Smarty Arty Marty

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I stumbled upon the Syracuse Art Mart last night on my way to the downtown Syracuse tree lighting ceremony.  It is in the Atrium at City Hall Commons located at 201 E. Washington Street in Syracuse, NY.

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It will be open until Christmas Eve – Monday through Saturday, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm.

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There’s lots to see and buy.  Art and craft from local and regional artists like Judi Witkin (jewelry) and Jeanne Dupre (oil paintings) – that was a shout-out to Facebook friends….

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Skirts, Leggings & Klimt

Trina Turk dress, Nine West boots
Trina Turk dress, Nine West boots

It’s been relatively warm here.  Sunshine – no rain, no snow.  I still feel comfortable in bare legs and/or sandals at forty degrees!

Free People cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria dress, Nine West boots
Free People cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria dress, Nine West boots

I think that’s because last winter it was, like, four or more below zero in the winter, so we Syracusans think that thirty degrees is sort of warm.  It’s a relativity thingamabob.

Trina Turk top and skirt, BCBGGeneration booties
Trina Turk top and skirt, BCBGGeneration booties

Whenever I wear Trina Turk, the amazing fashion designer likes or comments on my Instagram pictures so, of course(!) I do it as often as possible.  Here is the outfit with and without the Banana Republic cardi.

Banana Republic cardigan, Trina Turk top and skirt, BCBGGeneration booties
Banana Republic cardigan, Trina Turk top and skirt, BCBGGeneration booties
Lucky Brand jacket, Banana Republic dress, Steve Madden boots
Lucky Brand jacket, Banana Republic dress, Steve Madden boots
Free People cardigan, Rachel Roy top, BCBGMazAzria pants, Coach booties
Free People cardigan, Rachel Roy top, BCBGMazAzria pants, Coach booties

This Free People cardi is in heavy circulation.  I just love the color.  It’s a sort of raw sienna/yellow ochre dealio, which truly suits me.  I am always instructing students to use this color as the underlying structure to a painting or a colored pencil drawing – the perfect neutral.

Free People cardigan, Bailey 44 top, BCBGMaxAzria leggings, BCBGGeneration booties
Free People cardigan, Bailey 44 top, BCBGMaxAzria leggings, BCBGGeneration booties

Been going to Green Lakes after school every day – I either bring exercise clothes to change into or I’ve been wearing leggings almost as a uniform, which is just easier.

Berkley Cashmere cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria top and leggings BCBGGeneration booties
Berkley Cashmere cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria top and leggings BCBGGeneration booties
Banana Republic cardigan, Bailey 44 top. Champion leggings, Enzo Anglioni boots
Banana Republic cardigan, Bailey 44 top. Champion leggings, Enzo Anglioni boots

The picture below was my casual Friday look.  We call it dress down day.  The teachers contribute money to fund various charities in order to wear denim since jeans are technically not professional attire.

Ann Taylor jacket, JCrew top, Calvin Klein jeans, BCBGGeneration sandals
Ann Taylor jacket, JCrew top, Calvin Klein jeans, BCBGGeneration sandals

I always top my look with an apron or a blue smock during the school day.  I look more like this crazy guy when I am not posing for a picture:

Gustav Klimt
Gustav Klimt

He’s Gustav Klimt.

I love this man!  His work is sooooo beautiful!  He was very eccentric.  He loved cats to the point that I think he hoarded them.  I only have the one – I am not technically a crazy cat lady, but just being an artist, the word crazy is tossed about a lot directed towards me, like some sort of embraceable put-down, lol.

Right now, I have something like six or seven different preps – I am doing different lessons in every class.  Painting – Wolf Kahn barn paintings in acrylic, fluorescent clay lizards and frozen faces; additive sculptures in one class, reductive sculptures in another…what else?  Colored pencil dessert drawings à la Wayne Thiebaud and Japanese fan mixed-media pieces,  Needless to say, the classroom is a crazy, topsy-turvy mess.

So, smock, cats, crazy…you can see that I identify with Klimt.  We could have been besties in another life.

