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Educator and Artist

I am an art educator/artist in Western New York. I'm passionate about bringing creativity to the forefront of our lives. My brain is always churning with new ideas for the classroom and the studio. I love sharing my joy about art because it can be transformative in this highly competitive and fast paced world. It forces us to slow down, to enjoy the moment, to take risks, to not give up, to see mistakes as opportunities, and to keep moving forward. I teach many artistic techniques in the classroom but the most important concepts I nurture in students is self-expression. Students need to trust their own ideas because that encompasses true freedom and success. As a working artist, I understand the necessary struggle to achieve that freedom and by sharing my own personal journey I hope to strengthen the student/teacher relationships.

This blog is a place where I post some of my art lessons to share with the art community, student accomplishments, personal artworks, and exhibition information. It's like a modern day journal because though personal reflection I continue to grow.

If you have any questions/suggestions please post a comment.

Thanks for coming!

This post was updated on June 8, 2013 at 5:44pm EDT
Topic(s): bio about
By Heather on November 13, 2011 at 2:26pm EST Add/View Comments (5)

Expression Paintings

After learning about Kandinsky's emotional and improvisational paintings, my middle school students create their own works of abstraction. This is their first project of the year and they learn a lot about the art elements in order to make a successful composition.

This project has evolved over the years which keeps it fresh and fun. The first year teaching this lesson, the composition was all about the textures, colors, and shapes contained in squares. Then classes experimented with cutting their paintings into interlocking shapes and this year made backgrounds more active with white/metallic colored pencils. The students learn a lot from manipulating their painting. Experimentation is extremely important to develop creative thinking and this sets the tone for the whole year.

Please click on the image gallery below to see how the Expression Paintings have changed over the years.
Topic(s): acrylic painting mixed media 2011 middle school lessons
By Heather on November 15, 2011 at 1:20pm EST Add Comment

Studio Art - Historical Figure Sculptures
I like to end the year with this sculpture lesson because kids love learning clay techniques. With end-of-the-year excitement, I can always reel them in with this one. Since some of my Studio Art students have never worked with clay before, we start with basic hand building techniques like pinch pots, coils, and slabs. After the students build confidence from playing with the clay, they brainstorm, sketch, and then sculpt a historical figure.

Topic(s): high school class 2010 3d sculpture clay
By Heather on November 15, 2011 at 11:02am EST Add Comment

Studio Art - Wire Self-Portraits

After teaching the proportions of the human face, students practice drawing themselves. Then students transform those drawings into expressionistic wire sculptures. I love the way these look with the cast shadows. This is a nice project that introduces working three dimensionally with just line.
Topic(s): high school lessons 2010 3d self-portraits sculpture
By Heather on November 15, 2011 at 8:46am EST Add/View Comments (2)

Look What I Found!
Creature Discovery

My 8th graders created small creature sculptures from an explorer, scientist, or an environmentalist point of view. This 3D sculpey project is introduced at the emergence of spring. The class share lots of stories about childhood fascination with frogs, tadpoles, turtles, crayfish, fireflies, etc. That wonderful curiosity should be remembered and harnessed.

Sometimes we create an environment inside a recycled container and write stories about this new discovery. The end product is heavy in Science and English concepts that strengthen the artist's message. We have so much fun with this project!

Topic(s): middle school lessons 2010 sculpture 3d
By Heather on November 14, 2011 at 8:49pm EST Add/View Comments (2)


I made this necklace and ring a long time ago but I still wear them now and again. I have a special place in my heart for fabrication because my father is a Machinist. Watching him make beautiful shiny parts inspired me to take a jewelry class in Geneseo. I had a fantastic jewelry Professor, Patrice Case. She really pushed me to experiment with the process of making something.

The necklace is made of copper with sterling and brass lamination inlay. There is a lot of texture in this piece that I love from the hammer and scratched liver of sulfur patina.

The ring is a "box ring" construction with a copper surprise. Keeping the copper contained also kept it from tarnishing.

Topic(s): jewelry 2003
By Heather on November 14, 2011 at 5:09pm EST Add Comment

Pure Joy

I love working spontaneously. I didn't have an exact plan when creating this piece and I'm pleased with the outcome. It's made out of a scrap of cardboard, acrylic paint, and colored pencils. The abstract shapes reminded me of something my puppy would investigate and zoom around so I wanted to include her. I like to combine representation with abstraction. Her happy swirling trail reminds me of all the fun we have running around the many trees in our yard. Pure joy!
Topic(s): acrylic painting mixed media 2011 colored pencil cardboard puppy
By Heather on November 14, 2011 at 1:47pm EST Add Comment

Rochester-Finger Lakes Regional Exhibition
"Home" is at the Rochester-Finger Lakes Regional Exhibition at the Rochester Institute of Technology's Bevier Gallery. I made parts of this piece in the summer of 2010 and completed it this winter. It's a lovely reminder of what's on the way!

Two of my Middle School students from McQuaid Jesuit have artwork up as well. It's a wonderful Exhibition that showcases both students and their teachers.

From Friday, February 4, 2011 until Sunday, February 27, 2011.
Topic(s): 2011 computer art exhibtion
By Heather on February 6, 2011 at 6:20pm EST Add/View Comments (64)

Scholastic Art Awards 2010
Good news, two of my art students won Gold Keys from the Scholastic Art Awards this year. This is really exciting because out of 165,000 works submitted, only 693 from the Region-at-Large earned Gold Key recognition.

The art work on the right is from an 11th grader in my Digital Art class. It was made by taking digital photographs of his home from different angles and using Photoshop and a "Tilt Shift Maker" to apply an interesting effect that makes certain aspects look tiny. I really like how the three pieces turned out as a series. This piece went also went to the National Exhibition in NYC. The highest honor that Scholastic's gives. Very exciting!

The one piece below is by an 8th grader in one of my middle school classes. This project is the same as the Chuck Close Inspired Fingerprint Project that I've posted before, except that this year I changed things up a bit by having them use a different medium to create the texture (black prisma-color pencil sticks).
Topic(s): scholastic art awards 2010 high school lessons middle school lessons
By Heather on March 5, 2010 at 2:29pm EST Add/View Comments (5)

Technology Challenge
I'm a "technology challenge" winner!

As an art teacher at McQuaid, I was quite excited about a technology challenge hosted by the technology department in which the best faculty websites were promoted and voted on by the school. I showcase a lot of student artwork on my site and have been trying out a student blog in my digital art class, so I was eager about this opportunity. The top 5 websites won a tech gadget of their choosing and I chose a Kindle. Thank you McQuaid!

I've been intrigued by Amazon's Kindle because books get zapped into your hands pretty instantaneously! What book should I get first? I'm thinking something related to spring! I've got major gardening on the brain!

Check out my art classes' websites:
Mrs. Brosman's McQuaid Site
Topic(s): contest website 2010
By Heather on February 28, 2010 at 8:12pm EST Add/View Comments (2)
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