Thursday, March 25, 2010

Patterns Old and New

I recently looked at a catalog with a room painted in solid colors that I really loved- and thought- I'd like to have a room like that.  Then I realized that it will never happen, because I love patterns too much.  This combination of old and new is something that I might not have done ten years ago.  I would have worried that it didn't go.  At this point, I can now say- Who cares?  I like it.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Amalfi Coast

Often when teaching a large eighth grade class, you need a project that everyone can be successful at without a lot of assistance.  This is it!  I distributed a photo of the Amalfi Coast in Italy and  showed  my own sample drawing.  We talked about how they could pick and choose the architectural details that they wanted to use- and that the buildings did not need to be "realistic".  They could put the greenery in- or leave it out.  Bridges in- bridges out, and so on.  I only required that the students outline their buildings with black pen, and use colored pencils.  This project really illustrates how great it is that all students all work differently.

Friday, March 19, 2010


I teach at a school with little diversity, so 8th graders created these oil pastel portraits (from National Geographic), for "people practice." Again, I have found that using oil pastels (as opposed to pencils) enables the students to draw more loosely, and gain confidence.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Group Project Winner

At the student art show, this piece was created by a variety of students of mixed ages and experience, and won first place in the group category.  I think it has a lot of charm! We are thinking about putting blocks together again, with a different theme.  I have a lot of squares that my husband, who is a builder, cut for me. I kind of like the fact that the wood differs in thickness and grain.  Ask a local carpenter, who probably has a lot of scraps, to cut some for you!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Felting Experiment: Embedding

A few weeks ago I experimented with embedding small, square pieces of sponge into a project. I wet felted this in one piece, in one session and it ended up looking like a sheet of home-made ravioli, uncut.  Since then I have cut open the pockets and done a lot of stitching.  I have been experimenting with squares for the past few years- beyond that- the idea of boundaries and compartments. Some of the compartments have natural materials within them, and some do not. Some are centered, some are not, some are bordered, some are not,some are more "squared" some are not.  I used to have a desire for all projects to be made of natural materials, but now I think more about the properties of the material than the content.  

It is sometimes hard to let go of color and think about design purity, because color is so exciting to me, but here it is....