Don’t Quit your Day Dream

don't quitSuddenly, without much warning, I looked up from my busy life and realized that I am actually (forgive the cliche) LIVING THE DREAM – my dream.

The dream God planted in my soul when I was born…

The dream that has been growing – right along with all the weeds and rocks and dangerous stomping creatures….

This weak little plant is still alive and even has a blossom or two. Amazing.

God is amazing.

I am truly thankful, blessed, shocked …. and determined to yield a beautiful, bountiful harvest for His glory.


Happy dance!

A couple months ago – on a whim – I contacted a gallery….just to see if they were accepting new artistsjust to see if I had what it takes…you know, just checking.  Well, less than 12 hours later I received an email, and then a phone call, and had an appointment – and voila!  Gallery representation!

This is still shocking to me. I KNOW the right way to approach a gallery. I’ve done my research, I have studied the methods of putting together a portfolio – artist statement – resume, blah, blah, blah… in fact, I’ve been there – done that several times before. This time though, I did none of the proper steps.   Afterall, I was simply “checking”

Nope, I whisked off a casual email, attached a few cell phone photos and that’s that.  – ( as an art teacher I do NOT recommend this method of course * ahem, do as I say, not as I do, and all that jazz…)

Art 101

Anywho – I am now represented by a fabulous gallery owner, (who cares about promotion and actually selling art)surrounded by fabulous artworks and BONUS – my little sister shows in the same gallery. what what?  yup, that’s right – and yet, with different last names, absolutely no family resemblance, and art styles as different as oil and water – this was not a factor, or even known at the beginning.

I just love the winding road that brought me back to art – but I do NOT want to miss any of the lessons I learned along the way.  And that’s why I love this story even more. I am in this gallery – back in the art world – without any maneuvering on my part.  God opened the door and I stepped through, plain and simple. There is a plan – I do not know the plan – but I know I am back on track, and that is enough.


Click on Timura Contemporary Art tab up top for a looksie at my art 

Disney Dance Team Art Show

Olmsted Performing Arts is a FABULOUS organization. They teach first-rate classes in all aspects of performance art – Dancing – Singing – Acting – plus Gymnastics and Fine Art.

Saturday April 6 is the fundraiser for their Disney Dance Team – and I will be a part of it. Gathering the art – and all the stuff that goes into showing/selling it is a whirlwind of fun/stress/fun…..

Stop by if you are in the area – or if you arrived here because you met me at the show – take a moment to look at the links on the right- I have prints and originals for sale on Fine Art America.

If you like what you see – but it’s not quite what you had in mind – contact me. I love creating custom art most of all. Custom color schemes, textures, sizes…. let me make you something you will love!



“The Dot” a smashing sucess!

the dot

The Dot is a picture book written and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds about a girl named Vashti who thinks she can’t draw.  But you probably knew that

……..I could possibly be the last art teacher on earth to use this book in class.

Regardless, I read the class this simple book – showed the simple illustrations – handed out supplies and stepped back in awe. Especially over a certain young man who generally refuses to join in. He was passionately creating a dot masterpiece – with no extra instruction or encouragement from the class helpers – he just got to work…. and worked the entire class period.


Making his mark ….seeing where it takes him as the book encourages

The Dot has certainly “made its mark” around the world – translated into several foreign languages, turned into an animated film, there is even a website with project ideas….and a sequel (which I will get to next week)

We had many dots in a pattern…….. dot1

Dots with personality …….dot3

Dots using stencils and other tools…..dot5

  A dot with embellishments….dot7  Collection of dots …..dot10

abstract dots…..dot11

intensely drawn dot…..dot13

   The Dot – signed. dot24


Details, details



Sylvie Branch
Featured Artist

at the RAW Discovery Tour

I am officially a part of the RAW Artist Showcase!!!!

So so SOOOO excited!!!

RAW is a fascinating collective of artists, independent fashion designers, musicians, dancers, and performers. Shows are held in all the major cities across the country ….. and I have now officially joined the creative madness!

please note: in normal, everyday, real life – I try to avoid multiple exclamation points – but this is a special occasion – HAPPY DANCE!!!!!!

Local readers, please set aside February 28th and buy a ticket – please ~ it’ll be great fun and I would LOVE to see familiar faces ~ $10 gets you into Peabody’s  to see 2 bands, an art show, fashion show, and more…..  (and me)  …. what a deal :)

click here to reserve your ticket


Smitten with this book and project


Thanks to my Story and Art class I found another picture book masterpiece. I love -love LOVE finding picture book treasures to share and Smitten by David Gordon does not disappoint.

“Sock and Mitten are both lost singles in a city full of pairs. Mitten is a left without her right. Sock is neither left nor right, but he knows how she feels. They set off on an adventure to find their other halves. But what they find instead is something much, much better: each other.”

Like a good romantic comedy – this is a truly touching story.

smittenThe book does not completely “go” with the project I had planned – but all bets were off when I ran across this story …so I took a little creative license and just mismatched the lesson with the book – er wait – MISMATCH – perfect. (even if that connection only made sense in my head) …..

