Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Happy Art Teacher - Butterfly Installation

What makes an art teacher happy? A new and successful art installation- in honor of Cultural Arts Day 2016~ Brazil! Hundreds of butterflies that can withstand the weather (on Tyvek with permanent marker, sewn to a fishing net). Thank you to the amazing volunteers and talented K-5 artists!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Water Conservation Contest Semi-Finalist

Congratulations to Jane W. (5th grade) who was recognized for being a semi-finalist in the Water Conservation Challenge poster contest. To see a complete list and slideshow of winning and semi-finalist art, visit Encinal School and Ms. Noon appreciate Jane's commitment to saving our Earth's most precious resource and creativity!

Art Takes a Bus Ride Winners

Congratulations to Sophia B. and Julia G. for their winning 'Art Takes a Bus Ride' designs. For the next year (through spring 2016), the girls' art will adorn the side of a SamTrans bus. Look for the bus on El Camino and all the winners' art on the inside of all SamTrans buses.

Chuck Close-inspired Abe Painting

Chuck Close-inspired Abe Painting (photograph by Laura Hamilton)

Spring of 2015: 90+ 3rd graders and Ms. Noon studied American artist Chuck Close. Each student was assigned at least 2 paintings (6"x12") and had to recreate the image using only concentric shapes and the correct color palette and values. Chuck Close is an inspiring artist who has overcome a lot throughout his life. We viewed this short video    and looked at his book Chuck Close, Up Close.

Some key points from his life: Close has learning disabilities (dyslexia and face blindness). Because of his face blindness (he can't remember people's faces), he began painting huge portraits of people in such an accurate way they look like photographs ("photorealism"). Close's father died when he was 11 years old. In 1988, totally out of the blue, he suffered a rare spinal artery collapse. This injury is usually the result of a severe accident although he was not involved in any accident. Today he is paralyzed (quadriplegic). In the video you will see how me manages to paint on such a large scale still. Before the "event", he was starting to move towards a looser style. After it, he moved even more to an almost mosaic-style of concentric shapes that look abstract up close but as you step away shape the faces of many of his friends.

This 7' x 8' painting was a hit at the spring Fine Arts Festival. An Encinal family offered to give Abe a proper home and donated a generous amount to the Encinal PTO. Laura Hamilton photographed the piece along with the children so we can all enjoy "Abe" for years to come. Thank you Laura!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Painted Pencil Posts

Sunaina (Encinal student), summer 2014

We love our pencil posts that Ms. Noon and volunteers painted the summer of 2014. This hallway is a lot more cheerful and shows our love of writing and art. Our inspiration:

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Willow Hut, Basket Weaving & Play

Buddy Bench


Redwood Tree Stumps, courtesy of J.T.S Tree Service                                                               

1 of 2 Chalkboard & Water Paint Walls

Mrs. Noon has been on a quest to provide more creative outlets on the playground for students. Play is a valuable part of the day for all children. Why not make our play spaces more aesthically pleasing, creative and diverse? A Creative Play Advisory group with Mrs. Noon (2011-12) used the design thinking process to develop spaces and ideas (sand, chalk, clay, water, marble runs, etc). Two Jeannie Ritchie grants (provided by MPAEF) in 2012-13 & 2013-14 added giant blocks to both the upper and K playground:
Outlast Blocks Grant (Ms. Merk)                         Imagination Playground Grant (Mrs. Noon)               

This year Mrs. Noon’s focus has been on the kinder yard as we are currently prototyping tree stumps as stepping stones, 2 chalkboard walls, Outlast building blocks, a buddy bench and introducing our…
This is what we hope our Willow Hut will look like some day
Living Willow Hut!  
30, 7 foot long willow sticks were planted in the ground on May 16. As soon as roots grow, then shoots should appear and the new growth will be woven together to form a tight “hut”. Students are waiting patiently, Mrs. Noon is watering diligently, and K-5 artists are studying Ohlone basket weaving. The Ohlones are master basket weavers and Encinal students are learning more about the People, plant biology & native plants, and basket weaving using natural (willow shoots, sedge & bracken fern roots) and synthetic materials. Ask your student what a spoke is, how the Ohlone cooked in wooden baskets and if their baskets really could hold water. View the baskets here! Mrs. Noon hopes to pass on the Ohlone’s respect for nature and native plants, beauty in form and function, attention to detail and resourcefulness through this unit. Find out more about California basket making here: California Parks- information on Indian Basketry. Did you know a traditional Ohlone basket takes almost 3,000 hours to weave and could use 20,000 stitches? Our baskets are taking 2-4 art classes. We couldn’t think of a better activity to do while we wait for the willow to grow! Students have really enjoyed learning about this art form, reading selections from The Ohlone Way by Malcom Margolin (young adult/high school age appropriate book in it's entirety) and learning about local artist...

