Friday, April 30, 2010

Moleskine April 2010

Here is a selection of pages from my watercolor paper 3x5" moleskine. These are some of my favorites from this month.

Zombie Ben Franklin

This week in class my students have been taking the STAR exam. So instead of the normal 90 minute block, students are given 3 hours to finish the test. Of course my students always finish early so that means a lot of down time. Unfortunately, I am not allowed to show movies (school policy), and the students are in no mood to study. Which means I have to be creative.

One thing I like to do is let the students challenge me with different things to draw. It's great practice because I never know what they'll ask for, and I have to draw fast or I will lose their interest. I draw under a Doc-Cam that projects an image on the screen, and students can watch the picture develop. It's a lot of fun, and it's a chance for me to really show off. If you have never drawn in front of a crowd, I'll tell you it's a real adrenaline rush for an artist. It's "extreme drawing."

Below are two examples of the types of things high schoolers ask for.

Zombie Benjamin Franklin
Here's a detail of his face. GROSS!
And the Predator.
Luckily the students always ask for stuff I'm good at drawing.

Oh no! Does that mean I am an artist stuck in his adolescence?!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Gotta Love the Weekend

Life as a high school art teacher is never easy, and this week was extra monotonous. It's that time of year when teachers and students are just plain worn out. The sky is blue and everyone just wants to go out and play. Throw open house, and some meetings into the mix and you get one beat down teacher. By the time I got to friday my mind was wandering along with my students' and everyone was yawning.

There is always something magical about the last period bell on Friday. Even as a teacher I still get excited to hear it ring. It means two days of no school, it means two days of freedom. I can't wait for Summer. Is it wrong for a teacher to think that way?

In the spirit of Freedom here are some drawings of Pirates doing whatever the hell they please. Gotta love the weekend.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Good ol' General Custer

Here is a drawing I made a little while ago from this great book about the American West I found at my parents house. I came across a photograph of General Custer and I just had to sketch it in my moleskine. Then I threw some watercolor on there for good measure.

General Custer is famous for his blunder at the Battle of Little Bighorn, yet before that he was considered an American Hero for his exploits during the Civil War. If Custer hadn't gotten himself killed he may even have become a president (There was talk of him being nominated Democratic presidential candidate). Just think how different history would have been if that happened.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

When in Utah do as the Utahns do

It was my intention to blog about my spring break adventures in Utah days ago, but it is always hard when coming home from an extended vacation to get reorganized. You know how it is; there’s a huge pile of bills, the lawn is three feet tall, and everything is fuzzy and snarling in the fridge.

I got back Monday and it is now Thursday and I have finally gotten my act together enough to get to the things that are really important to me: My blog.

Utah has gotten a bad rap, and nearly everyone I talk to has nothing but nasty things to say about it. Most of it has to do with Mormons, or about not being able to get real booze.

Now I will admit that if your thing is night clubbing, then Utah isn’t the place for you. However, if your thing is good ol American pass times like hiking, skiing, shooting Guns, and not shopping on Sundays, then there is no better place in all the world.

Lucky for me I love skiing, and even luckier for me it just happened to snow a bit while I was there.

My girlfriend Nicole wasn't thrilled about the snow during Spring break, she would have much rather gone somewhere with sun, below is a picture of her Mustang, which I refer to as the Blue Bomber.

Here is a picture of yours truly shredding the slopes with perfect form. . .
Even with all the snow, and Easter festivities with my family (see my Sister's blog, at full capacity) I still found time to draw. Interestingly enough there was a Life Science Museum near where I was staying, and It was chalk full with hundreds of taxidermy animals!

There are numerous benefits to drawing taxidermy animals over animals at the zoo. For one they hold very still in dynamic poses, unlike Zoo animals who just lay there lazily in the sun with flies buzzing around them.

A father who was touring the museum with his son, Dexter, found this particular lion to be really scary. And the father kept asking his son Dexter what he would do if he was attacked by various animals while I was trying to draw:
"Ooooooo Dexter! What would you do if that Lion jumped out and got ya?! OOOOoooooo what about that one, you wouldn't have a chance against that one. . ."
Yes there was a full sized stuffed male Elephant. Taxidermy is an amazing art in its self.
I do not envy the taxidermist who mounted this porcupine. . .

Later Dexter's father walked up to me and told me he had seen me drawin,' so I flipped through my sketchbook to show him some of the animals I was working on. When he saw the Water Buffalo he said, and I quote: "That's beautiful right there." He may have been wearing a mesh trucker's hat, but his remark made me feel proud.

Just keeping busy out there in the wild west.

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