Thursday, December 5, 2013

New View in Guidance

Benz is at it again. Adorning the guidance office with the awesomeness that is your diligence. Stop by to check it out.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

2014 Museum Showcase

A few weeks ago I received the information from the Los Gatos Museums for the show they will be having in 2014 that is open to any high school student in Santa Clara County.
Yes, this is the show that used to be the annual Los Gatos High School Art Show, which has morphed to be a juried show over the years.
I will include all of the necessary information here, but if you want to go straight to their website, you can find it here.

The Art 4 students know that this is a required assignment.
I think it will be for the Art 2 students as well, but haven't fully fleshed out how it will work yet. It won't be dealt with until second semester so I'm not that concerned.

If you are in Art 3 and want to make a killer piece for this show, I can safely say that it would be worth some extra credit for you.

Keep in mind a couple of things, such as:
  • there is a due date for you to submit a pic of your piece in Feb. (the 14th I think)
  • if the piece is accepted it has to be ready to hang
    • if this is a canvas you work on, I have plenty of wire to put on the back
    • if it is a work on paper, I haev 11x14 and 16x20 frames that might work for you, so standard sizes of paper will help - keeping me in the loop and talking with me will benefit you

Aside from the assigned (or not assigned) class piece, you can always do more. I believe you can submit up to 3 pieces per student, but again, I would direct you to the above image and/or the above link.

I will help you, but much of it will need to be done on your own outside of class.

I will also say that I strongly encourage you to make art for this. It is a good experience on many levels, it looks good on your transcript if you need it to, and it is just fun to make art and to showcase your abilities.

Art 2 + Update (the ec is for all adv art students)

Yeah, I know, the end of the semester is approaching way faster than any of us would like.
Well, I want another break, but I feel the pressure of finishing the semester strong and continuing to get a lot of stuff done.

So here is what you, Art 2's, need to know for the remainder of the semester.
First, keep checking the calendar to keep up with the due dates.

We will work on our advertising project for a few class periods, and you have until Tuesday, Dec. 10th to finish it. That is 4.5 hours of class time - give or take.

You must:
  • make it visually appealing
  • include hand-drawn typography
  • encourage students to take art - or at the very least, pique their interest
  • use different parts of ads/ad styles from your assigned decade for inspiration
  • have thumbnail sketches in your sketchbook
  • print out some inspirational pieces and tape them into your sketchbook
Know that I will be looking at your sketchbooks as you work and I will be looking at them for a grade on Friday of this week.

Extra Credit for this semester will be due before you leave class on Monday, 12/16.
You have two options for this extra credit.
  • take a study drawing you have completed this semester and have a do-over;
    • meaning, think about what didn't work; how can you make it better; was it the idea you liked, but the execution suffered; was it just straight up rushed; etc.
    • you must include the original study drawing as well as the new one, side by side
  • take one of the ideas from the back of your study drawing sheet (section 5) that we haven't gotten to yet, do one of those topics.

I will say this though: they need to be awesome. For real.

If I am giving you extra credit I expect you to really go above and beyond. Wow me. Turning in your average pencil line drawing isn't going to cut it. If you turn something in I will give you extra credit, but I will give you more extra credit the more fantastic it is.

Also know that you may get class time to work on this, but don't count on it. We still have other things to cover that are not yet on the calendar so you will probably need to count on doing the extra credit outside of class.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

AICC Exhibit, 2014

The Arts In the Council Chambers exhibit is on its way. 
I just received the details from the town and now have many more items on my to-do list. In a good way. 

The reception is on Thursday, Feb. 13th. 
As usual I will be giving you extra credit for this. I will also be asking for volunteers to bring some refreshments, so start hitting up your parents soon. 

