Showing posts with label crazy art teacher. Show all posts
Showing posts with label crazy art teacher. Show all posts

Sunday, April 20, 2014

What the Art Teacher Wore #96 and Artist/Teachers

Monday with a Side of Cat: We have a lot of wee wildlife activity that happens on our deck. There's the usual squirrels, chipmunks and birds...but lately we've had plenty of visits from the wild turkey in our neighborhood as well as some unwelcome opossums and skunks. It's enough to keep our indoor cat entertained for dayz. dress: vintage, thrifted; belt and boots: Anthropologie; tights: Target; necklaces: DIY made by me, here.
 Hiya, kids! I hope you all had just the best weekend ever. I spent the grand majority of mine hiking with the hubs, watching entirely too many episodes of any and every survivalist show we can manage to find and felting. Oh, yes, looooots of needle felting. I can't wait to share with ya'll the finished mess-terpiece later this week!

Earlier this week, I caught an interesting conversation on the Art Teachers page on Facebook. It was a long-winded convo where, sadly, things got lost in translation and it got a pinch ugly.  Essentially, what it boiled down to was this: a comment was made that drew a line in the sand between "Career Artists" (not my words) and "Art Teachers".  Wait, there's a difference?! It was like you coulda heard all the art teachers suck air in through their tightly clinched teeth.

Maybe Ima speaking for myself when I say this but...I discovered art (and my love for it) first, then art education (and my love for it.) Since finding my love for creating way back in elementary school, I considered myself an artist. I never dreamed of becoming an art teacher until college when my parents (who thankfully footed the bill) suggested an art ed degree. At the time, I was attending Indiana University and currently enrolled in the painting program there. And, boy, talk about a line drawn in the sand! The moment my painting professors found out I was on the path to becoming a teacher, it was like I was no longer a serious artist. The mentality and snobbery strongly reminded me of that Career Artists vs. Art Teachers convo.

Now, in defense of the term "Career Artist", it does mean one that makes a career of creating and selling their own art. And that is not something I do. So, I understand the difference, I get it. However, what I do instead of selling my own art is enjoy creating art for myself and teaching others to do the same. I guess you could call me a Crazy Career Art Teacher. And I'm cool with that.

Do you know of any famous artists that were also great educators? Aside from finding out that Gene Simmons used to be a teacher (wait, whut?!), I discovered that portrait painter Robert Henri was also a Career Art Teacher. 
 Robert Henri, 1907 Wikipedia says that Robert Henri (1865-1929) was an "artist and a teacher," forming the famous Ashcan group (one of my college faves). Robert Henri was a popular and influential teacher at the Art Students League of New York. It's said that he gave his students, not a style (although you can tell some were strongly influenced by his style), but an attitude, an approach to art.
Mary Agnes, 1924 It seems that Henri was always a teacher, a leader, even in his group of artist friends. He urged his friends and students to create a new, more realistic art that was more about their life and surroundings and less about creating Impressionist-influenced works. The paintings by Henri, John Sloan, George Luks, and others that were inspired by this idea became the Ashcan School of American art.

If My Keys Were Always this Easy to Find, Tuesday: This here is the first ever dress I made...with the help of a good art teacher buddy of mine. dress and belt: me!; tights: Target; shoes: Dolls by Nina
 Tam Gan, 1914 In keeping with that notion that artists should be influenced by their surroundings, Henri said: "Art cannot be separated from life. It is the expression of the greatest need of which life is capable, and we value art not because of the skilled product, but because of its revelation of life's experience." I love that. Don't you?

Yes, I Wore this to Work Wednesday: Recently, someone asked me if I actually wear the outfits I post to school. Well...not to sound like an a-hole but the blog post is called "What the Art Teacher Wore". I don't snap too many photos at school because 1.) I find I look less like pooh on a stick first thing in the morning before I leave the house 2.) I take these photos myself with my camera timer. When someone walks in on me snapping away it is Awk.Ward. to say the least 3.) My art room is always a disaster! I mean, look at those mounds of zip-locked clay projects behind me on the floor. And that's the "clean" area! sweater, purple top, tights: Target; skirt and shoes: thrifted; necklace:   The Paper Source
Oh! I interrupt all this Robert Henri-ness say, look who I got to meet up with on Wednesday...none other than Erica, aka Art Project Girl! I met Erica through the wide world of art teacher blogging and was so thrilled to visit with her (and her super sweet sis-in-law) while she was in town. It was so fun meeting up with her -- even though we'd never met, it was like we'd known each other forever. So glad to see/meet you, Erica!

