Friday, April 20, 2018

The Material of Painting

I'm taking a different tact this Term when it comes to Painting, after many demonstrations and a few students insisting on using watercolors like gouache, or tempera, or acrylic. They used 1 year supply of watercolor pigment on two paintings!!

This Term I am teaching material first: the quality differences of Painting with Acrylic and Watercolor (posters below now hang in the classroom).

The subject of paintings next!

Watercolor and Ink doodles.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Masks and Cultures (2)


Making masks at another school with International students, students plan, and create their unique mask from their research of masks and cultures. They have a choice of materials to work with: papier mache, paper pulp, and/or plaster gauze (with a layer of plaster over it).  Students use different supports as well: plastic masks as a mold, I provide, balloons, cardboard, or a custom fitting mask made directly on their face using plaster gauze. When all done, students write paragraphs, based on their research and the process of making their own mask, their challenges and successes.

Students used embellishments provided by the school and acrylic paint, or brought their own. We displayed the masks on the bulletin boards in the hallway. Masks are based on those from Indonesia via Hawaii, Iran, Venice (Italy), Mexico Day of the Dead, Northwest Coast Native Art (Canada), China and Japanese Pop culture, legends and myths, and mixed with students' imagination.

Some of the Final Masks

Friday, February 2, 2018

Housing When Teaching Abroad

International schools can own properties and/or rent properties and provide them to Teachers. I've been in three International settings. I am a mature woman. These are my experiences.

1) In the sub-arctic of Ontario, Canada, in a fly in community on James Bay west-coast, there are housing shortages for locals. In your first year Teaching, you will most likely be in shared housing. Living with another Teacher, in a 2 bedroom upper or lower of a house, is common. After 1 year, maybe 2, you can gain a 2-bedroom apartment of your own. However, if there are changes to your or someone else's housing you may undergo changes too. 

I adopted a puppy, or a puppy adopted me, after 3 months living in the community. I had to make a decision to move out of my shared housing or let the puppy go. I was moved, and my roommate stayed in the sub-basement 2 bedroom apartment. I lived with my puppy and a married couple and their 2 dogs for 3 months. This was not an ideal situation. When another teacher left, due to illness, my previous roommate was moved to the upper two-bedroom apartment, and I moved again, to my previous 2 bedroom sub-basement apartment on my own. My puppy is now 8 years old. He is a great dog! We've been through a lot together. He is my buddy.

2) I was told, Teachers will have two-bedroom apartments in Kuwait when I was interviewed. For the first 3 months, I shared a 2 bedroom hotel apartment with another teacher. Teachers found out the plan for new residences fell through and little was in the works to replace it. When it looked like there was no end to our hotel stay, Teachers got together to find a solution and met with the Assistant to the Director. Within a few weeks after our meeting, we had our own two-bedroom apartments.

3) In Slovakia, I was provided a one bedroom apartment to myself. The refrigerator did not work, and needed to be replaced within the first week. The washer did not empty properly nor wring-out clothes. It was replaced at the end of the year when I renewed the lease. Few people have drying machines in Slovakia. You air dry on your balcony and indoors on drying racks. My apartment had a shower, no tub. Some of the same apartments in the same building had tubs and shower. Another Teacher, didn't have water in her shower for the first weeks. While all the single female teachers lived in small one-bedroom apartments, no matter how long they worked with the school, another single male teacher, lived in a two-bedroom apartment in a house.

After three years in my somewhat tiny apartment, I found and moved to a two-bedroom upper in a house. Soon after moving in, and over the summer when I had visitors for two weeks, I found out the landlord had a problem because my visitors were different than who I said they would be. There was a change and I didn't have time to tell him, and honestly didn't think I would need to. Another problem for him, was that I had two small birds. One of my birds had cage anxiety, he flew around the room only when someone went near the cage. I left the cage door open so he would be well. My landlord entered the apartment without notice when I wasn't home, and I found this out when he called my workplace about the birds. He'd get very angry, yell, and  because of the language barrier, would call my workplace to tell them. My workplace told me that I had to get rid of the birds, and that he had the right to enter the apartment, and that I had to live the way he liked. What my workplace did not know is that he also wanted to know who my visitors were, dinner guests too, as he did my neighbors below me. My landlord wanted the birds in the cage at all times, especially when he entered the apartment without notice, I guess. He said the birds would infect the apartment. I was upset by all and chose to leave soon after. I let the birds go.

I lived in a hotel for the remainder of the school year, while I looked for a new place to rent. As it turned out I was interviewed for another position back in Canada and I left the school completely.

4) Back in Canada, rents are very high!

Friday, January 26, 2018

Stop Motion Begins with Practice

Teaching Media Arts, Stop Motion, with choice based theory is a lot of work and has unexpected results, as always. I began with exercises, or practice of different techniques: 2D - cut outs, white board, ground coffee. After that, 3D objects, and humans, clay morphing and CLAYMATION.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Riffs on Op Art

After looking at Victor Vasarely and Bridget Riley's Op Art paintings, students practiced on their own given prompts to play with complementary colors and color families, in paint or color pencil; then do one of their own, or two. Terrific work Grade 10s.

Exercises, practice, and prompts.

Original Riffs on Op Art, grade 10 students.

3 views, 3 colors, 3 sizes

This exercise again proved useful with another International class, Grade 10s (students from China and Hong Kong, Iran, and Eastern Europe).  It made them change their seats and point of view. Then, we moved onto drawing from each other and from objects in the class room, which forced them to outline the human figure and get to an understanding of contour line. 

 The first post and previous class outcomes link.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Smart-phone Student Videos

Teaching Media Arts this Term in Ontario, Students are given exercises to edit their footage of a scene with actions, small actions, with close ups and wide shots; using photos with video for a montage effect (editing); and a 10 min Andy Warhol-like (sleep) film. The final project was an Artist video, they were shown a few examples of short videos, 3-5 min, with poetry, with music, and text. Here are a few student videos. All were taken with smart-phone/iphone. Not bad.

By Cynthia, Vivian, and Jason

By Erika

By Roy and Ophelia