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New paintings! And no, they are not digital. I found some of that stinky paper in the storage room at school. I mean stinky, literally. It smells really weird!
It doesn't have a good texture and it doesn't have a very good weight but for whatever reason, I like to draw on it.
So I'm working on some new stuff, which is really old stuff cause I always draw the same thing over and over again and that's ok cause it makes me happy. Took these pics on my phone so they are not very good but you get the idea...
One of the iPad apps I've started playing around with called 123D Sculpt. It's like having a little virtual ball of clay and pulling on it till it looks like something.. or sort of looks like something :)
I don't much like to fly. Well, that's not true. I don't mind flying. i'm more afraid of crashing. Something about not being in control and being squished into some little tube going 500 miles na hour doesn't sit well with me.
To avoid panic, i like to draw on my iPad. Here are a few from my Flying Plane series... Above: Draw to NYC
Flying back to Raleigh from NY. I was pretty tired ;)
I think I made this one flying back to Raleigh from the NAEA conference in Texas
Pretty sure this was painted on the way to Texas, going to the NAEA conference.
One of my students told me she had to write a speech for her Speech 2 class. She needed to write the speech based on a quote. I said the only quote I know is one I made up..
“Love is better than pancakes, and pancakes are really good.”
To my surprise, she used this quote for her speech. Today, she received her grade. 100. :) Below is the speech she gave.
Hello my name is Katelynn W and I wanted to start off talking about one of the art teachers at our school, Mr. Sands. He teaches Art 1, computer art, and art history.He is very creative, fun, supportive, and is one of my favorite teachers. So after I was given this assignment to talk about a motivational speech, I asked him what his favorite inspirational quote was.He replied with a quote he made himself which is:” Love, is better than pancakes.And pancakes are really really really really good.”
So naturally after hearing that, I started daydreaming about pancakes.I imagined waking up on a Sunday morning to the smell of freshly made warm pancakes, and after getting out of a nice warm bed, I pictured an endless table FULL of every type of pancake you could imagine.Fresh chocolate chip pancakes where the chocolate chips are still warm and melty, and it’s piled with whipped cream, or maybe pumpkin spice pancakes with a little bit of cinnamon and powdered sugar or those little Mickey Mouse pancakes with the cute little ears.There are SO many different types of pancakes; from the batter recipe to all the different toppings the possibilities are endless.
And think of ALL the different people who would be at that table.People who you never would have thought you had something in common with, probably people you never thought you’d get a long with. But there you all are surrounding each other, while you’re all enjoying freshly made pancakes, being happy. Together.
Love is a lot like pancakes. Love is what connects us all together, it is what inspires us, what drives us; it’s what makes us human.Love is made up of so many different emotions, experiences, and “recipes” .Love is different for every person, just like how every pancake is unique.I also think that everyone loves differently too, and in order to experience love to its fullest beauty, we have to accept love in all of its different, odd, and wonderful ways.
You can find love for everything and everyone. I know personally, I find that people can get really annoying, frustrating, and can be just plain stupid. However, I also know that every person has a quality that makes them brilliant.Every single person on the planet deserves love, and ONLY YOU have the power to give your love to someone, and to make the difference.Remember, you don’t have to like people; you just have to love them.
I’d like to leave you with, what I believe to be the most important part of that quote. Where it says: “love is better than pancakes”. Better. Love is what we need to share with everyone. What you can share with everyone and what will be shared with you in return.Love is what lasts, love is what brings happiness, and love is what will bring out a radiant and a rarely seen beauty that will last much longer than any pancake ever will.
Over the years, Critters have done there fair share of traveling. They've been as far north as Canada, as far south as the Caribbean, as far west as California and as far east as Korea. These have all been very exciting places but I'm not sure I found any of theses places as exciting as the place I received today.
Critter visits the Mona Lisa!
I guess in the art world this might be as big as it gets. After all, the Mona Lisa is to art what Ke$ha is to music!
