Friday, April 29, 2011

Photo Collage Friday. {Number Two}

This week....we haven't been allowed to use the internet in the mornings....and I am busy getting my computer cleaned off in preparation for a new one in the next few weeks. So much to do! Well things are getting rather wild and crazy at school, as they always do this time of the year. I try to stop and photograph beautiful things when I spot are a few of my favorite 'art room photos. Enjoy this collage!!

p.s. I am thinking about having some of these photos blown up into 20X30 posters for my art room...wouldn't that be awesome!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Slowly, I am trying to resurrect all of my old entries from my MySpace blog. I do not use MySpace anymore, but when I did use it, I wrote a lot of funny school stories down and I don't want them to be forgotten. I just re-read some things that I had completely forgotten stories! 

I also wrote some personal stories. In honor of Easter, I thought it would be fun to share the following post from March 22nd, 2008.

Recently, my brother and I reminisced about Easters from the past. Two stick out in my mind.

The first entertaining memory was the year I turned 7, Easter Sunday was my birthday. 

A very exciting thing for a 7 year old because not only do you get to wake up to a giant, glorious basket filled with goodies at the foot of your bed, but IT IS YOUR BIRTHDAY, the most exciting day of the year.... with all the presents and cake and party. 

My grandparents were coming over and I got to wear those white sponge rollers in my hair the night before to make my hair curly and beautiful and prettiest princess Easter dress. My cousins would be there, and my brother, and we would have a fun egg hunt, galloping around the yard with a pink basket full of treasures, searching through the yellow daffodil patches for bright, shiny eggs that we had colored the night before...(and maybe a few plastic ones from grandma and grandpa filled with candy or even money) YAY! The greatest day ever!

HAH! Greatest rip off ever.

Someone in my family had the brilliant idea that the LITTLE kids (my cousins and brother) should go first to get a head start on the egg hunt. 

And, me, being the oldest kid in the group should WAIT in the house for a few minutes while the others had time to look so as not to rush around and get all the good eggs first....

As I was standing in the doorway, waiting impatiently for my turn to be released into the clover-covered yard, trying not to spot all the plain-sighted eggs and be accused of cheating....I see my if in slow motion...head down the hill...he makes a beeline for the gray, metal water meter in the yard.....

Then, I hear his bratty little voice...."I GOT THE PRIZE EGG" "I GOT IT" "KEE KEE KEE"....that annoying little laugh echoed in my ears as I dashed off to my room and flung myself on my bed. 

Nearing tears, I hear my mother and grandmother calling for me to join the hunt. "What is the point now?" "Jeremy already got the prize egg".....Prize egg??? Yeah. the most beautifully wrapped, sugar icing, cake-filled egg that you have ever seen......And it was all for him....There was also a second, smaller ’prize’ egg that was snatched up by my younger cousin before I could even get outside.... 

RIP OFF Easter birthday....

This whole thing is on video and it is the funniest thing ever to watch now.....

The second funniest Easter memory that I have is from a year or two later. 

We went to my grandparents house for easter and my grandma had given everyone a peanut butter filled chocolate egg. It was almost too pretty to eat.

At some point during the day, I realized that my egg was missing....hmmmm....

It had been sitting on the floor beside the couch....As I hunted for my lost egg, I spotted the wrapper....ripped, torn and annihilated with tiny dog teeth marks....

Tippy, a scraggly little mutt who could dance around in a circle if you waved a treat above her head....had apparently smelled the yummy peanut butter and decided to have her own little fantastic Easter feast. 

She had eaten half of MY egg.... Another ’prize’ egg runied....the funniest part...Dogs aren’t really supposed to have chocolate and peanut butter....

Tippy had a little hiding of her own to do later when she left the giant egg behind, she hid it right at the bottom of the stairs. When my grandpa came downstairs, he found Tippy’s surprise with his bare feet...he stepped right into the warm pile of dog puke....

