Wednesday, August 24, 2016

New Monsters

I recently finished these four little guys, and I think that I am finally figuring out a baking procedure that is reducing the cracking.

They are all looking for nice comfortable homes, so please check out the shop to take a closer look.

You know you want one for yourself!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

First Day

Today is a strange day for me. A day full of excitement and a little trepidation.

You see, today would have been my first day back to school if I were still teaching. It’s the first time in twenty years that I am not reporting to my first teacher workday, and as all of my former colleagues are reporting for their first day of meetings, setting up classrooms, and catching up after the summer break, I’m sitting here drinking coffee thinking about what I need to do in the studio today. It’s oddly freeing, and little terrifying at the same time. I am on my own now. I am a full-time, self-employed artist. It’s official.

I know it was official when I put in my resignation back in May. I know it was official when I got the letter from the school district confirming my “voluntary separation”. I know it was official when I cleaned out my classroom and packed up my boxes in June, but the last two months have felt like any other summer break that I have had over my 20 year career as an art educator. With all of my local teacher friends heading back to school today, it’s officially official. I am no longer a teacher.

Back in June everyone kept asking if leaving the teaching profession had started to sink in, but even with the last day of school and bringing home boxes of stuff, walking away from a teaching career was somehow still a vagueness. I knew intellectually that I had resigned and that I would not be returning for a 21st year, but all of it still felt like it was somewhere off in the future. The summer was just the summer after another year of teaching, so my last day of school didn’t feel like it was my last day.

Today, however, feels like the first day of a new life, a new journey. I now feel fully the freedom, the possibility, and the uncertainty of chasing my dream. I am looking forward to the adventure.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Customized Phone Case

My wife recently bought a new phone, and wanted a special case for it. She decided that she wanted to use one of my pieces of art, and she picked one of my more recent paintings, Meditate. Using the website Casetify, we were able to import a jpeg of the painting to use for a custom case. She received it today, and I must say, it looks pretty sweet. See the original painting below.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Digital Downloads Now Available!

I just updated the Journal Fodder Junkies Shop to include 4 digital downloads for purchase - just in time for a new school year. These are not new, but they are resources we have had available previously. They have been repackaged as digital downloads, so, gone are the bulky CDs, shipping fees, and the emailing of large files. Now you should be able to have instant access to these resources.

They are all .zip files, and you will need to make certain that you have a way to open the file once downloaded, like Stuffit Expander which is a free download. Everything that was included on the old CDs is included in the new digital downloads, which means that some of them are pretty hefty clocking in at over 50MB, so make sure you have a good and fast internet connection.

Scaffolding the Visual Journal is new for purchase online, and was only available previously on CD at the NAEA Convention in Chicago this past March. It has new images and a few new resources, but some of the resources are the same as Visual Journals 101 so you will notice some duplication if you purchase both, but Scaffolding the Visual Journal also includes the 15 for 30 Visual Journal Challenge.

For more details about these resources and what they contain, check out our shop.

Monday, August 8, 2016

New Online Shop!

As many of my friends and former colleagues are getting ready to go back or have, in fact, gone back to school already, I have been busy trying to put somethings into place that will allow me to pursue my dream of being a full time artist.

First, I have been working to put together a couple of new workshops which I'm hoping to teach at various places across the country. More on those later.

Second, I have put together an online shop through Big Cartel. I debated between Big Cartel and Easy, but Big Cartel touts itself as the platform for small, independent artists and businesses. Besides they have a sister site that can sell downloadable resources.

I spent part of today putting together the shop. I only have 11 items listed, but I plan to have more by the end of the week, including some downloadable files. I have a few paintings, a few monster selfies, and a few monster polymer clay sculptures. So, check it out and let me know what you think.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Art Unraveled 2016

I've been back from Art Unraveled for a couple of days now, and I'm kind of scratching my head wondering how it went by so quickly. It's all such a blur, and I realize that I didn't get many photos from the workshops that we taught. But I thought that I'd share some of the ones I did get.

Our classes were on the small and intimate side, but the energy was just phenomenal. Sometimes with just a handful of students, things can be on the quiet and sedate side, but that definitely wasn't the case this time. We had awesome students and high energy.

Our first workshop was Stencil Savvy where we led students through the process of making several stencils out of Grafix Stencil Film. We started the day with simple shapes, and finished up with more complex art and portraits. Most even took time to try out their newly cut stencils with some simple paint or watercolor pencil.

