Friday, December 23, 2011

Krampus 2011

Last year I learned about Krampus from a friend who lives in Austria. I decided to turn it into a lesson plan in which I tell my students the Krampus myth and have them draw a picture of Krampus sight unseen. Last year's pictures were so fun that I decided to do it again. Enjoy:

If someone told me this thing would take me and eat me if I wasn't good you bet I'd be on my best behavior at all times.
That kid is so scared he's peeing his pants.

I love Krampus's "Bag O' Kids"

And finally, my favorite. Apparently if you're bad a very confused body-builder will kidnap you and take you to his lair.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Chuck Close

Since I haven't made any amazing art lately I thought I'd highlight an artist I really admire, Chuck Close.

Chuck Close has an interesting perception disorder called Prosopagnosia, also known as "face blindness" in which the ability to recognize faces and make sense of them is impaired, while the ability to recognize other objects isn't affected. Chuck Close has a fairly severe form of the disorder in which he can't differentiate one face from another at all. People with this disorder learn to tell people apart by the sound of their voices or the way they walk or some other detail that many other people may not pay much attention to. Chuck Close began making photo realistic paintings of people's faces as a way to make sense of them.

He didn't just make paintings, he made enormous paintings. Pretty impressive.

In 1988 Close had a seizure that left him paralyzed from the neck down. In response, he devised a new way to continue his work of painting faces. He now paints faces in a grid format. His finished paintings look a lot like pixelated computer images.

Want to know where you sit on the face blindness scale? Take this test:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Recent Sketchbook Entries

Still life done with my Drawing 1 class.

5 drawings of my hand drawn in continuous line.

A continuous line drawing of Aven.

Inspired by "Tree of Life" by Klimt

An illustration of Angels and Airwaves song lyrics.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Street Art

Aven enjoying some street art in Park City last weekend:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mr. Brainwash

I happened to see an episode of "A Day in the Life" by Morgan Spurlock on Hulu a couple days ago. The person featured was an LA based artist, Thierry Guetta, who is known as Mr. Brainwash. He is known as a street artist but has also had gallery shows. I Googled him and apparently there is a controversy about whether he is a genuine artist or some kind of real-life caricature created by the controversial street artists Banksy and Shepard Fairey. There are dozens of articles about the controversy and I have found it pretty interesting. Here is an excerpt from the L.A. Times about the supposed artist:

The details of Guetta's unlikely biography are broadly supported by a review of public records, which trace his life in Los Angeles from his arrival as a teenager in the early 1980s. They are also consistent with the accounts of friends, former business associates and employees over those years.

Of course, it is impossible to prove whether his latest incarnation, Mr. Brainwash, is sincere. The film suggests that Guetta's artistic alter ego is largely a creation of Banksy, a notion Guetta doesn't refute.

"Banksy captured me becoming an artist," the paint-splattered Guetta said, surrounded by the stacks of art books and pop-culture clutter from which his work is derived — or ripped off, depending on your view. "In the end, I became his biggest work of art."

Whether he is a real guy or a guy portraying a character as part of another artist's agenda I think that the work attributed to him is pretty fascinating and fun.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Draw a City on Another Planet

I asked my 9th graders to spend the period drawing what they think a city on another planet would look like. This was my favorite, it's just so cheerful:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pish Posh

Aven is getting to the age where she really loves being read to. We've done story time since she was a baby, but it's only been the last few months that she actually wants to sit in my lap instead of playing during story time. One of her current favorites (much to my delight) is Pish, Posh, said Hieronymous Bosch, a charming story about the artist Hieronymous Bosch and all of the crazy creatures he painted. It's made me realize that I don't know much about Hieronymous Bosch as the art history program at Westminster College was seriously lacking at the time I was a student there. After spending some time with his paintings I've decided to post one of my favorites:

This is a detail from "The Garden of Earthly Delights" otherwise known as "Tree Man". I think it's fascinating considering that Bosch lived in the late 1400's and early 1500's and the Surrealist movement didn't get started until the 1920's. This type of imagery seems incredibly advanced especially when you compare it side by side with other paintings from this era. I've enjoyed looking at his paintings, especially the triptychs. Each one is a world of it's own full of so much detail you could get lost in it for a long time.

