Sunday, April 13, 2014

What the Art Teacher Wore #95 and Edvard Munch

Clay Adventure Monday: This week began the beginning of a two week adventure introducing the entire stinkin' school (all 400+ of 'em) to the Wonderful World of Clay! I absolutely love clay and so do my students. However, it's super hard teaching them in 30 minute increments. That's why I'm dragging it out for two weeks -- I want the kids to have as much time in the mud as possible. I can't wait to share with you all that we're creating! sweater: vintage, Four Seasons Vintage in Knoxville; cat blouse: used, Buffalo Exchange; skirt: thrifted; tights: Target; shoes: Dolls by Nina; necklace: Forever39
Oh, hey there, ya'll. Is it just me or does it kinda sorta feel like summer is around the corner? Maybe it's the weather (it's a balmy 80ish degrees here in Tennessee today) and the longer days, but I feel like summerness is nigh. And it has me TOTALLY FREAKING OUT. I've got, like, one million clay projects currently wrapped in plastic bags in the art room (it looks like I'm running a Barbie mortuary what with the little wrapped plastic bags) that all need to be fired, glazed and ready for display in a month. Not to mention all the art projects that were put on hold for said clay madness. I'm a little stressed that the end is so close...we've got so much art to make!

All this craziness has kinda put me in the mind of this painting...
The Scream (of Nature), Edvard Munch, 1893 Did you know that there are four versions created by Munch of this painting/pasteled piece? AND that two out of the four have been stolen (and recovered)  one in 1994 from the National Gallery and another in 2004 from the Munch Museum in Oslo. But it's no wonder as these paintings are worth mega bucks. In fact, The fourth version (pastel, 1895) was sold for $119,922,600. Who has that much coin to drop on a painting, ya'll? I'm guessing it wasn't an art teacher.
So I spent part of my weekend in my sewing room felting away. I've had this old Brooks Brothers dress for years and it was sitting in my "give it to Goodwill" pile until I decided to punch a buncha felt into the thing. Sadly, this might be one of the last felted numbers I do for a while since the temps are on the climb. I can already tell, with the front of this dress being entirely felted, it's gonna be one hot number. Like, literally, ya'll. I'll be Screaming for mercy (pun, unfortunately, intended).

Whilst felting away, I realized, I didn't know all that much about ole Munch. So I thought this week, I'd share with you some of his work and a wee bit of history about the dude. Until next time, have a super fab week, ya'll!
Totally Tuesday: It was teacher appreciation week at my school and I absolutely loved it! Everyday of the week, the kids brought the teachers some sort of awesomeness and Tuesday was flower day. I loved being able to take home an arm full, especially a giant sunflower! necklace: Paper Source; top: used, Buffalo Exchange; skirt: old, Target; mini-palette hair clip: DIY by me
Self-Portrait with Skeleton Arm, 1895 You know, cuz that's normal. So, as you might have guessed just looking at Munch's work, he suffered a pretty difficult childhood. Both his mother and a sister died of tuberculosis which left Edvard and his three other siblings to be raised by their father who sounds a wee bit like an odd dude.  Munch wrote, "My father was temperamentally nervous and obsessively religious—to the point of psychoneurosis. From him I inherited the seeds of madness. The angels of fear, sorrow, and death stood by my side since the day I was born" (go here for more details.) 
Vampire, 1895 If I told you that Munch's dad read his children ghost stories and tales by Edgar Allan Poe, would ya believe me? Whenever I see Munch's work, I always think of Poe. I never knew that there was an actual connection.
Ballsy Wednesday: It never fails, every time I wear this necklace (which is often, cuz I loves it), I get the question: Did you make those balls?! I crack up every time. Partly because I have the maturity level of a 12 year old (no lie) and also because, well, I suppose I coulda. I mean, they are felted balls. But I try not to make it a habit to play with my balls. Felted or not. blouse: thrifted; skirt: vintage, Etsy; tights: Target; shoes: old, John Fluevog
Shore with Red House, 1904 While I find Munch's life fascinating (has anyone read this book? Thinking it might be a good summer read) I've never been wild and crazy about his paintings. Granted, when I think of Munch, I usually think of The Scream, Vampire and Kiss (the painting, not the band). And, having seen those paintings so much, it's hard to appreciate them apart from their commercialness. So I scoured the interwebs and found some Munch paintings that I actually loved. Like this one. I love the colors in the foreground and the patterns on the rocks.
Full of Hot Air Thursday: The other day, while walking on the track at my school with some buddies, I swear to you, a hot air balloon almost landed on top of us! I think it mistook our playground for a nearby park. Just when it appeared they were about to land, there was that super loud blow of hot air (you know, what I sound like when I'm talking) and up and away they went. It made for an exciting walk! hot air balloon sweater: Anthro; skirt: Target; tights: dunno
Weeping Nude, 1913 I read that the German Expressionists were greatly influenced by the work of Munch. In fact, I thought Munch was German for the longest time. Dudes from Norway, ya'll, in case you were wondering. I can see the influence, can't you? When I was in college, all angst and stuff, I was In Love with the German Expressionists, particularly Kirchner. And now...not so much. Do you have some odd artist faves from your college days? I know I'm not alone.
Hello, Friday. P.S. My Feet HATE These Shoes: I now keep this cute little fold up pair of ballet flats in my purse for that very reason. Because walking around the art room barefoot is like taking my life into my own hands. blouse: old, Target; skirt: old, Marshall's; evil shoes: Anthro; belt: Target
Workers on their Way Home, 1913 From what, their shift at the local haunted house?! Yikes, this painting is way more frightening than The Scream, don't you think?! And I've never even seen it before. Which just goes to show that artists are so much more than their most famous piece of artwork. 


