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.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

open house/ Middle School Art

Instructor:  Mrs. Julia Garnett

Building:  Western Middle School


Other:  Please contact me by email or phone.  The best time to call is after school.  I am also available from 12:56- 1:44 PM most days.  

Course Description:

Students will utilize a variety of media to create works of art.  Media includes, but is not limited to:  Pencil, colored pencil, acrylic paint, watercolor paint, ink, oil pastel, chalk pastel, and clay.  Students will learn about the Elements and Principles of Design, as well as some color theory, and art history.

Essential Learning Expectations:

Students will learn basic art skills, and proper use and care of art tools.

Students will learn how to plan, execute, and critique an art project.

Students will be expected to know the terminology and use of the following Elements of Design:  Line, Shape, Form, Value, Color, Texture, Space.

Text used and other recommended materials:

Students should come to class each day with a pencil.  Students will also need a 3- fastener folder. 


Student grades will be comprised from projects and participation.  Grades for art projects will be based on a set of requirements given for each assignment.  Requirements will include completion, meeting the deadline, creative use of limitations and peramiters, line quality, design elements, neatness and presentation.

Letter grades will be assigned by the scale below:

100- 91.5 = A 87.4- 81.5 = B 77.4- 71.5 = C 67.4- 61.5 = D
91.4- 89.5 = A- 81.4- 79.5 = B- 71.4- 69.5 = C- 61.4- 59.5 = D-
89.4- 87.5 = B+ 79.4- 77.5 = C+ 69.4- 67.5 = D+ 59.4- 0      = E

Grades will be rounded up only to the tenth place during this calculation.  Students will only earn a passing grade for a marking period if they achieve at or above 59.45% which rounds to 59.5%.

Classroom Management Plan:

The art classroom emphasizes the Nurtured Heart approach.  This approach focuses on positivity in the classroom, with little energy spent on negative behavior.  When a student misbehaves, the student will be given a “reset”.  A reset is essentially a time-out.  The student is then “welcomed” back to class.  For a continuous misbehavior, a written reset (a chance for the student to contemplate his or her actions) will be assigned.  

If misbehavior continues to be a problem, the student will write a “Behavior Improvement Plan”.  Plans are to be signed by a parent and brought back to school the following day.  If the Plan is not signed and returned the next day, the student will receive a lunch detention and a call home.

Students in the art classroom are responsible for set up, care, and clean up of materials.  Students will be expected to maintain their personal workspace, and storage space.  It should be neat and in order.  They will work at group tables, and are expected to cooperate, and complete tasks in a prompt and appropriate manner. They are expected to remain on task during class, and may not disrupt the creative flow of others.    All students will be expected to take pride in the maintenance of the art room, and take care of each shared area such as sinks, cutting station, glue station, etc. 

In addition, all Western Middle School Building rules apply in the art classroom.  Students will be respectful, responsible, and ready.

Students will be referred to the principal if he/she has behavior issues listed in the Middle School Handbook.

Additional Classroom Information:

Due to the nature of the art projects assigned, attendance is extremely important.  Many projects are very difficult to “make- up” or “catch- up” outside of class.  Individual cases will be determined as necessary.

Use of personal technology (phones, ipods, mp3 players, etc.) are to be kept in student lockers. Music players may be allowed with special permission on days determined as rewards or celebrations.  The school is not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged personal technology.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Creativity- A peek into my process

