Art Quote for the Day

Just a little bit more about my Mom now that I’ve started.  Her name was Ellen. She was a musician, playing the piano,violin, the celeste and  the organ at our church,( she learned to play the organ from a nun named Sister Carola. Sister Carola , before she became a nun was best college friends with my grandma, Mom’s mom and they were “mischief makers” , or so I was told by my grandma !). At Christmas time I remember going to midnight service at our Methodist church and my mom would  play the organ , while people sang the Christmas carols, then the gentle bells of the celeste during more meditative moments, the warm candlelight glowing , the mystery of the late night. I always felt so proud that it was my mom playing all the beautiful music. I grew up listening to classical music playing either on the radio or the phonograph and I had my own little classical 45 rpms that I would play and dance to in my bedroom. I would set the needle on the record, go into my closet and come out with a flourish when the strains of Beethoven would start, then dance as if I was the star ballerina.  I was probably 5 at the time. Ellen loved reading and had lots of books that I got to read …. Grapes of Wrath, Jane Eyre, and lots of other “grown-up”  stuff…. at a pretty early age. Ellen got to skip a grade in grade school because she was so smart. She went to college to become a teacher but went quit after a couple years and went into the army , hoping to make money and go back to school after she served.( She met my Dad instead and got married.) She was one of just a few women in the Springfield MO, army corps symphony. She worked as a secretary for many years so that she could put my sister and me through college. I never really thanked her for that appropriately and I will always regret that. She was a kind, thoughtful person and never spoke a bad word about anybody . I sometimes wondered , growing up , if she would have been happier had she not gotten married and had her two kids and could have played her music all the time. She was an artist and it could be where I got my love for art from .  I have become an artist. I have become the teacher she wanted to be…..

So, these are just a few of the memories that have surfaced again, after having this big painting hung at my place of work. I feel like I’ve come full circle some how,  having the painting about her “with” me everyday at work has given me  even more of a reason to love what I do –  TEACH!….. I’m still thinking about it.

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Art Quote for the Day

WHEW!!!!!!!

I just finished another Winterim session at my place of employment, Edgewood College in Madison WI. This is a 2 week long period of time that students can take classes and get a full semester’s worth of credit. We meet EVERYDAY  for 3 hours and I had one class in the morning and one class in the afternoon.  Six hours of classtime,  2 hours of prep-time, I was out of the house everyday at 7 am and home by 4:30 pm……. with maybe 30 minutes to gulp down some kind of lunch.

I’M EXHAUSTED!

4 days off , and then, the real semester starts and back at it!

I LOVE IT !!!

The Winterim is proof of  how much can actually get done in a very short time if that time is concentrated and focused. It is proof of what students are capable of learning and doing in that same amount of quality time.

The morning class I taught was in Figure Drawing. Drawing the nude…. everyday a live model, everyday a new set of skills to be learned: proportion, measuring ,bone structure, musculature,modelling 3-dimensional form, gesture/motion, media,patience, focus, imagination. We ended today with a 2 hour long pencil drawing of 2 poses in one drawing that related to each other in some way. Students had to draw a sitting pose and a standing pose that would relate to each other , switching back and forth about every 5 minutes….. After only 9 days of intense instruction and LOTS of practice they all managed to complete a pretty accomplished drawing! Some of the students had never had a drawing course before so I’m pretty proud of them!

The afternoon class was called Art Structure and it is specifically for NON-ART majors. Again, everyday , a new set of skills and information: drawing, color theory, design, painting, abstraction, printmaking, sculpture….. total chaos everyday…. CREATIVE CHAOS! And , once again, the work completed was fantastic.

Some of the work is posted here Enjoy!….

Art Quote for the Day

” Key works in every field  draw upon the wisdom of seemingly  unrelated disciplines.  Charles Eames learned how to mold plywood under heat and pressure while working at a naval shipyard, and later folded that knowledge into the design of his world-famous Eames chair. Physicist Howard Edgerton invented the high-speed strobe light, and then spent a good part of his career using it to reveal the unexpected beauty of fleeting events like the arc of a golfer’s swing or the splash form a single drop of water.  Ansel Adams combined the discipline from his early training as a musician with his knowledge of photographic chemistry, to create the Zone System for controlling the tonal scale of photographs.  There was a even a time late in World War II when a lone American military researcher saved the city of Kyoto from destruction by convincing military planners not to target it for saturation fire-bombing.  Why? Because he had once visited Kyoto’s gardens and shrines – and was moved to protect their beauty.