Sparkly Thursday: Oh, gotta love a four day week...I thought the occasion called for wearing excessive amounts of sparkles. As should everyday, really. top and tights: Target; sweater: ebay; vintage painted skirt: Buffalo Exchange

The Green Sacque, 1927 One of the things that really strikes me about Henri is that he wasn't just a teacher to his students but to other artists. I felt weird reading that conversation on Facebook because of that line in the sand. Why is there a divide between Career Artists and Art Teacher? Shouldn't we be learning from and influencing each other? I could learn so much from a working artist that could be shared with my students...and vice versa. I did find that there are actually a couple of online communities that work toward just that. One is called Artists Who Teach and another is the Association of Teaching Artists
Good, er, Happy Friday!: On Thursday, one of my students said, "Tomorrow is called 'Happy Friday'...right?" After that was straightened out, we all agreed that a day off is pretty stinkin' happy. dress: Anthropologie found at Buffalo Exchange; scarf: Orly Kiely; belt: gift; dotted boots: DIY, go here.
 What are your thoughts on this, ya'll? As an art teacher, do you also consider yourself an artist? Or, because you don't sell your work as a main source of income, does that make you less of one? Do you create artwork with the intent to sell or show? Or simply for your own pleasure?

Could I possibly ask you any more questions?!

Oh! Yes, I've actually got one more! Have you read this book by Henri? I've been meaning to since those aforementioned college when I found out the dude was an artist/teacher. Looks like a summer read to me.

Be back with ya soonish!



Sunday, February 9, 2014

What the Art Teacher Wore #89

2-Hour Delay Monday: I dunno about you, but I HATE me some school delays. I get it, the buses need time to warm up, the two specks of snow on the ground need to melt (remember, I live in Tennessee, snow is like our kryptonite here), whatevers. But I'm seriously more off-kilter and wacked-out on these days than normal. I needed a good POP! to get me going. sweater, skirt, tights: Target, they might still have the sweater on their sale rack, got mine for $12!; shoes: Dolls by Nina
So, if I might whine and carry on like a big baby for a minute (because I'm super good at it), this week has pretty much been One Fat Hairy Pain in the Patootie. Lemme give you the run down: we discovered a mystery leak in the kitchen that's causing our floor boards to buckle. So we've had two roofers and three plumbers out to investigate. Of course, the roofers say, "it's the plumbing!" and the plumbers say, "it's the roof!". There was more finger pointing going on than in a kindergarten class. So we threw bunches of money at 'em and our fingers are crossed that everything has been properly patched, caulked, installed and screwed. Insert your inappropriate comments here.

Just when we thought the drama was over, the downstairs heat decided to up and die. Yes, seriously. I've been wearing two pairs of fleece pajamas, three socks, a hat and fingerless gloves since Saturday. I'd snap an outfit photo for you but my camera is frozen. Sorry.

And just when my feel-sorry-for-myself-itis (side effects may include an annoying blog post and hairy legs) was in full swing, I get the news that my blog received...


Wait. WHAT?! 

Seriously, you guys. I was just so thrilled and honored to be nominated, I truly didn't expect to place within the top ten. I mean, did ya'll see who the nominees were? I read and gain so much from each of those art teachers! Please bookmark these blogs and spend some time perusing them. You won't regret it.

Also...I'd like to say thank you very much to those of you that nominated this blog and voted for it. It's meant so much to me, you guys! Especially after this leaky and heatless week!

