'Living my Life'
I don't know how it happened, but my favorite phrase is 'living my life.'
It is my go-to phrase, my 'yolo'. And I reckon it's the best explanation I can offer to why I didn't keep my blog updated for the month of April. I made the art every day...but I posted the finished pieces to my web and FB in 'batches' here and there...but my Instagram adventures were maintained daily, per usual.
April...you weren't too great. John's uncle passed this month. My uncle Ray passed this weekend. But there was some good, too. Teaching was great, as always. (Love my students...even when they make me crazy at the end of the year! ) John was promoted to Associate Professor...we are moving to a place we really love...so, some good peppered in with the bad. But...'living my life' sure did keep me busy.
But the one constant- my art. My daily art making is my time for me, to focus on living that 'art life'. I really wanted to play around this month with my mermaids, especially since this is a theme I was revisiting. I used the handmade paper...did some collage...watercolor...prisma color...a little bit of everything. I focused on the mermaid's face...then did a few 'whole body' pieces...and towards the end I was sidetracked with angel imagery in light of loved ones passing. It's all there, chaotic, but it's there, in my heART.
I am hoping I can be a lil' better in May about maintaining the ol' blog. It is going to be a busy month...we're moving...there is all kinds of 'end of the year' hoopla to attend to for school...a trip to Cali...oh, and an art show...but more about all of that later. For now, meet my mermaids; Mabrey, Macee, Mackenzie, Madeira, Mae, Madison, Mikayla, Margo, Maxine, Marina, Michelle, Margaux, Mabel, Mimi, Mavis, Marisa, Mazzy, Marcela, Malina, Mary Jane, Mallory, Marie, Maven, Mason, Mandy, Melora, Meri, Malou, Massiel and Mia;
But... did you know that I can't swim and I am scared of deep water and ANY water with 'creatures' in it? Did ya? It's true. Yet...I go to the beach pretty regularly and I love to be BY the water. But as a general rule, I don't go in the shark's house. In many ways, drawing a painting mermaids is a way for me daydream about swimming all graceful and dainty-like, unafraid of all the creatures below the surface and not being able to touch the bottom. Sigh.
Instead, the meme below best describes my struggle. Thank goodness for memes.
All silliness aside (well, most of it!) I also have a ulterior motive for makin' mermaids this month. I have actually spent a month making mermaids already. Yup, sure did- back in May 2015. Here is a quick view of the images;
The main reason I am revisiting this theme (besides the fact that mermaids are freakin' awesome!) is that I am prepping a body of work for a show. My colleague Brent Bludworth and I have our now annual show coming up next month. Brent's jam is surf art, and I know I can show anything I want, but I really like to make something that will compliment his pieces just so the whole show is more cohesive.
So...mermaids it is! Yay!
But...I wanted to make them a little different, you know? My immediate thought was 'mixed media mermaids' (I am a sucker for alliteration, what can I say?!) I was thinking more collage, but as I was cleaning out my studio over spring break I came across a box of handmade papers I acquired from an art trade.
About that art trade... I saw a post in one of the art groups I am in on Facebook, a gal named Victoria Smith from Alabama was getting rid of some handmade paper she had created and I just happened to be the first one to catch the post, so I commented and then mentioned I could sweeten the deal with an old fashioned art trade- so she checked out my web site, picked out a piece from my #FelineFabJLG series and boom- we traded!
So I started working on the first piece. And actually, the first piece started off as just a pencil sketch of a face that I cut out and glued on the handmade paper. Then I started adding paint. At first I was using watercolor but I quickly figured out that was a BAD idea because it soaked into the paper and started to weaken the fibers. So then I started using acrylic, which seemed to work better. Another finding...ball point pen was better than pencil, less chance of ripping the paper.
My next issue is I didn't want to cover the paper so much. My first two images had a bunch of paint on 'em and I wanted to let some of the paper show through more. So in the third piece I approached the work with a lighter hand, not using so much paint and letting it be a little more rough and unfinished. (above, far right)
I mean...look at the surface of this paper. I am smitten. (below)
Then I started to focus more on just the face, per usual. #MyJam
...and that's where I am with this series. Mermaids...handmade paper...ballpoint pen...acrylic paint...optional sparkle. I never know when I start a series where it will take me, but who knows, maybe I will venture into the deep end and throw away my floaties after all!
A while back my art pals Jason and Jamaal came by my classroom to visit with the '5th period fam' (seriously, it's a real thing!) and I thought remembered that there were some spaces available for the street painting festival, so I connected him with my friend and gallery owner Joyce over at CGMS. I also remembered her introducing me to a new gal named Maeva over at a place next her gallery...so I him up to go over there and meet her as well. Funny how that works...how 'small' the world, at least the local art world, really is.
So anyway, Jason ended up securing the spots for several local artists that are with his Exhibit Treal endeavor...and the meeting with Maeva also went great- they collaborated on another exhibit for the upcoming grand opening of Common Ground Community Development Center. Yay! 'Wins' all around!
This is all great news...but you know what is even better? Jason extended an opportunity to me AND to my students in return! Pretty cool how that goes, huh? My class collaborated on some paper mosaic shapes pulled from their Common Ground logo since we couldn't physically go there and paint on the windows AND Jason secured a spot for my artwork in the show. Again...'wins' all around!
Art Teacher Signs...to share!
Hi, art teachin' friends! I posted a silly sign today on FB directed to the 'random' students always interrupting my class...I tell ya, this time a year it's a struggle!
Here are the files, I added the file as a Word doc so you can edit them. I also added some other signs if you would like to use them. These reflect my sense of humor and rapport with my high school students and might not work for everyone...but they work for me, and my students like'em!
The file link(s) are included below each image;
I to make this sign because I was getting SUPER FRUSTRATED by students that are not in my classes 'popping in' all throughout the day. (I mean, who likes a 'pop in'?!) I keep my door locked, so this means I either have to stop what I am go to the door or a student has to stop working, get up and go open the door.
The students' don't mean any harm, they want to see what we are doing, visit with friends...escape from their regular classes.
I get it, art is awesome. BUT-I am tryin' to TEACH for cryin' out loud!
NOTE: 'BOI' is spelled that way intentionally #StreetCred
Okay, here is the document;
Here are some of my tardy signs. They are funny, but #RealTalk ...go get a pass, kiddo!
...if you teach ceramics...you get it. 'Is my piece ready yet?!' (for the 100th time)
I made these to keep my sanity. Please feel free to use, they REALLY do help.
Kevin Hart-Where is my Clay?
It's in the kiln #winning
This one needs no explanation...ya'll feel me.
GO BUY YOUR OWN ART SUPPLIES!
Again...these reflect me and my own unique situation...which is why I added links to Word docs so you could change them to reflect YOU. I really am super sweet (like...I'll give you a cavity I'm so sweet!) BUT...when it comes to my instructional time with my students...I don't play.
Hope these were helpful!! Happy Wednesday...only two more days to go! -JLG
I wanted to write something witty and fun about this series coming to an end...but I have spent almost all day updating my blog and adding the images from the series to this site and to FB since I was a slacker and didn't take care of this sooner...so...I will give you the short version:
My March series, #OutOfSightJLG, was inspired by my own eye issue, a corneal ulcer, which meant I had to wear my glasses for about a month. I had dish out a pretty penny in visits to the eye doctor. The ulcer has since healed (yay!) and I can wear contacts again-and also my beloved over-sized sunglasses. I will never take my eyes for granted ever again 'cause I don't want to be 'out of sight'!
And now...time to take out my contacts and nap! Here is my series;
Artist and Art Teacher