I went all mini last week. It is finally getting warmer in Syracuse! Yesssssss!
On Friday afternoon , I put the glazes away for the year. All the clay projects are now on deck for the kiln.. I am gearing up for the final lessons. I think there are thirty school days left, so only fifteen classes for A day students and fifteen classes for B day students.
They will be creating art books and the Studio in Art students will begin a watercolor landscape. So fun!!!! <3
The weather has been fluctuating towards warmer. It felt incredible to wear sandals in Syracuse yesterday. We’re getting there!
We are using india ink in the Studio in Art classes, hence all the black outfits. I love a good theme. For some students, this is their very first time using the medium. We are practicing first then creating hand drawings adding Persian pottery pattern designs to the compositions.
I wrote a song called India Ink in honor of the lesson. I have been posting songs and poetry on YouTube and TikTok. So fun! <3
Joey passed away. His funeral was on Wednesday. He was my ISO Fish Fry date (The Retreat was his top choice), a great dancing partner (the last time we danced was in February), the karaoke guy at Jimmy’s parties, a wonderful conversationalist and great listener. He is/was the best friend one could ever ask for.
We always talked philosophy – life and afterlife stuff. I am eternally searching for a balance between who I am and who I think I am, like, authentically, and he was always authentically Joey.
We both loved learning new things and agreed that this was definitely a path to authenticity, loving that journey to self-discovery. With me, it was piano. He loved playing the drums. He has a Youtube channel devoted to that relatively new passion.
My Youtube channel has a hodgepodge of things, more recently, original poems and songs I write. Surrender the Silence is dedicated to Joey. It is a bit somber though – I guess it, sort of, represents the way we feel when someone we care about transitions. There’s a triumph in a life well spent, a joy in the realization that so many people cared and loved, as well as that sadness of losing the ability to have more time with them.
Every time we took a picture together, Joey would say that we had the same nose. I don’t know why that is. My dad was a kid in the old country when he was born (I have Dad’s nose) and neither of Joey’s daughters, siblings or his father have it, lol. We definitely look like we are related.
The last time I was with him he pulled a $20 bill out as part of the money to contribute to the bill at Shaughnessy’s. I collect bills with 777 in the serial number so I immediately swapped it out for a random non-special twenty. He said, “You and your magical thinking.”
Knowing you is/was pretty magical, Joey. Thank you for that. <3
My newest creative venture – poetry and songwriting.
So far only a couple of my poems have a tune. This is the first one. I feel like the best way to sing it is to do all the verses twice – I didn’t do that in my a capella version here because I didn’t actually know how long it was.
Let me know what you think. I would love it if you could subscribe to my You Tube channel. I will post more – because, you know, I am not embarrassing myself. At this stage in my life…I mean, come on.
The Barn at Collamer Road is the site of a pop-up art exhibition starring three Cicero-North Syracuse art teachers. Kara Daviau, Amy Haven and James Vanhoven share their art in the upstairs gallery space of this amazing venue located at 6456 Collamer Road, East Syracuse, NY 13057. You can view the work from 11:00 am-1:00 pm on Saturday, April 2, 2022, and Sunday., April 3, 2022. And that’s it! The opening reception was today. The show is titled “Resonance”.
Their prices are very reasonable. Haven’s ceramics may have all sold! They are beautiful pieces – wall hangings, jewelry trays, pottery – with arts and crafts details such as quatrefoil and ginko leaves.
Vanhoven’s work is exquisite – he is technically proficient. He is the quintessential art teacher with a variety of interests all focusing on landscapes. There are etchings, watercolors and oil paintings, as well as pastel drawings.
Daviau paints in acrylic with collage. She incorporates musical themes giving each illustration of abandoned buildings a unique personality. She also sells merchandise depicting those paintings. These include apparel, prints and accessories.
I’m sure we will be seeing a lot more from these dynamic artist/colleagues!