Now, if you're new to this blog because The Art of Education brought you here, lemme tell you what happens here: weekly, I'll share a peak into my art room either with an art lesson or some other craziness; I'll post some creation of mine (hint: it's usually some tacky ensemble I've crafted); and I'll share what I've worn during the week which is what this post is all about. This week I decided to include my drawings from our One Drawing a Day book club adventure (go here and here to find out more and join the fun, kids!) and some fun-ness goin' down in the art room. If you are new, I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to shoot me an email or leave a message in the comments. Thanks, ya'll!
Drawing #1: A Still Life in Pen. Now, just cuz we are 7 days in to the book One Drawing a Day doesn't mean you can't join any ole time! In fact, don't tell the others, I'm behind by two days, whoops! Hoping to catch up this evening. But, really, the whole purpose of reading this book together is to get us all drawing and creating again. As art teachers, we have a bad habit of neglecting our own creativity. No more, I say!
Again, these tables. Suggestions on how to clean 'em really really well? They are whipped down daily by me and the kids...and still, this. And don't tell me Magic Eraser because I need a Super Magic Eraser to take care of this. In other news, look at that awesome Chinese calligraphy! Years ago I got a grant that paid for grinding stones, ink sticks and bamboo brushes. On this day, the kids were introduced to grinding the ink, properly holding the brush and writing in Chinese...all in our short 30 minutes of art. I love how this student really went to town.

School-Teachery Tuesday: I've been getting these lovely eye infections so I decided to give my balls a rest this week (that'd be EYEballs, ya perv). It's interesting all the (positive and negative) comments you receive from the little people when you suddenly appear in glasses. I also noticed that my wee friends in glasses were especially excited by the fact that I wear glasses too. sweater: Urban Outfitters, last year; dress: vintage; tights: dunno; shoes and pencil hair clip: DIY, go here

Last week, I shared with you the beginning stages of a 2nd grade painting project. This week we painted cherry blossoms on our practice sheet before painting them on our watercolor paper. The added bonus of having a practice sheet is that it's just as lovely as the finished product! P.S. don't you just love that little pinky up?!
Drawing #2: Organic Still Life in Calligraphy Pen. I keep noticing that when I'm drawing, I am either holding my breath or tensed up. I'm such a finicky artist that I'm hoping these exercises allow me to loosen up a bit.
"No Offense But You Don't Match, Mrs. Stephens" Wednesday: "I mean, you have orange on your legs and your shoes are two different colors," pointed out one well-meaning 4th grade boy. "She also never wears PANTS!" shouted one 4th grade girl from across the room. And my classroom management plan proceeded to fly out the window. sweater: Forever 21; dress and tights: Target; shoes and palette hair clip: made by me, shoe DIY here

I decided to try out something new in my art room this week that was suggest at the AOE Conference by Art Blog of the Year Finalist Art Teachers Hate Glitter. Instead of giving the kids "free draw" paper when they finish early (when, in my 30 minutes of art class, that usually means they have less than 5 minutes of free draw time), allow them to draw on dry erase boards. Holy cow, ya'll! This is genius! They absolutely love it and there's no wasted paper in my recycle bin. I found these dry erase boards at Walmart for about $2 each.
Day #3: Draw Someone with a Bamboo Pen. No bamboo pen on hand but I did have a feather quill. I much more comfortable drawing myself than hubs or the cat. I sit still much longer than they ever would.
My Favorite Colors Thursday: The inside of my dream airstream trailer will be covered in salmon pink and turquoise with a pop of coral and leopard print. dotted blouse: Old Navy; sweater and hair bows: Forever 21; dress: vintage; tights: Target; scarf: gift from a student

I started teaching an afternoon sewing class to 4th graders with a couple sewing buddies of mine. We have about 17 kids in the class and they are currently learning how to embroider and cross stitch. I'm excited to see them finish their name and sew on some buttons this week before we bust out the sewing machines and turn these into pillows!
Drawing #4: Use a Charcoal Stick to Draw a Still Life. No charcoal stick on hand but I did have a charcoal pencil. Not gonna lie, I loved working on this drawing of junk from my sewing room.
Drawing Day #5: Draw a Person Using a Variety of Values of Ink Washes. This was me on a Friday off from school so I could entertain the the roofers and plumbers that dropped by. As you can see from the drawing, I wasn't the happiest of hostesses.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

