Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Drawing Development in Children

This slideshow is adapted from Betty Edward's book "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain."  This shows the different stages of development in children's artwork.  This can be useful information as a teacher or a parent when looking at a child's work.  We understand that every child's work looks different, but it can be interesting to examine and compare benchmarks.

Leaf Printing and Leaf Rubbings with Watercolor Resist

Mandalas by grades five and six

Monday, September 29, 2014


Fall tree cooperative paintings

First and second graders worked in groups to create these colorful fall trees. We talked about the importance of working together, sharing the materials and making sure that everyone participates. These skills are even more important than the final products that we create. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Art News Update

Student Teacher Alex Morse joins us in the Art Room
This fall I am lucky enough to be joined by artist and educator Alexandra Morse as she pursues her Vermont Art Teacher’s License.  Alex is a licensed elementary school teacher and has worked at Fayston Elementary School.  She lives in Warren with her husband, Josh, and daughter, Sydney.  She will be observing and teaching in the art room during September and October to complete her internship.  

No, it wasn’t too many Maple Creemees!
In other news, I am expecting a baby in December.  I will be taking a maternity leave after the baby is born, but most likely returning to school before the end of the year. Waitsfield and Fayston Schools will work together to hire a qualified long term substitute to fill in while I am away. The position is currently posted on SchoolSpring.

Bridge Street Art Fair News
Since I will be out during some of the second half of the school year, I am eagerly recruiting volunteers to ensure the continuing success of the Bridge Street Art Fair.  Last year’s Art Fair was once again well-attended and this event has become a springtime staple in the Valley.  A leadership role in this event may include coordinating art activities for children, working with business owners and promoting the Art Fair.  Volunteers may also help with the Student Art Show, entertainment and general set up.  Please consider joining a team of volunteers to help make this a annual great family event!  Please email me if you are interested in helping with the Bridge Street Art Fair, nmcdonough@wwsu.org.  

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Dot Day!

Dot Day has come to Waitsfield School!  Each grade level will create different types of dot art, celebrating the Dot Day principles of Creativity, Courage and Collaboration.

Watch the video of Peter Reynolds' book "The Dot"

Third and fourth graders worked in groups to create giant dots!  They explored different techniques including splatter paint, color mixing and masking tape resist.  

First and Second graders painted on large paper to explore many different types and sizes of dots.  They were inspired by the dots that Vashti paints in "The Dot."

Kindergarten Dot stations:
Dot stampers, dot stickers, dot tracing 


In celebration of International Dot Day, all classes will create different types of "Dot Art."  Fifth and sixth grade artists will create circular artwork called Mandalas.  

Mandalas are created in many cultures as a support for meditation.  They can be drawings or painted or made from sand.  

What is a Mandala?

The word "mandala" is from the classical Indian language of Sanskrit. Loosely translated to mean "circle," a mandala is far more than a simple shape. It represents wholeness, and can be seen as a model for the organizational structure of life itself--a cosmic diagram that reminds us of our relation to the infinite, the world that extends both beyond and within our bodies and minds.
Describing both material and non-material realities, the mandala appears in all aspects of life: the celestial circles we call earth, sun, and moon, as well as conceptual circles of friends, family, and community.

Mandalas have Radial Symmetry:  the condition of having similar parts regularly arranged around a central axis 

Examples of Mandalas:

How to Grow a Mandala Video:

Video of the Dali Lama creating a Sand Mandala

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Dot Day is coming to Waitsfield School!

International Dot Day is a day to celebrate CREATIVITY, COURAGE and COLLABORATION.  During the week of September 15th, all students will create artwork inspired by the message in Peter Reynolds' book The Dot:

"Make your mark and see where it takes you!" 

And Remember... On Friday, September 19th, WEAR DOTS! 

Let's see which classroom has the most Dot Day Spirit! 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


Fifth and sixth grade Zentangles 

My zentangle Rock 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Starting our Year with Mindfulness.. ZENTANGLES!

What is a Zentangle?

Zentangle is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns.