Friday, October 28, 2016

Daily Sketchbook 10/28

Draw something on the next blank page in your sketchbook that starts with the last letter of your last name.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Daily Sketchbook 10/26

You are welcome.
It is a waffle day, but in a way I have never done it before.
Here is my request in the form of two options.
Option One: draw a waffle, in ink, topped with stuff and make it look awesome;
Options Tow: take a photo of the waffle you eat in class (before you eat it) and upload that.

As usual, ONLY take your photo and upload with the ipad (this has been an issue for some of you in fourth per know who you are, so please make me happy and don't let this be an issue since I am being so giving today).

Monday, October 24, 2016

Daily Sketchbook 10/24

Please work on - or continue working on - one of your finished study drawings.
This lets me see your process and makes me happy.
Photograph with the ipad and upload as soon as your time is up.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Daily Sketchbook 10/20

Draw a cardboard box tipped on its side.
What is spilling/coming out of the box?
Draw this as well.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Google Doodle Contest (Daily Sketchbook for 11/7)

"What I see for the future..."

That's the theme put out by Google for this year's doodle contest. First I want to get in to what they write before talking about the prizes - which I think you'll be interested in.

First, "challenge student to look at how they will make a difference in creating the world of tomorrow."

1. Have students explore the industries and technologies that are shaping our future, such as:
  • transportation (driverless cars, commercial space travel)
  • renewable energy (windmill power)
  • technology (3D printing, artificial intelligence)
2. As students research, have them consider what things will be like in the future: How will people communicate with family and friends How will they commute to school and work? Will there be world peace and equality?

3. Ask students to select one emerging technology/trend that would change their daily lives in the future. Challenge the students to think about how they can help advance the cause through their efforts in the future.

4. Have students create a presentation sharing how they could tackle this issue and make an impact in the future.

This is a lot to take in. BEFORE I give you their template, I just want you to brainstorm. See what you might be interested in portraying by collecting ideas from everyone at your table group. Make a list (words and images) that you may use as a jumping off point.
That may be as far as you get today. This is ok.

Speaking of inspiration, they have THIS VIDEO that is pretty interesting in terms of ideation and working methods, some of which may sound familiar.

That first video is "imagine" and THIS SECOND VIDEO is called "create". I especially love this second one. You may want to watch it more than once. Just saying.

I would view this prompt as a process. You can take several (non-class) days to work on this - which I kind of suggest, and you may also use this as one of your study drawings for the month of November.

Outside the Box

Los Gatos Utility Box Art Program

The Town of Los Gatos Parks and Public Works Department announces the unique opportunity for Bay Area artists to submit designs for the Outside the Box program.

The Outside the Box Utility Box Art Program is designed to enhance the area by adding works of art to the streetscapes on surfaces that are often targeted by graffiti vandals. Artwork on utility boxes functions as a form of communication to a moving audience with the goal of creating a safe, inclusive and interesting urban environment. Successful proposals will foster community pride, convey the sense of the Los Gatos community, and add awareness of sustainability to the Town. Accepted artwork will be converted into a vinyl wrap and installed directly on the utility box.

Design Guidelines and Specifications for Selected Artists
  • Design must include all visible sides of the utility box
  • designs must not be offensive, and no advertising, branding, or commercial images are allowed
  • if the design is to include text, it must be included in the proposal. The artist must have the right to use this text. Designs may not include any breach of intellectual property, trademarks, brands, images of illegal activity or involve the attachment of any objects to the box
  • designs should not mimic or take the style of tags or graffiti
  • the finished artworks will be in the public domain and therefore may be vandalized. Accordingly, artists should be thoughtful about having large open areas in the design - for example, large areas of blue skies may give a vandal the perfect spot to deface the work
  • the vinyl wraps have a lifetime of five years; the town has the right to replace them at that time or if vandalized prior to that time
  • selected artists will be subject to signing a public art agreement through the Town of Los Gatos and be held subject to those requirements, deadlines, and restrictions
  • artists will be involved in approving a semi-final layout of their image on the utility box

Selection Process
A selection panel comprised of two employees of the Town's Environmental Services Division, one employee of the Town Manager's Office, and two members of the Arts and Culture Commission will review all applications and select up to five finalists. The number of artists selected and how many utility box designs each artists will create is chosen at the discretion of the selection committee.

