Sunday, April 1, 2018

NAEA Seattle

I went to the NAEA Art Ed Convention this year for the first time. It was held in Seattle, a city which I had never been before. I was lucky my sister just moved to that area, so I got to spend some time with her before hitting up the art ed shenanigans. Between presentations, workshops, and grabbing swag at the booths, I explored the city. I went to the Seattle Art Museum and even walked through the sculpture park. I did so much walking. I have to say, sometimes I don't feel like I enjoy larger art museums. I'm usually rushing through it so fast and it's really hard to focus when there are hundreds of things to look at. I did get to see some awesome art, but then it was off to see other awesome art. I think my favorite is that stretched out head of a sculpture. It was just fun to look at. I also randomly got to walk past the gum wall before leaving. I didn't know that existed. It's like a publicly participated art display, and rather neat to to walk through.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Artistic Process - From Sketchbook to Final

I am extremely passionate about the entire artistic process. Coming up with an idea, researching the idea, fleshing out the idea, getting feedback, revising the idea, asking questions, creating the final product, and finally displaying for everyone to see.

This is something I will admit that I was terrible at in high school. I try to teach my own students how to really plan their projects, but I know I am a hypocrite. When my art teacher told me to do research and create a thumbnail sketches I would roll my eyes. I didn't care about that part, I just wanted to jump right in! The idea was in my head, what more did I need? I find my own students are the exact same way and it is very frustrating.

Maybe it's a maturity thing, but I find much more joy in the process now than I did as a young sprout. The whole experience is amazing, not just the end. I get to look back at my original sketches and think, "Wow, this was just a tiny idea and now it has grown to be something real. It is amazing!" Now I am the teacher, trying to get my students to not roll their eyes at the planning, but to enjoy the whole process and grow from it.

Here are some examples of my own start to finish works of art.

During my printmaking class in college I put every effort in to make my ideas successful. 
Thumbnail > Sketch > Digital Rendition > Final Print

This one started with a photograph, then a sketch, then drawing/painting. 

I had many pages of sketches for these zoetropes I made. So much research was put into this project. 

The phenakistascope was an addition to my zoetropes and I only did one page of thumbnails before building. 

More sketches were made, but this was the one I worked off most. I even made a mini model before beginning the larger project. 

A lot of trial and error was put into this tricycle project. I didn't know how to build this thing, but with many, many, MANY questions directed at my professor and wood shop supervisor, it was created. I laugh now because I had a peer tell me it was well done because I had talent. I was not born knowing how to woodwork and weld. No, I did not have talent, I had motivation, dedication, and the ability to ask for help. 

This slide was a true testament of dedication. This was a very large project. Why I spent so much time, money, and effort on these huge ideas is beyond me. 

This was an example for my students. I wanted to show how to create a proper sketchbook page for their mask ideas that included a drawing, written details, and questions. 

That itty bitty drawing on the bottom right corner of the sketchbook page served as the final sketch for this comic page project. Sometimes you don't need to have the most detailed sketch before beginning, just something to get you started. 

These are the steps I use for creating any kind of digital art project. Similar steps are used in traditional illustration as well. It's just fun to see how it starts and changes as it progresses, and through the magic of photoshop layers, you can always go back and view that. 

Monday, October 30, 2017

Current Teaching Examples

This school year I mostly have classes I have taught before (yay!). Cultural art is new and the drawing/painting class got a new name.

  • Intro Art
  • Video Arts
  • Digital Photography
  • Cultural Art
  • 2D Art (Drawing/Painting)

Every time I give my students a project I make sure it's something I also enjoy doing. We've been working on many fun projects with different materials and concepts. It's been quite a journey. Here are some of my current art samples I have been making with the students.

Gridded portrait of Elvis using pointillism.

Painting form samples. I goofed up on the right ones and made the ground darker. It should have been flipped. My bad. 

Color Wheels... oh teaching color theory. I've had students create so many different kinds of colors wheels over the years. Some are more presentable than others, but I find that the standard bottom left color wheel works well enough. Fancy is not always needed. 

I love making stamps when we do printmaking. I've made three samples so far. I could make one myself every day, but then I'd use all the class supply. I already don't think I have enough for next semester. 

My 2D art students really wanted to spray paint, so I let them. We used the back of drawing boards. I created this multi-layered tape thing with a two-layered Elvis. I could have done more, but I may be too impatient for the drying of spray paint. I know the students really enjoyed it. 

In Cultural Art I had the students create African Tinga Tinga paintings using Minnesota animals and influences. My example includes the state bird (loon) and state fish (walleye).  

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Master Copy Paintings

Each semester I have my students create master copy paintings. This is a project I enjoyed a lot when I was in school. In eighth grade attempted to paint the Mona Lisa and I really wish I had a picture of it because it was just awful, but I loved it!

While student teaching, my co-operating teacher had the painting students do the same assignment. The first two here are my examples while student teaching. I've been having my own current classes do copies also. I believe it really helps to develop painting techniques. The bottom two are examples from my time at ERATS.

Click here to check out some of my students' examples. 

 Copy of a Chuck Close portrait
16x20 oil on canvas

Copy of "The Bath" by Fernando Botero
16x20 oil on canvas

Copy of "Starry Night" by Vincent Van Gogh
16x20 acrylic on canvas

Copy of "A Bigger Splash" by David Hockney
12x16 acrylic on canvas

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Summer Camp

Did I create a lot of art this summer? No, no I did not, but that doesn't mean I wasn't creative. I worked at an all girls summer camp for 9 weeks as a camp counselor and a drama instructor. I learned some quick skills on the fly like this stage makeup business and making myself look like I really got stabbed by nature. I also taught improve acting which I love, and singing... um... there's a reason I am a visual artist and not a musician, but we all got through it unharmed. It was quite the experience.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Art Classroom

I think of my entire classroom as a work of art. I am the interior decorator to the art room. When I first got my classroom two years ago it was in shambles. I did some wall painting and major organization. In the first year I had little storage space and a weird layout, but at least it looked pretty decent. By my second year I multiplied my storage and table space and got some new student tables that I grouped in the middle. It's a little tight when I have many students in the room, but it is WAY better this year. There is more usable space and storage these days. Of course, I will always wish for more space, but I do what I can. I'm lucky I have a lot of freedom to make it into what I want. 

This is my second year arrangement ^

This is my first year arrangement ^ 

This is what I what I started with ^

Friday, April 21, 2017

How to Be a Successful Art Teacher

One of the first projects I taught in the film making class was to make a how-to video. I was very surprised that none of the students have made or posted videos like this. In the age of technology I feel like every high school student does this, but maybe it's all about the snapchats and instagrams these days. Anyway, this was my example to show them. It also shows off how amazing and successful I am. 

Ball Transform GIF

I had my digital art students make GIFs using photoshop. They picked it up surprisingly well. The assignment was to make a ball bounce and transform into something else. I made this quick example during class when I was explaining the assignment. He's a happy little orange thing. Of course I had to explain squash and stretch concepts too.

These are a few of the student examples I very much enjoyed. Everyone is unique on their interpretation of the project. Go to to see more student art.