Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Daily Sketchbook 11/29

The month is almost over, so let's squeeze in our Artist of the Month. Meet me at my table to get the handout for Ai Weiwei.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Daily Sketchbook 11/27

Hopefully you looked at the next Independent Practice topic after I messaged you yesterday.
Today I am giving you the chance to begin on your piece that is due on Friday. The topic, "a detailed house plant".
This should be pretty interesting, and should be more than just the plant itself, right? (hint hint)

Have fun, the media choice is yours.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Art 1: Your First Painting

I will try to keep this short, I promise.
But no promises.

I looked through all of the brainstorming pages and thumbnails that were turned in last week while sitting in my comfy blue chair in the living room on Sunday.
There are some good ideas, but some things that certainly need to be addressed.

-First, have you read through all of the notes and pages for the color theory unit (topic four) in Canvas? I can tell some of you have not.

-Let's go over some reminders in terms of best practices for composition. The below are in no particular order.

-Do not sit objects all on a line. Or along the bottom or edge of the paper. You don't want everything to look like it is flat and/or on one place of existence.

-Overlapping! Make things closer to us look bigger and have them cover up part of whatever it is that is in the background. Please. This adds visual interest and a sense of space/depth.

-Be aware of the angle of view. If we see the top of something we should probably not also see the side of something. Think about perspective and depicting a 3D box in space. We have drawn this before, and if you don't remember, have you thought about googling something? (not a huge deal with thumbnails, but sooner or later it matters)

-Would it be more interesting to combine more than one or two of your "cultures"? You do not have to focus on one thing.

-Speaking of that, your use of your cultures can come across in a lot of different ways. Could you include some things in your painting that are what you just like to paint or some things you think are just interesting? Again, you can put a lot of different things together. It makes it more interesting sometimes, and it gives you more stuff to put in your painting (and more places to put the painting requirements - more on that later).

-Does it help to think of other/similar words than "culture"? Maybe "heritage" or "identity"? These aren't necessarily interchangeable, but might help.

I know it can be strange making these tiny sketches, but it is a good exercise. Remember that the final piece is 14"x18". The small rough draft you will move on to next is 7"x9". Even that is quite a bit bigger.

We will talk about the technical requirements in class tomorrow - or next week.
Please also begin watching at least the "getting started" video in Canvas. I'm not sure we will have our paint out tomorrow, but maybe...

Lastly, please review the composition notes in Canvas as well as re-reading the above points again.

For real my last comment...
I know we all want to be on vacation mode tomorrow, but you really need to use the time to be productive and efficient (otherwise we will be hurting even more when we come back from break). If you are waiting for me to approve your thumbnails, work on your sketchbook for Ch. 3.

Daily Sketchbook 11/20

Make sure you are sitting across from a peer. It doesn't matter who it is, just make sure the two of you are facing one another. Grab your sketchbook and open it to the next available page. Have one of you set a timer for 5 minutes. Once the timer begins, do a blind contour of your peer/new bestie for the entirety of the time until the timer indicates you are finished.
Remember, go SLOW and DO NOT look at your paper while you are creating your masterpiece.
As always, when you finish please upload your image to Canvas and then continue working on your oil painting.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Effort is the Expectation, Not the Exception

Many people want to say something along the lines of, "I tried really hard", or "A for effort", or "I but my best effort forward".
I can't tell you how many times I have heard that from students, parents, colleagues, etc. over the years. And you know what? I get it.
I know from personal experience that sometimes this whole art thing is challenging. It might be the media, technique, content, whatever. Sometimes it's just the day - because we all know that some days are better than others.

But there are some problems with all of the above. First, I think there is the relative aspect we all need to consider.

What do I mean by that? Well, the easy part is what do you think should happen if you come in and I introduce something new to you and you try hard on it and you do a completely mediocre job on the creation of your piece? At the same time, what should happen if someone is sitting next to you, whether they have used that media before or not, and it just come naturally to them?
Should the first student get an A and the next student get a lower grade? Even if the second student has a project that looks better?

Yikes. Tough one, right?

Second, if I ask you to tear down a wall and you show up with a pocket knife, how much effort do you think that will take? Probably a lot. You might be working really really (REALLY) hard and it just doesn't work out very well, or very easy,  for you.
Do you think it would be easier if someone showed up with a sledgehammer?
Do you think that person would have to put more or less effort in than the person with a pocket knife? Is it the tool or the effort or the preparedness???

So what does effort even mean?

