Welcome to Art Room 161

This blog was created as an extension of the dialogue that began in our classroom and the purpose is to share creative ideas, images, and critiscm. All posts should be appropriate for the high school classroom and critiscm should be helpful and positive.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

AP Art: Alumni Visit from Sabrina Shankar


Today in AP Art and Drawing we will have an alumni visit from Sabrina Shankar who was in AP Art last year and is presently attending SCAD in Savannah, Georgia.  She'll discuss the first semester of college, expectations, the workload, her work, and the college itself.

Monday, December 15, 2014

AP Art: Advanced Layering Technique



In AP Art we are currently working on Advanced Layering Technique using mixed media.  The vine above is a time-lapse video of my demonstration from last week so you want to build a complex surface using different media and personal elements.  The final piece will be due on Thursday but remember to submit you art work to the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards by the due date on Wednesday as well!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Media Arts: Animation


In Media Arts class we are finishing our hand drawn pencil animation film and today at the end of class each student should have the minimum 50 frames finished (but not necessarily the film which can be longer).  Next week we will work on some basic editing, sound, digitization, and completing the film!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Art Honor Society: Holiday Cards


This month in Art Honor Society we are working on our winter community service project making holiday cards for the local Nursing Homes and 6 year old Addie Fausett of Utah who wished for a "lifetime of holiday cards" for what is likely her last Christmas due to a Brain atrophy.  Above are an example of some of the cards Doug, Jamie, & Jackie made this week in club- we'll finish them up and mail them next week during our holiday party.

Next week we will also feature a guest speaker, alumni Sabrina Shankar, who was in the AP Art class last year and is currently attending Savannah College of Art and Design.  She'll be discussing the first year of college, expectations, SCAD, and show us some of her first semester work!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Art Honor Society: Holiday Cards


Today in Art Honor Society we will begin making Holiday Cards for our winter community service project and review some of the details of recent contests and the upcoming induction ceremony.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Studio Art: Pencil Drawing grid self-portrait



Today in Studio Art we are beginning our grid self-portrait pencil drawing by drawing a 1/2" grid over our source image and a corresponding 1" grid on our paper.  The video above demonstrates how this is done but be sure to make your grid accurate or it will alter your portrait and potentially ruin your piece.

Use a diagonal line to quickly check if your grid is drawn properly if the diagonals match then the grid is correct as seen in the image below.




Monday, December 8, 2014

Drawing: Artists and Ink



In drawing class we are currently working with ink so we'll look at two of my favorite artists who work with ink and use it in interesting ways. The first is the "Gonzo" artist Ralph Steadman who has a great loose style and is known for illustrating writer Hunter S Thompson's work and Flying Dog beer.  Take a look at some of his work, it's not totally consistent but it is consistently good!



The second artist is another great, Peter Beard who is known for mix photographs, drawings, and sketchbook collages together.  Peter lives out near Montauk when he's not in NYC or Africa and since much of his work contains nudity I included a few pieces below which are "school appropriate".



Friday, December 5, 2014

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes



This week we have been creating paper for origami cranes and today we'll look into the story of how the crane became a symbol of peace through the story of Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes.


Here's a pretty amazing tribute to Sadako using paper cranes to create an image of Sadako herself and below is a show Japanese anime showing how the story of Sadako is taught in Japan along with the history of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and the memorial museum.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

AP Art: Duck Tape Drawing


In AP Art we are currently working on Scholastic Art & Writing challenges such as the Duck Tape award so I thought I'd share my favorite tape artist Aakash Nihalani.  Take a look a some of his simple but amazing geometric tape street art work and his website.


Here are the 3 options to choose from, take a look at each and create a piece to enter along with your other work:

The Gedenk Award for Tolerance: Consider what we can all do to learn from humanity's mistakes

The Duck Tape Brand AwardIncorporate Duck Tape into your art work

Creativity and CitizenshipExamine opinions and ideas on the topic of Technology and Privacy


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Art Honor Society: Induction Planning



In this afternoons' Art Honor Society meeting we will be planning this years Induction ceremony and events.  We would like to have a concurrent art show and alumni talk so we'll discuss the details and plan the February event.