The reception will last from 6-7:30, so mark your calendars. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

How To Be Creative | Off Book | PBS Digital Studios

Pretty much everything about this is well said and well done. Many things I have tried to instill versions of in you. Creativity is much grander than we often give it credit for.
It isn't just "art" for example, that is just our focus for it. 
There are a lot of key factors that will help you get and feel more creative. Take a look. 
Maybe even take some notes.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Art 2 Today

Art 2's, in case you missed class today, these are the instructions that were on the board. 
As you (should) know, we are beginning our stencil portrait project. Let me know if you have any questions. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Pumpkin Patch is Coming

You know you look forward to it every year, and it is almost upon us once again.
The annual glass pumpkin sale is coming up in just a couple of weeks on the front lawn of the school. Yes, your purchase helps the art department directly; yes, your purchase helps a local artisan directly; yes, your purchase gets a gift of something unique for someone you know (note, this someone may actually be you).

If you are a student I know how you can get some community service hours (hint, the flier above is it).
If you want more information, you can find out about the Magical Glass Pumpkin Patch here.

It's good for you, it's good for me, it's just plain good. Really. 'Nuff said.

Monday, September 9, 2013

t-shirt design opportunity

The annual LG vs Saratoga football game is coming up and the Leadership class has asked you awesome folks for some ideas.

Here is what I know:
  • the t-shirt will be black (which will be one of your colors, obviously)
  • you can use up to three colors (black will be a "fourth" color)
  • the designs have to be turned in by 9/18 - that is next week :(
  • judging will be on 9/19
  • you can write and/or draw just about anything you want
  • you can draw the design out on printer paper or art paper or the computer or whatever, but simple 8.5 x 11" printer paper is more than fine (not bigger, por favor)

Did I mention everyone at the game will be wearing your design? Pretty rad.

Did I also mention that designs are due BY the 18th?

Ok, good, enough said.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

...about being an artist

Things I wish someone had told me about being an artist
I see some great stuff on this site, and it confirms what I already think so regularly it's almost scary.
For example...

Friday, August 2, 2013

Some insight/thoughts on all that is AP

Here is another article I found through the interwebs of KQED.

If you have had conversations with me as a student, you know I have some strong opinions about how some academic situations are handled. 
In short, I think - overall - that too many of you are taking too many AP classes and that some adults (uh, parents...sometimes) put too much pressure on you to do more more MORE.

I get it. Really.
My kids were a product of many of the AP classes here at LG. Most of them were good classes. Not all, but most. There were some very good experiences had.
Even as it states towards the end of the article, these classes can sometimes be way better than to be bored to tears in a "regular" class.

But this depends on the subject and the student combined - along with other factors.

Bottom line, they aren't for everybody. But even broader than that, I truly don't believe they really benefit students in the way most people think and want them too.

If you could only hear the teachers bemoan about the quantity of content they "have" to cover. Frustrating, yes. And you wonder why your workload is so vast.

Legitimate quantity isn't bad. Practice is good.
But isn't depth just as important? Or curiosity? Or self-directed learning? Or...

At any rate, for now I will cease my rambling so that you can read this:

New Report Challenges Beliefs About the Value of AP Classes

It isn't very long, so treat yourself.

Great Video About a Bay Area Artist

In the Studio with Meryl Pataky | KQED Arts

Saw this great little interview while searching for an interview I had heard on Forum recently. Very interesting/cool, and from a local one.
Check it out.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Vans Voting

If Dasha and Karla win with the most votes from California I get to take them to NYC for the unveiling in June.

Vote. Now.
Please and thank you.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Money + Monte Cristo

As I've stated in class, there is the opportunity for you to design the image for the fall play that LGHS will perform.
The play will be The Count of Monte Cristo, and below is the info you need to know.

Author: Alexandre Dumas
Adapted by: Charles Morey

Here is the image that Mrs. Martyn has found for you to use as inspiration.

Notice that the image of the buoy in the middle in the page is what your illustration should be similar to. It will obviously be a different image, but the "simplified" use of shape, line, value, and color are what she is interested in.
Take your ideas from the content of the play itself and remember to not over complicate this.

