Monday, August 30, 2010

Post 33 - MOTIVATION MONDAY - Motivated to make a macabre paperdoll...

Blogging my evolution as an artistic art educator - An art-based experiment...

"La Rosa" - Skull stamp by Paula Best, Tarot card stamp by Carmen's Veranda, hand-made word stamps, fabric paper, tiny puzzle pieces, black Stickles, printed adhesive fabric, Golden Fluid Acrylics, gesso.

Art 42 trade, but I had to make myself one too, of course... ENJOY!

Safety, health, happiness, and peace... Pam

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Post 32 - SMALL WONDERS SATURDAY - Small art to share...

Blogging my evolution as an artistic art educator - An art-based experiment...

"Hooked on the puzzle of life and death" (15/15) - Hand-colored fabric swatch, "Hooked" hand-cut stamp, "Skull" (Carmen's Veranda) purchased stamp, "No Dogs Allowed" (Coffee Break Designs) purchased stamp, hand-stitched, miniature puzzle piece, sequin flower, black gesso, Golden Fluid Acrylics, microbeads, and two coats of Distress Crackle Paint by Tim Holtz.

Hello?... Is this thing on?

Wow, do I feel alone in my blogging experience here... No comments to respond to, no nothing. But, as Walt said, "Keeping moving forward!"

With all of the school pressures and such, I have been away from the blogging thing, plus I haven't made much to share lately anyhow. However, I have a very cool sample of the series of "twinchies" (2" x 2" little artworks) I made to exchange on Art 42 to show you above...

This is the one I made for myself. It's my new policy to make one of everything I send away to keep, because, alas, I feel that I mostly do not receive the same quality of items back that I send out. If I have one for myself, I won't feel so bad sending my "babies" away, right?

Enjoy, whomever is out there!

Safety, health, happiness, and peace... Pam

Monday, August 16, 2010

Post 31 - MOTIVATION MONDAY - "Unhooking" is an interesting concept... It's about personal leverage, not surrendering your power, and ATTITUDE...

Blogging my evolution as an artistic art educator - An art-based experiment...
Follow the link, print, and read the article (or if you are a green person, skip the paper waste)... Unhooking article

Thinking on this article, it occurred to me that this concept can not only be used to "unhook" from co-workers and bosses, but also spouses, children, family members, my students, friends, etc...

First, what I found most interesting was the evaluation process, meaning discovering if one is indeed "hooked", and the idea that you can be physically hooked (physical responses to the stress), emotionally hooked (loss of emotional control as a response to the stress), and/or mentally hooked (spacing out, obsessive thinking and talking about the stressful situation/person)... The article says you can be this, or this, or this...

Personally, I feel all three things when somebody has got me hooked! Feel (physical) like a wriggling fish on a real hook, being pulled along by my guts... Then (emotional), I fall apart sometimes (it's a family trait to wear our heart's on our sleeves). I'm the crier... I hate that!... Then, (mental) I obsess about solving the issue, talking it up and down, until that horse is good and dead. (Sorry to my friends and family who have to listen to me not shutting up... "Shut up shuttin' up!", as in the Bugs Bunny cartoon from years back offered us. Now, I know what they meant! LOL!!)

The second most important part of this "hook" concept is using the steps to "unhook" yourself, but most importantly, finding those things that one must do that work for one personally. All the steps to "unhook" are very very useful, but one way of say physically unhooking may work for another, where as another may work better for someone else.

The steps are...

1). UNHOOK PHYSICALLY - This is healthy ways to calm the body down and release negative energy, like meditative breathing, going for a walk, yoga, punch a pillow, run, etc... (I am still of the mind that a kick boxing class would make ME a happy camper. Although, I love yoga, and strangely enough, my sweet hubby suggested we do yoga TOGETHER just yesterday!)

