger brush and add just a little black paint – we don’t want a lot of paint on your brush for this step, you can bounce your brush a couple times to get off extra paint.

Step fifteen: Dab or bounce your brush up and down on your vertical lines (tree trunks) to create your trees. Bounce back and fourth making a triangle shape – your tree should be smaller at the top and larger at the bottom.

Step sixteen: Finish your trees and add more dab/bounce marks at the edge of your bottom wavy line to act as some shrubbery or ground cover.

Art activities, Greetings!, Happenings, Make, Create, & Share!, student artwork

What’s up in the art room? (April 2021)

Check out some of our current projects happening in the art room and how they’re made!

This past month I’ve been able to hold some classes back at other locations! It’s been fun to get to have some in person classes going again!

Monthly classes have been working on ceramic pieces using hand-building techniques. They’ve created unique fun pencil holders and personal creations! In the monthly paint, draw, sculpt classes, students have also created distressed wooden signs! Join us next month for a new session of monthly ceramics and paint, draw, sculpt classes – check out the classes page!

Students finished up and created many different things this past month – two point perspective, pastels drawing, acrylic painting landscapes, artistic playing cards & polymer clay creations!

Students have been busy the past few weeks working on creating collages inspired by children’s author and illustrator, Eric Carle. Students chose an animal as their collage subject, then drew the animal out. Using crayons, watered down acrylic paints, and stamps, they painted sheets of rice paper – incorporating several colors, textures and methods into each piece. Students then use their drawn animal as a template for cutting out their colorful papers and apply their cut-outs to their final paper. Finally students incorporate smaller details and design elements to their collage with crayons and/or pens. Can’t wait until they are all done – these have been looking awesome!