Collaborative Art Project with Special Needs Students @FEELartistic

Education is essential to a functioning society, its main objective is to prepare students for the real world. One thing we can guarantee to students about the real world is that everyone is different and different doesn’t mean bad.

Last Saturday @FEELartistic Studio, we held an event that encouraged special needs inclusiveness. Students from our different community came together to work on one large canvas and make a painting representing the Tree of Life. They used both paint brushes and handprints in order to accommodate all skill and ability levels.

We started off by letting everyone get to know each other and mingle for a bit. Once everyone had a paintbrush, we had volunteers squirt paint directly on the canvas. Every student participated in painting the background with long linear strokes giving a surprisingly uniform look. Next, we added yellow to the blue where we wanted grass and blended it until we had a nice hill for the tree.

Once the tree was up with branches, out came the finger paints. Everyone dipped their hands in paint and covered the branches making the most beautiful, colorful and diverse leaves. We had a little face painting fun at the end, but laughter equals success! It was a good sign that at the end of the project the students were comfortable enough with each other to let loose and have fun.

n essence, that was the motive of this event. The purpose of our project is to reach out to the special needs community and embrace it with the spirit of inclusiveness and improve our awareness and knowledge of and deliver that message to the community.

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Spring How-To!

Hooray for spring, warmer weather and FLOWERS! As a Florida native, experiencing my first PNW spring has been quite the experience. By far, the prettiest sight was when the cherry blossom trees bloomed. It seemed like it happened over night! Seeing the streets lined in beautiful bright pink trees was an inspiration.

It inspired me to paint!


So, that is what 4 years of art school will get ya.. But for the beginner, I have a simple step by step How-To.

  • Step 1: Paint the background, I took light blue and dark blue and painted the center the lightest and got darker as I went to the edges.IMG_8736
  • Step 2: Using a white dry pastel, draw the outlines of the flowers, leaves and branches. IMG_8738
  • Step 3: Paint over the branches with dark brown.IMG_8739.JPG
  • Step 4: Using light brown, paint half of each branch. IMG_8740
  • Step 5: Paint all the leaves in half dark green, half light green. (each leaf)IMG_8742.JPG
  • Step 6: Paint all of the flowers in pink. We will add more details next.IMG_8743.JPG
  • Step 7: Add dark pink. Paint each individual flower petal half dark pink. IMG_8745.JPG
  • Step 8: Add very light and very dark pink stripes to each petal. Also, add a very light brown highlight to the bottom of each branch, and a very dark green line down the center of each leaf. IMG_8757.JPG


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Glaze it up!

This is my “we have new glaze” face!


Yes, you read that right. WE’VE GOT NEW GLAZE! I am super happy about it and you should be too. Most pottery studios offer a variety of dip glazes. Those are glazes that you dip bare pottery into instead of painting the glaze on with a brush. This can be messy, lead to uneven color, and be hard for a beginner to use. Our new glazes are called underglaze.

What is the benefit of an underglaze versus a dip glaze? Underglaze offers you one main benefit, control. Underglaze is similar to paint in consistency and works wonderfully with a paintbrush. This way, you can turn your pottery into a canvas and really get creative!

Here are a few examples of pieces made with our new underglazes. 

ALSO! ***For those of you who are more interested in glazing a piece that has been pre-made, we offer that too.

So come in and glaze it up with us 🙂

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Silhouette Art – What & Why?

IMG_5217 IMG_5218

At the studio, we use silhouettes as a teaching tool for a variety of skills. Not only is this task simple enough for ages 5+, it is beautiful and teaches a lot. I’m going to give you the steps to make your own silhouette art and below I’ve outlined the skills you will acquire along the way!

Skill number 1: Simplifying an object. This sounds easy but it really can be difficult. You want to focus on the bare basics of your subject. Start by analyzing what are the most important and identifiable details about the subject. Once you have recognized those, you can start there. Not focusing on too much small detail. See the big picture.

Skill number 2: Drawing what you actually see. Most people have a set image in their head when they think of the item they are drawing. The key to a successful silhouette is erasing all preconceived notions of the object you are portraying. You need to be able to draw what you are actually seeing in front of your eyes. This way, your drawing will be easily identified after you have turned it into a silhouette.

Skill number 3: Lighting. Learning how to paint a silhouette and about the illusion you are creating can give insight into how you can use lighting to create a realistic work of art. By painting your image in complete black with an illuminated background this will give you a clue about where your light source is located and how that relates to shadows and colors.

Now you know the why, here is the what —->

STEP ONE: Think about your silhouette and come up with a sketch. Maybe it is something you can see in the room or something you have designed yourself. Sketch Sketch Sketch

STEP TWO: After you have your sketch complete you need to create a colorful background. Think about the silhouette you are making. What type of background would make sense? It is important that you pick a color scheme that makes sense and is appealing. *Use acrylic or watercolor paints for the background* LET DRY


Above: Gracie being awesome 🙂

STEP THREE: Lightly sketch your silhouette over your dried background. Begin to use the black paint to color the silhouette image. Be sure to paint a ground and don’t be afraid of creative flare!

Your finished product should be colorful and make a cool illusion, just like Gracie’s.


Cats Rule!

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Clay Roses – Made Easy

Hand building with clay can be a tricky thing! It can be messy, but also lots of fun. One simple lesson we use to introduce the hand building process is clay roses. You can make them in any size and thickness and are a wonderful way to get used to the feel and malleability of stoneware clay.

First thing we do is pinch off and roll up different sized balls of clay, going biggest to smallest. Once you have them ready, flatten them out like the picture below.


TOP: Step 1 BOTTOM: Step 2

Each flattened out clay ball is a rose petal. Next, you will place each petal slightly on top of the one next to it. Once every “petal” is touching, you start to roll the rose.

START WITH THE SMALLEST PETAL FIRST – roll smallest to largest.

Once you have all of the petals completely rolled in to each other you can pinch off any extra clay at the bottom of the rose. Sometimes it gets bulky towards the bottom and you can pinch to taper off the edge.

After you have your rose coiled you can smooth out any edges and make leaves to apply from the bottom. It sounds more complicated than it is!

Here is an example.


After it is dried, it’s glazed and put in the kiln.

We love it and kids love it, roses made easy 🙂

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Camara Obscura: A Drawing Technique

I use a Renaissance-era technique, referred to as ‘Camera Obscura’ at my studio. This technique helps my students to identify lines and shadows. By looking into the camera, they can easily sketch an image of the scene onto a piece of paper to create a realistic drawing. The idea behind this exercise is not to copy an image but to learn how to see an object and recognize outlines and shadows which will eventually help them build perspective and to create a realistic, detailed drawing in their artwork.

My students love this process of learning. In the picture below, a girl is drawing a pear and a cube by looking into a camera.


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