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.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Thinking About Finishing and Follow Up

Art 1's:
As we near the end of our first "big" project, I wanted to take a moment and encourage you to spend some time in the studio during out of class time this next week.
Some of you already do this regularly, but most of you do not. Please schedule this in.

Not only will some of you need it to finish your still life drawing well, but there is also the matter of your sketchbook. As most of you hopefully noticed, I got feedback into the Canvas gradebook before the weekend. For those that I didn't get to (yet), I should easily get that done at some point tomorrow.
You will have this coming week (the last of September) to use the feedback to make any adjustments and/or fixes to your work.

To remind you, I already have marks recorded separately from the online gradebook, but I know through research and experience that you won't really pay attention to that feedback the way it is intended to if you see a "grade" up front. After this week I will put your assessment in the gradebook, but if you have gone back and made adjustments, so will I.
Some people will see something like "great job", and will need to do nothing; many people need to do even the simplest things such as label everything properly; several of you will need to go back and show that you can shade with smudge shading while having the entire objects shaded (not just the edges) and without lines for definition. If you have questions, see me at tutorial. Please.

I am requesting your sketchbook by the end of this week for final assessment if you are going back to make adjustments. If you do not need to do anything, or just decide not to, you don't need to give it to me again.
If you go back and fix something, I need to see an updated photograph in Canvas that documents the changes made (ask me about this when you turn it in again).

I have put some more sketchbooks up along the window sill in class so all of you can see some of the interesting things your peers have done. If I don't have you in class tomorrow, you can still come and pick up your sketchbook at tutorial or after school if you know you want to have time to use the feedback I have provided - otherwise you will get it in class when I see you.

I hope you had a great weekend!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Thinking About Assessment

As we are nearing the third week of the first grading period, a lot of grades will begin to turn up in both the Canvas and Aeries gradebooks.
I believe in a different form of assessment than many teachers, and it is certainly different than how I was assessed as a student.
I do not think you can do things the way they have always been done and find success in the same way.
I also do not believe that grades indicate learning. As a measurement tool they have plenty of things wrong with them.
Unfortunately for me they are a way of life for our students and our larger school community.

What I know is that if a student is present, working, and thoughtfully putting marks on a page/canvas that they will improve and show growth. They will also find out more about themselves and learn processes that are important to their development as individual humans - and individual humans that exist in a community.

While this is very lofty sounding indeed, there is truth in it.
It is about the learning, not about the grade. We all know that students have ways of achieving an "A" but not really and truly mastering the content. Unfortunately there is a lot of grade inflation and students (and families) too often expect a superior mark for less than superior performance.

With that said, I do have a process that I have been developing, and since we are getting to the point of having larger and finished projects coming up - and since the school requires marks in a gradebook - I wanted to share my general process with you.
This general process also links to a grading policies document - that includes a percentage scale - if you are interested.

Have a great day!

Friday, September 7, 2018

A Good Morning Follow Up

While I begin my second cup of coffee this morning, I'd like to say a big thank you to everyone that was able to make it to BTSN last night. It's a long day for everyone, but I do get jazzed with all of the parental units coming into the spaces that I get to call a home-away-from-home.
Even after all these years the rooms are still a work in progress, but I kind of like it that way. You know, my penchant for process and all that.

Over my FIRST cup of coffee there was a great article I read about how beneficial mistakes can be to the process of learning, so you might be interested in it as well.

I mostly say the same things in each class at BTSN, but since I have five times I have to repeat myself in a short period of time I know each class got slightly different information as well. I'll try to keep it brief.

It is important to me that my students are willing and thoughtful. There is no substitute for putting "marks in a page". I need something to go off of to help them.

The students need to own their own learning. I will give vast feedback and help, but I can't read minds, and if they are struggling or frustrated it is best if they find a kind and appropriate way to communicate that with me.

Feedback is important and I expect them to read all of the feedback given and use it/respond to it via making their work stronger. I put a lot of comments into the different items listed in the grade book, so that is a great way to stay current and up to date - if you have that sort of interest even as a parent.

I believe in adjustments and do-overs whenever possible. Which goes along with the above statements.

Growth is what I want to see. After doing this for so many years it is very easy to tell if true and conscientious effort was put forth. It is painfully obvious to me if something was rushed at the last minute, and rushing physical products at the last minute is the best way to ensure less than desirable results.

I expect the students to engage in the curriculum. Sitting idly by - which some are wont to do - is a bad idea and will not only not help them, but it will not get them where they likely want to be. Just being in the room and not disrupting the process isn't enough. Engagement means a lot more to me that just being present. I do not need perfection. I do need thoughtful engagement. I know from experience that if the student is truly trying then decent (if not good - or great) product will result.

The use of tutorial time on a consistent basis will make this class better for everyone involved.

I am also here before and after school and I strongly encourage the students to use the studio during those times as well. Even if they aren't working on Art, but they need a good place to be, I hope they make the studio a home.

Did I mention that tutorial is super important to use yet?

We have been off to a good start, and, as I do each year, I am so excited that I have to reign myself in from trying to do too much too soon. I just love what I teach, so what can I say?!

If you've made it this far, yeah for you. The last thing I would ask (and this is totally optional) is if you have another moment to share a short anecdote about your child, that would be rad.
You can use THIS LINK if you are so inclined.

Thank you again!

Monday, August 27, 2018


Art 1's:

I won't always write to tell you stuff like this since you should be getting in the habit of checking Canvas on a regular basis yourself, but it is the beginning of the year so I'd like to make some exceptions when applicable.

I have looked at and assessed/commented on all the gesture/blind contour/contour drawings that were turned in.
Approx. 28-30% of you have assignments marked as incomplete.

It is your responsibility to fix this during tutorial and/or after school. Please do this asap and get what is needed back to me. I do not chase students down for these, but when grading periods roll around you need to have marks for everything in the gradebook that are not "incomplete".
If you are "incomplete" that is also what you will get for the grading period...which is not so ideal.

Again, see me at tutorial (if you come into tutorial during the last half on orange days you'll need to find me in room 502 - the advanced art room). Let me help you out and get you to where you need to be.

And while we are here, check your Screenshot/Upload and Engagement Sem 1 assignments and make sure you have the right photos in the right place there as well please.


