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In 1995 this site started along with a class we taught at Coronado High School. Over the years we have added and added and added numerous pages and files to support our students and others interested in art, design, writing, and technology. This site now reflects our next phase. We retired from classroom teaching in 2013 and have been in the process of redefining ourselves by placing our efforts in our new venture...

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a virtual and real place to
explore your passions:
writing, reading, design, art


Enjoy the resources on WriteDesignOnline and please visit us at Granada Treehouse Studio and share our joy.

AP Studio Art - 2-D Design and Drawing   Historical and Cultural Context
Art and Design Elements and Principles   L'Chaim
Art and Design Resources   Pablo Neruda - Project
Drawing Prompts   Quotes
Gallery   Writing Tools
Glossary   Setting Goals
Goal Setting   WriteDesign Specifics
Graphic Organizers   WriteDesign Teachers - Doug and Melissa

AP Studio Art - 2-D Design and Drawing

AP Studio Art Summer Assignment - (in process) An assortment of assignments, tasks, and projects intended to help students prepare for this rigorous course. You will find a work flow-chart to help students track their progress in all three of the portfolio areas: quality, breadth, and concentration.

Elements and Principles of Art and Design
  • Andy Goldsworthy - Beneath the Surface Appearance - An overview of Andy Goldsworthy and how he creates works in nature that use line, shape, form, space, value, and texture to help focus our attention.
  • Balance - gives definitions with examples of the forms of artistic balance, symmetry, approximate symmetry, asymmetry, and radial symmetry.
  • Color - Gives definitions with examples of how to use color, as well as compositional effects of color, uses and psychological effects, printing and computer color, spot color, and a color study chart.
  • Contrast - gives definitions with examples of how to use variations in patterns, edges, value, intensity, temperature, texture, size, and shape to show visual relationships.
  • Emphasis - gives definitions with examples of using focal area, color dominance, value, visual movement, difference, and shape to provide the viewer with context and content.
  • Rhythm and Pattern - Gives definitions with examples and a process for creating and using rhythm and patterns in art work.

Art and Design Resources | Top
  • Artistic Perception, A to Z - A look at art, design, and writing through the alphabet.
  • Animal Symbolism - Lists animals and their respective symbolism from a variety of cultures
  • Creative Process - Provides a cure for "white fright" -- looking at a blank screen or piece of paper and not knowing what to do next.
  • Design Expectations - Sets standards of design for all projects.
  • Design Rules of Thumb - Shares basic rules of thumb as well as elements and principles of art and design. Use these as a good place to start. Feel free to bend these rules, but only when you understand the spirit of the rule.
    • Audience - Gives a little insight into designing for your audience.
    • Image - Addresses types of images and elements that support your message.
    • Layout - Provides information on how to use elements within your page layouts for easier readability.
    • Typography - One of my favorites elements of design, this page addresses definitions and how to use type effectively.
  • Drawing 2 Music - A fun exercise with examples and tips on how to draw to music.
  • Fill the Well - Assists in the active (or incidental) pursuit of images to refresh our artistic reservoirs. Now includes a list of "inspirational" San Diego sites.
  • Fill-the-Well - Process, media, and technique - This assignment provides students the opportunity to start a critical foundation step to creating art. Students will use a sketchbook as a tool to collect and develop ideas, experiment with media and techniques, and to start a library of life-art memories.
  • Guide To Better [Photographs] Pictures - Addresses top 10 techniques from Kodak
  • Historical Context "Vitrian Man" - Shows a drawing by Leonardo da Vinci and how he integrated mathematics and art. This link also provides a look at the historical and cultural context of art.
  • Identifying Self - Character Traits - Provides students a vehicle to identify their own character traits and develop a better understanding of themselves using the creative process.
  • Look, Hold, Draw - Provides a starting point for learning to draw.
  • Masks From Around the World - Provides an overview of masks throughout history in a variety of cultures.
  • Mobiles - Looks at the elements of mobiles and shows works from Alexander Calder, Jackie Matisse, Andy Goldsworthy, and Henri Matisse. Serves as the background information to the "Leaves, No Litter" assignment where students develop 3-dimensional pieces to support an anti-litter campaign.
  • Project 333 - To provide students a vehicle to broaden their comfort, understanding, and use of the creative process ultimately to explore the possibilities of living spaces and environments and to design their own. I got carried away with this project and realistically, it should be used as a bigger picture experiment to pick and chose elements that work for you.
  • Revisited Detailed Composite Drawing - Provides students a continued view at the creative process, specifically how original ideas expand, grow, change, and evolve.
  • The secrets photos keep - Asks students to find the hidden clues in your family snapshots - Donna Jackson - My Generation, March April 2002, p. 16 - provides steps to see photographs with a new understanding.

