Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Coke Art!

Where have I been and what in the heck have I been doing? Well, I can't reveal all of the information - let's just say only my hairdresser knows! Anyway, I am back in the blogging saddle and apologize for my absence.

One of the fun videos that is back is the Extreme Diet Coke & Mentos Experiments II - The Domino Effect - science and art meeting in an artistic extravaganza! Get a diet coke, sit back and enjoy!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Artist of the Week - Mr. Martin

Sorry, folks, if you are not familiar with our TAG environment, you might be scratching your head about this week's selection. Mr. Martin is our computer science teacher who likes to hassel me about art. The truth of the matter is that he has been in the closet about his true feelings about art. Look what the closet had hidden - a NEW (from Berkeley) tie-dye T-shirt that extends beyond the psychedelic into universal quantum vibrations! Woah, Mr. Martin - be still my beating heart - obviously color spins YOUR world just like MINE!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Toast Art

Toast. An interesting medium for the artwork of Lennie Payne from the UK. He's been working in this medium since 1996. How does he do it? He explains on this website that he has to flatten and dry out the bread first. Then he works with different tools like gas burners, knives, sandpaper, drills and paint. He seals it to preserve the work and keep it from being eaten by little critters (que horrible to invest in biodegradable art and have it nibbled away!). I do want to comment on the use of units that are assembled to make an overall art piece - I am personally attracted to this artistic device. What was the quantum leap that led Lennie to his artistic vision? First, you burn some toast. Thanks, Mr. Martin!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Metropolitan Museum of Art Timeline of Art History

Technology is one of my favorite things! For those of us who were born mid-20th century, we remember time without technology. I know I'm dating myself here, but I still marvel at the tools that we have at our finger tips that open the world of knowledge to us. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has the most incredible Timeline of Art History that is completely interactive, in depth and incredible. I encourage ALL of you to check out this site - go dipping around in time and check out the art! I bet you can't check just one!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Artist of the Week - Willard Wigen

I am constantly amazed to see where the artistic vision takes people. Willard Wigen creates his artworks in the eyes of needles and the heads of pins. The viewers must look at this artwork through microscopes when it is on display! You must visit his website to see more about him and his artwork. When creating his art, he uses biofeedback to slow his body systems down in order to work in between heartbeats and breaths for the ultimate physical steadiness! Wow! Willard is a perfect testimony on the human drive to seek out new, seemingly impossible challenges. Things are only impossible if we think they are!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Artist of the Week - Keith Haring

I love the work of Keith Haring. My Art I students get twisted up if they can't make "real art" (you know - something they can tell what it is). We have been working hard at that, looking at abstract expressionists, color field artists, etc. I haven't shown them Keith Haring, but I need to. His art is so approachable, so grounded and so universal that people can relate to the emotions and ideas he communicates through his art. His life was short, 1958-1990, but his work powerful! Check out his kid's site - it makes you want to be a kid again ---- and do some art!!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Dust Art

Easy come, easy go. That saying really applies to Scott Wade's artwork. He must live in a really dusty place, cause the collecting of his art material doesn't look hard. The first good rain that comes will wash it away, which I think makes it extra special. It's like an art happening - on display for a limited amount of time for only a few to enjoy. Thanks for the pics! You made my Art Blog!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Gum Art

As a high school art teacher, I have had the distinct pleasure of having lunch pizza parties in my classroom for the last two days with anywhere from 40-100 kids diving for pizza slices like it was the last food on the planet. Admittedly, they were hungry. However, I have come to the conclusion that an adult MIGHT be able to get ALMOST anything they want from a teenager

IF they have pizza as the reward. I digress. It was AFTER the pizza party today, during our studio art critique, that I noticed a bottle of water on one of the tables with a VERY carefully placed piece of chewed gum on top of the unopened bottle top. Obviously it was to be rechewed after the yummy pizza. At first glance, we said "uhhhhg" (as any self-respecting gentile student or teacher might say), but then, later I remembered this site I stumbled upon late the night before as I was searching for random food art (a popular medium on my blog - i.e. the most comments about...). Yes, this site has an amazing display of artwork created from chewed gum. The important statistics (how many pieces, how long it took to accumulate, etc.) are there. The range of work is impressive. I might even go out on a limb and say this is my favorite site in a while ( and I LOVE everything)! I am sorry I pitched that bottle & chewed gum away...I could have started collecting!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Artist of the Week - Paul Klee

