Sunday, August 16, 2015

I make things..........

I am an Artist. I am a teacher and I make things. Not always Art, Not always a finished project. Sometimes it is just a technique or a process that I need to work through but I make stuff. I always have. Sometime it is a doodle and sometimes a sculpture.  I make lists and sometimes I even cross off all of the items on the list but most of the time I just roll it all into another list. I pile the sets of monkey and monster dentures I have made for sculptures, paint and texture swatches I've tested and unused assemblage stuff into totes in my studio and the doodles go into the stacks of sketchbooks I have piled up. And I am comfortable with it. I can see it, I can find it, I can touch it. But recently I have been struggling with the technology and making things. I am having a hard time with the balance of these two. Online research has replaced making a sample and the experience of discovering something new on your own. Texting a photo takes the place of meeting somebody in the studio or a coffee shop and sharing that new "thing" with them and experiencing a creative connection. And while I can recognize the benefit of instant connection by text or messenger, I miss that part of the creative process sometimes.

Two years ago, I had a pretty bad health scare. (I promise this really is all connected) Seriously I was scared, terrified. I didn't go through it alone, I had friends and family-although I didn't share it with everyone right away. Really not something you want to share via text or put on Facebook. I needed a voice and a hand to tell me it was going to be ok. A text made me smile for half a second until the voices in my head began bring doubt and fear back. MY sister's voice telling me everything would be ok no matter what, resonated for days. Coffee and massage at the local spa with a friend lasted for a week. I cried a lot then. I felt like technology was going to condemn me or free me. I needed that medical technology but I would pick up my phone to text someone and then I would stop. I needed an actual human connection. I needed to make contact with a human being. This couldn't be experienced any other way.

 This summer was fabulous. The NC-OAEA teachers gathered often and worked together on projects techniques and arts experiences. We supported and encouraged each other as we created giving instant feedback, sharing "happy accidents" and we made stuff.  I worry, that today's kids will never have that same creative experience. The experience of working together with other artists to solve problems and find solutions. (Outside of classroom experiences of course) I worry that they have been forever altered because of technology. That their human experiences have been minimized.  That their feedback from texting or messaging their work to someone will be met with a Will they be able to recognize the emotions of the artists in an artwork if they have never had the same emotional experience? They can research it and find the artist's intention immediately because of the internet, but will they truly understand it? Or are they now only able only able to recite the information they have found. Have they been desensitized because of technology to the importance of human emotion in a simple conversation?  I am concerned that the focus of technology and all that testing is going to truly damage the creative process and experience for our students. Please know, I am not saying technology is bad, and I feel that technology as an art medium is awesome and important! And I realize that technology is actually essential to our society, I just wonder about the effects it may have now and farther out in the future on the communication and creative experience.

Our arts classes are needed so much more now than they ever have been. And yes, I want them to know the color wheel and to compare and contrast styles and cultures-and I really hope they can do that during testing too, but most important to me is that they experience the entire artistic process. Expression, discovery, connections, and the simple pure joy of being able to say I MADE that. It is mine.  I MADE someone else stop and look and I MADE them feel something. I MADE a connection with another person because of my art. After that, they are free to post, facebook and text it up to everyone.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

New School year...New resolutions...........

It dawned on me today, that the first day of school is a lot like "New Year's Eve". We wait with anticipation and a little dread. We think about what the future holds for the upcoming year, look over what our accomplishments have been and then moving on we draft our New Year's resolutions. Really they aren't that different. So, this year I drafted my back to school resolutions list.

10. I will remember to find my coffee cup at the end of every day. 
Since last year my coffee cups occasionally became science experiments in evolution randomly placed around the room. 
9. I will not toss my hair up into a top not as soon as I get to school every day. Top knots are reserved for sumo wrestlers.

8. I will keep only one extra pair of shoes under my desk at a time. It shouldn't look like the clearance rack from Macy's under my desk. 

7. I will be able to see the top of my desk all week and not just on Mondays.... 
Most of it.  Well, at least my keyboard. I should be able to see my keyboard

6. I will only have one cup, or two, but definitely less than a pot of coffee a day. 

5. I will save my emergency chocolate stash for true emergencies. 
and remember the opening bell does not constitute an emergency nor do any other bells throughout the day.

4. I will keep my nails manicured each week. 
because I just took out a second mortgage to buy bunches of jamberry nail wraps.  

3. I will not apply my mascara in the parking lot at school. 

2. I will make time each week to work on my own art. I need this professionally and personally.


1. I will not sweat the small stuff.
Even though maintenance says that keeping all the small stuff is just clutter and hoarding.


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Arts and "Craft" Night

I host (teach) an Arts and Craft night at our local brewery the last Tuesday night each month. It is a little different than most of the sip and paint nights hosted elsewhere. The artists have the option of creating their own work of art instead of creating identical projects. My goal is to teach people a little bit about materials and uses and to let them delve off into their own creations so that everyone has a final product unique to them. I do offer a step by step as well for people who are just starting out and not ready to take the independent plunge just yet. We also do more than just a painted canvas. We have created jewelry, Dia de los Muertos masks, wire and bead wrapped serving ware, painted pint glasses and mixed media canvases. I typically rotate the projects so we have something different to offer.The ladies we have for craft night are always a "hoot" and are very open to trying new things and I love the direction they go!

