Tag Archives: oil pastels

Kline-Dine Tash Mash

I call this project the Kline-Dine Tash Mash.

First I shared information about Franz Kline. He created large scale black and white paintings. These paintings resembled Chinese Calligraphy.

My students looked at Chinese Calligraphy resource pictures. They used black oil pastels to draw lines on a 12′ x 12″ canvas that were influenced by the Chinese characters.

Next, they added white acrylic paint using sweeping brushstrokes with a 1″ flat brush. They were encouraged to occasionally crash into the oil pastel to create some gray areas.

In the following class, they placed black acrylic paint over the black lines allowing some of the texture of the oil pastel to remain on the surface.

Jim Dine was next. We looked at his heart paintings. I gave them another canvas – a 4″ x 4″ one. They created heart stencils, traced them onto this smaller canvas then painted the canvas – either white heart with black background or black heart on white background.

Students then used colorful oil pastels on the heart and its background.

I had them choose a wood block, glue it to the back of the smaller canvas then adhere it to the center of the larger one.

I call it a Tash Mash because it is a mash-up of Kline and Dine but I use the heart motif in many of my own paintings as well, and I utilize the wood riser technique when mounting my encaustic paintings onto chalkboard painted masonite boards. And I invented the lesson.

I’m thinking about doing a series of encaustics in this style. Thank you, Franz Kline and Jim Dine for your contributions to Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art, respectively, and for having names that rhyme.

Cow Town


The Chittenango Middle School 8th grade teachers take our students to visit SUNY Morrisville.  We’ve done it for several years now. There are four activities plus lunch in the dining hall (!!!) – to see the automotive dept., the dairy management farm, the equine science program and the aquaponics greenhouse.


I’ve gone on this field trip three times and this was the first time I visited the cows.  There I met Assistant Professor Ashley Adams, who loves cow art!


So this blog post is for her.  I want to share artwork by my bestie, Penny Santy.  Penny is a graphic artist during the day, fine artist by night.  You can find her website here.


Penny has this wonderful series of cow paintings.  I am totally in love with them.  She uses oils and paints in a quaint studio space in the basement of her home in Eastwood, a subdivision in the city of Syracuse, NY.


I love the energy in her brush stroke and the juxtaposition of complementary colors used to create shadows.  Not just saying that because she is my friend.  I think Penny’s work would look great in the offices/buildings at the dairy science college!  They are large scale pieces – really breathtaking in person.  I especially love the buttery yellow one!



Students in my ninth period A day class created cow portraits in oil pastel on black paper.



We drew them on white paper, transferred them to the black Strathmore paper with graphite paper (magic) and painted out the lines with black acrylic paint.



I showed students how to build up the color with the oil pastel using a layering technique and encouraged them to create their own consistent style – up and down, diagonal, coloring in circles, etc.



I just love the way they turned out.  Each one is 16″ x 20″ – my favorite size for student work!  I am thinking of selecting a couple to enter into the Scholastic Art Awards competition, but I can’t decide which ones will be the most competitive.  I like them all.





OMG, I love cow art too! <3