Sunday, July 29, 2012

Colonia Juárez Motif

My latest temple circle motif is finished! This one was a special request from my friend Theresa, who has roots in Colonia Juárez, Chihuahua in México. It is a unique temple in that it's the smallest one in the Church and the second one built in Mexico. This temple was the first of the new generation of smaller temples built outside of the United States.

I e-mailed her this morning this same snapshot of the finished product.

Her reply:

Oh my gosh!!!!  It is perfect.  It made me cry.  I love that you included the calaveras, if someone has an issue with it they can give me back the copy I give them.  How much for the original? I just found out yesterday that my parents were called to serve in the Colonia Juarez Mexico Temple presidency and I think if I could get the original that would be the end all be all of cool.  Most definitively I want to get prints for all of my siblings and myself, if you are willing I could even set you up with the local craft shop in Colonia Juarez to sell there too if you want.  

Colonia Juárez Chihuahua México LDS Temple

A: Home B: Colonia Juarez, Chihuahua
I think it would be fun to go down there with her over a weekend and visit the temple and the local craft shop she is referring to! Maybe in October for Fall Break? Theresa teaches drama at Mikelle's junior high. It would certainly be fun if I was still teaching full time and I could teach art at that junior high. But I digress. I love this time with my X-man.

This summer has certainly been more bearable. Sure, the rest of the country is having their hottest and miserable summer in half a century, but ironically, it's not so much the case here. Sure, it's hot. I mean, it is summer in hell. However, this year we're getting a real monsoon season and that means some days, while humid, are not unbearably hot. We get clouds and rain. Today was one such example. It was gorgeous. Someone posted this on Facebook today. It was taken today from the Apache Junction area looking at the Superstitions ad the Lost Dutchman State Park area. Gorgeous! I loved the clouds and rain today. It was nice and hard and it lasted more than 2 seconds!I hope August is just as stormy and eventful!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Pausing for a brief Circle Motif Update!

I have one more post to wrap up the genius art projects by my students last week. However, over the weekend I went down to St. David (near Benson, north of Tombstone) to their Pioneer Days and fireworks. I brought some prints and thankfully, sold two of them. Here is my latest flyer! 

I also created three small COLOR Sun-Moon-Star prints (using the pen and ink but also watercolor media) and placed them in a floating frame. I scanned them, but have yet to make prints for them because color prints are so expensive to have done. However, if I don't sell the original small color Sun-Moon-Star triptych in the floating frame, I'll take it to Sundust!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Last Week of Summer Classes! "Under the Sea" Detail

"Under the Sea" Waves and Koi Fish!
The last week of art classes for the summer has come and gone. I would have added these pictures sooner in separate entries, but SOMEONE lost the cord to plug the camera into the computer. (Don't get me started on that!)

I wanted my two younger students to continue the eastern theme and they had a watercolor Koi fish project that had reverse symmetry. Here is Mikelle's that she did ahead of time:
 Later at class, my six year old student completed hers.We also talked about the significance of the Koi fish in Eastern culture and folklore. It was believed that if a koi fish succeeded in climbing the falls at a point called Dragon Gate on the Yellow River, it would be transformed into a dragon. The coy fish has become the symbol of courage and the ability to achieve a high goal. 
On Wednesday, the last day, my other younger student completed his Koi Fish Project. That will be featured in the next entry!

My other students were working meticulously on their "Great Wave" projects. I loved that they cared so much about detail.
 Here is one that was completed that day:

 Analytical Cubism "Under the Sea"

Pablo Picasso, Ma Jolie, 1911-1912
After the Great Wave project, we continued the "Under the Sea" theme by challenging ourselves to some Analytical Cubism. Returning to the "west" briefly, we looked at Picasso's Analytical Cubism (as opposed to his synthetic cubism and more organic cubism as we've studied with previous projects). 

Analytical Cubism is a more systematic study of structure removing color, using monochromatic and earth tones, so the focus was more on the structure. Colors were very limited in these types of Picasso works. Therefore, we limited ourselves to an Analogous Color pattern in our Under the Sea project. As I mentioned in an earlier entry this summer, Analogous Colors are next door neighbors on the Color Wheel:


My Under the Sea example in progress. I limited my Analogous Colors to Red, Blue and Purple.

A student's beginning to her "Under the Sea":

Stay tuned for the awesome completed projects from the last day on Wednesday! 

Oh, and here is another completed "Three Flags" project!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Cow Day

Did you know there is an annual "Dress Like a Cow" Day? Well, according to Chick Fil A there is. If you dress up partially like a cow, you get a free entree. If you do a full cow dress-up, you get the free meal (drink included). 

Well, Mikelle and Christian weren't too interested (but they were willing to go and have me PAY for their food), but I decided to "cow it up" a bit and of course Alexander didn't have a choice. 

