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.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Drawing: Illustration Friday

In Drawing class we will be working on Illustration Friday today and the theme is "INK".  Above is an example from class done by Luke.  Remember today's schedule is abbreviated due to the pep rally so we have a little less time than normal!

Art Honor Society: Patriots Day Meeting

Today the Art Honor society will meet and make a few important decisions about the events we'll be doing in the next few months along with taking a patriotic group photo.  The Hamptons Film Festival is coming up in two weeks so anyone interested in volunteering can visit the Hamptons Film Festival Volunteer page.

Well also be planning some of the collaborative projects we will be working on for the next few weeks such as the Sketchbook Project, our new t-shirt design, and the Wyland mural.  We will be starting both next week at our meeting on Wednesday.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Drawing: Portraits from Life

In Drawing and Studio Art class we will be working in our sketchbook drawing portraits of students in class from life.  We'll start with a full page portrait of someone in class and then we'll fill a page with smaller drawings of other students at different angles like the demonstration I created in my sketchbook above.  The finished drawings will be due on Thursday at the beginning of class.

Here are some of the drawing tips for portraits from Craftsy we talked about yesterday in case you forget.  Remember start from the interior, make sure your proportions are correct, and draw a sketch before you make the lines dark and more permanent!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Digital Media: Drawing with Code Zombies

We will continue our computer coding art workshop today using the Zombie Drawing Code.  Now that we've learned some of the basics it's time to get creative and be original.  Play with the code and use any of the variables to create your own art piece.  Your welcome to use Adobe Photoshop or apps such as Over and Vine in conjunction with the code but make sure it's a completely original work. The final digital artwork will be due at the end of class on Wednesday so Thursday and Friday we'll meet back downstairs in the classroom to critique and reflect on the work and what we learned.

The examples above and below that I made in class give you a sense of some of the variations that you can work with.  Above all: experiment, play, and have fun!

Studio Art: Drawing Terms

In Studio Art we began our Drawing unit and are beginning to review the drawing terminology.  The videos above and below show the basic elements and principles or art and design that we are working with and you can also reference my Quizlet study guide to review all the terms you'll be responsible for.  We'll have a short quiz Friday on the drawing terms.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Art Honor Society: Planning Meeting

Today the Art Honor Society will meet after school in room 161 to plan some of our upcoming events such as the October field trip, possible walk in the homecoming parade, volunteering at the Hampton's Film Festival, and  possible Haunted House for Spooky Hallways.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Digital Media: Coding Basics

In Digital Media we are going to start learning the basics of coding with a very simple tutorial for the game Flappy Birds.  We'll be learning a bit of coding once a month, each month as the school year progresses in order to have the skills to create some of our more complicated future projects.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Studio Art: Sketchbook Week

Each day this week in Studio Art class we will be working on a short 15-20 minute drawings in our sketchbooks and sharing them, all 4 will count together for a grade on Friday.  The pieces can be created in any media as long as it uses the full page.  Below are the week's themes with links to specifics and examples:

Monday: Observational Drawing
Tuesday: Doodle
Thursday: Words
Friday: Fills

Extra Credit: September

This month's extra credit assignment comes courtesy of the Studio 360 radio show and actor Nick Offerman best know for playing Ron on Park's and Rec.  It's a popsicle stick sculpture creative challenge the rules are below- be creative!:

The Challenge: Build a popsicle stick sculpture for Nick Offerman based on one (or more) of his favorite things:
  • Bratwurst
  • Fishing
  • Masonry
  • Wilco (the band)
  • The Hoover Dam
  • Puzzles
  • America
Deadline: September 28th by the end of class

Friday, September 18, 2015

Drawing: Illustration Friday

Today in Studio Art and Drawing class we'll be drawing the Illustration Friday theme which is: Mermaid.  Be original, be creative, and make your mermaid- they will be shared, critiqued, and graded at the end of class!

When you are finished you can return to work on sketching out your Wyland "climate and coast" mural design for Monday!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Studio Art: 2015 Wyland National 'Water is Life" Mural and Art Challenge

Educational leaders and teachers take part in the 2015 Wyland National 'Water is Life" Mural and Art Challenge Sept.25 – Nov. 25. Sign up before Aug. 15 to win 1 of 100 free mural canvases for your classroom to participate in a nationwide environmental mural and individual art contest celebrating our ocean, lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands. This year’s theme will be “Our Coasts and Climate.” 
2015 Mural Art Contest:categories include grades K-4, 5-8, and 9-12. The class in each category whose mural best expresses their understanding of and appreciation for "Our Coast and Climate" will receive a $250 gift card to Michael's for art supplies and a grand prize signed Wyland artwork (Total ARV. $1,000) Schools may register multiple classes. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Studio Art: Dot Day

Today we are going to celebrate #DotDay15 by creating an intricate "dot" that represents the spirit of Peter Reynolds children's book The Dot.  Creating a dot is not really the challenge, it's more creating a original and inventive dot that represents you.  Make sure you sign it and we'll create a short film of all our dots to share with the elementary students and social media. 

