Thursday, August 8, 2013

Paint Brush Organization and a Change for Elementary Art Jobs

Sorry about all of these "boring" art room posts. I haven't been spending much time working on curriculum as of yet.  Most of my time has been committed to organizing this huge high school art room!  Yesterday I had to go into school for a half-day training on diabetes and I spent another two hours in the classroom, working on organizing paint brushes, sink cabinets and putting away more supplies.

Currently my elementary room is being cleaned, but I have decided to alter one of my classroom management strategies in that classroom.  Last year, I had this job list on my bulletin board in the front of the room, and each table had a separate job.  This did not work for the older kids, and didn't work very well most of the time with the younger kids, especially when painting.  Students would finish early or extremely late, thus not being able to do their particular job until others finished, so I'm altering the way I do the job list.

Last year I had a paint palette with colored paint splots on each table according to the table color (see this post from last year).  This year, I've modified them a bit.  In planning ahead, I am going to make colored copies of this original (so I can completely replace the signs half way through the year when they get junky looking) and then color each palette appropriately.  The tables will still be color coded for easy handing out of supply bins, but now, instead of each table having a specific job, the seats are going to be numbered and each person at each table will have a specific job to do at their table...
~Supply bins (get and put away for your table, make sure it's organized before putting it away!)
~Paint supplies (get, clean and put away paint supplies for your table)
~Wash and dry table
~Pass out and hand out artwork

Onto the high school of the drawers in the room was FULL with old paint brushes. I think this drawer was the worst one for my organizational OCD!  They were mixed together, broken, hard, and a lot had bad hair days!  I did toss a lot of the brushes because I was pleasantly surprised that the previous teacher did order new brushes for this year.  I went through all the old brushes and kept the ones I felt were still worthy of being used and tossed the others.  I don't want to complain about the previous art teacher, because she was great, but she always complained about how the students didn't take care of the art materials in the high school.  When I looked at this drawer, it made me wonder why they would even want to take care of the materials based on the way they were stored!

Now, the paint brushes are organized between three drawers instead of one, and I haven't put out all the new paint brushes either.  I actually plan on locking the two drawers with the new brushes until the older ones start to peeter out.  Students will be expected to clean their own brushes and to place them back in the correct bin within the drawer at the end of class.

I received my new acrylic for the high school room.  When I was in high school art, we used the Galeria Acrylics and I've stuck with that brand at home for my own art.  I bought the huge classroom pack of the Galeria acrylics for the high school room and have placed half of them in this drawer next to the paint brushes.

These are extra brushes I had purchased (without knowing the other teacher had already ordered brushes before she left), so they are being stashed away in a cabinet for future use.

I almost forgot about these cabinets by the sink...I tackled those yesterday as well and I found that there are A LOT of quarts of gesso and acrylic gloss!  I shouldn't have to order any of that for a  few years!


  1. Ooh, those old brushes! I'm currently in Kennebunkport Maine and in a cute little shop here, I found (way too expense to even TOUCH, let alone buy) these tall slender containers either made from or cast from old paintbrushes glued together vertically side-by-side in a circle (does that make sense?). One was a brilliant silver and another was more of an ivory color. I need to try to make one! I need old brushes!

    1. I may actually be able to help you out! I have three bins of old paint brushes still in my elementary room that I've held into for the three years I've been there so far and never used. I have new brushes on the side for that room also that I haven't opened up yet...what size and thickness of brushes are you looking for? I have a Bim of old easel brushes, a bin of the cheap plastic watercolor brushes and a bin of acrylic brushes...

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