Monday, May 20, 2019

A Change Is Gonna Come...

Hi all, thank you for clicking over to read this.
I know I said the "A Story Of..." project would be due at the beginning of class tomorrow, 5/21, but I need to amend that.
I will give you until the end of class however you will not have the entire class period.
At the very beginning of class I want you to gather around my desk with your ipad and a pencil so that I can go over some administrative things I need to do. I think I can get through all of this in about 15-20 min assuming you are cooperating.
I'll explain more in class, I just need you to bear with me, please.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Opening Some Options and Wrapping Up

I know we just started our final grading period, but there are a couple of things I feel it is important to bring to your attention.
First, as it says in Canvas, nothing that has a due date in May will be accepted past the class period it is due. It simply takes too long for me to address those loose ends and wrap up the semester in a substantial way for that to work.

Second, if you have any Sketchbook work from Ch. 4 or 5 (for Art 1), or any Independent Practices (for Art 2) that were due earlier this semester, regardless of how long ago they were due, I will accept them between May 1st and May 13th. This gives you more than three weeks to work on the work. But, make sure you are following the following directions:

Art 1:
Send me an email that says "Ch. 4 redo" or "Ch. 5 redo" in the subject line.
In the body of the email tell me if you are doing work that was never turned in, or is a do-over of something you turned in earlier ( you must be making significant and noticeable changes if it is a do-over).
If the work is a do-over, include a before and after photo so that I have comparisons I can make, and then physically see me when you are ready to turn it is so I can give additional directions then.
Please send a separate email for Ch. 4 and Ch. 5 if that applies to you.

Art 2:
Send me an email that includes the title/topic of the piece you are turning in, and what number it was, in the subject line.
In the body of the email please tell me if you are doing work that was never turned in, or is a do-over of something you turned in earlier (you must be making significant and noticeable changes if it is a do-over).
If the work is a do-over, include a before and after photo so that I have comparisons I can make, and then make sure to include the topic on the back of the piece (with your name) when you turn it in.
Please send a separate email for each I.P.

For both Art levels: there will be no feedback and "redo" opportunities for work that falls into this category. Also, do not spend class time "catching up" and working on this. You may absolutely use tutorial, lunch, before/after school to do this work, but not class time.

If you have questions about the above, please send me an email. Unfortunately I know not everyone reads these messages, and since I want to focus on current work while in class I will not be discussing this content with the classes as a whole.
I will say, though, that I have been really impressed with some of the work as of late, and I want to allow the ability that I see in you to be shown. I know for some of you this isn't applicable, but for others of you it is. If this helps you, great. If it isn't applicable, thank you for making my life easier on me. I truly, truly, appreciate it.

One other thing I do want to address is the overall use of time. Several of you spend more time on extraneous "things" than are necessary in class. So my request, please be very mindful of how you use class time for the next four to five weeks. This is often with the ipads, so think about things like:
How long is it taking you to log in and select your playlist?
How long are you taking to clean up at the end of class?
But it can also be:
How long are you giving yourself to clean up at the end of class (you probably need less time than you think)?
How many times are you turning to your friends in class instead of having your focus be on your work (Yes, I still want you to feel free to converse with those in your table group, but you still need to get the work done)?

It is easy for any/all of the above to eat up 5-10 minutes of class time, and that is valuable time lost, so be very mindful of your expenditures especially as we work our way into May and June.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Ending and Beginning

Welcome to February, all!
I don't know about you, but after coming down with strep throat, I'm happy to put the last week of January to rest and start a fresh month anew.

As really difficult as this past week has been for me personally, there are some upsides I'm going to try to quickly address some of them here:

