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Divine I Am Existence Most Popular Spirituality

Diving Deep – Into the Unknown

Diving deep into my shadows, I’ve found a level of insecurity in presenting myself in this new realm of reality.

I am used to engaging and interacting with people of all ages and all backgrounds, in real life. Being in a room of 30 middle school students working on their art produces an energy like no other.  Interacting with people one on one while I share the gift of henna produces an energy that I have only found through that interaction.

The giving and receiving. I receive from each person and each student, just as I am giving to them. There is nothing like giving gratitude to each person for sharing their time and energy with me. I would always say, I couldn’t do this without you.

But now I am forced to continue on my path without the real life interaction from other people. So I dive deep… to find ways I can be me, and do what I do without other people around. How do I give my gifts without that energy of the room of students, or the one on one contact with another person?

This is proving to be more difficult for me than I would’ve imagined. I am coming upon so many blocks in my mindset. Now I realize, a deeper shadow I am facing… Insecurities, unworthiness, and self doubt when it comes to presenting myself when there is no one around to reflect back to me.  Each person is like a mirror, and I judged how good I was based off of how good everyone else felt. Like their happiness and pleasure in creating was a direct reflection of who I am.

Without those people around… I am here feeling a bit empty.  Doing instructional videos online won’t be the same as instructing people in person. This new venture brings up fears surround my ability to share who I am with others and how others will receive what I am giving when not being in the same physical space. I guess it’s just the energy of the week, with the Scorpio full moon, and the adjustment to this new norm in our society at the moment. The only way I will find out is if I keep moving forward and try something new.

I wonder if there are others out there feeling the same way… feeling a sense of loss from the energy of the classroom, or a sense of insecurity in switching our presentations over to a digital platform. I am sure there must be others feeling like I am.

The Frozen movies come to mind… just let it go and head into the unknown.

The big karmic lesson is to learn to let go of the past and more forward into the new paradigm.  Let go of the fear, and keep moving forward one step at a time.  Remember to have compassion for and be gentle with yourself. The one thing that matters in the end, is simply being your own best friend. You are doing amazing things in this new world. Thank you for sharing what you know, and who you are, with the world. <3

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Art Class Education Most Popular

E(mergency)-Learning

We are in week 4 of online e-learning through Schoology, using Google Meets for virtual meetings.

First I have to say how grateful I am to work for Baltimore County, and to work with such amazing educators. The BCPS visual arts office enlisted the help of my department chair and other art educators to create amazing lessons for our students. We are so fortunate.

The past 4 weeks have been a roller coaster.

As a teacher I have to keep up with my 300 students, who post 3 times a week, grading and giving feedback. It is a lot of desk work, a lot of time spent at the computer.

IMG_20190823_163938_425.jpgI miss being in my classroom.  I miss interacting with my students face to face. I miss the conversations we have, and seeing them light up when they come up with an idea for their project, or when they figure out something and are proud of themselves!

Art is such a hands on interactive activity! I am learning to navigate the balance between the digital and the material experiences. But let me just say again, I really miss my students.

I get to do virtual meetings with them once a week, every other week for 30 mins. It is  challenging to build relationships with 20+ students via a Google Meet in a half an hour. So far I have met with my A day kids twice, and my B day kids once. During our meetings, we have shared something interesting about what we’ve done since we’ve been quarantined, which took all 30 mins!

When my students tell me what they’ve been doing with their time, the majority of them say they are spending A LOT of time doing homework. They have expressed a huge amount of stress from the amount of focus it takes for them to get all of their school work done. Aside from the workload, students have also mentioned they are doing a lot more physical activity then before the quarantine! So that’s a positive!!

Teachers are not to use the meeting time to do new learning or direct instruction. We are to be building relationships and allowing time for students to check in. Part of me wishes I had more time with them so we could do a fun art project! There are a lot of layers to this though…not all kids are in the meetings, not all kids have materials to create an art project with and we have a limited about of time.

Also most of my students do not want to turn their cameras on!! I love seeing my students, so I ask them to please turn their cameras on so I can see them! It’s not the same teaching to a bunch of uppercase letters in colored circles!

