Saturday, September 13, 2014

We Are All Meant to Shine - Marianne Williamson

The wall above the lockers outside my classroom has been quite stark, until now.  Although I teach middle school math, each classroom teacher at South Shore Charter Public School also runs a "project".  Last year was my first project year, coinciding with my first year with my own classroom.  Naturally, I chose to host  an art project.  Projects are student driven, with guidance from the teacher.  It took us a long time to decide what to create for the space above the lockers,  but by late last spring, we had created a banner with an excerpt from Marianne Williamson's famous quote often attributed to Nelson Mandela. The full text is to the right.  
My project worked on the scale, lettering, measuring, and design, then invited every student in our middle school to trace their hand print and decorate with a box of deliciously colored permanent markers.  As more handprints appeared, the students had to layer theirs "behind" the others, giving the banner a beautiful depth around the border.  I brought the banner home this summer to finish the border and piece together, with lots of help (and I use the term loosely) from Maggie and Fred. 
The banner now hangs in the hall for our students encouraging them to burst onto the scene, each in their own way.  My goal is to provide an environment where they feel safe and encouraged to do so.  

As always, thank you for looking.  I love your comments. 

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Fair Floral - 10 x 8 oil

Katie making some changes
My home town has an agricultural fair that takes over the aptly named, "fairgrounds" here for 10 days each August.  We love the Fair, have volunteered/worked there for years and years, and we go for a little while everyday, maybe just to walk and take in the pageantry, lights, color, etc.  This year, the director for the arts and crafts area organized a floral design/floral painting afternoon.  Floral arrangers arranged, then artists painted the arrangements.  Here is my result, with a few shots of the painting in progress.  And, I gave my daughter a few minutes at the easel while I took a short break. So, I guess this painting is a collaboration.  

As always, I love your comments.  Thanks for looking.

Establishing the light and dark pattern... looks a little bit like "Little Shop of Horrors" at this point

Modelling in the lights and darks

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Koi Pond 9 x 12 oil

The August theme for Girls Just Wanna Paint was "water".  Hmmm.  I love the water, salt and sea.  I decided to explore a different take by painting my friend's koi pond.  What an interesting puzzle.  The challenge of showing what's above, what's below, what's reflected, and what's next to.   
See the rest of our challenge paintings here.

As always, thanks for looking.  You know I love your comments.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sky - Mixed Media

"Sky" was my entry in North River Art Society's Outside the Box exhibit/auction this summer.  All entries were anonymous, until today when the bidding ended, and the names were revealed... so I can finally post my entry.  The stencil letters came out of a small antique box inside a bigger box of things from my mother's studio.  "Sky" was drawn in ink, then I used watercolor pencils, then applied water, and used the pencils in the wet areas again. I like the combination of textures resulting. 

As always, thanks for looking.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Charles and Mount Vernon Streets - pen & ink

This afternoon, we headed into Boston to do nothing more than people watch, drink coffee, walk around the city and enjoy the beautiful, dry, crisp summer air.  
So we did.  We wound up sitting on Charles Street at a nice little coffee shop.  Great coffee, pastry, sweet and savory. 

On the walk through the Public Garden, we passed the bench from "Good Will Hunting", now a shrine to Robin Williams.   The sidewalks in all directions are covered with chalk tributes to him.  

What a lovely afternoon.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Monhegan Sketchbook - Over the Meadow

Half way up Horn Hill on Monhegan is a  plateau which overlooks the village and Manana.  I like the juxtaposition of this house adjacent to to the plateau/knoll and the houses beyond.  In the window is a lovely spindle chair, with its shadow on the wall, quietly sitting above the bustle in the village below.  

I used photoshop to look at the sketch as a monochrome to see how the values read.. I think the entire village and trees should be dropped down 1/2 a value shift, allowing the highest contrast to be solely in the window.  The diagonal of the roof cuts the sketch in half, and it's reading a bit like two paintings.  I'll do another sketch with a few changes as another study for an oil painting... and will post for comparison.
Below is a detail from the window in the foreground.

Thanks for looking.  I'll keep you "posted" on my progress.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Monhegan Sketchbook - Harbor 4:30 PM watercolor and ink

 Later in the afternoon, shadows begin stretch down the east side of Manana, growing and overtaking the light until only a few spots of light remain, and are then extinguished.  Now that I think of it, sort of  a preview to the sunset's rhythm a couple of hours later.  I like being reminded how quickly we are rotating on this Earth.

Here is a recent page from my sketchbook.  I began applying watercolor in those remaining patches of light.  Interesting how dark they look in the top image, when seen against the white page, compared to how light they read below when surrounded by dark. 
We visited the island this summer over the 4th of July week, and again, the last week of July.  There is a huge difference in the light and shadow pattern along Manana in just those three weeks. 

This year, I brought home a clear thought about taking the time in my "regular life" to observe the magnificence of our world as I do when on Monhegan.

As always, thanks for looking.  Your comments make my day.