If you have some spare time Google Hieronymous Bosch and enjoy!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Duck and Cover or Log

We went up to Silver Lake at Brighton ski resort 2 weekends ago, to get out of the hot weather down in the valley. It was really nice up in the canyon. Cool weather and the sun was out for most of the trip. We found some ducks on the lake that were very photogenic.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Aircraft Carrier

I really like the Panorama tool in Photoshop.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Beach

Two of my favorite things to photograph are rocks and water. I love the textures they create. So I had some fun on a rocky shoreline at Ocean Beach in San Diego. The tide was rushing in for the night which was creating a great moving tapestry of light and texture. Here are a few of my favorites. 

Tide Pool
Foot Bath

Monday, July 4, 2011

Fire and Sparks and Smoke, Oh My!

Our neighbor, Jesus, held his annual 4th of July fireworks show. I had a lot of fun hanging out with my neighbors and watching the show- it made me nostalgic for my childhood. Ian and I also had fun taking photographs of the show. Here are some of my favorites in honor of our Founding Fathers:

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Eye See You

We're getting ready to move. We've lived in this house a little over 6 years and there is a lot of stuff to go through. One item I came across that I was happy to find was a little 4" x 6" sketchbook I used when I was in my first year of college. I sketched in class during lectures which often helps me concentrate. For some reason I focused on eye-themed sketches. I don't really know why. They are either creepy, charming, or a little of both, but either way they're kind of interesting. A few examples:



Eye Sea You

Monday, June 20, 2011

Chalk Art Festival 2011

The chalk art festival, held annually at Gateway Mall, benefits the Utah Foster Care Foundation. One thing I love about the chalk art festival, that is really unique, is that you get to see artists in action. It's pretty uncommon to have this level of access to a working artist and it is always fascinating to watch them create.

Here are a few from the adult/ professional section that I really liked:

The suggested theme of the year was "foster parents are magic". While most artists come and do whatever they want some choose to do something within the theme. I know that the above drawing isn't exactly stellar (some of the faces are more than a little off) but I thought that the concept was really quite sweet. It reminded me of my friends Amber and Dustin who were at one time magical foster parents.

As an art teacher I always receive information about sign-ups a couple months before the festival and I always try to get students to sign up. This year I had some of last year's 9th graders participating for the 2nd year and some of this year's 9th graders participating for the first time:

These are my girls from last year. They did an amazing job on their "Up" drawing.

Unfortunately the girls who did this one had already left by the time I got there, but for a first attempt I thought it turned out really great. I also love that they thought to bring real shells to put on their beach. The girls on this team got together to practice every weekend for a month. Two of the girls on this team received awards for Outstanding Achievement In Art this year, so this just confirms my decision to award them one of the top honors in the school.

I had a great time at the festival and am so proud of my dedicated students!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Wild Beasts

I am both happy and sad that this will be my last time posting about the work of my middle school students until September. Happy that the school year is over. Sad because I really will miss a lot of them- especially the 9th graders who are moving on to high school.

One of the last projects I assigned my painting class was a landscape painting in the style of the Fauvists using acrylic paint.

is the style of les Fauves (French for "the wild beasts"), a loose group of early twentieth-century Modern artists whose works emphasized painterly qualities and strong color over the representational or realistic values retained by Impressionism. (Wikipedia)

Following is an example of a Fauvist painting:

Boats by Andre Derain, 1905

Below you will see a few examples of how my students interpreted what I taught them into their own Fauvist style painting:

I think they did an amazing job. I'm happy to have a break but am looking forward to a new school year full of talented little artists in just a few short months.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

New Toy Design

A couple days ago I gave a filler assignment to kids who were already finished with the final project. The assignment was to design a new toy. Below is my favorite:

21st Century Army Knife

Complete With:
  • Knife
  • Can Opener
  • Screw Driver
  • Rusty Scissors
  • Flame Thrower
  • Cork Screw
  • Pepper Spray
  • Saw
  • Miniature Fist
  • Miniature Spear
  • Grapple Hook
Then: Fold it up and place it in the child-proof bottle and it makes a perfect rattle!

I LOVE teaching middle school!

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Art of Parody

Let me start by saying that I love parody of all kinds, so assigning my Drawing 1 students to create a parody of a famous painting is one of my favorite times of the school year.

I choose 10 famous paintings and allow the students to choose their favorite to create a parody of. Some students also choose to combine two or more into one parody.

Below are a few of my favorites from this year:

The Old Guitarist by Picasso

The Spongey Guitarist

The Scream by Edvard Munch

Add ImageDJ Scream

American Gothic by Grant Wood

Inner City Gothic

Bikini Bottom Gothic

Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh

Tangled Night