What the Art Teachers Wore #76

Paint Palette Tuesday: Okay, when I spied this dress on a random ebay look see, I had to have it. I mean, lookatit! It's got palettes, brushes, tubes of paint -- A SKETCHBOOK.  For the love of all things 1980's and garishly tacky, I outbid some other crazy art teacher and wore it with my palette hairclip. Because, duh, that says Class...Art Class, that is. top: Forever 21; shoes: Shoe Carnival; belt: Pin Up Girl Clothing; necklaces: thrifted
Happy Belated What-the-Art-Teachers-Wore post, ya'll! I've had a super busy, although absolutely wonderful, week at school and off the clock. Rebecca and I have been attempting to collect ourselves after our Painting Processes adventure (which is up next on the blog post agenda...as if there is such a thing) and frantically getting art work on walls for our upcoming Open House Night. Not only that, but I've been spending my evenings teaching teachers how to sew, catching up with buddies over dinner and going to art exhibits. So needless to say, I'm a little tired...but it's a good kind of tired. 

Last Wednesday night, a group of art teachers and I attended a workshop at Cheekwood featuring the light sculptures of British artist Bruce Munro. Now I'm usually kind of an art snob when it comes to installation work but this was uh-mazing. I snapped a ton of photos and thought I'd share them with you. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. And, if you're local, I do hope you'll make the trip out to Cheekwood.

Until we chat again, have an awesome week!

Did I tell you already about how one of the students said to Rebecca, "I'll see you tomorrow -- I hope you look pretty!" Hilarious. dress: Anthro; sweater: I'm guessing Target...and as for the rest, it's either Anthro or Target for this girl
Cheekwood is located in Nashville and is an absolute treasure. The mansion and the grounds were once owned by the Cheek family. Their legacy now make up the beautiful museum, gardens and educational facility known as Cheekwood. The lights you see in the foreground are apart of Bruce Munro's Light exhibit.

Using ideas from his childhood sketchbooks, Munro creates these amazing dreamlike landscapes using hundreds of miles of optic fiber. The colors of the lights fade and change making them almost hypnotic. Doesn't it kinda look like a brilliantly colored Monet's garden? Cheekwood is only the second museum in the U.S. to host one of his amazing exhibits. That's why you gotta go if you are local!


Pencil Me In Wednesday: 'kay, I'm not much of a maxi-dress wear'er (because I
CONSTANTLY step on the hemline when I squat down and then promptly falling over. It's awesome.) but I had to have this 100% polyester pencil dress. It's super comfy and felt as thought I was wearing my pajamas all day. Like I do on the weekends. dress: ebay; shoes: Target
Could the girl get any cuter? I'm in love with that top from Anthropologie. AND that hair. I. WANT. THAT. HAIR. So if she turns up bald and I just so happen to somehow wind up with a lovely wig of red and blonde...you'll know what happened. She went all Brittany Spears and I bought a wig. DUH. What'd ya think?!

This was one orb of light situated in the Japanese zen garden. I snapped this series of photos to show you how the lights change. One of my first grade students who attended the exhibit said this was his favorite piece. It kinda reminded me of the floating psychic's head at Disney's Haunted Mansion. Anyone know what I'm talkin' about...?
Paint Splat Thursday: More details on my Jackson Pollock-y dress here. shoes: Super Cheap Happy Clearance, Anthropologie
Look at that blue knee: the sign of an art teacher. How we manage to get paint/marker/oil pastel in the strangest of places, only other art teachers know.

This lovely piece was hanging in the Cheek mansion. These are strands of fiber optic with bells attached to the bottom. This gave the fiber optic enough weight to pull it straight. I need this in my foyer. You hear me, Bruce Munro? I mean, you don't wanna actually ship that back to the UK, do you? Just send it my way.

I couldn't get over the beautiful design the bells made.

Crayola Friday: It cracks me up that I can spend hours/days/weeks sewing a dress and the thing that the kids are most curious about? The crayons I hot glued to a hair clip and stuck in my hair...which took all of 5 minutes. Sigh. dress: DIY here

Daw, a girl after my own heart. Rebecca spent the majority of her summer traveling Europe...with much of that time in Norway. Here she is sharing her experience with a rapt audience.

I love that she wore that adorable airplane top since the kids were "flying" to a new place. Top and skirt are both from Anthropologie.

I loved these large changing columns. Apparently Bruce sent his crew of 10 dudes to direct the assemblage of the exhibit while Cheekwood provided their army of volunteers. One volunteer couple told us how these columns where created...

