Tag: visual art

Visual journal page 36: The Wedding Ring Incident

A visual journal page about my husband accidentally being buried in the backyard.

This visual journal page is about the day my husband buried his wedding ring.

I have heard many ways people have lost their wedding rings. Leaving it on the bathroom sink and it slipping down the drain, pulling it off in a pair of gloves and accidentally throwing it away. But, until my own personal experience, I had never heard of someone losing their ring because they accidentally buried it.

Yes, my husband buried the physical representation of our eternal love in our backyard.

My husband is a fidgeter. He drums his fingers on any flat surface, wiggles his foot, he is in constant motion. One of his favorite fidgeting pastimes is taking off his ring and spinning it on table tops. So naturally, one afternoon when he suddenly couldn’t find his ring, my assumption was he took it off and left it somewhere without realizing it.

We walked through his day, where he had been, what he did, when he last remembered having his ring. We searched the house from top to bottom, under furniture, on tables tops, in every nook and cranny. We came up empty handed.

When I decided it was time to throw in the towel, it hit Nick. He spent all morning planting plants in the backyard, surely it fell off while he was doing yard work. I was skeptical it could simply fall off, but Nick was determined. He spent the remainder of the evening searching over our not small backyard.

The next day I assumed it was time to start thinking about a replacement, while Nick decided it was time to rent a metal detector. He spent the entire next day combing the yard with headphones on, detector to the ground, listening for beeps and digging to find what was detected.

Let me give you some context.

Our adorable Atlanta bungalow was built in 1940. In it’s hey-day East Lake was a happening Atlanta neighborhood. A beautiful lake attracted Atlantians as a vacation spot and break from city life in the late 1800’s. But, as the years passed civil rights swept the nation and white flight began happening in many cities. This caused East Lake’s previous wealthy inhabitants to leave, attracting lower income residents, and creating the racial divide that honestly still persists today. The beautiful lake that once was a public attraction was purchased, gated off, and reserved only for wealthy golfers to play the course that now surrounds it. Like most Atlanta neighborhoods, East Lake became crime ridden, home owners couldn’t afford to keep up their houses, and things took a turn for the worse. However, the last 15 years has brought new life to these Atlanta homes with people moving back into the city who are able to rehab formerly run down homes. This is wonderful for our area, but also puts our older homeowners at risk with rising property taxes. But, that is a whole separate tangent that you don’t want me to get started on.

All of this brings me to the fact that from the 1960’s until we purchased the house, our backyard was essentially a trash dump. At a glance you wouldn’t think this. But over the years the rain, wind, and other elements would slowly push the junk just under the top soil. The amount of glass we have found, and still find, over the 8 and a half years we have lived in our house is astonishing. So, as my hopeful hub was searching for his wedding ring every few inches he instead found a random piece of rusted metal, an old oil can, a random tin, an empty soda can.

Instead of spending the day searching for his ring, it turned into a day where he uncovered every piece of trash buried in the dirt for the past sixty years. In defeat he returned the metal detector and claimed his ring a lost cause.

At the end of the day he walked out back one last time. He admired a row of newly planted bushes and noticed one bush was just a few inches out of line. He reached down and pulled the plant up in order to replant it in line, and as he describes it, his ring popped out of the ground as the plant came out, as if it were a coin in a video game.

A day of searching and the use of a high tech device had failed him. What paid off in the end was his OCD.

SUPPLIES:

  • Visual journal book
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Old book pages
  • Heavier white paper
  • Watercolors
  • Paint brushes
  • Water
  • Colored pencils

HOW TO:

When it came time to create this visual journal page I was excited because I already had a vision in mind. I knew I wanted to emphasize the bush that ate Nick’s ring, and planned all along to create it in watercolor. Once I had an idea for that, I began on the background.

I wanted an earthy look, so I pulled old book pages that had a variety of page colors. I ripped them in stripes to create a softer look, and glued them down in vertical lines. Once I had the background set I sketched out the bush shape with pencil before I started with the watercolor.

