art exploration at Maymont!

Maymont Elementary is now Richmond Public School’s preschool center. My elementary practicum class has been given the opportunity to work in the classrooms there – teaching a lesson every week of the semester! Here are a few photos of some art work – we were looking at Wolf Kahn’s color field landscapes and talking about color representing a feeling or a mood. These students are 4-5 years old!

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Teaching in summer 2011!

Hello friends,

I am delighted to post my upcoming teaching schedule for Summer of 2011!

Time to Mess Around! ages 3 – 5 with an adult partner

Mess about with materials of all kinds, including drawing, painting and building. Focusing on exposure to materials and processes, artists will create beautiful works of art together. We will draw, measure and create constructions using wood, cardboard, found materials, paper, and glue. This class is about exploration of materials and techniques and can be repeated as many times as you like! Offered at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond, week of July 25, 10am-12pm.

Clay Pendants – ages 8 – 10

Let’s transform clay into beautiful ceramic pendants & accessories. We will make beads, rings, necklaces, and more. Working with a variety of clay bodies including terra cotta, earthenware, and polymer, we will incorporate found objects and use handmade molds to create unique pendants. Offered at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond, week of June 27, 9am-12pm, and week of August 1, 12:45-3:45pm.

Creative Book Arts – ages 9 – 12

Have you ever wanted to create you own handmade books? This class will glue, fold, and stitch its way thruogh the creation of unique, one of a kind journals, pocket wallets, origami books, and more. We will use new and recycled materials from various sources, then fill the books with our art and writing. offered at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond, week of June 13 and June 27, 12:45 – 3:45. offered at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, week of July 11, 9am-12pm

Fun with Printmakingages 6 – 8

Young artists will explore dynamic printmaking methods as they create colorful multiples from their own designs. We will experiment with block printing, monotypes, and collograph techniques and use layers of color, texture, and unique surfaces. The results are spectacular, whimsical works of art! Class offered at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond the week of June 20 md August 22, 12:45-3:45pm

Nature Nurtures Creativity – ages 9 – 12

In this experimental class, young artists will bring the outdoors in, and the indoors out! We will use only natural materials: sticks, leaves, rocks, dirt, etc to create painting, sculpture and found art installations that push the boundaries of art making. At the end of the week, students will design and build an outdoor installation with both found objects and art materials that will become a documented, celebrated work of public art! Offered at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond, week of August 8, August 15, 12:45-3:45pm.

Drawing in the Galleries – ages 12 – 18

Come explore the transformed VMFA! This class will draw and sketch its way through the galleries. Students will keep a sketchbook, as well as create larger, more creative works on paper to represent their favorite works of arts in the VMFA collections. Students will receive an introduction to art history, improve their drawing skills, and interpret great works of art in their own, unique way. Offered at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts week of July 11 and July 25, 1-4pm.

Life Drawing – ages 12 – 18

Join us at the VMFA for a crash course in life drawing, one of the oldest and most celebrated art practices. Along with learning the basics in rendering still lives and anatomical proportions of the figure, students will explore the rich history and make personal connections with works in the museum’s exciting new spaces. Offered at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, week of July 18, 9am – 12pm.

two more monotypes

Here are two more monotypes from the same series from summer ’10.

some recent paintings & monotypes

“big idea” project

According to Sydney Walker, art educators should base their units on “big ideas”. Big ideas are broad, important, human issues that anyone can relate to. Artists often focus their entire life’s work under the umbrella of their big idea. When we teach from the perspective of big ideas, we are instilling the concept that art is about meaning-making, and that student art is no exception.

I’m currently in my first semester at VCU for a Master of Art Education. One of my first projects asked the question, “what is your big idea?” Many of us had trouble understanding our own work through the context of 1 big idea.

After much contemplation, I decided that the sacred is my big idea. This is based on my subconscious understanding of objects, concepts, and people having a kind of sacred essence, a thought process that I can only attribute to my Catholic upbringing.

This was my text caption, and a not-so-great image of the piece:

Statement: This piece, titled, “On High”, is a painting of a mountainous iceberg that floats somewhere in the ether, where land, sky, and water meet in a harmonious balance. In the beginning stages of my creative process, I imagined an iceberg that was entering heaven after melting off the earth. In heaven it is exalted and celebrated by flocks of birds, swirling subliminal matter, and fallen trees. My big idea is the concept of the the sacred. I combine elements of religious iconography, surrealist notions, and unorthodox landscapes as I attempt to draw attention to forgotten natural or man-made objects that I deem worthy a viewer’s meditative focus.

Monster Drawing Rally at 1708 Gallery

This past weekend I participated in the Monster Drawing Rally at 1708 Gallery. It was basically a bunch of artists drawing in shifts for 1 hour, and then the gallery tried to sell the drawings to buyers as a benefit. Twas fun!

Had a dream from which I awoke with a pounding heart

This piece is a drypoint etching that I made in the fall of 2008 after I came back from NYC. It was printed at Studio Two Three. The quote is from Tolstoy’s War and Peace, a book I read that year… (it literally took me a year). It was well worth it. Pierre, who is going through a period of deep introspection and self questioning, writes in his journal. Pierre is my favorite character in the novel, and I found this small quote/journal entry of his to be compelling, “…Had a dream from which I awoke with a pounding heart”.  So that is the story behind this image…