It's all gotta go somewhere

Art, In Review

On the last week of school, art teacher Jane sent home all D’s Kalama year art in a nice portfolio, and handed me 2 larger and delicate pieces so I could be sure to transport them without them getting grubbied up…

We have really noticed the steep increase in D’s fine motor skills this year, and I attribute this in large part to art class. Maybe because it was new, or because I helped a lot in the art classroom this year, but D seems to have really absorbed what Jane taught him.

At the Art Show earlier this year, D was keen to point out the aspects of his butterfly art that were important to him. I was going to simply relay these in the blog, and then I realized D could tell the “viewers at home” all about it himself (kudos to the Gardner culture that promotes students being able to present their work to their peers and adults…and to YouTube, where D watches a lot of sports events, with after-event commentary by the players, which I think is also at work here!!).

Abstract Work



HundertWasser-inspired work
(see more about this interesting architect-turned-painter)



Butterfly in Flight

(oil pastel and watercolor)


On his butterfly, Dashiell wants to point out:

  • he used the white oil pastel technique for the clouds (color with white oil pastel then paint over, and the paint won’t stick, resulting in a clean white)
  • he didn’t center the butterfly, making a stronger composition
  • the butterfly is close up and coming off the page, adding drama
  • he made his signature subtle and painterly by using a related color for it






(tempra paint. appears in Gardner Calendar on September)


Jane selected D’s sunflower for the calendar because of D’s choice of colors in the background.




Self Portrait

(oil pastel colored background with pen on plastic overlay)




Blue Birds

(water color and pen)


 D’s bluebirds got selected for use in the trimester-end newsletter. This is his most recent major art piece, and the attention to detail and fine motor skills impressed us!





Fall Self Portrait

(blocking soccer ball as goalie)


Shape Art


(under the blue flap is a pen drawing of a car in the garage)

Fish Swimming





  1. Grandpa Don

    That was a better artist talk the I gave for my photography exhibit!

    • Maida

      Ha! Actually I didn’t have the camera at the ready when he explained some of the pieces to me naturally, without prompting. I think he just repeats to me what his teacher said, but still, it’s in his brain!

  2. Grandma Beverly

    As an art teacher of 27 years, teaching thousands of Kindergarten through 6th grade students, I am truly humbled! Dash was able to beautifully articulate his knowledge of the artist and his reasoning behind his execution of his choice of color and contrast. He blew me away. His art work is powerful, showing amazing details and patterns and well thought out composition.

    If any of this work was created in my class I would be looking for ways to enter it in outside exhibits to proudly profile the artist, my art program and our school district. Kudos to all who helped him achieve this level of artistry.

    I eagerly await more art work!!!

    • Maida

      Thank you for your unique perspective! One of the reasons we committed to the school was because we are so impressed with the art program. There is a framed watercolor piece hanging up at school that shows the 1st and 2nd graders portraits of birds, and you’d swear they were done by an adult…!

      Even if D doesn’t end up excelling at 2-d art, he will at least have tried his hand at it and had early success!

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