This semester is wrapping up and I am happy to say that I was able to create multiple personal artworks! Being an educator is demanding – lesson / unit planning, contacting family, paperwork, meetings (and then self-care) but then what about an art-making practice?!
One answer to this problem is to take a class! Continually learning and developing professionally is a core tenet to being an educator. I took the MSDE MCred: Learning Thru the Creative Process course. We learned about the 5 steps to creative process: Inspire, Explore, Elevate, Assess, Present; the 21st Century Creative Skills, and the Artist Studio Habits of Mind. I particularly liked the 8 studio habits of mind because they talk about practices that students can *do* and are immediately engaged in the artistic process. Connecting these together (some are concurrent and others are sequential) completes the artistic cycle.
Our task in the class was to make a creative response to the Son Lux musical score and plot our creative process. Here is my artist response response:
The music was the source of inspiration: when I heard it, I saw a snowy landscape, and a person journeying out into the a dark forest. The initial percussion felt like foot-steps until it crescendos to an understanding and opening. I don’t often work with time-based media, so I wanted to explore animation. I did some research into different programs, but ultimately settled on Google Slides since experimenting on this platform could result in an interesting project for my students (everyone has Google Slides!) After peer feedback and a revision, I ultimately landed on an abstract, time-based visual journey, reflecting my own recent meditation practice. I am super happy how it turned out, even if it is just the beginning.
Another approach that led to success was to do the projects I give my students (lol). It helped them see: 1) that I am invested in the assignments as an artist and thus help them buy-in to the project 2) another example of an artistic response to the prompt 3) that being an artist is a life-long endeavor, not just a class. With my intermediate class, we did a watercolor unit, really diving into exploring the medium and the different techniques.
After playing and exploring the watercolor medium, I stretched this skill, and combined these techniques with my digital collage process of cutting and layering images to make a watercolor painting for Colette’s birthday. The final artwork turned out great:
Finally, in my beginning visual art class, I worked on value, shape, line using self-portraits. We took black and white self-portrait pictures, choosing specific emotions to embody, printed them out and created a 1″x1″ grid on top of the photo and on a blank sheet of paper. They labeled the grid and then placed the values according to each box onto their blank grid. I am not going to post the student artwork since it includes their faces and I want to protect their identities, but I also participated in the drawing assignment and came up with this:
I am currently working on how to integrate the studio habits of mind into every unit. I am collaborating in a Baltimore City mentor / mentee program to scaffold skills, build curriculum, and I will share more updates soon! Thanks for reading ❤