Drawings Made in a Place

everything moves
too quickly
too slowly
at the same time.
I’m frozen in time
and I’m speeding down the highway
days blur,
weeks and weeks go by
I’m tumbling, struggling
hanging on by a thread;
I’m lost –
but how can I even be lost if I’ve never known where I want to
How can I be lost without a destination.
2/11/2020 11:33PM

Drawings made in a place where time stands still

Kindergarten Flowers

Kindergarten learned about Georgia O’Keeffe today and created their own close-up, enlarged flower artworks. Kindergarteners looked at fake flowers for inspiration, then sketched out their flower in pencil. Then they colored each petal and the background with chalk pastel and smudged the colors together. Lastly, they traced over their pencil lines with black ink using foam brushes. These are the finished artworks! I love how they turned out.

Teaching Updates

I’m a bit overwhelmed with teaching right now, but I am doing the best I can. These are some of the artworks from lessons I’ve taught recently.

Upper elementary did these awesome Kehinde Wiley stained glass inspired paintings:

Lower elementary created Alma Thomas inspired paintings:

Kindergarten made these beautiful Jim Dine inspired hearts for Valentine’s Day-ish time:

Fall Leaves

This fall, lower elementary made these lovely fall leaves using chalk pastel and construction paper. Students practiced tracing leaf templates and adding colorful patterns with chalk pastels. Students even experimented with blending and smudging the pastels together.

Kindergarten also created fall leaves using a cool colored paper for the background and a warm colored paper for the leaf. Students also practiced tracing and cutting leaves. With kindergarten, I try to do as much cutting practice as possible so students can continue working on strengthening cutting skills.

Kindergarten Self-Portraits

Teaching kindergarten about self-portraits is really fun because they come up with such creative ideas and their drawings of themselves are so happy. It’s been a very long and tiring week of teaching but seeing the art my students create always makes me happy and reminds me of the reason I love teaching art.

One kindergarten class drew self-portraits from head to shoulders. They added yarn for hair and buttons/sequins as decorations.

The other kindergarten class painted pictures and then drew a self-portrait of themselves as an artist, holding a paintbrush and painting the background.

Making Paper With My Students

This fall, I taught a weekend art class at my local arts center. Since the classes were smaller, I really wanted to make paper with my students. It was a lot of prep work and my blender started smoking at one point, but it was really fun and a great way to introduce students to the paper-making process.

I prepped red, yellow, and blue paper pulp by blending soaked paper scraps and adding acrylic paint to the blender. The main paper pulp was in big tubs and students used smaller cups to scoop up paper pulp to take to their seats. Students created paper pulp designs on top of a piece of cardboard covered in plastic wrap.

Here is the process of making paper pulp designs:

The finished paper!:

Primary Colors & Color Mixing

I taught this lesson with lower elementary a few weeks ago. We talked about primary colors and how they are super special colors because you can’t create them with any other colors. And primary colors can create a ton of new colors when mixed together.

To practice mixing colors, each table got red, yellow, blue, and white paint and students created and named as many colors as they wanted. I love how creatively students named their colors. Some of my favorite color names were “blainbow”, “stinckpot”, “peace” and “thunder”.

I even wore red, yellow, and blue to match my primary color lesson (and to achieve my goal of being like Ms. Frizzle). My hand was very messy at the end of the day which I love because a messy hand is the mark of an artist 🙂

Here is my lesson plan:

All Art is a Self-Portrait

I think all art is a self-portrait. Regardless of whether it is intended to be a self-portrait.

I sometimes feel selfish when I make art purposely about myself. It feels selfish, almost narcissistic, to paint who I am, a direct self-portrait. To make art for myself, about myself. To make art that is about my emotions, my struggles, my thoughts.

When I look at art in a museum or gallery, I like to think about what it would have been like to be the artist. What were they thinking about during the creation process? How did they feel? How did their state of mind affect their work? Did making the art elicit happiness? positivity? or negativity? anger? frustration? Did they like their art?

The artist made every little brushstroke, every subtle shift in the surface, every line, carving, mark. A collection of ideas, thoughts, emotions. Is it possible to separate the artist from their work?

Jeff Koons/artists who have assistants helping with the painting – can their art be considered a self-portrait? Is the artist the idea or the creation? Does it even matter?

untitled (cope no.2), oil on canvas, 24″ x 18″, 2021