This past month (and a few months ago) we created mixed media collaged canvases. We used stencils, patterned patters, tissue paper, gloss medium, acrylic paints, and used brushes, incorrectly. Yup, we scrubbed, slathered, gooped and enjoyed every minute of it. Since it was in honor of Spring finally being upon us, our inspiration went to the sky using stencils and paper with birds, bees, owls and hot air balloons. Starting off we layered tissue paper to our canvas, then began painting and stenciling. We added cut paper pieces from cardstock and then applied more layers of paint to blend it into the background.

I love that everyone had a completely different final project and walked away with new knowledge of materials. Enjoy the photos and for fun I also tossed in a sample from the January workshop where hearts were our inspiration at the bottom.

A work in progress..

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Almost here!!!!!

Two of my favorite times of year are here.......the Fine Arts Festival and Spring Break.... although I am excited for different reasons........not really a need for an explanation of Spring Break enthusiasm...but the Arts Festival.... I am excited to see the excitement of the kids, the hard work they have put into the entire year finally being shared in a display that all of their family gets to see.  Award winners receiving recognition for their achievements.  I am excited this year because we have a brand new venue; we will be hosting the art show in the Arrow Arena (gymnasium) and also the brand new Archer Auditorium. Our new state of the art theatre. We will have music performances from our students on the new stage, a full K-12 art show housed in the lobby and through the gym as well. Our Video Production students will sharing their videos, commercials, documentaries and animation shorts with the public as well. THere will be bake sales and face painting and lots of coffee to survive it all. With this new venue, we need to work on finding all kinds of ways to display works of Art. I am looking forward to the challenge and to seeing it all put together. But first, I have to make it through Spring Break...which starts in less than 17 hours...

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Spring Break Plans?

"Whoooo wants Coffee?"
Not sure about the rest of you, but I know exactly what I want to do for spring break. It has NOTHING to do with anything related to school...well almost. I need to get back into my studio..which has become over run with school stuff. Piles of research, test samples, old handouts, revised handouts, stacks of old lesson plans, journals, magazines etc, etc, etc..........all stuff that should be in our office.

So after taking a much needed day off from everything(that is a day called Monday) I will revamp and "rewire" my studio on Tuesday and Wednesday so I can one again get creative in there. It isn't that I haven't been creating any art, or even finishing art I started, but I have been bringing it all out of my studio to work on it in the kitchen. I have been doing all of my graphic design work for the PBC there because it is closer to my coffee pot. But since I have acquired a few new art pieces this winter-Thanks to Sally Green and Michael DeMeng!! I think I will like the "new" view in my studio way better than keeping the coffee pot in my sightline. While I am waiting to get back into the studio and share out my results of the organization, I finished this critter at my kitchen table and also at school-she travels well. She is currently traveling over to the Mansfield Art Center to be on display with other art teacher works from the area. I started her in a Tory Brokenshire workshop, but took a different path when I got her home to finish, months later. Made with Polymer clay, recycled items, golden acrylics, wire and other stuff.

Hope you have a fabulous Spring Break! Enjoy!


Sunday, March 15, 2015

And the results are in!!!

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of excitement for many of our visual art students. They were  participating in the regional and state levels of the Governor's Youth Art Exhibition in Ohio. Finishing their artworks, creating boxes, preparing the works for display and filling out mounds of paperwork all with hopes of having their work selected as one of the top 300 in Ohio. The process requires courage and of course creativity and talent. Just putting their work out there for a professional artist or arts professor to judge it can be terrifying for some. It is exhausting, overwhelming and even exhilarating for them and for me, but a very worthwhile experience to have as artists and as an educator. I am always amazed at the grace my students display when works aren't selected and their understanding that their work IS still excellent. The process of selecting artworks for the state exhibition begins on a regional level where approximately 12,000 works will be submitted and narrowed down to 3,000.  15 works from Ashland High School were selected as regional winners. From the 3,000 regional winners, state jurors then select 300 for the actual exhibition.  Ashland High School had two pieces selected at the State level. These 2 works will be on exhibition at the Rhodes tower in Columbus, Ohio from April 12 - May 14, 2015

The two student works that were selected for the Ohio Governor's Youth Art Exhibition are:

Locke T. with "Man in the Machine" 

                       and Maya M. with "Feathers". 

Maya will also be receiving the Governor's Award for Excellence as her piece was also chosen as one of the top 25 in the state.  

Some of the regional winner works will be displayed locally at the Mansfield Art Center in Mansfield, Ohio. Those works are displayed below:

Jade S
Jeni F

Katelyn R

Paige R.

Michaela D.

Chayton E.

Peter Z.

Ryan P.

Kyleah B.

Katelyn R.

Additional Regional Winners works from Mrs. Boyer's Classes:




A huge thank you to all of my students who submitted works and represented Ashland High School at all levels. Your creativity, courage and tenacity make my heart smile!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

They finished, but I am so behind.

 It feels like I have had the same cold off and on for months. I just can't kick the bug.  I am really getting tired of it too.  Anyways no more excuses. These are a few of the finished paper clay sculptures from my Intro kids that I posted unfinished before ...that I meant to post as soon as they were done..... a long time ago. I am so proud of their finished projects and their commitment to quality. I will be posting lots of other new works later this week too. They have been doing some fabulous experiments in printmaking using, stencils, handmade stamps, monotypes and soon full on relief printing.