Thursday, August 23, 2018

Hey Art 4's

I found out about THIS, so I decided to set myself up for a little fun with you Art 4 students. I mean, I miss spending time with you, so maybe we can get together if you aren't too busy.
Place: 501 - your long lost Art 1 room.
Time: tutorial - I'll be back in the room about five min after tutorial begins
Date: Tomorrow, Friday, 8/24

I have at least enough to get started.

I also know that not everyone is on this distribution list, so please share this blog link with the other Art 4 students in your class.

Happy almost Friday!

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Tues Tutorial for A3/A4 Students

If you would like a further explanation as to why I am not teaching Art 3 or Art 4 this year, please come to room 501 (the Art 1 room) during tutorial on Tuesday.
Or rather, please come soon after tutorial starts. I'll begin explaining around 9:50 or so.

Thank you to those of you who came to see me last week. You helped make me quite happy at the beginning of this difficult transition.

Also, please please please share this time/place with others that are in Art 3 and Art 4. I am attempting to send this message out via Remind and Canvas, but I'm not 100% sure everyone will get it (esp several current Art 3's). I would love to see everyone just for the sake of my own joy!

See you soon. I hope you are having a relaxing weekend!


Friday, June 8, 2018

Welcome to the Summer.

Summer 2018...
First, a quick note to the seniors who will be graduating tonight:

Congratulations. This evening you will acquire a piece of paper after years of work which will tell you of your accomplishment. Yes! I am thankful to know each and every one of you, and hope you keep in touch as your journey continues.
Be safe and strive for joy. You are capable and kind, so please share your best self with the world.

Next, to everyone else:

I have thoroughly enjoyed my year(s) with you. While every year has its ups and downs I can say that there are more positives I am leaving with than negatives. I have wonderful memories from each class period, and have learned a lot myself along the way. As usual, I am thankful not just for this, but for your efforts.
It is true that what we do in the studio more closely mirrors real life than most of your other classes (in terms of workflow, longevity, depth over time, etc.), and it is always a process.
I have enjoyed looking through your finals as well. There are some really good examples of complex thought that you were able to get down on paper, and for some of you this final effort of product made a positive difference.
Some of you didn't take it as seriously as you could, and you certainly missed an opportunity - especially when I compare different results side by side.

As a global statement, I truly wish for us all to have a restful and refreshing summer. I believe it to be well earned.
You are fabulous. You are cared for. You are admired. Go, and enjoy.
I'll see you soon.


Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Concentration PIns

I forgot I forgot.

You all received your emoji pin from me and you are totally allowed to wear that on your gown at graduation! If you want to wear your silver cord under your gown, I won't tell you not to (wink wink).
Additionally, you will be receiving an "official" pin for completing your concentration at the senior awards ceremony on Thursday - along with the other recipients that are not my students.

Wear both pins proudly and rock your graduation like no other!

I'm very proud of you all.


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Regarding Europe

To everyone who has taken the time to respond to the inquiries about the potential of a field trip to Europe over spring break of 2019, I am sorry to say that because of the low number of student families able to verbally commit at this time, I have had to make the difficult decision to not move forward with any further planning or approval stages (through the district or with EF).

I am bummed for those of you that have been “all in” from the beginning, and I know how fun the trip would be, but it isn’t something to be undertaken with only the few students who have been able to commit as of this time.

It’s too bad, but let’s see if we can plan something that is more local for next year.


Final, Spring 2018

What you need on your desk is a pencil.
I will provide you with a sheet of printer paper - which you may or may not need, a piece of drawing paper, and a pen - which you may or may not need.
If you need color, colored pencils are stored where they have been all year.

Please plug in your headphones after you finish reading this, and listen to the following before beginning to make your drawing.

On Monday we worked at teams. We worked as teams that often don't work together. There is a lot that can come from activities such as the marshmallow challenge, and while it may not seem related to what we have done in the past (or will do today), it certainly is.
The part that I am interested in is how do we communicate, work with limited means, work with a time constraint, and give visual form to a challenge. I wouldn't forget how there were different ideas communicated by each team, or the process of trying different things out though.

As we are at the end of the semester I find it interesting to go back as a lot of what we have done outside of learning and refining some techniques is how to communicate.
Sometimes the ideas just come to us, and sometimes we have to search for them - or steal ideas for a starting point from others.

If we think about this idea of illustration I think of many successive questions.
  • what is the topic (which may not be straightforward or obvious...though it might be)
  • how do I create a focal point
  • given the time and materials, what is the best method to move forward (what I am best at might not be available or doable in the given time period)
  • how can I create depth through overlapping and use of space
  • can I use abstracted elements to create unity and cohesion 
  • does something have to be photographic in representation to make sense

Having said that, I want you to listen to the FOLLOWING PODCAST.
That is step one.
You may end up taking "notes" or jotting down ideas of what you hear or think of. I can see how that might be useful.
Next, you'll make a piece of art that speaks to the content of the podcast. Anyone seeing what you have created and listening to the same podcast should "get it."

That said, anyone seeing what you have created but not listening to the podcast should be able to appreciate the creation as a stand alone piece of visual art.

Do you start with architecture?
Do you begin with a portrait?
Where is the focal point going to go?
What is the context around the focal point?
Do you draw what you know is there only?
Or do you also add elements from your imagination which also makes sense?
Is it all about nature?
Could you get more than one "main thing" in the image?
What works within the given time?
Do you have enough time to focus only on stipple, or is that a fool's game?
What is the best media to use?
What media is the best idea for creating balance?
How long should you spend sketching out in pencil before adding other media and/or shading begins?
Should you begin sketching out in pencil first?
How critical is technique versus concept?

I would say:
  • don't spend much time surfing around the web
  • just get started
  • think about composition
  • think about balance and unity
  • think about visual space
  • don't rush
  • show how the processes you have learned about and the feedback you've been given can manifest themselves here
Lastly, know that this is an important process to engage fully in.
Have fun!

Oh, one more thing. Once you are finished listening to the above segment, please take your headphones out. No personal music today.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Daily Sketchbook 5/21

Before and After.
Go get your tub of supplies, put it down on the floor and take a photo of exactly what it looks like right now :)
Next, take the time to clean everything and get it ready to turn in (or at least as much as you can get done in 20-ish minutes.
Take another photo of your clean and organized tub.
Finally, upload those to Canvas for your daily sketchbook for today.

As a treat for me, you could put them both on one canvas in an app (procreate or the like) so that I can see the before and after at once. That would be nice.