Lately, I've been really into the CrittaColor concept. I lik the interactivity and letting people help make he art, but i can't help feeling nostalgic about the old Critters after seeing this photo.
So here below are a few of the places "Old Critter" has been. if you'd like to follow any of the Critters, including the latest CrittaColor, check out Critters on Zonkey Street!
This little Critter traveld further than any other Critter. Here he is at he Biltmore Estates in NC.
Here he is again on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, CA.
In Seoul, South Korea.
Enjoying the weather on the sandy beaches of St. Johns.
This is a project we did back in 2009. however, the post has since lost it's images so I'm reposting what I've got. I was looking to do some sort of biodegradable art project and came up with the idea of filling water balloons with colored water. we used food coloring. Next we hit the beach.
We were spending the week on Emerald Island in NC. The ocean was nice and left us seaweed to play with. The seaweed made really nice nests. We set up nests up and down the beach and laid :) the eggs in the nests.
A lot of people didn't even pay attention to the nests. They just walked on by.
Not only am I going to the convention, I am presenting. And, not only am I presenting once but twice. How exciting, yes, I know!
To add to the excitement, an article I wrote for SchoolArt's Magazine is being published that same month and that means it will be part of their give away stuff at their booth. That means my article could potentially be placed into the take home bags of thousands of art teachers across the country. That's pretty neat.
So, after seeing that some of my fellow art teachers from my PLN are purchasing business cards, I thought I too would do so as well. I designed this little post card. It comes complete with all my contact info as well as a black and white Zonkey ready for coloring. I'm even gonna tape a few crayons to the back of each card.
CrittaColors are starting to get out there. Sure these things always start local. Like the CrittaColor above, caught and colored right here in Apex, NC. However, it doesn't take long for these things to start traveling....
This guy showed up in Cary, NC. OK, not that far of a stretch. Cary is right next door to Apex but still it shows they are on the move.
What about this one? Which Wich is in Raleigh, NC. OK, we are still in the ballpark but at least this one os a double, right? :)
How about this little guy all the way in Boone, NC! Sure it's the same state but if this CrittaColor had traveled north or south instead of west, that distance would have put him in VA or SC respectfully.
Two years ago, while taking a vacation on Bald Head Island, I started a chapter book titled Crushing Turtles. This book was something much different then anything I had written before. A strange title, a strange subject matter and a little dark. I liked the characters right away, especially their voice. Of all the parts of writing, voice has always been my favorite part. In fact, it was probably the character's voice that originally masked the dark storyline I was writing.
Not long after starting the story, I stopped. I thought to myself, "Self, this isn't the type of thing you write." I was right of course. All of my previous chapter books had been whimsical. The topics were playful and the characters, though witty and perhaps charming, didn't discuss anything too deep.
Since that time, I tried my hand at writing several other books. Two failed attempts at writing art history books. Another incomplete chapter book and even an incomplete romance novel (though I still have it in my heart to finish that some day.)
It wasn't until I saw a tweet about NanoWritMo that I decided to pick up where I had left off. Even though it was deep or dark or whatever, I just wanted to see where the characters would take the story. I revised the old plot outline and began writing.
I wrote a lot in November but it soon became clear that I would not finish this book by the end of the month. December rolled around. I had a decision to make. Shelf this book for another year or push through. I continued writing.
Chapters took forever. Where I had previously raced through a chapter in one seating, now took four or five nights just to write a few sentences.
Then, the night before last I made a break though. I realized I had just written the second to last chapter. The most important chapter. The chapter that brings the story to it's ultimate climax. The rest was easy.
So tonight I put the finishing words on a 5,000+ word chapter book that has taken me two years to write. That might seem a less than heroic accomplishment to brag about....
Released the first batch of CrittaColors tonight starting in Raleigh, NC.
CrittaColors are blocks of wood with coloring book style art on the front and instructions for photographing and posting to our Facebook fan page on the back. Hot glued to each side are 3 crayons so you can color your CrittaColor.
