Creative Family Living Parent Resources

Patty Palmer of Deep Space Sparkle on teaching art

DeepSpaceSparkle_1 Patty Palmer of Deep Space Sparkle teaches art to 400 elementary school kids in Goleta, California. I imagine we could all learn a thing (or five) from her about art and children!

***Note: Readers will have a chance to win two of Patty's art lesson plan e-booklets at the end of this interview.***

JEAN:  Would you tell us a bit about yourself and what led you to art and teaching?

PATTY:  Teaching art was a bit of a surprise for me.


My background was in fashion design but when I had my first child, I left the design world behind and stayed at home to raise my baby. Two more children came and I loved being a mom. When my children were in elementary school, I volunteered in the classroom teaching art. By the time my youngest was in Kindergarten, I decided that volunteering was not enough anymore. I wanted to earn money. But I had no desire to jump back into fashion design, so I was at a bit of a loss as to what I was qualified for. Luckily, I was connected with the PTA and the school district (yes, I was a PTA President!) so when a position popped up for an art specialist, I knew I had found my job. I started working only 9 hours a week but it was a perfect fit for me then.

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JEAN:  I’d love to hear how you balance teaching specific art skills with exercises or projects that emphasize creativity and imagination?

PATTY:  Elementary school kids are ripe with imagination and creativity. You really don’t have to do anything special to unlock it but you do need to provide a starting point. Many people assume that if you give a child specific instructions then you are stifling their creativity. I don’t think that’s true. The surest way to get a group of kids to lose interest is to hand a child a piece of paper and say, “draw a tree”. Most kids aren’t that excited to sit and draw a tree—I know I wouldn’t be—but if you give that tree some context, say “draw a tree with patterns”, then all of a sudden you have the children some wildly creative options.

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JEAN:  What do you do when faced with a child who lacks self confidence in his artistic ability? Or a student who is easily frustrated?

PATTY:  A frustrated child is rather rare in my art classes. Sometimes the frustrated child has other issues that make him more sensitive to instruction or even a physical presence, but I work with the classroom teacher to know what those boundaries are for that particular child. Overall, if I sense a child becoming frustrated, usually there is a specific reason for it: they have higher expectations for themselves, they don’t think they are artistic, they made a mistake and don’t know how to fix it, or the person next to them is bugging them. Whatever it is, I try to make the child see past the problem and view the art project as an experiment. Mostly I just ask questions until they can solve the problem themselves.

For the child who doesn’t think they are an artist, I feel its my job to change that opinion. I teach with these kids in mind and vary my subjects and techniques to make sure that one of my projects will resonate with that child.

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JEAN:  Do you and your students have any favorite art activities that you return to again and again?

PATTY:  Our ceramic unit is an absolute favorite. The kids are super excited when they see the hunks of clay in the art room. They can't wait to turn it into something. It’s the best medium for kids. For the teacher, the ceramic unit is by far the most time-consuming and there is never enough money in your contract to cover your time, but I wouldn’t dream of cutting it short. Way too fun. Just talking about it makes me excited!

JEAN:  How about your own family? How has being an art teacher affected how you approached or encouraged art making in your home, especially when your children were younger?

PATTY:  Here’s the thing; some children are more “artistic” than others. That’s a fact. I have 3 kids and only one is truly artistic. She has been ever since she could walk. I exposed all my children to art in various ways when they were really young but only my youngest gravitated towards the visual arts. My oldest son loves music and loves to write and my middle son likes rules, boundaries and all things linear, which doesn’t exactly scream artist. But they all have been exposed to art and have formed their own opinions (which, thankfully, are constantly changing).

Regardless of the children, I do art for me and my children see that.

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JEAN:  Do you think art exposure and art instruction is valuable even for those who are not "artistic?" And if so, why?