We spent the second day hanging out in friend Sam Peck's printmaking workshop, Life of Lines, and we enjoyed helping out his students as they explored traditional relief printing. Dave and I taught an evening workshop that same day, Collaborative Art Challenges, where we challenged students to work collaboratively in fun-filled activities. There was a lot of laughing going on that night.

Of course, there were other moments of silliness and shenanigans outside of class like in the above picture of Dave and Sam. Friend and artist Lisa Cheney, was in the midst of drawing Dave when Sam decided to stick his finger in Dave's ear. The resulting drawing was rather interesting.

My monsters even got in on the act, and I was able to find new homes for several of them. All in all, it was a pretty awesome time in Phoenix. It just went by so quickly. But next year will be here before you know it!

In the meantime, if you're interested in taking a workshop with us, check out our Events page.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

JFJ Big Idea Challenge - Day 31: Challenge

What are some of our biggest challenges? How do we face and confront them?

Our lives are filled with challenges, some welcomed and others not. We might have challenges with our health, our emotions, our finances, our relationships, our work, our neighbors, and our environments. A flat tire when we’re running late is an annoying challenge. A spouse asking for a divorce is a life altering challenge. Moving to a new city for a new job can be an exciting challenge. We might struggle to get out of bed in the morning or make it to work on time. Or we might bring a new challenge on ourselves like picking up a new hobby, getting more exercise, or finding more time to make art. Life is full off big and little challenges. How do we rise up and meet them?

For the last day of the JFJ Big Idea Challenge, explore some of the challenges in your life. Maybe it’s about a minor challenge you deal with everyday, or maybe it’s a big, life altering challenge. Maybe it’s simple a reflection on the last 30 days and the Big Idea Challenge.

It’s been awesome seeing those posts, and remember that it’s ok if you didn't get to complete them all. So don’t feel like you need to catch up, but if you’re still working on them, don’t forget those hashtags. #jfjbigideas or #jfj16

Saturday, July 30, 2016

JFJ Big Idea Challenge - Day 30: Boundaries

What are some of our personal boundaries? What do we do when someone crosses our boundaries?

We all need our boundaries - a limit to the things that we’ll do or tolerate. Without clearly defined boundaries, we can find ourselves in some pretty uncomfortable or compromising positions. When we define our limits and know that there are things that we can’t do, won’t do, and would never consider doing, we have a stronger sense of ourselves. We have to know our boundaries so that we do not cross those lines and so that we can make certain that others do not cross them as well. Of course, there are boundaries that we can push and tiptoe beside. We can stretch them and test them. But as long as we know them, we can know ourselves.

Examine your boundaries today. How do you define them and protect them. Respond in any way that seems appropriate to you.

Keep those posts coming. It’s always great to see what others are doing. Just one more day left. #jfjbigideas or #jfj16

Friday, July 29, 2016

JFJ Big Idea Challenge - Day 29: Sanctuary

Where do we go when we are in need of sanctuary? How do we find safe places where we can rest and gather strength?

Our world can be hectic and energy draining. We can feel bombarded by the demands of our day-to-day lives, and we can feel pulled in a hundred directions at once. Sometimes we need to step back and find a safe place to go to for our own security or peace of mind. For some, hiking a mountain trail is a sanctuary. For others a chair on a beach provides that much needed place for rest and rejuvenation. And for others, the studio, a local hangout, or the garden provide a daily place of sanctuary. No matter where we find it, our places of sanctuary provide us with safety, a place to rest and reflect, and a time to come back to ourselves.

Explore your places of sanctuary today. Where do you go when you need some time for yourself? You might want to examine what those places mean to you and what you get from being there.

Remember those hashtags if you’re sharing online. #jfjbigideas or #jfj16

Thursday, July 28, 2016

JFJ Big Idea Challenge - Day 28: Family

What are our family dynamics? Who have we taken into our families?

There’s the family that we’re born with, and then there’s the family that you choose. Family is important to us social creatures. Sometimes we are very close to our families, and other times we just don’t get along with them. Sometimes we don’t even know our biological families if we were adopted. But families come in many shapes, sizes, and configurations, and we can call anyone family who is there for us. We don’t have to be related by blood to be family. Love, respect, and connection are all that’s needed.

Take time today to reflect on your family. You may want to look at your parents, your siblings, your spouse, or your children. You may want look at other relatives, or you might want to look at the family of friends that you have around you. 

We’re getting close to the end, so keep those posts coming. It’s great to see what others are doing. #jfjbigideas or #jfj16