We also read One Mitten – this book fits the lesson a little closer…. one mitten

Enough about the books….the art lesson was essentially winter self portraits for little ones.


They were each given crayons, a piece of blue card stock, a half circle for the face and two gloves cut from card stock.

Minimal instructions needed:

Draw a face on the half circle – add a hat (some kids cut hats out of scrap paper)
Color the gloves – I encouraged patterns…..some did, some didn’t

That’s that.


Here are two more examples in-progress. (You can see the influence of the second book with the glove over the eye look) super cute. :)



Bike project done – but not finished.


Bike project

bike7 bike4 bike6The “awesome bike project” turned out a little different than I had initially imagined – that’s okay – this is art class, we go with the flow :)

After building pretty sweet bikes from cardboard rings, pipe cleaners, and candy sticks – (see post) we attached the bikes to heavy boards and painted a background.  Of course it makes sense to do the gluing AFTER the scenery is complete – but do to the logistics of this class I did the gluing ahead of time.

(plus the glue was too powerful to use in our very enclosed classroom)

It still worked out, so all is well.  bike10 bike11Little update: Today I had to take the new pup, Margo to the vet.


Margo, the new pup, at the vets. :)

While waiting I spotted this fabulous sculpture –

Now THIS is what I wanted to do with the bike sculptures – sigh – so stinking cute.

cat and dog on bike

next time, next time…..

“Watercolors are afraid of paper”

watercolors  Watercolors: lesson one – “Watercolor paints are AFRAID of paper”

While introducing my students to watercolor, I had them use

– one color per person
– small pieces of paper
– tiny paintbrushes
– and a light touch

No need to do dig their brushes into the paper… or make multiple swipes  – in fact, that is why I dramatically shared the secret that watercolor paints are in fact scared of touching paper…it is their biggest fear – so in order to make a pretty picture instead of a scary/ugly mess/all muddy brown and torn ….we need to gently introduce the timid paint to the paper.


make blobs – let dry – figure out what they are


earth balloon – lady in a bathing suit – and a snake – who knew?

Cityscapes -simplified


I love cityscapes. The possibilities for art projects are practically endless. Each year I try a different approach – night scenes – silhouettes – careful perspective drawings – sculptures – using blocks of wood – cardboard collages – newspaper – paint – charcoal and anything else I had around the classroom….


After half a year with my young 4th period students, I knew if we were going to pull this off it would have to be eeeasssy – both to explain, manage, and create.

(and fairly inexpensive – oh, who am I kidding – cheap or free works best!)

Cityscapes – Simplified

You will need:

  • Construction paper scraps (precut into rectangles, squares and triangles with my paper cutter – before class.)
  • Stickers – lots and lots of small labeling stickers
  • Glue and paint brushes (we actually used cotton swaps ) -glue sticks will also work of course
  • Crayons

    Very open-ended project

    1. Color the background
    2. Add buildings
    3. Add stickers for windows



cousins helping each other color the background


one city is an explosion of color – the other a creative design :)

  city12 city13 city3 city16 city18 city9 city11 city8

Love when projects cause such happy faces.

Easy Snow Globes……or how to use GLITTER! with little mess

glitter1 - Copy

Three tiny containers of glitter satisfied the GLITTER!!! needs of 36 kids, and a couple visitors to my class.  (Dollar Store glitter $1 for all three)
How?  How in the world did I not have GLITTER!!! from floor to ceiling?  Me, the art teacher who loves a good mess and has little tolerance for orderly – aka micro managed  -art?

We made snow globes, easy, inexpensive, practically mess-free. (there is always that one child who smears glue on his hands and proceeds to touch his hair, face, neighbors face…..)

SNOW GLOBES: The easy way.

Draw a Christmas scene on circle paper – I found a stack of pre-cut white cardboard circles at my favorite paper supply company (Hollos in Brunswick, if you happen to be a local reader)  $.02 each
glitter5 - Copy  Encourage the kids to use the WHOLE circle to draw their picture. (part of the bottom will be hidden)

Now, walk the kids to the “GLITTER station”

I mixed regular white glue with glitter and had the kids paint directly over their pictures. glitter2 - Copy

glitter3 - Copy

HOT water gets the paintbrushes clean licky split :)

glitter4 - Copy

Each piece was as unique as the child

glitter1 - Copy

One little girl insisted on cutting her circle down to make a tiny globe – turned out cute :)

The base of the snow globes are simply little cardboard cups. Before class I used a long serrated knife to cut a slit through the bottom. (approximately across the center of the cup)  (Bag of 50 cardboard cups = $2.25)

Our inexpensive circles had an “easy to color on” side and a “not easy to color on” side …. so we only used one side to draw on, but you could just as easily use both.


I did walk out of class with a piece of glitter stuck right under my eye – as many people pointed out….~pshaw, it’s festive :)  Tis the season for GLITTER!!!!