Patty:  Great question! Absolutely.  Exposing children to art during the formative school years reinforces that art is a necessary component to life, just like math, science, music and reading.  I teach in a low income school district and many of my students will experience art for the first time in my class. If you are reading this interview you already know art is important but many parents don’t have the interest/time/means. It’s a huge honor for me to introduce these children to art, many of whom have no idea what their artistic capacity will be. Some love art but don’t have the opportunity to develop their interest at home and others live in a home that places little emphasis on art. That’s all okay because as parents, it’s very hard to expose our kids to everything. Having art in school, in an art room where it’s okay to get messy, ensures that all kids have equal opportunity.

JEAN:  Anything else you would like to add?

PATTY:  Parents always ask me how they can enrich their child’s artistic interest. I tell them to make sure the child has someplace to draw, a few supplies and a free schedule. The best way to ignite imagination is boredom. Turn off the TV and leave your child alone. When I was young, I loved books. Not just reading them but illustrating the pictures in the books. I loved to copy, trace and dream. I did that for hours. Actually, I still do. Try not to judge how your child views art or goes about making art. It’s theirs to do with it what they will. Parents sometimes need to step back and allow them to create in whichever way suits them.

This only works for school-aged children so if you have anyone younger, don’t worry about advancing their art interest just yet. With little ones (3 and 4’s), it’s really important that art just be about exploration. Unfortunately this translates into one big mess!

JEAN: Thanks so much, Patty!

 I encourage you to explore Patty’s site, Deep Space Sparkle, which is a great resource for art teachers and those wishing to share art with their children. Read her 8 Tips for Teaching Art to Children or check out all her art lessons by grade, subject, or technique! There are some good ones under Art and Literature that I'd like to try with Maia soon!

***Art Lesson Plan Giveaway***

Artlessonplans Readers who leave a comment by Friday, November 25th at 12 midnight Eastern Standard Time will be entered into a random drawing for two of Patty’s art lesson plan e-booklets. Your choice of which two!

The random number generator picked 88 so congratulations go to Amanda for winning the set of Patty's art lesson plan e-booklets!

Thanks Patty, for your inspiration in the art room. You have a beautiful way of engaging all the students and I have learnt so much from you through your amazing website!

124 Comments

  • Reply
    Lisa
    November 22, 2011 at 6:53 am

    I was an elementary school teacher and I loved incorporating art in the classroom. How much cooler it would have been to have an art teacher like Patty around!

  • Reply
    molly
    November 22, 2011 at 6:53 am

    Great interview (as always) Jean. I love what she said about trying not to judge how your children think about or make art, a good reminder for me!

  • Reply
    Sadie
    November 22, 2011 at 7:05 am

    I follow Patty’s blog and love the lessons she shares. I would love o win two of her lesson books! Thanks for the interview with her and the opportunity to try to win.

  • Reply
    Rebecca Johnson
    November 22, 2011 at 7:11 am

    What wonderful ideas! Would have loved being a student in her class!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    November 22, 2011 at 7:15 am

    Jean, great interview with Patty ~ you girls ROCK!!!
    I enjoy reading – and relating – to you both….
    keep on doing what you’re doing!!
    thanks so much, LAURIE

  • Reply
    Alison
    November 22, 2011 at 8:10 am

    It would be nice to have some ideas as art does not come naturally to me.

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    Gina
    November 22, 2011 at 8:19 am

    I love this!! I have found Patty’s ideas online and tried a few and they worked great with my class! I would love to do more!

  • Reply
    Kristina
    November 22, 2011 at 8:23 am

    I wish that Patty had been my art teacher!!!!

  • Reply
    Gretchen
    November 22, 2011 at 8:40 am

    I am not a natural artist (Patty’s middle son sounds just like me!), so I need all the inspiration I can get. My daughter and I have already been working from Jean’s ideas. Thank you!

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    Annette Standrod
    November 22, 2011 at 8:53 am

    I could see myself being an art teacher one day. Enjoyed this interview. [email protected]

  • Reply
    Melanie Pitts
    November 22, 2011 at 8:59 am

    I love art for kids! I taught school for many years, and I loved to incorporate it in my classroom. Now that I homeschool, I want to incorporate art each week in my lessons.

  • Reply
    Stephanie H.
    November 22, 2011 at 9:03 am

    Working with ceramics was always my favorite art activity in elementary school- I still have most of my “masterpieces”!!

