Last week was all about the silk and leather combo. I’ve been trying to stick to themes and this one is my favorite. The previous week it was cotton T-shirt and leather, which is the more casual version of what is becoming my school uniform.
We are currently glazing clay projects, painting and finishing up the Lions Club peace poster contest. Posters are due on October 22nd. First marking period ends on November 5th.
Here are some of the celebrity portraits my 8th grade Studio in Art students (from Chittenango Middle School) finished back in March. I didn’t display them because I was saving them for the school fair, which never happened.
I allow students to pick almost anyone – meaning anyone “appropriate”, and this year you will see a variety from sports, performing arts, the art world and social media (and one grand-dad). Two Steve Harveys, lol. He wins as most popular this time.
Two of my classes used hand-building skills to create these adorable clay lizards. We used the Sax Colorburst glazes. I love the colors, especially the Firecracker!!! The projects remain in the glass case in the Chittenango Middle School atrium.
We looked at the work of the Aboriginals of Australia for inspiration. Different patterns were added to the body, head, limbs and tail using a variety of techniques.
Welcome to my world. Here are my 2020 #ootd school pictures thus far. My Studio in Art students have been painting with acrylics – these paintings are going to blow your mind. They are sooooo good!!!!! I think they only need a couple more weeks to complete them. I have been wearing stuff that wouldn’t freak me out if it got paint on it. I guess I am saying that fashion is taking a backseat at the moment. I’m a control freak about the brushes – I tell them to use however many they want and need, and I will wash them, so, I spend about twenty minutes washing brushes on my lunch period every day.
Today was the first day of the 2nd semester, believe it or not, which means we are already half-way through the year. I am giving pre-tests and prepping lessons – lots of cool things to come: oil pastels, collage, more paintings and clay!!! I’ll be switching up the artwork on the cabinets soon, as well as eventually organizing the excessive amount of white paint on that back counter, lol, for those of you who scoff at the mess. (It is an art room, after all – that’s what makes it fun and funny). Special thanks to Katy C., my colleague and photographer, who laughs with me every day. <3
This year there are fifteen 8th graders in my Studio in Art accelerated high school course at Chittenango Middle School. They finished the Lions Club Peace Poster project just in time for the end of the first marking period and for the judging last Wednesday. This is an international competition where the big winner gets $5,000. At the local level, the Chittenango Lions awarded monetary prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.
This year’s theme is Journey of Peace.
Posters will be on display in the guidance office where we have recently created a little gallery space. They will be moved to the Sullivan Library’s Community Room for the month of December 2019.
Today our winning poster competes for the regional title. If it wins, it continues its journey at the state level then internationally.
The Lions Club is providing us with a luncheon on Wednesday, November 20, 2019 in our classroom. I am so incredibly blessed to have these wonderful people in my life. They are so supportive of my program and each year for the past thirteen years they have turned three of my students into professional artists. That’s a lot of pros! Win-win! <3
Teaching watercolor to my 8th grade accelerated Studio in Art students was probably the most significantly beautiful thing I have done at school all year. I gave them each their own palettes and set of Koi brand watercolors. They began by painting on small sheets, practicing four techniques: saving the white of the paper, glazing, wet-in-wet and dry brush.
Then I gave them Arches 300# watercolor paper. They drew landscapes with barns.
Paintings took weeks to create. Many, many days of thin coats of glazing culminating in dry brush details. These kids are extraordinarily talented. I guided them, but really, they were on auto-pilot for much of the lesson. My job was to remind them to utilize formal principles consciously – rhythm, balance, emphasis…and to insist that they trust their own hand and intuition, so that their style could emerge. My goal and hope for them, as they mature as artists in high school and beyond, is for them to stay true to who they are and what they want to evoke in their artwork.
I am beyond blessed to know these talented über-amazing young people!!!!
I have been playing with mixing patterns and textures in my #ootd. And layering. Putting sweaters under dresses and finding unexpected matches, like my amber necklace (I actually designed it myself!) is the same color as the Marc Jacobs patent leather booties in rust (pictured above).
And a new cardigan pairs nicely with a four-year-old dress (above).
It is now spring. I have started to slowly reintroduce sandals. The weather in Syracuse/Chittenango will just have to catch up.
In other news, students are glazing textured clay projects, finishing up patterned paintings and some fashion drawings. The quarter ends on April 5th, I believe. Then we will be gearing into the homestretch with sculptures, more paintings and artsy mayhem (the good kind – there is no fartsy in the art room).
I have always been drawn to the exquisite beauty of all that is Ancient Egypt. I took an Egyptology course at University College while teaching at Bryant & Stratton back in the ’80s to answer a student who questioned why and how Egyptian fashion was selected as the first chapter in the costume history textbook.
The answer lies in art, because all of our history to do with ancient cultures comes not from the written word, but from pictures – in this case hieroglyphics, tomb murals and, of course jewelry, as well as the remnants of clothing made of linen fiber.
I learned that Napoleon’s French army invaded Egypt in 1798. They rediscovered the antiquities and were the first archeologists to investigate the area. It wasn’t the painstaking attention to delicate detail that it is today or even remotely a respectful handling of human remains.
Many mummies were burned as fuel for steam engines, which is just so tragic. Later on, in the following century, Egypt became an exotic vacation spot for wealthy Americans who enjoyed purchasing the baubles, scarab beetle decor, and mummies!
They held mummy unveiling dinner parties back in the States, stuff like that.
Howard Carter uncovered King Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922. This significant find catapulted Egyptian archeology in terms of the level of importance, the regard for history and the sheer magic in attaining this priceless treasure.
Somewhere in the middle, during the Victorian age, Cazenovia Public Library benefactor Robert James Hubbard and his son accumulated a collection of Ancient Egyptian artifacts including an intricately wrapped-in-linen mummy for the purpose of creating a museum.
And so, yes, there is a mummy in this library.
Yesterday, Janine and I visited Cazenovia, New York; first stop, Cazenovia Artisans, second, Common Grounds and next, to the library to see this exhibit. We ended up at Empire Farm Brewery for lunch. Janine had never been to any of these spots nor had she an idea this breathtaking collection even existed. So, my thought is that not many of you know about it. You’re welcome!
When I taught elementary art at Bridgeport Elementary School in our district, I decided to add a few lessons on Ancient Egypt culture to the third grade curriculum, because I had this knowledge I wanted to share. I created a cat mummy sculpture lesson. Naturally, no pets were harmed. Students’ sculptures were made of an armature of plastic bottles and styrofoam balls. They were void of remains, unlike the actual cat mummy at this museum.
At Chittenango, it is the sixth graders who study the ancient civilizations in Social Studies. They do take a field trip to Cazenovia Library, as the village is adjacent to our school district via Route 13. I highly recommend a visit. It is free and really quite extraordinary.
The library is located at 100 Albany Street, Cazenovia, New York 13035. It is open Monday – Friday 9:00 am – 9:00 pm, Saturday 10:00 – 5:00 pm. They are closed on Sundays. Call (315) 655-9322 for more information.
The museum space is also home to a gallery for rotating local artist/art organization exhibitions, as well as a wonderful exhibit of birds and plumage in fashion. They also have many interesting activities for children including puzzle clubs and such. Yesterday they had a hot chocolate and cookie station available. Set in a Victorian mansion, this is truly a quaint and lovely experience that really packs a secret chamber punch. So special! <3