I have also been leading google meets for my green club kids!! We have been learning about different edible plants and watching the fruit trees grow!

Aside from teaching my students, I am also assisting my own children in their school work. Doing both is challenging, but we are making it work!

Luckily my kids school has streamlined things on google classroom and my children are starting to really get the hang of everything! We have meltdowns every now and then… but it’s a lot more manageable then the first week!

Overall… we are doing it. We are handling it, we are learning and growing.

Just a reminder that is not simply electronic learning, this is emergency learning.

Be kind, be compassionate, be easy on one another…

Be well.

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Art Art Class Education Existence Most Popular

4 more weeks

Wow so much has happened in a week….yet so little at the same time!

This time last week I was writing about how it felt after 3 days of being off of work.

I feel different than I did last week, that’s for sure. Still a little uneasy, however I feel like this has strengthened my center so I might be more balanced in all things.

So we found out on Wednesday that all Maryland schools will be closed until April 24th. We will find out more about how we are going to implement online learning, sometime next week. I am excited about this new adventure and the opportunity to flip my classroom and lead the way into this digital age! I’ve messaged my students to ask them what type of things they would like to learn about so I can start making some videos. Friday we had our first Zoom faculty meet up! It was nice seeing everyone’s faces!

It’s almost time to get out of my comfy clothes!

Tomorrow starts a week of online professional development about how e-learning will go with my students. Anxious to find out what I am going to have to do so I can start preparing!

I have been messaging my students on Schoology for the past two weeks. A few students have emailed me and sent pictures of their artwork! Check some out below:

<3 Be well

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Art Art Class Divine I Am Earth Education Existence Most Popular Spirituality

Spirituality in Art Education

What does spirituality mean?

It is the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.

Every human possess a certain spirituality in some manner. For all of time, humans have searched for a power grater than themselves. We all have questioned and formulated a belief we had or still have in the soul. Whether is through religion or some sort of life altering experience.

So, as an art educator I naturally ask the question…how do we define spirituality in the context of art education?

Or better yet…how do I explain that the two are intertwined?

We process all of life’s experiences through the mental/spiritual and material/physical. These are the yin and yang that make up existence.

When we are concerned with our soul we go on vision quests, we seek through meditation and prayer, we call to a force outside of our material world, and deep within ourselves. We have always seeked to connect to source, creator, or our definition if God.

Art is, too, this way… deep within us. Since the beginning of time we have used art to record and to express our inner thoughts and visions.

When we are concerned with our soul, a beautiful things happens… alignment. We begin to create beautiful things without a second thought. We begin to find our authentic voice, which allows us to best communicate our truth to the world.

This alignment allows for a redefining of the word art… as an expression of ones inner self, rather than only the ability to perform a skill to create something new, such as observational drawing in order to make something look realistic. *Dive deep into the meaning of words.* When we leave words at their base definitions, we lose a whole world of possibilities. When we dive deeper into what a word means to us, and pay more attention to the intentions behind our words…we begin to find synergy.

So there it is… Art and spirituality are one in the same.

As educators we strive to assist our students in knowing themselves better, and teach them how to be creative, curious, and caring citizens. Art and Spirituality are vital parts to the human experience and should be celebrated, explored, and discovered through expressing and creating.

I would love to collaborate with you in expressing and creating a dialogue on the importance of spirituality in art education.

So, how we can assist learners of all ages to tap into their inner self to create and express themselves in whatever life experiences they have. This is the C.E.E.Q.E.R. model.

Please leave your questions, comments, or ideas….lets start a conversation!

The best way to find answers is through dialogue, with others or with self.

❤🙏

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Art Art Class Earth Education Existence Most Popular

NAEA 2019 Boston

National Art Education Association held this years convention in Boston. A place I had not yet visited as an adult, but was excited to have the opportunity to experience.

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I arrived at the BWI airport at 5am on Wednesday, and was in Boston by 8am. When I arrived it was a little chilly, but it felt like Maryland weather. I caught the Logan Express  to the Sheraton hotel in Back Bay.  After checking in I decided to take a walk to the Isabella Gardner Museum.