Our first stop, the Tir Na Nog Pub in Downtown Raleigh NC. Released two CrittaColors there. Look for them next to the free magazines when you first enter the restaurant.
Second stop, Cafe Luna. Cafe Luna is an Italian restaurant right around the corner from the fore mentioned pub. It is also right next to the bus depot where two other artworks have previously been displayed as part of the Art-On-The-Move program. Look for this CrittaColor right on the seat when you first enter the Cafe.
Last stop for the evening was the Homewood Suites by Hilton in Apex, NC. Left on the table right by the fireplace. This is also part of the breakfast area so someone will have something to do while enjoying their morning coffee.
I know, I said I wouldn't do shows anymore but this was a special exhibit for Apex High students. I created this piece called Zonkey Says which really, really helped me decided to stop making these pieces. Time to move on.
The Zonkey Army was another attempt by me to recreate the excitement and enthusiasm I created with my foam Critters. These were cute and fun to make but fell short of my goal. I'm telling you, 2012 was a rough year.
Renoir's Red Hat is a silly poem/story I wrote about a kid who goes to the art museum and steals art.. not really steals it, sort of imaginary steals it. You sort of need to read the poem then it makes sense.
I was asked to create a video presentation for the 2012 K-12 Online Conference. When I first put this video together I thought I had made a big mess. But I got a lot of nice compliments and retweets on it. So maybe it's not as bad as I first thought.
Did it really take me a year to get back to my roots? Will these CrittaColors produce the enthusiasm and excitement that my original Critters did? Or will they fade to the wayside like the short lived Zonkey Army or the even shorted lived Magazine covers??
This project merges technology with stencils and the concept of positive and negative space into one fun and effective lesson. Students will learn how to easily manipulate photos to make stencils to create cool light graffiti images using glow sticks and digital cameras!
Light graffiti is just a starting point. This lesson could easily be modified to create stencils for lesson using spray paint or even printing techniques.
This plan includes step-by-step, easy to follow instructions with lots of photographs demonstrating exactly how you class can create awesome light graffiti art!
For hundreds of years Santa Clause has been delivering toys to children around the world. Though he is not beyond using outside assistance, Santa has been able to distribute presents on Christmas Eve without the help of FedEx, UPS or the United States Postal System. His primary mode of transportation has been a sleigh driven by an original team of eight tiny reindeer with the occasional help from a mutant red-nosed deer, and a misguided or perhaps delusional dog.
As members of SMAUR, we now provide the following reasons for the immediate elimination of the use of reindeer and the prompt replacement by flying moose.
1. More Torque: Pound for pound, moose produce massive amounts more torque than reindeer. Where horsepower, or in this case reindeerpower, is needed for speed, torque is the ability to overcome resistance. Though it is true that speed is necessary to circle the globe in one night, it is the initial ability to pull the sleigh, weighted down by a ginormous amount of toys and often hindered by heavy, laden snow, which is needed before horsepower can even be applied.
2. Ease of Spelling: Riendeer? Reindear? Raindeer? “I” before “E” except after “C” and sometimes “Y”? Isn’t rein spelled r-a-i-n? And deer spelled d-e-a-r? Let’s face it. Without a spell checker, reindeer is just too hard to spell! Moose on the other hand is simple. Only five letters and no confusing vowel arrangements.
3. American Made:
Moose are born and bred and raised in the good old US of A! Hiring moose to pull Santa’s sleigh is not only good for America, it’s our patriotic duty. Imports, such as reindeer, are manufactured abroad in such un-American places as Northern Europe and even Russia! Look for the “Born in Maine” label next time you consider hiring your sleigh team.
4. Better Night Vision:
All it takes is one foggy Christmas Eve and Santa can be shut down in a heart beat. An entire year’s worth of elf work, down the drain all because of low hanging cloud vapor. The issue, poor eye sight on the part of reindeer. This is more than a threat as it almost happened Christmas Eve 1964. Thankfully, the travesty was narrowly averted after a red fog light was attached to the nose of Prancer. Prancer was later said to have been so humility by the event that he and Cupid fabricated a tale of a red-nose reindeer that saved the day. These so called “close calls” can easily be prevented through the intervention of a deer removable, keen-eyed moose replacement task force.