Additionally today I'll be collecting your completed Shanti Peace Poster and your Illustration Friday drawing from last week for a grade.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Remembering September 11

Today marks 14 years since the terrorist attacks of September 11 and we will begin class with two short animated films created from Storycorps recordings created to remember the victims of the attacks.  The video above tells the stories of locals Joe and John Vigiano and the story below tells the story of Michael Trinidad who worked at Cantor Fitzgerald in the World Trade Center.  We will also have a moment of silence and talk a little bit about our connections to the experience.

We will also be creating our own Storycorps stories later this year for the Great Thanksgiving Listen program which we'll talk about at the end of next month.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Digital Media: Type Design with Photoshop

We will begin our first Photoshop project this week which is creating a text design of a quote on art or creativity.  Above is an example of what a final project might took like but we will be learning a few new tools each day as we work on the project.  We will be reviewing some of these tools and terms using Quizlet and there will be a short quiz at the end of next week.  Here's a link to the class Quizlet to study from: Mr. Needles Digital Media Quizlet

Art and Media Art Honor Society Meeting

Today the cabinet members of the Art Honor Society and the Media Art Honor Society will hold their first meeting to make plans for next week's open meeting and the first quarter activities.  The meeting will be in art room 161 directly after school.  The first meeting for new members is next Wednesday- don't forget!

Digital Art: Introduction to Photoshop

In Digital Media Art we will continue our Introduction to Photoshop today on the computers.  You'll begin by creating a simple text based design using a quote that we will animate later on in class. Above is an example of one I created and posted on Vine.  These designs will be due on Friday at the end of class.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Digital Media: Shanti Peace Poster

In Digital Media class we are beginning work today on our first project the Shanti Peace Poster.  Above is a great example of a good peace poster from the Holstee design lab in Brooklyn.  We'll start by learning a little bit more about Photoshop and then we'll start creating images and researching quotes and symbols of peace.

Before we begin we'll look a bit at what makes good design in a poster such as this and look at some examples below that are clever and original and clearly express ideas of peace.  We'll look at the artists below and do a little bit of research of symbols associated with peaces and some design basics.

Next we will begin to think of designs visually using 3-5 small thumbnail drawings such as the example I created below.  This is a designers visual entrance into the creative process- small quick sketches which give a sense of what the final design might look like and how it might be best composed.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Studio Art: Illustration Friday

It's our first Friday of the year in Studio Art and we'll be participating in Illustration Friday! Today's theme is old and it is an easy one to interpret because there are so many possible approaches!  You'll have 25 minutes to draw an illustration of the theme in any style ftom realism to cartooning to conceptual and it will be your first grade of the year!  These will be graded on concept as more than skill at this early point in the year but try your best to visually achieve your idea!

Here's an example I did in class that is a more realistic interpretation of my father because it's his birthday today, I'll go with a different approach next week to show you some variation!

Here's an examples of a student drawing, Luke from AP Art class, and his interpretation of the IF theme this week.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Digital Media: What's Your Sentence?

Two questions that can change your life from Daniel Pink on Vimeo.

In Digital Media well be talking about the work of author Dan Pink and using his concept of "What's Your Sentence?" to create part of our short animated film.  Step one is to think about yourself in the distant future and imagine something you want to have done by then- once you arrive at that idea write it in sentence form as if you've already done it.

Next we'll watch part of his TED talk which was animated by the RSA shown below and discuss what motivates us as people.  Write down something that you think would help motivate you to do your best.  We'll take some of this information and apply it to our class this year.

Finally our first homework assignment is to take 4 photos from your experience during the first week of school.  We'll use them to create a short video montage next week in class.  Make sure you have the photo's in digital form by Tuesday in class.

Studio Art: Zentangle

Today in Studio Art we will learn the basic of the Zentangle drawing technique which mixes different patterns of doodles together for greater effect.  Below is a short tutorial about the basics.  Today we'll begin working with some simple patterns in creating a nameplate that we will finish tomorrow.

