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 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!

Check out these projects you can do at home!

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

Student Spotlight! (April 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 April spotlight is on:

Caden Gleason

My name is Caden and I am in the 2nd grade. I have been taking art lessons since I was 5 years old. I am now seven years old! I wanted to take art lessons because my sister took them. I love spending time in the art room with Miss Jenell, my sister, and other friends I meet in class! We enjoy telling jokes and being silly while making art (Mom: “Sorry, Miss Jenell!”) I like learning about the birth of our country. I draw lots of pictures with pencils of the Colonists and the Redcoats. My favorite thing I have made was a paper mâché crab with Mrs. Jenell. My favorite style of art is music. I often create new songs on my piano. When I make art projects, I usually use blue because it is my favorite color. I think what makes a good piece of art is its beauty. I like beautiful art pieces. One day I would like to try mixing different colors of paint on top of different things like balloons, furniture, or even trees. I look forward to my next art class! I love learning from Miss Jenell!

“Crabby Army”, Paper Mache  
“Young Pumpkin”, Acrylic Paint 
“The Light Tree”, String & Nails 
“The Hot Cup”, Markers, Water Color 

Caden is fearless when it comes to trying out new mediums and techniques in art – happily learning new methods and bringing creative ideas to the table! He always goes about his art with a positive and happy attitude, which shows through in his playful artwork! Keep on creating Caden!  

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

Polymer Clay Mushroom Bookmarks!

Create a fun little bookmark out of polymer clay!

What you need:

  • Polymer Clay – I used white, however, any lighter color will work with the coloring techniques we will utilize. You’ll need approx. half an ounce of clay to make one mushroom (depending on how small or large you make it!), most blocks of polymer come in one ounce blocks.
  • Chalk Pastels – in the colors you would like to add to your mushroom
  • Jumbo paper clip
  • Paintbrush
  • Scrap paper
  • Tin foil
  • Wire – 18 gauge or similar
  • Pliers for cutting & twisting the wire
  • Toothpick

Step one: Gather all your supplies and knead your polymer clay so it’s soft! Cut a piece of wire approx. 2-3″ long.

Step two: Wrap your piece of wire around the end of your paper clip – make sure it’s the end of the paper clip shown in the photo (as the other end will become the part of your bookmark)! Twist your wire tightly around the paper clip, like in a twist tie fashion, this is easiest with a pair of pliers.

Step three: Divide your one ounce piece of clay into 4 pieces (or if you have 1/2 an ounce divide it into 2 pieces). Use one of your 4 pieces to form the stalk of your mushroom, pushing the wire and top part of the paper clip into your clay (if needed, you can trim your wire down so it’s not taller than the stalk!). Secure your stalk to the paper clip by making sure the clay is tight around the paperclip where it was pushed in – I used my toothpick to help with this!

Step four: Use another one of your 3 remaining pieces of clay to form the cap of your mushroom (or if starting with 1/2 an ounce, your remaining piece). Roll it into a ball and slightly flatten it – we don’t want it too thin, it should still hold it’s shape and not be floppy when picked up, not much thinner than a 1/4″.

Step five: Use the back of your paint brush, or eraser end of a pencil, to make an indent in the center of your flatten ball – this will become the underside of your mushroom cap.

Step six: With the toothpick, score the clay from the center indent made in the last step, to the outside edge, in a radial fashion.

Step seven: Now you have your cap and stalk!

Step eight: Attach the cap to your stalk with the toothpick – placing your stalk in the indent created by your pencil end or paintbrush. Blend in the stalk clay and cap clay to help secure the two pieces together. You may need to touch up your cap texture after this step! Flip your mushroom right side up and make any needed adjustments to the cap shape!

Step nine: Scribble your pastels on a scrap piece of paper to create pastel dust!

Step ten: Use your paint brush to pick up some of the pastel dust and gently brush it on to the top of your mushroom cap!

Step eleven: I brushed a layer of my lighter color pastel over the entire cap and a layer of my darker color around the edges of my cap! Once your have your cap colored to your liking, bake your mushroom at 275*F for approx. 10-15 min. (check the package directions on the clay you have compared to your mushroom thickness). I use a piece of tin foil crunched up to make a cradle for my mushroom cap as it bakes so the cam doesn’t get flattened. Let your mushroom cool and enjoy your one of a kind bookmark! Use your leftover clay to create another!

