Saturday, January 3, 2009


It is done! I did not get a picture, because it is still on the sawhorses and not on the wall of the school. Where it will be placed, there is a lot of natural light (not direct sun) and I want to be able to take a really nice picture then.

I have such a feeling of accomplishment! I am in high hopes that it will be a huge hit.

My next project is the sea shell. I have already started on the background, and it is in oils. I have plans for this painting that will involve painting several layers, maybe even more than one medium, I haven't decided yet. I seem to work and start with a basic concept and let it evolve as I go. I think it is more exciting that way. I also like working in oils, because I like blending colors and soft hues, values and tones. Oils stay wet longer and are more forgiving than acrylic.

I just got back from Wally World with some great finds. I needed black foam core for my presentation and for another project I am working on. I am going to do some art work that shows the children I teach, exactly what a still life, self portrait and landscapes are. If they can see it they will do better at understanding the concepts. Just my opinion anyway.

Well, gotta go. Hubby is cutting up a fresh pineapple and the colts are playing!


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Typical Artist

I have been severely delinquent in keeping up with my blog since I started teaching.
School has really kept me busy, I mean 875 children will keep anyone busy. I teach art to all the grades, k-6th, and that is everyday 5 days a week. OY!
I have been working on a BIG art project for my school and it has been quite an experience. I think I have used every medium that I hate in this piece. It is a mixed medium work using collage, watercolors, chalk pastels, colored pencils, markers, polyurethane, oil pastels and found objects.

At the beginning of the school year I was asked to collect some of the children's art work to be framed and hung around the school. Well, I said I would "work on that" and tried to go about that task. It suddenly occurred to me, how was I going to be able to choose art work from my 875 children that I teach weekly? How can I choose just one or two, or a few? I wanted to be able to include all of them. Also, I wanted the children who were easily discouraged and would throw their art away to see that art wasn't about being perfect. Art was about emotion, seeing the world around them in a different way and being creative. Art is a profoundly personal thing. I decided to put it on hold and get back to it.

One day, it finally came to me as I was putting artwork away in the cabinet. There were several paintings that had been crumpled up and tossed in the garbage (I thought they were good) and several "no name" pieces. As I began to close the cabinet doors my artistic genius (that's sarcasm y'all) kicked in. Instead of just one or two children being picked out from the school, why not a little bit of everyone? What if I began collecting work from here and there as it comes thru, and make a huge collage for the school. I could make it about 4' x 5' and really showcase their art. I was pleased with myself and quickly made notes in my sketchbook. Aha! It was brilliant and I couldn't wait.

As I started sketching out my plans it seemed something was missing, it needed something to give it focus, anchor the piece and make it really unique. The school's mascot is an alligator and I really liked the idea of using a gator in the piece. I decided, "You know what? Why play it safe, let's go all out on this!" and began playing with the idea of making it 3 dimensional. Before I went too far ahead, I asked my husband if it would be possible and he gave me great advice on how to accomplish it. Here is a peek from my sketchbook.

I wanted to present the idea to my school and maybe even ask for a bit of finacial help. It was then that I remembered something my husband said once when he was about to give a presentation, "Not everyone will catch your vision. Sometimes, you have to help them see it." I knew that if I was going to get approval for this project, I would have to make a small scale model. I also knew that I had to use all the elements for the model that I would be using for the large piece. I needed the school to see the vision. Now granted, the real work would be on masonite and not cut paper and foam core, but the scale model was a thing of beauty. I had it almost ready to present and I couldn't wait, yet I was terribly nervous about how it would be recieved.
Inspiration hit me at 2:30 a.m., I KNEW what would seal the deal... (this really was genius!) Our school has character traits that we share with the students every week and month. Traits like, trustworthiness, respect, citizenship, tolerance, courage, etc. So, at 2:30 a.m. I am sitting in our bathroom on the edge of the tub, sketchbook in hand and writing the character traits in the background. The next morning, using a silver colored pencil, I wrote them down on the "prototype" and mounted everything for final presentation.

I presented it to my principal and he approved it immediately. That got the ball rolling for me and I got some help with funding too! It has been a labor of love but after tomorrow, I will have seen this thing thru to completion. We are going to put it all together and have it ready tomorrow. When I get back to school, I have to get some things in order, but I would like to be able to invite the School Superintendant and our PTO to an "unveiling" of sorts. I am hoping we can have a small reception, with the newspaper and everything. My ultimate goal is to draw attention to how art in the county schools are a positive thing for the children. If I can get some attention for our school, that would be awesome. So, yes, there is a bit of something in it for me too. Anytime an artist get a little attention, it's a good thing.

After I get everything put together tomorrow, I will get a pic up. I can't wait to see it in the school, where it will be hung has lots of light and I think it will really POP!

It's getting late...see ya tomorrow!


Monday, July 21, 2008

The Simple Things

The best way to train your eyes for drawing, is drawing what is around you. I remember an assignment in my early years of college in basic drawing classes. The professor gave us a printout of things we had to draw by first term.

The list was as follows: (what I can remember anyway)

a branch


something "hard" & something "soft"



a rock

I remeber a lot of grumbling...but I learned so much from just drawing mundane everyday objects. Light, shadow, attention to details, etc.
We also learned to draw everyday things in different styles too. Stippling, blak, white and grey colored paper, different ways of looking at the everyday and making the ordinary, extraordinary. I find I like to draw things around me, that most people don't pay much attention too. A coffee cup, the mantle over the fireplace, a spoon laying on the table.
This particular drawing is of our mantle, but not as it really looks. It is drawn the way I want it to look. With the ornate finial scrolls to really dress it up. I enjoyed drawing this, it was simple, uncomplicated and soothing to me.
I think I am going to go back and redo some of my old college assignments and really have fun with them. As I go back to find some of the assignments, I will write them out here and maybe you can try your hand at them as well.
Gotta dental work has been really hurting me (unusual for me because I ususally bounce right back after having work done) and the pain meds I am on, make me..."zoney" for lack of a better vocabulary.
my thought for the day is, there is beauty in the most mundane, or maybe, beauty is in the eye of the beholder?
Have a great evening.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

As Promised...