You can do the text, too, but that can also be done on the computer.
In terms of text, it should/will say:

Coming Soon
Los Gatos High School 2013
(these top two lines above the image area (in the above example, this is the text above the black rectangle)
Alexandre Dumas'
Count of Monte Cristo
(these two lines within the "black rectangle" but above the image itself)

You do not have to include a black background as that should be determined by the way you illustrate your design.

Here is a synopsis of the book/play:
"Betrayal, obsession, and redemption provide the backdrop for this compelling adaptation of Alexandre Dumas' classic novel. While unjustly imprisoned, Edmond Dantes befriends a neighboring inmate who bequeaths him an enormous treasure. Dantes eventually escapes and returns to society disguised as the Count of Monte Cristo with plans to enact his revenge on those who betrayed him.  But as Dantes becomes increasingly consumed with his quest for vengeance, he finds himself losing his humanity and any hope of reconciling with the love of his life.

If you have any questions you can as Mrs. Martyn or myself.
I need to know by spring break if you are planning on creating an image in the above style for this.

You can, remember, benefit in two ways: first, you can get $60 from her if your design is chosen; second, you can use this image as one of your study drawings for me.
The image will be due around the first week of May.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Senior Spirit Week Help

You creative folks are in high demand for the hall decorations for spirit week.
See Olivia Flechsig, Casey Heyl or Taylor Unger for information about the decorating at Casey's house each Sat and Sunday.
Or you can email

for more information.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

El Gato Submission

You are awesome and creative and should share that information with your peers.
El Gato (the school newspaper) is giving you the opportunity.

If you need help taking pics, please ask for it.

Here is the info that was passed along to me for me to pass along to you.

El Gato's student life section is accepting art, poetry, and post-secret submissions today and tomorrow. Thursday at the absolute latest! You can submit it anonymously or not to an el gato staff member, drop it by room 506, or submit electronically to or

Take advantage.


Vans Custom Culture

It is that time of year again, and I just received our four pairs of pristine white vans shoes in the mail.

We have until the beginning of April to create and produce designs for the themes: Art, Music, Action Sports, and Local Flavor on the four pairs of shoes and then get pics of them uploaded to the internet.

You can see more about the competition, as well as past winners on the Vans Custom Culture site here.

If you have questions please let me know.  You can pick up shoe templates from me to sketch out your ideas and then I will go through a voting process with the students to determine who will actually paint the shoes.


Monday, February 11, 2013

Extra Credit Opportunities

I have decided that there are two upcoming opportunities for you to earn extra credit for class.
They both involve making art because, well, this is an art class.
Also because Black Ops or Mario Kart can wait. Really.

So here are the details...

#1 Los Gatos Ballet
 A dance themed drawing or painting. If you want to do something ballet themed that would be even better. If you wanted to use as a source image an image from a dancer at Los Gatos Ballet you can go to Doug Speidel's portfolio of LG Ballet dancers/dances here and check some out.
I have to know by MARCH 1ST if you are creating a piece for this, what the media is, and what the size is.
Really, I think it would be best to keep the images 16x20 or smaller.
They need to be good pieces and not just a semi-decent study drawing type pieces, just fyi. If I'm giving extra credit and you are putting it out there in public I just need you to recognize that you are helping put a "face on" the LGHS Art Department through your efforts.

The auction itself is on March 23rd, and I have to have the piece before March 22nd.
Yes, I need to know by Mar. 1st if you are doing a piece for LG Ballet, but you don't have to have the piece finished until the middle of March.

#2 Los Gatos Art Museum
For the second year in a row the LG Art Museum is hosting a county wide competition for high school students.
The theme is Art + Tech + Culture. They are asking about the effects of technology in our lives.

For example:
"Your artwork might be created using new media technologies - computer graphics, robotics, animation - the sky is the limit"
"Your observations about the impacts of technology in our lives are equally relevant, both globally and individually.  What is the impact of technology in education, here and in developing countries? What are the issues surrounding compromised privacy?"
"How has technology affected social behavior? What is the new etiquette?"