I wanted the leaves to be very bright so I used the wet on wet watercolor technique. I first filled the leaf shapes in with water, then loaded green on my brush before adding it to the water filled leaf shapes. When you add watercolor pigment to water, it will fill the water shape. As long as the area around the shape is dry, it typically won’t extend beyond the limits of the water. Once I had a green base layer I introduced a dark blue at the very edge of each leaf to create a shadow.

I repeated the wet on wet technique with the bark on the trunk and roots, although I used less water so the colors wouldn’t blend as much. To fill in the dirt I simply painted dots all around the bush roots, using different shades of brown.

I really wanted the ring to stand out, since it is the focus of the story, so I decided to draw it out with colored pencil, so the material would contrast against everything else. I drew it on a separate sheet of paper, filled it in with colored pencil, then cut it out and glued it to the page. I cut sections of the ring out to show the roots painted on the page to make it appear as though the ring was overlapped by the roots.

To add the words I wanted to create a space that made sense with the rest of the image, so I drew out and painted a scroll like bar. I painted the same texture at the end of the roll as the bark on the bush, to look like it was being pulled out of the trunk of the bush. I wrote the words using a thin paintbrush and watercolor.

Through the years this page has held it’s spot as one of my favorite visual journal pages I have created. I am very happy with the final image and the story behind it is one I will never forget.

CHALLENGE

Create a visual journal page about a piece of jewelry. It can be a sentimental piece, the loss of a piece, or the desire for something. Have fun and good luck!

Interested in more visual journal stories, tips, and how tos? Check out my visual journal blog page here and my visual journal bundle on TPT here. Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog! Help spread the word and get involved with visual journaling by following, sharing, and commenting!

My Summer of TPT + TPT Back to School Sale (8/1, 8/2/18)

I can’t believe it’s that time of year again. It’s BACK TO SCHOOL! Where did summer go? My summer went to pools, beaches, baby snuggles, and a ton of TPT ing.

My little family enjoyed a much needed out of town vacation in Hilton Head Island, SC. One of my favorite parts of being a teacher is the time I get with my sweet babies during summer. I ate up every minute of it while the babies were awake. But, every minute their little heads were on their pillows I was at my computer getting ready for today. The back to school sale!

I have seemingly endless ideas for TPT products, and my ever growing to do list certainly reflects this. I have hit it hard since the start of summer and have put together a bunch of new products and some major bundles. August 1st and 2nd my entire store will be 20% off, plus an extra 5% from TPT added at checkout. This is huge especially for my 5 curriculum, $300.00 bundle. See details below.

This is a goal I have been working toward for a couple of years. When I first started working on curriculums, with my Intro to Art curriculum, I realized there was a market out there for these types of products. That motivated me to post my personal curriculums for drawing, painting, advanced 2D, intro to sculpture and ceramics, and AP art. My goal has always been to build each curriculum individually then create a mega bundle, a complete high school visual art course load. Originally I wanted to also include 3D, but it will take more time to get there. Instead, I went ahead and put together my 2D high school mega curriculum bundle . It includes:

I have this listed for $300.00, a $35.00 discount. This is everything you need to teach every single day in 5 different art courses. With 25% off this bundle will be just $225.00, a lot of money for an art teacher, but a steal for the amount of content.

I already wrote about my AP Art curriculum here, so I won’t repeat myself. But I am so proud of this bundle. This would’ve been a huge help to me as a 1st year AP teacher, and I hope it can serve that for someone else. I have already gotten a number of questions about this curriculum vs. my advanced 2D curriculum. They are totally different and if you teach both I recommend getting both. That way you won’t have to redesign AP once your advanced kids move up. This will be just $75.00 with the 25% discount. 

After completing my 5 curriculum bundle I decided to return to a project I started last year, a save the brushes poster. It was a quirky way to show students what happens if you don’t care for supplies and tips on how to prevent ruining brushes. As an art teacher I have many supplies at risk of student abuse. Over the school year I made it a point to photograph supply disasters as they happened in my room. I then turned those photos into save the glue, palettes, markers, paint, paint pumps, paint tubes, sinks, erasers, and pencils. I now have a poster bundle of “Save the…” posters. This is bundled for $17.60, and will be marked down to $13.20.

