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.