I have loved this image ever since I was a child. Long ago, there was a wonderful publication called "Horizon" that my parents subscribed to. Days when I was home ill, I thumbed through these books, looking at the spectacular artworks, reading the articles about literature and listening to classical music. As I begin to find out more about Klee, I see that he valued the "primitive" and especially the art of children because of the directness and innocence of their artistic approach. A man after my own heart, he drew from botany, astronomy, physics and psychology. His work spanned the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, yet his work still looks fresh and contemporary. If you are not familiar with his work, check him out!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Color Illusions - Check it Out!

Click on the headline and check out this site that has interactive color illusions. We don't really think about the relationships of one color to another and how they impact each other. They have tremendous influence on each other. The eye is easily fooled! See for yourself!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Artist of the Week - Robert J. Lang

Check out this modern origami by Robert Lang! Over the last 35 years he has designed over 480 original compositions! They include insects, plants, flowers, figures and geometric. The artist creates each piece by hand folding special papers together. His commissions include web, print and television advertising. Click on the headline above and go to his home page. Prepare to spend some time there!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Artist of the Week - Anish Kapoor

It is always exciting for me to find out about a new artist I didn't know about! This artist, born in India, lives in London and is one of the most sought after public art artists today. This work, "Cloud Gate" (aka The Electric Kidney Bean or The Bean) , is a new istallation in Chicago, Mr. Kapoor's first commissioned public art in the United States. Public art always generates a lot of comment from the general public! This particular piece (80% of the surface reflects the sky, therefore the origin of the name) incorporates the viewer into the piece and the scene reflected in the piece as they approach the sculpture. You can even walk under the piece, as the open space below is 9' high. Check this artist out for yourself - he has a large range of varied, large scale work, representing space!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Top 5 Strangest Art-inspired Gadgets

Anyway, I wanted to say that another thing I love about art is that it responds quickly to new ideas, processes and materials. This site has examples of new tools, systems and ideas for artistic expression. Check out the site by clicking on the title of this post and you can see the pictures that I have been trying to attach and read about the new innovative stuff!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

More Food Art

I started with coffee, then we moved to watermelon, and now the beautiful eggshell! I think this is a theme that deserves exhaustive research (using food as a material for artistic expression). Food is essential to life and I posit that it is the same with art. No wonder the two merge into one beautiful expression! The skill level of these examples is really exquisite, the material delicate and the result has a luminous, fragile quality. Not sure what tools are used for this precision work (lasers?) - these images came to me without any credit. I did google egg shell art, and came across this website of Blackhawk's which is the following: . He gives a little background to this ancient art. Check it out!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Drawing - Fun for All!

As an art teacher, I hear it all - from "I love to draw" to "I can't draw a straight line!". Drawing is a learned skill like many other endeavors, and this exhibit features drawing manuals from the 18th - 20th centuries. During this time period art instruction was not a specialty subject like it is now, but was part of a well-rounded education. When we draw, we "see" the world in a unique perspective. Through the use of our body and mind to record what we see, the barriers of inside and outside become blurred - we create a special experience for ourselves regardless of the artistic outcome. People these days take drawing too seriously when it is truly meant to be a fun, creative activity. Our ancestors appreciated it for what it was - a part of a well-rounded education!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Artist of the Week - John Singer Sargent

My last summer fling took me to Colorado to visit family members. I happily found myself one evening in the company of two other studio artists as our foursome attended a play. After our outing, we returned to our meeting point, one of the women's home that was absolutely packed with original art that she had collected. What a joy to peruse her collection throughout her home - drawings, watercolors, oils - work that she had either created or had collected. Now, she did not have an original Sargent in her collection, but we brought him up during our conversation, comparing another's technique to Sargent's. An American painter who spent most of his life traveling in Europe in the last half of the 19th century, he established a reputation for himself as "the" portraitist of the rich and famous. He was, however, a respected generalist in the sense that whatever he decided to draw and paint (landscapes, street people, genre scenes) he was successful at. Clicking on the Artist of the Week headline will take you to Natasha Wallace's website devoted to the life and work of John Singer Sargent. You will find out about his life and see a catalogue of his work that is available on the Web. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Artist of the Week - Chris Bliss

Amazing juggling finale. This video is really spectacular! Chris Bliss combines the Beatles, juggling, and his incredible sense of rhythm into a mesmerizing juggling performance. Click on the Artist of the Week headline to view the video. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

New Museum Link Feature of Blog!