In my advanced 2D and AP art curriculums I made it a point to develop critiques to go along with every project. That lead me to the idea of creating a critique bundle. This includes 20 general critiques that could go with any type of project at any level. They are fun. get kids moving, thinking, and verbalizing their opinions. This lists for $37.60, but will be marked down to $28.20 on 8/1/18 and 8/2/18.

In addition to my own massive to do list, I have also decided to team up with my amazing coworker, Meagan Brooker, and my amazing mom, Anne Ward. Meagan teaches drawing, photography, and AP art at our school. She is also a professional photographer on the side and is responsible for all our family photos for the last six years, many of which are proudly printed on our annual Christmas cards. Photography is a hobby of mine, but professional, manual photography is totally out of my comfort zone. I know there is a need out there for good digital photography lessons, so that is where Meagan comes in. She hands over her awesome lessons and I TPT ify them: adding detailed lesson plans, PowerPoints, and clarifying instructions so anyone, professional photographer or not, can follow them.

Meagan and my first collaboration is an introduction to photography lesson. This focuses more on setting up a successful photograph from step 1, rather than relying on editing later. It emphasizes the elements of photography and rules of composition. This has two projects in one. It lists for $8.00 but will be marked down to $6.00 the 1st and 2nd of August.

My mom is a retired art teacher of over 30 years. She has a ridiculous wealth of knowledge in this subject area and still teaches private lessons, summer camp, and consults in her former school county. She specialized in printmaking in college, which is why I am so excited that the first bundle we are working towards is a K-5th printmaking bundle. It will not only include amazing lessons, but also how to set up your classroom to help printmaking run as smooth as possible. We will be working over the next year (or more) on a comprehensive K-5 yearlong curriculum. Our first printmaking lesson is a kindergarten fish monoprint. More is coming soon!

School starts for me 8/6/18, I am equal parts ready and not ready. But, I am making some changes in my classroom and can’t wait to share them here. I am hoping I can keep my summer stamina going and keep posting almost as frequently during the school year.

I have new motivation as my husband quit his job in May to pursue building is own company. This is something we have discussed for years, and TPT has made it a reality. I am so proud that my hard work is paying off and I can support my family in this way. TPT has provided a space for teachers to share their ideas with others, and I am so grateful I discovered it, gave it a try, and stuck it out.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog! Don’t forget to check out the TPT sale 8/1/18-8/2/18. If you are reading this after the fact, I promise my products are still worth every penny even at full price! Thanks for stopping by.

Teachers Pay Teachers: Semester Long Painting Curriculum and Yearlong Advanced Art Curriculum

I have been posting a lot about Teachers Pay Teachers lately, but lately TPT has been my life. For another summer in a row, I have spent all summer planning, typing, and compiling lesson plans, PowerPoints, worksheets, and resources into new TPT products. Last year, my August and September earnings funded a ten day trip that took my hubs and I to Munich, Berlin, and Amsterdam. This year, my August earnings have more than doubled, and my hard earned money is being put into our front yard landscaping, replacing molding around windows, and repairing our roof. Although these are less fun items than a European vacation, they are all in preparation for our next bundle of joy, baby girl Panetta, due November 27th. These things have all been possible because I decided to start putting a few of my lesson plans on a teaching website.


One major goal I have for myself is to create an entire high school art (adaptable to middle school art) curriculum. This would include yearlong and semester long curriculums for Introduction to Art, Painting, Drawing, Advanced 2D Design, Introduction to Sculpture and Ceramics, Sculpture and Ceramics II, Advanced 3D Design, and Advanced Placement Art. Last summer, I compiled my yearlong and semester long lessons for Introduction to Art. It has been my biggest seller the last year. This summer I was able to compile my semester long painting curriculum and my advanced 2D art (which is also adaptable for AP Art breadth) curriculums. They are both doing well, and I am getting a lot of great feedback. I am halfway through my Introduction to Sculpture and Ceramics curriculum, and can’t wait to tie everything up in a nice bow and get it posted to my Teachers Pay Teachers store. I hope by this time next year my high school art curriculum will be complete, and I will be onto my next TPT task.