This is a technique that can be simple or as you build layers turn complex based upon your design, skill, and precision.  Below is an example of a more advanced Zentangle within a simple design.  The use of patterns that suggest 3 dimensions adds a complexity.  We will experiment with some different patters, use of color, and designs in class and later working on our peace poster designs next week.

Here's a great Zentangle design to begin with that we will follow which uses a simple square inside a square with a circle interior.  The shapes and technique are pretty simple but together form a complex design which gives a good example of how the process works.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The First Day of School

Welcome to the first day of school at Smithtown East High School.  We'll begin with a piece of advice from author Dan Pink.  Today we'll start with a short fun collaborative art activity and go over some of the basics of class.  Below are the supplies you'll need for class:

Studio Art:
- A 8 1/2" x 11" Sketchbook
- Pencils/ Colored Pencils
- A Folder

Digital Media Art:
- A USB digital drive (1 GB minimum)

AP Studio Art: (Depending on which AP test you are taking
- A 8 1/2" x 11" Sketchbook
- Pencils/ Colored Pencils/ Paints/ ect.
- A USB digital drive (3 GB minimum)

- A 8 1/2" x 11" Sketchbook
- Pencils/ Colored Pencils
- A Folder

Saturday, July 4, 2015

The Everyday Renaissance Project- a daily creative art challenge

This summer I'm launching The Everyday Renaissance Project- a creative arts podcast and to celebrate I'll be hosting a daily creative art challenge every day in the month of July using the hashtag #TERPart. The challenges are open to everyone so take a look on the theeverydayrenaissance.com website and share your work on any social media using the hashtag above!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

CTCart: Hacking Technology for the Classroom

Last week I was honored to be invited to speak at the Creative Technologies Symposium for art and education at Columbia University Teachers College.  The event was inspiring and informative with great speakers that range the gamut from curators to designers to educators.

I wrote a short synopsis of the concept behind my presentation for Education Closet's Coaching Calls blog on which I regularly contribute here:

Hacking Technology for the Classroom

I'll also be writing up a full paper on the subject for the University Press later this summer.  Below is a short Vine video that gives a flavor of the terrific event!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Last Day of Classes

Today is the Last Day of Class which is exciting but bittersweet.  I hope everyone has a fun and safe summer and remember to keep the creativity flowing!  It was fun working with all of you this year and best of luck to all the seniors who are graduating!  The Vine above will help you remember what this year was like with Mr. Needles in art room 161

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Art Honor Society: Student Interview with artist Heather Sinclair

This month the studio art classes and the Art Honor Society had a chance to do a video interview with artist Heather Sinclair after we worked on a drawing assignment based on her inspiring works in the Sketchbook Project some of which is shown in the video above.  Below is the results of the interview

Question 1:

Question 2 & 3:

Question 4:

Question 5:

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Media Arts: Final Projects Due Today

In  Media Arts and Advanced Media Arts the Final Film Projects are due today via You Tube, Vimeo, the public or google drive.  Be sure to get your film in as it is a very large grade for the quarter!  Tomorrow we will begin sharing and viewing some of the films and critiquing them-we'll start with Emily and Jenna's doc about this year's prom!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Extra Credit: 7 Days with the Journal Fodder Junkies Sketchbook Challenge

The final Extra Credit for Studio Art classes this year to to work along with Journal fodder Junkies's 30 day sketchbook challenge.  The challenge is to work 15 minutes a day on sketchbook art with the daily theme for the month of June but being that school ends this week you can choose 7 Days and participate.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Advanced Media Art: Film Festivals

In our Media Art and Advanced Media Art classes we are working on our final film projects which are due Tuesday so it's a perfect time to talk about submitting to Film Festivals.

Many film festivals have student categories such as the Lighthouse Film Festival in New Jersey where Max from our Advanced Film class recently entered and will have his film "House of Memory" shown in this weekend.  As a reminder, here are the basic rules for the final project once again
Final Project Basics: The content is up to you as long as it is school appropriate and has the basic structure of a film which we learned in class (if you have a question see me).  The basic time minimums are below: 
Drawn animation- 30 seconds minutes
Pixilation Animation- 1 min minutes
Live Action- 3 minutes
Collaborations- Add time for each class member working on a project
Most festivals have online entry via withoutabox these days so submitting has become mush easier than in the past.  Here are links to a few film festivals and competitions which students have had success with:

Hamptons Film Festival

Young Arts

Long Island Film Expo

there are many festivals with student categories, check out this film festival list for more opportunities!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

AP Art: 2015-2016 Summer Assignments

The 2015-2016 AP Art class will have a short meeting today Wednesday June 10 at 2:05pm in room 161 to discuss the schedule and summer assignments which are posted below. If you cannot attend for any reason make sure you see Mr.Needles and complete the 26 assignments by the first week of class because they are a large part of the first quarter grade and the AP test itself.