  1. Hi Cassie
    Can't wait to see your new felted Scream creation. Will check back next week!

    1. Oh, I HOPE it's done by next week, eep!

    2. Anonymous4/14/2014

      You are an inspiration! I have always loved the Expressionists, esp. Egon Schiele and Van Gogh.

  2. I want to see the scream outfit! Where do you find the time...missy miss?

    1. Finding time involves not getting out of one's pj's until after noon on the weekends ;) In all honestly, I would have so much more time if I limited my time online! Hubs is after me to be more efficient. Le sigh.

  3. you said balls;) a couple of times!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. What can I say? I'm ballsy ;)

  4. Anonymous4/14/2014

    Love your Munch report! I agree, "workers" is so creepy and aggressive! Thanks for sharing all your pics and discoveries. (PS my wordpress is super out of date)

  5. I loved "The Scream" I even did a self portrait in the style of that piece back in high school. After that, it had been used in ads and commercials ad it kinda lost it's mystique… another favourite is Wassily Kandinsky(I still like some of his work) I can't wait to see how your Scream dress turns out!

  6. Anonymous4/14/2014

    The hot air balloon sweater is not in stock anymore -I love hot air balloons. You DO NOT wear your gorgeous outfits in ART Class?? Right?

  7. A few things - First of all, hot air balloons - we have a huge festival here every year, so I've seen lots of them, flying over my house, everywhere. And I think that noise, when they fire them up, sounds like dragon breath. As a matter of fact, I'm sure of it.

    Second of all - how in the world do you wear white (the rainbow skirt) to school and keep it white? I could NEVER wear white. Or if I did, it didn't take more than an hour before it had a bunch of pencil or other sort of drawing smudges, general table-edge grunginess, paint driplets (usually colors with rich pigmentation that don't come out, like ultramarine or pthalo blue, and magenta), and a bit of morning tea drips on it.

    And college artists I adored during my college days - in particular, Gauguin, Rouault, and Hans Hofmann. I don't dislike them now, but I definitely wouldn't necessarily call them my favorites, either.

    A while back I saw a whole Munch museum special exhibit, and yeah, a lot of them were downright creepy, and not stuff to share with elementary students. But The Scream is definitely good for teaching - showing emotion, using rhythm and so on. But he's not an artist I enjoyed talking to kids about!

  8. GORGEOUS. DAYUM. (ahem, sorry. pls forgive)
    Three Cheers.


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