Art and Stories


Crayon Batik


Take this color blind test to see if you have the full range of color.

Color is everywhere.  Let’s watch a video on color theory and then practice what we’ve learned.









Our short story for the day,




Our story for the day!

If you would like to continue to work on your photography, please see the video below and show us some portraits next week.

  1. Trust your gut
  2. Where are the eyes? Looking away or directly at the camera
  3. Think about the setting and what is in the background
  4. Use lighting well, natural light, 
  5. Let your subject be natural
  6. Learn to not care, just do it
  7. Know the law if you are taking pictures in public
  8. Use the right lens or filter, know your options
  9. Take your time


Let’s continue learning how to take better picture using color photography and filters

Use the Rule of thirds 

  1. Clean your lens
  2. Practice taking a picture using a long exposure
  3. Practice taking a picture using burst mode (best  when something is moving)
  4. Practice taking a picture using panorama horizontally and vertically
  5. Practice taking a picture stabilizing your shot using both hands or resting the phone on a stable surface
  6. Practice taking a picture using adjusting your exposure
  7. Try different filters to change how you photo looks

Spend some time taking pictures using the rule of thirds and the seven tips of taking better pictures.  Share with the group.

Our story today from “This American Life” Podcast


Black and white photography! Does your smart phone take black and white pictures.  Let’s find out.  Look at what type of phone you have and google how to change color to black and white.



Were you able to get your art kit together? Create an art kit of the following items:

paper, pencil, pen, something to take pictures with, computer, paint, paint brushes, scissors, glue, color pencil, markers, ruler

Today we will use a blank sheet of paper and a regular pencil.  If you want to use color pencils, markers, crayons or pastels you are welcome to do so.  Choose an item from your home and look at how the light hits it and creates different tones.  

Listen to this video on how to give yourself permission to be creative:


Welcome to art and stories!

What kind of art do you do? 

collages, photography, drawing, painting, crafting, mixed media, singing, dancing, musical instruments, basketry, guitar, 

What kind of art would you like to do in this class?

photography, drawings, computer collage, you tube painting tutorial, natural art using environmental items, 

What kind of materials do you have at home?

Create an art kit of the following items:

paper, pencil, pen, something to take pictures with, computer, paint, paint brushes, scissors, glue, color pencil, markers, ruler

If you don’t have any of these items, let me know ( and I will figure out a way to get them to you

What kind of stories would you like to listen to?

podcasts, short stories, school appropriate

Do you want to discuss them during class?

Listen to this story and spend 20 minutes drawing what comes to your mind:

How to Be Creative

By Matt Richtel

You know how you’ve got this image of the creator as a somewhat crazy, slightly unbalanced person lost in his or her own head? I have great news. You are one, too! Everyone – adults and children alike – has a creative streak. But while most of us have a spirit of invention, major or minor, for too many of us it lies dormant even though it can be awakened with the simplest of acts. Follow these steps to find your inner writer, composer, finger painter, chef, lyricist, entrepreneur, filmmaker, comedian, politician or professional Tweeter.

First, Give Permission

Tapping into your thoughts, dreams and imaginations is the first step to finding your inner creativity.

I think I know what you do before you go to bed every night. Don’t worry, everyone does it. You imagine. You imagine some or another version of: If I only had this much money, I’d spend a weekend in the Caribbean; if I’d had just a second more to think, I know what I would’ve said to that jerk who had too many items in the express checkout aisle; or if I’d had just a second to think about it, I know what I’d have said to that beauty I nearly talked to reading my favorite book at the café.

We all have fantasies or, if you prefer, ideas. I will give them a different word: “Seeds.” These seeds are the germ-line of books, short stories, songs, the faces in a painting. Sometimes, when the idea is for a gadget that might, say, keep that guy in the car next to you from texting and driving, it’s the seed of an app or business. If it’s a doodle made during a boring corporate meeting, it’s the seed of an art project; the mixture of the barbecue sauce with the onions and the lemon might be the seed of the next, great slow-cooking invention.

But often, especially as we age, we hear the voices of creativity, and without realizing it, we ignore them, failing to see them for what they are – imagination and creativity – or, worse yet, tell them: “No.”

Give In to What Your Mind Is Trying to Tell You

Mo Willems, the prolific children’s author, has a great story that adds a twist to the permission adage. It took place, he told me, in 1999 before his career had taken off. He had sequestered himself in a cottage in Oxford, England, to write what he was determined would be “the great American children’s book.”

One day, as he doodled in his idea sketchbook, he drew a pigeon. It admonished Mr. Willems: “Don’t write about the other stuff. Write about me.”

“At one point, I remember very distinctly, there was a sentence: ‘Don’t let the pigeon drive the bus.’” It was spoken by a plucky boy that Mr. Willems had drawn. It was as if the boy was saying to the writer: Don’t you dare.

Mr. Willems didn’t pursue his pigeon – not for years. But he pitched to his agent the ideas for Great American Children’s Books that he’d conjured in Oxford. “The agent said they were terrible,” he said. Then, as a gift, he gave his agent a copy of a self-published sketchbook from the cottage days. She liked the crude story of the pigeon and the bus.

In that story, a pigeon begs to be allowed to drive a school bus, after the bus driver admonishes the reader not to allow it. The pigeon cajoles and offers reasons and excuses. He screams and rants. Never does he get to drive the bus. But in the end, he becomes distracted by another seductive option: driving a semi-truck.

Mr. Willem’s had relented but simultaneously realized that he had something interesting, even powerful. “He’s railing against injustices, real and perceived, at not being listened to,” Mr. Willems told me. “They’re all universal things that in my case may be a little more extreme than the norm.” Mr. Willems, the story instructs, had initially given himself permission to create, to imagine, but not full permission to trust and follow the muse in its natural state.

Let Yourself Find Your Creativity

Another quick tale to make the point: A family friend once told me that, in college, he was curious to find out whether he was creative so he picked up an easel at the store. He painted for 10 minutes, put down the brush and declared himself not remotely creative. But he went on to make tens of millions of dollars as an entrepreneur. He had mistakenly conflated artistic creativity with any type of creativity. But not all creativity looks the same, and it doesn’t take the same name.

This all sounds obvious to those who have cracked the creativity code. Often, though, I hear people asking how to write a book or song or comic strip and I know that they are asking a bigger question: “Can I create something?” The response to that question should always be “Yes, give yourself permission to see the seeds for what they are.” 

Those before-bed mind wanderings you are having are just as valid a force of imagination as the ones had by the world’s greatest artists: They are your natural impulses, the things that make you who you are, and are your inner creator speaking out.

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