October 26, 2011

Paying Tribute to 9/11 Victims

I haven't posted in a few days because my students have been researching and creating preliminary sketches for their current project.  Each of the students in Studio art (about 70 of them total between Ms. Feldheim and I), as well as some other art students, will be creating art to pay tribute to a person lost in 9/11.  The New York Times link below was their venue to research; the website has very touching bios and photos for each person lost on that tragic day in 2001.  This project is not only about honoring  a person lost, but also a little illustration unit; students are understanding how stories can be expressed in a visual way.

Take a moment of silence, read some of the stories, and pay some tribute yourself.


October 22, 2011


I met my students' parents last weekend for conferences and a couple of them were artists.  One of them teaches a drawing course, focusing on anatomy, at the Springfield Art Museum.  He kindly invited me to come to his class... so I did!

For two hours I stood in front of the scupture worked on this drawing.  The sculpture is a recreation of a Michaelangelo.  Don told me this was created as Michaelangelo was nearing death and was having trouble rendering realistic figures; the figure is meant to look as if he is in agony.

I could've just sat in my apartment or outside drawing, but I needed the extra push.  I have not spent much time on art at all and the only artists I am surrounded by are my co-workers and students.  I wanted some outside inspiration, a new atmosphere, and a fresh outlook on drawing.  Where I work, I am the one expected to inspire my students, I needed the same for myself.

... and man, did it feel good.
(18in x 24in, pencil on paper)

Although a teacher, I am an artist deep down through and through.  I needed this artistic "getaway" to reinvigorate my inner artist.

October 21, 2011

October 19, 2011


Today is the second day for students to draw portraits. It's a chance for me to brush up too; I haven't drawn a portrait like this in about a year!  I used Amanda Seyfried for this exemplar portrait

Happy Wednesday

The WMA kids had off Monday and Tuesday; the weather was beautiful! Now, it's back to school, back to work...it's a dreary rainy day.
Sitting here in the dark drinking my coffee and looking out, it isn't so bad. All the yellow and orange brightens the day up!
Welcome back to school WMA!

October 14, 2011

Jason's Vase

Jason is in Ms. Feldheim's ceramics class.  Her students do not use wheels, but create all their work through hand-building.  This is Jason's unfired pitcher.  He was very proud of it (as he should be) and requested it be posted.  Great work Jason!

October 13, 2011

Still Lifes

I have re-posted this blog the right way.  I realized it would be better to see a progression of students' work throughout the representational unit. 
Students started this unit by doing simple line drawings (both looking at their paper and not) to understand how to "look" at an object and draw it.  Even in the simplest object, one can see subtleties of values, shapes, lines and colors.
The first drawing was a simple one; just pencil on paper depicting three simple objects.  The students started out very loose and light to draw the basic shapes and then moved in with values to define the objects.

 Next, students used a white conte crayon on black paper to draw the same three objects.  This assignment was to change the students' view point and get them to think about highlights and shadows in the opposite way.
Next, I set up a colorful still life with an array of objects.  Students started out by drawing four small thumbnail drawings to figure out possible angles they wanted to draw from and see compositions.
Then, They drew the still lifes with chalk pastels on colored pastel paper.  In one object, there are multiple shades, hues and variations of every color; students were to pick out and portray these color differences in their still lifes.  

October 12, 2011

October 10, 2011

Still Life

Students started creating thumbnails of this still life. Tomorrow they will create the the final 8.5 x 11 chalk pastel drawing.

October 06, 2011

6th Grade Getting to Know their past

WMA's middle school Art and Humanities curriculums directly correlate and influence one another.
For their first project, the sixth graders were asked to go home and talk to their parents about their ancestry. A few days after that, their project was to create a symbolic foot depicting images of their past: where they are from, what their ancestors did and what they were known for. The background of the feet is where the students started to visually define their brief history and their own interests.

Representational Still Lives

Thinking about value, proportion and light source, students spent an hour today drawing these three simple (yet deceivingly complex) objects.

October 05, 2011

Kodak Moment

On the way back from breakfast at 8am I saw this beautiful, heavenly view. I ran to the art building to grab my phone before it disappeared. The photo does not do the light justice!

October 03, 2011

Blind Contour Portraits

Blind Contour Drawings are created when artists focus on the subject matter, drawing a single continuous line without looking at the paper. This method enhances ones ability to see. knowing how to see is half the reason one can draw well. It also improves hand-eye coordination.

October 01, 2011


Same thing... Enlargement with the painting it was inspired from


The bottom is Gina's painting inspired from music. Above is the enlargement of the 2x3inch spot from that painting. (see the grid?)



While grading 35 kid's 6 paintings (that's 210 pieces of artwork), I found this little gem. More to come

A Mossy Fall

As I look around campus on the ground and on the walls, I cannot help but look in awe at the beautiful bright green moss. This fall had been so muggy and rainy it is perfect for the moss to thrive.