I still remember my elementary art teacher: Jan Thorne. She was really skinny and she used to stand outside the art building and smoke a cigarette while we filed in for art class. She was really quiet, and I don't really remember much about those elementary school art years, but I wanted to grow up to be an artist. She must have been a good influence. Also, I won a disproportionate amount of poster contests, so something was working for me there.
Those cigarettes got her in the end. She passed away the summer between my third and fourth grade year. Then we had Mr. Wardlaw. His son was one of my best friends, so we got along well. He was famous for speaking so softly in class that we could barely hear him, but when we would get too rowdy he would yell at us in this HUGE bass voice. I remember thinking, "I hope his son doesn't get into too much trouble at home."
Fast forward to high school. Once again, I was only able to fit in one art class due to the fact that I was on the high honors track (which meant I was taking 6 more science, English, and math courses than regular graduates). I was also an athlete, a member of the band, and I was in FFA. All these things took time out of my life; time which could have been spent doing art.
This art class was memorable, though. My best friend sat next to me and we joyfully spattered paint everywhere, making enormous messes and having a grand old time. I produced some fine works (now unavailable for print) and learned how to properly stipple (no tails!).
Today I wanted to let you know about the fine company I kept during those joyous "art class" moments of my life.
I went to high school with Nellie Mitchell. We had art class together. Now she's the teacher, and she's doing a great job of expanding and enriching children's lives with art.
She won the Missouri Art Education Association award for outstanding Missouri art teacher of 2012.
For awesome art ideas (especially for kids) check out her lesson plans blog.
Here are some of the awesome projects she has done with her classes (available for viewing on her blog along with complete with tips and timelines). All photo credits go to Nellie, who just happens to be a fantastic photographer as well.