Real-world examples are wonderful things, and for good reason: precisely because they are real, they cut right through virtual worlds of theory and abstraction.. They also raise large questions about how the process of education actually works.  After all, if there’s no predicting which particular piece of knowledge or experience will alter prove essential, we’re faced with the disconcerting possibility that everything matters.  And if that knowledge or experience could come from anywhere , the clear implication is that teachers are everywhere. That line of reasoning may appear extreme , yet after field-testing those exact premises for about a half-century now, I’ve reached an inescapable conclusion:  YES.Everything does matter.  Teachers are everywhere.

Where, then, do you start?  Well, fortunately, you already have.  Conceptually speaking, that ever-changing instant of reality we call the present is merely a point in time weaving its way through a universe of potential we call the future .  One undeniable consequence of this is that everything  you learned or experienced in the past has somehow delivered you, at this moment, to this sentence .  You may be traveling a path that will closely parallel mine for years to come , or one that  fleetingly intersects at right angles – but right here, right now, we share this common ground.

The View from the Studio Door – How Artists Find Their Way In An Uncertain World by Ted Orland

Art Quote for the Day

Good Morning ! It’s 6 AM on a Saturday…. a beautiful light rain is falling…. my garden is loving it! This afternoon I will be teaching an IPAD tutorial to a few willing individuals.  This seems like a pretty blah thing to start my post with …. big deal, I’m teaching a class. But , when I consider that it’s been barely over a year since I had to be “convinced”, pulled , kicking and screaming into learning how to use an IPAD, well, I am still truly amazed. I will be the first to acknowledge that I’m barely scratching the surface…… the students I taught last semester , in an HONORS course; IPAD SKETCHPAD, sometimes taught me more than I taught them. ( I mean , they’ve grown up with this stuff, they’ve had 18 years to learn it and I, hesitantly just started getting comfortable with my email in the last couple of years!!

But, I’ve made myself be , oh, shall I say , NOT TERRIFIED of the machine by just treating it as another means by which to make art. I have learned the basic tools of Photoshop and Sketching apps for the IPAD and just as with the most simple and basic media, ( pencil, charcoal), I can teach people how to be creative with it. This is my humble task….. I’m great at coming up with 50 variations 0n a single theme, at getting people to try different alternate solutions to a creative problem. So , I can do this with the IPAD as well.

It was interesting watching the students in the IPAD SKETCHPAD class. Several of them weren’t art majors. I would have them create an image on the IPAD and then have them translate it into actual art. On the IPAD , everyone was willing to try different techniques, start over, make several versions, etc.etc. but when it came to making actual “hard copy” art they were stuck and , yes , I’ll even say , AFRAID. But , over time , they started to make the connection – that the process , whether on the IPAD or on paper, was the same. One just takes a little longer, there’s some paper waste maybe, some chalk powder to clean up , but once they understood the process they started to create fantastic art.

So, this afternoon, another class. I’m seeing a trend, in that Art Teachers are wanting to learn more about the whole IPAD and making Art process. Classrooms in Middle Schools are starting to supply the students with IPADS and the teachers need to learn , the same way I did. It’s the future I guess, and if it helps kids open up  their creative flow its a good thing.

Art Quote for the Day

So, let’s talk about THE PINTEREST!!!

# 1. I LOVE it!!!

#2. I HATE it!!!

#3. I’m TOTALLY ADDICTED to it

#4.  Sometimes it TERRIFIES  me

#5. Sometimes it INSPIRES ME…( most of the time)

#6. Sometimes it DEPRESSES me

#7. I try not to take the PINNING action , or lack there-of, in regard to MY pins, PERSONALLY !

#8. It’s a fantastic TEACHING TOOL

#9. Whatever did I do without it ?

#10. Whatever WOULD I do without it?

Let’s address each issue:

Well, loving it is OBVIOUS ! It’s a universe of infinite imagery to look through… as an artist and image junky , it’s like CRACK , like SPEED, like a super-energy drink for my pleasure zone….. oh yeah!

And, hating it , for all of the same reasons listed above…. a love/hate relationship is always a tricky one…. the same reasons I love it are the same reasons I hate it. It takes up lots of my time…. ( I’ll just go to one more board…), it makes me want to change my own art style about 50 times a day, it makes me feel soooooooooooooooo untalented…..