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Studio Art: Japanese Origami Cranes


In Studio Art class we are going to be talking with students in Japan via social media and creating a collection of Japanese Origami Cranes.  Students will create unique textile designs (there's an example of traditional textiles below but you can feel free to be creative) on paper then fold them into paper cranes for our Japanese counterparts.  I took the photo above at the Hiroshima memorial in Japan and it shows how origami cranes are traditionally grouped, we'll create a similar grouping of 1000 cranes as well.

We will also talk with students in Japan via the Going Global network


Media Art: Animation



In Media Art we are beginning to work on our big animation project and we are currently in preproduction writing and storyboarding the film.  The final animation will be due the in 3 weeks right before our December break so make sure the foundation is strong so you don't end up lost in the process later!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Media Arts: Stephen Fry Animation



Today in Media Arts we will complete and submit our stop-motion Stephen Fry Animation after tweeking the transitions and digitizing the drawings.  We will try our best to sync the sound and then submit the final animation.  Above is a short intro I made this weekend that we'll add to our animation from Vine.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving Gratitude


As we head into Thanksgiving I'll share some gratitude! Yesterday I was featured on the school district website with some photos from taken in our drawing class thanks to a recent interview I did for the podcast Talks With Teachers and I'd like to thank the school district administration and Brian from Talks With Teachers for supporting my work and the arts.  I'd also like to thank all my students and their supportive parents for making teaching worthwhile!  Have a safe and happy thanksgiving!


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Drawing: Scholastic Week



This week in drawing class we will be creating work for the 2015 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.  In addition to the regular categories each student should choose one of the three categories below and create a work which will be due next Wednesday (Dec 3, 2014).  Each category has links to more information along with examples of previous winners.


The Gedenk Award for Tolerance: Consider ehat we can all do to learn from humanity's mistakes

The Duck Tape Brand AwardIncorporate Duck Tape into your art work

Creativity and Citizenship: Examine opinions and ideas on the topic of Technology and Privacy

Monday, November 24, 2014

Art and Media Art Honor Society field trip to MoMA & NYC


On Friday the Art and Media Art Honor Society had our annual field trip to NYC and this year we visited the Museum of Modern Art and the Henri Matisse's Cut Outs and Robert Gober's The Heart Is Not a Metaphor exhibitions along with the fantastic permanent collection.

The Matisse show was enlightening and it was great to see the pieces we've been studying up close along with background on how they were created but it was also very crowded!



Bring your pictures from the trip to the next honor society meeting and we'll post a few more up on the blog!


Friday, November 21, 2014

Art Honor Society field trip to the Museum of Modern Art


Today is our Art Honor Society field trip to the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.  We will be leaving promptly at 8am and returning this afternoon around 3-4pm.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Japan Society's Going Global Exchange



This week we are participating in Japan Society's Going Global program and we will collaborate with students in Japan, Pakistan, the United States, and Iceland.  We will begin with two short questions:

1. What's Your Sentence? (take a look at the video above for context)

2. Who's your hero? (and why?)

Each student will answer both questions on a piece of paper then we will log on to the social network: http://goglobalsns.org/ and we'll share one of our answers.  We will then have a conversation about the different answers from each of the countries and what we have learned.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

AP Art: Monoprint Series


In Studio and AP Art class we are working on  Monoprinting this week using Gelli plates.  I demonstrated how to create a print on Monday and we will be printing all week with a final series of 2 multi-toned prints due on Friday at the beginning of class.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Remembering artist and friend Jeff Fisher


I was shocked to hear the news this weekend that friend and mentor Jeff Fisher passed away suddenly.  Jeff was an inspiration to me and so many of my fellow artists many of them Smithtown students.  Jeff was really an outstanding illustrator as well as an impact-full teacher and a vivacious personality.  He taught figure drawing and location classes at the Drawing Studio in Smithtown since I started teaching in the district 16 years ago and he left an impression on everyone he met.  The quote below is taken from the introduction to his Drawing Studio class and exemplifies Jeff himself. 
"When you mention the word “artist”, there are a few who stand out above the rest. Their style, lovely and immortalized, has the ability to touch our souls. They were not regarded as the elite during their short time on earth. They were the rejected, the outcasts, the young who dared to break from conventional teachings and try to experience art in its rawest, unbridled, most passionate and most rewarding form."
The best way to remember Jeff is through his impact and his artwork and there may no better example than his work with fellow Society of Illustrators members at Walter Reed via the Joe Bonham Project drawing wounded service members from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.  The video below shows Jeff at work on the project and accompanies the New York Times article on the project.


