Exploring Identity

In October of 2020 I was fortunate to be able to present art making workshops at Circulo de la Hispanidad on Long Island, Colgate University and La Casita Cultural Center in Syracuse. This was made possible in part, by a NYSCA Decentralization Grant award.

These experiences allowed me to present a variety of programs to such a diverse group of people, who created amazing work based on their identity and culture. I was especially proud of the fact that most of the participants were women who, in their own words, had never considered themselves capapble of creating “art” and brought their own traditions and experiences to the process, producing thoughtful artwork and very fond memories.

Here is a link to an article about the workshop presented at Colgate Unversity – https://thecolgatemaroonnews.com/24877/af/students-explore-cultural-identity-through-evening-art-class/


Art is MAGIC!

This activity is a staple of early childhood classrooms and sometimes I get the feeling that people consider it way too simple of a project BUT…do you know how many skills you can focus on doing something so simple?

Watch the short video ( it’s actually less than a minute) at my YouTube channel – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAVjz4wpE64

Making butterflies using paint and paper is easy and beautiful, here are a few tips that always work for me –

Finger paint paper works best BUT, you can use just about any kind of paper that can hold up to paint. Fold your paper in half first, to get a crease.

Remember to use paint that is not too heavy a consistency, tempera paint works really well.

Lining up your paint close to the middle crease gives you a better chance of getting the image of wings.

You can actually feel the paint under your fingers as you spread it out, be sure to point that sensory experience out to your students.

Be prepared to have some spillage out of the top or bottom of your paper!

Make as many as you like until you get the shape you love.

Here are just a few themes and core subjects you can introduce and explore with this very simple project –

Color Theory – this project is a wonderful way to introduce and teach younger students about secondary and tertiary colors, tones, tints and shades. You can even experiment with warm and cool colors.

Symmetry – the obvious math connection. Try adding spots of colors further away from the center of the folded paper to create symmetrical patterns.

Fractions – you are folding your paper in half, what happens if you fold it in quarters? I’ve never tried.

Scale – if you’re a teacher, like me, you’ve noticed how children tend to draw tiny figures no matter what size the paper is. This is a really good way to have them create larger artwork. Little hands get tired, paint fills in larger spaces quickly with a project like this one.

Science – as the largest moth in the world, the Atlas moth’s wingspan can be up to 12 inches across! Making this butterfly the same size, really gives us a sense of the size and scale that can be found in the animal kingdom.

Keep creating!


MORE Halloween Art History Projects!

Basquiat Bats

Halloween Art History continues with bats adorned with images inspired by the works of artist Jean Michel Basquiat.

This is one of my favorite projects to share with younger students in grades K through 3. You can learn more about Basquiat and his work in this TEDed video -https://ed.ted.com/lessons/the-chaotic-brilliance-of-artist-jean-michel-basquiat-jordana-moore-saggese#review

Visit my YouTube channel to watch the whole project video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDaR9KGkIcg

Work in progress. Finding recurring elements in Basquiat’s work.
Inspired by the artist’s themes and colors.
Finished bats by 2nd grade students.
Supplies – royalty free images or your own, markers, crayons, paper.
Skills – color, portraits, color theory.


Our next artist spotlight for Halloween Art History is Andy Warhol. We’ll be making Warhol Witches inspired by Warhol’s celebrity silkscreen portraits and unique color palettes. This is a great project for introducing the color wheel, complimentary colors and more.

Here are some links where you can learn more about about Andy Warhol and Faber Birren, a scholar on color theory that Warhol referenced in his work.



Watch the step by step project video at my YouTube channel – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rb7dXiMRrJc

Keep creating!


Halloween Art History – Haring Cats

Halloween is the perfect holiday for learning about art history.

Our first artist is Keith Haring. When we focus on art history, we explore an artist or art movements. When looking at artists, we learn more about their style, technique and the subjects of their work. We also learn about how the artist fits into a community, a movement or how their art captures a moment in history. Learn more about Keith Haring’s work at haring.com.

