Thought-Less Admiration

Aechmea Fasciata (Silver Vase)

The only cure for clearing my head and heart is immersing myself in nature.

Sometimes, life just stinks.
A series of events that are
stressfulpainful,  emotionally and mentally exhausting

can pile up and create a    BIG stinking mess.

In times like those nature is the only escape that will lend itself to really clearing my mind and heart so that I can get back up and conquer the life lesson that is slapping me in the face.


Talking to people, painting, exercising, listening to music do not bring me the peace that observing nature does.
Every organism on the planet (and beyond) are immensely interesting to me. 

Watching animals and insects go about their daily business, observing plants and flowers and visually dissecting their composition, seeing the formation and deformation of clouds, becoming lost in the movement of water – these are all very healing processes – for me. 

I’m certain I’m not the only one for which this is true.

The life events that have me down now will pass as they always do.
I will have learned something from them.  And being able to keep my usual optimistic “things could always be worse” attitude is all due to spending some time looking, observing and appreciating the  nature that is thankfully all around.


You just have to take the time to look.  (Georgia O’Keeffe knew what she was talking about!)



The Beautiful Blogger Award

A most sincere thanks to blogger Tim Livingston of The Forester Artist,, for nominating my blog for this award.  I have recently been struggling for time and organized thoughts to post, and this was the push I needed to get me going!  THANK YOU!!!

Tim’s site is a delight, I always love looking at and reading about artist’s work and thoughts, especially artists whose work is an expression of nature!

Rules for Nominees:

1. Thank the person who nominated you

Thank you Tim Livingston, The Forester Artist!!

2. Post the award image to your page

3. Tell 7 facts about yourself

     I am :

          a mom (to 2 kids, 2 dogs, 4 cats, a rabbit, and several fish)

          a wife (19 years and counting)

          a teacher (of visual art for 22 years and counting)

          an artist (mostly painting in acrylic – all things nature and surreal)

          a gamer (I LOVE 3D animation…a little too much)

          an optimist (probably even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse!)

          a chocolate fanatic

4. Nominate 15 other bloggers, and let them know about the nomination

        Barn Maven

        Petra’s 365 Photographs

        Clotilda Jam Cracker

        World Thru My Eyes

        Leanne Cole Photography

        Mindful Stew

        Photography and Life


        Ceramic Art & Design

        A Slow Descent

        A Word in Your Ear

        Margo’s Notebook

        Dragonfly Dreams

        Paper and Books


I hope everyone enjoys the bloggers I have nominated as much as I do!

Watercolor Recipe

Home-made watercolors on watercolor paper. ©Leslie Kutz 2012

Here it is!  After a big bump in the road of life, I have the completed recipe published for use!

I hope everyone that tries it is successful and that your students really enjoy the experience of making their own watercolors.

food coloring and large muffin tin containers for home-made watercolors

After presenting the recipe and having participants experiment with the watercolors, a few good suggestions and questions came up:

What if you increase the glycerin?  Will it help make the dried watercolors appear less chalky? (from an art teacher)

Will they stain?  Yes, they will.  Food coloring stains your skin and clothes.  Stay tuned for stain removal information.
(science teachers – maybe use the baking soda/vinegar reaction to experiment with stain removal?)

I invite you to experiment with the recipe both scientifically and artistically!  It would be great to hear back about the experiences of teachers, parents, and students!!!
How are you using the recipe?  What would you do different?  Is there anything I can do to make the directions easier to read and understand?

Link to recipe document:  Making Watercolors lesson plan

Have fun creating!!!  

Small hand-made watercolor tray.

Art and Science…Integrating and Opening Dialogue

paper mache rock cycle sculptures

Integrating art and science can easily be accomplished in both the art and science classroom.
Science is intrinsic to art, having brought the artist multiple kinds of media.  Art has benefited science by providing the means of visually documenting and illustrating anatomies and systems from the tiny to colossal, and providing scientists a visual means of studying, arranging. and speculating.

Taking the steps to highlight the science concepts in art processes and media, art teachers help students recognize that art benefits from science.  In turn, using art projects to visually demonstrate science concepts, students are actively participating in learning increasing their chances of retention.

Reflecting on the projects and concepts you cover each year, what relationships between science and art could you list?

Do you discuss these relationships with your students?

tree ring relief print

When you teach ceramics, do you talk to your students about the chemistry behind glazes and firing them?  I know that my students are surprised to know that if they wanted to have a job creating new glazes they would have to have a deep understanding of minerals and chemistry to do so.

If you teach science, do you incorporate art as a means for students to visually demonstrate their understanding of concepts?

Have you ever considered approaching your campus art teacher to discuss possibilities?

watercolors on paper

Based on my own experiences in designing and implementing science/art integrated lessons, I came up with my list of some top benefits of implementing integrated lessons.

Using science concepts as the subject for visual art projects:

  • adds variety and relevance to the visual art teachers’ subject inventory
  • gives science teachers additional hands-on projects with tangible results that have personal meaning for students
  • supports collaborative relationships between visual art and science teachers
  • provides more learning opportunities for content that has scored low in assessments
  • shows students that school subjects can be used to support one another

Highlighting science intrinsic to visual art projects:

  • broadens your students’ base knowledge
  • creates “aha!” moments when students experience science happening with their art
  • supports collaborative relationships between visual art and science teachers
  • provides more learning opportunities for content that has scored low in assessments
  • helps students understand that school subjects share concept relationships

As the bank of art/science lessons and information grows, I invite viewers and educators to take part in creating a dialogue about their experiences.  What lessons worked well for you?  How have you tweaked lessons to fit your students needs?  What did not work?  Do you have lessons you would like to share or see available on this site?

Truly stunning photos.

Photography in Namibia

We had to travel on quite a long way off road, which you have to use 4×4 to be able to drive on.

The roads that took us into the desert. Anders was an amazing driver…oh well maybe not first 😉

We could not drive the whole way so it was a 1,5 km walk in sand before we reached the place. That might not sound like a long way but believe me it was when walking in sand and desert heat. However, when arriving there, it was worth every single step and sweat pearl. In the middle of the desert the Dead Vlei appeared. I have seen pictures of this before but this just must be self-experienced. It was so beautiful and creepy at the same time.

We arrived late as we wanted to catch a good light but we couldn’t wait too late as we wouldn’t be able…

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WOW! Dragonfly =)


As I was leaving tonight to pick up my son, I hear this thumping on my porch light.  I discover this gorgeous very large dragonfly.  Of course, I drop everything, yell for the rest of the family to come check it out and we break out the camera.

Thankfully we were able to keep this amazing guy from tearing up his wings or bashing his head into the bricks.  I switched out the regular fluorescent bulb with a yellow fluorescent.  It worked!  He/she flew up to the light, and promptly flew away and up into one of our trees.  Hopefully to rest up overnight for another successful day of killing mosquitoes and other pesky insects!