  • "Poetry Inside Us All" - Addresses the issue that poetry, art, appears in all of us.
  • Poetry of Remembrance - Provides a look at holocaust poetry and how it serves many purposes, the main one remembrance of an event we hope will never repeat itself.
  • Roman Vishniac - Children of a Vanished World - Shows how photography functions as social conscience.
  • The Last Expression: Art and Auschwitz - The Last Expression project is a forum to explore the roles, functions, meanings and making of art in the Nazi concentration camps of World War II, focusing on the notorious site of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Pablo Neruda - Writing Project | Top
  • Pablo Neruda - Brief Bio: Politics and Poetry - Pablo Neruda (1904-1973) is arguably the most influential poet in the Spanish language.
  • The Power of Pablo Neruda's Poetry - Displays several Neruda odes
  • Using The Book of Questions - Check list on how to create a book of questions, but who has the answers?
  • Using Odes - Check list on how to create an ode.
  • Using Natural Artifacts - Another check list -- what the heck is going on here?
  • Pablo Neruda Style Ode Rubric - Assignment Rationale: To understand the nature of an ode, to take an everyday object and examine it more closely. See metaphorical possibilities in written and visual contexts (which in plain English means, how a term, phrase, or image-which may be created by using typography-is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance, as in "…under a sky new-painted every day…")

Writing Tools

Graphic Organizers
- Site directory to 20 graphic organizers, including definitions and applications. The following links display graphic organizers intended for use in the areas of:
  • Analyze - Shows interactions and describes central ideas.
  • Brainstorm - Shows how different tools facilitate the brainstorming process. Synectics - shows how a graphic organizer can stimulate fresh thinking during the problem-solving process.
  • Compare and Contrast - Shows different ways to list information for analysis.
  • Evaluate - Shows options for determining the significance, worth, or quality of a decision.
  • Hypothesize - Provides two looks at developing a hypothesis.
  • Interact - Shows the nature of an interaction between persons or groups.
  • Sequence - Provides six tools to show prioritizing, time lines, series of events, and other methods for looking at a sequence.
  • Visualize - Shows how sketching serves as a note-taking and or idea-collection device.
How to Use Quotes - Humm, what do you think, it's about using quotes in text.

Note-taking and In-class Skills
- Provides tips on taking effective notes.

One True Sentence - "All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know." - Ernest Hemingway

Re-vision - Another check list, this time intended to correct your vision.

Sense Web
- Starts the brainstorming process for creating show, not tell senses.

Show, Not Tell
- Shows techniques developed by Rebekah Kaplan to help students write so that they are able to create a picture in the reader's mind, to get away from the repetition of such empty words as weird, really neat, beautiful, wonderful, and b-o-r-i-n-g.

The 21 Club: Drink the Words
- Originated by Frank Barone and Gary Bardshaw, this assignment pushes writers to establish the criteria from which they would measure all their other writing. 21 Club Feedback - Provides a matrix of key elements for peer editing. The 21 Club: Rubric - Identifies assignment rationale, kickoff pieces, steps of creative process, and grading rubric.PowerPoint Tips - Includes tips and additional presentation links.

Setting Goals

  • Setting Goals and Objectives - A list of guidelines that will help you develop a meaningful process to create achievable goals and objectives. 

WriteDesign Specifics | Top

  • WriteDesign Background - Shows the narrative submitted to the California School Board Association's 1998 Golden Bell Awards and provides program background information illustrated with quotes from students, educators, and community members.
  • WriteDesign Philosophy - Makes statements that embrace our feeling about writing and design.

WriteDesign Teachers | Top

Melissa McKinstry - melissa.granadatreehousestudio@gmail.com

Doug Kipperman (aka Doug's World) - mrdoug@aznet.net
  • Bio - A bio is pretty much what you would think it would be, a bio.
  • coincidence - Shares excerpts from a conceptual multimedia arts show centering on 1919 expressionism.
  • Collaboration - A series of collaborations started with Sarah Rose, the artist I'm trying to rediscover.
  • Doug's Experiment - A series of pastel-like drawings inspired by the California Central Coast and Sarah-Rose.
  • Partial portfolio - A few more facets.
  • Photos of Africa - Shows pictures taken on a camera safari in 1976.
  • River of Words - 9th grade cross-curricular project.
  • San Diego - Sha'ar HaNegev Teacher Exchange - Shows a photo slide show, poetry, narratives, sketches, and links that reflect an artistic view of Melissa's and my journey through Israel.
  • Sketchbook - Shares a well filled with daily insights and random thoughts.
  • Sketchbook, The Beginning - In the beginning I started a sketchbook...ok, lame, but you have to start somewhere and this is it.
  • Sketchbook, Crayons - I never thought I would use crayons as a medium, but I did and enjoy using them. Try it, you will find lots of surprises.
  • The adventures of my pal Pete - Many years ago, many lives ago, I created a character - "My Pal Pete." The character was based on my dog and best friend. As a result of life's mysterious journey I had to leave Pete in California while I learned the ways of design in the Big Apple. While taking a Spanish class, I resurrected some of my drawings for a children's bilingual story (still in development). Permiso, mi español es muy malo. So, I received help from several friends, Lily Perez, Keara Sease, and Jackie Schuller. Let me know what you think.
  • Tribute to Lew - A tribute to the man, his partner, and his legacy through images and words spanning 93 years.
  • Vita - For those of you interested in my professional background, this is the place to see if I'm for real or just a digital fabrication.
  • We hear the word no... (a flash movie) - This particular piece represents the beginning of a series of flash collaborations with Melissa.
  • Yosemite - 6th grade trip 2000 - Drawing, photography, and poetry.
  • Yosemite - 6th grade trip 1999 (There are three parts) - Drawing, photography, and poetry.

Granada Treehouse Studio | Top

Melissa and I would like to
thank znet for
making a commitment to
education and WriteDesign.