As an example of what a finished work should look like in terms of the art/design principals above is an example of the first assignment (listed below) by Shelby and below are examples of Clay's concentration pieces and some of the finalists for the Shanti Peace Posters by Lisa and others from the AP Art class a from earlier this year. If you have any questions about the assignments feel free to email me or come speak with me, other than that remember to enjoy the work and don't stress out because it usually means death to creativity!

Summer Assignments:
All assignments can be done in any medium, technique and style you desire but should be 2-Dimensional work (flat) not 3-Dimensional (sculpture) work in any media that is 18”x24” or smaller and should be entirely original (do not use other people’s pictures, characters, or content in any way).
Part I: Breadth Assignments:
(these 5 assignments should be sent to me via twitter or  instagram- @timneedles with the #needlesclass or mail tneedles@smithtown.k12.ny.us by August 1 for feedback. These works will also count towards your 1st Quarter grade and will be critiqued during the first week of classes.)

Assignment #1: Inspiration- Take a look at this list of 100 Artists from Art 21, choose any artist and create a piece responding to (not copying or in their style) their work. The list includes everyone from artist who use traditional media such as: Cindy Sherman and Richard Serra to artist like: Ai Weiwei, Marina Abramović, and Laurie Anderson who do performance pieces. Video clips are available for each artist on the website so do a bit of research, find something in one of the artists that you connect to and create a piece on it.

Assignment #2: Design with TextureCreate a piece that incorporates elements of design and features texture in an important way.  It can be any 2D media but make sure the composition and rhythm of the piece stands out and draws the eye.

Assignment #3: A mixed-media portrait – Create a portrait using various media in monochrome or in color. Feel free to use any medium you desire (ink, collage, newspaper, paint, & other mixed media) and as many media as you like. The style may be handled in any way you wish: realistic, abstract, expressive, impressionistic or cubistic, etc. This portrait should reveal something significant about the model. Hands, torso and face are important features and should be included in the work. Try an unusual surface. The portrait may be done on any flat smooth unbreakable surface such as cardboard, mural paper, plywood, masonite, plexiglass, homasote board, etc.

Assignment #4 -Intransigent - Create a piece based on interpreting the following term:

(adj.) refusing to compromise, often on an extreme opinion (The intransigent child said he would have 12 scoops of ice cream or he would bang his head against the wall until his mother fainted from fear.)

Assignment #5: A Day In Your LifeChoose a moment from your everyday life and express it visually using any media. This can be a moment that’s memorable or very average, reoccurring or just a moment you remember. Try to use media that helps illustrate the moment and think about your perspective vs. others when creating the imagery.
Part II: Shanti Peace Poster

Create a 8"x10' poster for the Shanti Peace Poster Contest, the theme is peace and you are free to use quotes from Gandhi and/or Martin Luther King if you wish. Here's a link to the some winning Smithtown designs from past year's: 2011 Peace Poster

Part III: Process Assignments:

Create new 20 pages in your sketchbook or a series of 20 photographs/works on paper in 1 or 2 themes of your choice.  Use any media that you want to work with for the AP test (pencil, photography, mixed media, ect.). Experiment with creating multiple pieces with the same theme or if you aren't sure what theme to work with create pieces then go back and identify what the themes you tend to work in are. Try to work with concepts that you might consider for the concentration portion of the AP test (Examples from the past include "A Day In The Life", "A Reinterpretation of the Past through Steam technology", and "Perspectives of the Brooklyn Bridge" so it's really wide open but if you want to run your idea past me before you begin I'd love to hear it). Here's a link to the College Board website which has information about the test with examples of Concentration pieces that have scored well in the past:
AP: Studio Art

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Art Honor Society: Closing out the year

The school year is almost over so we'll be finishing up our projects in art honor society and making some of the ongoing projects for next year.  Congratulations to all the new inductees! We'll recap the induction as well and look at some of the plans for next year.  Finally we'll also talk with an artist from the Sketchbook project who is currently living in Germany via video!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Studio Art: Taking Notes from artist Wayne White

In Studio Art class we will be taking some notes from one of my favorite contemporary artists Wayne White and creating "oversize sculptured puppet masks" from cardboard, paper, paint, and glue in groups.  Each group will be given a famous artist from art history and they will have to work together to come up with a design and then build the puppet head.

