Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Well, here it is... last post of the year (gotta get this in before midnight). It's been a mighty eventful year. I quit my factory job and became a high school teacher. I did a clinic for Po' Boy Drums and premiered a new fugue for an audience of drummers (got some amazing new gear too). I learned The Black Page (plyed that in a bar :-) All in all I'm quite satisfied. Especially when you consider that I adore my family. It's been a great year and I know the next will be wonderful too. I wish you all the best.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Mind Maps and The Black Page

Okay, so I loaded google/analytics and I look around at who's visiting my blog and why. It turns out the two most common searches that hit my blog are "mindmap" and "Black Page". I get hits on both of these from all over the world... from China to Finland... from Australia to Venesuela. It's interesting because those are two relatively esoteric topics and yet there really is quite a bit of interest. I wonder if there's any shared interest between the drummers and the mappers.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Arcimboldo Project I

Loosely based on the work of Renaissance artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo. For this project, I traced the silhouette of each student. They then filled the outline in with images that relate to them personally. I then had them create a patterned border of some kind. Finally, I had them put some related imagery in the negative space around the head and within the border. This student is from the Pacific island of Saipan and moved to Arizona a few years ago. This is probably the best.

Arcimboldo Project II

A close second to the Saipan piece. This student likes dark imagery. No, he isn't suicidal, he just likes a good bleak story and he tells it well. He ties all the pieces together well. I want to see more control of the medium. He doesn't have a strong control of value.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Arcimboldo Project III

I really like this piece. She shows a great control of the medium, uses value and blends hues extremely well. It's very whimsical and you gotta give credit for that obsessive/cumpolsive border. Unlike the previous pieces, with their strong conceptual and thematic relationships, this one is a bid random. It's all stuff she likes, but the items don't relate to each other in any other way. There's no second level of meaning here. But what the hell, it's an A.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Hands Project I

Here's another outstanding example. Very nice choice to use the circles. She wisely chose to use the repeating shape in different sizes. She also varied the shape by showing it sometimes entirely and sometimes partially. Furthermore, she varied the color and she modeled the surface, that is she changed the value from dark to light. I love that she made the negative space between the circles a deep solid color. This creates a third level - a background ( the red), a middle ground (the circles) and a foreground (the hands).

Hands Project II

Here's another example from the same "Three Hands" project. Again, this is a student I did not expect to finish and I'm more than pleased with his choices. In this case he did use value in the background, I'd like to see him get more control over it. I know his math teacher so I know that the the geometric pattern came straight from her class... so.... hooray for this student for taking what he learned elsewhere! A further hooray goes for the placement of the hand in the center (the one doing the Vulcan salute) that appears to be holding the diminishing diamond pattern. That's an excellent design choice. Furthermore, the student understood the streangth of a red and black color scheme.

Hands Project III

Ya know, here's a nice example of a fairly well done project by a student I did not expect to come through. the project is called "Three Hands" and it required the student to draw their hand in three different positions, then overlay those hands on a geometric background. Emphasis was to be placed on exagerating the contrast between organic (foreground) and geometric (background). I also asked for monochromatic foreground and polychromatic background. I'm particularly impressed that this is a student who performed at the bare minimum this semester, yet pulled out the stops on this projects. I like the use of black in the background. The color in the hands was done with a highlighter. Nice placement of the hands, close enough to create some tension. She also let them run off the page, good choice. I would like to have seen shift in value in the background colors, but all in all I think that's minor. Nice stained glass feel.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

New Pic

I was looking at the Po' Boy Drums website and I noticed they had changed my picture. The other picture was me behind my old Pearl kit playing my Chapman Stick. I like this new pic more. For one thing, I like the PB kit much more! I also like this pic because it was taken at a clinic I taught last May where I had a blast. They also changed my description to read "Anima Obscura/Educator". I like that.