Mada Primavesi by Gustav Klimt
Mada Primavesi by Gustav Klimt

This is my favorite Klimt painting.  When I stood in front of it at the Met years ago, I literally wept at it’s beauty.  It just has this innocent freshness.  The painting is actually life-size.  The girl and I are the same height. Hmm, that gives me an idea for a fashion look….  Think I will sport the side hair part tomorrow, maybe wear my white BCBG Max Azria dress again…but I think I will pass on the white tights.

 

Let it Shine!

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Penny, Anne and I went to two art openings on Thursday night!

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The first was at SALT Quarters, a venue with ties to Syracuse University.  You ask to use the facility for short duration art exhibitions and they give you the key.  Here is the link to their Facebook like page.

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It is located at 115 Otisco Street in Syracuse, NY.

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Current key holder and artist Kathryn Petrillo has curated a two- week show of five artists:

Kathy Gaulin Donovan

Anastasia Keville

Steve Nyland

Chris Wayne Rosier

Nate West

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Call (315) 443-0320 or visit www.saltquarters.com to view the art.  It will be on display until November 30, 2015.

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The second art exhibition is at the Roji Tea Lounge, 108 E. Washington Street, Syracuse. Here is the link to their Facebook page.

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The artist exhibiting, Niki Dellios, is a shining star.  Timing changed her life  – she was exhibiting paintings at the Syracuse Tech Garden when the art director from the movie Adult World (filmed in Syracuse) spotted the art and asked her to do a commissioned work for the movie.  She received film cred plus her very own IMDb page!

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This show is up a bit longer – through December 2015.  Call (315) 428-0844 for their hours of operation.

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I have to say, you will love all the sparkly bits.  Niki uses acrylic glosses, resins and glitter in her work.  They are a lot shinier in person.

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Max-imum Effort

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I introduced the work of Peter Max to students in two of my classes. I still encouraged them to create their own style on their Statue of Liberty paintings.  Some did respond to the energy in his brush strokes.

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These are acrylic paintings on 16″ x 20″ canvas panels.

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I really love teaching students about a contemporary artist who is still alive.  They could potentially meet Peter Max, as he visits galleries that represent him all over the country – all the time.

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Max will be in Short Hills, NJ on November 14, 2015, Ft. Worth, TX on Nov. 21 and 22, and King of Prussia, PA on Nov. 28.

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Here is a link to his website – http://www.petermax.com/

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I was looking for rhythm and texture.  These paintings were part of my SLO tests.  New York State art teachers are required to give tests that are authentic assessments.  These were graded by my colleague.  I then grade her tests, so that we retain a more objective result.  Detail and composition were also assessed.

The only problem with this type of grading system is emotion is thrown under the bus.  The other teacher does not see the commitment, the emotional journey a student takes when learning to paint.  She doesn’t see the eureka moments and the process to create the product.  Oh well.  In the attempt to standardize, we roll with those punches.  Can’t fight to liberate ourselves from the standardization of public school.

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Can you see the Max in them?

Jet Set

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In my attempt to bring travel into my life, I created this 8th grade art lesson.  Students selected famous buildings – the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal, the White House….  Places all over the world.

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This was a materials-driven lesson.  Colored pencil on black Strathmore drawing paper with the addition of Sharpie metallic markers in silver, gold and/or bronze.

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The strength in these works comes from the students’ commitment to creating their own styles and in addition, to utilizing consistency in that style.  I was looking for rhythm and texture here, as well as detail and composition.

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I am always inventing my own projects and the only problem-o in sharing them is that another local or otherwise art teacher might stumble across them here and decide to use the lessons with their students.  That’s flattering, not really a problem.  It only becomes so if the projects compete against one another at Scholastic Art Awards.  Judges are always looking for the unique.  Seeing a “lesson” is basically the kiss of death. Then the judges don’t see originality and I have to go back to the drawing board (ha, ha – because I am using it figuratively and literally) and come up with a new inventive project.

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But let’s face it – that is my strength.  I have ideas flying out of my butt.  Are you liking that pun?  Flying, get it?  The jet-setters do.

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Clothes Horse Thespian

BCBGMaxAzria top, Trina Turk pants BCBGGeneration booties
BCBGMaxAzria top, Trina Turk pants BCBGGeneration booties

I’m the kind of creature of habit who basically could listen to the same CD in the car for months –  not just the CD, but a particular song, lol.  I am all about repetition.  All about routine.  (I can sing Billy Joel’s Vienna over and over again and not get bored with it!)

