Thursday, April 27, 2017

Olympics of the VIsual Arts 2017

 Every year since I've retired, I've helped judge a statewide creative competition called Olympics of the Visual Arts, or OVA, and I've blogged about it here.  This year's event took place a couple of weeks ago.  My time judging was a whirlwind and I didn't get to see as much of the work as in previous years, plus I was wrestling with a camera problem so my pics are not great, but still I thought I'd share a taste of the kids' works with you here.  I was a judge in the painting category, where the theme had to do with optical illusions.  The students have a lot of options for how to approach their creations.  The piece above is elementary level, and directly below is a high school piece. 

My personal favorite painted illusion is shown below.  The only thing "real" on the table is the pencil.  Seriously. This is a middle school piece!  Pretty impressive, no?

I thought the elementary piece pictured below was a lot of fun, with the infinite reflection beginning with the 3-D element.  This piece was huge. 

 Another awesome middle school level work of art, below.

 Honestly, I only got to breeze through the work in the sculpture, architecture, photography, and illustration categories.  And I didn't get to see the fashion creations at all, which was kind of disappointing, since they are always so amazingly incredible.  Anyhow, here's a few more pics of what I did get to see. 

I don't know what the challenge was, but the piece below seems to have an an Alice in Wonderland/underwater tea party sort of theme, I think?

I'll close with one more optical illusion piece with a 3-dimensional element, created by a team of high school students. 
 To see work from previous years, and read more information about this event, you can check out my prior posts at these links from 2016, 2015, 2014, and 2013

Saturday, April 22, 2017

It's easy being green!!

 My DragonWing Arts students  have had two weeks with no class, due to the school spring vacation timing.  But at least I can give you another sneak peek of what we were up to before vacation, in preparation for completing the gnome homes they have been making.  Here are my kooky kiddos, making "moss" to place on the ground around and under their gnome homes.
Everyone started with a protective glove and/or a plastic bag, to keep hands clean.  But within a couple of minutes almost everyone decided they should get at least one hand, and maybe two, covered with paint. 
Basically, we used polyester fiberfill and acrylic paint (various greens, and some brown and dark yellow) mushed together.  I've talked about making this stuff before, in this blog post here
As I said in that  prior post, it is NOT WOOL and this is NOT FELTING.  I am allergic to wool.  I swear, I get itchy just LOOKING at the pictures people post of their felted creations.  As a matter of fact, I'm about to make what will probably be a very controversial statement.  Please don't be too shocked!  Here it is:

I honestly don't know why so many people love felted stuff, creating it, or wearing it, or making little crafty creations out of it, even if they aren't allergic to the wool like I am!  It even LOOKS itchy!  And mostly it looks like mats of hairy dryer lint to me.  I just don't understand why you all seem to love this stuff.  Just an opinion, I know, but as for me, it's "no thank you" to felted stuff.   Don't hate me!! 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

A little Pop and Op mish-mash and a Sneak-Peek!

My DragonWing Arts students have work-in-progress on some really fun projects, but I want to get them done before I tell you too much!  So in the meantime, I realize that I've never shared some of this winter's work with you, when we our class was centered around a theme of Pop and Op art.  For one project, we looked at the work of Roy Lichtenstein, and I introduced a project I've done before, creating words based on his style.  Based on the examples I shared, I had expected the students to all select words like "WOW", "POW", ZOOM", "ZING" and so on.  But, because of the nature of this class (my private business, it is an after-school art enrichment program) I generally am very flexible with adapting to and allowing the choices of the students, since I do not have to worry about meeting certain standards or doing grading and so on.  As a result, a couple of students selected their pet's names, as in the two pics below.
 Or their own names.
 Or just something they really liked
 For the steps we used to complete this project, go to this blog post from 2012 where I completely detailed the process.  In the meantime, the materials were simple: tempera in red, yellow, blue and black, paintbrushes, pencil erasers for stampers, and cotton swabs. 

 For an Op art project, I introduced the kids to the work of Victor Vasarely and Bridget Riley.  I have a poster of a Vasarely painting that is a circular radial design, where it looks like concentric circles were cut in the design and each ring was shifted slightly, creating a sense of movement.  I experimented with finding ways to do this on cardboard or foam core, and the kids were psyched to try to create their own.  (My samples are pictured above.)  Again, of course, what they did was totally different from my samples, but I still think they are fun!  Here's some of their creations, below. 

And now for the promised sneak peek!  Our theme this spring is "the magical garden" and my seven students are making papier-mache garden gnomes, and gnome homes in tree stumps or mushrooms, made of cardboard and plaster bandage.  And then we have some adorable birds and bird houses, and hopefully we will find the time to make some flowers for our gardens!  Below, our garden gnomes before painting.
 And gnome homes in progress. 
 I wish I could show you more, but you'll just have to wait a couple of weeks!  Sorry!