2). UNHOOK MENTALLY - This is internally, "...talking yourself down off a ledge. It involves looking at your difficult situation from a fresh perspective." Objectively inventory the situation by asking and answering honestly the following five questions: What's happening here?, What are the facts of the situation?, What's their part?, What's my part?, What are my options? (And, I agree with the author, admitting what MY PART is is the hardest thing, but knowing this can change everything. If I understand my motives and reason for my reaction or feeling, I can govern those motives and feelings so I have and keep control over myself.) 

3). UNHOOK VERBALLY - This is finding, "... the words (or sometimes the silence) to protect yourself..." and get out of the "trap", with your job, life, and sanity in tact, and healthy. Remember to focus on the ultimate goal, not the little stuff, (fight the fight worth fighting, not every fight), and take the high road when you communicate... KWIM?... Use "I" instead of "you", don't judge or accuse... "Just the facts Mam."

4). UNHOOK with a BUSINESS TOOL - This is using any standard procedure with written documentation available, like contracts, job descriptions, memos, e-mails, reviews, company policies, expectations and goals, etc... Yes, this sounds like this is workplace applicable only, but this idea can be reworked for a relationship (budgetary agreements, on paper, to keep all parties accountable), or say, my students. (Behavioral contracts are a good thing with some students, because it makes the "lines in the sand" very clear, which sometimes they really need to succeed. And, that is what we all want. We want success for everyone concerned!)

The third important part of this article is the "Putting It All Together - Your Personal Unhooking Assessment". This is a short worksheet to help you "practice unhooking". GREAT IDEA!

And, finally, the section at the very end of the article is a fabulous addition. It is called "Unhooking At a Glance". The quick fix tools for immediate help... Yes!

OK... Well, I am ready to "verbally unhook" about this subject, and let it sit in my unconscious for the rest of the day. Hope I motivated you to unhook something or someone in your life...

Safety, health, happiness, and peace... Pam

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Post 30 - SKETCHY SUNDAY - Planning something for my students that will be very helpful, but will cause them great anxiety...

Blogging my evolution as an artistic art educator - An art-based experiment...

And, this DVD is the biggest clue to what they NEED, but won't be happy about. Alas, all of my students need and want to be better at drawing, and so I'm going to try a little experiment.

I am going to use this DVD with the very wise words and teachings (which I already use) to "prime the creative pump", as it were, in all of my classes this year. Drawing lessons to start the year, for everybody! (Not planning on grading based on how good they draw, just on their attitude, effort, and personal growth, creatively. Then, we move on in each subject from there. Should take a couple of weeks, that's all.)

All of them value drawing and drafting talent, but many of them have not gotten to the point where they have much faith in their own draftsmanship. That faith in their creative problem-solving and abilities is what I want them to gain, not a great drawing ability necessarily. Some will be able to draw very well, but others just need to know they CAN DRAW BETTER than they thought, thus giving them a little bit more of a self-esteem boost. This boost will in turn help them be better at whatever creative pursuit they follow, or as a matter of fact, life-pursuit, where problem-solving is involved.

Crossing my fingers! OK, Betty Edwards, do your magic...

Safety, health, happiness, and peace... Pam

Post 29 - SMALL WONDERS SATURDAY - Something about "Keep Moving Forward" and something about celebrating the simple and small things...

Blogging my evolution as an artistic art educator - An art-based experiment...

Day late... Yep... But, I didn't feel like blogging yesterday. Feel like I am talking to myself lately, and I already knew what I was thinking, so... Why repeat myself? (That's a joke! LOL!?)

But, I decided, blog anyway... Peeps are busy, as I am too... Still hope to hear you all's two cents here and there. Please?!

OK... In keeping with the themes connected to this day's inspirational song/movie (Meet the Robinson's), I have selected a quote that exemplifies the theme of "Keep moving forward".

This is a quote from Daniel Radcliffe (Out magazine interview this month), in which he is paraphrasing Churchill... LOVE THIS QUOTE!! Totally speaks to me, on many levels. (Some who know me well, know how to read between the lines here.)

There was a great quote I heard the other day from Churchill: “When you’re going through hell, just keep going.” I just love it. Why stop?

I adore DR's two cents too!

