Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The plight of the unfinshed project.

Often I will begin examples of lessons to teach to students. You start these examples then get busy helping students complete theirs. You show this unfinished example to the students and then tell them what else you would like them to do in order to complete theirs.

After several years of teaching art you end up with this pile of unfinished projects. I also make another example that is posted in stages on a poster.
I was talking with another art teacher about this and we thought....Why don't they create and art teachers art show of all the unfinished projects.....

Saturday, December 26, 2009

the gift of giving

For me the most exciting thing about the holidays are not the gifts I get but the ones I give.I love to see peoples reactions to their personalized and often hand crafted gifts.Each one of my friends have these unique hobbies and interests.

My mother collects school buses. I by the ones that I can find afford ably and then often make them.This year I gave her four. I found this plain wooden bus at Micheal's and painted and decorated it.Then while sitting at the crafting table among my wood burning projects I saw the left over pieces for my painting canvas and got a good idea/saw out a notch and you get a bus. At first ti thought earrings but they are a little large for that. So I mounted them on wood scraps and made small standing versions instead.

My friends mom who is also a dear friend to me collects angels. I found this one at the Dollar tree(my favorite store) and gave it a wood burn treatment and a acrylic paint job.

My friend Sue and Reyna collect wolfs. I drew this one(actually on Christmas day) at my aunts.

My boyfriend Ed got personalized t- shirts. I will have to have him model those and post pics.

I have this group of girlfriends that I often see in a group and that I met out at the nightclub. I have all these pictures of us having fun so I gave them collages printed on magnetic sheets with all their pictures from my myspace page.I also made some feathered hair clips.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Solstice gifts

I received a bunch of mail yesterday. Christmas cards, Ed's mom sent some cookies. Then I got this envelope from Arts And cultural council....I guessed what was in it: event invitation, a request for donations, My member ship should be fine, a grant rejections letter... I opened it up. It was a grant acceptance letter!

I also contacted someone from the Flying Squirrel community center
about hanging up an art show last week. I was surprised by the response I got. Why don't you hang it up for Solstice? So I prepped work on Sunday and hung it up Monday. The show is up and will run through Jan.

This is one of the images in the show. The show is all based on images from a Tarot deck. This is "4 of Pents". They are currently 13 works present and others will follow soon.

This is also the building that we will be painting the mural on starting in March. Meetings of the mural comittee will start on Thursday nights. Here's the link for their Facebook page.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

holiday crafting

So I now have a new kitchen to cook in and realized that I like frosting cookies. I treat each one like an miniature edible art work.

To the left are the cupcakes I made for my friend "The cupcake queen." She loves gourmet cupcakes and makes them for everyones birthdays.

I made ginger bread men and personalized them to give to certain friends. I made several "belly dancer" cookies with my ginger bread girl cutter.I had fun trying to put coins of the belts with white frosting...that was a challenge.

I also made, brownies, candy can mint cookies,and sugar cookies with ornament shaped cookie cutters and solstice suns cookies as well.

I have posted pictures with people holding their cookies below.

Friday, December 4, 2009

some of my work

This is an oil painting on canvas and is part of a series I have been working on since summer 2008. All the canvases are different sizes and are following suits of cards and major Arcana cards from Tarot.
This is from another smaller series called "Out to Eat" They are small drawing simply of what was on the table when I went out to eat. Several are ink and are smaller then a postcard.

To see more of my work go to myartprofile.com

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fall semester classes at the museum

I teach Saturdays children's classes at the museum. The students range in age from 7-10 ,so they are 1-5 grade. This fall I was teaching "Drawing and Painting with the galleries" Which enhanced the use of an artwork within the gallery's collection each week along with artwork students create based around a work of art each week.

We completed collages based on Juane Quick to See smiths work.
to see the image of the panting we looked at follow the above link

The example above is by Zoe.
we focused on layering images and collaging then used gloss medium varnish along with acrylic paints to layer and adhere the images.For subject matter we discussed that the images and the stytle of clothing shown in the painting represent a native american women. I encouraged students to find and collage images that represented themselves.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Public art project applications

I am waiting on a decision on the grant proposal I put in for painting a mural on the side of the Historic ELKS lodge in the Corn Hill building. I want to incorporate local area youth in the PLEX, Corn hill and surrounding neighborhoods along with the Artist's of the Flying Squirrel to create a mural which reflects the neighborhoods history and future.