  • Reply
    Dianne Collatos
    November 22, 2011 at 9:25 am

    I will bring these ideas into our after school health club playroom—and get more messy !!!

  • Reply
    Heather N
    November 22, 2011 at 9:41 am

    My 5 year old loves anything art! Thank you for the opportunity to win the ebooklets.

  • Reply
    Lindsay Woodard
    November 22, 2011 at 9:44 am

    We live in Santa Barbara (next door to Goleta), but I was not familiar with Patty’s work. Now I’m definitely checking out her website!

  • Reply
    Lisa @ milkshake crafts
    November 22, 2011 at 10:12 am

    I love Patty’s ideas and her website. I visit often and have purchased several of her PDFs to use in the art classes that I teach in my backyard in the summer. I have also started an after-school art club at my daughter’s school for K-3, and most of our projects come from Deep Space Sparkle. Keep inspiring, Patty!

  • Reply
    Heather
    November 22, 2011 at 10:17 am

    As a homeschooling mom Patty’s web site it an amazing resource to add art into our curriculum!

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    Virginia murello
    November 22, 2011 at 10:28 am

    As a second year art teacher I love her website and lessons! Such an inspiration! I have a similar story, starting as a volunteer art teacher for my children’s school, now I get paid to do what I love.

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    Jeanette Rengel
    November 22, 2011 at 10:39 am

    I am from West Australia I enjoy Pattys website when not quite sure what to do when my fast finishers who are at least a day ahead of the others , then i look up the more ideas. it is the sharing of ideas that make it so good .I teach 460 children in visual arts and and been teaching for 20 years. I just love it.

  • Reply
    Connie Smith
    November 22, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Thanks for all the sharing of ideas and tips! For a classroom teacher, imagination and creativity works into all areas of my curriculum and Patty has inspired many projects tied in with literature and even math. You all are very generous with your talents!

  • Reply
    Brenda
    November 22, 2011 at 10:53 am

    I am thankful for you – you positively influence so many students and make teaching art so much fun!

  • Reply
    Tamara
    November 22, 2011 at 10:54 am

    I am a Year Two New Zealand Teacher, living and teaching children in an International School in Egypt. I absolutely love Deep Space Sparkle and Patty’s awesome resources and use so many of the wonderful ideas in my classroom. Even the lessons designed for older ones can be modified and suited to my younger ones who surprise me daily with their abilties! I love the interesting, fun, bright and beautiful ideas!
    :)

  • Reply
    Tamara
    November 22, 2011 at 10:58 am

    oops abilities…
    and great interview Jean-thanks! I will be following your blog from now on :)

  • Reply
    Amy Miller
    November 22, 2011 at 11:08 am

    I’ve been accessing deepspacesparkle.com for the last couple of years for inspiration and advice. I’ve used several of her lessons and my student’s have loved them. I continue to check back regularly and deepspacesparkle is my “go to” when I need a great lesson. Thank you, Patty!

  • Reply
    Sarah M
    November 22, 2011 at 11:11 am

    This was a fantastic interview, and the opportunity to win is just a bonus. I loved seeing the pictures she linked in the interview.
    Love that mask!
    Sarah M

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    Nancy
    November 22, 2011 at 11:11 am

    Patty, You are a huge inspiration to me on a regular basis. I teach art to 160 students, grades 1-4. I teach the elements and principles of art, and your projects fit in beautifully with whatever lesson I am teaching. Thank you for your excellent approach to children and art!

  • Reply
    Michelle
    November 22, 2011 at 11:13 am

    I am a volunteer parent/art teacher at my childrens elementary school and Deep Space Sparkle is one of my go to websites for inspiration!! Thank you so much Patty for sharing with us!

  • Reply
    Kerstin
    November 22, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Great interview! It’s great to see someone passionate about art working with their school system.

  • Reply
    Adriana
    November 22, 2011 at 11:33 am

    The one thing that really made me say , “oh i forgot that” was when u mentioned that a childs interest in art changes and that ‘s ok…thanks for reminding me!!!!
    Happy Thanksgiving!!!

