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8/26/13

Deborah Swanson - Painting - Dennis Swanson - Architectural Photography - Atascadero Art Association - Mid State Fair Fine Art Winners
 It is always exciting to see your name in print – unless you are wanted by the law I suppose.

Today both Dennis and I were recognized for artwork that we produced this past year. The Atascadero Art Association's September Newsletter graciously announced our wins at the California Mid-State Fair this past summer.

You can read their newsletter here: Atascadero Art Association Newsletter

We count it a privilege to be a part of our local art association and to be involved in our local community events as much as possible.

Deborah Swanson is a graphic designer, art teacher, and the author of Drawing on History - an interactive art history curriculum for Jr. High and High School students. Dennis Swanson is a full-time photographer dividing his time between portraiture, weddings, and architectural photography. Both Dennis and Deborah own Studio 101 West and KnoodleU in Atascadero, CA.


8/13/13

Art and World History - Art Curriculum for Homeschooler - Drawing on History

It is very typical that the non-art parent is struggling to teach art to their children and Drawing on History takes the struggle away, by simply explaining the history and the process. Using these art lessons it is possible to supply the art materials, hand the book to your student, and let them go. However, I must warn you that you may be tempted to join in.

I am so thankful to our distributors and the hard work they do to move my book into the hands of the customer. I just love this Drawing on History review by Janice (“not-particularly-an-art-person”) at Rainbow Resource Center and wanted to share it with you.

Rainbow Resource Center - Drawing on History - Art Lessons
“Just so you know – I’m not particularly an art person. However, I do like to understand the interrelationships between historical events and culture. This book bridges an amazing gap – historical events and art history. Designed to be a brief survey of art (from 1830 to 1970) and a parallel study with Beautiful Feet’s U.S. and World History program, it functions as an art history, an art appreciation, and an art techniques (doing art) course. Not to mention the insights it provides into the people and places covered in the history course. This not-particularly-an-art-person is totally impressed!

Each of the 16 lessons covers an art history period – romanticism through psychedelic art and tie dye – with impressionism, expressionism, modernism, and surrealism among others in between. Each lesson starts with an overview of the history and art of the time period. The succinct coverage is augmented by suggested web links/books/videos but there are also full-color reproductions (in various sizes) of period works included in the book. Sidebar information includes research questions and learning objectives rounding out the instruction. The lesson then moves into the doing art portion with clearly stated assignments, lists of needed supplies, student and author examples, and step-by-step illustrations. For instance, Lesson 5 is Art Nouveau and Symbolism (an ism I missed earlier) which is coordinated with the BF lessons on The Jungle and teaches us that Art Nouveau was an attempt to apply a new look to all of the applied arts while Symbolism was dramatically different – artists defining their art with dramatic emotions rather than story telling. Among the developments of the period; posters became a fine art medium for the first time. The activity for this lesson is designing a decorative initial in the Art Nouveau style.

Help is available for the young artist (and/or his teacher). The KnoodleU.com website (book purchaser is entitled to access) contains tutorials, resources, and tips to help with the assignments. Use of the DK book, Art, is suggested to augment the lessons and provide additional visuals (there’s some nudity in the DK book and the author addresses this question helpfully and cautiously). A very helpful timeline that includes world events, art events, art projects and the BF book list is provided.
Easily a stand-alone art class – or more by just adding the BF books as read alongs, this a perfect complement to the entire Beautiful Feet course and will provide the student with an excellently rounded-out history/humanities course.”  ~ Janice

Rainbow Resource carries ALL kinds of quality educational products in all subject areas, including Drawing on History!

8/12/13

Art Lessons for Teens - Atascadero - Intermediate Art

Gearing up for the school year always excites me. Ever since I was a kid I loved getting new school supplies, shoes, clothes, and a perfect metal lunch box! Now, I get to do that for my kids and I still love it. As an art teacher, I also get the privilege of planning classes and ordering supplies -- I really do think this is my favorite time of year.


Art Curriculum for homeschool - teen art lessons - atascaderoThis semester I have cut my teaching schedule way down and am only offering one class for teens. I enjoyed all my teenagers last year and hope that many of them will return for more great skill building and advanced techniques.
Charcoal art - Atascadero Art Classes - Drawing on History


Here's the class info for Fall 2013:
Intermediate Drawing
7th - 12th grade
Geared towards the artistic student who wants to improve their drawing abilities (and if we have time we might even do some painting).