  • First, the empathy of the vast majority of my students has been on explicit display. They know I've been massively under the weather, and they have been not just respectful and productive, but kind and full of statements such as, "I hope you feel better soon" (always followed with a smile). To the students, thank you; to the parents, you have some good eggs on your hands. They are reminding me how much I really enjoy being around them and teaching them.
  • Second, since I have been out, it has forced me to remain on the perimeter more than I normally would be and just kind of watch what is happening. In Art 1 we are working on a series of small watercolor landscapes. This is one of the most challenging things we will do this year. As I watch the students work, I am impressed. There are some lovely decisions being made, and from across the room I can see them thinking and processing and putting together a lot of pieces that we have been working on all year. This is so exciting! As a parent and a teacher it is hard to let go at times because you know what "could be" done (or just how we as experienced adults would do it), but we all have to remember that all these adolescents are still just kids, and they need the time and space to figure out their own decisions. I'm seeing some smart decisions, and I can't wait to see the end results!
  • Don't forget that Thursday, 2/7, is the opening reception for the oil painting exhibition in the Town Council Chambers from 6-7:30.
  • Registration: I know the window officially closes on 2/5, but students can always change directly with their counselor later as needed. Honestly, almost every one of the students I am working with this year should be signing up for Art 2 and Art 3 respectively. If you have any questions please let me know.
    A few things to remember based off some questions I've fielded this week: Art 3 gets students the Applied Art credit they need for graduation - always a bonus; there are massive benefits not just for h.s., but also for college admissions, for students to take multiple years of Art (yes, I can give more specifics if you want, but I don't just say this as an Art teacher, but because this is backed up by experts in several different fields); there is no need to take more than one science class per year to be highly qualified for college - this goes counter to what many people want to think (especially if you want your student to pursue something science related), but the truth is, no colleges expect more than four sciences, but all colleges want students that are creative thinkers, and these Art classes are some of the most challenging in terms of "figuring stuff out" and forcing complex thinking processes out of the students; it is amazing how much you have to figure out in order to create a drawing and painting from scratch.
  • Then, tutorial, as we near the end of a grading period, I know there are some - especially in Art 1 - that would benefit from "extra time". While there are many many students who positively use this time, it shouldn't come as a surprise that many student who could most benefit from this time aren't using it. Please encourage accordingly.
  • Last, feedback. Everyone knows I give a lot of this, and I document as much as possible in Canvas. Students are expected to use the feedback given to make changes and adjustments when necessary. With nearly every assignment there is a window for students to make changes to what they've done. Again, please encourage accordingly.
Well, that wasn't quite as short as it could have been, but I tried. I wish you all a restful weekend. That is my one big goal, personally!


Monday, January 28, 2019

Daily Agenda for Art 2 on 1/28/19

I'm sorry to miss the day, everyone :(
I've been sick since Thursday night and I just don't have enough voice to make it through the day.
I will be back tomorrow, and while you know where you left off, I want to get it here in writing for you and the sub.

You may have the first 15min to work on your I.P. that is due next week.
While you already brainstormed some ideas, what I want you to think about is something that is not straightforward. If you draw a cup, and that's it, it's probably going to be really boring.
What else can you add to it? Is there a more interesting object you can draw? How can you play with scale? Can the image be about something else (more interesting), and the item with a handle be just a small part of it?
There are a lot of options, it's up to you to discover them and have fun with it.

Next, finish your color chart.
Remember that the values should be noticeably different in each circle/oval in each column.
Each color mixture should be noticeably different from left to right.
Pay particular attention to your neutrals (for ex, blue and org or purple and yellow) as they need to be mixed properly.
Mix the colors completely on your palette.
Application on color chart is expected to be smooth, homogeneous, opaque, and neat.

When you are finished, make sure your name is on it, you have labeled all of you colors in their respective places, and you put it on my desk in a neat pile once it is dry (use the hair dryer if needed).

If there is time remaining, please begin drawing your image on your canvas.

I will get everything caught up throughout the rest of the week as I can. Wish me luck in healing. Have a great day!

As you see the CT kids coming through/around campus today (beginning around 9:30) please encourage them to sign up for Art 1 :)

Daily Agenda for Art 1 on 1/28/19

I am so sorry to miss class today, folks, but I've been sick since Thursday night.

Your main goal for the day is to, essentially, finish your watercolor that you drew out last week.
However, I want to remind you of some tips and best practices and frequent pitfalls. Please look at the bullet points below for all of those.
When you are finished for the day please do an extra strong cleanup job so I am not looking at a mess tomorrow when I know I will still be under the weather but on campus, and gingerly place your watercolor in your plastic tub.
Also, even though I am having you read this on the ipads, I don't want you listening to music today. The sub can put something on through the computer behind my desk, but I don't want you to have headphones in. I want you to converse and strategize with the peers that are doing the same landscape as you so that you can all have the best product possible.

