Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Be Careful What You Wish For

my yard nymph looks like an Ice Fairy

As the holiday break lay before me, now a week and a half ago, I hoped for time to work on my entry for the upcoming Maine Art Educators Association Members Show at the Saco Museum. I wanted to also get a few things done around the house like cleaning my frig - the dear dinosaur is over 27 years old (my electrician says I should says this quietly) and in need of a good cleaning. Two days before Christmas we had an ice storm and lost power. Late on Christmas day the power came back and by then we were using the unheated mudroom floor for refrigeration. I couldn't just load all the food back into a messy frig, so this is how my wish came true and I found the time to do a nice job cleaning my frig... on Christmas evening. I am pleased that it's clean and I will know all year long what day I last cleaned it!
Ice Storm 2013
Happy New Year's Eve. May 2014 be a wonderful year for everyone!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

NBPTS CERTIFIED! and Winslow Homer school mural

'Young Ducks' - Winslow Homer 
This morning before the sun was up, I logged onto the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards website and found out that I am a NATIONAL BOARD CERTIFIED TEACHER!
I received an email earlier in the week letting me know that the scores would be available today. I patiently waited 6 months for this news. I can not tell you how happy, thrilled and excited I am. I feel as though I could fly, though this might be influenced by the fact that it is a very windy day here in Maine.
Perhaps this is a good moment to share a picture of the mural I did with my students, staff, and learning community (parents, grandparents, etc.) this fall. I do a mural every year with my students. My students are Kindergarten thru 8th Grade. This fun project reminds us we can do great things together. The Portland Museum of Art has posters of the original work: "Young Ducks", by Winslow Homer. Tours of Homer's studio at Prout's Neck are also available through the museum - I highly recommend them. And now, back to thoughts of flying....

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Art Room, Art Conference

My classroom, a truly wonderful art room for 300+ K-8 students.
The school year is speeding along. We've had technology glitches to deal with - as in lightening taking down the district's hard drive (and it's still not up yet). I received probably the only iPad mini (in the state of Maine?!) that didn't work properly. How do you know if something isn't working if you've never used it before? I gave it my best shot for 2 months and nearly lost all personal confidence in my ability to use/manipulate technology. The 'lemon' iPad was replaced this week on the eve of my attending a conference in Orono. The new iPad works beautifully and the conference was a good chance to catch up with arts teachers from around the state, and meet new colleagues.
can you hear me knitting?

I charged my batteries at the conference through the exchange of info and ideas and I knitted a pair of mittens!

Orange Sock-Monkeys
... And now back to grading... on many slips of paper the old fashioned way until that hard drive is fully functional.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Late August Poppies & Dilly Beans

I bought poppy seeds in Vermont in late June, planted them after the 4th of July. TODAY the first one bloomed! I will have poppies in September for the first time ever. My veggie garden is still putting forth tomatoes, beans, dill, and cucumbers. I have been making dilly beans. There's nothing like a couple of dilly beans on your sandwich in February to remind you that LIFE IS VERY GOOD.

I have been clearing brush down by the river, washing windows and other chores that I want done before winter. School started this week with 3 days of workshops, the students return on Tuesday. Once teaching gets underway it's hard to find the time for these bigger projects. It was a fine summer. I had a lot of time in my studio, but I am ready to see the students again and see what they will create!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Christmas at the end of July...

I dug up garlic yesterday. Nothing says 'Christmas in July' better than a harvest of garlic!
Summer is battery charging time. I divide my time between my studio and my gardens. I've been working in my studio on two paintings, one is quite large, a portrait. The other painting will become a print in my Etsy shop.

I took a little trip last month. First I collected my mother from her butterfly hatchery in Vermont, then we drove to Montreal to the Botanical Gardens to see the 'Mosaicultures' show. IT WAS AMAZING. This show runs until 9/29/13 and is a 'must see' if at all possible. Here are a couple of pics. The bird sculpture in the water was my favorite.

I want to live in this tree!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer begins... BRING IT ON!

My school year has ended - let summer begin! I have many toys tucked around my classroom; I packed them away for a couple of months on the last day. This year a 4th grade boy asked to trade his Blue-Winged Kookaburra for a stuffed, singing Chickadee I had nestled under the TV set. I told him he could just have the Chickadee, but he insisted on trading. I tried to give the Kookaburra back to him on the last day of school... and he answered "But I gave him to you." - I realized then that he really wanted me to have his bird. I got an idea then that it might be fun to take this Kookaburra on my summer adventures and take pictures for my student. Yesterday, I took two photos at The Portland Museum of Art. I went there to see the William S. Paley Collection on Modernism. This is  a "must see show" - a remarkable collection on loan from MOMA. In the collection was one of the pieces I was tested on in my National Board tests - wow!, now this painting feels like an old friend.