You can get more information at the Museums of Los Gatos website here for more complete information and a list of due dates.
The first date you really need to be aware of is March 22nd, as that is the date you need to have a photo of your piece emailed to the museum.

I need to have proof that you are finished with this piece and have emailed it to the museum so you need to make sure that you cc me on the email. You should know my email address, but just in case you are feeling to lazy to look it up, it is:

P.S. You need to appropriately photograph your piece in order to put your best foot forward. This includes setting the correct exposure and white balance. I can help with this.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Art + Money?

Yes, you heard correctly. You can make money from making art.
In a lot of ways, actually, but I'm just going to talk about one (well, sort of two) here.

For years (!) we had an annual LGHS art show at the LG Art Museum. Things have changed over time, and last year the museum turned it into an "open", county-wide, show.

There is a theme, and you can find all of the information out HERE.

You could just go to the LG Museum website and look up upcoming exhibitions through that Google website thing, too.

Here is a little snippet, as a taste, of what they say online:
In this second annual county-wide competition, The Museums of Los Gatos is asking area students about the effects of technology in our lives. We want to hear your opinions. Technology is everywhere so choose whatever you feel passionate about. If you need, here are just a few examples to get you started:
1. Your artwork might be created using new media technologies—computer graphics, robotics, animation—the sky is the limit.
2. Your observations about the impacts of technology in our lives are equally relevant, both globally and individually. How does technology affect the environment? What is the impact of technology in education, here and in developing countries? What are the issues surrounding compromised privacy.
3. How has technology affected social behavior? What is the new etiquette?

You have until March 22nd before the due date, however, that doesn't mean you have until then to work on your image. You MUST give yourself time to photograph and email the image.

Important note: photograph your image with me here at school unless you REALLY know what you are doing.
And by really know what you are doing I mean setting the proper value and white balance using a gray card and white card.
If that seems like gibberish to you, let me help you.

For real. It's that important.

As always, let me know if you have questions or need help getting started.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

An Opportunity For You?

I'm sitting here in this very exciting staff meeting and there is a request for a student to do a logo for the CASA Fashion Show that is coming up in March.
You can let me know if you are interested. It is a great way to get a portfolio piece and some experience.

If you want to go directly to the source, that person is:
Kerry Rothschild at

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Art 1 watercolor Landscape

It is that time of year again...when we are painting the lighthouse landscape.
As I have said, I have mixed feelings about this project - which I probably shouldn't admit to, but oh well. It is a great learning tool to comprehend some good ways of layering and combining multiple techniques all together; however, we all paint the same thing - including myself - which isn't super "creative".

With all that said, there is a very good chance this will be the best watercolor project you do for quite some time. Unless, that is, you give yourself plenty of time and practice outside of class.

If you want to see what the step by step process looks like - along with descriptions of the techniques and colors used in each area, you can look at the blog poss from last year.

You do need to go to the Dec. 2011 posts to find that information, though.

Happy painting, and have fun!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Art 2 Pastry Pics

So I thought I was intending to ask for you to all bring pics of cupcakes (with much color) in them, but there obviously needs to be some clarification.

While I can see how there are great options available outside the realm of cupcakes, there are also many roadblocks there.

The benefit of choosing cupcakes is that there is consistency of subjects and problem solving. Also, if you think about it, even of two people choose the same image the subsequent drawing will certainly be different.

I would like to also note that there are often problems that arise with certain textures that can be bothersome and time consuming, and I am trying to minimize frustration while maximizing good drawings.
But I am open to possibility. So with that being said, yes, I want at least two good pics of cupcakes. Not even of French macaroons.
HOWEVER, if you find something in addition to this and are very inspired, bring that in as well. I will consider it on an as needed basis.

Be prepared to isolate the dessert from any background that might be in the image as well.
If you have questions, fb me.