Snails on the Trail

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Recently, on a path I had never taken before at my new happy place (near the old quarry at Clark Reservation State Park), I six-feet-apart ran into Bobbi Petrocci, who gets photo cred for these fabulous pictures of snails!  They were everywhere.  I am just…wow.  So many different colors.  They are just sooooo cool.

We are both art teachers – talked about color wheel colors in nature – a lesson on using found objects/things in nature to create a color wheel.  She has already assigned it and I am planning on adding it to my class lessons.

And then.  These snails.  Everywhere.  I LOVE nature. <3

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Bear Paw Art

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I am loving this project.  Here is another amazing art activity that brings a community together.  We are Chittenango!  We are Bears.  #BearCountryStrong

I would love to see these saturating social media.  Show me your paw.  Make it using this template with markers, crayons, colored pencil or make it sculptural, with rocks, sea shells, buttons, or create a multi-media collage using magazine images, ink stamps or even thread.

We may be social distancing, isolating, but we can stand together artistically.  How totally cool!!!!! <3

Umbrella Man

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photo cred – Jeff Heim

It started out as an experiment.  How could Michael John Heagerty create an homage to artist Ji Lee, as well as manufacture a happening that transcends art and becomes a part of the bigger picture?

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Answer:  plant umbrellas.

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Last summer, as co-owner of Wildflowers Armory (217 S. Salina Street, Syracuse, New York 13202), Heagerty collaborated to install a series of umbrellas in the nook next to the gallery’s former location.  The event, called #colorfulcanopysyr invited patrons to visit and share their photographs on social networks, which led to a “Best Selfie Spot” award from local media.

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The umbrellas lend color to otherwise dreary spaces, according to the artist, as follows:

Red is a very emotionally intense color. It enhances human metabolism, increases respiration rate, and raises blood pressure & appetite.
Red represents COURAGE.

Pink is intuitive and insightful, showing tenderness and kindness with its empathy and sensitivity.
Pink represents HOPE.

Yellow is the most luminous of all the colors of the spectrum. It’s the color that captures our attention more than any other color. It’s the color of happiness, and optimism, of enlightenment and creativity, sunshine and spring. Yellow represents HAPPINESS.

Burgundy, named for the French region of wine-making, shows unconventional thinking, a desire for being unique and self expression. It can increase your energy, like red.
Burgundy represents COMFORT.

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The umbrella configurations have visited several locations in the past few days.  They have spent twenty-four hours each at Onondaga Park, Woodland Reservoir, Onondaga Creekwalk, Thornden Park and their present location, Willow Bay at Onondaga Lake Parkway (3858 Long Branch Road, Liverpool, New York 13090).

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photo cred – Lisa Richards Kane

They are planted in the ground (curved handles removed), and to honor our current life circumstances, they are pointing towards hospitals or engaging in the six-feet-apart modality.

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photo cred – Lisa Richards Kane

For the next phase, the future installments will last forty-eight hours in duration.  This for those who adhere to an every-other-day walk-about, as we further distance ourselves while allowing the medical epidemic to dissipate.  The installations will continue as phantom pop-ups to sustain the idea’s magic.

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photo cred – Lisa Richards Kane

Heagerty is a fan of the artist Christo who, along with his wife Jeanne-Claude, created large-scale temporary installations for the purpose of fulfilling a happiness and joy credo or art for art’s sake, in addition to making the invisibility of common-place landscapes visible via “immediate aesthetic impact”.

It is this purpose Michael John Heagerty aligns with most.  This is his love-letter to Syracuse, New York, suggesting that we WILL get through this mayhem with courage, hope, happiness and comfort, and above all, a caring, creative-arts zest for life.  <3

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photo cred – Benjamin Terry

***all other photographs not tagged are used with permission courtesy of the artist

 

 

Pajama Party

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Ugg flannel pajamas

I had the foresight to purchase new pajamas – I didn’t know then that I would be spending the majority of my time in them.  But, hey, it is fun!  I love being home, love spending time with my cat, love time to figure out this remote teaching thing.  Turns out we are spending more time teaching remotely than we did actually teaching face-to-face.  Lots of individual emails with students and parents, lots of information added to my Schoology platform, lots of learning how to use technology – I am no longer a Zoom virgin, lol.

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Vicherub long underwear, Ugg boots
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Ugg flannel pajamas

We were supposed to go back on April 15th but they are targeting April 29, 2020 now.  I added names to all the canvases and papers I planned for students to use in class – so, I am just going to trust that they will eventually be able to create those projects.  I sent them home with an art packet on the day before our government-mandated mass exodus from school.

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ThermaJane long underwear
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Ugg flannel pajamas

The Social Studies teacher told me that many of my students were working on that art homework during her Zoom meeting.  Yeah!  I love that. <3

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ThermaJane long underwear

 

Wellness

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I live in a one-hundred-twenty-year-old house, which tends to get dusty within minutes of dusting/cleaning, etc.  To promote wellness, I have lots of plants.  I go with a red and green plus neutrals color palette, so the greenery fits with the decor while helping me breathe the sweetness of fresh air.

