Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mrs. Castrigano's Paintings!!!

Here are just a few of my own paintings!! I currently show my painting in hair salons, restaurants and galleries in the Phoenix and Scottsdale areas. Art has always been my passion. Painting is what I turn to when I am happy, sad, mad, bored, or stressed! One of the things that I love most about my job is watching and guiding students to find their passion in life, whether it is art, music, writing, reading, acting and so on. Kids have the most amazing imaginations and I get so much of my inspiration from my students. I love their bold and bright colors and their fantastical creatures mixed with everyday images , which I can see in my own artwork. There is a common theory that " those who can't do teach!!" During my four years of doing both teaching and painting, I have found that they are completely interrelated. My teaching and students directly inspire my art and my art inspires me to teach my students to find their own joys in life.

Love Bugs!!!

Love bugs...
1st and 2nd graders created these LOVE BUG scenes for Valentines Day. First, we discussed how we can turn regular bugs into Love Bugs by using our imagination and adding hearts as wings, antennas and bodies. They were so creative with their love bugs and came up with so many great ideas!! We used black crayon first, and then we used colored pencils to color them in. This is the first time that the students used colored pencils in art class and I was really impressed how well these turned out!! After all the bugs we colored in we used a blue glitter watercolor paint for the sky! I <3 these LOVE BUGS!!!

Kinder Kandinsky

Kandinsky was especially interested in color, even as a child. Beginning in his earlier, more realistic paintings, Kandinsky used color to show EMOTION rather than to make objects look real. He is considered one the first artists to create abstract art. As he grew as an artist he became more concerned with the power of color in describing what he was feeling. He began to paint patches of color instead of realistic details. He knew how to paint people and landscapes well but like abstract more than realistic. He was also a musician and was very interested how the two worked together. He claimed that when he heard music, he saw colors.

Herrera Kinder students used tissue paper and glue/water mix to cover the paper with colr, then used black paint to create the lines on the painting!!

Tar Beach Quilt

Every year, my students make a quilt. This year the third and fourth graders read the book Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold. The theme of this wonderful story is based on a 3rd grader, name Cassie Louise Lightfoot, whose family is not allowed to go places or own certain things because of segregation. Cassie is telling her little brother that if they want to go somewhere or own something all the have to do is fly over it. This story shows students some of the struggles for African- Americans to provide for their family during the Civil Rights Movement.

Each student received a quilt square and were asked to draw themselves flying over something they would want to own. We used fabric markers to draw the image on the quilt square. It turned out beautifully and hangs in the Arizona Capitol Building for Black History Month.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


This was a great project for Valentines Day for the 3rd and 4th graders. I was able to do what I love to teach (art history) and students were able to make "Holiday Art." We studied the artwork of ROBERT INDIANA who create the famous LOVE Statue and many others including the Love Statue in Spanish, Hebrew and Chinese. First we folded the paper into 4 squares. Next we learned how to make letters look 3-D. They could choose to write LOVE in either English or Spanish.

Yummy Value Scale

Junior High students are studying the elements of art. Before we began studying value, I thought it would be fun to do a Yummy Value Scale. For this assignment, we used vanilla wafers, icing, food coloring, wax paper, and plastic silverware. Each student received about 6 vanilla wafers, silverware, a big scoop of icing and 1 drop of food coloring of a color of their choice. Be sure to put the DROP OF FOOD COLORING ON THE SIDE NOT DIRECTLY IN THE ICING!!! A little goes a long way. They may start by icing the first with white. Each wafer after should get a shade darker by adding a VERY LITTLE bit of food coloring. I did an example before we began. If students add to much of the drop in the beginning, they can not go back to white. You can always add more if needed, but you can not take away. Next, students continued adding value to each of their wafer. They ones at the end (the darkest) may stain you mouth slightly so be careful how you eat it!! Who knew value scales can be so tasty!! One class we even had enough time to mix colors and create a tasty color wheel (shown below)!!

Rocking Birds

Herrera Kinder students made rocking birds. We used white paper plates, folded in half, and painted them with watercolors on the first day of the project. I put two analogous colors on each table and let them choose where to sit so the colors would not get "muddy." On the next day we added feathers and drew the eyes, added the beak and a pattern on the bird (both sides). The kids really loved making the birds and had a great time making them rock!!!