  • the biggest and lightest areas need to be done first
  • this happens, usually, with a large brush and the wet-on-wet technique
  • think in terms of layers
  • this means that even though you may have grass covering some dirt, you prob need to paint the dirt first, let that dry, then come back over and paint the grass (this is how the lighthouse example by the board was done)
  • never use black by itself, and use it sparingly 
  • even that lighthouse with the stripes on it isn't black; yes, it has black in it, but you need something else in there; black by itself is way too stark (this is a lesson for pretty much every painting medium)
  • color mixing is important
  • think about the color chart we did, how can you use that? brown is rarely the brown from the paint palette; you may need three or four colors together
  • test everything out on scrap paper ahead of time; colors, values, etc.
  • have plenty of paper towels on hand
  • use the hair dryers
  • watercolor is a lot of hurry up and wait; if you try to paint a building right after you do the sky it will probably bleed together; you can't fix this
  • I will often do sky, first ground layer, and then make sure everything is dry before I start to do the rest of my objects and details
  • did I mention that the idea of layers is important? it adds depth, character, and dimension; you need to try to think several steps ahead in order to have the strongest painting possible

If you are finished "early", work on your sketchbook. I am getting better, but I'm not well. Have a great day and I will see you soon!


Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Ending the Semester for Art 1

I just wanted to share a few notes for you, my wonderful Art 1 students.
As the semester draws to an end, everything seems busy. This is true for teachers and students both.
I know there are due dates coming up (Ch. 3 on 12/10 and 12/ attention to this as black/orange days are flipped here!), but there is time to get your work finished.
I cannot strongly enough suggest that you use tutorial time - especially for your sketchbook. Not only is the sketchbook due before the painting, but you will need all of the available class time you can get to finish your painting sufficiently.
On average, in the past, the tempera painting has taken - with brainstorming, working on the color wheel worksheet, and through the entire rough draft process - 14 or 15 class periods. If we go from the beginning of the project to the published due date, there are 13 class period for your work this semester after the pen and ink due date.
I know I know, what about another one or two class periods? I get it. It stresses me out too.

But first, a little tangent.
Some of your ideas and designs are so amazing. Even if you did a so-so job on the execution I know it will look fantastic, and some of you that I see this’re already painting as I write this. Wow!
However, some of you aren’t even on your large rough draft yet. And you are most of the same people who (basically) never come in to work at tutorial or before/after school. Sad face.

So here is what I am “changing”. We will have an “extension” of the due date… with some caveats. While you will get the finals class period to work on your painting, you will not have quite all of this time. During part of this I will have you filling out a self-reflection about your painting/process before you actually finish your painting.

You MUST have all of the requirements in the painting before the due date. This means all of your completed value scales, neutral, tints, tone, etc. have to be in the painting. You also need to show your ability to get clean/crisp edges, as well as smooth/blended transitions.
Your painting should, basically, be finished. By this, I mean at least 90% finished.

However, I do want to show a few things along the way and at the end that will help refine your image, add some textures, etc. It is possible that this will take us into a day or two of next semester.
You will receive an assessment for your project after you give it to me during finals, but because it will be the end of the semester you will not have your normal window to make any adjustments or have a do-over in any section. This is just what happens at the end of the semester.

Remember that you should, essentially, be finished with your painting (you need to have paint everywhere, but you may have some small details that could still be added). If you aren’t at this point, you won’t have given yourself the opportunity to show what you have learned this semester, and in this process.
The thing I am most concerned with is that there are some of you that aren’t painting yet (as I finish writing this on the morning of 12/5 (that earlier bit was written yesterday)). You just won’t have time to finish this painting if you do not use a significant amount of studio time outside of your normal class period working on your painting.

It will be a tight finish, but I believe in you, and I’m here to help you along the way. I’ll keep what I have to say/show to a minimum so as to maximize your time, but you also need to help your own process by giving it as much time as possible. As always, let me know I can answer any questions.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

An Open Invitation

To all of my wonderful art students, welcome.
I say welcome to this opportunity because it is just that - an opportunity for you to show me your work and your growth.
I know, I do this each day you are in the studio, but I wanted to throw something new out there.

If we step back and we think about the big things that we've gone over with the foundational building blocks of art, we have things such as:
  • line
  • value
  • contrast
  • shape
  • proportion
  • hatch shading
  • smooth shading
  • etc etc etc
These vary slightly if you are in Art 1 or Art 2 (at least in terms of what we have focused on thus far), but all of these are important.

You pretty much always have simultaneous projects running in the studios between your "big" in-class projects and your Sketchbook (Art 1) or Independent Practice (Art 2), and what I would like to see as often as possible is that you are using the second of those to both have fun, but also show how those skills where you are less proficient are getting better. But there can be more...

So the opportunity comes in two forms:

First, come in at tutorial and/or after/before school. Many of you are just not using this time. Remember, tutorial times counts as minutes of instructional time, so please please use them. I know some of you do this, and your work is consistently better for it, but many more of you could be working during these hours each week. Trust me when I say it will give more growth, be more fun, and less stressful. Just try it out. Please (or did I say that already?!).

