Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Wilson Art Residency 2016

Once again I am doing clay at Wilson school this Spring! Students are working on sculptural animals/ figures and leaf pressed platters. I am having each grade do the same project this year and the emphasis is in experimentation and problem solving. To promote creative expression, I have given them tips for how to attach pieces and how to break the animal into shapes to better understand what it looks like, but aside from that and some individual help I am letting them problem solve and find their own solutions for their sculptures. Students will learn more from encountering problems and having to come up with their own solutions than if I lead them through every step of the process. I wanted to provide them with time to play and explore the medium for themselves and it seems to be paying off. Their sculptures are all very different and very creative.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Drawing Classes at my Home Studio

I wanted to share some absolute gems drawn by talented students ages (12-14 years old) in my studio drawing class. The assignment was self portraits and students were challenged with using 3 different mediums including charcoal and ink.

Summer Camps at The Arts Center!

I wanted to share a few of the many projects young artists worked on at Summer Arts and Culture Camps at the Corvallis Arts Center this summer! During Master Artists week, I taught young artists about the work of Andy Warhol and they created a self portrait project as well as designed their own Soup Can labels.

Creepy Critters campers got to play with clay and sculpt creepy crawlers. We also went outside and made bug houses and habitats with clay and natural materials.

During animal week, campers got some real live animal models to draw and paint! Here we are drawing some dwarf goats!

 During invention week students in my classes were given a series of challenges using different mediums each day including creating story cards, games and musical clay instruments. They then created group projects of their choosing ( design pictured below).
What a great summer!!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Clay at Wilson Elementary School

 This spring I visited Wilson Elementary School and led various "spring themed" clay projects with every class. Each grade worked on a different clay project listed and pictured below. The students had a blast and learned some fun clay building techniques and skills.

Kindergarten: We talked about things that make up think of spring and learned how to make some bugs, butterflies and worms out of clay. Students made a platform and attached their critters to it. The clay was painted with glaze and students got to decorate a background for their "spring scenes" with oil pastels and watercolor paint.

First Grade: Students decorated clay slabs with flowers, butterflies, trees and more to create wall hanging plaques. Once glazed and fired, students strung string and beads on the wall plaques. 

2nd Grade: Students took the hanging plaques one step further by creating wall pockets/ vases. They also made tissue paper flowers to put in their wall pockets. 

3rd Grade: Students learned the technique of making pinch pots, then transformed them into fairy/ bug houses for the garden. There were some very elaborate designs with windows, chimneys, stepping stones and bridges! 

4th grade: Students made coil and pebble bowls, mugs and clay baskets of their own design. 

5th Grade: Students learned coil building and made water tight vases, bowls, mugs and more! 

It was such a joy teaching at Wilson!  The projects turned out wonderfully diverse and students really put a lot of thought and skill into creating them. They were also very patient during the long wait for finished work as work was transported and fired off site at the Corvallis Arts Center. Many thanks to teachers and parent volunteers for the help loading and unloading work and help in the classrooms during the project! Have a wonderful summer everyone!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

"Insects of South Corvallis" Cornerstone Neighborhood Project

Charles Goodrich's Poetry Book
"The Insects of South Corvallis"
and clay materials 
This month I am working with associates at Cornerstone to create sculptural clay art works based on the poetry of Charles Goodrich, a local South Corvallis poet. Cornerstone's mission is to create meaningful community involvement for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. A culminating event will occur on Thursday April 16th 7:00pm @Taylor Street Ovens 1025 Northwest 9th Street, where all are invited to attend a free public reading and exhibit of works created during the project. - Insects of South Corvallis is funded in part by Benton County Cultural Coalition and is a part of inVISIBLE a nano festival celebrating inclusion in the arts: I will be working with performing artist Kaitlyn Witting Menguc who will be putting together a performance based art project based on interactions with Cornerstone Associates during the project.

Here is a brief description of the event at Taylor Street: "This art exhibit/ community reading presents material created during an intensive artist residency which paired a ceramicist and an artist with participants of Cornerstone Associates, Community Access Program and references poems found in Charles Goodrich's collection 'The Insects of South Corvallis'."

An observation from Kaitlyn, summing up the first day… "I was struck by how silent the room became when I was reading poetry or when most individuals were focused on drawing or sculpting. I had the opportunity to also read poems to individual associates while they were working and the response was positive. I know that some participants are looking forward to our return on Friday and I see that as a big success. There were also associates who did not seem to want to participate at the beginning of class who ended up joining us at the table and making some work. That was a really great thing to see!"

The artwork that resulted from this project was fantastic! I also strongly feel that it's all about the process rather than product. I really felt that to be true especially for this class. Many associates seemed so happy simply creating and when they were done we took the finished piece and brought another fresh piece of clay. Clay as a medium seemed to really grab their attention whether they were working with a single piece of clay the whole class or turning out sculpture after sculpture. The versatility of the clay, the smell, the feel; it all seems to have such a therapeutic effect. Everyone who participated made at least one sculpture and many associates were very prolific in their art making. After the fourth class, and with one more to go, I have seen so much progress in terms of individuals participation and excitement about the project! Several associates who had been fairly quiet in past sessions were very enthusiastic about their artwork and excited to bring it home!

During the last class we did some colorful collaging inspired by butterfly wings. Though this part of the project was almost 1 month after the initial clay portion of the project, associates remembered us and there were ear to ear smiles and lots of laughs! I feel really great about the project and I think the associates really benefited from the exposure to different art mediums and poetry. I am looking forward to the event on April 16th!

I mounted the tiles on a frame that I built and this will be hung at Taylor Street Ovens for the event and potentially permanently!

 Some of the finished collages! Loved seeing so much color on the table!

Click here to read an article in the Advocate about the project!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Action Packed Still Life!

 This weekend I taught a drawing lesson at a "Drink and Draw" hosted by 2Towns Ciderhouse. Adults 21 and up gathered in the beautiful Barrel Room with it's gigantic Lord of the Rings door, mood lighting and relaxed feel. The theme was "Still Life" but I wanted something fun so I posed some classic action figures and dinosaurs with the fruit for an "Action Packed Still Life". Lots of folks turned up for the event, all with different levels of confidence about their drawing skills. I gave a brief overview about getting started; figuring out the composition of the drawing, blocking in objects, determining a standard of measurement and building up the drawing. Once everyone got started I bounced around the room and checked in with people offering drawing tips and motivation. It was a fun group of people and the drawings were totally fantastic! See for yourself!