Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Checking in

Hello, fine friends of this blog!

Just wanted to touch base with you all about the happenings and doings of things of late since I've not been very present on the blog.

All of my classes are approaching the end of the marking period and are therefore in the throes of trying to finish up project work. I have some items that I hope to share soon...
  • Clone Photography from Graphic Design
  • Creating a photorealistic aquatic environment/image with Photoshop from Graphic Design
  • Levitation Photography from Graphic Design
  • Fine Art effect painting of photographic images  from Graphic Design
  • Color Theory and Silhouette Watercolor paintings from 2D Design
You might note that Graphic Design has a significant amount of project work more than 2D Design. The reason this exists is because 1) Graphic Design/Art projects work up a lot more quickly than the traditional studio pieces, 2) Many of the projects are intended to instruct on skill-building more than being long and time-intensive projects, and 3) It is an Intermediate/Advanced visual art course so it is generally accelerated with a lot greater demand of completed work.

Within the classroom (so it's something that is infused within the class projects) I'm really working on many things that I keep seeing as problematic, long reaching, and detrimental to success and goal achievement. It's a common thing for me (during any given project) to hear a constant stream of students demanding attention from me in the way of, "Mrs. E, is this OK?" or "Mrs. E, does this look good?" or "Mrs. E, may I use this color?" This very thing is something that I understand is uniquely generational more than anything else. They have an insatiable need to get immediate feedback in order to feel confident enough to move onto any number of steps that follow. They also have incredible challenges with battling attention spans that have been conditioned to consider amounts of information or investments of time in only very small amounts. These things combined can be a bit of a recipe for disaster for art classroom excellence. Rather than hold my students accountable for these things that they have very much been conditioned to have in the first place, I've been thinking very critically about how to tackle and negate them and then reshape them to yield greater success in the classroom.

Now, what I'm doing is very much a challenge and definitely a stretch for me. But honestly? This is what I get paid to do and moreover this is what I feel I am called to do.  As I understand it, this is what teaching is all about.

Aside from all of the classroom teaching, I've recently taken on a new challenge of instructional and informational writing for an online publication via the Fuel Brand Network. I applied and was accepted to write monthly articles for their photography section and I'm delighted to say that despite the challenge I have with writing anything (instead of visually designing and creating), my second article was published online earlier today. It addresses color theory as it can be applied to the photographic medium and is in two parts (the second one will go live next week) because the topic of color theory is so dense in and of itself. (If you are interested, my first article talked about the visual art element of texture in the photographic medium.) I don't know how great my readership is but I am not too concerned with that. My motivation for being part of the Fuel Brand is to simply help increase the amount of information out there for other visual artists to draw upon that will strengthen their bodies of work. Again? I'm just trying to teach and do what I feel like I'm being called to do.

But aside even from all of that teaching, I've been very VERY busy with photography work lately. (Amazing the way it pours when it rains and I can only thank the good Lord above for such a shower of blessings since I am in a serious position that requires that kind of help.) So as it's happened? I'm working seven days a week these days either teaching and/or doing freelance work and when I'm not clocking those hours in the day, I'm being a wife and a mother. *phew*

Thanks so much for keeping up with this blog if you've even gotten this far in this posting. I very much appreciate the readership that is building here and my stats counter is more and more indicative of the fact that I'm reaching all types of folks that I know are using the content here for good! Please keep coming back for more and I will do my best to keep putting things on here as much as my schedule permits.

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