Foundations in Studio Art and Still Lifes

My hope this semester is that I will expose my 9th grade students to as many new art materials as possible, while making connections to real careers in the art world. I also want them to find their own strengths and interests as young artists. As I told all of my parents recently at back to school night: We will be starting out very traditional, creating a still life painting on canvas, and then, from there, continue to add more and more real world applications for art. Before I go off on a tangent about what I have planned for the semester I would like to just start with our still lifes.

Each Freshman art student has just finished the first of 7 projects to come. They are amazing, and they took a total of 6.7 hours each. We have 80 minute class periods, and we worked on them for 5 days. Actually, you can probably round it down to six if you take into account intruction time and clean up, but still. Six hours is a lot of time, and it shows.

Below are some of the results. The first picture has a student’s painting of her glasses, me happy as can be, and my project example of a tea pot. A lot of our objects were shiny so I thought I would make sure my example included reflections.











New Digs

I have now almost completed my first month at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, in Bethesda Maryland. I must report that I could not be happier with my new work environment.  It has been a big change for me, coming to this new school. It is a world away from my public, alternative, charter school in Philadelphia. My new school is private, it is a religious school, and we have not just high school, but Infant and toddler daycare, pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school as well. My old school was a public, alternative, charter school in North Philadelphia for students that were behind on high school credits for their age and usually returning for their second or third chance at a high school diploma, ranging in age from 16-22. So there are some big changes.

However, this small, private, religious environment is not totally new to me. I also grew up in the Bethesda, Maryland area, where I also attended a small, private, religious school. Mine was a Quaker high school that closed down in 2008, and my current school is Catholic, but there are many, many more similarities in the two schools philosophy than there are differences. One example is the focus on community service, or “social action” as they call it here at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart. I am a huge fan of any school that chooses to encourage and focus on community service, because of my amazing personal experiences with it in high school.

In fact, if it hadn’t been for my community service days during high school, I would never have known that I wanted to become a teacher. (If I haven’t mentioned this already I have wanted to teach art since 11th grade.) During my time in high school I went to my old elementary school, and helped my elementary art teacher, who was still working there, (and is still working there now!) and helped her execute art lessons, manage supplies, and generate enthusiasm in her art classroom. This was an amazing experience that has shaped my entire life.  I am extremely thrilled that I will now be chaperoning three 11th grade Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart girls in their “social action” at a Washington DC, public elementary school , where they will be tutoring young children in reading. I am so excited to be a part of what I hope, and their school hopes, will be a life changing experience for them.

On top of all of this wonderfulness, my new classroom rocks, too.



My new office that I share rocks, too.20130824_174905

The Best of Glen Echo


The summer is finally over and I am two weeks deep into work at my new school, which we will call “The Girls School.” I have been busy with my move from Philadelphia to Washington, DC and the transition to my new job, but I feel like it is important to get some documentation from this amazing summer in Maryland up, before I forget. Below are some of my favorite gems from this summer at Glen Echo Park, Decorative Fine Arts Camp.








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