Second, if you want to use your time to create another drawing that shows you are getting better at the tasks that were put at hand during the still life drawing unit, please do. Create another pencil drawing that shows, for example: better hatch use, or wider a wider value for more contrast. If you want to do this and bring it in to be before November, I would be happy to work with you in a way that might increase the assessment of the still life drawing in Canvas.

I really am trying to give you the opportunity to show growth here.
What I want to see is how you can show me the initial still life drawing, what was said you needed to work on in the given feedback, and how you used those concepts to greater effect in a different final drawing.

If you want to discuss any of this with me during a tutorial I would be happy to. I won't remind you of this or talk about it in class, but I do want to give you the opportunity.
I believe in your ability to show growth, and this also gives you time - which hopefully, for those of you that desire it, will be of benefit.

Not everyone needs to do this, but if you desire this opportunity, please take it.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Grading Period 1

We are officially beyond the 1/6th mark of the academic year. Yikes. The grades have "rolled over" from one system to the next, and as I double check my work and prepare the next steps I'd like to step back and take stock.

First, there are a lot of students who will see an "I" in the Canvas gradebook, or get an "incomplete or missing assignments" comment in Aeries (once that is opened for student viewing). In fact, more than makes me comfortable or happy.

What I have learned the last two years is that this is part of the process when the process is the focus. What I have also learned is that not all students have learned to embrace the process; not all students have learned to learn from, or push themselves based off of, feedback; not all students are exceptional at following a protocol that is different than their other teacher.
This is part of my plight, and it is somewhat self-imposed. To a degree I have to be ok with that.

And I am, to a degree. I believe it is best for the students, and at least for the ones who take positive advantage of the given flexibility, it is best for their learning. I am not here to "punish", but here to push and teach and make everyone feel like they are going beyond their comfort zone.
That is where the good stuff happens.

If you are one of those people that see one of those "incomplete" things in Canvas or Aeries (later this week), you owe it to yourself to come have a conversation with me. Maybe it's too late to affect any change, but maybe not. We won't know until said conversation. If everyone shows up at once on one tutorial, I won't be able to see everyone, but please use a tutorial before the middle of next week to make the time for me.

On a more positive note...what a start to the year!
I have seen some great drawings and some great growth from all of my classes. I have enjoyed what we have done so far, and am excited about the processes we have on the horizon as they are some of my favorites of the year.
I'm enjoying getting to know those of you that I have, and I look forward to building an even more open environment as we get even more open work time over the next few months.

Remember, I'm here if you need me, and the studio is always open if you need a comfortable place to hang out and/or get some work done.

Enjoy your afternoon!

Monday, October 1, 2018

Get all the Dots

Art 1's, a successful beginning of the year has been had - kudos to all of you, but before we completely move on, let's take a moment to review.

Remember, any drawing that you are deciding to adjust based off the given feedback will get to me asap. Ideally this would mean this week. You do have, however, up to the 15th for any corrections.
Note: the still life arrangements will go bye bye after this week, so you probably want to photograph your view of your arrangement before that happens.
If you change your drawing, upload an updated version of it to Canvas - which can be photographed with your phone or the ipad since we won't be in class when you are doing this.

I will probably not do a lot of reminding so please keep that date well at hand. Also remember that you have a 4-day weekend coming up so that somewhat limits the time you have in school as well.

Next, since we are getting into the Pen and Ink season, I have a beginning video that would be very very helpful for you to watch before you get started in class.
Remember that ink is permanent so you can't really afford to make mistakes. Scratch paper at hand will always come in handy.
If you are having problems with the links to the video here, the same video is in Canvas, so you could watch it there.

Also, pay attention to the due dates for Ch. 2 of the sketchbook. The first one doesn't come up for a while, but don't let it catch you off guard. Please.

As always, let me know what questions I can answer. Smile!

Monday, September 24, 2018

Art 2 Important Reminders

Art 2's
Remember that Oct. 1st (next Monday) is the final date to adjust your still life based off the feedback you have received.
If you are making changes, don't forget to upload a finished/final photo before you submit your assignment to me again. Additionally, leave me a comment in the assignment that tells me what you did/changed.

As for Independent Practice...last week you filled out a self reflection. Not all of them are where they need to be. Once you read the feedback I gave on those and/or in the gradebook, see me if needed. There are several that are marked as "I" and shouldn't be. This may be a very simple fix, but it may need more from you.
You have this week to get this to where it should be.

Whenever you change and/or finish something, always upload a new photo documenting the newest version of the piece.