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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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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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LEAD! #NAEA16

The National Art Education Association held its annual art convention in Chicago this year! A big change from last year’s convention in New Orleans.

The convention asked us to Lead, and Share our vision for Art Education. This was a powerful convention, full of STEAM, Arts Integration and Holistic learning. We proclaimed our importance as Art Educators to the universe with Jean Houston. She was truly the most inspirational speaker I’ve had the honor of hearing. I see her vision clearly, and she is a wonderful model for creating a shift in our world.

Each session I attended was jam packed! It was great having the NAEA app to keep my schedule organized and to see resources the presenters shared.  Such a 21st century way of communicating and sharing.

At the artisan gallery I sold my dreamcatchers and some quote paintings. It was a wonderful evening meeting art educators from around the world! One of my dream catchers is living in Panama now!

Laura and Matt Grundler at #K12ArtChat and Susan Reily, who is a HUGE arts integration advocate,at EdCloset hosted a wonderful twitter meetup! It was wonderful seeing and meeting everyone I twitter chat with in real life:

Nic Hahn … the energy behind MiniMatisse
Tim Needles…Vine and Art Educator guru
Chris Sweeney… master of the MakeyMakey
Joy Shultz… an amazing teaching artist who uses choice based learning
Cassie Stephens… Art educator fashionista blogger

On Saturday I attended a hands on art workshop presented by Michael Bell and David Modler, of the Journal Junkies, The 7 Deadly Sins: Mixed Media Collaboration. All I can say is, amazing. It was by far the best workshop I’ve ever attended at a convention. I really enjoyed how Michael and David’s energy flowed and interacted with the participants! It was interactive and engaging… If you ever get the chance to attend a workshop or session by either of these teaching artists, I would definitely recommend attending.

I have been honored to represent our school at the National Art Education Association Convention for 3 years now, and every year it is an amazing learning and networking experience.

 

<3 Thank you everyone for such great resources, ideas, memories and friendship!

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Expo Experts!

Mantle of the Expert:

Artist can research art supplies, and create sales characters and displays.

Artist will present found information, along with an activity during a class expo.

character application

Art Expo Material Notes

We spent about one whole week researching and preparing our displays and characters. The expo was held on American Education Week. Students and materials were divided between 2 days to present. When students weren’t presenting, they were attending the expo as guest artists looking for a new art material. Students used Ridgely bucks to purchase some materials from the vendors, and at the end the vendor with the most bucks one a gift card to Michaels.

After the expo we had to go over each board and activity again making sure each student received feedback from their peers on the notes packet.  If you’re interested in hearing more about this lesson please feel free to leave me a comment!

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Halfway through…

The second quarter has come to an end, that means we are halfway through the school year already. It’s hard to believe!

Second quarter was full of fun! Students created so many amazing things, using their skills and imagination.

8th grade gt students completed their mantle of the expert art presentations which were amazing.

 

They also created many amazing sketchbook assignments, practicing their drawing skills. Student chose at least 3 personal objects to draw from observation, realistically using shading to create form. Then they were able to create a background for their work.

 

8th, 7th, and 6th grade art students worked on Letting their Imaginations fly, for the PTA Reflections contest. Looking forward to finding out if any of them won awards for their work!

 

 

After flying around for a while, students landed to focus on shading and observational drawing in order to assist them in their upcoming still life drawing.

 

The art department hung a student show at the Towson Deli, like we do every December. It is so wonderful being out in our community, sharing the amazing things our students are doing.

 

Students also created Anti-Drug Posters for the State’s Attorney’s office contest. The task was to create posters to share the affects of drug and alcohol abuse. We will found in February if anyone received an award!

 

Outside of the Art studio, a lot happened at RMS! Teachers and students got together for an amazing canned food drive before thanksgiving, raising over 5,000lbs of food for those in need in our local community! In doing so two teachers got pied in the face as a result of a contest to see which homeroom could bring in the most food!

 

There was American Education Week, where students Raised their hands for SUCCESS! Each student created a hand that represented 3 goals they wanted to be successful at this year. Students and parents both created hands that were displayed in the halls.

 

And last but definitely not last, students at Ridgely teamed up to bring christmas to younger less fortunate students in our school system. Every year the SGA holds a Holiday Benefit party for about 25 kids from one elementary school in Baltimore County. It’s a beautiful thing seeing our students give so much of their love and time to these children. Seeing their faces light up when they arrive and are greeted by 100+ middle school students who are all there for them. There were stations for the students to rotate through… craft making, face painting, snacks and story time (with me!), Santa visit, and dance time. After each station, students then went back to their groups and opened their gifts!

 

So far the year has been amazing, I am really looking forward to the second half of the year!

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Reflect and Create again

2015 was a year of progress, it felt as though I sprinted to the end! Everything moved forward and fast.

I like to write down all of the amazing things I’ve done in an ending year as  a reminder to be grateful for what I have and to be excited for what’s to come in the new year.

As I sit here and make a list in my head, I realize I did a lot in 2015.

I taught amazing adults how to let their creative self out and go with the flow. Meeting so many new people and making some really close friends.

The networking I did at events opened up doors and gave me new inspiration. My creativity really exploded into making new pieces of art and selling a lot of it.

