Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Parting Thoughts For Fall Semester Art 3 and Art 4 Students

Some of you know that I have been awake a lot lately. Mainly I have been awake at 3-4am thinking about work, and unable to fall back asleep for at least 90 minutes.
This makes the mornings tough, but doable with an extra coffee.
What also helps in the mornings are the smiles I get from you as you walk in the door. Well, at least from most of you since some of you are still wake up mode yourselves.
What also helps is when you are "on it" and producing interesting work.

But why have I been waking up lately? As far as I can tell it is because of you - and I only sort of say that in a tongue in cheek kind of way.

I have given the opportunity to redo and rework so much this semester (which some of you have taken positive advantage of), and that leaves literal piles of work that I still need to wade through.
Those piles weigh on me because of the expectations that go along with them from your point of view. Or at least that is my perception, but you can inform me of otherwise if necessary.

To tie two points from above together, today the magic number was 3am and the primary word on my mind has been opportunity.
My guess is that all of this is there since I was finally able to get to most of the Art 3 and Art 4 Portfolios yesterday. In short, they were not as strong as I was expecting. Yes, there were some standouts, just not many.

You were given the opportunity to showcase your work.
You were given the opportunity to use a format that is easily shareable.
You were given the opportunity to be creative in any way you best saw fit within a given resource.
You were given the opportunity to create this piece over time so you could play around with it.
You were given the opportunity to use class time to create this culminating piece.

What I think really happened for most of the Art 3 and Art 4 students is that this project was looked at as a task to complete. Not much more and not much less.
More along the lines of "Did I do it?" or "Did I include everything?".

I also need to remind you that it is your responsibility to make sure things are actually submitted. This is your education, not mine and not that of your parents or peers. You need to take control and own it yourself.
Show me that you are owning your own education.

Do you remember one of my big points from earlier in the semester, effort is the expectation, not the exception.
I am adding to that now - and for next semester, Doing the minimum does not earn an "A".

Please ask yourself, in the realm of a letter grade (which you know I would get rid of if I could, but I cannot), what is "average"?

When I think of other elements here at the end of the semester, I also think about finals performance. This, in turn, makes me think about the doing of "the minimum" as mentioned above.
All Art 3 and Art 4 students had the opportunity to create (nearly) anything they wanted using an extremely vast trove of possible starting points. Remember, these starting points were all created by you, the creator of the piece.
It is true, I did give certain limitations (such as time), but you had a lot you could have done within my limited constraints.

Some of the pieces were very interesting.
Some of the pieces were definitely trying to meet the minimum and not much more.
Some of the pieces didn't even meet the minimum.

Do you feel you will create close to your best work when you try to take the easiest route possible?
I'm not sure why one would intentionally try to come up with the least action showing "verb" possible, but I guess that's for another conversation on another day.

There is a ton of possibility in periods two and four. I have seen it over the years.
There is a ton of really good work and growth that has come from those class periods this semester.
I look forward to next semester.
I look forward to it because of who you are as individuals.
I look forward to it because of what you have the potential to make.
I look forward to it because of what you have the ability to make.

I hope you look forward to next semester as well.

Happy New Year!


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Daily Sketchbook 12/13

Please continue working on your I.P. that is due on Friday.

If you feel like you are totally done and it is rad, art in some other way in your sketchbook for today.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Daily Sketchbook 12/11

There is one more Independent Practice due this semester. Since it is your last one and there is no time for a late piece, make it an exceptional one. Most of us could "make up" for something less than stellar earlier in the semester so this is a way to really show off something great. You shouldn't have waited until now to get started, but just in case you did, here is some time to make some headway.
Also, I encourage you to use Tues. and Thurs. daily sketchbook time for this endeavor as well.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

What You Should Remember

We are nearing the end of the semester, and one thing I would say most of you "want" - besides no school and some ice cream (yes, you are supposed to laugh at that) - is an "A" in as many of your classes as you can get.
I get it.
I was once in your shoes.
But looking back I also know that I didn't always put enough energy forth to respectfully attain that mark.

Have you?