After we are finished with this we will work on a follow up for the Process Self Portrait Project and discuss the rest of the week.

If you finish significantly before everyone else, draw in your sketchbook instead of just socializing or sitting there, please.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Daily Sketchbook 5/17

Those antlers. Give me a sloth hanging from them somewhere/somehow.
Smile. Enjoy.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Daily Sketchbook 5/15

We will start today's image, and then add to it on Thurs., for now just draw some deer antlers.
You can use the ones below, or find your own, but begin right away.
Don't wait to plug in to your music or spend this time catching up with your peers please. Just begin.
I'm less interested in the texture at the bottom, or any shading, than the overall shape for now. But in truth the shape shouldn't take long, and then you can begin adding values.
Use pencil only for this.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Daily Sketchbook 5/9

A have a handout for you as a follow up from Monday, so after that is completed, please photograph that and upload that photo for your d.s. and then give me the handout.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Daily Sketchbook 5/7

Our d.s. today is the scheduled Gallery Walk of I.P. pieces from this semester. Please follow the directions on the board and I will begin passing out the necessary handouts.
The more we work together on this the faster it will go and the more time you will get for your project, so please help police each other and help get everyone on the same page as quickly (and quietly) as possible.
I'll be ready when you are.

As a side note, the 2's def had some issues following the directions on Friday, so hopefully you will be more on top of it today :)

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Daily Sketchbook 5/3

Last time you should have gotten a decent start on the egret.
Did you work on it yesterday even though you weren't required to upload any sort of update?
Did you work on i.p. instead?

Today I want you to add some colored pencil to the negative space.

Maybe it is mostly monochromatic and blending in value from light to dark?
Maybe it is proportionally appropriate stripes of contrasting colors adjacent to one another?
Maybe it is a rectangle of color somehow?

Just pick a color or two and go. Don't think too much. Do make it visually interesting.
Remember, this isn't a "finished" piece. We are just experimenting.

Also, remember the expectation is that you are starting within just a few moments of the bell ringing in order to be efficient with your time :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

A3/A4 Due Date Update

Further important reminders for my lovely A3/A4 students...

You need to have all of your independent practice pieces from the entire semester here by the end of this week (ending 5/4). We will be using them for peer feedback soon!

Don't forget your drop dead due date deadline of 5/11. Any past due work, do-overs, adjustments, etc. need to be turned in on or before that date. Of course, the earlier the better.

Your "last" I.P. piece is due on 5/11.
Notice how this date lines up with the drop dead due date deadline...this is the end of turning in anything except for our current project and the daily sketchbook.

Your Process Self Portrait is due on 5/17.
Since this is after the 5/11 drop dead due date deadline (have I repeated this enough for you yet?) you will not be permitted to turn this project in past the due date. You have what you have on the due date, and that is what will be assessed.

The super fun awards lunch is on 5/23. 
I just sent out the date to your parents on 4/30, so gently remind them and ask if they are bringing anything to contribute to the lunch :)

We will be creating an Adobe Spark Page portfolio to address and showcase the work you have been doing, so if you wanted to get started on that, nobody will stop you.

By the 17th you need to have all of the supplies that have been checked out to you for the semester here so that they are prepared to be cleaned (if they aren't already) and turned in.

Daily Sketchbook 5/1

We will begin today with the below image - one random bird from the natgeo instagram page from ages ago.
We will also continue to work on this on Thursday (to get even more practice at building up one image over time) in class, but more directions for that will follow at a later time.

Since we are also at the beginning of May, I want to throw a few more things out there, so please read carefully.

We are all, I'm sure, ready for summer. The truth is that we have many weeks of school left in us. With that said, I want to reiterate that in an ideal world, you are working on independent practice pieces as your daily sketchbook on those days that we don't have class. As I have reminded you many times, this makes this kind of a two-for-the-price-of-one kind of a deal.

However, I will not be requiring you to submit a daily sketchbook for non-class-meeting days for the next few weeks. When we are ready to pick this back up again, I will let you know. The hope is that it gives a wee bit of relief, but the hope is also that you have that daily practice instilled and that you keep drawing/working for a minimum amount of time each day - you just don't need to document/upload for non-class days after today.

We will keep doing the daily sketchbook in class though, so make sure you get started each and every day as soon as you come in the room!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Daily Sketchbook 4/25

Please get out your pen and ink.
If you go back to your backpack image, from Monday (yes, this is the last time we'll address this image) I want you to find a way to draw attention to the backpack, or more ideally, a specific part of the backpack.
This could mean adding detail or shading to a part of the backpack.
Alternatively this could mean adding some sort of "contrary" element to the images (such as a series of straight lines in a defined shape around a particular part).
You could just address the negative space and add too what should already be there.

I'm not sure the best path forward for you but please keep adding to your image until I ask you to stop.

Once we are uploaded here please come close to my desk so that we can look at some examples together.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Daily Sketchbook 4/23

We are returning to the backpack image again, so when everyone has a pen and their sketchbook out (and is quiet and ready for directions), I'll let you know what we will be doing with that image.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Daily Sketchbook 4/19

Open back up to the backpack image that you began last time, and let me give you additional instructions before you get started.
Please get out the following supplies:
  • self-healing cutting mat
  • x-acto knife (at least two per table) you will need to share
  • watercolor palette
  • watercolors
  • water
  • paper towels
Additionally,  please get out an 18"x24" piece of drawing paper and make sure each table has a roll of masking tape to share.

I'll give you a couple of minutes and then ask that you join me in the middle of the room so we can go over directions.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Daily Sketchbook 4/17

Please make sure you are not sitting at a table by yourself.
Next, have one person from your table group place their backpack in the center of your table group.
Yes, we will be drawing this, but I don't want you to begin yet. Let me guide you a bit further and give some additional instructions before you begin.
Also, welcome back. If I haven't said so, I'm happy to see your beautiful mug in the studio :)

Monday, April 16, 2018

Assessment Update - All Levels

Yikes, we are finished with the second grading period of the semester (already). That means something like eight weeks before the end, and even less than that before the "drop dead due date deadline" of 5/11 for any work that is yet to be turned in (or is in need of adjustment).

There are a lot of "incomplete" assignment marks in the grade book, and if you are the owner of one of those, please know that I intend for an "I" to show up once the district transfers marks from Canvas to Aeries tomorrow.