This museum quickly became one of my most favorite. The detail that went into the collection and the curation of the art, was in itself an art.

After the Gardner Museum, I went to the Museum of Fine Arts which was open until 10pm on Wednesdays!  The museum was just the right size… with art from many different cultures, and a Frida Kahlo exhibit. I enjoyed myself so much I walked about 10 miles that day!

The convention was fantastic, so many great presentations. I went to one about the role of Art Educators of students with Trauma. The women who were presenting wrote a book called Art for Children Experiencing Psychological Trauma. I am reading it and so far it is fantastic! So informational about the different types and effects of trauma. This is so relevant for the generations of today, who have experienced many school related as well as home related traumas.  I know art is life, so it must assist in releasing traumas and helping people move forward to create a life they wish.

Another great session  I went to was Soul Collage. This was a wonderful workshop to create cards that represent certain emotions you want to portray.  This cards can later be used to pull from as inspiration.

The exhibit hall was wonderful as always! Many make and take art stations as well as wonderful posters and opportunities to get students involved in different types of art. I also received a load of new art materials to experiment with!

I saw a session by … which was about turning science into art through basket weaving and music compositions! The correlation between data and art is so intriguing.

I also got to see Howard Gardner and Amy Sherald! Both were fantastic speakers and so inspirational!

Howard Gardner discussed the Studio Habits of Mind, along with Grit Vs. Wit and how important it was to know thyself, engage and care for others, and be aligned with your ethical compass.

While Amy Sherald talked about her inspiration for painting, and how her life has influenced her work. She speaks of photography as “Artistic DNA.”  My favorite quote from her was that portraits were more important in shaping our future than law making. This made so much sense to me and should really connect with these times.

This years convention was so fulfilling and definitely one of my top 5! I met a lot of new people and got to see some old friends!

This was a convention to remember, so many experiences and so much love. Thanks for another great year NAEA! See you next year in Minneapolis!

<3

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Art Art Class Divine I Am Education Existence Most Popular

We Are a Part of Something Greater

What better way to collaborate then with an art project, so we started the school year off with a class mural.

I had each class vote on an image that would represent their class, and then I created that image using masking tape over a square board. Students then chose a color to represent themselves and stamped their hands over the board.

When the paint dried, I peeled it away to reveal a white outline of the image they chose. Students then signed their names within the white lines.  This represents our classes choice to work together as a team, and remember we are apart of something greater.

This reminder is not only for the art room, but for life. When we remember our perspectives are only one of many, we can work together towards a greater goal.

<3 Migwetch and Gii’zaagi’in

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Schools out in 20 days!

I can hardly believe that this school year will be over in 20 days!
This year has been full of adventure for me and my students.

I realize looking back, that there was a lot that I have not written about!
Here’s a little update on all the amazing work my students have been doing!

Two of my students won prizes in the Anti-Drug Poster Contest held by the Baltimore County States Attorney’s Office.  Sophia won First place in the middle school division and is featured in the 2017-2018 Anti-Drug poster calendar, and Kathy won recognition and is featured on a poster made up of honorable mention art posters.

Two of my students won prizes in the 5th Annual Hampton Mansion Student/Teacher Art Exhibit hosted by the Historic Hampton Inc.! We have the pleasure of being the namesake middle school of the Hampton National Historic Site, as the Ridgely Family owned most of the land surrounding our area. Our mascot is the stag because the family’s crest from England had a stag in it.

My 8th grade gifted and talented art students were asked to paint our school’s steel drums to make them more aesthetically pleasing! They did an awesome job!

We had a great Arts in Action night this year!! There were lots of changes to how we used to do things, but it turned out fantastic! We had a juried art exhibit in the art hallway, a community Flower of Life mural, paper weaving positive intentions, and decorative tile making.

So many amazing things happen here in our ART world!!

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Art Class Most Popular Wine and Painting Party

Facilitating Creativity

A lot has happened in the past month, so much I haven’t had time to keep up with writing about it all!

