I've been busy, and as a result have been a very bad blogger.
|'Gulliver' - installation at SUNY New Paltz|
Below, a few views of SUNY New Paltz, my alma mater, 40 years after graduating
Above and below, views from the Tang Museum at Skidmore College. That's me above wearing stripes. The cups in the pool made awesome sounds as they bumped into each other. And the work below? Look at all those matches! Cool, or what?!?
Anyhooo - A couple of days ago I subbed in my former classroom. She warned me ahead of time that her schedule is so crazy that she was afraid that after I subbed once I would never return. And yes, the day was pretty zany, but I had a great time and will be happy to come back. My former students treat me like a celebrity when they see I'm in the room, even after 2 years. But when I came home, I felt half dead. My voice was shot, and so were my feet. Luckily, we had reservations at the local dinner-and-a-movie place, where we saw The Judge (excellent) and had a nice dinner while we watched, that I did not have to cook.
But about subbing - I'm prepping a workshop for the NAEA conference in New Orleans this spring, called Designing Your Program to Say Yes to the Mess (or something like that). My subbing day definitley helped remind me of certain points I will be sure to make.
- First is what I call 'curriculum choreography'. Sequence your day and year to make it easier for you to manage the materials of a multiple art classes/grade levels/projects. For example, while it may SEEM to make sense to have everyone painting on the same day (after all, the brushes and paints are already out), it's really a BAD idea. Your drying rack will be full with no place to put the wet work after a few classes. So mix up your day with some grade levels painting and others using dry media that don't require the drying space. Same thing goes for sculptural work. If everyone is building something 3-D at the same time, where will you put them? Mix it up!
- Second, remember that not everyone who paints needs to use a brush that needs to be washed. Paint with old sponge bits, Q-tips, cardboard scraps, cotton balls, and other things that can be tossed in the trash. Or, if everyone needs to use a brush, put just one color or color family on each table, with brushes that stay with them. Limit the color choices for the kids to use, or rotate them to different tables. Brush washing only has to be done when all classes using the paint are done. And then, make sure the kids wipe the excess paint off the brush and put them into a soaking bucket.
- Maintain a sense of humor. Spills happen. But, when the kindergarten students were using liquid watercolors to paint over their crayon pumpkin drawings, I should have thought to put the cups of paint into little trays (I like those little flat black dishes from TV dinners) on each table. Then, when the paint got knocked over, as it did on 3 tables out of 5, the paint would have gone into the tray, instead of all over the table, and none would have been wasted. Duh! I guess I was a little rusty and forgot to do this!
At the Spa State Park, Saratoga Springs NY
Wow. I'm tired out from reading what I've written, so I'll show you a few fall photos, and sign off. In a day or two, I'll be able to share two fun projects done by my DragonWing Art students! In the meantime, this is enough, I hope, to convince you I'm still blogging.
And a little 'wildlife' along the walkway...