Registration closes September 16th so please don't delay to save your spot.

Day: Thursdays (Starting September 26)
Time: 3:30 - 5:00
Cost: $120 + $25 material fee ($145 total)
Where: Studio 101 West, 5920 El Camino Real, Atascadero, CA
Online Registration: REGISTRATION

Instructor: Deborah Swanson


About the Instructor:
Deborah Swanson holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, California, where she completed majors in Communication Design and Illustration in 1986. She and her husband currently own and operate Studio 101 West, an award winning photography and graphic design studio in Atascadero, California. Deborah has been teaching art to young and old for the past 25 years and is the author of Drawing on History, an interactive high school art curriculum. When she is not teaching, running her business, or writing, she loves to paint landscapes and still-lifes and to spend time with her husband and their two children (now young adults) in the great outdoors.

8/6/13

I love discovering a review on Drawing on History! Tabitha and her 15 year old son used our homeschool art curriculum and wrote a review on how it went.

You can read her review here:
The Happy Housewife - Where Martha Meets Real Life

High School Art Curriculum Review - homeschool art lessons


Thanks Tabitha! Glad you and your son enjoyed it.

7/9/13

art with kids - drawing on history - art curriculum - homeschool art curriculum

If art is the last thing you want do with your kids you might want to rethink your school curriculum. I know what you're thinking – it's messy and I don't have a clue about it! Most of my friends sent their kids to my house to do art because I didn't mind the mess. I happen to love the creative process, even though it does tend to make a mess. But what I love the most is when I see the "light" go on. When that happens you just have to forget about the mess.

What you may not realize is that an art-rich education actually helps your student in most of the other academic areas and can cause them to be more engaged in areas that they are not interested in. That was my primary reason for writing Drawing on History. I knew that if I could engage high school students in art, I could engage them in the history that took place during the same time period. And it worked, even for my homeschool students who weren't inclined to do art.

Recently the Arts Education Partnership conducted a study which showed that an art-rich education:
1. Boosts literacy and English Language Arts
2. Advances math achievement
3. Engages students in school and motivates them to learn
4. Develops critical thinking
5. Improves school culture

But an art-rich education has many more benefits than just getting them to study history. It has been proven that the arts help prepare students for success in the work place too. This is what their study had to say about that:

The arts prepare students for success in work. 
Arts education develops thinking skills and capacities key to success in the 21st Century workforce.  

Arts education:

1. Equips students to be creative. Arts education develops creativity, one of the top five skills employers prize for the 21st Century. Students receiving an arts-rich education perform better on assessments of creativity than do students receiving little or no arts education. Performing arts students, for example, show greater flexibility and adaptability in thinking than their peers.

2. Strengthens problem solving ability. The arts develop reasoning skills that prepare students to solve problems. Students who study the arts, for example, score higher than their peers on tests measuring the ability to analyze information and solve complex problems, and are more likely to approach problems with patience and persistence.

3. Builds collaboration and communication skills. In the arts, students learn to articulate their intentions, receive and offer constructive criticism, and listen actively to others’ ideas. Art making allows students to experience what it feels like to be active members of a community and to work as a team to determine and achieve common goals.

4. Increases capacity for leadership. Students who participate in the arts develop leadership skills, including decision-making, strategy building, planning, and reflection. They also prepare to use these skills effectively by developing a strong sense of identity and confidence in their ability to affect the world around them in meaningful ways. 

And if that doesn't convince you the importance of an art-rich education then look at the proven life skills it will give them, according to the Arts Education Partnership:
1. Strengthens perseverance
2. Facilitates cross-cultural understanding
3. Builds community and supports civic engagement
4. Fosters a creative community.

Wow! Why would you let the arts slide when it has so many remarkable benefits?  If you homeschool and you can't bare to touch the arts, look into my book Drawing on History or find someone that teaches art, music or drama classes and get your student engaged in the arts. You will not be disappointed.

This information was taken from Preparing Students for the Next America, by the Arts Education Partnership in Washington, DC, April 2013, To read the full article: Arts Education Partnership




7/6/13

Art Curriculum - Surrealism - Drawing on History - Art Lessons for homeschoolers
We had a lot of fun this year while going through the Drawing on History Art Curriculum. We studied Surrealism and created our own surrealistic collage. The students did a fantastic job understanding Salvador DalĂ­ and putting his ideas into their collages.