I taught two faculty paint nights as team building workshops! Both went extremely well and everyone left feeling like an artist! First we painted a lighthouse, because Ridgely is a Baltimore County Lighthouse School, we each hung our paintings up in our classrooms. The second party we painted cherry blossom trees, which were more for our houses.

 

I also taught a dream catcher workshop at my friends yoga studio Life in Balance. There were 12 people in attendance and each created their own unique dream catcher!

 

There was also a birthday painting party! Lots of middle school girls painting circle designs, or any designs they desired! Each piece turned out awesome, and the girls had a blast!

 

There has been lots of painting going on!

<3

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Art Class Most Popular

7 Deadly Sins: Mixed Media

Michael Bell and David Modler presented a hands on workshop at the NAEA convention in Chicago that was the highlight of my convention experience.

The workshop began with each participant in a group of 4, there were 7 groups…this would work perfectly for any classroom.  Each group received a laminated card with one of the seven deadly sins. We were asked to keep the word a secret from the other groups, as we would be guessing at the end who had which word.

To begin we were asked to brainstorm anything that came to mind when we thought of this word…this would help us start to feel the word which made it easier to visually represent the word. The group I was in had the word Greed.

Once we had finished brainstorming, each of the group members took turns making marks while being blindfolded for 3 minutes. The first two people used vine charcoal and only made geometric shapes, while the third person was able to choose any material they wanted while making lines, and the fourth person created texture with any material of their choice.

After we each blindly made marks to express our word, we discussed what we wanted to do with what we had to make it feel and look more like greed. We started brainstorming the symbolism of our lines shapes and colors, and began adding more definition to our design. Each group member had a minute without being blindfolded to add to the work what they felt showed our word. We then began to work together to finalize our piece…

The results of each group were truly unique and individual but each group really captured the energy of their word. I knew quickly this was something I had to try with my students!

When I returned to school on Monday, I had revised the activity to be age appropriate for middle school students and instead of using the 7 deadly sins, we represented the emotions Love, Happiness, Peace, Excitement, Anger, Hate, and Loneliness.

My students did an AMAZING job visually representing each word, and they all enjoyed themselves. A few students in each class asked if we could do it again! Not only were they able to show each emotion using only colors, lines and shapes…they were also able to talk about how it represented their word!

This would be a fun activity to do with teachers as well, perhaps for a professional development activity. Teachers could use the 21st century learning skills as their prompt.

Collaborating to create one piece of art could sometimes be seen as a challenge, one person might have a hard time letting go of their concepts and ideas. Blindfolding each group member worked to help everyone let go of their expectations and to be in the moment, while taking turns created a space for change. Spontaneity helps a person to let go and be present in the now.   This was a perfect example of a theme directed intuitive art making process.

<3 Thank you Michael and David!

 

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Art Class Existence Most Popular Revealing Treasures in your Own Backyard

Painting with Paul session 1

A few teachers attended the first ever teacher workshop at Hampton National Historic Site. At this workshop, teachers were given a tour of the mansion and grounds, an adaptable lesson plan, as well as a presentation from our first ever artist in residence, Paul Moscatt. After the workshop we decided as an extra bonus, teachers would have two sessions with our artist in residence, to learn some techniques as artists which we can inturn share with our students.

The first painting day with Paul was on January 31st, 2016. Three of the teachers were in attendance, and created three beautiful paintings of a costume model in order to help us with our narrative ideas for our Hampton inspired paintings. These paintings will be submitted into the HHI juried student/teacher art exhibit in April!

When we first arrived at Paul’s studio it was like I was in a movie. The elevator in this older warehouse transformed into an amazing LLC. Cork Building that artists of multiple styles call home.

Paul is gracious host, providing us with coffee and coconut chocolate bars in the morning when we arrived.  We talked for a little while about his studio space, and his ambitious and artistic daughter. He even had prosciutto ham bread with olives for lunch!

Painting model Deviana was such a pleasure. The atmosphere of the studio, along with Paul’s ability to teach new techniques in a manner that gets an artist excited about painting. He has a genuine enthusiasm for the act of painting that is contagious.

Thank you, Paul, for a wonderful day of learning and painting! Looking forward to our next paint session on February 28th, 2016.