I had previously finished some sketches for the Nazareth Benches on parade project.I worked very hard on my submissions and several other artists did as well.I will say I was disappointed by the inconsistency of how the submissions were displayed for the opening for sponsors to choose bench's. The food was great, it was a good way to showcase the new Nazareth arts center.There was in consistency however in when resume's and descriptions were shown or not shown.In my case my two submissions were not grouped together either.

I feel like all of the descriptions should either be posted or not posted.

Either the images should have spoken for themselves or the artists background and experience should have been the vessel of communication with the audiences.
Several of the images were made by high school or college students. Some were to be painted by groups of students.This would have been helpful information for the sponsor viewers to know and may have changed some people's minds about the work.

The last thing I will say is. The guidelines of the the submission was that hey were to be made on the offical submission form. Yet artist's did not follow this guideline still had there works displayed. I found this very unfair for those of us who had adhered to the project guidelines.

Some were created in different formats and were displayed on large foam boards, they were not on the offical form.

I am now working on a thrird grant proposal and finding this one to be equally as challenging.
Wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

So I went through Sept, with few sub calls. I was worked on grant applications and looking into sole propreteiorship of my arts business. I have also looked into teaching artist opportunties. S o I was working on those and also applying for work at grocery stores, craft stores etc. All this while also completing my parttime teaching and coordinating work at the Museum.I was then called to fill in for a long term middle school sub assignment. I had alot of fun with this kids .I got to try some new projects and combine some new ideas as well.

The sixth class completed several projects such as: T- shirt designs, creating recyled paper,line deisgns, they also worked on the Mona drawing assignment and made leaf collages.

I orgianlly came up with the leaf collage assignment while teaching in Arkansas. I made take my dog to walk in the park and was anmored with the colors, shapes and textures of the leafs.

I collect the leaf while I press them between my books. Students then create four varitions of the leaf. They make a drawing og the leaf with oil pastels, then make a second samll drawing with colored pencil of the same leaf. when the drawings are completed they brush paint onto the back veins of the leaf and create a leaf print on white paper.The students then take all four variations of their leaf and the actual leaf and collage them onto paper.

I have doen this assignment with sixth and seventh grade and found that most students had sucess with it.

7th grade students completed half magazine images. Students had a chance to choose an image form the internet that they had printed as well. They cut the image in half and glue one hlaf to paper then draw the other half.

Drawing by 7th grade student Rachael.

Drawing by Haley

Eigth grade students like to show off for one another so I figured "Why don't we use this to our advantage?" The students modeled for each other and created a series of simple gestural drawings based on the others students poses.
They then look at their drawings and choose eight poses that they liked. They postioned those three figures toghether and drew tehm again vertically on watercolor paper in permenent marker. After drawing the three figures they paininted the background with watercolors using water color techniques:salt, scratching, layering and resist.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sunday of the Arts

I have spent most of the summer busy working and then filling up my free time moving into a new place. Slowly but surely the new place is beginning to feel like home. So in the swirling busyness that was all that. I had a little time to dance and did a live dance performance as well. Yet, I did not get to all the art events I wanted to. I heard I missed some goods ones too.

So yesterday before going to the art opening at high Falls I went to check out Artists Row at The Public Market.

This is my friend Gia. Gia creates these very bright and beautiful watercolor images. They are often of animals, can be female figures or of fantasy creatures.
She tries to give some love to what she calls "natures misfits".

To see more of Gia's work go to

This is Rachael. She does this fantastic mixed media drawings and paintings. She uses watercolor, old library cards and magazine images she cuts them into figurative shapes them hinges them with small decorative paper brads to create paper dolls.
To see more of Rachael's work or buy her dolls go to http://www.etsy.co/shop.php?user_id=8563

This is Katie, I meet her at Clothesline and have enjoyed talking to her.... She is part of the NY figure study guild, is a photographer and a mixed media painter...
I have copied the link to her link on the NY figure study page. This features her photographic nudes.

I have been very drawn to her mixed medai work featuring imagery of crows.....

I was told to go check out this guys work by Tim, gia's boyfrend. I recommend you check it out.

The work uses all guitar strings and nail polish for the stained glass look.

I was also lucky enough the meet with and be photographed with two others artists at the Centre at high Falls opening.I am in the center near my painting " Three of Swords" and Margaret is the artist who created the neon macrame piece on my left is the the photographer who took the photo just under mine.