...Linda Yamane, Ohlone basket weaver.
Ms. Yamane, a Rumsien Ohlone from the Monterey Bay area, is almost single-handedly preserving traditional Ohlone basket making. She also is working hard to preserve the language of her people. To learn more about Ms. Yamane and California basket weaving, click on the links below.  
Basketmaking links:

***Spark! video on Julia Parker's basket weaving & Pomo legacy*** (a great video) 

California Indian Baskets - State Park website  

Video - Life in the Arts, Linda Yamane  
Teachers- "Cliff Notes" from Life in the Arts on Yamane 

First few chapters of Margolin's 'The Ohlone Way' 

Andrew's basket, 4th grade                                                                                                                  Helena's basket, 3rd

Mrs. Noon would like to thank:
Encinal PTO, Ms. Merk & the K teachers, Ms. Von der Linden, Principal Burns, Mrs. Scott, JTs Tree Service, Ahmad, Ruben, Leo, Russell, Alex, MPAEF, and the Dutton-Gillett family


*Summer 2015 update on the WillowWondering why one corner of the kinder playground is fenced off? May of 2014 we planted 30 willow plants. Only a few survived some rough conditions. One year later we are trying slightly different willow (11" rather than 7') in much better conditions. Thank you to Jim of for providing complimentary replacement willow. Hopefully in a few years will have a beautiful willow hut. Patience is a virtue! Please let Ms. Noon know if you can help water the willow this summer. Thank you!

Next steps (wish list):
* Playhouse (Encinal community- let Mrs. Noon know if you would like to build a playhouse). We love the open look of these houses:

*Wheelbarrow, part of the Outlast block set
click here to view the lovely wheelbarrow on the kinders' wishlist

*More tree stumps 

*Never a shortage of inspiration on this website. Search around a bit, you'll be glad you did.

*My Pinterest board for the K yard:

*Outdoor Kitchen ? Water play ? Music center ?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Cultural Arts Day (India) - follow up

Double Rainbow! The clouds parted and the rain held off for Cultural Arts Day 2014. The day was a success with beautiful presentations and explorations through India's people, history, art, dance, food, sports, clothing, etc. Thank you to all the parent volunteers for your hard work. The kids were engaged, calm, inspired and enjoying themselves. Below are a few photographs from the day...
(Double Rainbow photograph by Tomas Ybarrola)

                                           Athmika's mendhi (she did both hands herself)

                                            Kinder & 5th Mehndi drawings

Mehndhi/Henna drawings - K-5 grade students all drew mendhi hand and feet drawings over the past 3-4 weeks. Some even tried emulating the henna "cone" with little puff paint squeeze bottles. We learned the elements of henna see and the language of India through it's art and symbols. No henna was applied to kids' skin at school. Why not? Allergies to henna are rare but a possibility. Organic henna would have needed to be prepared from scratch or purchased from a local henna artist. Permission slips would have been required. Clothes probably would've gotten was really tempting though. The kids did get mendhi style rubber stamps on hands as they left yoga, which was one of the choice activities at lunch. There is still a possibility we will henna drums at school. Stay tuned...

P.S. Doing henna on your own? Use fresh, organic henna if possible and NEVER use "Black Henna" See the Resources section in the post prior to this if you're looking to purchase henna.

Encinal Eagles rock!

Mrs. Noon's own henna

-  note the ABC's on my foot. 3rd-5th are studying cursive following the henna unit since many henna elements are cursive marks and as an effort to keep cursive alive!

-  henna studies moved beyond the classroom and I'm working my way towards doing henna professionally part time (see my portfolio over the past 6 weeks at ). I plan to charge this summer for henna work. I'm now doing small henna gatherings for free (or for the cost of materials, nominal) as a chance to practice. So friends, book me now  :)

Paris, 5th grade (fish)  ???? (fish)
                                                                               Mrs. Noon's name in Hindi

Rangoli by Bita

Namaste! Next week we are on to the wonderful world of Fiber Arts (sewing, weaving, etc). I hope to bring the calmness from these yoga and henna studies into our next round of lessons.