Friday, November 6, 2015

Art Lesson Outline 2

This week's second grade project included several art vocabulary talking points, including warm and cool colors, unusual shapes, and how we can mix mediums to get the unique benefits from different materials. 

-pencil to sketch 
-watercolor paper
-watercolor paint and brush set
-black crayon 
-small cups of water/paper towels, for wetting and dabbing the brush. 

35-50 minutes (some students like to take their time and be more meticulous; others like to rush and be done. This gave a good range for both kinds). 
Plus 5-10 minutes of cleanup. 

I love seasonal studies, so I drew several examples of autumn leaf shapes on the white board. The students either copied mine (in pencil) or felt free to follow their own imagination and memory. 

Next we traced our leaves in thick markings with our black crayon. We discussed how the waxy crayons would resist watercolor paint and show boldly even after we added our colors. 

Finally the students added paint. Warm colors for inside the leaves and cool colors to surround. I explained how to use more water to diminish the tone of the background, so the saturated leaves would really stand out. Some of the students used this option and some chose to match the intensity of the leaves with their background. 

A few samples from today:

Friday, September 25, 2015

Art Lesson Outline 1

Second grade art lesson studying saturated colors and strong shadows in the style of Wayne Thiebaud.

-Light colored construction paper (I gave three options--if the kids didn't have time to completely cover their paper it would still look vibrant with the color of their choice).
-Oil Pastels

40 minutes, plus 5 to clean up.

After a quick introduction to the artist and his style, we got going.

Direct draw the outline of a round cake, cake plate, layers inside, and a line across the back to differentiate wall surface and table surface. Explain where to erase for the 'cut out slice' section.

Emphasize vibrant color choice.

Teacher Sample:

Just a couple of the Students' work examples:

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Called to Order

Sometimes I'm the ancients Greeks, staring up into the abyss and conjuring shapes from a mess of scattered light. I'm assigning names and histories and reasons, which in turn create something for me--a name, and history, and reason. Maybe even purpose.

Sometimes I'm the mathematician, correlating symbols to repeating patterns in physics, in weather, in chemistry. I'm crafting an equation, a sentence in numbers, to explain, or to derive, possibly... to establish.

Sometimes I'm the surgeon. Slicing or dissecting, to see that everything is set to right. The twists and the curves don't bother me. I recognize the system in the mess.

Sometimes I'm the the artist, transposing the same shape over, and over. Designating meaning to color, and shade, and line. Completing the picture.

Sometimes I'm the drawing.
Sometimes I'm the anatomy.
Sometimes I'm the formula.
Sometimes I'm the constellation.

Sometimes I hope someone will call me out from the chaos. Will carve out my place and set me upon it.

Sometimes I have to do it for myself.

Sunday, May 3, 2015


Today I was inspired by a friend to write something--anything! once a week or so. Wednesdays, perhaps, and neglect this poor dusty blog no longer. Wish me luck?

Monday, November 17, 2014


Leave it alone for too long and it loses its form. It becomes emaciated, or shapeless, or blobbish. This is not ideal. Absolutely not recommended.

But spend too much time on it and it can cause an obsession that leads to grotesque outcomes. Overdone. Too far. Hard to watch.

What I'm trying to say is, exercise is great for everyone. Except you, extreme body builders. It's too much. Bring it down a thousand notches.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Phone Woes.

I am now no stranger to the water-damaged electronics process. 

Which is a terrible truth. 

Honestly, all that R&D money... Surely some of it is going into waterproof phones? Anyone? 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Spelling, You Guys. She's a Ruthless Mistress.

Naval Gazing vs. Navel Gazing

  • Look, Bobby! Look at the magnificent ships as they pass by in the bay!

  • Look, Bobby; becoming a successful adult requires the subtle skill of criticizing yourself more harshly than any other being on the planet could hope to achieve. It's an exercise in self-hate, really. Try it a little each day until you've mastered it. 


  • Look, Bobby! Study the lint in it's natural habitat--my belly button! Isn't it just fascinating?!