It made him SO mad...I don’t know who mas more angry...Tippy, Me or my Grandpa... 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Photo Collage Friday. {Number One}

Happy Friday everyone!
I would like to start a little tradition here on the blog: PHOTO COLLAGE FRIDAY!
I will pick out a series of photos on my computer (or from flickr) and post a little collage each week.

For today's collage, I really wanted to share photos from a recent 1st birthday party....SO CUTE! The baby dove right into that cake, I've never seen a 1-year-old do that before!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Eureka 2!

Earlier this week, I posted pictures from my Eureka Springs birthday trip. I took some Holga images, so I hope to post those soon. For now, I have a few more Instax Wide pictures. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

DoubleParlour Interview and Self Portrait Inspriation

Recently, I mentioned that I am teaching a class at a local art center. The class is called Art Lounge and it is geared towards high school students. 

One requirement of the class is to create art using a variety of traditional goal is to keep things as current as possible. 

The next nine weeks is devoted to creating self-portraits. I directed students to look at a Missouri art teacher who is on a quest to create 365 self-portraits...or a self-portrait-a-day. Wow! What a task! You can follow him here. The fact that he has the stamina to create such varied and interesting self-portraits every day, AND write a blog post about each one is so impressive!

I had my students look at Jim's artwork and then create a drawn portrait. (I will share their images later)

As I continued to research artists creating interesting, modern and wonderful self-portraits, I found  DoubleParlour on Etsy and I was immediately intrigued. 

Their artwork reminded me of a couple of books in our school library.

I decided it would be necessary for my students to see the images in the books...and images by the artists in order to design a clay self-portrait. I encouraged them to plan their portrait to be about 12" tall, similar to an action figure. You can see more of DoubleParlour's artwork on Flickr.
Here are a few of my favorites: 

1. Amia, 2. maiya, 3. leona, 4. group, 5. lydie no.1, 6. birthday ghost no.2, 7. Carrieanne, 8. Sabelle, 9. Fletcher #1

In order to get a bit of insight into their creative process, I sent the artists a little list of questions and they were happy to oblige! Thank goodness for sweet internet artists!

Doubleparlour Cassandra and Ernie Velasco San Francisco, CA

1. Where do you find inspiration for your sculptures? Are they based on real people, self portraits or aspects of your personality? Do you take commissions?

We find inspiration for our sculptures from all sort of places....including natural science, architecture, music, decay, humor, social norms and deviance. Some of our characters are based on aspects of real people from photos in news clippings, movies, acquaintances, and strangers. There is always something unique about every person, even if that person appears to be dull, normal, or blends in with the crowd. However, more often then not, our characters come directly from our imaginations...probably a kaleidoscope of images and thoughts we have throughout the day.

We sell our artwork online, in galleries and at local craft fairs. We do commissioned work, primarily requests from on-line collectors. Some commissions are requests to make a sculpture similar to a piece that has sold. Once in a while we receive requests to create a sculpture of a loved one based on photos with particular elements such a favorite animal or dress. Those pieces are difficult as it is hard to know what the requester has pictured as the final outcome.

2. Tell us a little bit about your process, do you draw the characters before you make them? Do all of the drawings become sculptures or paintings?

Although we collaborate on a few of our sculptures, generally we work separately, creating most of our pieces individually from start to finish. I would say each sculpture starts with an idea and sometimes a quick sketch. We prefer to do little planning and to let each piece evolve. We do more detailed drawings for paintings or illustrations...some of which become prints. A sculpture begins with an armature of aluminum foil and wire. The armature is then skinned with polymer clay for small parts with delicate details (i.e. faces), baked, and then skinned with an air dry two-part resin. The majority of the sculpture is usually formed with resin, as it is less fragile.

3. It is awesome that you collaborate on some of the characters. Most of them appear to be ambivalent, sad or they have forced smiles. Is that some thing you do intentionally or do they take on a life of their own? What do you want your audience to feel when they look at one of your sculptures?

Our characters generally have a contemplative look, like they are lost in thought or hiding something. I suppose we want our audience to feel curious or sympathetic to the character's personality or perceived emotional state.

4. My favorite sculpture is Doreeh.

What is your favorite?

