narrative artists for drawing 2

we had a great discussion about some contemporary narrative artworks this week in drawing 2.

the students will be using the lyrics of death cab for cutie as jumping off points for their own narrative works.

here are some of the artists we looked at, with links to find out more about them!

clive smith (see more here)

david bowers (see more here)

edgar jerins (see more here)

joan mateu (see more here)

maggie taylor (see more here)

margaret bowland (see more here)

new painting // "sold my soul for"

this painting was created for the october show at 1975 gallery, "the devil's in the details". it is the gallery's 6th anniversary and i was asked to show with around 60 other artists both local and national. i am so honored to be part of this show and display alongside my former student austin keppeler and friends adam francey and john perry. lots of fun details in this painting. check it out in person at 1975 starting on october 11. the opening reception is from 7-10pm.

sold my soul for
sold my soul for
2014 sold my soul for (detail 2)
2014 sold my soul for (detail 2)

artist of the week // adam maida // webster grad

its rare to forge an art career the way that adam maida has. its a totally DIY (do-it-yourself) story, one that is highlighted in Rebecca Rafferty's story in CITY mag. he is creating his own personal work, has designed album and movie covers/posters, and is now doing freelance illustration for the New York Times (and another example here). his work has a unique aesthetic - one based on collage, a unique hand-drawn style and digital touches. i respond to his work for these reasons, as it seems that my inspirations come from a similar place, but adam takes his work in a slightly different direction, one which i admire. and i love that he is using his power as an artist to make a statement - this makes the art even better. some of the more political work may not be universally popular (but thats the point, right?). regardless of the politics of some of the work, if you love or appreciate creative art & design, his work is worth checking out.

and it's a career that i will continue to follow with serious interest.

here are some of my favorite works. for his entire portfolio (and contact info), check out his website (he is also on etsy and twitter, if you're into that sort of thing).







studio in art sculptures

i decided to change up my studio in art sculpture project this year, forgoing my typical frank gehry-inspired abstract sculptures in favor of animal-themed sculptures based on the work of aj fosik. we used cardboard, acrylic paint and spray paint - putting an emphasis on animal likeness and exaggeration of features.

i am extremely happy with how they turned out!

emma koehn 1
emma koehn 1
mary lentine 1
mary lentine 1
mary buckley 2
mary buckley 2
kate buholtz 1
kate buholtz 1
ally bellanca 2
ally bellanca 2
emily hoffman 1
emily hoffman 1
victoria weller 2
victoria weller 2
grace gumina 1
grace gumina 1
grace lagoner 3
grace lagoner 3

artist of the week // augustine kofie (KOFIE ONE

thinking more about the work that has inspired me over time, and most directly inspired my recent body of work, i keep coming back to augustine kofie, aka KOFIE ONE. kofie's work blends interesting geometry, bold colors, lots of graffiti-inspired texture as well as a clean-cut graphic quality (including collaged elements) that really appeals to me. his use of mixed media (cut wood, yard sticks, found objects) also adds another interesting dimension to his abstract compositions.

see more of his work at his website.


my 20th century inspirations

on my journey through art-making, i have always found inspiration from the artists of the second half of the 20th century. but recently those inspirations have taken on a new importance for me as i have begun a new series of work that i can "excavations", where i am creating narratives through combining text, numbers, patterns and portraits. i am layering these things together on surfaces that are pieced together from scraps/recycled pieces of wood, aiming to create pieces that look as though they could have been excavated from within a wall of an old house or pieced together from pre-painted remnants of america in the 1950s. i have always drawn upon the work of jasper johns - but his painterly brushwork and use of symbols and numbers has taken on greater importance here. richard diebenkorn is an artist that i was introduced to by my mentor and friend, bill stephens. he goes to diebenkorn's work for inspiration, and i have come to be influenced by his color fields and color/tone relationships and geometric division of space. his 'ocean park' series is specifically inspiring to me. you will find a wide variety of pop-culture imagery weaving through robert rauschenberg's works, but what i have always been most drawn to are his 'combines' - paintings that have actual objects attached to them. along with being beautiful (or ugly... but in a beautiful way), they begin to weave a story once they are combined with the imagery and colors that he applies.

hopefully as you view these works and dig a bit deeper into the artists, you can see how they have inspired me - and i hope that you come to have your own group of inspirational artists along your artistic journeys.

robert rauschenberg "estate"
robert rauschenberg "estate"

artist of the week // ethan murrow

ethan murrow is creating grandiose theatrical narratives using only graphite pencils! these pieces range in size from 24"-48" and weave surreal fantasy into vintage american scenes and settings. Winston Wachter gallery calls these “characters as outrageous innovators and absurd explorers capturing a sense of adventure, satire, fun and defeat.” can you imaging doing a pencil drawing this large and this detailed?

find out more at his website.


artist of the week :: aj fosik

so, i realize that its been far too long since i have posted anything about my new artist obsessions. i end up using pinterest as my main place for sharing my artistic inspiration (and most of my student artwork ends up on twitter)... BUT this needs to change.

