Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Goal Setting

So I belong to a group of Geek Girls here in AZ. They are a wonderful bunch of intelligent (and hot!) women who like to get together, have fun, and not bitch and back stab at each other. Which really, has been my whole problem with finding long lasting girlfriends with the exception of a few.

So last night I went to a Goal Setting Meeting about Time Management. This meet-up is run by Shauna who is trying to create a whole program about setting goals and getting people to pay for it. Lucky for me, it's free to the Geek Girls.

So, last month we talked about goal setting and this month it was keeping our goals during such hectic times. Shauna gave us a lot of good ideas on how to stop making excuses and asking why we procrastinate or are so busy.

So, I'm gonna use a few of her ideas and apply them to my "rocks" which was from "7 habits of Highly Effective People" and you have to take the big ricks (the stuff that s uber important to you) and put them in your bucket and then fill in the gravel (the day to day drudgery that fills our lives).

My rocks (in no order in particular):


So I want to focus on these in my life and tie my goals in with them.

A few things I'm going to read: iwantmorebalance.com and "The 4 Hour Workweek" Also as homework for the group was reading "The Alchemist" which everyone assures me is life changing.

Now my goals for the month!

Finishing 2 art pieces for the month plus an art sketch from life once a week
Socializing with the Geek Girls 5-8 times.
Blogging twice a week!
Weighing four pounds less!
Exercise 3 days of cardio a week and 3 days of weight lifting a week. No time constraints. Plus Wii fit Plus in the mornings.
House stuff: paint our bedroom and office. Evan won't let me clean out the gutters.
Eating habits are being vegetarian every other week.

So here's to the next month!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Little by Little

So, I'm an elementary art teacher for those of you who don't know. I switched from middle school to elementary mid-year. It was not a good half of the year.

So now I am smack dab in the middle of teaching the little ones and I must say for the most part I love it. Sure, it can get challenging and aggravating but I do enjoy it.

Today stuck out to me though. On some days I have two classes of the same grade level. Today was my double third grade.

The first class came in (honestly not my favorite, good kids...they just don't get along with one another) and we had to move seats around then I wanted to show some slides of abstract art and talk about how you illustrate feelings with abstract art. I had already had them try to draw some feelings in a previous class and now I wanted to show them some real things and they could change their ideas.

They kept interrupting one another and me. They wouldn't stay on topic and I even had someone ask if they could start the art stuff because this was boring. (insert rage here) I spent the last five minutes of the class half-berating them and half-pleading for them to start acting like actual third graders and not kindergartners (although out of my 5 classes of kinders only one acts like that). So after a harried class my next third grade came in.

Talk about a bipolar age.

They were WONDERFUL. No seats had to be moved, we got right into our discussion, we actually discussed what they saw in abstract art, then what they felt from the colors and shapes. We talked about Picasso's Guernica and they were oh so close to figuring out it was about a bombing. We discussed Frank Stella's shapes and how one of his pieces was a beach. The discussion was going so well with people raising their hands and listening to one another that I even had to put time limits and calling on less kids. Then I passed their papers back and they re-did some of their sketches and colored in things. When I told them we were making watercolor paintings out of their sketches on real watercolor paper you could feel their excitement in the air. "Real paper, like a real artist"

I totally heart this class. They seriously have given me one of the most fulfilling teaching days I think I have ever experienced.

Also a positive note: My first graders did pinch clay animals and except for a couple broken pieces here and there they came out okay. I fired two classes worth of glazeware and have at least two potential art show pieces from that (it's in a few weeks!) and loaded up a kiln before I left with the last two classes. I'll probably have one or two from those classes too.

I live sculpture making so much more than vessel making. The other teacher that taught elementary only ever had the kids make different kinds of cups (small pinch, big pinch, small coil, big coil mug) BORING in my opinion. So I had my first graders make pinch animals. Any kind they wanted. Next year I'll do more things with the clay, like relief sculptures, greek vessels, mini-busts, and boxes. The kids can do it. You just need to expect more from them.

That's what I'm doing. The kids always tell me how hard my projects are but they love my class even though it is so hard and they complain. But their projects turn out great. Expect more and get more.

So things are good on the teaching front. Getting more and more comfortable every day. I'm already planning on what to do for next year if I have a job. I already know what I'll do if I don't.

Want to know?

I'll drink and cry myself into oblivion for the first week. Then update all my resumes and whatnot and go get a retail job until I find teaching employment.

I hope to avoid that.

Lets end on a happy note...I got married! Once I get some more photos and possible long videos (I have some short ones) I will do giant uber post.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

New Artage

I have two new pieces! Two! In one month! Holy Goodness!