I am studying and thinking some more about creativity.  
I want to share a few postings about my creative process as things occur throughout the next few weeks. I have been told that I'm creative, but I truly think everyone is creative, I am not particularly special in this category. I watch people do things all the time that would never occur to me, if I'm so creative, why couldn't I have thought of that???. 
I am amazed at the creativity I see on the internet, aren't we all saying "Who thinks of these things?!" all the time?
I will say that I have allowed myself the gift of time to create, and to think creatively. I have made a daily habit of creating. I am about the businesss of being creative. I am not afraid to take chances and make things that don't matter to anyone but me. But, I'm ready to grow, I want to know more about it. I want to get better. I want my work to become more creative, 
So, my first step is to notice my own creative thoughts throughout the day- and perhaps point out to you that you have many creative moments too- maybe you just never thought of them as especially "creative".
Creativity is basically problem solving. Here's my "for instance" for the day:
I have a problem that has nothing to do with art but takes a little creative problem solving:  One of the blades on my food processor broke at the top. My processor is about 30 years old- but it is my kitchen buddy, I don't want to part with it easily. I depend on it daily.
I looked up on the internet costs of new processors- whoaaaa. I am a starving artist, can't afford one right now.
I looked up replacing the blade. I couldn't believe it! It costs almost as much as buying a whole new processor! Yikes! and, besides, what kind of people collect old blades?... not sure I want to deal with them.
I can use my blender, my mixer, my knife, etc. instead of a processor and get along without one, Yeah, right!!! gasp.

So.... I'm trying my jewelry glue (is that wise with food??? is it toxic??) to glue it back together. This may not seem like creativity, but it really is. It's the same process I go through when I make something. 
Step one: State the problem
Step two: Brainstorm solutions
Step three: Pick a solution and try it!
Now, I realize this may, or may not work. I don't know if it will hold, or if it will poison us. We will see. After it's dry I'll try it to make some guacamole- I picked some beautiful little cherry tomatoes from the garden this morning, and my avocados are ripe.

Blade from food processor and the glue I used to put the top back together.
Next problem- Sooooo... while I was twisting the cap back onto the glue, the cap broke. The glue was still coming out, and was now all stuck to my fingers. Raise your hand if you hate that feeling of having no feeling in your fingers when they are coated with intense glue. So, I covered the tip of the glue with aluminum foil while I washed my hands off. While at the kitchen sink I notice those beautiful tomatoes- so I rinsed them off and while I thought about my broken cap. I don't know what it is about me and caps- I seem to break them a lot. I usually use foil or plastic with rubberbands to keep the cap covered. 
Duh- it ocurrs to me that I can glue it together! 
Step one: Problem- broken cap
Step two: Brain storm solutions- different ways to keep the tube sealed so the glue won't dry out.
Step three: Try it- I glued it back together, and reglued my fingers, sigh, and waited about 15 minutes to twist the cap back on. I hope I didn't twist it on too soon or I'll be back to step one with a new problem.

Now, while I had the glue uncovered, after I rinsed off the tomatoes, and while I was waiting for the cap to dry.... I noticed my mail on the countertop. I decided to make a ring out of the Matisse face ( or is it a Picasso face?) from the Museum Membership card. :) Isn't it cute? I love it. 
Ring made from museum mail.
But again I had a new problem. I needed somewhere to set the ring to dry- it had to be flat so the resin wouldn't slide off. So, I stuck the in the gap on the scissors.

drying the ring in the gap on the scissors
Now, all this gluing made my nose run- you know how strong that smell is! So, I used the last tissue in the box and discovered, much to my delight, the box has shiny insides! Hooray for shiny interiors!
This is just the kind of thing that really inspires me! LOVE, love, LOVE this kind of surprise, don't you! Now I have a fun problem for my mind to really roll around with!
1. Problem: What kind of artwork will I use this in????
2. Brainstorm: I don't have words yet for everything that is flying around in my head! Everything is out there and hasn't been reeled in to verbal form at all. Some creative process just flows around in a blurr. That's when you need to rinse tomatoes, make guacamole, go swing in a swing- stuff like that slows it down and sorts it out, do you know what I mean? If you get what I am saying here, then you have a pretty good grasp on creativity already.
3. Solution: It's still mixing around in the mental blender, but I'll try to get back with you on this one.

Tissue Box with shiny interior.
When I took the box to my dining room table to take a picture of it, I noticed my cute little paintings I am working on. I'll be working on them after dinner. I will make my next post about the steps I took to get to this point.
One of nine small paintings I'm working on.
See the orange 9? under the shoe line drawing?