  • Reply
    Amy D.
    November 22, 2011 at 11:36 am

    I love her comments about how she works with children who don’t see themselves as artists. I feel the same way about myself, and it’s always nice to have someone cheering you on!

  • Reply
    Tara
    November 22, 2011 at 11:59 am

    I’ve been following Patty’s blog for about a year now and she truly has some fantastic advice and lessons! She is my inspiration!

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    Olivia
    November 22, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    I love Deep Space Sparkle! I always find great ideas to keep my girls interested and exploring art!!

  • Reply
    Nicole
    November 22, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    Wow, I can’t wait to explore Deep Sparkle some more. Great interview! Thanks for resource.

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    Leslie Kilian
    November 22, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    Wonderful interview. I like the idea of giving kids a little direction and seeing where they take it. Thank you for the introduction to Patty and her site!

  • Reply
    Marlies
    November 22, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    We have enjoyed exploring Patty’s website now for a long time and have used many different techniques with great success. I teach a Kindergarten Grade 1 combined class. (Full day Kindergarten). I have passed her site on to numerous colleagues and my student teacher. My 10 year old daughter loves to try out each technique. The students are all artists in our class! Thanks Patty!

  • Reply
    Marla
    November 22, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    yay! it would be great to have some fresh ideas on hand…Thank You!

  • Reply
    Colleen @F5th @pinterestmama
    November 22, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Jean and Patty, I love both of you! You both have amazing ideas and are such inspirations to me and our homeschooling here.
    Have pinned many of your ideas and posts on my Pinterest pinboards.
    Excellent interview…
    Mine love making masks and doing ceramics too.
    At the moment, our home is a sea of aluminum foil, cardboard, and paint, as they took e break from doing Thanksgiving and Native American arts and crafts and have gotten into knights, as they chose some books about knights from our library and bookstore.
    So we have shields, suits of armor, and crests being made at the moment. Fun!
    Would literally love to win the pdfs from Patty.
    Would actually love to buy one of everything from her.
    Am going to have some surgery and am thinking that by having her pdfs available for my boys, i could prepare all of the materials for each lesson kit and then, my friends who are going to pitch in and help with homeschooling while I recover could choose to work on these with my sons.
    Well, thanks to both of you wonderful women for all that you do!
    Have a happy Thanksgiving!
    Colleen (a.k.a Pinterest Mama)

  • Reply
    Traci Lee
    November 22, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Great interview! I follow Patty’s blog in search of inspiration and ideas. I am an art teacher living and working in Enid, Oklahoma. I am currently the director of an art program for elementary schools. I appreciate her thoughts about her ceramics unit …time consuming yes, expensive yes, but worth it YES. I am firing some pieces today. Our facebook page in Creative Arts Enid. Please check it out and like us!

  • Reply
    Sarah
    November 22, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    What a fun giveaway!

  • Reply
    Leah
    November 22, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    I LOVE Deep Space Sparkle! Great, colorful ideas that allow for success for all!!

  • Reply
    courtney
    November 22, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    wonderful interview, I loved the part about giving instructions is not taking away from the creativity. Thank you!

  • Reply
    The Orchard
    November 22, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    I read Patty’s web site all the time and have used many of her art ideas with my own kids and the kids I care for after school. I would LOVE to win some of her lesson plans!
    Great interview and thanks for the giveaway!
    Cheers,
    Tricia

  • Reply
    Nicole
    November 22, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Very interesting. Thanks for the interview. I’ll have to check out her website for ideas at home.

  • Reply
    FroggyMama
    November 22, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Wow – wonderful interview, and I can’t wait to peruse the links, I’m an artsy mom through and through! Thank you!

  • Reply
    Laura O' Callaghan
    November 22, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    I have used some ideas from her blog and find them great as I find it difficult to come up with ideas. I would love these lessons!

  • Reply
    heidi
    November 22, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm. I love art with kids; looking at, creating and celebrating the process. As a classroom teacher I try to integrate, as often as possible, art with the other curricular areas. It allows for one more opportunity to learn and deepen understanding of the content. And it is flexible and each child’s work is unique which teaches a very good lesson.