And, secondly... I have chosen to show you a photo I took the other day that exemplifies the theme of celebrating and giving thanks for the small things. ENJOY!

Taking pride and finding sheer joy in the miracles of the garden (my hubby is the gardener), is truly a small wonder worth celebrating! Don't you agree?

Safety, health, happiness, and peace... Pam

Friday, August 13, 2010

Post 28 - FHOTO FRIDAY - Another reflective surface photo, more foolin' around with Photoshop, making the most of my diet, and more on Cosmo...

Blogging my evolution as an artistic art educator - An art-based experiment...

Me in the Outside Window Surface - (Equalize/Crop) Took this shot the week the kiddo took her photo class at the YMCA, mostly to show her an option for taking a self-portrait photo... Then, I realized, it's another reflective surface option, like the ones I took in June! (Still like this assignment for students.)

My Hand - (Desaturated version) Took this shot the other day, because I wanted to manipulate it in Photoshop and use it in a couple of mixed-media pieces I have in mind.

Altered version 1 - Desaturated version with cutout filter added

Altered version 2 - Desaturated version, cutout filter added, and colorized

Altered version 3 - Desaturated version, sumi-e filter added, colorized

Altered version 4 - Dark outline filter, photocopy, colorize

Altered version 5 - Dark outline filter, fresco filter, stamp filter, colorized

Diet Celebration - (Posterized version) Decided to make the most of being on Weight Watchers! I might not be able to eat everything I want anymore, but I can certainly make what I am eating look yummy... So, I thought, why not document some of the things I am doing that are good for me, and share them with you! (NOTE TO SELF: Do a whole series of good for me shots, as a way to document my survival methods over this school year, and share with others here and in a journal format.)

Cosmo in Repose - (Contrast adjusted and Equalize) Yes, he's fat... Josie gave him the middle name of Garfield, and it fits our beloved chicken nugget stealing, snack addicted, sun bathing, photogenic feline! (By the way, he came from the SPCA, weighing in at a hefty 25 pounds when we got him at Christmas time.)

Cuddle Buddies - (Desaturate and contrast adjusted) Love to photograph this cat, and love to photograph the kiddo... So, what could be better than to photograph them together!

Safety, health, happiness, and peace... Pam

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Post 27 - THREEFOLD THURSDAY - Three 4x4 little artworks and three sets of three inchie artworks...

Blogging my evolution as an artistic art educator - An art-based experiment...

Art 42 is a site for exchanging created artworks such as ATCs, art postcards, altered books, and other types of paper crafts and mixed media items.

In essence, you make some items, send them off, and you get items from others. I have been stung before. You know, you spend an inordinate amount of time on your part, and get stuff back in the mail that makes you wish you had never participated at all.

But, I wanted to give it another go. Still waiting for some ATCs to arrive on my doorstep. I shared mine a few postings ago. And, just yesterday, I mailed off a couple more projects--three 4x4s (4" x 4" artworks) heart themed artworks and nine inchies (1" x 1" artworks). Got a few more projects to work on, which I will share here as I get them finished.

In the mean time, here are the three 4x4s and the three sets of three inchies... Enjoy!

Nature Painting - Process: tie-dyed tissue paper attached to watercolor paper with mat medium, painted with Golden Fluid Acrylics, wiped back before dry, hot glue heart, marker details, felt heart stapled to background, flowers added under and over stitched Memory Game tile, copied magnetic word typography attached, and Diamond Glaze added over words and around artwork edges.

Passion Symbol - Process: same as above

Poetry Icon - Process: same as above

What I Know About... series (Art, Trees, Love, Stitching, Eyes, Luck, Time, Magic, Coffee) - Process: All are one-of-a-kind individual miniature scratchboard artworks, with copied magnetic word typography added, marker color added over that, and sealed with MicroGlaze.

Safety, health, happiness, and peace... Pam

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Post 26 - WHATEVER WEDNESDAY - Crocheted scarf, after 30 years of not picking up a crochet hook...

Blogging my evolution as an artistic art educator - An art-based experiment...