Would you walk in to your History class and argue over a grade on a test or essay because you did (what you feel is) poorly (and let's think about poorly being a C or lower in this case) and say that you should get an "A" because you tried really hard?
Would you understand if your teacher looked at you and said something to the effect of, "It may be true that you tried really hard, but you still answered the questions incorrectly. Why do you deserve an A if you answered so many incorrectly?"

What about if that happened in your Math class?

So why does this equivalent happen all the time in Art?

I want you all to know that there is nobody in this school, or likely community, that values the true effort that you put forth for this class as I do. I make art myself, and I have my own personal struggles with different techniques and media and content. I know what it's like to begin something that seems like a great idea and/or I am excited about, and an hour later to put down a mark that makes me instantly dislike the entire thing.

It's frustrating. In truth, it sorta just sucks. Nobody likes that feeling.
But we have to get over it. We have to push on. We can't wait for the conditions to be just right or for inspiration to flash or for everything to be perfect in order to accept the work we do. We just have to show up and do it. We just have to deal with the frustrations and conscientiously move forward.

As you know, I have been having you do quite a bit of self assessment so far this year. I have been doing quite a bit of asking you what you think you have earned on the projects.
Many times I have had to read something along the lines of "I worked really hard."

Honestly, though, why should that be a determiner of the grade?

I need you to be able to explain how that hard work has manifested itself. I need to know that you understand the learning objectives of the assignment and you are able to articulate how you have either met those learning objectives or made progress towards them.
We all have progress to make. I do not need you to be perfect. I know I am not perfect (and I'm pretty sure you would agree with me on that one).
I want you to be able to show evidence of the growth and learning you are making. You may not reach your goal(s) this week, but if you are putting forth that effort, you will be showing the growth.

As we move forward, think about your "effort" less and your understanding more. Yes, you should be putting forth a significant effort. Why wouldn't you? That is just the right thing to do.
Putting forth effort should be a given.

Effort is the expectation, not the exception (that should be rewarded).

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Daily Sketchbook 11/16

Last time you listened to at least part of a podcast and began drawing a van Gogh painting.
This time I'd like you to come get a pen from me and begin drawing the below van Gogh drawing. Please go straight to pen - no pencil sketching first, and start in the eye area.
Gradually work your way out from one eye and make the marks you make match the ones in the below drawing as closely as possible.
I have no problem if you want this drawing to share a page with the pencil drawing from last time - even if that means they overlap.
Please put in the same amount of time as last time, 13 min. (yes, I know you won't finish).

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Daily Sketchbook 11/14

It's another art history day but I want you to follow a few directions.

Please read all of the directions before you begin.

  • First, you'll need to go to The Lonely Palette website and begin THIS VAN GOGH EPISODE and skip forward to the 3 min mark.
  • Next, set the timer for 13 minutes. (yes, I want each of you to set your own timer on your own ipad)
  • While you are listening to the first portion of this podcast, draw the first image* you see at the bottom of the page in your sketchbook 
  • Yes, you need to use headphones
  • When your timer goes off, take a photo of your drawing and upload it for your daily sketchbook
  • I would love for you to finish listening to this episode, but you can do that as you work on your painting as well
You do not need to listen to all 22 minutes of the episode, and I do not want you to take the entire episode length to draw and upload. However, I do want you to spend the above referenced 13 minutes to draw, so please get started asap and draw for the entire time until your timer goes off.
Smile. Art is fun.
Oh, sorry Sabine, I know you don't like her voice, but I do think it is an interesting podcast.

*I mean the below image

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Daily Sketchbook 11/9

Draw a can of sardines at least partially open. What is inside other than sardines?

Note: this is just the beginning of something that could turn into a larger/longer/prolonged page of exploration.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Initial Thoughts

As I sit here going through the self assessments you have all filled out the past two days, there are two main things that are sticking with me.

First, how can you have earned an "A" or "B" if you haven't turned in all of the work for the semester? How is this not an "I" (incomplete)?

Second, the following types of statements are not goals:
  • to finish my projects
  • to be happy with my projects
  • better time management
  • to get a good grade/to get an A
Question, how do you tell if you have met those "goals"?
For example, getting a good grade is not a goal. Getting a good grade is the end result from having met a goal.

Additionally, effort is relative. Trying hard does not make for an "A". You can put in a lot of work but not create any progress. But more on that another day.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Daily Sketchbook 11/7

Please grab a pencil (not a pen or marker of any sort) and your sketchbook. Bring these with your ipad and chair to the tables/space as near the white board as you can get.
Today's "d.s." is a bit different here at the end of the grading period. I will walk you through it.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Daily Sketchbook 11/1

Go back to Monday's topic and continue.
It should be, at this point, getting some black spaces filled, right?