Thursday, May 15, 2014

My Favorite Poem Middle School Students

wild, crazy
coloring, painting, expressing
expressing yourself with a pen


random, different
thinking, creating, sketching
relaxes the mind and body


exciting, difficult
dribbling, shooting, passing
it's a great game!


fun, big
exciting, loving, coloring
very exciting to do


Monday, May 12, 2014

A Few Poems about our process

creative, artistic
painting, creating, making
work with brush and paint

- Cody

messy, colorful
exciting, experimenting,creating
so much fun to do

-  Entire class

peaceful, crazy
drawing, creating, thinking
dreaming big on paper


peaceful, patterns
relaxing, dreaming, exciting
keep calm and zendoodle


fun, creative
painting, exciting, interesting
couldn't be more fun


black, creative
writing, drawing, doodling
zendoodling is very relaxing


creative, lively
relaxing, creating, expressing
your mind on a canvas


Mural is completed

Today we finished the mural at Laurel Highlands Middle School.  We had to make a few changes like painting the edges of the styrofoam blocks in order to see them better mounted on the wall.  8 of the students helped me as we used liquid nail and a hot glue gun to adhere the pieces to the wall.  The angles were important to achieve to give more of an illusion of the horse breaking through the wall.  Mike DeFazio cut out the blocks and this was a huge addition to our piece.  We even had our wonderful maintenance guy helping us tape and paint the blocks.

Needless to say, we are all happy with the result.  We spent some time writing today and working on our Zen doodles......I am a little tired from the traveling but never tired from working with the staff and students!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Day 5 and 6 Progression of Mural at Laurel Highlands Middle School 2014

Long days but so rewarding with the enthusiasm and support of both the student body and administration......just this alone helps to add energy and a positive spirit in our quest to finish this mural.  We have had obstacles. like a new lift arriving in the midst of a tremendous storm and difficulty unloading it.  Then we had to take precautions with the weight of the machine plus safety concerns.  Both Mike and the principal came through with flying colors with hands on help, insight and again, that boundless enthusiasm!  Our fortunes increased with the return of an alumni willing to invoke her creative spirit along with 3 art students from the high school painting for the day.  Mentoring transpired with the older high school students demonstrating their painting techniques to middle school students.  This residency meets so much more than ordinary will be a masterpiece with hundreds of hands involved.....and yes, accomplished in 9 days!

As always, I am grateful and blessed to have the hope and energy for these projects.  I am refueled by the positive energy of both students and faculty alike......there is no amount of money that can make up for the energy that inspires this project.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Zen Doodling

So while students help me with the mural, we are also working on our Zen Doodles.  The concept on this project is to create a black and white drawing full of "doodle" and repeating patterns.  The basic principle is to find a sense of peace or relaxation and also create a work of art.  So, with some help from musician George Winston as our background music, students worked in complete silence as they started their works.  In a self critique we discussed what it feels like in this place of relaxation and how a quiet mind can help transform a boring piece of white paper into an amazing start for their artwork.

I too got a chance to work with the students on my own turtle piece and this was most certainly a bonus for me in a working residency:)

Laurel Highlands Middle School May 2014

So here I am back at one of my all time favorite school districts working with students at Laurel Highlands Middle School.  The scope of our project is quite an enormous one to accomplish in just 10 short days.  With the immediate help of Mike DeFazio (the high school art teacher) we worked on a scale drawing of the mural that will eventually be painted on the gym wall of the school logo, a Mustang.

Now. despite the school colors, this depiction of the Mustang will be painted in a realistic fashion and will serve many purposes.  Not only will it be a huge mural (more than 14 feet long and 10 feet high approximately), it will help students recall school spirit and pride.  On top of that, students will be directly involved in the painting process as well as learning to use their talents to help create this piece.

Here is a sketch of the piece and an idea of how large the wall actually is that the mural will be located on in the gym.  Keep in mind, I have just now learned how to use a Lift (cherry picker) and my excitement of this accomplishment alone is immense.  After much debate, the wall location was finally selected!  Mr. DeFazio and some of his students will also hep with the project.  Ms. Wilson, the middle school art teacher has also arranged for a second lift to arrive and she is taking a day to paint also!  Mrs. Crutchman who initiated this project will somehow manage students on another project I have started so we do not get too crowded in our work space.