Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Summer Vacation? ummm.....huh??

I am not going to lie, I am sure there are teachers out there who do nothing their entire break but vacation...but I don't personally know any of them. I usually spend my summer vacation working.yes... working. Working on being a better artist, on being a better teacher, on building connections, on reorganizing and restructuring my classroom, and working on that massive pile of laundry that accumulated between the early May arts festival and the June graduation ceremonies.

Michael DeMeng demo on paint
I realize that because I don't have to punch a time clock and I can actually sit with my coffee and catch up on facebook before I start most people don't consider it work.  But, everything I am doing is bwork-related.  For example, I am in the process of completing 17 hours of online coursework through ed2go(CRAZY I know) and I only have 9 more to go. I can now be the master of my own wiki, create beneficial pod casts, use Microsoft Word 2010 and PowerPoint 2010 with incredible ease and have created a workbook and other learning aids for my classroom. soon I will be the master of differentiated instruction and assessment. And while I am really enjoying the online graduate work, I do like the hands on workshops just a tad bit more. Especially when they are taught at the Small Studios in Westlake, Ohio by the illustrious Michael DeMeng.
Watchmakers results

If you look closely,
you can see the blue
Demeng's workshops are all about assemblage, or Ahh-sem-blahge. They cover techniques that I can use in my own art and teach to my students. They are filled with laughter, anecdotes, and plenty of puns.  I started the first workshop, Mad Watchmakers,  the next day after school was out. I should admit, I hardly considered it work though. It was very relaxing and enjoyable. As a teacher DeMeng is encouraging, knowledgeable, and comical. While I was learning from Michael and the other artists in the group, it was the perfect way to start the summer. Two whole days of tips and techniques, and creative influence and two fully finished, well almost finished, projects......well worth it.

The second workshop with Michael was creating a shrine to the Saint of Discarded things. This is my piece. Not finished of course but I had a creative block early on. I plan on adding lights, a footing, and maybe a mini handle for the top. I also still have a lot of painting to do yet. I plan on leaving it the vibrant yellow. I have already located a place in our home for display and have sketches started for a few more variations from all the junk I took with me.
After the DeMeng workshop I had a breather for a few days before attending the Golden Acrylic Paints workshop in Ashland. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the instructor was CEO Mark Golden. What a fantastic person. I was amazed at the generosity and responsibility that Golden paints feels towards their employees and their artists. Their humanitarian actions are humbling.  I already use their paints with my sculptures but their mediums I wasn't familiar with. I can foresee a huge monetary commitment on my part for home and for school! I can't wait to incorporate some of their products into my classes!
Bead Medium...love

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