You should, of course, know that this is a progress report and that it isn't permanent and that there is the chance for you to come in and work on the piece(s) and that there is the opportunity for you to come see me about any questions you have.

Students, if there are errors, please just kindly let me know during tutorial.
Parents, this isn't your responsibility, but if you have questions, please talk to your student(s) first and allow them to explain the process and explain why they are where they are.

I'll get everything adjusted/corrected as the work comes in, it may just take some time.

Have a great week everyone!

Monday, April 2, 2018

Very Important Date Announcement

Good afternoon all!
Just like last semester I have to set a "drop dead due date" for all pieces.
As a reminder, this is when all refined, adjusted, do-over, or late pieces must be turned in by in order to be appropriately assessed for the semester.*

The date to mark on your calendars for this semester is Friday, 5/11 

Note that we will still be working on projects beyond this date, and for those projects you must turn in on time. I will delay them as far as I can in the semester, but it will be the end of the semester, so after 5/11 I cannot accept late pieces.
That Friday, 5/11, is a black day. Clearly I do not teach my Art 1 or Art 2 students on that day, so if you are in one of those three classes, please don't let the date slip by you.

As always, if you have questions, please let me know.

*A3/A4 - your daily sketchbooks have been entered for the first two grading periods well before this, so they lie outside of this date (as in, they are said and done already)

Daily Sketchbook 4/2

Good morning!
I'd like to walk backwards a little bit today and look at the week as a whole as we get started.

Friday: mindful moment; wrap up and self assessment of current painting; looking back at what we have created during the month of March (this will require you to have all of your independent practice or self-directed pieces here this week (I would bring them earlier vs later). You'll need to have your sketchbook here on Friday as well.
Remember you should have been doing one or the other during March.
Hopefully we have time to begin towards our next work.

Wednesday: daily sketchbook - this will be our self assessment at the end of the grading period as we typically do; finish and turn in painting

Monday: daily sketchbook of which you have two options today. Option One: continue working on the negative space you began with your blackbird last week. Option Two: get a mirror from the tool cabinet and create a contour line drawing of your face resting on your hand (not a blind contour drawing).
Please spend a min. of 8 min. and a max. of 11 min. on this.
Continue working on your acrylic painting - due Wed.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Daily Sketchbook 3/27

For the last week of March, if you are not actively engaging in your self-directed project - which we will talk more about, I want you to work on the below image.

Starving blackbirds 'eating chicks and mice' due to dry weather

Please begin by drawing the outline ONLY of the above blackbird.
Next I want you to work on the negative space around the bird.
What can you do to make it visually interesting?
What object(s) or pattern or use of shape or use of color or...will make it interesting?

Is it something geometric? Is it something organic? Is it a combination?
I would ask that you do not do a tree branch. I would ask that you experiment.

Since you'll have two days to work on this, what can you do that is visually appealing?

As an alternative, you may use the slightly different view from below if you like.

Merle, Bird, Animal, Black, Wildlife

Monday, March 19, 2018

Daily Sketchbook 3/20

Today is different.
Please set up for a mindful moment. We will not be doing this today, but it will allow me to prep you for the next couple of days that I am gone.
These are important announcements to help my sanity that I want to quickly convey so please assist me. It won't take long.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Important News for Next Week

Good afternoon, all.

I have already told you that I will be gone to the NAEA conference next week for two days (Thurs., and Fri.), and because of this there are a couple of things that you need to be aware of. I will try to break it down by level below so that you don't need to read the entire post. However, there is one thing that applies to you all: you need to have color printout of any reference photo for your current project in class to work from.

Art 1
You will be continuing on your album cover as it is due shortly - which you should be well aware of. While you do not have access to the ipads today since Mrs. Matsui and I are both out of town, this means you do not have them to use as a reference. You need to have any references for color/texture/values printed out ahead of time. But I'm giving you a week prior notice so this shouldn't be an issue, right? Good :)
This also means that you do not have them to use for music. I know some of you are really  used to having your own tunes playing in your ears, but you will just have to (gasp!) live without it for a whole 90 minutes. Don't worry, I think you'll survive.
I am giving the sub directions that he/she can play music from the computer in my cabinet so you'll just have to be fine with that.
To summarize: electronic devices are to be used during class on Th/Fri. next week.

Art 2
You will be continuing on your acrylic painting. You need to have a color reference photo before Thursday of next week if you are to make appropriate progress on your painting. Don't just "go for it". Use your reference, since I will be using it when you turn your painting in anyway.
You need your reference photo because the ipads will be locked and unavailable during class time since I will be out of town.
No, you may not use your phones as reference and you may not use your phones to listen to music. Nobody should have headphones in during class when the sub is here. I will be leaving very specific directions for the sub to not allow phone use, and to quietly tell me who is violating this policy so that I can deal with it when I come back.
Please sit in the seats you typically sit in because I will be leaving a seating chart for the sub to help with this and to help with attendance.
Honestly, I just don't want it to be an issue. I will let the sub pic music to play in my absence, so even if you don't like it, it really isn't a big deal, so please don't make it one.
Make good and legit progress on your work and all will be good.

Art 3/4
If you perused over the above you'll notice a common thread - when I am gone at the NAEA conference you will not have access to the ipads.
This means you need to print out any necessary photos/images ahead of time so that you have them to paint from. Uploading them to google drive will not be enough since I will not allow you to access your phone (per normal class policy) while the sub is here.
This also means you will not have access to the ipads for listening to "your" music. You cannot use your own device to listen to music either.
I will allow the sub (not you) to put some music on the stereo and you'll just have to be ok with that. It isn't the end of the world so please don't create an issue out of it. It's only 90 minutes of your life. You'll survive.
There isn't a "daily sketchbook" that you need to upload during class, so this isn't an issue, and anything you need to document and upload a photo of to Canvas can be done before or after class (since you are totally ok to use your phone outside of those 90 min).

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Daily Sketchbook 3/14

This is another day I will request you work on your elephant image (if you are not doing a self-directed March project based off the answer to your question from before), so think about the following two options.
Is there a way to fix/finish/alter the elephant itself to make it significantly stronger and/or more refined?
Is there a way to consider the idea of repetition/multiplicity with your stacked elements from Monday (donuts and/or paper boats) to give additional visual interest to the drawing?