My painting curriculum includes:

-Semester long timeline
-Supply list
-Syllabus
-Get to Know you handout
-10 student handouts
-1 teacher aid handouts
-2 technology tie activities
-9 lesson plans
-12 PowerPoints
-6 rubrics
-5 grading checklists
-5 critique sheets

The lessons cover the three main types of paint: watercolor, acrylic, and oil (oil can be substituted for art teachers on a budget), as well as mixed media with the visual journal project I incorporate in every class.

With this curriculum students create a sketchbook, full of painting techniques, testers, and reference material, as well as 5 take home level paintings, and a visual journal book. With every curriculum bundle I include a timeline, so you know what to teach when and how long it will take, as well as a supply list.

My Advanced 2D Design art curriculum includes:

In all this art unit includes:
-Course Syllabus
-Tell Me About You worksheet
-Yearlong timeline
-Supply list for all 14 projects
-2017 August-December calendar for AP breadth adaption
-14 completed projects
-10 Lesson plans
-9 PowerPoints
-4 handouts
-2 printable posters
-9 sketchbook handouts
-8 critique sheets
-10 project rubrics

This class is a full year course and is the last art class before students take Advanced Placement (AP) Art. It helps prepare them for the rigor of AP and they create work that is AP quality they can use in their portfolio. They create artwork using a range of materials: pencil, charcoal, watercolor, acrylic paint, oil paint, and mixed media, and participate in many group discussion and critiques. This curriculum also includes a timeline to adapt this to a semester long course, to fulfill the AP Art breadth section of the portfolio. I also have a printable 2017-2018 calendar as a resources for AP Art students.

I am really proud of all the work I have put into my TPT store, and even more proud when my work literally pays off. I you haven’t yet, check out all the amazing things TPT sellers have to offer! Support a fellow educator and get so many great resources for your classroom.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog! Help me spread the word about art, TPT, crafting, and all things creating on your preferred social media site. Thanks for stopping by!

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Teachers Pay Teachers: Principles of Design Worksheet Pack

So far this summer I have enjoyed a break from my normal teaching schedule, a trip to South Africa, Hilton Head Island, Smith Lake, and I’ve been getting extra snuggles from my little man Cooper. In addition to traveling and snuggling, I have also been working hard to get new items posted on Teachers Pay Teachers. Last year my August and September earnings from the website funded a trip to Europe for my husband and I. This year, and for the foreseeable future, I hope to save my earnings for a home renovation. It’s a big goal I have set for myself, but I am confident with a lot of hard work I can get there.

My last post, over two months ago {whoops} focused on one of my newest Teacher Pay Teacher products, a revamp of my hand drawn elements of art worksheets. Today, I finally got my final worksheet of my principles of design pack added to the website. Check it out here.

This pack includes eight worksheets. Each worksheet focuses on a different principle of design. I created worksheets for balance, emphasis, movement, proportion, repetition and pattern, rhythm, unity, and variety. On the front of each handout there is information on different ways you can incorporate that principle into your artwork.The back of each worksheet has an activity for the students to complete to test their understanding of the information on the front. I use these in my Introduction to Art classes, which are added to their art notebooks and checked for daily grades at the end of the semester. Now that I have two versions of the elements and principles worksheets, I plan to use one set in my Intro class and one set used as a reminder for an upper level course.

These sheets were created for grades 4th-12th grade. Some have more complex ideas, and may not be suitable for younger than 4th. I would encourage use of these in levels as high as AP art, when the elements and principles are one of the bases for grading the portfolios.