How To Apply
Artists must be Bay Area residents

All applicants are required to submit the following application:

The application outlines the following:
  1. Design concept - briefly explain your design concept(s) for each box
  2. Resume
  3. Digital examples of previous work
  4. Design(s) - each applicant can submit up to three sample designs
  5. Affirmative representation that the artist owns all copyright rights without restriction or infringement on any third party rights to the artwork submitted for consideration
The Town reserves the right to accept any applications, to not accept any artist recommended by the Selection Committee, to initiate an alternate selection process, or to reissue the Call to Artists.

If the submittal material package does not include all items listed above, the Town of Los Gatos shall determine which submittal packages are responsive and reserves the right to reject all incomplete proposals. Please do not send information or materials not specifically requested as part of this application.

Notification of Results and Installation
  • the artist selected will be notified at the conclusion of panel deliberations. Applications will receive notifications of the panel's decision by email. The Town of Los Gatos reserves the right not to select any of the applicants
  • Selected artists will be given a %500.00 stipend to design one mural each, featuring the theme provided for each box
  • The fabricator will take artists designs, transfer them to a vinyl wrap, and then apply them to the utility boxes
  • utility boxes range in size and shape. There are vertical and horizontal forms. Please be aware that the wraps and designs may also be modified to accommodate a number of special features including meters, vents, and handles.
  • Note that because boxes range in size and images could be used more than once, some cropping may occur to images
  • Artwork will be celebrated with an unveiling presentation

October 10, 2016 - call for artists
December 2, 2016 - deadline for artists to submit designs
December 2016 - Committee reviews design
January 2017 - Chosen designs announced
Spring 2017 - Wraps installed
*dates are tentative and subject to change

Application Submission and Inquiries
Applications must be received no later than 5:00pm on December 2, 2016. All questions should be directed to the Parks & Public Works Department at (408) 399-5770 or e-mail

Terms, Conditions, and Reservations of Rights
By submitting a proposal, proposers grant the Town of Los Gatos the right to use the selected artist' work in Downtown Los Gatos, as well as for advertising, promotion, and for any other Town purpose. By submitting the proposal, proposers agree that the Town of Los Gatos is not responsible for any incorrect information caused by any technical or human error that may occur in the processing of submissions by the Town, including but not limited to any misprints or typographical errors.

The Town of Los Gatos will not be responsible for incomplete, defective, or unreadable entries or for failure to receive entries due to transmission failures or technical failures of any kind. All submittals become the property of the Town of Los Gatos.

Utility Box themes: 
  1. Environmental Cats Box: for this box, located at Blossom Hill & Union, the theme should incorporate our Los Gatos cats and environmental consciousnesss. This could include a Los Gatos cat with a background promoting clean air, clean creeks, alternate transportation, etc...
  2. Town Sustainability: for this box, located at University & Main, the theme should centralize around town activities incorporating sustainability. This could include using recyling cans near local eateries, alternative transportation, shopping local, etc...
  3. Promoting Active Lifestyles: for this box, located at Oka & Lark, the theme should stress the importance of active healthy lifestyles. This could include a collage of fitness activities or focusing on one particular outdooor activity such as walking, hiking, biking, swimming, etc...
  4. Celebrating Open Spaces: For this box, located at College & Pageant, the theme should focus on bringing attention to St. Joseph's Hill Open Space. This could include such things as a trail map or overview point for St. Joseph's Hill
  5. Keeping Creeks Clean: for this box, located at University & Mullen, the theme should focus on the importance of keeping our creeks clean, which ultimately leads to the Bay. This box could include a graphic that implies this. Please see West Valley Clean Water Program, The Ocean Conservancy, or The Surfrider Foundation for inspiration.

Daily Sketchbook 10/18

Take out a pencil or pen and drawing the raw ingredients of one of your favorite dishes.
Alternatively you could draw the process of making this same dish.

See below for an example of what this could look like.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Daily Sketcbhook 10/14

This is a mindful moment day.
Please take a seat, pushed back from your table and facing me.
If you can get your feet on the ground, please do. I will begin once your eyes are shut and the room is prepared.
When we are finished please photograph and upload WITH AN IPAD for your daily sketchbook.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Daily Sketchbook 10/12

Get your watercolors out and get the best and most interesting colors and techniques you can get in 13 minutes on your sandcastle drawing from a few class periods ago.
Don't forget about textures!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Daily Sketchbook 10/10

Get a pen and a mirror (behind the colored pencils in the tool cabinet).
On the next blank page in your sketchbook draw a blind contour drawing of yourself for at least five minutes, but no longer than eight minutes.
Please use your own timer on the ipad you grabbed from the cart.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Daily Sketchbook 10/6

On the next blank page in your sketchbook, draw a sandcastle on the beach.

