Saturday, August 31, 2013

Duck Duck Goose

So the other day I was going through our collection of over 3,000 photos we took on our vacation when Cara comments "I don't understand why you are so fascinated by ducks." You see every time I am near a bird with a camera in my hand I'm snapping shots like crazy. It has been a long standing tradition for her to ask me about my obsession with taking photo's of waterfowl. This time was different though, this time she asked me while I was in front of the computer rather then in the middle of trying to catch that perfect angle. This time I had a minute to think about the question. And it really is a simple answer. I'm not fixated on waterfowl, I'm simply pretending to be a wildlife photographer and ducks are everywhere. That's it. I just see more ducks than anything else when I'm out and about with my camera. They also don't frighten me like the bear we saw once on the side of the road in the Tetons. I can't get close to a Bear, Buffalo, or a Moose out in the wild, and my zoom lens isn't very zoomy (yes I said zoomy, I like making up words). I'll take photos of any animal that won't suddenly decide to kill me and happens to be nearby while I have a camera in hand. Ducks let me get close and they are everywhere, literally everywhere, The photos below were taken in Austria and Switzerland. So, sorry Cara you'll have to get used to it. Besides I really do like the results.



See what I did there? You're it now. :)

Found this guy on a lake in Austria, Don't know what he is.
but he has red eyes and a smile so I assume it's a demon in disguise.

Check out this guy's hairdo. Cara is scared of this one.
Swan's are tricky, they are bright white so a lot of my shots were washed out.
I love the water in this photos as well.
Swan Family = Adorable
Look I found the ugly duckling.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Chalk Art Festival 2013!

May 22 was the 2nd Annual WJMS Chalk Art Festival. I had a chalk art festival last year for my advanced students because I was really not up for going on a field trip while pregnant. The students liked it so much that I decided to do it again this year and hopefully every year from now on.

This year the theme was Latin American Art and I expanded it to include all of my classes and the Ceramics 2 class. My Drawing 2 and the Ceramics 2 kids participated all day by completing large scale reproductions of paintings by Latin American artists. My other students participated for the period that they had me by doing various Mexican folk art designs that we have been learning about in class for the last couple weeks.
It was A LOT of work to get everything ready but every minute of work was completely worth it. The end result was AMAZING.
Get ready for a whole lot of pictures of the 2nd Annual WJMS Chalk Art Festival! 

Early in the day. Some Mexican folk art style drawings by my 7th graders on the left. The all-day participants on the right.

My Drawing 1 class has been working on a Mexican folk art style project called "Tree of Life". So, I drew a huge tree on the pavement and had my students fill the tree with the different Mexican folk art symbols. They did a pretty good job.
Tree of Life project example.

If you look closely you can see the outline of the tree along with things my students added.
Look at that beautiful day!
Break-dancing breaks were necessary for some students.
 The tree at the end of the day. I wish I would have had more time to work on making the outline thicker.
I have a student who tries to work Adventure Time into every project I assign, so he did this picture of Jake in Mexican folk art style- well done.

Now, for the main event, the advanced art students:

The first 3 hours of the day are easy. The kids are excited and full of energy. As the day drags on they need more breaks and a lot of motivation to keep going.

Some students were multitasking (drawing and tanning).  

Here are the finished products:

Carlos Mérida
They did pretty good, but got a little sloppy toward the end of the day. 

Frida Kahlo
This group had an amazing start but completely gave up after about four hours. They ended up helping other groups. 8th graders. What are you gonna do?
Omar D'León
Amazing job!
Miguel de la Espriella
Absolutely beautiful!
Benito Quinquela Martín
Great work!
Diego Rivera
Probably the best one of the day. Definitely the most accurate and most attention to detail.
Pablo Marcano García
This one fell a little flat. Thy got frustrated with the faces.
Benito Quinquela Martín
Really amazing!
Amelia Peláez
This group didn't finish but what they did was really well done.

I survived the day! I burned the backs of my legs pretty bad,  every muscle in my body is sore, and I am so tired I could put my head down on my desk and go to sleep, but it was a GREAT day! I will eagerly look forward to doing this again next year.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Give it a couple years . . .

 I have some amazingly funny students and I am amused at what they create on a daily basis. My Drawing 2 class is currently working on an Homage project. Students were required to create an homage to a person who is no longer living. One of my brilliant students wanted to create an homage to Lindsay Lohan. The conversation went like this:

Student: Can I choose Lindsay Lohan?
Me: She's not dead.
Student: Give it a couple years . . .

He ended up choosing Gandhi, but once he was finished with that homage he went ahead and created this one just for fun:

My favorite part is the quote: "What happened to you Lindsay?" - Everyone

I love my students.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Art Fair 2013!

Art Fair 2013- wooooo! It was awesome this year, as always. My drawing 2 class did an AMAZING job getting everything stapled to boards. It ends up being a game of Tetris in order to get everything to fit. It was interesting to see which kids were natural leaders in that situation. I rarely had to intervene since my leaders took charge so smoothly and effectively. When it came time to set up in the library my leaders once again took charge and they got the whole Art Fair, all 32 9'x4' display boards, set up in only 4 hours! It was great! I really do love my job.

An evening of art. We had a pretty big crowd.
I added the Altered Books made by my Drawing 2 class to the Art Fair this year and people seemed to enjoy them.

The Faculty and Staff display continues to be popular.

Altered Books!

7th grade Best In Show

8th Grade Best In Show
9th Grade Best in Show
Ceramics Best In Show, view #1

Ceramics Best in Show, View #2

Friday, April 5, 2013


I love photographing dancers.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Merida Dress

Aven wants a Merida dress and a bow and arrow for her birthday. At the beginning of my spring break I set out to make her one. Before you judge just know that I've made a few blankets, but this is the first garment I've ever made. I really hope Aven likes it.

It actually looks a lot less blue (more green) in person.