Variations: Instead of making this a bookmark, use the same steps above only use a jumbo toothpick instead of a paper clip, making your mushroom great for fairy gardens, table top gardens, or decorations for flower pots! If your paper clip is large enough to support the weight of your mushroom, you could definitely use it in a fairy garden, etc. too! Try making more than one mushroom on the same paperclip – just add more than one piece of wire to your paper clip! Use extra clay to give your mushroom dimensional spots on it’s cap before baking!

Let me know if you’ve given this project a try and check out other projects here!

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

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

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

This month I was able to hold classes at Westside Community Center in Bivalve MD! We enjoyed painting wine glasses and weaving baskets (and will enjoy painting next weekend!). It was great to be able to have classes at another location again and we have some new classes scheduled for April – check them out here!

Monthly classes have been working on ceramic pieces using hand-building techniques. They’ve created unique tea pots and are now working on fun pencil holders! In the monthly paint, draw, sculpt classes, students are working on sculptures inspired by artist Alberto Giacometti. They were asked to create a tall, lean figure depicting and action or movement with wire & tin foil armatures covered with paper mache!

Students worked to create their own playing cards the past month as well – designing an image that was of personal interest to them! It was also fun to learn about the history of playing cards and the artwork they include!

This month we also will be holding Creative Science “Inking it up” and have created future creative science lessons; Creative Science is a partner program between Brad Hartle, 4-H STEM educator with UMES and myself. We’ve worked together to create fun & engaging lessons that involve art and science for youth! Our Paint by Science lessons are intended to educate youth on specific subjects while painting these subjects along on canvas, helping to immerse the student on the topic! Our Art Exploration lessons, designed to engage youth in hands on activities in both art and science, with experiments, arts & crafts, and combined projects! All of our new lessons are intended for youth 8+ and each lesson comes with a supply kit that ships to you! Classes are held via zoom, registration closes one week prior to the start date of the class! Please contact me if you have any questions or interested in joining us! Check out the link below to see all of our upcoming lessons!

Check out upcoming Creative science programs here! Use the coupon code “EARLYBIRD” to receive 10% off through March 25th!

Additionally we’ve worked on various art projects this month, including landscapes that incorporate, background, middle-ground & foreground, light & shadow and charcoal water droplets! Tux also enjoys helping everyone out with their art projects!

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

Student Spotlight! (March 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 March spotlight is on:

Peyton Lindsey

I have been taking art for three years. I started taking art because I love drawing and painting. I wanted to become a better artist and learn about the different mediums. My friends and family inspire me mostly, A lot of the artwork I do is my friend’s pets. the person who gives me the most inspiration is my mom; she always gives me great ideas of what I should draw or paint next. I love drawing and working with acrylics. Those two are my favorite but I do like working with clay too. My artwork has improved drastically since I started taking art class. I went from that looks kind of like a person to that looks exactly like a person. Miss Jenell has helped me out a lot she is an amazing teacher. She is extremely helpful!

Besides art, what other activities do you enjoy? “I love riding horses and dancing, but I mostly love riding It always makes me feel more in control of life right then since right now we cannot control how life goes right now. Dancing also helps with that same thing because you are in control of your movement and it just feels amazing.”

“Back Braking”
This is a pencil drawing. I did it last year! This is one of my favorite drawings that I did because this person is a strong dancer. It is hard to balance like that for too long, so it takes a lot of strength.

Have you ever entered your artwork into a contest or show? “Yes, I have entered four pieces into the Ward Museums Art Show. I have entered two pottery pieces and the tentacle, and an inspiration from isolation glass painting.”

“Twisting Tentacle”
This is a copper sheet embossing, it is made from an aluminum copper sheet. I did this for the ward museum, It was a lot of small details to get it right. It was hard not pressing to hard, so you did not go through the sheet. I loved making the tentacle. I found it to be a lot of fun and interesting on how easy it bent. I found it even more amazing when we aged it to make it look old.