Season 2 of Bridgerton is now available for consumption on Netflix. The binge-worthy series is based on novels by Julia Quinn, set in the early 1800s about a family of eight children of wealth and status. Each of the eight novels revolves around one of the sibling’s love life, which leads one to speculate that there will be more to come from this show in the next few years.
This is a Shonda Rhimes vehicle and with it comes that wonderful modern twist – a multi-ethnic cast, contemporary music (they were dancing to a Madonna song in one episode) and a whimsical/colorful take on the Edwardian period costumes. The latter includes a vibrant array of sherbet-colored gowns and the gamut of puffed sleeves, empire waists, embroidery, silks, leathers, and lots of shimmer-shammer.
Here are my latest #ootd looks. Currently, my style is romance novel flair with lots of Brigerton-esque qualities. I am all about the puffy sleeve and ruffles. And heavier on the empire waist than I realized. Rebecca Taylor is my guru for this style. You will also be seeing a lot more Faithfull the Brand, Free People and Frame in my closet these days. And of course, leather, silks and now that it is spring – cotton and linen. #lovefashion #fashionintherealworld. <3
I call this activity the Summer Vacation Graffiti project. It is a great starter lesson – a quickie to get art on the school walls. It is technically not graffiti, which is a type of spray painted calligraphy using text, but it can be – words can be incorporated.
Students are asked to draw images that relate to what they did on their summer vacation. We reference the principles of art to compose the space of their final copies.
This was the very first video I made in September 2020 for that year of teaching remotely. I do cringe at some parts – specifically my drawing. (and of course, the way my eyes look like I don’t know where the camera is or the way I can’t remember the easiest word or some dumb thing) OMG, it was so hard to draw with the paper taped to the wall. I guess I should have rehearsed it first, but who has the time for that? Also, no lighting props, lol.
I was in a tiny music practice room adjacent to the faculty bathroom.
Usually when I do this lesson, I have samples of previous work to share. And when we do it in class, we don’t jump ahead to the next and the next step. It is not a race to finish.
One thing I cannot teach is that amazing feeling I get when I am drawing. You will either have it or not. Kids will say, “That’s so satisfying,” when it happens to them, which I love! <3
Last year, a local arts contributor connected with me to ask if I would share how I was going to teach art during the pandemic. I declined to participate because I did not want to allow anyone (read-people who would ultimately read said article) to criticize my choices when they really had no idea what the circumstances truly were.
School during 2020-2021 was about uplifting spirits, if that makes any sense. It was not plowing through curriculum while people were dealing with a global crisis, which brought with it low-level emotional feelings such as depression, sadness, fear, anger as well as physical illness.
My colleague and I spent our budget on individual supplies – markers, colored pencils, sketchbooks, etc. We did “dry media” projects and supplemented with vocabulary work. Many students worked 100% remotely with varying results due to their own perception of self-motivation.
We received some really fun results with this lesson – Design an Animal. Here is the video I made for the assignment. September 2020 marked the first time I’d done anything like this. Alone in my classroom on Wednesdays, which was the day students were all remote, I videotaped myself. No editing – just a straight shot, teaching the way I normally would with the exception of the fact that I could see myself on the screen and I had to give up the fact that I’m a real person and not an actress or model; that I was going to like myself sometimes and cringe at other times. I had to imagine that students were there and speak as though someone was on the other side actually listening to my stories. One take – no do overs because I didn’t have the time for that.
So here it is – the Design an Animal lesson posted on http://www.youtube.com. It is a lesson we shared with 6th, 7th and 8th graders. Needless to say, all of these multi-level shared lessons cannot be taught again for another two years, lol.
Please like and subscribe to my video channel.
P.S. Here is a link to Galina Bugaevskaya’s work – she is the one who photoshops cat faces on animals.
Here are two companion videos I created in September 2020 when I was teaching art remotely – one on the Medusa lesson I created years ago and the other is a pattern lesson. The pattern lesson – I created it for 2nd graders originally, so this should have been a review for my 8th graders. Katy and I used both lessons for 6th-8th graders last year.