Purple and Sarah Show

Last weekend I attended the Pennsylvania Art Educators Conference in Harrisburg to share my thesis work with other art teachers in PA. I had a wonderful presentation with my colleague Gloria Martin on the importance of reflection as an art teacher and teaching relevancy in the classroom. Reflection and Relevancy being key words that I later shared in common with Dr Wanda Knight from Penn State University.  Dr Knight was giving a similar talk at the conference.

The conference was a great opportunity to make connections and build better practices. One art practice and tool I gained was a Gelli Arts mono printing plate. Lou Ann Gleason, founder of Gelli Arts LLC was at the conference with a printing activity. After a few prints, I was in love with the plates. I came home with two different sizes of mono prints 8 x 10 and 5 x 7.

Gelli Arts printing plates make great mono prints using acrylic paint, a brayer, and leaves, stencils or other flat objects.  My daughter, Purple Ray, and I took advantage of a mild sick day to get into the studio and produce a couple of holiday cards and art pieces.

Check out the photos below, and if you are interested in the Gelli Arts plate, check out the website here.

end of post…please check out past posts and please check back for updates to the Purple and Sarah Show soon!

An image made with my daughter Purple. Photoshop was used to create a new image. A recycled window is used as a frame.
An image made with my daughter Purple. Photoshop was used to create a new image. A recycled window is used as a frame.

Fall semester as a part of my Masters Program requirements I took a course called Technologies for Special Populations taught by Teaching Artist Kate Gugliotta.

In this online course, I learned the essentials for technology integration in the classroom, gaining the skills educators need to use tools in the 21st century classroom such as: wikis, podcasts, blogs, word processors, web design, iPads, and presentation software effectively. Myself and my classmates explored standards-based solutions for more interactive lesson plans with the use of applications such as: iBooks, Pages, Speak It! and Dragon Dictation. We learned to master and integrate technology to enhance our subject material to meet learning goals and create rich, adaptive media environments for special populations in the art education classroom. We were required to design, field test, and document a lesson sequence incorporating multimedia applications and assisted technologies.

We created some really cool projects and I would like to share them below with you, especially the ones which I have created with my daughter Purple Ray.

Please feel free to check them out and leave a comment.


Assignment where I used Photoshop to edit a picture of a painting Purple and I collaborated on.

The King and Queen Animation:

For this short animation my daughter created a story. We gathered the characters and the background. I then shot stills as she moved the characters. After I uploaded the images to iMovie, she did a voice over. We had to do this several times because of timing and the original story not matching up to the stills perfectly.

Building stories with the images to go along is a great way to work on sequencing and literacy.


A sketch from memory of Purple dancing in the morning, made on Sketch X.
A sketch from memory of Purple dancing in the morning, made on Sketch X.

Purple and Sarah Podcast:

For the Purple and Sarah Show I first created interview questions for my daughter. We wrote down songs each time we heard them on the radio so we were ready to add them. We recorded our interview on voice memo on the iPhone. For the songs we found them on youtube and recorded them from another iPhone. I then uploaded it to Garageband and did cuts at each change of song and deleted our extra conversations. I also looked up images and urls to include for the chapters. I’ve never used Garageband before and was not sure how to delete sections or make certain parts louder. I had fun figuring it out. At one point I reopened it and it had no sounds, I was a little nervous but reopened it without saving and it was fine. I also could not figure out how to export it as an mp3, so I handy dandy Googled it. When exporting as an MP3 it lost the images and URLs which I added, which could be apart of the lesson.


I believe this would be good for students with special needs because they have an opportunity to talk about themselves and think in terms of art vocabulary. They also may have a favorite song and this would be a place for them to go back to all of their songs. They also get to learn a few different technologies and search the web, putting real artists images together with the songs they hear on the radio. They also get to play radio host, making connections to what they hear.

Lastly, I got to have a great time with my daughter and asking her questions that allowed her to reflect and connect.


Purple is now creating her own Sketch X drawings without any prompting!

“The Castle” by Purple Ray. “At the top of the throne room in the middle there is a gem made out of bird feathers. It is sparkly and shaped like a bird”–Purple Ray 12/2014