and aj fosik is the reason.

he did the sculpture that can be found on the cover of mastodon's 2011 record "the hunter", and from that moment on i loved his work. recently i was brainstorming with my good friend rob and he reminded me about fosik's work and it got me thinking about how i could use it with my students.

my studio art class will be creating animal bust sculptures (using cardboard) with an emphasis on color and pattern.

i love how fosik's work shows his crazy diverse interest in folk art, psychedelic art... and taxidermy - in such an interesting and unique way. check out 2 quick videos and some of my favorite works of his below.


artist of the week :: kelly hurlburt

kelly hurlburt is a student in my AP Drawing class this year - and i have been lucky enough to teach her since she started at thomas as a freshman. on top of being an awesome kid and artist, she is helping out this year in my studio in art class as a teaching assistant (and you've seen their colored pencil works in my last post). needless to say, we spend a lot of time together!

the AP Art curriculum mandates that each student choose a 'concentration' theme for 12 of their 24 portfolio works. in her words, kelly's theme deals with the juxtaposition of scenes from everyday life with scenes of disaster and suffering. these somewhat whimsical combinations are meant as sybolizations of apathy. in other words, the pieces comment on how people do not care about tragic events that are going on in the world if they do not directly affect them.

everyone that sees her work finds in not only visually arresting, but also thought-provoking and mature. it is definitely one of the most creative 'concentration' themes that i have seen in my 9 years (nine years!!!) of teaching AP. 

take a few minutes and look at kelly's work (you can click on the images to enlarge them) - consider how we all take these issues for granted as we rush through our daily lives.

The Tsunami Dancer


For Sale

For Sale (detail)

El Derrame De Petróleo

The Inundation

art room progress... and studio in art awesomeness.

its been a great week in the art room...

drawing 1 is starting their digital painting self portraits, AP continues on with their 'concentration theme' work, and drawing 2 and studio in art are continuing with their still lives.

i continue to be impressed with the work that all of my students are doing - and today my (mostly freshman) studio class' progress and overall awesomeness compelled me to share with you all.

the display board

AP 'concentration' examples

studio in art still lives (9th graders!!!)

alyssa's drawing in progress

marie's drawing in progress

art shows!!!

i am lucky to have my students' work featured in 2 exhibits right now. the first is at the rochester arts and cultural council, in honor of youth art month. the show is composed of works from 3 awesome local high schools, and was conceived of by west irondequoit superintendent jeff crane and curated by IHS teacher and art coordinator sue jacobs. IHS and penfield high school join the webster high schools in this beautiful show, which takes place in the most professional gallery setting that we've shown in. it is in fact the first time that high school student work has been featured in this particular gallery - and i think we are setting a high bar.

there will be a closing reception on march 23rd that will be open to the public, and will have the same selection of great food (and great artwork) as the opening reception.

please join us!

also, my AP art class will be having our annual exhibition at The Owl House, opening next monday, march 11 from 6-9pm. the kitchen will be closed for dinner so we'll have the restaurant to ourselves as we transform it into a gallery.

there will be free snacks and the bar will be open.

this reception is free and open to the public - we would love to have you all join us!

if you would rather go and enjoy a fantastic meal while surrounded by the great artwork, the show will be up until april 7, and the restaurant is open tuesday-sunday each week!

where else does this happen? (subtitle: i'm lucky)

during 6th period today, an awesome thing happened; i had a free period (and i was grading... blech), and like many free periods, the room was occupied by students working on their art pieces. but what was different today was that the tables were full of a variety of students from each grade and all of my classes, sitting intermingled, working intently together. there was such a wonderful energy in the room, i had to capture it.

i'm lucky.

"4x34" :: painting with my son

this series of paintings, entitled "4x34", are all done by my 4 year old son and myself. he was inspired by watching herakut paint the mural in rochester in october, and had been talking about wanting to do some 'murals' of his own.

we used latex paint, spray paint, and paint markers on stretched canvases. it was a very organic process where he would start by picking the color of paint and rolling it on the canvas (or conversely he would choose the spray paint color and i would apply it, then he'd paint over it). he would really lead all the work, and i would be there to just redirect when necessary or have him stop and start something new when the time was right. he would draw lines - sometimes representing a 'thunder storm' or 'the ocean' - and i would add to them, making them fit together or blend more seamlessly into the composition.

his energy and natural markings were a wonderful juxtaposition with my control and knowledge of composition. it was very eye opening for me as an artist, as well as a great way to spend time together.

so much color in the art room.

its always hectic coming back from christmas break, but the following week ends up being a bit more normal and we can get back into our groove.

i took a period and put up all the in progress works today and was amazed to see all the vibrant yet subtly layered and placed color together from DRAWING 1 (descriptive self portraits), DRAWING 2 (abstracted still lives), and AP DRAWING (personal theme work). so much great work all in once place.

i love my job.

the wall

drawing 1 self portraits

drawing 2 abstracted still lives

AP drawing personal theme work