Choosing What to Paint–Easel Painting with Grades 1 and 2

To become painters, children need many opportunities to explore imagery, color mixing, how paintbrushes make marks.  Easel painting allows children to carve out their own space in the hub hub of the art room.  The physicality of standing at the easel and wielding a brush loaded with color is exciting and dramatic.  With the sweep [...]

Choice-Based Art Teacher–An Interview

Introduction:  I chose to interview Robin Brooks, art educator and artist because I admire her ability to connect her teaching with her personal artistic journey.   If your experience with art in school was typical, most of the time you were instructed to complete projects or solve creative problems that were teacher-designed.  Robin and her choice-based [...]

Speaking out about School Reform

Public education, teachers, and unions have been under attack ever since the report entitled “A Nation at Risk” came out during Reagan’s presidency.  Most lay people–those not directly involved in K-12 education– simply assume what they hear in the media is true–that our schools are failing our children and that, as a country, we are [...]

“Bubble and Stamp” at the Family Arts Festival

On Saturday September 16 the annual Family Arts Festival was held on the Mall in Brunswick.  The grassy Mall was teeming with children and families who came downtown to celebrate creativity and to make art under the big white tents.  The cool morning air gave way to clear skies and sunshine, with temps in the [...]

mid-year musings from the elementary choice studio

This photo gallery shows student work completed in the last six weeks.  With three snow days to interrupt our flow, students nonetheless have shown great focus and persistence in creating original works in a variety of media.  My students are working hard to prepare work for our annual art show on March 31 in the [...]

Reggio and Choice–Reflections from the Classroom

On Tuesday evening, October 12, my Reggio Emilia Study Group gathered in Portland to start another year together.  We have been calling ourselves the Portland Area Reggio Collaborative, or PARC for a couple of years now.  We are a collection of early childhood educators in the greater Portland, Maine area who come together to deepen [...]

Making a Painted Paper Collage

My collage work is arranged and composed before I use a drop of glue. First, I paint paper for the image, using acrylic paints in a variety of paint applications from very thin and transparent to layered textural surfaces. To avoid buckling and curling of the collage, I start by taping all four edges of [...]

Painted Paper Collage Workshop

I met with a group of six artists for two three-hour morning sessions to explore painted paper collage and the creation of landscape compositions.  The workshop afforded everyone a chance to learn the process I use in making painted paper collages.  Please contact me for more information, or to schedule a workshop.  robin@robinbrooksart.com participant comments: “The workshop was great, you made [...]