Watermelon Day πŸ‰

Watermelon Day Banner

We are sooooo close to ending this school year. Today’s letter for Ray’s Countdown is W. The W is for Watermelons – and I bet you wanted to see a bunch of watermelon paintings. That’s great, because in an effort to dress-up this nothingburger of a blog post, I’ve put together a slideshow of still-life paintings featuring our favorite large, edible fruit.

However, if you wanted to read about how artists unwittingly captured the evolution of watermelons in paintings, you can read this article from Hyperallergic. It might be the most esoteric thing you rad all day.

Link: The Evolution of the Watermelon (Hyperallergic, July 30th, 2015)


Finish Work/Summer Break β˜€οΈβ›±οΈπŸŒ»

Summer Break Banner

No new lessons this week. Instead, if you have any late work to finish, get it completed and submitted by 5pm on Friday, June 12th. No assignments can be accepted after that time.

If I don’t hear from you before Friday (June 12th), have a great summer. Ride a bike, go to the beach, grow a sunflower, create a still-life painting. Hopefully, things will have settled down by the time you’re back to school in the fall.


To inspire you, I’ve included a gallery of still-life paintings.


Note: the access codes to Google Classroom for each grade band are listed to the right (in the sidebar).

RIP Christo πŸ•ŠοΈ

RIP Christo Banner

Christo, along with his wife Jeanne-Claude, created huge outdoor sculptures – often temporary – using fabrics, plastics, and even barrels. Their artwork was great because it was so bizarre. Ever wonder what hanging a curtain between two mountains would look like. Christo did it. Ever wonder what planting 1760 yellow umbrellas in California would look like? They did it. How about over 1,000 blue umbrellas in Japan. Yup, they did that too.

In 2018, Christo completed his “London Mastaba” using 7,506 stacked barrels. This sculpture weighed over 600-tons (or 1.2 million pounds). Wow. The New York Times has a slideshow of some of his most famous works. You should check it out. It might inspire you. πŸ˜‰

Link: Christo (Britannica Kids)

Drawing Trees 🌳🌲🌴

Drawing Trees Banner

Take a look outside. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Did you see any trees? Good. This week, we’ll be learning how to draw trees.

Students in primary grades (K-2) will be combining their lines and shapes to create wonderful tree drawings. Students in elementary (3-5) and middle-school (6-8) will be using lines, shapes, 3D shapes, color, and value to create their tree drawings.

It’s going to be another fascinating week. I’m excited to see what you come up with.

Link: Drawing Trees Lesson 🌳🌲🌴: Kindergarten – 2nd-Grade
Link: Drawing Trees Lesson 🌳🌲🌴: 3rd – 5th-Grade
Link: Drawing Trees Lesson 🌳🌲🌴: 6th – 8th-Grade


Note: the access codes to Google Classroom for each grade band are listed to the right (in the sidebar).

Protest Sign Slideshow ✊🏾✊🏻✊🏽

Protest Signs Banner

The world is changing fast. Just think, three months ago we were all in class, slogging through lessons on primary colors, or value, or perspective. Now it’s facemasks, stay-at-home orders, and sirens at night. This is America? This is America.

It’s been months since we’ve looked at a slideshow. Today, we’re going to take a look at some protest signs …you can even imagine we’re back in class. Sometimes it’s better to use anger and outrage to make art; I’m sure your local camera store would appreciate it. Click away, students…

The Fundred Project

The Fundred Project

The Fundred Project is a collective art project that is drawing attention to lead-poisoning in children. Although lead poisoning is 100% preventable, it still puts millions of kids at risk for lifelong brain damage and other health issues. By participating in the Fundred Project, you’ll join millions of others nationwide by drawing attention to the solution.

You can help bring attention to lead poisoning by drawing your own Fundred Dollar Bill and sending it to the Smart Museum of Art – where it’ll displayed on in a future exhibition. That’s a win-win-win.

More information is in the link below.

Link: Chicago Fundred Initiative: A Bill for IL

Drawing Houses and Ferris Wheels 🏘️🎑

Drawing Houses and Ferris Wheels Banner

For this week’s lessons we’re drawing ferris wheels and even more houses – while trying to make them look three-dimensional.

Students in primary (K-2) and elementary grades (3-5) will be an imaginary house, a cottage, or a 3D house. Students in middle-school will be using lines to create ferris wheels. Easy enough, right?

It’s going to be another fascinating week. Wash your hands and have fun πŸ˜ƒ

Link: 🏘️ Draw More Houses Lesson: Kindergarten – 2nd-Grade
Link: 🏘️ Draw More Houses Lesson: 3rd – 5th-Grade
Link: Draw a Ferris Wheel 🎑 Lesson: 6th – 8th-Grade


Note: the access codes to Google Classroom for each grade band are listed to the right (in the sidebar).

Window Squiggly Art

Window Squiggly Art

If scraps of paper and tape were money, I’d be a gazillionaire. My family doesn’t see it that way. They see these scraps as taking up valuable space for a train track or yoga mat. I can’t win.

I stumbled across this window art idea while looking for ideas; it’s a great idea. Turn you window into a public art installation – and when you’re done, bounce around Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) site. There’s a bunch of good stuff on it.

Keep hanging on. One day, the art museums will be re-open πŸ›οΈ

Link: CREATE: Squiggly Window Art

Drawing Houses and Roller-Coasters 🏘️🎒

Drawing Houses and Roller-Coasters Banner

This week’s lessons have moved onto houses and roller-coasters. Know what makes houses and roller-coasters interesting? Lines, of course!

Students in primary (K-2) and elementary grades (3-5) will be combining their lines and shapes to create beautiful houses. Students in middle-school will be using lines to create roller-coasters.

It’s going to be a fascinating week. I’m excited to see what they come up with.

Link: 🏘️ Drawing Houses Lesson: Kindergarten – 2nd-Grade
Link: 🏘️ Drawing Houses Lesson: 3rd – 5th-Grade
Link: Draw a Roller-Coaster 🎒 Lesson: 6th – 8th-Grade


Note: the access codes to Google Classroom for each grade band are listed to the right (in the sidebar).