We will add to this later so don't do anything else to this beyond the 15 min you have today (unless you want to get more pencil work done to "finish" it as part of a daily sketchbook on an off day from class).

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Daily Sketchbook 10/4

Choose your media and brainstorm with your table mates and draw a page full of things that roll.
More is better. Be specific but not necessarily/overly detailed. How many objects can you come up with?

Monday, October 3, 2016

Do You Like Videos?

And then there is this thing a couple friends of mine made. In case you are inquisitive enough to spend a few minutes of your day HERE.
I'd love to know your thoughts, too!

Are You Overdoing It?

I just finished THIS ARTICLE from 99u (a great platform from Behance...which is from Adobe - right in our back yard) about the necessary aspects of breaks during the day.
This is more about "adult life work", but I think it applies to you students as well.

If you are go go going all day between classes and practice and work and homework and chores and messaging your friends and social media, well, it is just too much. Where is the balance?

I am guilty of this. Our machines make it way to easy to constantly be connected, and there is always - it seems - so much to do. For example, I've been doing work here at my laptop for the last 25 minutes and couldn't it wait? I worked all the way through last Friday at lunch, but did I need to?
I feel like I did. There was a lot of work to do. But is that going to yield nothing but negative results by the middle of the afternoon?

It reminds me of all the parents and school board members that have voiced feelings of concern and frustration that you students have a 40 minute tutorial in the middle of the school day when "you should be in class", but science just doesn't back that up.
At all.

Which leads to my next points...

At any rate, this sort of couples with what I listened to at Stanford on Friday night. There was another Challenge Success event and the keynote speaker has some interesting research to share.

Teens spend, on average, NINE HOURS on their devices for non-academic purposes each day. See, that 30 seconds or 2 minutes adds up over time.
The other big thing that stood out to me was that the part of our brain that is needed for studying and learning is the same part of our brain that is engaged when we have a screen in front of us.

What this means is that we think we might be zoning out and relaxing by checking a Snapchat Story, or watching Netflix, or scrolling through Instagram, but we aren't. Ultimately we are just adding to the exhausted and fatigue that we get from doing homework and being in class.

Interesting, huh?

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Continued Painting Ponderings

I know I spent a lot of time talking about the thumbnails and compositions and...well, I just spent a lot of time talking on Thursday. I hope it helped spark some ideas and (maybe) get the mental juices flowing. It did for me, I know this.
I have some images and thoughts below that have come up for me since then. That happens a lot, something happens, or I see or read something, and then I start seeing things in that vein everywhere.

So here goes. First I saw this image while going through the explore feature in instagram. I think it's interesting. Something like this could easily be a great self portrait. You can get different angles, and/or different emotions. You can have it representing different parts of you or how you are. You don't even have to think so much about space and depth. If you look closely it also has some crisp/clean/defined corners amongst the very organic aspects of the human head. This can be very interesting compositionally.

Then I saw the below image at the Kaleid Gallery in downtown San Jose yesterday when the fam and I went to the MLK Library and to get some Philz Coffee.

That image has some interesting use of color and brush work in it. That's initially what pulled me in, but then when I saw the organic elements (person, plants) mixed with the origami (which is a man made element) I started thinking.
Well, with that boat...that is kind of a representative element regarding a journey - or travel at the very least, but the plants...those are grounded...rooted...and need a place to grow. They need to be fed and watered and tended to. If you tend to those plants they take care of you. They give you oxygen and food - assuming it is that sort of plant/crop.
But there is so much to learn from getting out and seeing the world as well.
You are at this point of ending one journey and starting another.
How do you stay grounded with what you know and what you have learned while also getting out there and exploring and seeing what else there is?
How are you transitioning from one place to another?
How do you decide to stay or go? What does that even mean?
What else could you use to represent rooted versus moving?
(actually, it isn't origami, I was just remembering incorrectly; I used some origami boats in my drawings last spring, so that's probably what I was thinking of, but I hope you get my's still a boat.)

Then I saw the below image that I linked to from another link from a totally different image that was posted in a facebook group for high school art teachers that I am in.