Ps not internet at new place so I may take a bit to get to everything...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Some very sucessful summer lessons

I have been busying my self with summer art Camp plans. I taught a week of art lesson and projects related around art museums and careers at the art museum. All the staff at the art gallery I work at more wonderful. They were all more then willing and very eager to work with the children. To answer their questions and tell them about the work they do.

The students got behind the scenes tours of shows as they were being curated. They got to talk to facilities crews and members of the education department.

At the end of the week all the students art works were hung in a small gallery space and parents and families were invited to come see. We created a scavenger hunt for children to complete with their families. They were to find images pictured within the artworks.

Projects included the Peanut Butter Car challenge. Student were simply asked to draw a car that runs on peanut butter. Follow up questions were: Think about the challenges a car like this would have? What effect would it have on local wildlife? Where would the car be filled? What if the car leaks?

We talked a lot about framing and why certain frames are chosen for certain art works. We discussed frames being a work of art and how they need to draw the eye into the art work.
We created frames with tongue depressors and texture paint. We used palette knifes, toothpicks and butter knifes to create textures on the frames.
Students assembled frames first then created small op art inspired pieces to put inside them. We created multiple works then choose our favorite to put inside the frame. Then we added the colored paint that would best work with our artwork and added a repeating pattern to the work.

We created Mona Lisa drawings and looked at several examples of how artists have altered the work and created their own pieces with it. I have done this lesson before with elementary, 5th grade and 7th grade junior high students and I have always enjoyed what students come up with. I also bring in a giant fleece panel of the Mona Lisa and kids attach felt shapes to it.

Alexa's "Many Mona's" drawing

The next assignment was to create a drawing of two different animals combined.

Optional extra assignments were two pencil drawing. Which uses two pencils held together to draw with.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Craft Night

So I had a lot of free time this week with the fourth of July weekend. So on Friday I had a craft night. Craft night is one of my favorite themed parties to do. I used to have a girls nights every so often with themed food and activities involve. This one we kept simple. I showed everyone the craft room. Asked them what they wanted to used put a plastic tablecloth down and we ate fruit and snacks ordered a pizza, drank, talked and made stuff. I was also happy to say this event was the first unisex craft night i had ever had. Jewelery making is always a hit. I had out popsicle sticks, colored duct tape,hot glue guns, white glue, wire,colored pencils, markers, watercolor paints, collage papers etc.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Summer Teaching

Marco's collage

I just finished a very successful week of teaching summer camp.

I had come up with an idea mid year. To have kids make their own paint brushes. I had sen it in several in book I had got from the library.
I had to try it out myself. The paint brushes we made are reusable and our very in expensive materials wise.

They brushes use popsicle sticks, the large tongue depressor size and for the brush materials we used rubber bands, pom poms, gift ribbon and yarn.you sand which the brush materials between two tongue depressors and hot glue them together then use some duct tape to help reinforce the brush handle. A later and spur of the moment idea was to use the old yogurt cups we collect and the old sign making vinyl and let them decorate their own water cups to store their brushes in. Max's brush set.
The student created several 8" x10"abstract paintings on colored copy paper. I showed them several alternative techniques to appyling paint including cookie cutters, sticks, floor tile samples, using toothbrushes (whihc I bought at a dollar store just for this purpose) and, plastic several ware.We used the kids plastic silverware that has animals and tree handles etc. the raised surfaces on these make great printing tools.

Student example of painting done with floor tile sample.

Student example of painting done with plastic silverware. A fork was dragged through areas of color.

After students created a good stack of some abstract painting we cut them to make collages and spent a lot of time looking at Eric Carle books and his online interviews.http://www.eric-carle.com/home.html

Their are some wonderful resources that he has put out. NPR has a interview with him showing slides of his work and his own webpage shares a lot of info.

We then created or own collages by cutting some of our paintings.

Sara's collage

Thursday, June 18, 2009

the art teacherĂ¢€™s guide to the internet

the art teacherĂ¢€™s guide to the internet

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Favorite childrens mixed media pieces

In the last few years I have taught at the museum. I find and collect low cost gadgets and gizmo's to use for projects with the kids. Reusing junk that would otherwise be discarded is one of my favorite things to do. I am a huge fan of the Dollar stores, Thrift Stores, garage sales , the Recycle shop .(http://www.childcarecouncil.com/childcarecouncil146.phpon) on Blossom is awesome if you have never checked that out you really need to. They will give you a whole bag of stuff for just 5.00. I love what the kids come up with when they use their imaginations and the stories they tell as they create stuff are too good to pass up.

