Matt and Laura Grundler | February 2016

Whatever is Lying Around! The Use of Non-Traditional Mediums

Once again, Team Grundler was inspired by CBS Sunday Morning through another Arts related presentation. During their art segment, they focused on an artist (Gerard Tonti), who uses very non-traditional mediums when creating his artwork. To help create his entire color palette, Gerard uses coffee and tea grounds. While working on his art, he can be found hypothesizing, experimenting, mixing and testing many different concoctions. In order to not waste many of his mixtures, he will be working on several paintings at one time. Part chef, part scientist, part chemist, ALL artist.

Connections are always being made between the artist and the scientist. Artists are always left with hypothesis of what will happen when a particular medium is used, then it is tested repeatedly. The information is recorded (not with numbers or formulas, but that of visual imagery).

What non-traditional mediums do you use? Is there something about using non-traditional mediums that could be holding you back? Will you be happy with the outcome? How will you change it? What will other people think or say?

If you do not feel brave enough to try actual mediums, why not try out a digital form, using the app “Faces IMake” by Hanoch Piven? This allows creators the opportunity to make a piece of art everyday from non-traditional items.

To help us all get creative with creating, we are focusing the #k12artchallenge on making art with unexpected and non-traditional mediums. The greatest inspiration might just be found right at your fingertips!

How to participate in this month’s challenge:

Step 1: Read the challenge for the week.

Step 2: Create in the medium of choice for that particular challenge.

Step 3: Take photos of your creation.

Step 4: Share on Twitter, using the hashtag #K12ArtChallenge


Challenge #1:  Find objects from nature to use (e.g. leaves, sticks, rocks)

Challenge #2: Objects found in your kitchen can be used (e.g. rolling pins, plates, tongos)

Challenge #3: You can use objects found in your classroom (e.g. pencils, rulers, stapler)

Challenge #4: Use found objects from technology, by using a variety of apps to create an original piece of artwork.

Creative wishes,

Matt & Laura Grundler


About the Author

Laura and Matt Grundler are art educators from Plano, Texas. They are also proud parents, bloggers and founders of the popular Twitter Chat #K12ArtChat. After teaching middle school art, high school art and working as an assistant principal, Laura has moved into the role of district Visual Arts Coordinator. Matt started out as a graphic designer; however after finding the commercial side of design to be unsatisfying, he soon found his niche as a K-5 Art teacher. Both Laura and Matt are passionate about raising their three creative kids, sharing their love of art education with their professional learning network and continuing to grow everyday.