I was honored to be asked by Jeff to participate in a exhibition of illustration and cartooning he put together in August at Gallery North in Setauket with friends of his from the Berndt Toast Gang of artists and I'm so thankful I had a chance to celebrate with him at the opening.  Jeff made a pronounced impact on everyone he worked with and will be greatly missed and condolences to his wonderful family.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Art Honor Society: MoMA Field Trip


Next Friday the Art and Media Art Honor Society will embark on our fall field trip to the MoMA in NYC to see the Henri Matisse Cut Outs show.  We'll be leaving at 8am and returning at 4pm and we'll be stopping for lunch in the museum and a snack at Starbucks.  It should be a fun trip with a ton of great artwork, take a look at some of the shows that are on display on the link above, we'll be discussing them non Wednesday!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Media Arts: The Stephen Fry Collaborative Project



In Media Arts we are starting out our first collaborative animation project focusing on English actor and author Stephen Fry using a clip of his audio and our own imagination.  We talked about the audio clip and broke it down into what needs to be animated and who is responsible for each aspect.  Your 5-9 index cards will be checked and graded on Monday and we will combine our drawing and look at a rough draft!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Art Honor Society: Printmaking


Today in Art Honor Society we will be working on some Printmaking techniques using the Gelli plates after school.  In classes this week we will do prints based on the Brooklyn Art Library's print exchange theme "Just A Second".  In the club we will work on some advanced techniques and allow students who haven't tried printmaking to give it a try.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Studio Art: The Alison Bechdel Doodle Dare


This week in studio art class we'll be taking part in the doodle dare posed by MacArthur "genius" winning cartoonist Alison Bechdel and the WNYC radio show Studio 360.  She began the drawing and you will be asked to finish it using whatever media you'd like.  Take a look at my first attempt above, it's a great creative challenge- good luck!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Studio Art: Drawing Portraits


In studio art class we are having advanced photo students photograph the class in order to create our next self portrait grid image.  This week all the students will be photographed in our classroom and the images will be printed and we'll use them as reference for a drawing.  Below are two examples from period 4 and the photograph below shows what the process looks like.


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Interview with NASA engineer Bobak Ferdowsi




I had a chance to talk with NASA engineer and director of the Mars Curiosity Bobak Ferdowsi on the Weird Education twitter chat with "The Weird Teacher" Doug Robertson!  I asked two questions that apply to our art and media classes, take a look:

As a scientist spotlighted w/ a mohawk what's your advice for colorful students who are less accepted in school?

I always remind people that it takes all types - diversity is scientifically shown to help business. Find a group of people who recognizes you for your positive qualities - best part of science and engineering is that we judge on results, not looks (goes both ways, sometimes “bad” fashion is part of it).

What's your biggest takeaway from attending school in Japan? My class learns & collaborates w/ Japanese schools

Understanding more cultures and thought-processes helps me approach problems from different angles & work better with others.


Here's a link to the Storify of the entire #WeirdEd chat to explore for more questions and answers: http://t.co/IPLfTaiIKm and below is the video of the Mars Curiosity landing that made Bobak a meme!



Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Media Art: Rotoscoping Basics



This week we are working on a collaborative short film and media project based on actor and author Stephen Fry who we just saw in Stephen Fry in America which you are critiquing with our template today.
We'll be creating our media with a number of different techniques including rotoscoping which we'll demonstrate in class.  Rotoscoping is creating animation from real source images (in our case using some tracing to save time and expedite our animation).  We looked at a clip of Koko the Clown and Betty Boop above which was created by Max Fleischer who invented the rotoscope.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Studio Art: The Walking Dead gets artsy


Fans of The might've noticed that the tv show featured a Caravaggio last night of The Denial of Saint Peter which we saw last year on our field trip to the Met Museum. Today in Studio Art well talk about why the writers and producers chose to include the painting and what it may be symbolic of.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Today we will be doing figure drawing using models from the class in costume in all of the art classes.  I'll be taking pictures and posting some of them here and on Instagram and I will be grading the drawings so make sure to give it a real effort.  I know some of you are shy and might not want to get up in front of the class but remember- models get candy!  The photos above of the "Witches of East" show two members of our fantastic computer department getting into the spirit, I'll be posting some from class below!




Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Talks with Teachers podcast


I was honored to be the guest on the educational Talks with Teachers podcast hosted by fellow teacher Brian Sztabnik this week. I met Brian at a recent Long Island EdCamp conference and we met because he noticed my very visual note-taking (I draw most of my notes as you can see from my tweet below).


The conference was a terrific learning experience and we recorded the podcast shortly afterwards. We had a great conversation about teaching, creativity, art, and some classroom philosophy that you can download or stream on iTunes from the link above. I 've been listening to the Talks with Teachers podcast for a few months now and they have a great array of inspiring educators such as: Dave Burgess, Joy Kirr, Tom Whitby, Starr Sackstein, and Grant Wiggins I recommend listening and joining the conversation about education!

Drawing: Illustration Friday- Puppet


In Drawing class we are working on the current Illustration Friday theme of "Puppet".  Here's my entry, a take on finger puppets, yours are due later today!

Shanti Peace Poster Contest



Congrats to Paige Meyer from AP Art for winning the Shanti Peace Poster Contest! She was awarded her prize yesterday from the Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone along with Art Honor Society members Christian and Maria who were awarded for their presentation!

View image on Twitter

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Art and Media Art Honor Society: Halloween, elections, and NYC


The Art and Media Art Honor Society's will meet today and we will be discussing our Safe Halloween Haunted House, election of officers, and our upcoming trip to NYC!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Drawing: The Bechdel Doodle Dare



This week in drawing class we'll be taking part in the doodle dare posed by MacArthur "genius" winning cartoonist Alison Bechdel (watch her working on a charcoal drawing from her residency below) and the WNYC radio show Studio 360.  She began the drawing and you will be asked to finish it using whatever media you'd like.  Take a look at my first attempt above, it's a great creative challenge- good luck!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Media Art: Voice Acting



Today in Media Art we are going to learn about the basics of Voice Acting and watch some clips from John Di Maggio's film on Voice Overs and Voice Acting I KNOW THAT VOICE.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Art Honor Society Haunted House today!


Today is the Art & Media Art Honor Society's Haunted House and the Safe Halloween Spooky Hallways program so we'll be setting up and dressing up after school and the event runs till about 7:30pm!


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Shanti Peace Poster Contest


Congratulations to Paige in our AP Art class on being one of the two winners of this years Shanti Peace Poster contest.  She will receive her award on Wednesday next week from the Shanti Fund organizers and the Suffolk County Executive, Steve Bellone.  Below are some of Smithtown East's other finalists who are still in the running for inclusion for this year's calendar: (T- B: Rose, Jamie, Natalie, Kyle, & Emily)


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Art Honor Society: Annual Haunted House


Today the Art Honor Society will meet today to continue to assemble our annual Haunted House for the Spooky Hallways event on Friday.  This year we have three new themed rooms we'll be putting together along with the Media Art Honor Society.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Studio Art: Mini Comic Books Due Today


Today in Studio Art class our Mini Comic Books are due.  We'll grade them and hand them back with comments and then we'll scan the final comic in the computer lab so we can share and trade them with other classes and other schools.  Above are some of the books I've read so far, pretty creative and interesting work!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Drawing: Illustration Friday- Trouble


In AP Art and Drawing class we are continuing our drawing month with a new Illustration Friday theme which is Trouble.  The Example I did in class on Friday is above so finish up your illustrations and post them by this Friday!

