August 16, 2010

International Baccalaureate Visual Art Conference

I attended a four day conference to learn about IB Visual Art standards and evaluation practices. The International Baccalaureate is a wonderful organization whose mission is to promote intercultural understanding and respect, not as an alternative to national and cultural identity, but as an essential part of life in the 21 st. century. I teach 11th. & 12th. grade high school IB Art: Students experience the creative process as a practicing artist. Research, planning and independent studio production are part of this college level course.

Like a Ghost

It seems that Andy is everywhere, even at an IB academic conference. My students know that I am not inspired by pop art. I was lucky to have gone to Yale when there was an old guard abstract expressionist teacher, Lester Johnson, who contended that Warhol ruined everything. I whole heartedly agree. Warhol blurred the distinction between commercial and fine art, low and high culture, beauty and ugliness. His paintings are poor quality silkscreen prints on canvas. In his own words, he admited the con artist nature of his work, "Art is what you can get away with."

Art Teacher, Sept. 3rd. 2010

I am teaching high school art at Mystic Valley Regional Charter School. The students are great enthusiastic learners with wonderful manners. The yellow document on the wall, is the school's mission statement, flanked by the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution.

June 7, 2010

"Dry River Bed" High School Drawing Class

This is my exemplar for an India ink drawing. The goal was to explore the qualities of line from thick to thin to describe deep space. Cross contour lines describe the undulating surfaces of rocks and river bed in an imaginary landscape space. Optional additions to be chosen by the students were local woodland animals and trees.

Power Point Presentation, High School Printmaking

My cooperating teacher, Judy Flamik, brought me a yukata (men's kimono) to wear for my Japanese multicultural printmaking class. Judy who had been to Japan helped me explain what a Japanese art class was like: The teacher and the students show imense respect for each other by bowing down as a greeting.

June 4, 2010

High School, Beggining Painting Class

I provided each student with a board to which they attached still life objects. A spot light was arranged and the students painted from the model set up. Below is my example, "Figs, The Gravity of Desire" which is painted on a much larger scale. The rule of trompe l'oeil painting is that objects are painted life size.

May 21, 2010

"Squirrel in Chagrin Falls", monotype

A monotype is a unique, one of a kind print; it is a printed painting. Researching the history of the monotype process I learned that many of Edgar Degas' pastels started as monotypes. Willam Blake used egg tempera with the monotype process. The above image was painted on a plate, printed with a press, and adjusted with Prismacolor pencils. I am excited about reinvestigating this process after teaching it to a high school art class. The Monotype Guild of New England, is holding a national exhibition this year.

"Squirrelly"& "Pile Up", Monoprint exemplars for a high school printmaking class

A monoprint uses a matrix, block or stencil which can be repeated with variations. A series of prints can efficiently be produced. These monoprints were made with 2 squirrel shapes cut out of acetate. They were inked and printed on an etching press. The cut outs can be moved around and printed again, producing a "ghost" image. Additions were made with Prismacolor pencils.

May 19, 2010


I found this great little book about a kangaroo, "Marsupial Sue" who ate the wrong kind of food: fish. Marsupials are vegetarian.
I showed a Power point about Australia; landscape, animals, Australian Aborigines and their dot paintings.

The children used templates to cut out the shapes. They painted dots with Q-tips and colored a landscape base for their marsupials to sit on.

"All Lights Be On", my first white line woodcut

The high school class 9-12 really liked this technique. Pine boards were cut with a V groove using an X-acto. The paper is taped to the board. Each color wash is printed one at a time.

One perk of teaching is being able to explore new techniques. White line woodcut is an American form of printmaking started on Cape Cod in the early 1900's. Based on Japanese wood block technique it is a quick and fun way to explore flat design patterns and variety in color.

May 17, 2010

Fifth Grade Sculpture Project

We talked about surrealism, expressionism and Alberto Giacometti. His life size bronze sculpture (below) "Walking Man", sold for $104.3 million at a 2010 Sotheby's auction in London. Surreal! The students first planned their sculpture by drawing sketches expressing an emotion or attitude.

Lucky Seven

The Art Education Masters program at Case Western Reserve University is small and very intense. The seven of us really spent a lot of time with each other.

May 16, 2010

Dry Point on Plexiglas Project: High School Printmaking Lesson

Dry point is a delicate printmaking process which produces only a few consistent prints. A line is gouged directly onto a surface. The bur wears down very quickly with each successive print. The Chine colle' technique adds a piece of color tissue paper on top of the inked plate before running it through the press.

Masters of Arts in Art Education

We did it! Anna Arnold, Cory Sampliner, Me. (The fourth grad is from Music Education.) Anna and I were the two "non-traditional students", in the graduate program at CWRU. "Non-traditional" means older, among other things. Cory Sampliner recieved a certificate for the highest Praxis scores! We really supported each other throughout the program.

May 14, 2010

"Squirrelly T-Shirt" stencil lesson

My lesson plan for the T-Shirt project included repetition and compositional movement across the shirt with tints and shades of one color. This was a multicultural unit so, elements of the Japanese aesthetic were stressed: nature, asymmetrical composition. Some students used manga and anime images.

T-Shirt Project, Grades 9-12

There is a huge multiculturalism element to the Master of Arts in Art Education degree at CWRU. This printmaking project focused on the Japanese aesthetic. The high school students designed and produced T-shirts using contact paper and silk screen ink.

"White Tiger Lilly", Year of the Tiger 2010

This is the third Chinese Astrological Animal I've painted for the Saint Clair Superior Development Corporation. The fiberglass sculpture will be auctioned off and the funds will be used to provide art classes for Cleveland inner city school children. The art classes focus on Chinese culture.

CWRU Arts 201, 3D Design

Tammy Tran, a sophmore biology major created a fantastic wire sculpture of an ancient Greek vessel for CWRU's Virgil Week. There was an all day reading of the Aeneid, with visiting schools. I helped organize an art competition and exhibition. Most of my 2D students created scratch board drawings based on Greco Roman themes. Tammy, who was in the 3D design class won a prize!

May 13, 2010

"PA Hex. Sign for 2nd. Graders"

This is a sophisticated and challenging project for 2nd. graders. They loved it. I presented a Power point on the Pennsylvania Dutch, William Penn, religious freedom, and hexagonal rotational symmetry. The children each designed a personal symbol of welcome and colored it with watercolor & crayon resist.

"Pennsyvania Hexagonal Signs, 2nd Graders"

The children designed their signs by using one initial from their name, one organic shape, and one geometric shape. They were instucted to choose colors based on cool and warm hues.

March 26, 2010

A Really Big Show

Anna and I are showing our best (unsold) art work from throughout our careers. I never thought our work would look so good together. There is a total contrast in stylistic approach, but a total harmony in spirit. Someday I would like to organize a proper retrospective, borrowing art work from various collections.

March 16, 2010

Painting the Mask

In preparation for the exhibition post card, I thought I should add more gray hair, and touch up the bags. I'm nearing the end of my studies at CWRU. Anna Arnold and I are having an exhibition.

February 26, 2010

Smart Board Learning

For the first 2 weeks of student teaching, K-8, I observed my "cooperating teacher": Mrs. A. Heiman. She is adept at teaching with the Adobe Smart Board. I am learning so much from her. The class is quietly attentive as she teaches a color wheel collage lesson.