This blog is intended to encourage others on their journey into their creative "artscape". I have enjoyed many years as an artist learner, creator, and teacher. Life is inspiring, and I want to share the vantage point that I have been fortunate enough to view life from. I want to move a smidge over, and invite you to sit right next to me, and enjoy a 360 degree view of my "artscape". Join me in discovering and uncovering the creative soul that we all possess.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A2 Art Fair '10

me in my booth, ready to enjoy the Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair '10
This was my 2nd time having my own booth at the Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair.  The first booth experience I had was with 4 other Michigan Art Teachers.  We were selected through a jury process by The Guild.  They helped us to learn the process so that we could share with our students what it is like to be a professional artist selling at outdoor fairs.
almost 500,000 people attend this art fair

jammin' on the corner

My husband made an opening in the back of the booth to try to catch a breeze inside,
and so we could sit behind it and still see if someone was in the booth.  It was unbelievably hot!

The tax collectors taking a quick break-
this was such a hot tiring day for these hard working gals! 

a postcard of me!

and a postcard of me!

lots of doggie art critiques at the fair

a swim noodle in the corner to help keep the rain from puddling on the roof

view behind the booths

view from my booth

one man band at the corner (I'm sure he made more $ than I did!)

living statue at the corner
medics watching the one man band at the corner

My daughters- also artists, willing to do anything to help out!
My chosen sister, Mary, with her other family:)
Here's my best helper, critique, and all around good guy!

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Ann Arbor Art Fair '10

A2 Art BoothImage by jgarnettzoo via Flickr
July 21-24 I will be at the Ann Arbor Art Fair! Come and see me on Liberty Street across from the Post Office.  Booth #259.
The Guild website has lots of information:

The Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair is a combination of several art fairs.  It's huge!  About a 1/2 million people attend the fair every year.

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

new building, new students, new schedule...

I just found out that I will have another building of students added to my schedule.
A while back I got a phone call from one of my friends saying that it was in the paper that my school district was going to share "Activity Teachers" with another local private school. Art is considered an "Activity" class, so my friend was wondering if I was going to have to teach at this school.  I hadn't heard a thing about it, so I assumed that there were some arrangements that didn't include me. Well, I was wrong. I got the call this morning. I have until tomorrow to decide if I want to bid into a general ed. classroom or stick with the art job. Next year the art position will have 4 buildings of students. The schedule will be primarily divided between 3 buildings.  The art teacher (maybe me) will be at each of the 3 buildings for 4 week rotations. At one building the first class period will be at the new school. So, for one month out of 3 I would have to travel daily. Each building will have 8 classes per day, most classes have about 28-29 students.
I'm really not sure whether to jump back into the classroom, or stick with teaching art.
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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Summer for Teachers

This is a photo of  a beautiful vine in my garden. I planted this last summer to replace a climbing rose that didn't do as well as I had hoped . In artwork, in gardening, in teaching, and in life sometimes things don't quite work out and you have to change plans :)

Summer is such a unique time for teachers. We idealistically have "time off", but realistically, it never feels like it! First of all, it's not like teachers have mucho bucks to do anything big... and I usually have classes to take, and I always have reading to do, plans to make, supplies to figure out, blah blah blah. I think about school all the time. I'm constantly thinking about how to improve my teaching, I can't turn it off just because it's summer. I have already started the teacher dreams- teachers, you know what I mean, where you dream that either your room is chaos or you don't know where anything is, or you are in the middle of some sort of ridiculous, anxiety ridden situation!
This summer I was hoping to have time to paint, draw, create, and improve my skills. I was hoping for lots of time in the garden. I was also hoping to organize things at home, and paint a room or two. I was hoping to finish making slipcovers... all the things I have no time for during the school year. I was mostly hoping for precious family time.
Well, luckily I have been on "vacation" because we have had lots of hospital and dr. visits for our parents. and even luckier, they all seem to be on the upswing now- but we have many more dr. visits ahead.
Plans rarely go as planned :) That's one of the things that make life so interesting, you never really know what's going to happen next. The classroom is like that too. You can plan, but you never really know what's going to happen. That challenge is part of what's fun about life, and about teaching. What are you going to do when things don't go as planned? How are you going to make the best of it? How are you going to use the situation and turn it around to have things go even better than you could have possibly planned?
Anyway, for any of you who do not know a teacher, and are thinking that we all spend our summers on the beach drinking slurpies- all I can say is... I WISH! ...maybe I will have a relaxing summer next year!

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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Grand River abstract

Map of the Grand River in MichiganImage via Wikipedia
The Grand River runs 260 miles through Michigan.  The mouth of the river is in Grand Haven.

This is not a great photo of this painting- but this gives you an idea of my abstract of the Grand River. This is quite different for me. It's mixed media- painted papers, paper towel, sharpie, acrylic, gel medium... It was sure fun to do. 
I order my acrylics from 

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Saturday, July 3, 2010

Art Tip: Happy 4th of July!

Fireworks #1Image by Camera Slayer via Flickr
Just a very quick art tip today...
Holidays and Seasonal objects and concepts make great starts for a painting.  For instance, when thinking about today, I could make a painting or a page in my sketchbook about so many things!

Here's a list of ideas I could go with:

  • I could just start with the colors red, white, and blue and make a stars and stripes design
  • set up a patriotic still life with things like the apple pie Cara made,  flags in a blue vase, and some red zinnias and roses from the yard
  • make a more realistic watercolor of the fireworks we saw from the boat over Coldwater Lake last night
  • maybe an abstract of the night sky with fireworks
  • photography of the family sharing the holiday can be used to inspire a painting
  • the horse was pretty stirred up by the fireworks- a white horse running under the big firworks in the sky was quite a beautiful sight
  • kids licking ice cream cones, or eating watermelon
  • people lined up for a parade
Maybe this will help spark some ideas of your own!  Have fun thinking about your art, and setting goals of what you want to accomplish.
Happy 4th of July!

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