Wednesday, September 9, 2009

today and stuff

forgive me if it seems like i have a very limited vocabulary in this post. today being a teaching day, i talked more in the span of nearly three hours than i do the other six days of the week, combined. my brain is tired. the little messengers that run from my brain, where thoughts do their thinking and forming of coherent ideas, carrying bundles of words to my mouth, where they toss these words out willy-nilly and hopefully sometimes get them in the right order, are tired. very tired.

but i think the classes went well! i didn't do a practice run beforehand with b, which really helps me get my thoughts in order (so i don't have to do so on the fly during class, which can result in calamity), so i wasn't as clear as i should have been, but i think it was ok. in drawing, we critiqued the weekly sketchbook assignment (drawing #1? "under the kitchen sink"! the same drawing the amazing mrs. sutter always started the year with in the art 1 class in high school- i actually, uh, "borrowed" a lot of the weekly sketchbook assignments she gave us, but only because they were fun!). i love seeing people's drawings- and some of theirs were really good! lots of room for improvement, but that's what the class is for. :) then we worked on 1-, 2-, and 3-point perspective, and i talked about other kinds of perspective (like atmospheric perspective, which we lucky folks in LA can see A LOT of, thanks to the handy smog making far-away things look hazy and dim). that went well, and they got to experiment almost the whole class time with those three different types. homework this week is to draw a crazy imaginary city with lots of interesting buildings, using 2-point perspective. i can't wait to see them :)

then i ran downstairs (these classes take place at church) and quickly set up for art history. we talked about native american pottery, and a couple minutes ago i had the brilliant idea to try blogging about classes a day or two BEFORE i give them, so that i can further process my ideas and the information (brilliant!). anyway, we talked about anasazi pottery, sikyatki pottery, maria montoya martinez, louisa keyser, caesar johnson/gullah basketry, and carl toolak. an amazing collection of native american pottery can be found here, and there's a lot of really cool stuff here, too. careful you don't drool on any nearby electrical devices (i know i almost did on multiple occasions!). we talked a lot about symbolism, decoration, and why the figurative designs were so highly stylized as to be nearly unrecognizable. we also talked about methods for making pottery (i got to make a couple of bowls back in ceramics 1 a la maria martinez, so i could talk about that process fairly in-depth) and baskets, and what these beautifully-made pieces say in general about the cultures they came from. also, we talked about concerns that may have arisen more recently, with commercialism (since many of the artists who make these traditional crafts/arts today do so for money, rather than for the functionality of the object) and how this may affect the integrity of the craft (such as decorative patterns and motifs). and then i gave them an assignment- based on some very unusual anasazi pottery, the function of which is unknown, i am going to have them each draw, actual size, an imaginary container for some personal possession that they value (which will be a secret), in their own style with color, decorations and designs, and then in class next week we'll use our observational skills and knowledge of each person to try to guess what their respective valued possessions are. i think that sounds like fun...

well, that was my afternoon. and now, toodle-pip. i am le tres tired.

ps- for some reason i can't change font in blogger right now. looks like i'm stuck with georgia, or whatever it is, the default font.


Alida said...

Wow. I officially learned more about art from reading this post than I did in middle school and high school combined. I feel rather art ignorant.

Sounds like you are doing an amazing job, Miss Kristin (or Mrs. Oegema, what do the students cal you?)

kristin said...

hehe- some of them call me miss kristin or mrs. oegema, and some just say "um", make eye contact, and then ask a question ;)

DM said...

Oooh. I like the "blog about things before you teach them" idea.