Category Archives: Honors Art

Chill, Zen, Funk & Twang

I have had the honor & pleasure of curating a show on a web-based gallery called Curating Contemporary. I have 30 artists from the United States and Europe that were kind enough to participate. The web master, artist Brian Edmonds, told me on the “opening” day, within hours, the exhibit had well over 300 visitors from 30 some states and 20 countries. I was very surprised and pleased. I want to share this with students because you all now have WordPress sites with your work that can be viewed by people from all over the world. This provides an insightful perspective on the value of your efforts. Note: you might have to view this from outside school because, as with many sites I try to share with you, it could be blocked by the Barracuda filter.

Navigating the changes to WordPress

WordPress might appear different when you try to update your sites. I realize it can be frustrating and confusing. We want to continue using the Classic mode so I will tell you how to get to it. If you are new to the class you will need help with submitting your assignments.

Log In and select MY SITES (upper left corner). You should see WP Admin which should take you to the Classic view with the dashboard on the left. Go to PAGES & select ALL PAGES. Go to the page you need to work on and do your work.

For your Prompt question response you should select the Writing page (When you do your Community Connections you will select that page). You should select the prompt question from my site, paste it to your page, type the due date (2.6.15) and type your response. To make this a little easier I’ll paste the prompt question here for you also.

Prompt question: What toys were you attracted to as a child and why do you think they appealed to you? What was your favorite toy and why? How did you typically play with your toys? In what ways did playing with your toys impact your development as a person?

If you get lost and need to return to the classic dashboard you can go to MY SITES (upper left corner) – Switch Site – your site name – WP ADMIN and this should get you back to your dashboard.

If you have difficulty with these instruction please write the problem exactly as you encountered it and we will work it out.

Me and My Toys: Old School

I have long been fascinated by toys. I enjoy seeing kids make things up with random things such as playing with a stick as if it is a soldier or doll. When I was very young I thought toys were toys. As I aged I began to realize toys are frequently categorized in groups of age specific, gender specific, race specific, etc. When I became a parent I became sensitive to safety (I didn’t want my kids swallowing Legos…). I’m intrigued by DIY (do it yourself) and modified toys. When the movie Toy Story came out I watched it many times with my sons and we all thought Sid was scary even though his mutated toys were remarkable. Coincidentally in a recent episode of Portlandia, Shephard Fairey demonstrated a “radical juxtaposition” of doll parts while hawking “radical art supplies”.

Prompt question: What toys were you attracted to as a child and why do you think they appealed to you? What was your favorite toy and why? How did you typically play with your toys? In what ways did playing with your toys impact your development as a person? Response Due Friday, 2.6.15 on the Writing page of your WordPress sites.

Artifacts: Using two-dimensional supports and media of your choice you are to make two (2) pieces that pay tribute to at least two toys or comment on the interaction you had with them. Please note that this is intended to be a response to “old school” toys as opposed to digital games. By old school I mean toys you held in your hands and invented your own interaction with before you went digital. Perhaps they weren’t even store-bought. Note: each piece should be at least 18″ x 24″.

Composition/Design: Whatever you do, avoid getting an 18″ x 24″ piece of paper and “drawing” a toy in the middle of the page. DO NOT DO THIS PLEASE! Think of what would make your composition DYNAMIC. Looking down (bird’s eye view) or looking up (worm’s eye view) at your subject will automatically add interest for the viewer. Cropping and enlarging a detail will lend intrigue to your composition. It is not a bad thing when the viewer has to figure out what they are looking at. It beats seeing a piece and thinking, “Oh, another Barbie drawing”.

If you are using photo references from your phone or laptop you are to remember that it is a reference. Do not pull up an image and copy it. This is not an appropriation investigation. TAKE OWNERSHIP OF YOUR WORK.

Surface: Again, think of what would take your piece up a level and be dynamic. We built up textured paper to work on in the past and had good results. Students have worked on re-purposed items such as car hoods and posters. Students have worked on collaged textile pieces, instrument cases, clothing items, beach towels. cupboard doors, windows, game boards, etc. We have butcher paper, canvas and corrugated cardboard that can be used. I encourage you to go beyond the pedestrian.

Due Friday, 2.6.15 (or before): 8 1/2″ x 11″ working drawing (in sketch form) of your first piece.

Syllabi for Spring 2015 are posted

You can find the syllabi for Spring 2015 on this site now. Go to the COURSES tab at the top and drop down to the SYLLABI tab. You will find due dates for the remainder of the school year. Portfolio Art students will see all due dates. Honors Art students will see some (the rest will be posted to my calendar page as we progress).

Student WordPress sites

I’m very pleased with student success in completing your websites by the end of the semester. Most of you did a very good job. I am enjoying the opportunity to see your artwork, sketchbook work and writing in one place. Your accomplishments are many and its nice for others to be able to see them as well.

If you go to the MORE tap at the top of this site and scroll down to STUDENTS you will be able to see your classmates’ work. Now that you know how to archive and post your work you will be expected to maintain your sites throughout the next semester. New students will learn.