Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Using a few commercial frames

Because of the expense of commercial frames, I usually make my own frames - simple slat frames. Also, I have found very few ready-made frames that work well with my textures. Below are some exceptions. Wow, the gilded frames are expensive. The black frames are moderately priced. These textured panels are all 8" wide and 10" tall.
These paintings will be with me at the Athens ARTSfest on May 3rd & 4th.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Two new "wedding paintings"

I have recently framed two new larger paintings (36" by 24") to include with my work that I will display at the Athens ARTSfest. I'm almost ready - with a few exceptions. I'll post them before Saturday, May 3rd, because that's the first day of the ARTSfest!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A few small works ready for the ARTSfest

Thanks to Andy Wales (Mighty Andar), I've made a few pieces with Captain America in them. Andy carved him from a new material used in elementary art classes to make "linoleum" prints. As all good elementary art teachers, Andy makes many examples, works along with the kids, and gets excited about new materials and projects.
Below you can see two of Andy's carvings and two carvings in linoleum that I did for special projects. You may or may not know that the "timeout" area in my elementary art room had a painting of Daffy Duck in this pose:
The impressions formed in the plaster catch the paint that's rubbed on and the surrounding areas can be "cleaned" with a cotton rag. You can find some of the sunflower impressions in the Queen Anne's Lace painting below:

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Athens ARTSfest May 3rd & 4th

We are all hoping for great weather like you'll notice in these photos from last year's ARTSfest. The tents of the art vendors made the whole affair resemble Camelot!
All the food vendors were in one area. All told there were 150ish vendors. Below is a small part of the crowd that passed by my area. It was estimated that 30,000 people attended the ARTSfest last year. The "Dip Lady" was very popular!
Below you can see the backside of my display area.
The following photo show my demonstation table, too. I spread a lot of plaster and hand painted a couple of pieces. I'll be demonstrating again this year.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Ceiling tiles at W.L.Miller

"The Buck Stops Here" was the sign attached to this ceiling tile that hung in the office of the Warren L. Miller Elementary School in Mansfield, PA. Mr. Novak our principal thought that was the perfect place for this artwork!
Early in my teaching career, I heard from one of my art professors (at Mansfield University) that it might be possible to paint ceiling tiles. I liked the idea. I had my fourth, fifth and sixth grade students do all 126 ceiling tiles in the art room my first year of teaching. The ceiling still survives in the school! As the years went by, my students did many more tiles up and down the halls on both floors of the school. All of the other ceiling tiles are now gone! Most were damaged in a fire last spring and thrown away. Some were claimed by former students or their families. Some ended up in the hands of Micki Moore a former student who is now a professor at M. U. This recent article by Cheryl Clarke tells the tale! (Cheryl's two sons were former students of mine. And I have two corrections - the ceiling tiles were made, under my direction, over a 31 year span. The paintings in the school cafeteria were a sixth grade project designed to decorate the cafeteria. They are painted on masonite not ceiling tiles.) These photos of the ceiling tiles were all taken the day before the fire.
They are all gone now.
The smoke damage thoughout the school was extensive. This photo was taken outside of the classroom where the fire originated.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Back in the classroom - part 2

Near the end of the week, I had the privilege of teaching in Holy Family Primary School with Judy Gooding. What a wonderful place!
I challenged the third graders to cut out six wedges and decorate them all the same. Some fun things happened when the wedges were glued into circles.
The second graders were directed to make castle doors that opened! What would be found behind the doors?
The kindergarten children arranged pennies into images right on their tables. They did crayon rubbings to make their images appear on their papers. Colored pencils were used to add colors.
Would you believe I forgot to photograph the first graders working?!?! We were making images on paper plates which were glued on "placemates" that the children made.

Back in the classroom - part 1

This past week I was the guest artist at Holy Family Intermediate School. I taught wonderful students in fourth, fifth and sixth graders. I was treated like a king by the staff! Below are the beginnings of some pointilistic pictures done by dragging the tip of oil pastels ("grease crayons" is a more descriptive term) a very short distance. The student used at least three colors in all areas.

The fourth graders made books with pages developed from "op art" images.
The sixth graders built images with pieces of posterboard and covered them with wrinkled aluminum foil. The black paint added to the foil was partially removed with steel wool to help the image appear.

Monday, April 7, 2008

My paintings really are "hand-painted"

Below is a painting that needs one more color layer to be "finished." It already has a layer of yellow-orange under a layer of cadmium red.
Below a blue color (phtalo blue mixed with purple and burnt umber) is being rubbed into the textures.
I use paper towels to smooth each color layer before I begin removing paint from selected areas.
In the following photo please notice the multicolored rag - it has been used to remove many colors from many areas.
In the formal photograph below, you can see that the blue color has been removed from many areas.

More about my visit to Athens High School

Lisa Howeler wrote a great article about my visit. It was published in the Sayre Morning Times. Thanks, Lisa! And Tiffany Peden wrote a wonderful article for the Towanda The Daily & Sunday Review. Thank you, Tiffany!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

My niece Lexie's husband Pat is home from the war!

With joy and relief, we welcome Pat home after his second tour of duty in Iraq. This tour was 428 days! My niece Lexie did her tour a few years ago during Pat's first. Below you will see the bus pulling into Savannah and many loved ones waiting.
The unit marched in formation on American soil after being away for a long time.
I hope that you all get a chance to thank some of the young service men and women who having been willing to serve our country. Lexie and Pat are reunited as of April 2, 2008. A half an hour after the bus arrived, Pat was home with his girls!

Friday, April 4, 2008

A visit to Athens High School

I was invited to talk about my art and to promote the ARTSfest that is fast approaching. I talked to three different groups and only remembered to photograph the first. I demonstrated and talked and shared a few laughs with the students. All the groups were great audiences and I forgot to mention that so I will now.Below, Dave Webster is grabbing his giant jug from a drying shelf. Note the two profiles!
Dave is responsible for the existence of the ARTSfest. He began the show nine years ago. The first year there were less than five artists and 200 visitors. Last year there were well over 100 artists and craftspersons and, would you believe, 30,000 visitors! Dave teaches ceramics all day long. Here is his formal pose:The second art teacher in the high school, Ellie Gilbert, teaches the 2D stuff. She is planning to give her students the opportunity to create work using the same materials that I use. I'm sorry that I didn't get a photo of Ellie to post. Can anyone help me out?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Andy Wales visits Mansfield University

Andy Wales (sometimes known at the Mighty Andar) presented his thoughts on reading, writing and creativity to maybe 30 art students, education majors and classroom teachers. He described himself as a "man with a mission." He had much scholarly research to backup his belief that by, reading and creating comics, kids can develop their language skills. We all agreed that working with comics was more fun than doing worksheets!
Above Andy demonstrates how we were soon to create our own comic character by using various elements from the "Sunday Comics." We received a crash course in "word balloon" development. One of the classroom teachers ended up with a strange looking fellow who was asking, "Hey girls, don't you think I'm cute?!?"
Andy entertained and enlightened us with another "tool" to use in classrooms to help kids want to put down their joysticks and read!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Getting ready for the Athens ARTSfest

Below are some examples of new work that will be shown at the Athen's ARTSfest. I've used some new commercial "texture" plates to impress textures. Below a plate from a fossil pack has been used.
My dragonfly stamp has been used a lot.
As well as the doily that makes most of a heart shape.
I have been continuing my search to make new colors and combinations
Below is a table and a half full of new work in various stages of completion.
Below newly framed pieces are balanced on cans while the fresh paint on the frames dries.