5. No More Reindeer Games:
Reindeer are generally poor-spirited creatures that tend to weed out the vulnerable in the herd and deliberately poke fun of them till, tired and weak, they leave the comfort and safety of the compound. Many times the stronger of the deers will laugh and call the weaker reindeer names. On some occasions there have even been reports of the more feeble reindeers not being allowed to play any reindeer games. Moose have a motto. No moose is left behind.
Conclusion: We believe every effort should be made to, and a call for, a cease and desist order to be implemented, for all reindeer regarding any attempts to fly, pull, or be in connection or association with, Santa, the elves, toy delivery or Christmas in any way, shape, form or means.
Furthermore, SMAUR is advocating for the establishment of the Meese Labs where moose and geese can be cross pollinated to form a new species of flying moose (code name: meese). Meese will merge the flight path navigational abilities of the Canadian goose with the strength, torque and American brand name that we have all come to respect and love, of the moose.
Meet Chug is a new art initiative I concocted this morning while drinking coffee. I thought, what might be fun to paint on? Then I went to my studio and the only thing there were some old magazines. How fun to redesign the cover of a magazine?
I pulled out some sketches I did during a Christmas party on Friday night. You see, sometimes I go to parties and the people there talk about work. I don't know why people talk about work at parties. I bet when they go back to wrok on Monday they talk about the party. But I digress.. While they talk about work, I sketch stuff. It keeps my eyes from completely glazing over.
The magazine I found was an outdoor sportsman magazine chock full of articles about hunting and fishing and fun stuff that could be talked about at parties instead of talking about work.
The sketch is a cartoon version of a backhoe. I am fascinated with backhoes. If you are looking to get me a Christmas present a backhoe could be on your short list. The backhoes name is Chug. And now you have met.
It's probably a little cliche to paint a backhoe on a magazine that is nature related but it happened by chance.. it's the sketch I did and the magazine I found... so i'm going with it.
Above is a blurry photo of the magazine with the cover painted. There is also a book just incase the magazine doesn't pan out due to technical issues (glossy paper might peel, might curl, etc..)
I was sitting in a restaurant on Friday. On the wall was a very cool painting of fish. It had a whimsical childlike quality. The stuff I like to paint. The longer I stared at the painting, the more impressed I was by how well the artist had captured fun and playfulness in the work.
When the owner of the restaurant stopped by our table I just had to ask, "Do you know the artists that created that painting?"
The restaurant owner leaned over with a big smile on his face. "I sure do." He said. "My kid painted that along with her elementary class."
How great is that?
The painting is pictured above. I hate that the photo is so low quality but it was dark in the restaurant and the photo was taken on a cellphone.
The painting was so inspiring that I decided to pick up my brushes again this weekend. It is the inspiration for my new magazine cover series. Here is one of the covers in the works....
Ten years ago, my wife decided my daughter would enjoy figure skating. Every Saturday I would take her to the rink for lessons. The figure skaters practiced in the center of the rink and I would was able to skate around the rink.
I really enjoyed skating. My daughter didn’t. When she decided she didn’t want to skate anymore I decided to take a learn to play hockey class (it was either that or become a figure skater ... I’m not that graceful).
It didn’t take but a few lesson for me to realize that I didn’t much like playing hockey. Taking slap shots hurt my elbow and my stick handling ability wasn’t so great either. However, I really liked the smell of the ice. I also realized I was pretty good at getting in front of the puck. I decided to be the goalie.
I bought all my equipment used on eBay (all but the cup which i purchased brand new). My skates cost 50 bucks and I got an old, old pair of leather Koho goalie pads. They were horribly heavy, especially when wet. I signed up to join a league and got a call about a brand new team that needed a goalie. The Jackals.