 ...holes were drilled into the tops of soda water bottles and fiber optic was slid inside. This had to be done quickly before soda water gushed everywhere. You can kind of see a soda bottle lid with a bit of fiber optic sticking out of it on the bottom left of the photo. Beautifulness.

Monday, September 2, 2013

What the Art Teachers Wore #75


Purplish Monday: This photo cracks me up. Partly because we look ridiculous (and this is actually one of the better photos) but mostly cuz I know that after spending a couple more weeks with me,  Rebecca is gonna be striking this pose right before lifting me up and tossing me on the ground, WWE style. I have that effect on people. on me, dress: Anthro, thrifted with $198 price tag still on it, ya'll!; shoes: Fluevog
Happy Loooong Weekend, friends! I do hope your Labor Day was void of any such labor and full of lounging laziness. Mine certainly has been. Shoot, it's already 4:30pm and I'm still in my pajamas. Like a boss.

This past week certainly was a wild and crazy time in the art room. We tried our hand at Painting Processes with the kids (more details to come) which pretty much meant we were finding paint where no paint has gone before. Yes, seriously. To compensate for that crazy, our kindergarten artists were absolutely rockin' it this week...and then the icing on the cake, or rather, the soy sauce on the sushi, was receiving this huge platter of said goodness from one of the fourth grade kids.
I can only hope that this upcoming week is just as awesome.

Oh! And because I'm being super lazy today, I'm simply including snapshots of this week, no featured artists. I know, bad art teacher blogger. I'll try harder next week ('though I wouldn't count on it!).

Until next time, enjoy your 4-day work week! Yay, Labor Day -- you are simply the gift that keeps on giving.
I know, right?! Mouth watering? Sudden hankerin' for sushi? I just happened to have this huge stash of brand new/still in the package restaurant chop sticks for the kids to enjoy their sushi with. The sweet guy whose mother made the sushi gave us a demo on how to break apart and hold our chop sticks. Watching the kids attempt this was quite hilarious. They enjoyed it so much.
Brown Tuesday: Okay, so I'm wearing these fugly Crocs because my feet were Over It. One of my sweet first grade girls walked in and pointed to the high heels I HAD been wearing and said, "Aw, why aren't you wearing THOSE shoes? They are much cuter!" So, of course, I had to do a shoe change! dress: vintage; belt: Pin Up Girl Clothing

Painting Processes! So Rebecca has planned these awesome collage projects for the kids. The first phase was having them create a huge assortment of textured, splattered, sponged and dry brushed papers. We covered the tables, took away the chairs, strapped aprons on 'em and turned 'em lose. Kinda. We attempted control with a train whistle. Pretty sure a taser woulda worked better but the administration looks down on that sort of thing. Softies.
Black and White Wednesday: It's still Color Week in kindergarten which has made getting dressed in the morning So Stinkin' Easy. dress: $20 at Anthro!; sweater and tank: Target; shoes: Crocs
Okay, I love this. Can I have this as a fabric? It's funny, I'm currently creating a somethun-somethun with a very similar motif. I hope to have it completed this evening so I can share it with you this week.
Fave Color Thursday: What you are looking at here are two people who conquered 3 back-to-back 45 minute kindergarten classes WITH NO BATHROOM BREAK and are still standing and smiling. I had my doubts though...especially when I witnessed one sweet VERY allergic-to-peanuts child slathering glue on paper and licking it off. I had to read the label on the bottle to make sure the stuff wasn't made in some sort of peanut-ty factory. dress: vintage, thrifted; belt: made by me; shoes: BC

After completing their line-paper sculptures, kindergarten-town moved onto painting lines. I love the focus of this little dude.

Wear Any Ol' Color, It's Friday, Ya'll!: One of the kids said to Rebecca, "I get to see you tomorrow, I hope you look pretty!" Of course she does, I mean, look at that HAIR! dress: vintage, thrifted and so small it's hardly wearable; belt and shoes: Anthro
Hubs and I have had a super relaxing weekend. We did go one a crazy 8 mile hike (where we saw this sweet little guy) that just about killed me. Which reminded me that I really outta get out more. But next time, I'm taking a Segway.