I wasn't going to do "Cow Day" initially, but we had overcast and lower temperatures, so I knew it was a good day for this vampire bat to venture out in daylight hours. Plus, cloud cover makes for nice soft pictures outside. 

Since it was kind of last minute, the only white shirt I had to use for Alexander was a white polo that Mikelle never wears.  I spent a good part of the morning painting on the black spots and then writing "I'm No Chikin" on the back!

Even though my cow outfit was very "partial" the manager gave me the whole meal and drink for free. Alexander of course got a free kids meal and drink. Next year, I will require Mikelle and Christian to participate - as I'll tell them I'm not planning on paying for food on 'Cow Day', so they either have to do the cow thing or stay home!

Second day in a row this kid indulged in some kind of Oreo ice cream treat. Lucky!

The cow looks annoyed.

He was pointing at my nose saying "nooo nooo"

And the day before, his indulgence in an Oreo Ice Cream Sandwich. Oreo is the bomb!!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Designer Great Waves

Last art session already! Too crazy. This part of the summer is going by fast. Sadly, the "hot" part doesn't go by fast enough. But we had a NICE storm Wednesday night, and the days since have been more cloudy.  I can handle hot days a little better if the sun is hidden. This morning was gorgeous. I love overcast early morning "boomers".

The first day of Session III was kind of a "wrap up" from Session II. Check out these beautiful flag collages and "three flag" Jasper Johns inspired project!

Then yesterday, Wednesday, we moved on to our "Designer Great Waves".  Click here for my entry with the image of the original Hokusai"Great Wave Off Kanagawa"

 Students create a drawing based on Hokusai's work that include the one big wave, the smaller waves, boats and Mt. Fuji. They will then add black and white patterns to their water, and paint their sky with bright watercolor paint for high contrast. I love this project because it gives a fun flare while also learning about a historical piece of art! But then again, most of the art history inspired projects have that result!

And I meant to give this update a couple weeks ago, but we were in the throws of one of our Flagstaff trips. 

Mikelle was one of the grand prize winners of the art contest about safety at her dad's work! The little goober won a $100 Target Gift Card! Her artwork and the other winners will be part of a 2013 calendar!  And to think, we had to 'talk her into' entering! Also, the guy on the right - Mark - was married Wednesday night! Chris and I had the privilege of being there for the small ceremony! Congratulations Mark and Maggie!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Change of Scenery and Thirty Degrees Cooler!

I am not a huge fan of camping. I am not against it, but let's just say my childhood experiences put a bad taste in my mouth. But that's what happens when you're forced to camp from days on end away from any other living human with shotty camping equipment with a pathological narcissist that has no concept of compromise or the feelings of others. 

However, I've come to realize that the way my dad did camping was not the way to be a "happy camper" and it is possible to do it differently.


How to Camp Right:
Have good equipment. Modern Conveniences are okay! (especially when you are not allowed to have any fires due to extreme fire danger. Sure, it was a bummer not being able to roast marshmallows over a fire, but such is life when Arizona and Colorado have been on fire the last two summers)

Bring a lot of changes of clothes. You'll need them. And even if you don't, it's a good idea to have them.

Bring a camping shower or use pay showers just down the road (The Mormon Lake Village, for example, has pay showers. Just hope they fixed the ones where quarters are jammed).

Camp with friends or go on a ward/church/group campout. It's okay to be "away from it all" but also still with other humans!

If it's challenging with a fighting 8 and 11 year old plus the 18 month old (especially in the middle of the night and you can't find his bottle in the dark and he's flipping out), it's okay to cut the trip short a bit. I originally wanted to stay an extra day, due to being out of the heat, but Christian and Mikelle may not have lived to see the next day.

Instead, drive into Flagstaff, swim at their Aquaplex and do some rock climbing. Have dinner at a recommended New Orleans BBQ dive, and then drive home. The Aquaplex sounds expensive, but it's not. Even for non-Flagstaff residents, it's VERY affordable, fun and worth it! And they have toilets and showers there!

Beautiful area. Forest with nice meadow and open spaces.

Zombie's in the forest? Oh wait, it's just Mikelle.

Just like his big brother, Alexander climbing into the drivers seat to mess around.
Stop being cute when you get in trouble, kid.
Mom's heart attack of the day. Christian really wanted to ride a friend's quad.

Christian getting assistance after hitting a tree. You can't see it, but Mom is having a stroke.

Later at the Aquaplex...

Mikelle and Alexander
Fun at the Aquaplex!
Christian rock climbing.
Two peas in a pod: Christian and Alexander and the smart phone.
Mikelle rock climbing.

The other "kid" rock climbing.
I tried to take a cute picture of them sleeping on the ride home. But Mikelle woke up with the flash and got mad.

The downside of being home? It's going to be 113 today. It was so beautiful up there. I wish we could live in Flagstaff.

The upside to being home? Showers, bed, toilets, and the dirt is outside.

But even when we do camp again, I have the comfort in knowing that it will NEVER be like it was when I was growing up!