Please be productive and upload your drawing after about 12 solid minutes of drawing.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Daily Sketchbook 3/12

Back to that elephant.
Continuing to add on, alter, or change an existing page makes for images that can be unexpected.
They don't always have to make sense, and sometimes the pages that have less energy devoted to the items on the page can be the most interesting.
Below is a pretty simple donut. You could add some shading today, or tomorrow.
You could have this balancing on your elephant's head or back. Up to you.

Image result for donut drawing

Or what if you did something with the boat below?
Image result for origami boat
If you used the boat below, what else would you put on the flag?
Image result for origami boat

What happens if you do multiples of something? Or if you have the elephant balancing on one set of things while it is simultaneously balancing other things?

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Daily Sketchbook 3/8

How about you go back to that elephant from last week and make it better and on the way towards complete?
I think that a good idea.
We will balance some things on its back later (as was said before).
Like a donut, maybe.

Of have the option of working on your self directed project for the month of March if that is where you are heading.
What is fun/interesting for you to draw.
Is this a series of drafts in your sketchbook? Is this on a "final" piece of paper/canvas?

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Sometimes it pays to look around

The interwebs are a great place to look and find inspiration.
It could be specific content, but it might be something kind of random - which are often the best.

Koosje Koene is one of those. Most of her images are pretty "simple" upon first glance, but you know there wouldn't be any sort of consistent style present if she hadn't done something over and over and over again.
She has some good work on her site and some great video content up on youtube - which you can see below.
There are some great and fun tips for keeping up a consistent sketchbook practice on her channel, and in the below video - which is why it is here, so I would say, check it out.


Looking Back, Looking Forward

Good day to all of you Art 3 and Art 4 folks.
I realized (too late) yesterday that some of you are lacking in a few turn-in items that you need.
Please make sure to address the following things:

  • are your memory thumbnails turned in and marked complete in the gradebook?
  • did you give me a description of what your final painting will look like in the acrylic painting assignment in the gradebook (if you are in the app hit "message instructor")?
  • how many process photos have you uploaded (drawing, initial glaze, layering, initial color mixing, etc.)?
  • have you uploaded your photo reference(s)?
These things hit on success not just for this project, but for a later project as well. Please work on this during tutorial today if you have not done it already!

Thank you!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Daily Sketchbook 3/6

You know that you have been given options for the Month of March, and while I have said that you will still get the first few minutes of class every day to work on something (and that I will still add prompts here), you have options of what to work on.
Sort of.
Today we will all work together on the AOTM.
This is a particularly good one as you begin to create your own work/topics as you can see how very little can be used to maximize variety at times.
Come up to my desk for the presentation of Mike and Doug Starn.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

What Might That Mean?

Good afternoon, all.
Well, I just finished verifying all of the marks for the first grading period of second semester that ended before the break. I'm glad that is finished!

If you go into Aeries everyone has some comments and everyone has a "grade".
Remember, this is really just a progress report. Also remember that if you want more information, you really need to read the feedback on the individual entries from the CANVAS gradebook.
Additionally, if you are in Art 2, I left some feedback on the assessment checklist you completed in class yesterday, but clearly that is on that sheet of paper so you can't read it online. But that should be a given.

There are a significant amount of "I" marks this grading period.
"I", again, stands for "incomplete". 

If you are thinking, but I have a different "grade" in Canvas, hold up, I'll explain.

Even if you have turned in every assignment, that doesn't mean that the assignment is complete.
Did you print out the photo you needed for Ch. 4 in Art 1?
Did you upload all three of the images you needed to in Art 2 for colored pencil?
Did you adjust the color chart as asked if some of it was incorrect in Art 2 or Art 3?
Did you upload your Memory thumbnails for Art 4?
Did you not turn in one or more of your Independent Practice pieces for Art 2, 3, 4?

Even if Canvas says you have an "A", if you are missing something significant, you likely see an "I" in Aeries.

As I have communicated, I am not stressed about this. If you haven't already familiarized yourself with what you are missing, you should go back and do so. If you aren't reading the feedback given, you should go back and do so.
Remember that you can still get anything that is missing to me and I/we will get it assessed. Please, though, make sure to hand any missing work directly to me so that it doesn't get lost in the shuffle. It won't make a difference in this marking period at this point, but it will make a difference as we move further into the semester.


Daily Sketchbook 2/28

Below you will find an elephant.

I know, cool.

Today's task is to draw this elephant. Sure, you should pay attention to proportions, and IF you get to the point of shading, pay attention to values as well. Remember, though, that I do not expect you to "finish" a drawing in 15 minutes. Please don't race through this to have it "done" - you can always come back to it later.
Please draw the elephant above in such an orientation that you can draw other things balancing on its back in the future (so I would draw it lower on the page myself).

But first, please click on THIS LINK and read what I have to say there (which is a work in progress, and without all of the answers - so keep that in mind please).

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Regarding D.S. and I.P. for Art 3 and Art 4 (Spring 2018)

Today is the penultimate day of Feb.
We are back from a week off and at the beginning of a new grading period. In addition, I would like to make some changes. These changes will be subject to change as well, so if ever you are in doubt, please please confirm with me.

First, why do we do independent practice and daily sketchbook work? Easy, it makes us better.
It exercises our creative and technical muscles (if we allow it), and it makes us more accomplished in our "big" projects through consistent efforts. I know that making more work makes the work that we make come out better and faster.
Being more prolific makes a difference, and if you aren't quite convinced yet, you'll just have to take my word for it.

Second, I asked you before the Winter Break if you felt like the I.P. or the D.S. was more integral to your development, and by a two-to-one margin that answer was I.P.
Personally, I disagree. This is where I go on a bit of a tangent.

What I think is happening is that it is easier for you because you don't have to do something every day. You can put it off to the last minute and bust it out then.
What I think is happening is that you feel like the D.S. is a place that you just have to get it done and/or you haven't allowed yourself enough play time.
What I think is happening is that the I.P. feels more like what you are used to getting as school work - from me and other teachers - so it feels more normal.
What I think is happening is that (at least some of you) feel like you have to have finished and good things in your D.S. each day, and this takes more than 15 min./day.

And I could go on.

Part of why I say the above is because I don't think you allow yourself the amount of time that would be best for making the most art possible - even if it's just playing in your D.S. (yes, this is a vast generalization).

Part of why I say the above is because I don't see as much challenge coming through in your I.P. as I could. This comes across in the scale of your pieces and the constant cropping of them with the paper cutter to avoid backgrounds and the sticking to the media you feel you do best at (often) - though this, too, is a grand over generalization.