I'm excited to have this list of links for myself! Last month I missed a Chuck Close exhibit because I didn't know what was going on around town. We have MANY great museums in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area - I decided to add them all to the links section (see right column) for easy access. They are in alphabetical order for quick searching. Keep abreast with exhibits throughout the year for yourself!

My students - contact me about my last art adventure for the summer - an outing to the Fort Worth museums. If you're interested in meeting there, contact me!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Dramatic Design for Advertising

Images of these trucks showed up in an email, and I was entertained. The art technique of trompe l'oeil (an image that looks realistic but isn't) was being used to create drama in advertising. We know that trucks carry our goods, but by putting provocative designs on them, the advertising force is greatly increased! When I googled "German truck art", it took me to the site. Someone had written in to ask if these were 'for real' (pun intended!)! There was a design competition for ideas to be presented, and two products "Pringles" and "Pepsi" were the winners. Click on the headline above, it will take you to the Snopes site and you can click on the links that show the winning advertising on the real trucks as they rolled out! How effective is this idea in making YOU want to buy a certain product?

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Artist of the Week - William Morris

A few years ago I was visiting a museum with my aunt and stumbled onto the work of William Morris. There was a stunning exhibition of his work that deeply affected me. This was long before I became a teacher of Art History. But even then, his use of glass and bronze to reinterpret ancient artifacts pushed a primordial button in me that left me breathless. Morris worked in Dale Chihuly's glass studio exploring that medium. Chihuly's work is certainly fantastic - splashy, grand in scale and compelling. But Morris's use of archeology and pagan cultures as subject matter connects our modern viewpoint to ancient times in a visceral way that spans the ages.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Body Worlds 3 Exhibit in Houston

I'm in Houston this week attending an AP Studio Art Summer Institute at Rice University. I really started getting excited about my trip on the drive to Houston when I saw billboards advertising this exhibit at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Body Worlds has been traveling around for awhile, but this is my first opportunity to view it. Dr. Gunther von Hagens developed a process called Plastination which preserves the human body from decay. Donors have willed their bodies to go through this process which create the exhibit. What a revolutionary process!! During the Renaissance, artists such as Leonardo da Vinci were obtaining cadavers for the purpose of studying the anatomical structure of the human and the beginning of serious science illustration began which greatly furthered developments in medicine. The human body continues to offer the greatest challenges for artists - understanding the structure of our bodies is the first step in successfully capturing their magic in art. The exhibit runs through September 4, 2006 at the Houston museum. Worth a trip to Houston!!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Artist of the Week - George Vlosich III

Thanks to Mr. Martin, I got turned onto this artist that uses an Etch-A-Sketch to create his art. His name is George Vlosich III and the process takes him 60-70 hours per portrait/composition to complete - without EVER making a mistake!! His skill at using this great tool results in fabulous pop art! Be sure to check out the link on his website that explains and shows the process. Incredible! I remember using one myself and the diagonal lines were the most difficult for me - it was much easier to manuver horizontally and vertically. For those of us who grew up in the 50's and 60's, there are strong memories with this being a popular toy (reeeaaallllly great for long car trips!) - and they were definitely around. I had one myself and noodled around on it, but I had no idea it was such an expressive medium!! I really have great respect for this artist - what success, what ingenuity, and what talent! Hope you have been introduced to a new artist this week!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The Art Recovery Center

An interesting discussion was had at a recent dinner party about the meaning of modern and contemporary art. As a new art history educator, I felt compelled to defend modern art (which I like!) to one fellow who thought it was nonsense. I encourage my students to have an attitude of personal acceptance or rejection to any art object, with the caviat that the viewer needs to be able to articulate WHY they like or dislike a piece. This site, The Art Renewal Center, is an interesting one! They reject the modernist aesthetic and claim that the only path to meaningful art it through the masters (many of whom they claim have been left out of the "canon"), through realism, universal themes and skill. I have purposely linked to their mission statement (which is always a good place to start). This site has a ton 'o stuff to peruse. I see some interesting discussions in my future!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Famous Artist's Childhood Art

