Sunday, February 27, 2011

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Johnstown Public Library Display

Rick and I have some of our larger metal works on display at the Johnstown Public Library. Our pieces are for sale and will be on display until the middle of March. We are also having a sale of our works at Glades Pike Winery on Sunday, April 10th from noon-4pm!

After School Arts-Changing Lives One Student at a Time

Our work as a group and individual painters has seen progression every day. Having 5 willing and open minded students is really a blessing too. Aside from only using Primary colors we are learning about tinting with White and shading with Black.

The group piece initial sketches and drawings are a culmination of each student having an idea and putting it all together into one large group painting. You will see from the images that I encourage drawing upside down and painting this way even for a while to get the students involved with color, brush strokes and composition and not to get stressed over the subject matter.

Between working on their personal pieces, each of the girls is also taking time to work individually and with others on the group painting.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Altoona After School Arts

Altoona After School Arts

After working with nearly 650 students at my previous residency, I feel so lucky to be at Altoona After School Arts. I think this might be my 8th year for conducting this program. Altoona offers this program as an addition to their curriculum and opens it up the the Junior and Senior High school students.

This year the sign up was small at 11 students and I have 5 young women who have come to learn about painting. I realize in situations how lucky I am to have such a job and creative time to spend with such a small group. The age range is diverse and the girls have quickly joined forces to enjoy the power of a group and individuals in learning a little about watercolor and acrylic painting.

My first goal is a simple lesson on color mixing with primary colors and a lesson on tinting with white. One of my favorite artistic movements is the Impressionists, so I encourage their first piece to be a study based on books I can provide for the students. However, our first day happened to be Valentine's Day so we had a quick lesson in watercolor.

Each student is encouraged to regard painting as a process and passion for color with brush strokes becoming different and the use of color important in any single composition. Because of the diversity of the group in age, I have initiated a group project as well to help encompass teamwork skills and communication.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

More Hands On

Kids love to have their hands in clay!

Hands in Clay at West Hempfield Elementary School

Working with Lindsay Hirshberg at West Hempfield Elementary School is delightful. She is an enthusiastic and energetic art teacher who inspires great manners, art skills and positive attitude from all her students from grade K-5. This year our residency encompasses a 20 day time period that hits about 650 students with some basic clay skills and a final piece that will hang proudly in the school library.

I donated about 100 pounds of porcelain clay along with a variety of tools to use and finally Coyote glazes and cut glass for our final pieces. The core group of students met with me every morning and even on afternoons before their buses came to take them home for the day. We divided easily into teams and each team came up with a garden scene of 12 tiles. The rest of the student body of the entire school each made a smaller tile with garden themes to be part of the larger mosaic. These students also created their own take home piece as well.

In order to save time with such a large student body and a school that does NOT own a kiln, I single fired the works. The smaller pieces I simply used one of two underglazes and then put a clear glaze to finish the works. The core group tiles were more complicted with using Coyote glazes and then I placed some cut glass before firing.

The biggest success was in being able to teach the entire school the simple process of actually sculpting the clay with the four simple S words I love to use with clay......Scratch, Slip, Stick and Smooth.....even with basic tools and small hands, each child created a piece worthy of any aspiring artist. So far, I have managed to fire two loads (about 600 pieces so far) and later this week hope to finish the last firing load, making the total of three full loads.

When I go back in April, we will put the pieces together in our final mosaic and then do some actual painting work on another project involving the alphabet and animals.....I can hardly wait!