Remember, there is nothing wrong with something lower than an "A". It won't prevent you from getting into a "good" school, it won't prevent you from being happy, it won't prevent you from being successful.
If anyone is telling you anything contrary to the above sentence, well, they are wrong.

Some would probably mince their words and not be so definitive in a statement, but I know this to be true.
Experience, time, research, conferences, and conversations all point to me being correct. Actually, it isn't really me being correct, just me saying what others have found to be true to you in this format.

There is more than one way to skin a cat. You know the saying already though.

Please, as we finish the semester, keep up the hard work, start working harder, or...don't. I can't determine your actions for you, but I can tell you that it is expected that you do the right thing, and in my rooms that means creating.

Don't be disrespectful or distracting.
Don't demand (or even request) an "A" for an assignment or term if you haven't done the appropriate work.
It should be clear what the goals and objectives for each assignment are, and it should be no surprise that you are expected to show growth over time.

If you haven't turned everything in for the semester for projects and independent practice (Art 2, 3, 4) or for your projects and sketchbook (Art 1), you should come see me during tutorial or after school so we can talk.
Even if you have turned it all in, but at least some of it was late and/or a re-do, it would be wise of you to begin checking in with me later in the week to make sure I have no questions, and I have everything documented and accounted for appropriately.

There will be work that all of you are expected to turn in during finals time, so make sure that you are appropriately working, appropriately following the prompt, turning it in, and finishing the semester strong.
Oh, yes, you need to be present during finals.  Yes, you also need to be on time. Again, end the semester strong. I know you can, I just hope you will choose to.

And follow my note to self: breathe, it's almost the end.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Daily Sketchbook 12/7

Remember the drawing from Tuesday?
I want you to set yourself up to do the same thing, but pick a different person's shoes to draw.
If it was me I would draw on a different scale and on a new layer so that there is some overlapping and visual interest, but that's me.
Use the same pencil took in Procreate as well, please.
Please save as a jpg just like last time.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Daily Skethbook 12/5

Get yourself set up with the "pencil" option in Procreate on an 8x10" canvas.

Situate yourself so that you can see a peer's shoes (no sandals or Ugg type boots please), and begin to draw one or both of them. I'm more interested in specifics than in being "done" in 15 minutes (which you won't be).

When your time is up make sure you export your drawing as a jpg and upload it for your daily sketchbook.

Alternatively: if you know you are redoing an ind. pract. from earlier in the semester, you can get some work done on that since the last day to turn that in is Fri., 12/8. You must, though, let me know - in a complete sentence - that what you are doing is a redo, AND let me know the topic of the redo, as a "message instructor" in this assignment in the Canvas app.

Monday, December 4, 2017

"Last Week" Parent Update

I know what you're thinking: "I"m glad it's December. That means this guy is almost finished sending out so many updates for the semester!"
Don't worry, I feel similarly.

Overall, I am excited about the end of the semester as I have seen a lot of growth coming out of the studio, and most of my students will be presenting a digital portfolio of their work that I am excited to see compiled in one place.

With that said, this is "the" week. This Friday is Dec. 8th, and all the students have known for quite some time that this is the last week to turn in any late and/or missing and/or do-over work for the semester.
Yes, that's right, even if it was something left incomplete or not done from two months ago I'll take it and give them a new assessment if they have done the work (and it deserves it).

This gives me one last week before finals to get this work in the gradebook and have any final conversations with the students as necessary. Now, this all needs to be done on top of finishing our end of the semester assignments.

My request is for you to please take the time to ask how your offspring is doing in class, what they are up to for projects, etc. We are wrapping things up, but there are some good topics at hand.
(Art 1's are starting a painting that is about culture and Art 2's are ending a big oil painting, for example.)

If you have any questions I am available, but in terms of grades, those questions should be initiated by the students. I still have quite a few incomplete things from many students so I'm hoping they take advantage of the time they have had to do more work (if needed). I would also encourage you to look at any comments in the gradebook if there is something that doesn't make sense to you - especially look at any sketchbook (for Art 1) or independent practice (for Art 2, 3, 4) comments as there are still big final grades that are not due as of yet in those categories.