I have had several small group classes of 6-8 year old for Saturday and summer morning classes and we created some fabulous mixed media projects.

We created dioramas, artists books, face sculptures, outer space pieces.

For the dioramas I combined some simple childhood materials and idea. Those traditional wooden clothespins do make great dolls. We used paint,lots of hot glue,construction paper, markers, toothpicks small wooden skewers, model magic clay fabric and pipe cleaner to create these.

Two girls who worked together decided to both create beach scenes and created a overhang to combine the two in class so they could have their clothespin people interact with each other.
One of the girls realized that if she used the smaller mini clothespins she could create "babies" for her "grownup" clothespins.

For this diorama the student created a cave scene. We made stalagtites from aluminium foil rocks from model magic and other materials. I wish i had pictures of the rock band one kid made. We created a stool from sticks and a twisting medicine bottle cap. We sawed off the "legs" of the clothespin and made the drummer spin on his stool. These were all great fun. It did help that it was a small group because they was a lot of hot gluing for me to do.

The face sculptures were another huge success.... we used cardboard, model magic,paint and paper mache, hot glue, Elmer's, construction paper, pipe cleaners, raffia and, marbles for the eyes. A friend of mine donated a lot of broken old eye glasses from the eye glass store she worked at too.

The artists books we created in two ways.

The first was as altered books. A found a package of children's boards books at the dollar store that the paper torn off of easily. we removed the images and text then used a different paint treatment on each page. We created print blocks using Styrofoam tray pieces, we used bingo markers, we dipped Lego's into paint and stamped with them. We cut cardboard that had been spray painted gold and glued that into sections. I gave students the option to drill holes into their pages and put different "Funky" yarns through them.

The second way was creating an accordion fold book then using various printing techniques and paint to create images to put into the pages of ours books.

Alex's print book

Sign language drawings

When I lived in Arkansas and taught Jr. High I had a friend that was a sign language interpreter. I had also had several experiences with deaf culture at R.I. T. when I attended there. However I never really learned sign language the way I wish I would have.

These drawing simply use letters from a sign language alphabet and you pose your hand it each letter to create a three letter (appropriate) word or your initials.

I have seen several teachers use this drawing projects including my favorite art teacher Max Robertson. It is him that I blame for my wanting to become on art teacher. I was pleasantly surprised to see he taught the lesson in the similar fashion that I had.

Students will first practice drawing there hands. The should look for lines folds, creases, knuckles nails all details and learn how to use outline and contour shapes as well as using scale of one part of the hand in relation to another.
Drawing by John 2005

After a few sketches of the hand they then choose there there letters from the sign language alphabet and drew their hands posed in those three letters to create a word or their initials.

My drawing- done as example for Mr. Robertson's class 2009

The final step was to outline them in sharpie marker.

Drawing by Whitney 2005

Monday, June 15, 2009

Past Jr. High Projects

I am preparing for a move. I have been going through my files of old artwork and weeding stuff out. Also photographing and editing old photographs of student work. Some of my favorite projects were the pop art sculpture project, the Mandala project,the Sign Language Drawing and the City scape project.

These are two examples of the Mandala project.
We discussed what a Mandala is and, what it is used for. We used discussed Buddhist mandala and how they use sand or other materials that are natural and not installed for long term purposes.We created ours on paper however. It was a mixed media project 9th grade students could use glue, glitter, pencils, yarn, paint, etc.

They were to use symbols that had meaning to them create a circular based then fill in or move out from a circular base shape.Then include images that had meaning to them.(Which they had a size requirement. of 8 " diameter) They created symbols and wrote about the meaning of the symbols after words.

Mandala by Lasha, 9th grade student, 2005
She was in the student Coast Guard cadet and they anchor was symbolic of that.

Mandala by Sequoyah
9th grade student
Created Fall 2005

Mandala sketches by Jasmine colored pencil 2005 9th grade

Above are examples of student practice sketches. Which were created before completing final on 18" by 24" paper.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Hurray for small sucesses!

So I have been tutoring this really cool 5th grade student. He has wanted for years now to be nominated his school art teachers "Student of the month". He drew all the time on his own and his grandmother had been trying to find him a private art tutor for awhile. I have been showing him pen and ink techniques, using watercolor, using pastels, talked to him a lot about shading things, perspective of objects and how objects change in size and color when in the background. We have also drawn real life objects and focused on their shading.

