Monday, August 25, 2008

Looking at Line

Picasso (left), Duchamp, Davinci, Magritte

It is funny how every year I begin by teaching the same type of project. It isn't because I can't think of anything else to teach, but rather I think it is because it is probably one of the most important things that art students need to learn. I had never really thought of it before posting my last entry of assignments, but there it was right in front of is amazing what lesson plans can do for you :)
Line. It is such a simple concept, yet I don't think we ever take the time to look at what an important role it plays in our artwork. Line in art move the eye around the image, it keeps it observing and interest the viewer. It can be complex or simple. It can show a simple subject or it can almost cause viewer confusion. Here are a few pieces that you might find interesting. And the next time you are at a museum or online looking around, try to figure out why that piece of art interests you and I bet you will find it is all due to the movement caused by line.

Assignments for Aug 25-29

Here are the assignments for all the classes. If you have any questions, let me me or stop by and see me.

Photography - Assign. 1 = 12 images following the powerpoint presentation
of taking strong images 2-rule of thirds, 2-using diagonal lines, 2-curving lines, 2-leading line images, 1-little to no background, 1-showing background importance, 1-fast moving action, 1-stopped action. Assignment is due next Tuesday

Assign. 2 = 5 images from following the ideas given in the powerpoint on using windows as imagery Assignment Due Next Tuesday

Art 1 & Art Exploratory- Students are working on a contour line portrait drawing. They may choose to use 50/50 contour line or blind contour line for their drawings. Assigment Due Friday

Painting and Drawing- Continue working on 6 square drawings, bring in pictures or close-ups that are interesting to you. We are using contour line drawing to create form and will be developing these drawings using shading. Assignment due Next Wed/Thurs

Advanced Art - Once students have completed their blog portfolio, they will begin their first assignment. The first assignment is to create a painting or drawing that depicts who you are as a person. You can most definetaly add items to your work to create a mixed media work. Assignment due in 2 weeks.

Our New Fine Arts Blog

I am very excited to introduce the New District Wide Fine Arts Blog! We are hoping that many students and parents will find it useful. On this particular blog you will be seeing entries from the various instructors k-12 in all Fine Arts Areas. There will also be various concert dates and performance dates. For parents with kids in a variety of different schools, we hope this makes it easier on you!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

So how does our brain work?

It is funny how our hands connect to our brain, and our brain connect to our thoughts, ideas and memories. Today in all of my drawing classes, we completed a fun little project that always makes my students think about art a little different.

When we are young, we are bombarded with these colorful picture books that have, for instance, a picture of a bright beach ball with the word ball below, on the following pages, the same ideas exist. We start at a young age learning to put pictures of objects into our brains so that the minute that we hear a word, we have an image. This is an amazing process. As we get a little older our memories develop more and we add more detail to the initial symbol we learned.

The trouble is that when students are asked to draw, for instance a sunflower, they still draw a simplified child-like drawing of a sunflower. In their head they may see wonderful colors and lots of beautiful petals, but what goes on the paper is a circle surrounded with oval shapes that they were taught as a child. It is almost like we can't seem to get our memory to match up to our hands and drawing.

My goal this year is to help students begin to see, remember, and create more realistic ideas. I am excited to see their style progress and gain a wonderful sense of detail! The key is that we need to look at an object to remember what it looks like as we draw it, not trying to draw from memory. Hard concept to grasp, but I know we can do it!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Wow another year has started! I can't believe it! My classes are...what is the best way to describe it.....FULL! On average there are 28 students in each class. They are bringing in new desks and chairs soon. I only had enough for 21! We even had to round up a few more computers for the lab. I am so excited. I am not sure what to do with that many students, but it will come to me eventually!

We ran a short schedule today with an assembly this morning. I saw all the students today. I have a nice combination of repeat students with some new faces as well. I am also very excited to see so many of my former Mayo students in art as Freshman and my senior Mentor Kids!

This year I am going to work hard to create some one of a kind and special activities for the students that will end up being meaningful to them! I want the students this year to do a lot of creative brainstorming so that they become more aware of the how and why of a project, not the "just cause they have to..."

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A New School Year, A New Look

Well, in a little over a week we will be back at school! I am so excited and so not looking forward to it at all. ---Hey, at least I am honest, right! I am very excited about all of the new faces that I will be seeing this year. We have quite an enrollment jump in the arts this year with the addition of an additional class hour in our schedules. For that I am so grateful. But I must admit, I am what you call a true procrastinator. Although I am excited about the classes, I can honestly say I will be getting things together at the last minute for them. I really like my summers. I start all of these projects at home and am lucky to finish them in time to go back to school. I really admire those great teachers who are preparing and working at school in the summer and I wish I had some of that in me. With that said, I am sure I will be flying by the seat of my pants the first week. We will see!