Monday, December 29, 2014

"Afternoon Glow" 5 x 9 watercolor & ink

We visit my cousin in NY every Thanksgiving.  Her home is graceful and welcoming and I look forward to seeing her each fall.  Here's a sketch of her living room.... imagine it with the smell of wonderful cooking wafting from around the corner, the noise and hustle and bustle of family arriving and greeting one another.  I do.

As always, thanks for looking.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Complements in my classroom

I am loving the SmartBoard in my classroom this year.  It arrived just before the students arrived in late August (I mean minutes before) and I am finding ways to incorporate it into my daily lessons.  
Recently, my students created simple monochromatic still life watercolors using the 5 zones of light.  Now they are exploring the complements on the color wheel by looking at the light and dark arrangement in the still life pictured.  It was so useful for them to see the still life and the color wheel together, to make visual comparisons as we conversed about what color the pitcher is, and the bowl, and the background.  We talked about the complementary colors and how to use them to neutralize color.  It was fun to take the painting image I found, break it into simple shapes along the divisions between light and dark, and to challenge them to reproduce the color.  As you can see from their preliminary results, they are getting the idea of creating greenish browns, yellow browns, etc.  When we meet after their break, we will finish these paintings by pushing the darks darker.  I have a few color matching exercises I'm going to teach them.   Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

"Where the Heart Is" watercolor and ink 5 x 7

The Spanish department at our school coordinates voluntary gift-giving program within the faculty.  We each choose a name for whom we are their secret angelito, give 4 or 5 small thoughtful gifts during December, and a larger gift to be unwrapped the day before our vacation begins.  I was thrilled to pick the name of a friend of mine on the faculty.  I had been to her family's lake cottage a couple of years back and decided to do a small watercolor of the cottage as her bigger gift. Gift-giving success! She loved it.  
As I told my friend, I don't always remember the gifts I have received over the years, but I remember the ones I have given well. 
Joyful Christmas and joyful holidays to all.    

Thanks for looking.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

"Monochrome by the Dozen" teaching 5 zones of light

Although I teach math to 7th, 8th and 9th graders, a job I love, I am lucky enough to also teach a few hours of a weekly art project at South Shore Charter Public SchoolI used my small project budget to buy good sketch books for my seventeen students... the kind of books that will handle wet and dry media.  This week, I taught the students to see the 5 zones of light that create the illusion of a turning object.  And, today they all painted monochromatic compositions of a simple cup using the 5 zones.  I had them tape off rectangles in their sketchbooks, and tomorrow we'll reveal the
beautiful edges, before we create "complement scales" and begin painting in colors.  They were a bit dismayed when I outlawed black for them, for now.  In fact, one 13 yr old girl declared, "My life is over!".  (Have I told you I love middle school?)
Here's a collection of their work.. they asked great questions, came to a lot of realizations and I overheard one of my boisterous 7th grade boys talking to a friend, "We have the best project!  We get to paint!  We get to draw!  We get to break glass!"   More on the glass breaking later when I show you the mosaics they are making with the guidance of the very talented Sally Dean.
Stay tuned!

Monday, December 08, 2014

Paintings in Place

Lemons, apples, and onions
Winter Garden by the tree
 A few of my paintings hanging in their new-ish homes.  Nice to see them together here again.  I keep a database of all my paintings, who owns them, and when and where they have been exhibited.  It's an interesting history of my journey through painting so far. There are a few that have gotten away, either through a gallery, or an "art in the barn" sale, and the one small boat that I placed on the roof of my car for just a minute.  I imagine it now lives on the wall of someone's happy home, though in reality, it may have disintegrated in a ditch not far from my home. Sigh.
"Garlic and Oil" over the mantle
Do you have an organized,  efficient way to keep track of your work?  I'd be interested to know about it.
Thanks in advance for sharing.

Monday, December 01, 2014

"City Sidewalks" oil 8 x 6

The November challenge for Girls Just Wanna Paint is "magical".  I love this time of year, just walking through downtown streets puts a lift in my step as I pass the glowing, festive windows.  Interestingly for me, they never make me want to shop.  I'm just not a shopper, more of an all-year-collector which I then share.  I enjoy the warmth, the glow, the shine, the sparkle, and the desire to spend more time with friends locally and farther away.

See the rest of Girls ... entries here, and as always, thanks for looking. 

And, here's a link to City Sidewalks, Busy Sidewalks (Silver Bells) with Bob Hope, for your listening pleasure.