I love the playfulness of this image. Immediately I thought back to the spring of 2008.
This is when my son was a senior here at lghs. I remember he and his friends hanging out at our house and one day I had this massive thought that came over me.
There in the living room were these 17 and 18 year old "young men" who were getting ready to graduate and go off to college at places like Santa Clara and Berkeley and Boulder and Arizona. They were smart and well educated and articulate.
They looked like "adults" for most intents and purposes. But they were being so goofy and funny as they were teasing each other having fun and playing guitar hero right there in the room next to the kitchen.
They were kids.
They should be kids.
They should hold on to that for as long as they can.
That care free spirit and goofiness and joy and FUN.

You all have so much on your plates, and everyone expects so much from you - including myself. Is that the most fair?
Well, yes.
And no.
You are capable of exceeding our expectations, but at least for myself, I want you to retain that image and essence of playfulness.
I know it is integral to your existence and your future joy.

So yes, that is a lot of what went through my head when I saw that stack of lego that had a t-rex perched atop it. That's what happens when you have a richness of experience to pull from.
I also thought about a series of drawings I did this summer for a class that I was in, which will come below.
But that lego image. It made me think of this transitional period you are all in of being kids, but becoming adults.
How do you hang on to the sense of wonder and play that you are expert at as a child while also undertaking the journey and transformation into responsibility and adulthood?

So here are the images from this summer. I was tasked with creating a series of work that could be any topic I wanted. I think the first two are pretty interesting drawings, and the third one - of lego - is by far the least successful.
Well, in my opinion anyway.
But it probably helps with why I was drawn to the above lego image...because I had used them in a recent drawing of mine.
I don't love the outcome, but I do think the idea is a good one.
I was in Sonora at a "vacation" house that my wife and her sisters grew up going to. It isn't fancy, and it is definitely dated, and it isn't in an amazing location such as Tahoe.
Her family just didn't have the kind of money for something like that. Or even for a "traditional" vacation. This is all they did for vacation when she was growing up - go to this A-Frame house and swim in a lake. There were no flights to Hawaii or Europe or even the Grand Canyon.
This is a similarity she and I share, we didn't have much except for a very low key middle class upbringing.
But I am digressing...actually, I'll share something else.
I had to write a statement that discussed the three images I made (an "artist's statement", if you will), so I'll paste that below.
It isn't edited in the best sense, but I do think that it communicates some interesting sentiments. Don't judge, just take from it what you will. It's below the third image.
Oh, this series was called "In The Days of My Youth".

As an artist and educator I am almost immediately asked, “Well, what kind of work do YOU do?” by those that are just meeting me and the inevitable question of what do I “do” arrises. I always find this odd because there have been zero times my colleagues in science have been asked, “What kind of science do you do (at home)?” or in English, “What do you write (in your free time)?”
I never know how to answer this. I do everything - or at least what feels like everything. Today is different than one year ago, and certainly different than five years ago. I make marks. I make beauty. I make happiness. As creators know, you just do things and the ideas come. The opposite can also be true.

For this body of work I began with joy and memory. While on vacation at an old family retreat (well, my wife’s family, that is) I was more in tune than in the past. I kept my eyes open as I worked in my daily sketchbook and as I watched my step-daughter play.
This place, in Sonora, CA, is a relic of the past. The majority of the A-frame’s contents were there when the place was bought, and have remained for more than 35 years. Everything has a story, and because of use and love, everything has character.

While I don’t know if any of the toys there were Made in America, undoubtedly some were. They arrive with chipped paint and the hard clank of metal as they are dumped out of the cardboard cylinder that houses many of them. They sound old. The look loved. They are, in every sense, relics - of when they were made and the memories they carry.
On top of this, they are living on as the daughters of the mothers that once played with them give them new life. After all, there is no wifi and no tv and no way to pass the time save for games, toys, nature and family.

Could I take these perfectly imperfect toys and give them a new life? A new story? Or at least be part of the story/history myself? What happens when you bring them to the table in a different way? Celebrating not what they can do but how they look; celebrating the beauty that is easily glossed over and the imperfection that is their beauty.

I took the memory of childhood, and an era that is no more, and existed there for a while. I took fleeting moments of fury and fun and extended them into hours of new work. I focused on the basics not just of childhood - where you create your own stories without help from electricity, but the basics of art as well, and created using composition, line, and shape to focus the viewer’s eyes and attention.
I hope to grasp a gaze for long enough to bring a smile - through memory - to a day that exists still, somewhere in all of us.

This is along post. I know. If you made it this far, thank you for your time. Enjoy having tomorrow off school! See you Tuesday!