  • Reply
    Beth Carter
    November 22, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    I love following Patty on FB and Pinterest as well as her blog. She has remotivated my art lessons! Thank you!!

  • Reply
    Danielle
    November 22, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    This is great. Thanks for such a valuable giveaway offer!

  • Reply
    Cathy
    November 22, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    Love your blog and your enthusiasm for art exploration. You make me want to be a better art teacher/artsy mom. Thanks!!

  • Reply
    Heather
    November 22, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    This is wonderful! We’d love to win this for our homeschooling!

  • Reply
    Monique
    November 22, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    Thank you for your blog. It has been a great source of reference for me. This is my first year as a voulunteer art teacher in my children’s elementary school. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience.

  • Reply
    deb mcmillen
    November 22, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Awesome I loved the article I love love ART Due to budget cuts in our district We have the ART DOCENT Program where volenteer parents come in and teach art to classes in our schools and u dont have to have much art experience You pick an Artist talk about them and then plan an art project to the artist I volenteered for 6yr in my daughters special ed class to do art for them (now shes in High school and loves art I was amazed at her pictures an so proud) Now I create easy craft/art project for my autism class and I love the creations they come up with..personality shines when they draw the final smile on that face or add their touch…Also always looking for new ideas thanks

  • Reply
    Roseanne Kibblewhite
    November 22, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    I love pattys blog, and with two artistic kids at home and teaching a small afterschool art group, her site has been invalueable, and now thanks to patty i have discovered this wonderful site … the artful parent.

  • Reply
    Monica
    November 22, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Great interview; I hope that when my boys go to school they have a wonderful art teacher like her. :)

  • Reply
    christine
    November 22, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    I’m planning my to be 7 year old daughter’s art themed b-day party and I’m inspired daily by the artful parent and would love some of Patty’s lessons for the party.

  • Reply
    Carla
    November 22, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    So interesting, I look forward to checking out Patty’s blog. I never considered myself visually artistic as a child but I always loved art class in school thanks to a wonderful woman much like Patty.

  • Reply
    Patti Holcombe
    November 22, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    I have shared Patty’s site with friends and my daughter’s Kinder teacher. I love her lessons and am thankful for her sharing such quality art for kids!
    Wonderful interview.

  • Reply
    Dena
    November 22, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Hi Jean,
    I loved reading an interview from a teacher who is passionate about what she does! Very inspiring. And, “deep space sparkle”, coolest name ever!

  • Reply
    Katie
    November 22, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    Thanks for introducing me to Patty & her blog! What another great source of inspiration!

  • Reply
    kidzart-salinas!comcast.net
    November 22, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    I love Deep Space Sparkle – the lessons are great, so creative and ‘doable’ for the kids.

  • Reply
    Christie
    November 22, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    I, too, follow Patty’s blog. I love reading her common-sense approach to working with children!!

  • Reply
    Heather
    November 22, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    I Love Deep Space Sparkle! I teach art to K-6 and 3 classes at our Jr.-Sr. high school and get many, many, many lessons from Patty’s blog. I always look forward to new additions from Patty.

  • Reply
    Robyn
    November 22, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    When I was teaching, Art classes were my favorite I loved doing hands on activities with the kids. Now Im a mum of 2 almost 3 under 5 I love getting ideas from others on how to incorporate more art into our days.

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    mrs jones
    November 22, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE Deep Space sparkle. The ideas and examples make teaching a lesson so easy. The lessons are timely and easily adapted if the suggested materials are unavailable. I too like others look forward to more lessons from you.

  • Reply
    Sarah
    November 22, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    Thanks for the link to the great new resource. I would love to win some ebooks in order to get some new art ideas for our family!

  • Reply
    Dawn Bullock
    November 22, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    I love Deep Space Sparkle! I started teaching art from K-8 at a Christian school this year with a low budget and would love to get more ideas. Thank you so much for helping keep the arts alive!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    November 22, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    I have been teaching elementary art for 9 years. I always love finding new lessons for me and my students.