He went to his art teacher and showed him the drawings we had been working on together and he was nominated student of the month. He was very proud of himself and they put up his drawings on a display board in school. His mother showed me pictures of him with his teachers in front of it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


So I recently attended the first Friday art gallery events and went to three galleries. I attended the ROCO 6x6 preview party. The Four walls gallery and More Fire Garden show.

I had submitted a piece to the 6x6 show so I got to play the guess which one is mine game with them. I pointed out the wall which had mine told them it used watercolor and then pointed out that mine had some materials that others one their did not have. They guessed it. "Yours is probably mixed media." "Yours has crayon".

I was really impressed by the number of pieces variety of media creative ways people had solved the6x6 problem. Some had done 3d works using 6x6x6 for their dimensions. There were also several works by local school children. Several art teachers I had talked to had their students submit work for the show. I think it is a great thing that so many people participated.
I wondered about several of the abstract paintings. As a group they were powerful. If you purchased just one though it seemed like it would get lost.

My friend worked with a guy that had artwork in the "Get A Grip" show at Four Walls Gallery on Elton street so we went over and checked it out. I really liked the gallery shape. The atmospere was comfortable. It took us a while to find but we went through the side entrance orginally.
I saw the show cards and was pleasently surprised. My old college professor Kathy Farrell was having an art show there too.http://www.monroecc.edu/wusers/kfarrell/. She had a show of assemblage boxes most of which used balls. She also had a game to play where you had to match the boxes to the famous couple associated with each box. We tried it, a few I got and felt comfortable about others I had no idea who the couples were so I had to guess. There was also a green stepstool on the ground which I assumed was for you to step on. I step up and say to my friends "It's a stepstool right? I should be sble to step on it." There comes Kathy out of the crowd ."Yeah you can step on it. Look inside the boxes lift the lids." These two boxes with glasses and noses and fake mustaches. You lift the lids and look inside to see they are jammed packed full of balls.

There are certain things that I have always appreciated about her work. One part has always been that some part of it incorpates the viewer to interact withy the art in a way different then just looking.The work is like her, very whimsical. She uses lots of discarded toys and bright colors. The pencils she posted for the game were of course brightly colored and sparkly.... I told my friends "These boxes,picture entire bookshelves and a small room full of stuff like this and that's what her office looks like."

I wondered if she started making the boxes first and then came up with the theme or if had the theme of couples first and then made the boxes?

I really appreciated the Get A Grip show too. It used Skateboard grip tape as the source for images. The proceeeds from work sold in the show will go into creating a skatebaord park from local a abandoned area under a bridge. That really seems like a great idea to me.

The cool thing was two days later I am at one of the schools I sub at and this kid has brought in his skateboard to paint. I tell him about the show and he said he had already seen it.

I am not sure how many of the artwork could actually be applied to a board. I really enjoyed the variety of materials used such as pastels(those really worked great ion that surface), airbrush, collage, mixed media drawing, paints etc.
For more info on skate parks and related issues go to http://www.rochestercitynewspaper.com/news/articles/2007/10/RECREATION-No-place-to-go/print/
or krudco.com

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Old but good projects

When I taught at an elementary school in Tucson AZ, I worked closely with the teachers and incorporated their curriculum into art lessons whenever possible.5th grade classes were reading books about quilts at the time. Students in art class read and looked at more quilt related titles that I brought in.Students then cut fabric for quilt squares. We used crayola fabric markers and Sharpie markers to draw on white fabric.student then hand sewed their printed fabric square and their drawn on square together. I took a picture of the class and printed with a an inkjet fabric transfer. I sewed the students quilt squares together then lined it in batting and sewed on a backing.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


So Why you may ask, Why start a Blog called "Art Teacher for Hire" I am a dedicated art teacher. I have several years experience teaching. I substitute teach in several districts.I am tutor private students, teach at local craft stores and am truly blessed to work for a local art gallery coordinating and teaching youth programs.

However I am still in search of other work. I am using this blog as a outlet to reach potential students, clients, other art educators, art lovers and those that want to work on combined projects.

I will be using this blog as a reflective tool.
I will be posting pictures and descriptions of my work created for class examples and my students work.
I will be sharing some planning process, some student interaction and some of my own artwork.

To see my art portfolio please go to http://www.myartprofile.com/Link