This doesn't usually happen folks, allow me to wallow in my excitement for a moment.

So we had two pieces to work on this month. I had my "Illustrate Your Sense" from my ongoing project from "The Creative Grab Bag" and I also had my yearly foray into the annual Gunmetalblack contest.

So without further ado: Common Sense Bingo

Common Sense Bingo by ~SyntheticPlatypus on deviantART

Another picture to add to my ongoing series from the book "The Creative Grab Bag"

This one asked me to illustrate my senses. The good thing about this book is that it has other artists using the same cards and I looked in the book to see what other people had done. Two people had done the same thing where they used food.

Well, I didn't want to do that so I went in a completely different way. Common Sense. Which is what I would like to think that I have a lot of.

Though my fiance' (soon to be hubby) has little to none. Several of these spaces are based on real-life things that he has done. Which to me are hilarious, so it's okay that they happen.

I based the bingo card on those really old kid bingo games from the fifties. So I used only a few colors for the whole thing and simple line drawings. Except for sketching out the initial idea this whole thing was done on the computer. Nothing was scanned for this.

The Sea Queen

The Sea Queen by ~SyntheticPlatypus on deviantART

This is my 2010 entry for the Gunmetalblack Contest. As I stated in an earlier journal entry I have entered this contest since 2006 and have always enjoyed it immensely.

So now we have the Sea Queen. Which sadly is on the absolute last page of GMB's Art Gallery. He has a ton of these underwater characters and flipping through his gallery inspired me with them.

So here is the break down of how this went. I picked the Sea Queen for my entry, then I printed a full size picture of GMB's original work. I then sketched out Sea Queen in the sketchbook very lightly deciding which details to keep or tweak or discard entirely (like I say every year, the detail, dude.) once I had the initial design down in the sketchbook is where I decide how to pose her. Now luckily the way I sketched her originally was pretty damn close to what I wanted anyway so it was cake from there.

I then took the sketch to work and made a copy of my final lines onto three different pieces of colored construction paper and decided on the medium blue-green which I thought look the most like water.

I then took my colored pencils and colored her in oh so carefully. I outlined different parts of her with black and other various colors.

I really enjoy how she came out. I believe her to look very regal like she is welcoming you to her part of the sea and with the way the colored pencils worked with the colored paper was fantastic. It was also very fun to work with her tentacles (although not to the extent of the original picture, yowzah).

I hope you all like her as well!


Now I need a new card to start working on. Which will be (drumroll please....)

Design a Character or Set of Characters.

Now this plays to my strengths a bit!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I am a huge fan of Runaways. No surprise there, it's one of the more popular comic books that have come out within recent years transcending that gender barrier that comics are known to have.

You know that barrier...Boys like Super Heroes, girls like Indie.

And pretty much with the exception of Batman for me (though I do not avidly collect his books) that was me to a T.

Then Runaways happened.

I just reread the first nine trades of that and rekindled my passion for it. Gosh Darn that is a good series.

Runaways Marvel Site Go Here for a quick Synopsis. Though it does not explain the current arc.

I will say that this is a series that there is no character that I don't love. Every single one of these "children" have real personalities...well as real as one can get for having super villain parents and inheritable powers.

I will also say that the pairings of art and story have been topnotch and I was worried about the Terry Moore and Humberto Ramos pairing. I love Terry Moore..I love Humberto Ramos...but Terry Moore had so much on his plate and Humberto Ramos's style is just a little cartoony..I wasn't sure if I could love it. But thankfully I did and the did their story arcs.

According to wiki There are two volumes of books I am missing...so this so needs to be rectified. The book is also on hiatus while they were hammering out some new story lines and getting the writer and artist up.

It's an all female team. This should be interesting to say the least!

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Annual Gunmetalblack Contest

So, for the past few years I have entered this : Linkage and have had a good run with it. I won a year, got fan prize another year. I got some really neat prizes for it too. Cause Sir Gunmetalblack is an epic artist.

Year I won Grand Prize

Year got Fan Prize

Now the reason I bring up this contest is because, honestly, you can see my work GROW as the years progress. The year that I won I did two entries, so it will be a bit lopsided. But take a gander at the years.


2008 Fan Prize Winner

2007 Entry 1

2007 Entry 2 Grand Prize Winner


Wow, 2006...really? So here come 2010. I am currently working on a sketch for this character, Sea Queen She is turning out exactly how I want her to right now and it's just in the pencils phase. I think I will turn back the clock on media though and try to do something a bit different than my usual computer work. I think I may do colored pencils with some mixed media.

We shall seeee.