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Whitney Weekend



To celebrate the final weekend of Jeff Koons: A Retrospective and the Whitney’s Museum's uptown location the Museum will stay open for 36 continuous hours from Saturday, October 18, 11 am–Sunday to October 19, 11 pm. The famed museum will be closing it's doors after this show and opening a new museum downtown but if you have never visited the building Marcel Breuer and Hamilton P. Smith designed in the early 1960's at 945 Madison Avenue at East 75th Street in Manhattan in New York City, this is your chance.

I've seen quite a few amazing shows at the Whitney over the years- notably the Biennials, Robert Rauschenberg's last works, the Kusama exhibition, the Hopper's and Calder's, but my most memorable experience was my first time there.  My first exposure to the Whitney came as I was finding my way through college in UMass Boston when a teacher exposed me to the work of photographer Robert Frank, who went on to become a pronounced influence on my work.  

There was a retrospective of his work in Washington so I grabbed friends and took a road trip to the national museum to see the work (remember this is pre- "everything's on the Internet" days so you couldn't just Google him) it really effected me so when it traveled to NY's Whitney I was there again on the first night hoping to meet the man himself and see some of the films he had made.  He wasn't there but many of his beat generation friends were and I had a chance to meet poet and photographer Allen Ginsberg which was amazing!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Studio Art: The Ultimate Zentangle


In AP Art Troy tipped me off to one of the coolest Zentangles's ever, a wife who used Sharpie to Zentangle her husband's 1995 Nissan Skyline R33 GTR.

Media Art: Film Industry Research Project



This week in Media Art we'll be working on our Film Industry Research Project in which each student chooses an aspect of the film and television industry and is given a professional in that are to research.  Each student should create a 5-6 page Powerpoint or digital presentation with a cover and references on their professional which we'll share next week.  Below is the list for this semester:

Adham- George Lucas (writer, producer, special effects)
Alex- Ben Affleck (writer, actor, director)
Thomas- Wes Anderson (writer, director)
Antonio- Martin Sheen (actor)
Matthew D- Conrad Hall (cinematographer)
Michael D- Robert Wise (editor, director, producer)
Jack- Paul Haggis (writer, producer, director)
Caitlin- Meryl Streep (actress)
Alix- James L Brooks (director, producer)
Lauden- Francis Ford Coppola (director, producer)
Jeffrey- Thelma Schoonmaker (editor)
Mason- Alec Guinness (actor)
Alexandria- Christopher Walken (writer, actor, director)
Jessica P- Robert DeNiro (actor, producer)
Samantha P- Danny DeVito (actor, director, producer)
Michael P- Jack Nicholson (writer, actor, director, producer)
Matthew R- Marlon Brando (actor)
Sean- Clint Eastwood (actor, director, producer, composer)
Rachel- Dante Ferretti (art director, production design)
Kristen- Tom Hanks (actor, producer)
Adelina- Robert Redford (actor, director, producer)
Suzanne- Hal Ashby (director, editor)
Zakria- Morgan Freeman (actor, director)
Chris- Dustin Hoffman (actor)
Nikki- Eric Sibley (director, special effects)
Douglas- Brad Bird (writer, director, producer, animator)
Brandon- Daniel Day Lewis (actor)


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

AP Art: Art and Science



This week in AP Art each student was teamed up with a partner to critique each others work and given the new theme of Art and Science.  It's a theme that has persisted in art from DaVinci to Damien Hirst and has led to a few successful AP Art Concentration themes over the years so whether it's biology and the body or Physics and quarks find an artistic link to a science and explore it creativity.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Studio Art: Sequential art & comics


This weekend was Comic Con in NYC and to celebrate we are working on comics and graphic novels in studio art class.  Tomorrow is the quiz on the basics which you can study here: sequential art terminology.

This week we will be creating mini 7 page comic books with a cover using a clever one page design that we learned today in class.  The picture above is from my recent show at Gallery North in Stony Brook of my graphic novel work, later this week I'll bring in some of my work and show you how it's created!

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