BCBGMaxAzria top, Calvin Klein jeans, BGBGGeneration booties
BCBGMaxAzria top, Calvin Klein jeans, BGBGGeneration booties

I just feel comfort in that stuff.  I have this idea that I will sing on stage someday.  One of my “bucket list” dreams is to do the national anthem at a sports event.  I know I can do it.  Someday, I am sure I will.

with Carmine Cangialosi, director of American Dresser (filmed in Syracuse)
with Carmine Cangialosi, director of American Dresser (filmed in Syracuse)

Lately, I’ve been thinking about all the things I wanted for myself when I was a kid.  Even the far-fetched stuff.   A lot of great things have been happening to me lately, a lot of dreams coming true.  It’s kind of very cool.

with John Hanson, director of Wildrose, and actor Tom Bower
with John Hanson, director of Wildrose, and actor Tom Bower

I met some people at the Syracuse International Film Festival a couple weeks ago.  There was discussion of an art movie that may be filmed here.  I may achieve the goal of being an actress! Well, an extra, but still!

BCBGMaxAzria top, Honora necklace, Calvin Klein jeans, BCBGGeneration sandals
BCBGMaxAzria top, Honora necklace, Calvin Klein jeans, BCBGGeneration sandals

I also talked to two people about acquiring art exhibitions for my huge inventory of artwork.  I am sure at least one of those will come to fruition.  Am quite certain I will find the right fit for my work and ultimately sell, sell, sell!

Trina Turk dress, BCBGGeneration sandals
Trina Turk dress, BCBGGeneration sandals

And because these things are happening, I think it is making me a better teacher.  I feel absolutely fearless.  Like everything that happens will be the absolute best possible outcome for me.

It helps me teach kids that they can achieve anything their hearts’ desire.  It’s not just positive thinking.  It’s the kind of blind faith that allows one to take that leap.  It’s truly an awesome feeling.

BCBGMaxAzria dress, Nine West boots
BCBGMaxAzria dress, Nine West boots

Dressing up for work is super fun.  As you can see, I am a creature of habit with fashion.  I just love Trina Turk and BCBG Max Azria.  They both like my Instagram posts, and that is such a huge thrill.  I am sooo grateful for all the compliments on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!!!!

Life has truly never been more fun!

Trina Turk dress, BCBGGeneeration booties
Trina Turk dress, BCBGGeneeration booties

***Special thanks to my photographer and art teaching colleague, Gina Fargnoli, who makes me feel so relaxed and happy when she takes my picture every morning for my #ootd!  You are the BEST, my friend!

Cow Town

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The Chittenango Middle School 8th grade teachers take our students to visit SUNY Morrisville.  We’ve done it for several years now. There are four activities plus lunch in the dining hall (!!!) – to see the automotive dept., the dairy management farm, the equine science program and the aquaponics greenhouse.

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I’ve gone on this field trip three times and this was the first time I visited the cows.  There I met Assistant Professor Ashley Adams, who loves cow art!

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So this blog post is for her.  I want to share artwork by my bestie, Penny Santy.  Penny is a graphic artist during the day, fine artist by night.  You can find her website here.

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Penny has this wonderful series of cow paintings.  I am totally in love with them.  She uses oils and paints in a quaint studio space in the basement of her home in Eastwood, a subdivision in the city of Syracuse, NY.

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I love the energy in her brush stroke and the juxtaposition of complementary colors used to create shadows.  Not just saying that because she is my friend.  I think Penny’s work would look great in the offices/buildings at the dairy science college!  They are large scale pieces – really breathtaking in person.  I especially love the buttery yellow one!

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Students in my ninth period A day class created cow portraits in oil pastel on black paper.

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We drew them on white paper, transferred them to the black Strathmore paper with graphite paper (magic) and painted out the lines with black acrylic paint.

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I showed students how to build up the color with the oil pastel using a layering technique and encouraged them to create their own consistent style – up and down, diagonal, coloring in circles, etc.

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I just love the way they turned out.  Each one is 16″ x 20″ – my favorite size for student work!  I am thinking of selecting a couple to enter into the Scholastic Art Awards competition, but I can’t decide which ones will be the most competitive.  I like them all.

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OMG, I love cow art too! ❤