The puppet masks will be featured in a few different local events such as the Art Honor Society's float for next years homecoming parade as well as the first Smithtown East art parade!  The artists we'll create masks for include greats such as DaVinci, Van Gogh, and Picasso as well as some more contemporary artists such as Banksy and Andy Goldsworthy.  The AP art class started a mask last week so here's a glimpse of what they look like in process!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Tweet A Dream

Today is International Children's Day and thousands of young people in 50+ countries will share the future they want to see via Twitter using the hashtag #tweetadream. 

We will share a dream along with some images described below:
Paintings, Drawings & SketchesPut your visualisation down on paper, canvas or other surfaces and submit a photo of it together with your short text.
Photography & VideographyCapture your visualisation in a photo or video and submit the photo or video as a link together with your short text.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Media Art: Improv Comedy Warm-ups

In Media Art this week we will learn some Improv Comedy Warm-ups such as Zoom which is demonstrated in the video above as well as Zip Zap Zoop and Free Association.  We'll work together as a class and in small groups and next week we will develop longer form works and short films based on what we learned.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Studio Art: Final Exams

Today we will start the first section of our Studio Art Final Exam with the multiple choice test and tomorrow we will complete the rest of the test.  Make sure you study from our class quizlet!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Art and Media Art Honor Society- 2015 Induction

Today the Smithtown East chapter of the Art Honor Society and the Media Art Honor Society will hold their 2015 induction ceremony today in the little theater at 3:15 pm and we will also be presenting some of the senior art awards along with an pizza after party and gallery opening in room 161.

We had a great time on our field trip to the galleries in Chelsea last week so we'll also be putting together some of the photographs and video from the trip into our archives and talk about our favorite works..

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Media Art: Final Exam

In Media Art & Advanced Media Art we will have our Final Exam on Friday so make sure to study via our quizlet.  It's a review of everything we did this year from the zoetrope (like PIXAR's shown above) to digital animation. We will review in class today and the test will include almost all the terms of Friday.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Studio Art: The Sketchbook Project

This week we are doing a drawing project in Studio Art class inspired by artist Heather Sinclair's meditative, free-association “what does that look like” and "Newton's Ghosts" sketchbook drawings from The Sketchbook Project.  Each student should complete a full page drawing based on things and people in class and free-association to those things and people.  The link above show's the artists full sketchbook and you can see part of the process by looking through the drawings.  Try to have at least 10 faces in you work and use pen or pencil for the drawing then you can add color if you choose using any media.  Above is the cover of the sketchbook we looked at in class and the drawing below is the begining of the in-class demonstration Mr. Needles did in the Studio Art classes today.  The assignment will be due at the end of class on Tuesday.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Looking into Smithtown's Past reception

This weekend is the opening for the Looking into Smithtown's Past exhibit at Mills Pond House and 8 students from Mr. Needles classes have work in the show.  The reception is Saturday from 2-4pm so best of luck to all my students in the judging!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Art Honor Society: Chelsea Gallery walk Spring Field Trip

The Art and Media Art Honor Society will have it's Spring Field Trip Friday and we will walk the High Line and do a Chelsea Gallery walk, visiting the following galleries:

We will also stop at the Chelsea Market and we'll return home around 3pm for the holiday weekend!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Studio Art: Review for the Final

In Studio Art we will be finishing our review for the final exam this week and the actual exam is next week on May 28 and 29.  The link on the quizlet here: studio art review covers most of what will be on the test and is a great place to study.  Wednesday will be our practice exam that will count as a quiz so make sure you prepare!

Monday, May 18, 2015

AP Art: The Art of Frida Kahlo

In AP Art we will finish watching the Frida, the film on artist Frida Kahlo and begin to discuss her life, process, art and most importantly what we learned from her.  Below is a quote which gives some insight into her true character:

"I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me, too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you." 
-Frida Kahlo

                                                 Suicide of Dorothy Hale

We will also discuss the film Frida and artist and director Julie Taymor's creative interpretation of Frida's life.  Finally I'll assign a short reflective essay which will be due on Thursday May 21st.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Extra Credit: iDrive No Texting While Drive contest

This month's extra credit assignment is to create a video pitch for the iDrive "No Texting While Drive" public service announcement contest.  The prizes are serious for this contest, last years winner won $10,000. Below are the basic rules and if you have questions I saved the complete rules as a PDF in the Mr. Needles extra credit folder in the school assignment drive.

The extra credit is due by May 31, 2015 and we'll be posting the best of them in September to compete for the school.  Below are some useful images and data that you might want to incorperate into you PSA pitch.

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