I loved making each of these. Each were inspired by a piece of my life or a simple occurrence at the time I was designing them. My emphasis worksheet is an obvious reflection of my love for chickens. My repetition and pattern worksheet was created on a very rainy day while I was vacationing at Smith Lake in Alabama, which inspired the cloud and water design.

If you haven’t checked out products on Teachers Pay Teachers yet, I strongly encourage it. There are some amazing, creative teachers out there and you are helping to support another person directly involved in education. It has also helped me become a better teacher because I find myself cleaning up my lesson plans and PowerPoints to make them better sellers, and better teaching tools in my classroom.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog! I recently did a major design overhaul, I hope you enjoy the cleaner look. Help me spread the word about my Teachers Pay Teachers products, and in turn help me expand my house to fit my expanding family, by sharing this post with others. Thanks for stopping by!

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Mixed Media Vs. Multimedia : Making A Distinction by Alison Lansky

 

 

There are so many different styles of art that it is easy to get some of them confused with others, especially if they have similar names. One area where there seems to be a great deal of confusion is in distinguishing between mixed media art and multimedia art. They do sound similar and it is common for people to assume that these terms both refer to the same type of artwork. However, there are some very clear distinctions that set these apart. When you understand these distinctions it becomes clear that the two are actually very different!

What Is Mixed Media Art?

Mixed media art is a type of visual art which incorporates various different types of art media. For example, a canvas which combines paint, ink and collage techniques could be considered to be mixed media artwork. Similarly, a sculpture constructed from clay with other materials embedded would also be considered mixed media. In short, mixed media is artwork which uses more than one medium in its creation. The image below shows Kyle Boganwright’s ‘Whale’ which is a good example of mixed media art as it incorporates pen, ink and watercolor paint in its composition. If you are looking for more examples of mixed media art, then you can look out for books about the topic. There is a great selection available from www.jacksonsart.com including ‘Exhibition 36: A Gallery of Mixed Media Inspiration’ by Susan Tuttle which is a personal favorite of mine.

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What Is Multimedia Art?

On the other hand, multimedia artwork covers a far broader spectrum. Often the term relates to art installations which combine both audio and visual components. This might include merging drama, dance, film, graphics, music and even interactive elements.

Often multimedia art galleries will display artwork with lighting and sound incorporated in the display to give viewers the complete multi-sensory effect.

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Key Differences Between Mixed Media & Multimedia

In order to separate these two postmodern art forms, the key difference is that mixed media art covers all forms of visual art (sculpture, painting, drawing etc.) which incorporates two or more mediums. This is often done by layering materials to create more interesting textures. However, multimedia not only incorporates these visual arts, but also additional audio visual elements and also other arts such as literature, drama and dance. Multimedia is by its very definition the broader of the two while mixed media art has more limitation.

Examples of Mixed Media Art

Once you understand what mixed media art actually is you may start to notice many different examples of it in everyday life. Like all art, it is all about freedom to express yourself so examples of mixed media art are varied. Some of the common examples that you may have noticed include some greeting cards which are often created using scrapbooking techniques where the main painted or drawn image is embellished with other materials such as glitter, ribbons and other types of decoration.

Another popular form of mixed media artwork is the artist trading card (ATC). These small 2.5 inch by 3.5 inch cards art not exclusively mixed media, but it is a popular technique which many artists use to create tiny pieces of art which are swapped or traded with other artists.

In conclusion, the easiest way to tell the difference between mixed media and multimedia is to keep in mind that mixed media art will combine two or more forms of visual art whereas multimedia art will combine visual art with audio visual elements and even elements of other art forms includings literature, drama and dance.

 

–Alison Lansky is a mother of two great kids and loves to blog on a variety of topics which catch her interest including art, parenting and family.

A big thank you to Alison for sending me this interesting and informative article. I would also like to extend a big thank you to you, for checking out my blog. Help me spread the word by sharing it with others, thanks for stopping by!

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“Whale” image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kylebgalleries/4317292826/in/photolist-7zvfKd-bfZGXM-9A258y

Multimedia image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeremyschulz/2897028170