  • Reply
    Patty
    November 22, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    Wow! Just thought I’d check in to see if anyone left a comment! What a nice feeling it is to read so many warm, thoughtful greetings. I’m SO pleased that my site is helpful! Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  • Reply
    Amy Fields
    November 22, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    I would love a chance to win! Thanks for the great interview!!

  • Reply
    Kiasa
    November 22, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    I love deep space sparkle! I have so many projects flagged to someday do with my kids! Patty is very talented!

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    sara
    November 22, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    I’d love tolearn more ways to teach art to my kiddos!

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    Beth
    November 22, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    I can’t believe that Patty and I had almost the exact same beginning, although I went into Montessori teaching and I am teaching art in my classroom! Wow, I had no idea. I turn to Deep Space Sparkle many weeks to get fresh ideas. After almost 20 years, I need to update my art and Patty does that for me! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • Reply
    Michele
    November 22, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    I’ve been teaching for many years, and picked up an art class in my daily schedule a few years ago. I just found Deep Space Sparkle a couple weeks ago. I’ve picked up some great ideas to use. What a great resource!

  • Reply
    krista
    November 22, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    I teach an intro art class for college students and these projects have already given me inspiration via a link on pinterest!! I would LOVE the lesson plans. Interesting to hear her personal story, sounds like a great mom :)

  • Reply
    Andrea Aeschliman
    November 22, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    I recently discovered Deep Space Sparkle and LOVE looking at all your creative ideas! So grateful for wonderful teachers like yourself that are willing to share so much. I, too, am an elementary art teacher in Missouri and have around 550 students so I can connect with that as well. Loved reading more about you!

  • Reply
    nadja
    November 22, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    I am just starting an after-school art program at my daughters Elementary school. I am so excited and I will look for a lot of guidance and advice on Deep Space Sparkle!
    Thank you for sharing all your ideas and projects!!!

  • Reply
    Marcia
    November 22, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    I love Deep Space Sparkle and would love a chance to win the lesson plan packets!

  • Reply
    tobie
    November 22, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    What a great interview! I love Patty and her site deep space sparkle I have done so many successful project with her guidance.

  • Reply
    Vicki
    November 22, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    I love working on art projects with my 3 year old. She inspires me!

  • Reply
    Elaine Ee in HKG
    November 22, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    Thanks for introducing Patty to me. I am now trawling her site for more art ideas to do with my two girls.

  • Reply
    Dana
    November 22, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    I was referred to Patty’s site from another art teacher friend, thanks for the great ideas and fun interview! I love having some open ended ideas to challenge my students when we take a break from the wonderful (but rigorous) art curriculum in our district.

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    [email protected]
    November 22, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    Very interesting how something as simple as outlining can make an art project seem complete!

  • Reply
    Pia
    November 22, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    Interesting interview. Its nice to read about how she came into art teaching as I am considering entering teaching as a career change when my youngest starts school.
    I also seem to have one child who is naturally drawn to art and the other to music- so it always helps to have some inspiration for all our home art activities!
    Thanks for sharing

  • Reply
    amy
    November 22, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    so glad to find your blog…it is very inspirational!

  • Reply
    Rachelle | TinkerLab
    November 23, 2011 at 12:19 am

    Awesome interview, Jean and Patty! How is it that I haven’t been over to Patty’s site yet? It’s fabulous!!! I just spent the past 30 minutes soaking it all up, and remembered that I should pop back over here to say “thank you” and I’m thrilled to know more about Deep Space Sparkle. As a former art volunteer and classroom art teacher, I can relate to Patty’s point of view, and I wish wish wish her blog were around when I was teaching. It’s such a gift!

  • Reply
    Amber
    November 23, 2011 at 12:40 am

    I was thrown into teaching art class for fifth and sixth grade a while back. At first, I was overwhelmed but then I came across a great blog that patty had set up. Now I love teaching art to my students, and ALL of my students love art (yes, even those hard to reach boys too). I can’t thank her enough. She is always inspiring and helpful. I’m so glad you interviewed her so that others can read about her art loving personality. As you can see from the million comments left on this interview, she is a very gifted, talented, priceless art teacher. I would gladly refer people to her websight and lesson plans.