Part of why I say the above is because you can use your D.S. to work on I.P. but most of you don't. Or, at least, you aren't documenting it online as such. This is one of the reasons I think too many of you leave it to the last minute.

And truthfully, I may be full of it. Really, only you know.

But I know that the consistency of you working is important. In the past I have toyed with the idea of just getting a quantity of work from you, and the largest quantities get the highest marks.

Then I think to myself, "how are they going to try to game the system"?
And I think, will someone just make a lot of small and not very well executed things?
Will someone "suffer" because they made few things but they were exceptionally creative and well executed?
Etc. etc. etc.

This tells me that I probably overthink some things. But I already knew that about myself.

So what do I do?
How do I hand more of your education over to you?
How do I let you drive as much of this train as possible?
If you haven't discerned by now, this is part of my aim.*

So here is what I want to do during the month of March (which begins tomorrow).
I still want you to create M-Th.
I still want you to document what you work on by uploading to the D.S. portion of the grade book.
I will still ask that you turn in an "independent practice" every two weeks" so that I can give process feedback that you can use to, hopefully, make the piece(s) stronger in the end.
However, ...
You don't have to follow my D.S. prompts.**
You don't have to follow the I.P. prompts.***
What I desire you to work on (if not what is listed online for D.S. and I.P.) is your response to the first question that you taped into your sketchbook on Monday, 2/26.

For reference, the question was, what is fun/interesting for you to draw?

You can make whatever you want. You can use any media you want. You can make 30 pieces or less (or more?). You can do all of the work in your sketchbook. You can do none of the work in your sketchbook. You still need to spend the first 15 min of every class period (Mon.-Thurs.) working and documenting your working. You still need to document on "off" class days. You can turn in process and/or finished pieces on I.P. due dates so I can give feedback. You can decide not to.

You will have to turn in everything that you have at the end of March and we will go from there.

This is the line where I tell you that more is going to be better.
But if you work for 13 minutes per day for two weeks and you produce something really fun and interesting (and where you have grown and challenged yourself), and this means you have fewer pieces than a peer, well, this isn't always a bad thing.
There is a lot of gray area here, so take positive advantage of it. Please, with this much freedom, do not abuse this opportunity.
I am trusting you to do the right thing.

If it was me, I would draw some mountains.
If it was me, I would draw some birds.
If it was me, I would draw some donuts.
If it was me, I would design some new t-shirts.
If it was me, I might even update my website with new work because it really really needs it.
If it was me, I would record more of my process to share on the youtube because I find that fun.
If it was me, I would do more in procreate because I need to get better at that.
If it was me, I would...well, hopefully you get the picture.

I might paint any/all of the above too :)

So beginning tomorrow, March 1st, you have a slightly altered charge. I can't wait to see what you make of it. Have fun!

*Caveat: I also know from experience and research that completely opening you up to anything is actually not in your best interest. You know what it's like when you can't come up with an idea. You know what it's like when you keep repeating yourself over and over again without making real progress (which gets boring over time). You know that restrictions make you more creative even though you almost certainly don't want to admit it.

**You can, and I will still put them up here on this blog, but you can work on whatever it is you are working towards at the same time.

***See above. You can follow them, but you don't have to.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Daily Sketchbook 2/26

Good morning and welcome back all!
I would be fooling you if I didn't say I'd rather be NOT here right now, but I'm always happy to see your faces, so I guess it's just a balance.
After today's sketchbook, Art 3's, you should be drawing your image on your canvas, and Art 4's you should be somewhere along your painting process (remember, you've already had two days to work/draw on your final canvas).

Today's theme, direction.
I've been thinking a lot about this during our time off for my classes (and how I'd like to experiment and see some things change) and for my personal work.
You have two options, draw something that comes to mind when you read the word "direction"(maybe the first thing you think of?), or draw one of the images below.
As always, don't forget to upload when you are finished.

Image result for compass drawing

Image result for compass drawing

Related image

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Daily Sketchbook 2/15

Please come get the daily sketchbook "assessment" thing from me and use the info on the board to fill it out.
I will have one question for you to answer on the back of this piece of paper as well.
When you are finished, please turn it in to me and continue work on your acrylic painting.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Daily Sketchbook 2/13

Set yourself up with your sketchbook and pencil across from a peer. Yes, you may need to move to be directly across from them.
You each need to situate yourselves across from one another in such a way that both of your hands are relatively near each other.
I know one will be drawing, but the other one should be in close proximity.
Your task is to draw the hands of the person across from you.
Remember that context may be helpful.
Remember that being done in a very rushed looking manner isn't of primary importance. If you can get some good drawing quantity, cool, but balance quantity with quality.
If you are really focusing you won't be involved in discourse or logging in to listen to music.
Please just be present and focused.
And have fun.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Notes on class and sketchbooks from today (Art 1 version): 2/12/18

I'm in a bit of a conundrum lately and this post is an attempt to try to communicate and figure it out all at the same time.

First, today was a great day in class.
I have mentioned to some of my colleagues and friends that I am thoroughly enjoying my Art 1 class this year. I'm not sure that you realize it, but every class is different - not just from one period to another, but from one year to another. I would say that the combination of personalities, diligence, ability to work together, kindness, etc. are all strong with my first period this yay for you. For real!

Second, as an educator I am always trying to give you experiences that are interesting and valuable.
I am trying to challenge you and get you to see the world in a way that is different from how you typically would. I truly believe this is part of my job. Challenging what you know should be something you strive to experience throughout your life (#lifelesson)
Even more than that I try to build a community with (and for) you. I want to get to know you and have you get to know each other. It might sound cheesy, but I do care about you.

None of these things we do in class are difficult per se, but in truth, they aren't easy either.
They aren't easy in that it requires thoughtfulness and willingness and attention.

I know you have the time, and here I will again mention the use of tutorial and after school - both of which are underutilized by too many of you. I have heard some of you say how busy you are from other teachers at tutorial, but you should be giving equal weight to all of your courses. Sometimes "time" is the only magic you need. Well, time without distraction. And yes, this is when I mention the negative nature of the mobile and wireless devices we are surrounded with on the daily.

But I digress...

One of the things some of us teachers have noticed in recent years is that there seems to be a higher percentage of students that just want to get the work done. They just want to move on to the next thing so they can be finished. "What do I need to do to get an 'A'?"
Oh man have we heard that a lot.
Hopefully you know me well enough to know that this isn't an appropriate question. It's about the learning, not about the grade.