Click on the link to visit our You Tube channel for the full process video and instructions


In the video, to make our Haring Cats, we used geometric shapes, a bold black outline and bright colors, PLUS we learned a classic technique to enlarge our drawings!

I have also added some student work in the pictures below. As you can see, you can use all sorts of different silhouettes to complete your cats.

I’ll be back with more Halloween Art History during the month of October.

If you have been enjoying the videos and posts, follow us on FB, Instagram or subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Please also consider contributing to supporting FREE arts programming by buying me a coffee at – https://www.buymeacoffee.com/pattemade.

In the meantime, here are some pictures of the process and some student work too!
Thanks for watching and keep creating!





Virtual Arts Enrichment Program

This fall Art Out of Anything will be partnering with Westbury Arts to provide a 6 week, virtual after school arts enrichment program! Starting on October 19th, we will bring visual art and musical theater study to your home screen with live zoom classes, project videos and an online reception and exhibit of student’s work as a finale.

Learn more about our partner organization at https://westburyarts.org/

Contact Patty at artoutofanything@gmail.com with your questions or if you would like to bring Art Out of Anything to your school/organization.

Details and registration link:


TELL ME A STORY; Preserving Family Histories

When I was teaching technology in a private elementary school, one of my favorite projects was this family history/art/literacy/social studies mashup. I began the project by telling the students a story my mom used to tell me about how she grew up on a farm at the edge of the ocean in Colombia, South America with my grandparents and her 3 brothers and 2 sisters. Each day they would all would wake up right before dawn and have breakfast, which consisted of a boiled egg and unpasteurized milk still warm, directly from the cow. Then the “girl”, sort of a nanny that was in charge of taking care of them, would march them all down to the ocean to bathe before they went to school or started their daily events. It all seemed so magically strange to me as a child and so incredibly different than our own morning routine.

My mom, abuela and great-aunts were always telling stories about their childhood and our family. The more I heard these stories, the more I realized what a rich history I was a part of. I’ve done my best to keep these stories alive through my art and re-telling to any one of my 3 children that will listen.

I presented the project to the students as an interview. A way for them to create questions that would provide them with knowledge about their families that they might not be aware of, they could choose anyone they wanted to interview. Most of them chose to contact grandparents, some of which were in other countries or states. They used email and phone calls to reach them. I was amazed at some of the stories that they were able to transcribe. I know they were pretty amazed themselves!

We learned about the grandfather who was taken hostage in the Middle East (he survived), the Hakka people of China, why a mom became a speech pathologist , early immigrant life in New York and so much more.

By sharing their stories, we all learned about geography, cultures, history and each other. Our older generation has a lot to say and some day we will be there as well, with our own stories to pass along.

This project is a great way to bring family together and preserve oral histories. Right now families are not just separated by distance, this is a great way to bring us all closer together to celebrate our humanity. We can now also go beyond email to Skype and zoom and interview family and extended family all over the world. What a wonderful way to learn that we all have stories to tell.

Click on the blue link for some prompts you can download to get you or your students started with the interview process: TELL ME A STORY The image on this page is of a book I made about my abuela Luisa, using the prompts.

If you’d like to see a step by step video on how to make an accordion book to preserve your family stories, visit Art Out of Anything on FB.  You can also subscribe to our You Tube channel for more project videos.

I hope you consider doing this project with your class, your family or on your own. You can always contact me at eljaiekart@gmail.com with any questions, schedule a full PD workshop or share your artwork.

Thanks so much for visiting and keep creating!



Pop UP Cards!

Hello everyone!

Today’s art project video can be seen at this link, starting at 3 pm today! – Art out of Anything on FB.

I have provided a slideshow with some images of the project but you really need to see the video to get the whole idea 🙂

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Here is a link to an easy template for a Father’s Day gift/card that you can print out and make your own. I did this project for many years with my early childhood classes and it was always a big hit for kids and grownups.

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Click this link for tie template

At  AOOA we encourage the use of re purposed materials and recycling to create all of our projects. My message today includes a reminder that the important thing about making art, is the making part. No matter where you are or what supplies you have available, just keep creating!