Playing for DTS
The Jackals won their first game. We lost every game after that for a few seasons. We would get our heads handed to us. I remember one game were i took over 60 shots on goal. We only play for 60 minutes. you do the math...
However, the guys on that team were great. Sure we wanted to win but we were out to have fun. Over the years I’ve played against, and subbed for, lots of other teams. I’ve been in the locker room after a loosing game and heard team members rip each other apart over the loss. The Jackals were never like that. We were a great team despite losing.
I think it was because of this very fact that the Jackals losing streaks eventually faded away. The in 2007, for the second time in three seasons, the Jackals won the FAHL C Division Championship. I have the t-shirt and hat to prove it :) That season my captain got a call from Mike Stangler at 850 the Buzz informing him that the Jackals were the first team to win the Miller Lite Team of the Month.
On Wednesday, April 30th, 2008 at 10:15 PM the Jackals took the ice for the last time. After three ice rinks and two championship wins, the Jackals hung up their skates.
First Round Draft Pick for Bobsleds
Not ready to hang up my goalie pads, I called the Rec Zone and learned there was a team that needed a goalie. the team paid for the goalie to play. In my eyes, not having to pay to play is like getting paid to play. That made me semi professional. So I took the semi professional position as the starting goalie for DTS which later was renamed the Bob Sleds.
The Bob Sleds weren’t much better than Jackals but again i was teamed up with a great group of guys. The captain was much more interested in making sure the players were all a good fit for the team that worrying if they could shoot or not. This same philosophy worked in the bobsleds favor as we also won a championship.
Borrowing Cam Wards Pads
Over the years I’ve had some great hockey experiences. I was at game seven when the Carolina Hurricanes won the Stanley cup. Had the opportunity to sit in their locker room and meet some of their players. I even played goalie in RBC, in the same net and rink where the NHL has all their NC games.
In Net at RBC
So after ten years of playing more than 800 games and probably stopping over 20,000 pucks, I’ve decided to retire. In fact, tonight, December 15, 2012, will be my last game. To all the players, team members, refs and zamboni drivers, Thank you!
If a freak milk accident that sparks life to a half cow, half stegosaurus isn’t weird enough, imagine how strange it’s going to get when Trip Stanley’s class starts drinking the milk!
Trip Stanley’s best friend Jules spills a glass of creamery milk onto his uncle’s dinosaur machine and activates the contraption.
A creature hatches and grows rapidly into a black and white spotted stegosaurus with and an udder. A stegcowsaurus. When the last bottle of creamery milk that Jules had planned to bring to school for show and tell is knocked over, Trip decides to milk the stegcowsaurus.
This morning, I went to my studio determined to come up with something.. anything.. but hopefully, something I'd be excited about. On the floor lay papers covered in doodles, blocks of wood from the Zonkey army project and glue. Then it all sort of came together. I cut out one of the doodles and glued it to a block of wood. CrittaColors was born!
so what's a Crittacolor? A Crittacolor is an interactive piece of street art. It starts with a black and white doodle like the one above. This is a doodle I created on a copy of a manuscript I'm working on titled Crushing Turtles. Hopefully, I'll finish that book some day. Been working on it for two years.... but I digress.
The doodle is then glued down to a block of wood. I put glue on both the bottom of the paper and then applied a thin coat on top. Hopefully this will protect the doodle from the elements if the pieces are left outside.
Attached to the block of wood will be a few crayons. you know, like those boxes you get when you get a children's menu at a restaurant. I got these crayons from Carrabbas. Hmm, wonder if I can get a corporate sponsor?? ;) Anyhows, the crayons are there so whomever finds the Crittacolor can color the doodle of the Critter. Hence the name. Clever, right? :)
On the back of the Crittacolor will be instructions for those who wish to post their colored Crittacolor on the Zonkey Street Facebook page. And who wouldn't want to do that? Share your coloring talent with the world!
OK, I was excited and wanted to share the Crittercolor idea with you. But now I need to get back to work and make a few more Crittacolors.