Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mural Chapter 13 - Barefoot Endings

  The Closers and me
There are people who like to paint barefoot, and others who like to paint wearing shoes. I'm a fairweather barefoot painter, generally preferring to feel the floor beneath me provided it's not too cold.  It's comfortable working thus, and it's somehow more friendly and informal. So despite the cozy carpet, this afternoon feels bittersweet. I'll miss the camaraderie of working easily side by side sharing a common purpose. We've worked in everything from companionable silence to fits of giggles.  We've shared stories, jokes and dreams.   We've worked through artistic issues, deciphering Auguste Macke's loose brushwork and interpreting color passages to the best of our abilities.  With no apologies to Mr. Macke, we've worked to interpret the spirit of the painting rather than create a Xerox copy.   So even when it's too cold to work barefooted, I'll miss the kind of teaching that invites one to kick off one's shoes and smell the roses; or paint the vegetables in our case.

You're invited to attend our unveiling on Tuesday, May 10 at 3:00 pm in the central office hallway. After our ribbon cutting ceremony, we'll celebrate in the art room with punch and cake.  I'll wear my party shoes for the occasion.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Mural Chapter 12 - The End is in Sight

Mural Chapter 12: So close!

Auction obstacle course helped warm us up for painting session
Our progress was slightly hampered last week as only half my students remembered to stay and paint after school.   With one more scheduled mural session, the list of what needs to happen looms rather large on the agenda.  A full court press to completely resolve several bare patches of gessoed wall rests in the hands of the last group of assigned students, my closers.  Comprised mostly of the older kids, I’m banking on their abilities to thoughtfully interpret Macke’s loose brushstrokes into color shapes.  I think we can do it, and I’m praying that we will finish strong and on time.     

Friday, April 8, 2011

Mural Chapter Eleven and the Last Tube of Paint

Painting Edges
Undaunted by the lack of Pthalo Blue, student works on blue passages

Student displays a very well-loved pie tin of paint

Mural Chapter Eleven
Note to self - check at the end of every session to be sure you have enough  paint.  If you're foolhardy enough to ignore this tenet, palette gymnastics become necessary to move forward.  Today I'm a  sadder but wiser art teacher who plans on making one last shopping trip to pick up some more Pthalo Blue. In the meantime, thanks to the perserverence of one of my students, we made due today by adjusting Ultramarine Blue.   

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Mural - Chapter Ten

Brush Curlers help reclaim crisp edges

Mural Chapter 10

After two long weeks of not looking at the mural, we paint twice this week.  Wednesday, Chapter 10 involved fine-tuning the lower left and right of the painting.  Tomorrow, we tackle those pesky white spots showing through the cinder block and deal more significantly with the cabbage patch on the lower left.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Miniterm 2011: Chihuly & The Case of the Clueless Art Teacher

Our Group with The Chihuly
 It took only 35 minutes of viewing a film featuring the inimitable glass artist, Dale Chihuly, to make a lasting impression on my students.  At the film's conclusion, I challenged my students to see if they could spot a Chihuly at the Corning Glass Museum on our visit the next day.

Fast forward through a comfy charter bus trip to Corning, and a blessedly uneventful night's sojourn at the Holiday Inn Express.  Now, picture my supposedly well-rested group sailing through the front door of The Corning Glass Museum.  I quickly spot the official looking lady behind the ticket desk and forge a path through the meager crowd to dispense with our registration.  With a sense of gratification, I hear the steady hum of excited student voices behind me anticipating their adventure of workshops and tour.  Then I hear one voice above the others emphatically repeating my name: "Mrs. Brott, Mrs. Brott," she exclaims, "did you see the Chihuly?"  Turning around to find the source, I'm thinking that these kids are really on their toes.  "Where is it?" I add, looking right and left trying to locate the corner out of which they had discovered the prize find of the trip.  "Right there," she points with a wide smile.  And there it was, as big as the Christmas tree in Whoville - smack in the middle of the lobby, neon green and soaring at least 14 feet into the air.

Talk about an epic fail for the law of glass, "Be aware of everything around you."  So, while I started off seeing the forest, my kids at least had the presence of mind to see the trees.  It's either that, or they all operate better on less sleep than I.

Some of my girls designing their  fused pieces

My student preparing glass for sandblasting

One of my students blowing glass