Thanks for visiting and please feel free to share,


Taking a line for a walk, in color!

Black line and complimentary colors

You can watch today’s video at-https://www.facebook.com/artoutofanything/.

” A line is a dot that went for a walk.” Paul Klee

I love to doodle! Doodling is probably the easiest form of meditation there is and anyone can do it and enjoy it. I firmly believe it also builds muscle memory so that your drawing can become more fluid.

In today’s video, we took a line for a walk and learned about color theory. This activity is really simple, fun and you can even make a game out of it. I created an Upside Down Color by Number game, where the colors for each object in the picture are left up to the roll of the dice! This might be harder than you think if you have a hard time coloring grass orange or the sky green, but it will definitely help to open your imagination and introduce you to a new way of seeing the world around you.

Artists like Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gaugin were part of les Fauves (wild beasts), an art movement of the early 20th century. Their canvases, although representational (real things/people) were more concerned with strong, complimentary coloes and painterly qualities like thick paint strokes.

You can learn more about these artists and les Fauves here – https://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/f/fauvism and here – https://youtu.be/Wp0Y8Cgbg1o.

Be sure to visit us on FB and Instagram for more art project videos.

Thanks for visiting and keep creating,


Art Mash-Up!


Ice Cream, cake, cookie and more!



Today we read Eric Carle’s  story Pancakes, Pancakes! We have always been a huge fan of his imagination and his technique of painting on tissue paper and using that as collage materials for his illustrations. We are also bug fans of the amazing Claes Oldenburg and his giant soft food sculptures.

These two master were perfect inspiration for making our own soft food sculptures.

You can watch the Story Time read aloud and project video at our  collaborator page, Sea of Visibility, today on FB starting at 3pm .

Just click on this link  – Facebook link.

Here are some soft sculptures made by some of our students. they used repurposed materials like fabric scraps, old clothes, paper, aluminum, plastic etc.


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Today we made a giant pancake using paper, glue, markers and napkins –

Pancakes and butter

Click on this link to see an amazing video of Eric Carle creating his illustrations –


Learn more about Claes Oldenburg and his large scale soft sculptures at this link –

Slideshare – Claes Oldenburg

Be sure to watch today’s videos and follow Art Out of Anything on FB and Instagram!

Thanks for visiting and keep creating,



Shaving Cream Marbling!



MARBELING SUPPLIESToday’s project video can be watched on our FB page by clicking on this icon –  FB

This is a really easy and fun project that blends science and art because they always go together so well. Below you will also find a link to the science behind the magic.

Supplies –

  • shaving cream
  • paper
  • food coloring
  • Popsicle stick or pencil
  • old cookie tray or flat aluminum tray
  • ruler or straight edge like a piece of cardboard
  • towel or paper towels

Optional or Instead of

If you don’t have access to a cookie sheet or aluminum tray, you can also use a piece of wax paper or aluminum foil. Be sure to tape it down to the surface (table) you are using so it doesn’t move while you are transferring the color.

You can also use paint, ink or even those small tubes of decorating gel for cakes if you don’t have food coloring.


  1. shake shaving cream until it feels cold, that’s when you know it’s ready to use.
  2. spray cream onto the sheet or surface you are using. Use a small amount to try it first.
  3. spread out the cream with the ruler or straight edge. Don’t make it too thin.
  4. add drops of food coloring on top of the shaving cream.
  5. use stick or pencil to swirl colors, don’t over mix or you will not get the marbling effect.
  6. once you are happy with your design, place your paper on top and gently press down. Not too hard! the colors will transfer to your paper.
  7. lift off paper, use ruler to scrape off  the cream and you are done!

Make some more! Here is my finished piece that I made in the video and some close ups of the colored shaving cream.  The patterns that stay in the cream are so cool!

Here is a link to a website that will explain the properties of materials,  that we explore in this art project – Cool Science for Kids

Thanks for visiting and be sure to check out the video at our FB and Instagram pages!

Keep creating,