Bizarre how fear, stress and moodiness can effect a person. Never know what your survival instincts will reach out and grab a hold of to attempt some healing.

Even though my big sister is a crochet-goddess, I have not picked up a hook in approximately 30 years!

Well, hadn't would be a more appropriate word. Last week, I bought a hook, grabbed some cheap yarn and just started crocheting. Don't know why really. Just started single crocheting, badly I might add. Then, I pulled it all out and started crocheting row-after-row of double crochets, until the small skein I was using ran out. Then, I added another random color to the end, and continued. Had no idea what I was making. I just knew I wanted to continue. It felt good. No pressure. It wasn't school related. It wasn't relationship or human related. It was not relevant art related. Just knots. That's it.

Once, I showed my rows of  "whatever" to my husband, and he asked me what I was making, it hit me... a scarf for my Chicago-master's program-bound eldest daughter, Lucia.

Yep. That's what it was and is. I finished this bizzare colorful extra-long and wide crocheted strip of mindless knotted meandering in 3 DAYS!

Yep, something possessed me, and I am not sure who or what it was. Hestia, goddess of home and hearth, or Docter Phil maybe... Who knows? (I feel better, so it must of been both of them... LOL!)

Safety, health, happiness, and peace... Pam

Post 25 - TECHNIQUE TUESDAY - Puzzle fix--How to replace a missing puzzle piece...

Blogging my evolution as an artistic art educator - An art-based experiment...

Yep, it's Wednesday... Look for two posts today too!

OK... The technique I have to share is not necessarily an artsy-farsty one. It's more practical creative. Meaning, the abilities and tools needed are really basic, not artistic. You can do this!

This technique sprang out of necessity. I love puzzles, and so does my daughter. Puzzles are great right-brain practice, so we try to do them when we can. In this case, I had purchased one to put together, glue, and hang in my studio, and Josie was putting together an old favorite to glue and hang up in her room.

We get finished with our respective puzzles, and low-an-behold, as many parents discover to their dismay too, a piece of Josie's puzzle is lost. (Not a mystery why if you see her bedroom.) We look for the piece several times, to no avail.

Now, this puzzle is cool, of very high quality, and Josie loves the animal images, so what to do?... Yep, I decide to recreate the missing piece! And, that is what my technique is for TECHNIQUE TUESDAY... (Yes, I am still aware that it is Wednesday. Just go with me on this today!)

My puzzle - Built, glued, and ready to mount and/or frame for hanging.

Josie's puzzle - Built, and... GASP... missing one final piece...

Close-up of the missing piece - What to do... What to do?

Step 1 - Retrieve the lid to the puzzle, and carefully cut out the section that contains the missing piece/image section.

Step 2 - After measuring the puzzle itself and the box lid image, use a proportion scale (or good old mathematics) to figure out the percentage of difference between the lid image and the puzzle. (This will allow you to use your ink jet copier or laser copier to correctly enlarge the box lid section image to the size that you will need to fix the puzzle. Our puzzle, for instance, was exactly twice as large or 200% of the original box lid image.) 

Step 3 - Carefully slide color-copied appropriately sized image behind puzzle, and move around gently so puzzle looks "complete", and missing piece camouflaged.

Step 4 - Use a sharp pencil to trace the puzzle shape onto the copied image paper, holding the puzzle down so it doesn't slip, and making sure to trace right up against the existing cardboard edges of the built puzzle, to produce a crisp and accurate shape/size.

Step 5 - Very carefully and accurately cut the pencil-traced paper puzzle piece out. Using a good acid-free glue-stick, attach the paper puzzle piece to a piece of chipboard from the puzzle box, or any other thin cardboard that is close to the same depth as the puzzle itself. Burnish the paper to the chipboard with wax paper, making 100% sure it is laminated completely together. (No lifted edges or bubbles at all!) Allow this to sit for about 30 minutes, to insure maximum adhesion.