  • Reply
    Cathy
    November 23, 2011 at 1:21 am

    I love Patty’s website and all the projects I have tried have been very successful. I totally agree when she says that art is a necessary component to life, just like math, science, music and reading. Thanks for inspiring me and many other teachers.

  • Reply
    Amanda
    November 23, 2011 at 1:53 am

    Thanks Patty, for your inspiration in the art room. You have a beautiful way of engaging all the students and I have learnt so much from you through your amazing website!

  • Reply
    Ginigin
    November 23, 2011 at 3:32 am

    I enjoyed the interview and now follow deepspacesparkle. Always looking for ideas for doing art with kids. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Becc
    November 23, 2011 at 4:08 am

    What a wonderful interview. I confess that I have followed both blogs for some time now. I have used many ideas from Patty in my classes for training teachers.you are both inspiring women!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    November 23, 2011 at 7:44 am

    My Art Docent introduced me to your site. I finally feel as if I am teaching art and creativity in my classroom. Thank you so much!

  • Reply
    Sara Downes
    November 23, 2011 at 8:05 am

    OhHH! Can’t wait to learn more about he…. I love open ended explorative art, some times people including myself get so hooked up on the product than the process. Always looking for the opportunity to learn more!!

  • Reply
    Kristen
    November 23, 2011 at 8:07 am

    Thank you for introducing me to Patty’s website. We recently moved to a school district with no art program, so I try to incorporate as much as I can at home with my kids.

  • Reply
    Kathy Musick
    November 23, 2011 at 9:26 am

    I love Patty’s ideas and I visit her site periodically for fresh lessons in my classroom! I especially appreciate her view of creating art being an experiment. I have a student that always says “I can not do this” before we even begin. I am going to continue to listen to find out why. I feel like it is my job to change her view of herself no being an artist and develop an appreciation for the process.
    Thank you for freely sharing!

  • Reply
    Tery
    November 23, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Love Patty’s web site! Refer to it often!

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    Kelly Adams
    November 23, 2011 at 10:08 am

    We love her site especially the night skyline.

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    Leah Seneng
    November 23, 2011 at 10:51 am

    Wonderful interview! Lots of good points! I teach art in the after school program and I look first to Patty’s website. I especially love the Mola project. The colors are great and the kids come up with amazing stuff.

  • Reply
    Jill
    November 23, 2011 at 11:34 am

    Love Deep Space Sparkle! I can’t tell you how many of her lessons I have used. I teach art too so she supplies plenty of inspiration!`

  • Reply
    Michelle
    November 23, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Great interview! It was nice to get to know a little bit more about Patty! I have been enjoying using Deep Space Sparkle for art ideas in my home school for a while now. I have 3 boys-ages 7, 11 and 13, and I have found the lessons adaptable for all of them to complete successfully. They always turn out so great!!

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    Heather
    November 23, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    I am new to teaching elementary art this year – I was in middle school before I went down to elementary. Patty has been a great inspiration to me as I am beginning to collect and share with others a wealth of ideas she so eagerly and willingly shares with her fellow art teachers. I quickly take away a wide variety of strategies to simply implement into my classroom everyday. Her vision for the arts and her students is contagious. Thank you Patty for how you’ve opened a new door to the arts for not only myself and my teaching career but also for so many others in teaching and the arts.

  • Reply
    Kelsi
    November 23, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    Thanks for the great interview!

  • Reply
    Stephanie Diane
    November 23, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    I’m having a good time introducing art to these kids, and this is a wonderful way to do it. I am not naturally artistic, but want to be artsy, and want these kids to tap into their artistic spirit.

  • Reply
    Alison
    November 23, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    I run a daycare and just love getting more ideas for art with the kids…

  • Reply
    Karla
    November 23, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Very interesting interview about her own journey as a teacher and how she uses art to unlock the creativity in children. My own three children also approach art very differently and it was a nice affirmation of the unique styles.