Let's talk about that learning.
Let's talk about those sketchbooks.
I have tried to express how valuable those sketchbooks are, and how much of the actual learning comes in them.
I have tried to express that the frequency of the sketchbooks allow us to stay sharp with our skills while also increasing the proficiency of those skills. I don't need you to be perfect, but I need you to chase the idea of being better.

Now it's time for an illustration.
Pen and ink. This is one of my favorite media, and if you follow me on instagram you would see this. The techniques we learned at the beginning of the year (hatch, stipple, fill-in) all need practice. If I am asking for a pen and ink drawing - or to have pen and ink to be combined with something like watercolor - I should see you practicing those techniques.

To illustrate further, one of the things I definitely said was that when we are using stipple or hatch we should NOT be outlining in ink.
Additionally, one of your Ch. 4 entries was to get more practice with watercolor (a media we just used in a project) and pen and ink (a media many of you will want to use in your next project - even though you may not realize it yet).
This is what we call practice, right?
This is where we get better so that the pieces which wind up on display have sophistication and improvement shown.

I was surprised at how many of those entries really didn't show a sophisticated use of shading. I just wonder, "why not?"

What kind of stands out even more, though, was the portrait of a human or animal that asked you to work from a photograph, print out that photo reference, and attach it to the facing page.
Remember, a photograph comes from a camera and is not a reproduction of a drawing/painting.
Also, if you are asked to print it out, why wouldn't you?
You should never tell your teacher, "My printer ran out of ink." This is an excuse (and only shows you do not feel the need to hold yourself accountable). If you have five weeks to work on an assignment, why would you (presumably) wait until the night before to print out your image? This just doesn't make any sense.
If you're like me and you don't have a printer at home, do you need to ask a friend for help? Do you need to go to Kinko's? Or Walgreens? Maybe a parent can print it at work?
Problem solving is key to success, and waiting to the last minute doesn't allow you to be as successful as you could be.

Fortunately you are not dinged for bringing something in late, but I will mark something as incomplete if you haven't followed the very explicit directions. I will reassess later - after you have made corrections/completions.

For myself though, separate from the physical act of drawing from a photograph being, at times, better than drawing from a screen, what is there to learn from printing out the image?
Yes, I question what I ask you to do. (I try to do the same things I ask of you.)
Well, there is follow through - which you need in order to be successful in life, and there is accountability.
If you can just not do something and there is no adverse affect, why do it?
Well, what if it is just the right thing to do?
What if it is intended to help someone else?
(Maybe a lesson we can learn is that doing something for others is the quickest path to happiness and joy?)
Maybe that person is me, the teacher, the one you are trying to show your creativity, growth, and sophistication to?
Is it possible that I can make all kinds of incorrect judgements about a piece of art that is supposed to look like a photograph if I don't have a reference? Is it possible that I might give you all kinds of bad advice about how you might make your drawing better if I don't have something to reference?

If I'm giving advice that isn't applicable, how can you get better through our shared experience?

In other words, the right thing to do is for me to give you as many opportunities to show your growth (and use of positive and helpful feedback) as possible, and then after you do the work towards taking advantage of those opportunities, I give you (more) usable feedback.
If you give me work/references, and I give you feedback, and then you use that feedback on the next piece, and I give you more feedback, and you use that see how we are creating a loop here?
We need to help each other so that we can help each other improve.

This is all good stuff, so please, let me help you.

You all have the ability to make really good projects, and you are all kind humans (which is why I want you to sign up for Art 2 nest year :) ), but you still need to do the work.
I try to make the topics and themes interesting, and I try to give you say in what you will create. I really think a pretty good job has been done on this front, and while you may not agree, please know that it has been a work in progress for years and I really have tried to do my best for you.

Now that this post is significantly long, what next?
Well, we will do some sort of self assessment on Wednesday. If you want to add to, or have a do-over before or after then, please feel free. Some of you should certainly take advantage of this, but some of you definitely don't need to. At that late of a point, I may or may not be able to have this chapter influence your progress report mark, but I don't worry about that since it is just a progress report.
What would be helpful is to ask questions if you are not sure.

I don't like posts like this, but as much as I desire to be friendly to you, I am responsible for holding you accountable, and at some point someone has to be "the adult in the room" and "call a spade a spade" and do the hard work of expressing that not everything was done as it should have been (as it could have been done).

Please read the comments that might have been left for you and know that they are intended to be helpful.
Lastly, know that these words don't apply to everyone - and certainly not everyone all the time. Some of you rocked it in Ch. 4. I applaud you.
Others sort of rocked it, but could stand to tweak things a bit.
Some of you, well, it seems you forgot what rocks were over these past several weeks were.

Yes, that's supposed to be a funny ending. It's the best I've got right now.


Thursday, February 8, 2018

Thoughts About Your Thoughts

After reviewing and discussing some of my thought process/thumbnails yesterday in class I was really happy to see some of you going through - and appreciating - the paintings that students have done in the past.
That's rad. I'm happy some of those are appealing.

So I have a few additional thoughts.

First, remember that you can do a "collage" - be it old school cutting and pasting photos together or new school digital style in photoshop or procreate. I'm happy either way.

Second, not everything has to be "deeply personal".
Yes, you need to address the topic (memory), and be able to back up your decisions. I would go a step further and say that your focal point needs to be what addresses the theme.
However, sometimes you need seemingly random items that help balance and unify your painting. You could even use those seemingly random items to help create a series if you have used certain subjects often in the past (as I have with sloths or donuts, for example).

Next, really (really!) think about composition.
It can be silly and fun and all sorts of other things in terms of the content, but as you are creating your own composition, think about focal point and rule of thirds and depth and overlapping and having variety of sizes and...all that stuff we have been trying to give you practice with since the tempera painting first semester of Art 1.

Subsequently, yes, you should be considering value, texture, etc. Those are all part of the Elements of Art and Principles of Design that you should be more than just intuitively aware of.