AndrĂ© Brenton in 1924, the so-called “Pope” of Surrealism states,  Surrealism was the “. . .  pure psychic automation by which one intends to express verbally, in writing or by other method, the real functioning of the mind . . . Surrealism is based on the belief . . . in the omnipotence of dreams, in the undirected play of thought.” Surrealism was essentially a revolt against the intellectual concerns of Cubism and other previous art movements.



Drawing on History is a high school art curriculum which follows Rea Burg's Beautiful Feet timeline for U.S. and World History for High School Students. Drawing on History is written by homeschool teacher, artist, and graphic designer, Deborah Swanson. 


6/13/13

Teaching Art :: Student Art Show

student art show - knoodleu - atascadero art classes - drawing on history - homeschool art curriculum
 A Student Art Show was the perfect way to end the school year! I had over 30 young students this year, which was exhausting and inspiring at the same time. The Drawing on History art curriculum gives the students a full year of fine art credit (perfect for a homeschool art class) and a unique experience using a variety of mediums. This exciting high school curriculum was written to engage the student in history and art with super fun hands-on projects. We had both Jr. High and High School students in this class and they all did a fantastic job. The two other classes, which I taught this year, Intro to Art and Intermediate Art were only one semester, but packed with great instruction and exciting projects.
student art show - knoodleu - atascadero art classes - introduction to art - homeschool art curriculum
These kids bring me drawings every time they come to my office.
This year I had students ranging from 6 yrs to 18 yrs, as well as many adults in private lessons or My Masterpiece Classes. Whew!
student art show - knoodleu - atascadero art classes - Deborah Swanson - homeschool art curriculum
 I am so proud of each and everyone of my students. They all grew so much as they were challenged with new ideas and different ways of thinking about art and themselves as artists.

Enjoy a look through our 2013 Student Art Show.

student art show - knoodleu - atascadero art classes - drawing on history - homeschool art curriculum

student art show - knoodleu - atascadero art classes - drawing on history - homeschool art curriculum

student art show - knoodleu - atascadero art classes - drawing on history - homeschool art curriculum

student art show - knoodleu - atascadero art classes - drawing on history - homeschool art curriculum

art curriculum,- high school art - jr. high art - art lessons - atascadero

student art show - knoodleu - atascadero art classes - intoduction to art - homeschool art curriculum

student art show - knoodleu - atascadero art classes - intro to art- homeschool art curriculum

student art show - knoodleu - atascadero art classes - drawing on history - homeschool art curriculum

student art show - knoodleu - atascadero art classes - pastel art - homeschool art curriculum

student art show - knoodleu - atascadero art classes - charcoal art - homeschool art curriculum

student art show - knoodleu - atascadero art classes - drawing on history - photography lesson - homeschool art curriculum

student art show - knoodleu - atascadero art classes - art lesson- homeschool art curriculum

student art show - knoodleu - atascadero art classes - drawing on history - color field paiting - homeschool art curriculum

student art show - knoodleu - atascadero art classes - drawing on history - homeschool art curriculum

6/4/13

pastel drawing - elementary art curriculum - knoodleu - studio 101 west.com

The students of KnoodleU are exhibiting their work in our first student show this Thursday, June 6 at 5:30 pm. The exhibit will be held at Studio 101 West, 5920 El Camino Real, Atascadero, CA

Come by and see what we've been up to.

art lessons - home school art curriculum - art for elementary age students - art classes atascadero


5/24/13

Drawing on History Class - High School Art Class - Atascadero, CA - KnoodleU - Silkscreen project
Drawing on History - Deborah Swanson - KnoodleU Publishing - High School Art Curriculum
The Drawing on History class is working on the silk screen project from lesson 10 in the Drawing on History Book. Teaching silk screening is so cool because I get to present an "old school" method of printing and the kids get really excited to be able to produce their work in multiples. Each student had to come up with simple art work that had a social message of some kind. Some were funny and some were more serious. They had to print several posters and then they could apply their art to t-shirts if they wanted to. Of course they all want to do that. This student chose his slogan to be "Second Hand Smoke Kills."

Drawing on History is a high school art curriculum which follows Rea Burg's Beautiful Feet timeline for U.S. and World History for High School Students. Drawing on History is written by homeschool teacher, artist, and graphic designer, Deborah Swanson.