Cassandra's favorite piece is "Can't see the forest for the trees" was one of my most difficult pieces to make, I love it! 

 Ernie's favorite is Bezz and Dezz.

5. Where do you live? Do you have another job or do you get to make art full time?

We live in San Francisco, we have live here for about 16 years now in the BEST neighborhood...Lower Haight. Cassandra works full-time at a hospital and creates art part-time. Ernie quit his job as a pastry chef about 2 years ago to do art full-time.

I am so grateful to Ernie and Cassandra, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions!! Watch for an updated post soon, with student work!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


For my birthday, I went on a photo adventure with my Instax Wide around Eureka Springs, Arkansas. It was a lot of fun!
 Here are a few of my favorite images of the trip:

The Cresent Hotel. Lots of history there. It may or may not be haunted...

This is one of my favorite pictures of the entire weekend. This is on the porch at the Cresent, probably left behind by an evening party guest at the hotel...but I like to think an art loving-drunk ghost floated away, forgetting his two olives. (An ode to Ed Ruscha)

This might seriously be the MOST beautiful time of year to visit--all the dogwood trees are in bloom.

Yes, room for one please. Sometimes I need a vacation here.

Check back later this week for a few more Instax images!

Monday, April 18, 2011

So inspired by Art Lounge

I haven't even had time to share the new class I am teaching at the local art center.

Art Lounge, a hip safe place for students to explore the visual arts.

Each week a group of 14-18 year-old students meet at the art center for art making and dinner. It is super fun to work with the older students, I really love it!

One aspect of the class is creating a group artists blog.
The students designed and named the blog: Art Juggler. 
Check it out and be come a  follower here!

One of my goals for the class is to share with them living, breathing artists so they can get a feel for what it is like to be a real artist in this world, and they can learn how to use technology to share their work with an audience.

Here are a few recent projects:

Polaroid Self-Portraits 
Inspired by Danny Brito's Polaroid Project
I shared this interview with my students. 

Shadow Street Art
Inspired by Color Me Katie 
See more of her street art here.
Read about our adventures here and here.

Paint-By-Number Style Acrylic Canvas Paintings 
Inspired by the Birds of a Feather blog

This week, we are working on 'Action Figure Self-Portraits'. I will share the details soon! Be sure to check out the Share the link with anyone you think might be interested! Thanks for reading!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

And now back to your regularly scheduled blog posts.....

Happy Sunday!!
I've just returned from an amazing weekend in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. I went on a photography adventure with my Instax Wide.

The weather today has been lovely. If you've been following my blog for a while, I apologize for the absence. I have many posts scheduled for the week, thanks for your support and readership!

Don't you just love the bottom of this dress?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Happy Birthday Post!

A friend sent me an awesome link to some really creative and fun art birthday party decorations. I especially love the colorful cake balls displayed in the paint palette. Check out Inspired Birthday Party Themes for more ideas and more photos!

This would be such a fun birthday party--the invitations would be so cute and so fun to make!

Today is my birthday, I am 28!! Inching my way towards 30,  it will be here before I know it. Read about some of my other birthday adventures here, I haven't always had the best luck on my birthday. (Let's hope I don't get a ticket for 'body parts outside the vehicle' again!)

This day has started out beautifully. My entire school sang happy birthday to me in the bus room. Each class of the day has showered me with birthday notes and paintings.

My student teacher made me a super cute owl apron and an entire bouquet of owl pops! So cute!! This is my first owl apron-- I own tons of aprons but none have owls!
 Cutest thing ever! I am in LOVE!

 Totally cute and creative. I need this book now! I think I may have a new obsession!

Watch for a post on Monday entitled 'My Birthday in Food' looks like I will be spending a lot of time eating this weekend--and I am excited about that!

Thanks for reading! I am excited to get back to blogging soon. I have lots of great ideas for posts, just need to find time to get them written. I am hoping to have a bit more time in the coming weeks.

Is there any thing you want me to write about? Art teacher stuff? Lesson plans? Funny stories? Crafting projects? Leave me some requests in the comments!