Step 6 - Carefully and accurately cut through the chipboard, using the trimmed paper puzzle piece as a guide. I did this using both very sharp scissors and an X-acto knife, going back and forth as I saw fit, to get the most accurate and clean results. Next, use rolled up sandpaper and/or a small file to gently sand away any ruff chipboard. Then, lightly spray the top of the puzzle piece with a sealer, such as the one above, used for digital picture protection, and allow to dry.

Step 7 - And, finally, gently replace and press into place the puzzle piece you created to complete the puzzle! Use a good puzzle glue, such as the one above, and preserve your right-brain practice for all time... (Follow the directions for sealing the whole puzzle together, if that is your intent.) Once dry, the puzzle can be mounted on foam core board with a good spray adhesive (Super 77 is a fave!) and/or mounted and framed professionally to hang on your wall.

So... What are you waiting for?... Fear not! If that beloved puzzle is missing a piece (or two), just build, fix, and preserve (and share here, please)... You will be glad you did!

Safety, health, happiness, and peace... Pam

Monday, August 9, 2010

Post 24 - MOTIVATION MONDAY - Relaxation advice from Matisse, exemplified by our cat...

Blogging my evolution as an artistic art educator - An art-based experiment...

"What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter - a soothing, calming influence on the mind, rather like a good armchair (or laundry basket) which provides relaxation from physical (and mental) fatigue."
--Henri Matisse

Matisse and Cosmo have got the ticket... I want so much to be "there" too!

Relax today and, "Do something good for yourself," as my friend Ann always tells me... 

Safety, health, happiness, and peace... Pam

Post 23 - SKETCHY SUNDAY - Altering hand-drawn sketches with Photoshop...

Blogging my evolution as an artistic art educator - An art-based experiment...

Day late, but at least you can look forward to two posts from me today! Right?...

OK... I have been thinking a lot about that question I mentioned a couple of posts back...

What do I know well?

So, I started considering memories that were my own, or at least existed in my head in a unique fashion. Then, while I was flipping through some images for my artwork, I came across a drawing I did while taking a Ceramics class in graduate school (the first round). It is a marker and charcoal pencil drawing of the breakfast room and window of my great-grandmother's home... Not observed. Completely recall.

Now... I liked the drawing well enough to use it as a reference once--for a, now broken, ceramic wall plaque. So, I thought, what could I do to get interested in it again, and use it for another project reference. Maybe a monoprint, or fabric transfer, or a painted and stitched piece, or an illustration, etc...

It hit me. Photograph the original, and play with it in Photoshop! Always looking for ways to play in Photoshop, not to mention makes a great lesson idea... These are my results!... (Let me know what you think.)

Original - Nana's Window

Desaturation - Black and white simplifies nicely, as always.

Desaturation and colorize - Gives monochromatic feel and idea of what the drawing would have been like in crayon or colored pastels.

Saturation and color replacement - Fun to fiddle with all the possibilities here... warm, cool, analogous, etc... Change the color system!

Pointillize - Example of an unexpected surprise effect... Never thought I'd get a delicate hand-drawn feel, as if it's conte crayon on watercolor paper. Never know what you'll get sometimes!

Equalize and saturate - This is one of my favorites! Looks like bright watercolors or colored inks and india ink. Love the boldness! Could be a print... Hmmmmm?

Pixelate and saturate - Got more of a real pointillist feel here. Very Seurat!

Solarize - For the daring! Really changes the mood of the image. Also gives the feeling of something in a dream, which is somewhat appropriate to my theme.

Distortion/Polar coordinates - VERY COOL! Looks like a mandala design and/or automatic drawing... Like this "twist" on my drawing very much!

Interesting and certainly thought provoking results and possibilities galore!... Give it a try. Play with those sketches... Have fun!

Safety, health, happiness, and peace... Pam

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Post 22 - SMALL WONDERS SATURDAY - Pixie liberation...

Blogging my evolution as an artistic art educator - An art-based experiment...

First thing... I changed the theme for Saturday, because I am not feeling the "Silly Saturday" thang AT ALL. And, right now, I want as few restraints on what I can talk about "creatively" as possible. So, I went with a theme title that is a "catch-all" like Wednesday. So, sue me.