5/23/13

High School Art Curriculum - Linoleum Blocks - Drawing on History
Linoleum Block Cut by Bernadette
Linoleum Block Cuts (or Lino cuts) are definitely one of the students' favorite art projects from the Drawing on History book. While learning about WWII and the art going on in Japan at the time, the students choose a bird design and create their own unique art to print.

This unique art curriculum is designed to give students an overview of the art movements from the time of the Civil War through Vietnam. It is a great homeschool art curriculum, designed by a homeschool mom and art teacher, Deborah Swanson. Drawing on History can be used with homeschool students or any independent art students. It even works well in a class room or co-op setting.

High School Art Curriculum - Homeschool Art - Eagle Linoleum Blocks - Drawing on History
David's Eagle print (left), lino cut (right)
Homeschool Art Lessons - High School Art Curriculum - Linoleum Blocks - Drawing on History
Beth's Phoenix print

Homeschool Art Lessons - High School Art Curriculum - Linoleum Blocks - Drawing on History
Genvieve's Owl linoleum cut (left). Gold on black print (right). Purple prints (top).

Independant Studies Art Lessons - High School Art Curriculum - Linoleum Blocks - Drawing on History

5/21/13

Expressing Expressionism

Today my Drawing on History students and I studied Abstract Expressionism, particularly the works of Mark Rothko. What a fantastic job they did with color-field painting. I love when they grasp the concepts and dig deep to express themselves. This high school art curriculum is perfect for homeschool students. It is in an easy to follow, well designed book called Drawing on History, by Deborah Swanson.

Drawing on History - Art Curriculum - KnoodleU - High School Art Class
Bernadette, Acrylic on Canvas

Drawing on History - Art Curriculum - KnoodleU - High School Art Class
Beth Acrylic on Canvas

Drawing on History - Art Curriculum - KnoodleU - High School Art Class
Kody - Feelings of Being 15 - Acrylic on Canvas

Drawing on History - Art Curriculum - KnoodleU - High School Art Class
David, Acrylic on Canvas

Drawing on History - Art Curriculum - KnoodleU - High School Art Class
Ethan - Volcano Flood - Acrylic on Canvas

Drawing on History - Art Curriculum - KnoodleU - High School Art Class
Genevieve Acrylic on Canvas

Drawing on History - Art Curriculum - KnoodleU - High School Art Class
Julia, Acrylic on Canvas

Drawing on History - Art Curriculum - KnoodleU - High School Art Class
Micha, Acrylic on Canvas









Action Painting - High School Art Curriculum - Drawing on History - Jackson Pollock
Action Painting - Abstract Expressionism - by Micah
Nothing gets teenagers more excited than telling them that they can throw paint around. There's a pause before they start, almost with unbelief that they are allowed, even encouraged to get going. Letting their creativity flow by using the action of their bodies, they created some spectacular art. Through this project the students learned about Abstract Expressionism and Jackson Pollock.


This high school art curriculum, Drawing on History, is actually being used by jr. high and high school students in a co-op class. Drawing on History, follows Beautiful Feet's U.S. and World History for High School Students, written by Rea Burg. For this particular class these students are using the curriculum as a stand alone art curriculum.

Drawing on History is written by Deborah Swanson, home school teacher, artist, and graphic designer. 



Action Painting - High School Art Curriculum - Drawing on History - Jackson Pollock

Action Painting - High School Art Curriculum - Drawing on History - Jackson Pollock

Action Painting - High School Art Curriculum - Drawing on History - Jackson Pollock

Action Painting - High School Art Curriculum - Drawing on History - Jackson Pollock
Action Painting - Abstract Expressionism - by Bernadette
Action Painting - High School Art Curriculum - Drawing on History - Jackson Pollock
Action Painting - Abstract Expressionism - by Beth
Action Painting - High School Art Curriculum - Drawing on History - Jackson Pollock
Action Painting - Abstract Expressionism - by Matisse
Action Painting - High School Art Curriculum - Drawing on History - Jackson Pollock
Action Painting - Abstract Expressionism - by Julia
Action Painting - High School Art Curriculum - Drawing on History - Jackson Pollock
Action Painting - Abstract Expressionism - by Kody
Action Painting - High School Art Curriculum - Drawing on History - Jackson Pollock
Action Painting - Abstract Expressionism - by Ethan
Action Painting - High School Art Curriculum - Drawing on History - Jackson Pollock
Action Painting - Abstract Expressionism - by David

"Every good painter paints what he is." – Jackson Pollock