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This morning, as I face week two of cloistering, I thought about how I achieve wellness.  It is a state of mind that represents positive energy and is always with me despite the outside world’s attempt to create the fear of doom/gloom and mayhem.  My plants are not concerned about a health crisis (nor is my cat, Pablo, for that matter, who is loving having mommy at home).  I recently repotted them all with new soil and in larger pots, and they are thriving.  They are happy with just a bit of water and the low light sunshine they receive from the windows of my East Syracuse, New York American Bungalow.

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They are alive.  They thrive.  They are happy.  They are well.  They bring peace and joy to my life.  It is my sincere pleasure to take care of them.

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What does wellness mean to you?  Send me a photograph that utilizes the theme of wellness.  It can be a person, place or thing.  It can be an abstract notion or a portrait, landscape or still-life.  Show me wellness and together we will saturate social media with it.  Attach your images in the comments section.  My students – send yours to my school email address and we will make this an enrichment assignment towards your 4th quarter grade.

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Let the wellness in, my friends.  Allow and receive.  Just…let it in. <3

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Before March Madness

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Here are my outfits of the day for the month of March 2020.  No more school for a while.  I just discovered a show on ABC called Schooled to help with my school withdrawal.  It is almost as funny as the silly things kids say at real school. It’s set in the ’90s, which is when I started working at my job.  Back then I think my fashion look was sort of Monica from Friends.

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Rebecca Taylor jacket, Milly top, Joe’s Jeans leather jeans, Calvin Klein booties
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Free People dress, Sorel boots
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Joie leather dress, Marc Jacobs boots, Tashkovski bracelet
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Baublebar choker, Rachel Zoe silk dress, Marc Jacobs boots, Tashkovski bracelet
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Aqua Cashmere sweater, Trina Turk leather skirt, Rebecca Minkoff boots, Harry Potter lanyard
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Rachel Zoe silk dress, Joe’s Jeans leather jeans, Marc Jacobs sandals and sunglasses
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Honora necklace, Tashkovski bracelet, Halston Heritage dress, Banana Republic top, Marc Jacobs boots
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Cinq a Sept silk dress, Marc Jacobs boots
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C by Bloomingdales cashmere sweater, Joe’s Jeans leather jeans, Marc Jacobs boots, Tashkovski bracelet
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Aqua Cashmere sweater, French Connection leather skirt, Rebecca Minkoff boots

 

 

Lizards!

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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.

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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.

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Face Mask

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My B-day Art-8 students (Chittenango Middle School) created these clay masks.  We used Sax Colorburst glazes.  They have silica flakes that pop in the kiln creating confetti-like effects.

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I offered students thirteen different colors and asked that they use at least six, making sure to place three coats of glaze on the mask for each color.   It was tricky because the glazes transform in the kiln – there is that allowance for serendipity that doesn’t work if you are a control freak, but totally does if you are experimental.

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I added a wire to the back so they can hang on the wall.  Students took them home today.  I miss them already!

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The Italian Still-Life

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My Studio in Art students recently completed these still-life paintings based on photographs I took last year at Vince’s Gourmet Imports (440 S. Main Street, North Syracuse, New York 13212).

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I have paired them here with the resource picture.  Contour line drawings made on white drawing paper were transferred to canvas panel via the magic of graphite paper.  Then students used acrylic paint.  They had their own palettes and mixed colors by adding white and raw sienna to every hue, which gives the paintings a sense of unity (the colors “go” together).  I encouraged them to maintain their own styles.  This included the option of outlining in black, consistent brush work, removing or adding text, and creating a different background.

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They are 8th graders taking this high-school level course for high school credit and the opportunity to take upper level art electives next year.  We have one quarter left of the school year – I have plans for two more lessons to complete course work off-campus if necessary.  The Chittenango Central School District is temporarily closing on Tuesday with an indefinite return date at this time.

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Kindness Prevails

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Kindness

Description

Kindness is a behavior marked by ethical characteristics, a pleasant disposition, and concern and consideration for others. It is considered a virtue, and is recognized as a value in many cultures and religions. Wikipedia

National dayObserved on February 17th, National Random Acts of Kindness Day has grown in popularity each year.

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kind·ness
/ˈkīn(d)nəs/
noun
  1. the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.
    Similar:

    kindliness

    kind-heartedness, warm-heartedness, tender-heartedness, goodwill, affectionateness, affection, warmth, gentleness, tenderness, concern, care, consideration, considerateness, helpfulness, thoughtfulness, unselfishness, selflessness, altruism, compassion, sympathy, understanding, 
    big-heartedness, benevolence, benignity, friendliness, 
    neighbourliness, hospitality, amiability, courteousness, public-spiritedness,
    generosity, magnanimity, indulgence, patience, tolerance, charitableness,
    • a kind act.
      plural noun: kindnesses
      “it is a kindness I shall never forget”
      Similar:
      kind act
      good deed
      act of kindness
      good turn

      favor

      act of assistance

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This year’s Doodle for Google competition has now closed.  All entries had to be postmarked yesterday.  These images are among the many I submitted – 8th graders from Chittenango Middle School.  The winner receives $30,000, and $50,000 in technology for their school.

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The theme of this year’s contest is “I show kindness by….”

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Do we have a winner?

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