Skull or Day of the Dead

SkullRecently I have reconnected with a student from my earlier days as an art teacher.  And, I do mean early!  Maybe 25 or more years ago was the last time I saw him. What a surprise to find that he had earned his master degree in theater arts and is still living near by.

Teachers have an odd job. They rarely see the final product of their work.   During the school year, we see sparks of possibilities in every student.  Students graduate, and we don’t keep in touch but with a few. We’re left wondering “whatever happened to…”  “Did he (or she) use the talents that were so apparent?” The ones that struggle, that work the hardest, always leave a mark on our hearts.

So soon I’ll have some answers.  The student, that is now a man, asked me via email to submit a  piece for a Day of the Dead show in our town’s new historical societies’ building.  A show that he is curating.  When we meet at the show,  I’ll get to here about his journey from my classroom to now.  What an adventure it must have been!

Skull or Day of the Dead

Jungle Nymph for IF’s Spirit.

junglenymphHere in the Bay Area, we just finished one of our coldest weeks ever.  Those living in the east, probably think of us as wimps. I’ll admit it, but even so, we all probably begin to fantasize about warmer climates when we’re chilled to the bone. And even though, we can’t travel to the heat of a jungle paradise, our imaginations can take us there in spirit.

Science now confirms that what you think your body feels.  Strong memories can be felt by the body.  It can’t determine the source of the minds reaction. It can only follow.  So let your reveries take you to your favorite warm climate and bask in the virtual sun of your own creation. Stave off the cold for just a little while.

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Tension for Illustration Friday

Tension

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tension? Let me tell you about tension.

Graduation angst is all over the faces of my high school seniors.  Like deer caught in the headlights, they see the near future rushing towards them, and it is finally hitting them that life is about to change.  They’re experiencing the tension of leaving that safe forest of daily school routine and taking those tentative steps of crossing the highway of life into adult hood. Being part of the lucky class of 2013 might be adding to the tension.

The piece above is actually my example for my students final art project.  The theme is facades, and they have all the PhotoShop skills they’ve gained this year to use to make their pieces.  I’m excited to see what their interpretations will become.

I’m finding that I really like working in pencil, and then scanning that drawing into Photoshop.  Sometime I begin directly in PhotoShop, but after teaching how to use the program all day, I really miss the feel of traditional media. To be able to combine the two is so freeing as I can manipulate my drawings endless with no fear of corrupting the original.

Tension for Illustration Friday

Another PhotoShop Edit

Final16X20webThough I’ve been working with PhotoShop for a long while, I’m still amazed with what you can do with it.  I generally use it for painting original drawings, but lately I’ve been using it to photo editing.  This time my niece-in-law ask me to update a cherished photo of her mom and dad for a Christmas gift.  The original image was so dark and dead looking, but PhotoShop brought it back to life.  That program and my Wacom tablet are just too cool with work.  So much room for creativity!Scan

Another PhotoShop Edit

Whiskers

Well,as you can see, I don’t know cat anatomy that well.  I’m more of a dog person. The prompt for Illustration Friday, though, was “whiskers.”  That makes me think more of cats.  Anyway, I just got a new digital Wacom tablet and this is the second image that I’ve painted with it.  Needless to say, I’m as happy as a cat with a ball of yarn.

Whiskers