It seemed fitting to see this rainbow on the last night of school. A great year has come to an end - with inspiration set in motion for the fall. My school will be getting a new principal and a new superintendent... change is on its way. Change is good. Happy summer!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Moving On...

I took my 6 NBPTS tests; a year of hard work comes to a close. Waiting begins. I won't get scores until Thanksgiving. Surely I will wonder 18 gazillion times until I know the answer. It's been quite a journey. Among the myriad of things both technical and profound I learned along the way, my ability to singly focus on tasks has also become greater. 

School is almost done for this year. I am ready to focus my energy in my studio... well, after I weed the garden. I spent the weekend getting caught up outdoors. Mowing a running path late in the day showed these dandelions owning a hill. A little trip to the woods to dump trimmed tree branches gave me a peek at a bird's nest on the ground. I can feel my batteries getting charged. 2 paintings are ready for my attention in the studio. Life is good - so, so good!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

NBPTS and felting at MAEA Spring Conference

Wet Felting: My first 2 vessels.... it's all about color folks...
2 entries are submitted for National Board - wahoo! 1 entry to go and 6 tests.
I think I can, I think I can...
The Maine Art Educators Association spring conference at UMO was great. The keynote speaker was Dr. Kerry Freedman, author of: Teaching Visual Culture:  http://www.art.niu.edu/Art-Design-Education-Faculty/Kerry-Freedman.html.
At the conference I took a wonderful workshop entitled: Explorations in Felt: Small Vessels. I have noodled around a bit with needle felting. This workshop was wet felting, over mason jars. Our teacher: Jodi Clayton of One Lupine  http://www.onelupine.com/ was a wonderful teacher. This is my kind of conference - provocative information for the mind and a hands on creative experience.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

'Play' Show at the Harlow Gallery

artwork ready for PLAY
I'll have 3 pieces in the Harlow Gallery's show 'Play'. The opening is 4/5/13. I've been working on Nat'l Board all weekend. I'm looking forward to the Maine Art Educator's Association conference next weekend in Bangor. I'm taking an all-day workshop in felting. Crocuses are up! Spring is in the air. Amen.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

snOOOOw day #3

Yes - we've got ourselves a Snowday! It's the 3rd for this school year - I'll take it! Working in my studio today.... on NBPTS. My testing date set for May, so there's hope on the horizon - yipee!

At school we recently celebrated 'Read The Most From Coast to Coast' and Dr. Seuss's birthday. The students are always confusing my name with the librarian's and vice-versa.... so here we are (hee hee).

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Starry Night sweater

Where did this month go? Snow storms and working on NBPTS entries is my answer. For a little creative break I have been working on needle felting 'The Starry Night' onto a sweater. I've had this idea for a while; it took forever to find the right WOOL sweater at Goodwill. Some people have 'Goodwill luck' finding clothing - I am not one of them. I have found many great picture books though, even some older Caldecott medal winners to add to my collection. At present, my creative output will remain minimal until I'm done with NBPTS. Happy soon-to-be Spring!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Snow~Day #2, NBPTS

Today was a great snow~day. I had coconut, ginger, cashew granola made, orchids and chickens watered and the wood box filled with firewood - all before 7:30 am. I spent the rest of the day working on my National Board for Professional Teaching Standards portfolio. Tea mug in hand... it was a 'can do' kind of day.   

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Orchid and Winter Window

This wonderful orchid is blooming for the first time in two years. It arrived here in Maine as a gift after flying home from West Palm Beach, Florida. I love the sunny yellow color of the blossoms.

I thought a picture of my window would make for a nice contrast. It has been below zero here every morning for the past week. BUT IT IS STAYING LIGHT A LITTLE LONGER EACH DAY!
Ah, 'wintah' time in Maine. I'll bet I own more polar fleece items of clothing than the state of Texas has collectively. In my studio working on my National Board certification I look like a bundled up cave woman. No complaints though, it all feels good. I was meant to be a modern day cave woman pondering art lesson plans from my studio overlooking the wonders of winter. This IS the life. Cheers! - may 2013 be wonderful.