Here is the first sock in the "Starry Starry Night" colorway...a picture just does not do it justice.

have a nice weekend...


Friday, July 18, 2008

Starry Starry Night

While I was in the dentist office the other day, (in the chair, actually). I was asked who my favorite artist was. I actually couldn't answer the question. Had I been asked who my favorite impressionist was, my favorite sculptor, my favorite photographer, I may have been able to answer. I can't limit myself to just one artist. Every century, every medium, every genre' has a uniqueness to it and so I have favorite artists and mediums in almost every time period.
My favorite impressionist has to be van Gogh. I love his use of colors and paints. Yes, I know his style of painting came from the fact that he suffered from a terrible disease, but I love his work. The Starry Night, is one of my all time favorites. Back in March I bought some sock yarn from LaLa's Knits and it iss called "Starry, Starry Nights." I began knitting the yarn into socks the other day and I have to say, they haven't disappointed me. The yarn is striping up beautifully and have not pooled on me the first time. I think they pay homage to Vincent van Gogh perfectly. I will get Tori to take some pics and post them later.
Most people are familiar with his beautiful paintings, but have you ever seen his drawings? They are an incredible diplay of different markings to give the illusion of texture and depth. I think his drawings demand as much repect and study as his paintings. I love what he wrote to his brother...I feel like I can relate to this, especially now.
“Well, and yet it was in these depths of misery that I felt my energy revive and I said to myself, I shall get over it somehow, I shall set to work again with my pencil, which I had cast aside in my deep dejection, and I shall draw again, and from that moment I have had the feeling that everything has changed for me, and now I am in my stride and my pencil has become slightly more willing and seems to be getting more so by the day. My over-long and over-intense misery had discouraged me so much that I was unable to do anything.”
Wow, I have been feeling like this too, he used his pencil as an outlet for his depression... well, my medicine is kicking in and I really need to go lie down. It makes me a bit nauseated too.
I have no thought for the day... my brain is clouded by the medications.
good night...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Bella Bunny

Bella Bunny was one of those characters that was born from one of my stories I made up for the children when they were little. She was actually a sequel to my first story about Benjamin Bunny (NOT to be confused with Beatrix Potter) in which she becomes the wife of Mr. Bunny.

The first story was born, when my youngest daughter would not eat the vegetable soup I had made. My family makes a borscht of sorts and I had used purple cabbage to make mine. Well, the youngest would not eat it until I had told this elaborate story about a cabbage patch, a bunny and a purple caterpillar.

The story is written out in my sketch book and my husband has asked me several times to try and get it published. I guess I have not done it because of possible copyright issues with the name of Benjamin Bunny. I guess I could change his name, but it fits so well. Then, I would have no clue as to how to get it published. I have researched before, but it seemed like it was always going to cost me money. I don't have money. LOL!
At any rate, here she is...just the drawing, but I would love to have her in watercolors. She would be so pretty.
my thought for the day? Necessity is the mother of invention...or in my case, getting the kiddos to eat borscht was the mother's inspiration for a story.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The VOTES Are In!

yeah, all 2 of them...thanks bunches.

It's a toss up between oils and watercolors. Both are good mediums, good choices. I'm a bit disappointed there wasn't more votes or responses, but hey, I am sure I do not have an extensive reading or viewing audience. LOL

I think one thing that I am very good at is making parodies of everything, and I mean everything. I can take a commercial, movie, story, music, you name it and make a parody of it. It's a gift. I know...

Like the time my son's troop got their new bus after having to retire the old "Swamp Fox". The Scout Master was and is very proud of the new bus, and they keep it in pristine condition. Well... my mind was up to no good and I thought it would be funny if somehow that show "Pimp My Ride" came out and did the whole bus. (not that I would really do that) It was funny to visualize the bus all shagged out, paint job, the stereo thumpin', all the while, the bus is doing that "low rider" thing bouncing up and down. ok, so you get it. THAT is how my brain works.
Pretty scary, I know. So, that story leads me to this lovely little sketch page. I am sorry you can't see it better than this, but my kids and I were on my bed discussing Mr. Roger's Neighborhood and yes, my mind was on a "parody" tangent and we came up with crowns for the ever crown obsessed, King Friday. We figured his present crown wasn't very fitting and he needed a crown for everyday of the week. But why stop there? Why not make them obscure, a play on words? So that is how we came up with these. Look closely...
Assembled and adoring neighbors, I presume?
1. Sunday...yes, that is an ice cream sundae
2. Monday...that was a hard one, but it is a moon crown with a little bitty astronaut, space shuttle and flag!
3. Tuesday...a crown with 2's all over it. Ok, so that wasn't pure genius, but it was good.
4. has question marks all over it because it is a "when?"s day, with me here people.
5. Thursday... "thirst" day...a big drink with a straw...and I think it would eb great if it said "Super Size" one it too.
6. Friday...fries...of course..."Super Size" those bad boys too...
7. Saturday... one of my personal favorites... a nice, royal, velvet, wing back chair...
Anyway, the kids and I had fun with it. Oh, come on, loosen up! Sure it's goofy, but it was still fun.
Time for dinner again...
thought for the day?...the mind is a scary place to be sometimes...especially if you are me.