How long does it take you complete your art? “It takes me anywhere from one day to one month to complete a drawing or painting just depends on how big and how detailed it is.”

“Daisy”
This is an acrylic painting of my dog that I did two years ago. It was extremely hard because I know what she looks like and that is something that always gets me when I am doing painting, I got it eventually and it turned out to look like her.
“Light house dream”
This is a rubber stamp of a light house that I did in class last year.
This was hard but fun to make since you could not cut too deep or you would go through the rubber.

Are there any mediums or styles of art that you’d like to try? “One day I would like to try sculpting, I do not want to do anything big just something small and somewhat easy!”

“Yummy Spaghetti”
This is a fork with spaghetti and meatball made from polymer clay. It is a food bookmark!
This was fun to make and what is even more fun is that when I got home, I used it to prank my brother! He thought that I had ruined his new sweatshirt! It was so funny!

Payton’s fearlessness to try new mediums and techniques, along with her positive attitude, allows her easy-going, fun loving, personality to shine through in all of her works of art! She is persistent, working to get a piece to her liking and open to trying new techniques along the way! Her pieces are inspiring and sure to bring a smile to your face!

Check out past Student Spotlights here!

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

DIY Bird Feeder!

Make a little bird feeder for your yard! Paint, decorate, and design your own to give as a gift or keep for yourself! This cute little platform feeder is a simple and fun project!

What you need:

  • Wooden craft picture frame – mine is approx. 8″x6″ with a 4″x6″ opening
  • Acrylic craft paints in desired colors
  • Paint brushes
  • Sharpie
  • Krylon clear gloss outdoor spray sealer
  • Flat thumb tacks – Use stainless steel ones for longer lasting outdoor results
  • Plastic mesh cut to the opening size of your frame (I used needle point plastic but you could also use aluminum gutter shield, or plastic food mesh – if you have some with small enough gaps to hold birdseed!
  • Twine, rope, chain, leather, or any similar material suitable to use outdoors – I used approx. 6′ of jute, cut into two, 3′ pieces
  • Hammer

PAINTING YOUR FRAME:

Step one: Paint both sides and all edges of your frame one color.

Step two: Let your first layer of paint dry (use a hairdryer to speed up the dry time) and apply a second layer of paint if needed!

Step three: Add some designs and patterns with your other colors – I did dots and stripes! Let your paint dry completely before moving on!

Step four: Apply the outdoor sealer – do this outside on a protected work surface. Apply the sealer to both sides and edges of your frame – letting it dry completely before flipping your frame.

Step five: Once your sealer is completely dry use a sharpie to outline and add details to your painted design. I decided to cover most of my painted area with additional doodles!

ASSEMBLING YOUR FEEDER:

Step one: If using jute, twine, or rope, line up your two 3′ pieces and fold in half, creating a loop as shown in the first photo. Make sure the ends of your rope are even. Gathering all four strands of rope, tie a knot towards the top – leaving a loop, shown in the second picture.

Step two: Attach your rope and mesh to the frame with a thumb tack. Sandwich the ends of your rope between the mesh and the frame. Use a hammer to make sure your tack is firmly pressed into your wooden frame.

Step three: Continue to add all 4 pieces of your rope to the frame in the same manor! Make sure the knot and strands of rope are not twisted or tangled before attaching!

Step four: Add extra thumb tacks to your mesh to keep it securely in place!

Step five: Hang and fill your platform bird feeder!

Where to hang your feeder: Depending on where you place your feeder will determine what types of birds you attract (along with feeder type & seed). Attract the most birds by offering a range of feeders & food placed in various locations! Most feeders do best in a quiet, semi-sheltered area, or near shrubs & trees so birds can rest and hide from predators. Make sure you also have a good viewing point of your feeder from inside! Placing your platform feeder closer to the ground will attract ground-feeding birds such as, Juncos, doves, sparrows, & blackbirds. Placing your feeder up higher will attract birds such as, sparrows, finches, & titmice!  

What to put in your feeder: Different foods can attract different birds to your feeder – some types of birds are picky and only eat certain things while others will eat most anything you put out! I like to use black oil sunflower seeds or a seed mix. You can also try foods such as, peanuts (raw kernels only) and other nuts as well as coconuts (fresh, cut open), stale breads, cakes, & cookies (no chocolate). Fruits such as apples, oranges, grapes, & bananas. With foods that you put out, make sure to keep your feeder clean- and pick-up uneaten foods that could attract rodents, insects and other pests as well as create mold & bacteria growth.  

