Monday, August 29, 2016

First Day of School?

Today was the first day of school for area students, and I must say that it felt a little odd looking at so many of my friends on Facebook posting those First Day of School snapshots of their kiddos heading off to school. It was strange when my teacher friends headed back for their first teacher workday a week and half ago. It's even stranger now, and there's no turning back.

I decided to spend the morning out on the trail, so as students were waiting for the bus, I drove ten miles west to the Appalachian Trail and headed north for my first hike of the year. I haven't been hiking since last fall.

It was a bit muggy, and I didn't go far. But it was nice to be out on the trail. I just love being out in the woods, but it was often difficult with teaching to find the time to go out and enjoy nature. I'm hoping to make hiking at least a weekly endeavor now that I have begun a new path in life.

It hasn't been all fun and hiking. I have been busy in the studio and on the computer. I'm finding that being a full time artist is about half-time in the studio, and half-time trying to set up and coordinate things. So, I've been doing a lot of emailing, researching, and other general things on the computer, but I have some things in the works. I'll be sharing some of those things a little later.

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.