I’m addicted !!!! – see above

It terrifies me in that sometimes as I start going deeper and deeper into board after board I feel like I’m going deeper and deeper into the deep , deep water … I start to panic and feel like I have to start swimming UP and UP to get back to my original board or I will surely be lost !! ( I know, a little crazy but that’s how it feels….. some of you surely must identify….. right? RIGHT?!?!)

Of course, the best thing about the whole Pinterest “thing” is that it truly does inspire … I see images done in colors, or styles that I love , I pin them to remind me to incorporate them into my own artwork, I see illustrations that provoke me, amuse me, make me think, I see patterns, and colors and images that look like I could have done them so I don’t feel so alone and “off-base” with my own work, I see images that make me think of new projects for my students…. I could go on…..

It depresses me , again, for some of the same reasons listed above….. there are so many creative people out there, so many …. sometimes I start to feel..”What’s the point of doing anything?”

Pinning is a social activity…. if I pin something of my own, I feel bad if I don’t get re-pinned or ecstatic if I do ( acceptance by strangers?)

I have definitely streamlined and improved my teaching…. I don’t have to find books that I can pass around the classroom, I don’t have to have paper illustrations that need to be passed around the class room…. I can give a project assignment in my Design class , have the students go to the Design board to see tons of examples that address that project….. FANTASTIC!?

What did I ever do without it?  Dark times, very dark times…. we never know what we’re missing until we have it and look back ….. people got along fine without cell phones but …..HOW?!?!

What would I do without it? I still have my books if PINTEREST disappeared. I prefer to think that if  I had to do without it I would be replacing it with the next new thing that would be even better.

THOUGHTS ?  ANYONE? ANYONE?

Art Quote of the Day

IMG_2474

Yours truly, summer, 8 years old, drawing away. pure bliss

There is one week left to my semester of teaching here at Edgewood College. Final projects for all of my classes are due on Wednesday…. critiques one and all…. next week is devoted to just picking up any and all artwork. My students this semester have been great. Using MEDIA for the first time in my teaching to a large extent has been of extraordinary benefit. Being able to post student work on my blog page of STUDENT WORK, allows a much larger audience to see the finished work. Having a Pinterest page devoted exclusively to Design, Alphabets, Figurative Art, etc. has allowed me to give infinite examples of art that gave students many ideas on how to approach my assignments. It has been a productive , creative , and inspiring semester . In a couple weeks I will take advantage of a two week break, relax, regroup, re-gain my energy and then start summer school.  There is gardening to be done, paintings to work on , new assignments to be thought up, a revamping and updates to my blog pages……I am so extremely happy in my job and blessed that I have come to this place in my life. The old adage, something to the effect,” Do what you love and you’ll never work another day in your life,” IS SO TRUE.  I must have done something right, made the right decisions in my life to get me here and I’m so thankful . Peace !

Art Quote of the Day

” To give body and perfect form to your thought, this alone is what it is to be an artist. “- Jacque Louis David

Good Morning….. 6 AM , my usual time of waking up and working on my blog here, but starting today I begin teaching again . I have been on Christmas break from Edgwood College , since the first week of December and boy has the time flown by!  I’ll be spending alot less time here for the next couple of weeks  seeing as how I have to be at school by 8 AM at the lastest (ugh) and won’t get home until 5 this afternoon. It’s a long day but I love it. The next 2 weeks are called Winterim and students get a full semester’s amount of work and credit by coming 3 hours a day , every day for 2 weeks. It’s so intense and so much more like working as an actual artist in an actual studio setting. So , in the morning I teach Figure Drawing which is for Art Majors who’ve had alot of drawing already. FUN! Then in the afternoon I teach something called Art Structure which is a class that NON-ART majors have to take ,( these students are nursing students or finance students or criminal justice students who usually haven’t done any art since grade school !) This class offers a ‘sampling’ of everything; drawing, painting, printmaking,sculpture,design, color theory and the experience of not having THE RIGHT ANSWER to most of their questions! Also Fun !!

Soooooooooo, why tell you all of this? In my still -new-at-this-blogging-place, I have been told that I should write some more personal stuff in my posts  , rather than just post an art quote everyday. I want you all to get to know me a little bit , go to the other pages on my blog, take a look at my work…. y’know? See what Jane (that’s me) DOES!!

For the next 2 weeks I will be posting images of the work done by these most fantastic students…. in the future posts I will talk about Teaching, Edgewood College,my own work , AND , yes, of course  THE ART QUOTE OF THE DAY. I hope you will enjoy following the ramblings of another blogger and I’m looking forward to any comments you all might send my way.