Feeder care: Feeders can become messy quick! Platform feeders can hold trampled food and droppings, and should be regularly cleaned out. A little soapy water and rinse should be sufficient. Re-coat your feeder with a clear coat each season to help keep it in shape (clean and dry your frame before re-coating).  

Making more feeders: If you had fun with this project, and want to make more, here are some various ideas for supplies! 

  • The frame in this kit is a small wooden craft frame, you could also re-purpose old picture frames in the same manor! Outdoor spray paint is a quick and easy way to cover old frames! 
  • I used needle point plastic in this kit for the mesh to hold seed, you could also use aluminum gutter shield, plastic food mesh, or window screen material. Just be sure your mesh material has small enough gaps to hold seed!  
  • The included hanging material is jute – eventually this will get weathered down, as an alternative, you could use twine, rope, chain, leather, or any similar material suitable to use outdoors.  
  • The included thumb tacks are stainless steel – this helps with the longevity of them being out in the weather! Depending on the frame being used, nails, screws, & staples could be utilized instead of tacks!  

BONUS PROJECT: Make a winter treat for your birds! What you’ll need: Pinecones, String or Wire, Peanutbutter (or Crisco), & Birdseed. Gather your pinecones and tie a string or piece of wire tightly to the top of your pinecone! Next completely cover your pinecone with peanutbutter or crisco – pushing it into all the gaps & spaces on your pinecone. (Note* if your pinecones are not open, let them set inside for a day or so or place them in your oven on 200*F for 20 min or so to speed up the process). Roll your covered pinecone in birdseed and hang up!  

Like this project? It was from one of our Creative Science lessons – a partner program between Brad Hartle, 4-H STEM educator with UMES and myself! We work together to create fun & engaging lessons that involve art and science for youth! Check out other projects to do at home and upcoming creative science lessons here!

Creative Science: Feed the Birds
Art, Happenings, Make, Create, & Share!, student artwork

Student Spotlight! (February 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 February spotlight is on:

Calli Gleason

My name is Calli and I am in the 4th grade. I love cats! I enjoy all things cats: books, pictures, creating stories, and drawing them! My favorite type of cat is the Siamese cat (They really like to chatter!). Cats give me lots of inspiration to create art.  

I could draw all day long. I have learned a lot of drawing tips and tricks from taking classes with Miss Jenell. I am very thankful she is helping me get better at drawing. I have been taking art class with her since I was four years old. I am now 9 years old! My mom signed me up to take an art class with Miss Jenell and I have loved it ever since. 

 My favorite way to create art is to draw a picture with pencil then color it in with paint or crayon. Some other forms of art I enjoy are singing, playing piano, and theater. I can express my feelings through art. Bob Ross did an excellent job painting with feelings. Happy trees! One day I would like to try painting with a chisel to make mountains like he did. My favorite thing about art is when artists create a painting that looks real. Mary Blaire is my favorite artist because she created a lot of Disney characters. I like how she boldly mixed different colors together.  


“Cat Catastrophe” Mixed Medium: Pictures, paint 
“Birds Eye” Water Color
“Solar System” Paint
“Snowy Alley” Water color

Calli has an excellent imagination and puts it to good use in her artwork, creating stories and scenes that are full of life! Her artwork reflects her happy personality and is sure to put a smile on the viewers face! The fearlessness she has in trying new mediums and styles, while continuing to develop her own unique style, will continue to help her grow as an artist! Keep up all the good work Calli!



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

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

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

Students worked on special pieces for a youth art show at the Ward Museum this month. The theme for the show is “Inspiration from Isolation”. We utilized picture frames to become a “window frame” and students created reverse glass paintings to show what was out, or in, their window, with an emphasis on how their view (or the viewers) may have been changed or inspired this past year. The show is open to students on the Delmarva peninsula in Pre-K through 12th, for more info visit: https://www.wardmuseum.org/learn-explore/education/student-art-show/