  • Reply
    Danielle
    November 23, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    This is so great!! Love these lesson plans!

  • Reply
    Terri
    November 23, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    I love Deep Space Sparkle! It’s such an inspiration to me as I try to introduce art to my two young children.

  • Reply
    Janice Skivington
    November 23, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    Patty, I have found your lessons to be a lifesaver in my beginner years of teaching. Thank you for your generous posting and sharing.
    Janice

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    Christine Quillian
    November 23, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    I work full-time in the finance industry yet was an art history major in college. I also have three little girls (5, 3 and 3). It means a lot to me to read your blog posts and pick up inspiring little snippets I can try to use with my girls. Thank you for this gift.

  • Reply
    Christina
    November 23, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    Patty’s website has become a staple for new Art educators in our county. So many of them are beginning new programs at their schools and don’t know where to begin with a limited budget and supplies. Her amazing, detailed photos help so much and encourage these teachers to branch out and try new projects. They are more confident and continue to learn from her experience and positive approach to teaching Art. Deep Space Sparkle tells it like it is and shares a wealth of knowledge to all.

  • Reply
    Mari Carini
    November 23, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    Well — both of you women are an inspiration! I frequently follow you! I work with 2-3-4& 5 yr olds, and have been grateful for the ideas and project you share. Will send you some pics in the coming days!

  • Reply
    Kym S
    November 23, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    Thanks for this interview! I am a homeschool mom who is not artistic, but one of my children is artistic. I know that doing more art projects would boost her love of learning. I appreciate reading from the art teacher’s perspective and I am reminded that it is so important for me to have these supplies on hand and make sure to have time for creativity!

  • Reply
    peace love and rainbows
    November 24, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    she has a great blog love her art lessons

  • Reply
    Lisa
    November 25, 2011 at 7:35 am

    Hi Patty,
    Your ideas have inspired some great projects in my three Art rooms. When I am planning my next lessons, whether landscape, portraits, seasonal, or…, I often go to Deep Space Sparkle to see what your thoughts are. Thanks so much for your web site, it gives me a teaching friend right in my classroom! Lisa

  • Reply
    KellyH
    November 25, 2011 at 10:43 am

    I have DeepSpaceSparkle bookmarked, and have used a few ideas with my 6yo already. The interview was very encouraging.
    Thanks!
    KellyH

  • Reply
    Erica
    November 25, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    Love it! I am in Brazil teaching abandoned children. I am finding that art is indeed a type of therapy for them. Of course, I only have an hour of internet a week so this little ebook would be such a delight for me and my kids. Thanks for this interview! Erica

  • Reply
    megmeg
    November 25, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    wow,children’s creativity is amazing! i am kindergarton teacher and trying to achive reggio emilia’s approach. your art ideas and lessons are so attractive to me. love your blog!!

  • Reply
    Cara
    November 25, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    I love going to Deep Space Sparkle and checking out the new art activities that Patty creates. This is a great resource for me to use as a Elementary Teacher. I love that the instructions are brief but include lots of pictures, so I can adapt it to my teaching style.

  • Reply
    Lynda Thurman
    November 25, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    I would love to try your lesson plans, I’m just discovering your things and I’m very excited to check things out! Thankyou!

  • Reply
    Sonja Perteet
    November 25, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Art in education…especially open-ended art…one of my top interests…I will be following Deep Space Sparkle on FB….

  • Reply
    HelenT
    November 25, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    I like the clay project and around the world themes!

  • Reply
    Jill P
    November 25, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Can’t wait to explore her blog!

  • Reply
    Lyudmyla Tarelkine
    November 25, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    Ohh!!! I really need that e-booklet!!!!! I love, love, love all what she does!!! And if I win, it would be one more step to grow confident artist in me!

  • Reply
    Epiphius
    November 25, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    So many creative ideas! Thanks for doing the interview!

  • Reply
    Tania jayasuriya
    November 26, 2011 at 11:57 am

    Thanks for all the ideas.This is really helpful for children with special educational needs that I teach.Looking forward for more inspiration.

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