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Number of Pages: 144
Vendor: Carson-Dellosa Publishing LLC
Publication Date: 2004
|Dimensions: 11 X 8.50 X 0.13 (inches)|
Author: Linda Armstrong
Located in: Grand Junction, Colorado
Submitted: May 30, 2009
Tell us a little about yourself. I am a freelance writer specializing in books and materials for children and the wonderful people who help them learn.
My husband and I were both classroom teachers in Los Angeles for many years, and both of us came from families of teachers. My dad, Charles F. Keck, was a California Scene Painter (visit the site of the California Art Gallery in Laguna to see some of his paintings). He taught art, stage, and shop at an East LA high school. My husband's mom was a much-loved elementary school teacher in Northeast LA.
My husband and I are both painters. We met in a class taught by Latvian artist Vija Celmins in the 60s. My husband, a historian and railfan, paints steam engines in historic settings, and I paint remodernist works in acrylic.
I am also a poet. I enjoy writing verse for young people. Some of my poems were featured in Evan-Moor's popular "Read and Understand Poetry" series. (I also co-authored the grade 5-6 volume of that set).
My most recent book from Linworth Learning (Bit, Bat, Bee, Rime with Me! Grades K-3) combines simple craft projects with rhymes and chants to teach phonetic word chunks (rimes).
Another recently published work is a biography of Henry Ford for struggling readers. It is part of an outstanding series from Hameray.
What was your motivation behind this project? Each Friday, while we were teaching, my husband and I had art in our classrooms. Neither of us had many materials, but we wanted to teach our kids about art history, line, color, shape, texture, and composition. Together we developed a set of lessons that were easy to set up, inexpensive,and generated consistently satisfying results. This book was a way to share these lessons with other teachers.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? Some schools are lucky enough to have art teachers, but many are not. I hope that classroom teachers will use these lessons to have fun with art. That said, I know that it is hard to fit art into the crammed academic schedule, but many of these lessons are actually sneaky ways to approach reading, math, social studies, or science. An art lesson is not about making something to hang on the wall. It is about developing divergent, adaptive thinking, one of the most valuable assets in our ever-changing world. Most of all, I hope this book will help people who do not have art training to relax and have a little guilt-free fun on Friday afternoons.
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? It was very satisfying to share these lessons. I never realized how many my husband and I had developed over the years.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? Some of my favorite artists are named in the book. Their birthdays are used as inspiration for projects. I like painters who are influenced by the honesty, joy, freshness, and compositional intuition of very young children. These include Paul Klee, Matisse, Jawlensky, Kandinsky, and Picasso. I also like very mathematical, intellectual painters who explore variations on narrow themes. These artists include Mondrian, Albers,and Klee (again). My favorite poet is Gerard Manley Hopkins. His inventiveness and insight startles me more with each reading of his work. I also like William Blake, Elizabeth Bishop, Walt Whitman, and Emily Dickinson. I think former Poet Laureate Pinsky has done a tremendous amount to bring poetry and people outside of academia back toether again. His own poems are wonderful, and his anthologies are gems. Robert Bly and Garrison Keillor have also made great contributions.