The exhibit at the Phillips Collection in Washington shows artists such as Paul Klee, Pablo Picasso and Winslow Homer feature the work they did as children. See the story link above to NPR's coverage of the exhibit.
It's an interesting time of life to look at art development. Children's art around the world has a universality that is astonishing. Use of shape, line, color, etc. does not vary much from one culture to another.
"When We Were Young: New Perspectives on the Art of the Child", edited by Jonathan Fineberg, an art history professor at the University of Illinois is an upcoming publication. (Fineberg also curated the Phillips exhibit.)
Children produce wonderful art - watch for in in your travels!

Friday, June 30, 2006

Artist of the Week - Chuck Close

The artist of the week is Chuck Close. He is a painter and also a printmaker building his complex images with layers and layers of colors. When I was poking around the internet, I found out that I had missed an exhibit of his work at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth by two days!!! I'm still not over this!!! Just goes to show that I need to stay up on my museum calendars so I don't miss out again! Oh, the pain of it all...... Anyway, printmaking is on the board for the beginning of the year in my Art I classes, so I'm interested in artists who use this technique for their work. If you have the time and inclination, check out the link below for a 30 minute video of Chuck Close with a gallery owner. Great interview and insight into the artist's work.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Watermelon Art

Ahhhhh.....summer is here and the watermelon is ripe! I love to eat it, and usually have some on the 4th of July which is coming up. But an art material?!? Well, see for yourself. These images came to me through an email and their source was unidentified. Here was another kind of food art (see coffee art post below!) that is quite successful. The complementary colors of red and green are quite nice. Notice how the artist uses the white part of the rind to create highlights in the composition. I LOVE the sense of movement in the bike and baseball pieces - the lines are so effective! And the depth of space in the architectural piece is subtle but wonderful. How many other types of food lend themselves to artistic expression? It thrills me to see people's love of artistic expression come through the sacredness of food - essential to life just as art is!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Sarah McLachlan Video - Powerful!

Visual art is where my passion is, but art is so life encompassing. One of the things the arts are so successful at is getting the public's attention about issues in a way that distills its power and sharpens its message. This video by Sarah is one such art piece. How can we translate her message into our own day to day lives?

Friday, June 23, 2006

Artist of the Week - Gustave Baumann

A friend asked me about the calendar reproductions I have of Gustave Baumann in my bathroom, causing me to research him for this week's feature artist. I admire his work tremendously - woodblock prints that have great depth and texture, works that vividly show the colors and the air of the American Southwest (one of my favorite places), and an incredible sense of design in his compositions while reflecting the natural world around us. Analyzing one piece of his could keep you busy all day! The fact that he builds his images layer by layer gives me great appreciation for his skill and patience as an artist. If you happen to be traveling to Santa Fe this next year, check out the exhibit of Baumann which runs to Sept. 9, 2007! Here's a link to the info:

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Painter's Keys - A community for Artists

This site is so valuable! Robert Genn lovingly sends out his missives about so many aspects of art: the
passion, the intellectual approach, technique, place, attitude, and on and on. Twice a week he sends out a free newsletter with his reflections. You can go to his site and sign up for free.His artist community is growing - why not explore it for yourself?

Saturday, June 17, 2006

More Coffee Art

Coffee, the elixer of our day, vital to productivity, but so much more than that! An opportunity for contemplation, play, fellowship, and Art!

Coffee Art

The sublime combines in flavor and visual!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Late Night at the Dallas Museum of Art

Tonight is Late Night at the DMA - free concert by Los Lobos and
the Louis Comfort Tiffany exhibit. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

My Own Art Blog!!

After completing my first year at TAG Magnet, I am excited to create my own art blog! Art is EVERYWHERE around us, and I like to keep my eyes open and share my findings with you! School's out, but the summer is a great time for me to fill my own art bucket and I'd love to have you come along!! For my previous students, I'll send notations through my TAG websites to check out new postings. If you want to be removed or added to my list, post a comment and I'll take care of it. Have a great summer!

Joe Bob says, "Check it out!"