Sunday, November 15, 2015

Painting with Tape - Jumping Math Man

Our wonderful high school art teacher, Marianne Buckley-Curran, had a terrific idea for her art workshop.  She wanted to decorate our K-12 school with silhouettes having to do with school life.  The project would be unveiled at the school open house.  She taught her students the proportions of the human figure, how to draw from their photo reference, and how to scale up when their instincts let them know something was off with the proportions.  So that the images didn't involve repainting any areas of the school, Marianne bought painters tape in inch and 4-inch widths, in blue and green.  I was happy to be asked to created one of the designs.  I wanted to show a student leaping, and as a math teacher, decided to come up with "Jumping Math Man".  I found a reference photo, and decided to paint with the tape on the column, adding a joyful splash of math symbols.  

reference photo
See images of "Jumping Math Man" in process below.  I'll take the panorama again, it came out a little mushed together.  Bottom line, this was a blast!  The students transformed the school Friday afternoon after everyone left so it was a complete surprise on Saturday when we greeted the public for our open house.  And, I loved painting with the tape, thinking about angles and proportions and the graphic possibilities with two colors. I tried to concentrate on the textures in his clothing, indicating where his pants ended and socks began. 
Initial Mapping
I added a little contrast to the bottoms of his shoes and added shadows on ground below him.  Then I used the green to convert him from "Jumping Man" to Jumping Math Man".  My classroom is just down the hall, so when the school had cleared out, I blasted my Pandora with some Motown, then Les Miserables.  We had such a good time, painting with tape.  I came home exhausted  but with that happy glow that intense creative thinking imparts. 

Getting a little round in the middle



Sunday, November 01, 2015

"Forever Changed" oil 14 x 14

  The Girls Just Wanna Paint challenge for October was the theme "gun".  Sigh.  As a teacher, I must practice lock down drills with my students so they know where to sit, how to be quiet, how to stay calm when I lock the door, drop the blinds and douse the lights.  It is very stressful for us and especially for them.  It is so stressful to discuss the procedure with my administration, when they have to say things like, "If a student knocks on your door to come in, use your own discretion as to whether or not they are the perpetrator."  Sigh.  Each and every teacher wonders if they could do the right thing in the face of potential carnage.  Carnage.  That is what is happening.  My job is to teach math.  More importantly, my job is to create a safe place for my students, and to protect them, which I will do.  I know I will do the right thing.
When I thought about the theme of gun, I thought of my students sitting on the floor, sometimes giggling nervously as we practice the drill. I thought of the fear they are either articulating or suppressing.  I thought of the teachers and children who have been killed in the school shootings.  I pray for the comfort of the survivors whose lives have been forever changed.  I pray for connection in our world so that less young men will feel so isolated and angry that they turn guns on others.  What can we do?  For starters we can reach out and connect.  Make eye contact, make connection, break the isolation.  Just a start.