Finally, have fun!
There does need to be a personal connection with this, and you need to be able to verbally articulate your decisions and why you have made those decisions. "Because I like..." is NOT going to be a good way to start any of your explanations, so be aware of that.
With that said, though, you can still have fun, so let yourself enjoy the process!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Daily Sketchbook 2/5

As I stated, you get approximately half of the class to work on the independent practice that is due on Friday (something Architectural - though don't quote me on that). Please be on top of it and be uploaded within 45 minutes.
I will want to be productive with you as a class as we lean towards beginning our next project, and I want all of us to work together on those beginnings.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Daily Sketchbook 2/1

It's Feb. already. Wow.
First, don't forget that they reception for the AICC show is tonight from 6-7:30. I hope you and/or your parental units can make it!
Second, let's have a whale of a time. Don't spend much time looking, but quickly begin drawing from one of these images.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Daily Sketchbook 1/30

Let's go all the way back to two weeks ago, shall we?
The multiple hands you drew that were at least partially overlapping is what I mean.
I want you to draw some sort of consistent pattern in the negative space surrounding the hands now.

I'll put an example below of a pattern-type use of line that would work. Of course, yours doesn't have to be just like this, and strictly speaking this isn't a "regular pattern", but I really want you to focus on making the negative space interesting.


Monday, January 29, 2018

Regarding Registration

You've heard me talk about it, so HERE is the link to the Electives Concentration layout.

As a department we know the value of the skills you learn in the electives that are offered here at LGHS. You have a robust selection, and if we dive deeper, we know that the project and studio based courses you have available to you are integral to your success both in and out of high school. These classes add a level of understanding that is just different than what you get in some of your other classes.
Different is good.

We know that these classes take commitment and energy and we are always appreciative of the work that is put in by conscientious students. We are also aware that you have your attention pulled in many directions by "requirements" that may or may not be as necessary as you think they are.

With the direction of education and college admissions on our minds, part of the question we posed ourselves was, "how do we help our committed students stand out from the crowd in a positive way?"

The Electives Concentration is what we came up with. The linked document may not have all of the answers, so please come in and speak with me if you have any questions.

The shortest gist I can give is this:
  • take at least two years of one elective (such as Art 1 and Art 2)
  • take at least five electives total
  • make sure they fall in the columns in the linked document (no, not all mix and match electives work...for a variety of reasons)
  • complete a portfolio during senior year
  • be recognized at graduation and have an additional item to put on your college application

This last one is very important to me. I know (because colleges have said it) that colleges want a student who is dedicated and who can persist; they want a student that has a focus and interest (hese things show that you will probably stick around for them, and work through the rough patches that invariably come with life and education); they need someone who is more than just a number.
This concentration is a great way to help you stand above other students from other high schools, and allow you to "hang your hat on" something that is larger than a transcript or gpa alone.

I have one more thing to mention, but that is the gist. Please ask if there are questions (your counselors can also help).

Last, beginning next year Art 3 with be Art 3 Honors.
I know I know I know, that's not what it says on the sheet you have from the guidance department for registration. Technically it isn't official because the ball didn't get rolling for that until after the UC window was closed on that. I have been assured that it is coming though.
Personally I don't think this should be the deciding factor on you or your peers signing up for Art 3, of course I want you to do it just because it is a good class and is getting you the applied art credit you need for graduation, but I bet that it will be a nice added bonus for some of you, so that is one of the things I've been working on.
Again, any more questions, please ask.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Daily Sketchbook 1/22 + 1/24

If you have not already begun your I.P. piece that is due on Friday, 1/26, now is your opportunity.
Remember, it is a "free subject", so have fun. Remember, also, the constants of needing to show composition and texture and value and contrast and...
I know there is only one week since your last one, but that's the way it works out with the schedule right now. This is a free subject and you have 30 min of class time, plus another 30 min of daily sketchbook time you can use on Tues. and Thurs. this week, so there is at least one hour of quality drawing/painting time you can use for this.
Have fun.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Daily Sketchbook 1/18

We are mid-way through the month (gasp), so it's time for the always favorite AOTM.
Come to my desk and start trimming down your handout and taping it in your sketchbook while I get you started.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Art 3/4 Volunteers Needed

Hey all.
I need your help. The first request is really for you, but the second is definitely more for me (though you will get something out of it too).

First, I presume that you all would like a waffle day, so now is the time. By now I mean next week. And specifically I mean next Friday, 1/26.
As usual, you need to sign up to bring the stuff to make everything (link below). If not everything is covered by next Wed. we will have to cancel.
Sad face. Please don't let that happen.

Sign up to contribute to waffle day HERE. Please.

Second, the 8th grade electives fair is Tuesday 1/30. I think it officially goes from 5:30-7. Can you be one of approx. 4-6 awesome and diligent students that can work on your project and/or independent practices here in the studio from 5-7ish?
I will provide some Pizza My Heart for you to eat if you can come in and work.
There is a small caveat with this. There will be families and prospective students coming through the room to check everything out and I need you to be able to tell them how valuable and fun and important the Art sequence of classes are (and how ideal it is to start as a freshman in Art 1).
Primarily they will be asking me questions and want to talk to me, but to see students working in the room is highly valuable.
Plus, it gets you some work time while also getting a free dinner. Please follow the below link if you are able to do this. I don't need 20 people, so first come first serve on the 30th.

Sign up to work in the studio on Tues. Jan. 30th (and receive free pizza for dinner) HERE.

Last, and I'll remind you of this later, there is a public reception for our painting show over in the Council Chambers on Feb. 1st. It also goes from 5:30-7.
No, you don't have to stay the whole time. Even coming to support your peers for 15 min is great.
There are a variety of oil paintings from Art 2, 3, 4 in the show and it is always great to see the pieces outside of the studio (and guidance office).
Please mark your calendars.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Daily Sketchbook 1/16

Open to the next blank page in your sketchbook.
Draw, in pencil, a contour of your non-dominant hand at least three times on the page.
They should be large enough that there should be at least some overlapping. I would also suggest moving your hand in such a way that parts of the fingers overlap each time as well (basically, no fists or "flat" hands).

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Daily Sketchbook 1/11

Day two of the semester.
Go back to the image from Tuesday and look at the letter "V" at the bottom of the ad.
I want you to study the construction of that letter (see how it looks dimensional?), and back on the same page as Tuesday I want you to create the initials from your first and last name in that same style.
Ready, go!

THIS might be of help for those curvy style letters.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Daily Sketchbook 1/9

Let's begin this semester!
Welcome, please look at the image below and only worry about the face today. Get it as close as you can to the original. If you finish with an amazing visage, move on to the helmet and goggles.
Have fun!