I’ve learned that I really enjoy making grow with me chalkboards, and personalized art. Looking to make more art in 2016 and really market my work as well as my abilities as an artist and an instructor.

I see many opportunities to share what I know with people everywhere and amplify the creative energy in the world! In April I will be teaching a continuing education dreamcatcher class at Catonsville Community College, and have been asked to do a dreamcatcher workshop at a friends yoga studio. In July I will be teaching two classes during summer camp at the community college as well.

There were a few unexpected professional development travels. In March I went to the National Art Education Association Convention, and learned all about new art supplies and networked with new friends from twitter. The 2016 NAEA convention will be held in Chicago on Saint Patrick’s day weekend…and I will be there! I have already registered for the artisan gallery where art educators set up and sell their personal work! I visited Fort Worth Texas in June for the Balfour Advisor Workshop and Malibu California in July to attend the Balfour Ignite Journalism Workshop. I am also looking to take some students to Malibu this year for the workshop!

This year I had the privilege to become a new board member for Historic Hampton Inc.. So far this experience has been one of the best, working with amazing people to represent art and education at a national historic site! We’ve teamed up with our first artist in residence, wrote an arts integrated lesson plan to use with the site as well as held our first artist educator workshop! There is so much to look forward to in 2016…another artist educator workshop before spring, and a painting day with our artist in residence.

 

2015 started with a great softball season as my first year coaching my middle school’s girls softball team and in August I began my 7th year teaching at Ridgely Middle School, with a new principal and a whole new way of doing things. Learner centered environments are the way to go, and digital technology really does enhance learning. I am really enjoying the kids having devices available. The Seesaw app is really turning out to be a great way to keep portfolios! I can not wait to do more projects with my students and see how they use the C.E.E.Q.E.R. model to find solutions to the curriculum! Soon I will have completed my department chair training and I will be applying for the pool of candidates. Perhaps there is something new waiting for me at the end of 2016.

I also started blogging more. I made it a point to at least write once a month; I will be making it a goal in 2016 to write once a week. Using instagram to share our students awesomeness, along with what’s happening in the school, was a huge success. I also started tweeting more, and building my #PLN (professional learning network.) #k12artchat has been my favorite thing to do on Thursday nights, and has even inspired me to create a chat of my own (keep an eye out for more details coming.)

I spent a lot of time with my two amazing children this year, watching them grow and learn. They have really been a light and joy. We made a lot of crafts and went on many new adventures. I am so excited to see what we do in 2016!

I feel like I might be leaving things out, but man was that a lot!

 

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First quarter down…

What an eventful first quarter it has been!

My student artists have completed a variety of projects, focusing on the Elements and Principles of Art along with other techniques. They have had multiple opportunities to be Ceeqers and to really personalize their learning.

Our first big project was our locker name tags. It was a group decision by our faculty to hang plastic sleeves on every locker with the first installation being a name tag for each student. So in art class, every student created their own personalized name tag that focused on an element and principle of design.  The results were fantastic! Our halls went from dull grey lockers to a personalized space that the students truly feel is theirs.

The 8th grade GT Artists created puzzles to represent the Elements and Principles of Design, using multiple materials and techniques!

Student artists in my studio created Zentangle masterpieces next! We did contour line drawings of objects, then artists chose any object or image they wanted, and zentangled it in with patterns and designs. After creating their zentangle objects, artists experimented with watercolor to create a fun background.

IMG_4908 IMG_4911

We have had a lot of fun so far, I am looking forward to more fun!! The 8th grade GT artists are working on their Mantle of the Expert presentations where they have to create an art materials sales persona and will present their art material at an art expo. Half of the class will perform and present their materials and activities while the other half are the artists looking for art materials to work with. Each art material salesperson has to create a vendor table with at least 5 techniques, 2 art examples, a 5 minute art activity, and business cards.

6th and 7th grade artists went outside today and created nature art inspired by Andy Goldsworthy! Each group took photos of their work in progress to create a stop motion video of their art coming to life. Some artists decided that they would like to create a time-lapse video on their phones!

I hope you enjoyed our projects as much as we did creating them!!

<3

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Existence

MAEA Conference 2015

The 2015 MAEA conference was definitely a nice experience for me. When I arrived at Centennial High School, in Ellicott City, I was happy that there was plenty of parking available because there were a LOT of teachers attending the conference. Teaching artists lined the halls with their own personal art for sale, and there were a decent amount if businesses with information and free gifts.

Julia McTighe was one of the teachers vending her creations. She makes the most unique and fun earrings, necklaces and bracelets. Along with hairpins other great art! Her shop is called A Marvelous Spark, and she is definitely that! You can follow her shop on Instagram. Julia is an art educator for Baltimore County Public Schools.

Dick Blick had a nice pencil case that included a small sketchbook, a tube of paint, and coupon for 20% off of orders of $49 or more, and free shipping. Sargent Art had a gift pack of acrylic and tempera paint samples, Sculpt-it! clay, a pencil, and lesson plans. Sax school art supplies had a small pencil case with Crayola construction paper crayon sample, a colored pencil, metalic Sharpie, Prang classic marker, and Faber-Castell gel stick sample.