Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Residency Comes To An End

March 24 marked the last day of my Spring art and writing residency at The School Without Walls in D.C. through the John F. Kennedy Center. I worked for six sessions with teacher Kamel Igoudjil within his Techniques of Writing class. The overall objective of the residency was to explore art and technology as a bridge to creative writing. During this last class, each student gave their perspective about the products they created and shared what they learned along the way. Clearly creating the blog was a favorite of many students, though some expressed their excitement about using their hands when they cut and pasted collage portraits from recycled materials. Others were excited about using the computer as a tool to draw and create art that could be used to illustrate blog entries, while some students preferred creating the ebook from an essay they wrote that explored global and cultural issues affecting youth. 

I had just purchased a flip video camera the day before and used it for the first time in class to interview students about their views on the residency. The students were very articulate. I was pleased to have been given an opportunity to work with these bright and motivated students and especially happy to collaborate with such a gifted and erudite teacher.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Presentation at Shady Side ES

Today I presented to multiple classes of 2nd grade and 4th grade students at Shady Side as part of their special activities during Book Week. I talked about how artists come up with ideas for creating pictures from the words of a story and how artists strive to make the words of a story come alive for the reader through the use of color and composition. I also talked in depth about my creative process which includes 3 components - sketching and drawing; painting using a variety of techniques and composing the pictures utilizing collage. The students were not only attentive and inquiring but very bright and receptive.

Artist/Writer Reunion

It's been over 10 years since I saw Sally Derby, author of the ward-winning picture book "My Steps." I illustrated her book, which was published by Lee and Low Books, Inc. in New York. The last time I saw Sally was when I lived in Huntington, WV. I had an art show at the Renaissance Gallery. Sally was signing books. Pictured above in Shady Side, Maryland, Sally and I both were invited as guests at the local elementary school during Book fair week.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I'm Back!

Just returned from a week long trip to the Netherlands. I was invited to present an arts workshop at the 11th annual Boekids Children's Literature Festival in The Hague at the Council of Justice. My collage workshop was exciting as the 8-12 year olds cut and paste images of their grandparents on paper. My workshop, I was told, filled up first in enrollment. This was the first time an American was invited to present. What an awesome trip it was. I met artists and writers from Sweden, Wales, London, Surinam, Africa and all over Europe.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Exploring Artists Books

Students explored artists books and learned how they differed from text books and other books. They each made flag books from papers they painted in earlier classes. They learned how to make accordion folds and how to adher flag sections in an alternating pattern on the folds.