Small Wonders Saturday is named after an all time favorite song from a fabulous favorite movie, "Meet the Robinsons". (Rent, borrow, buy. SEE THIS FILM.)

This film contains three tremendous central themes; one, appreciating the small things, two, celebrating and embracing our uniqueness, and three, NEVER EVER giving up, ("Keep moving forward!). We could use more of this in the world, and I share this movie with my students, because I love the life lessons. Universal.

OK anyhow... Small wonder for today is something pop-culturish AND centered around "celebrating and embracing our uniqueness".

It starts out with me getting my haircut last week. Went with a pixie for several reasons; one, because this school year promises to be an "interesting" one, so I need fast and easy hair, two, I look good in super-short hair, three, my father used to cut my hair in a pixie when I was little, and four, I am a strong-minded lady, and I don't need long hair to feel feminine. In fact, I love myself better in a short hair-do!

Picture taken by Josie Palmarini with my Blackberry.

Curious about all the hub-bub over short hair on women. Small thing. Small wonder.

Yesterday evening, I was checking out the site The Leaky Cauldron, because I love all things Harry Potter, and I just recently saw wonderful Leaky Cauldron blogger, speaker and author, Melissa Anelli, at the downtown library. Fabulous talk... which got me thinking I needed to check out the site.

Low and behold, I ran into a post that indicated Emma Watson had a Facebook page. Thought it would be cute to see if the link was real. It was.

Second part to the small wonder point here... Emma Watson is creating a stir over getting her haircut in a... Pixie style! Ha... It looks incredible on her! And, people are offering their two cents from all sides of the globe, as if any of our opinions matter to this young lady. Weird.

My point is... I am finally hip, LOL!... Emma Watson has a Pixie, but I did it first... Didn't really ever consider myself a trendsetter... (OK, you got me, I'm not. I took in pictures of Alyssa Milano and Winona Ryder when I had my stylist cut my hair, so this proves neither Emma Watson nor myself are trendsetters, just strong-minded ladies, who are paying homage to a style from the 60's.) But, I am still proud of us both celebrating and embracing our uniqueness, and doing with our own hair what WE WANT TO DO!! (Go me and go Emma!)

Safety, health, happiness, and peace... Pam

Friday, August 6, 2010

Post 21 - FHOTO FRIDAY - Josie's summer photos and my musings...

Blogging my evolution as an artistic art educator - An art-based experiment...

The kiddo just finished a photography camp at the local YMCA, and was so inspired that she came home and took more pictures with my camera. She was working on portraits and nature photos, which should appear obvious, based on her results here...

Title - Cosmo Upside-down, by Josie Palmarini

Title - Pansy Pot, by Josie Palmarini

Title - Mamma's Seahorse Tattoo, by Josie Palmarini

Title - Mamma's Moth Tattoo, by Josie Palmarini

Title - Looking Up, by Josie Palmarini

Title - Mishap Picture, by Josie Palmarini

Title - Me, by Josie Palmarini

Title - My Name Tattoo, by Josie Palmarini

Been reviewing and scanning an art book called ART REVOLUTION, by Lisa L. Cyr.

Got me really thinking about content-driven approaches to making (and teaching) art.

Basically, one of the artists highlighted in the book, Marshall Arisman, speaks on this subject. He wanted his art to be authentic, so he stopped doing what others expected him to do, and, "... started focusing on work that he was personally invested in." In essence, he inventoried what, "... his own real knowledge and understanding...," was, then he made a list of the things that he, "... knew well."

Really got me thinking... What do I know well?

Not 100% sure. Gotta' really think about this, because if I can make this list, I will have the real authentic core/content for making my work MY OWN... Interesting to others, because I am not just regurgitating what's already out there. This is MY STORY. And, if I can do this myself, I can teach my kids to do it too, or at least attempt to do it to a degree.

Interested in your thoughts... Especially if you have your own "list of what you know well".

Safety, health, happiness, and peace... Pam