Last day of school.... forever?

After 13 amazing years in Howard County Public Schools, I took a leave of absence to pursue my Masters in Fine Arts at the Pacific Northwest College of Art.  It was a bittersweet day.  My career had been good to me, and I always thought when I retired I would go back to school, but the time came sooner than I had planned for.  Although sad to leave my community, I was more than excited to travel, make art, and to make my place in the art world.  An adventure has begun!

 My classroom on my last day in Howard County.  Bittersweet. 

My classroom on my last day in Howard County.  Bittersweet. 

Teacher as Artist at Pyramid Atlantic

My work was chosen to be featured in the Teacher as Artist Exhibition at Pyramid Atlantic Print Facility in Maryland.  It was exciting that Transitions and Transformations was chosen for the postcard and publication material.   It was a great show, and two out of my 3 pieces exhibited sold :)

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How to Chine Colle a Specific Shape in to your Print!

As I worked intuitively on "Transitions and Transformations" I realized by the 3rd layer (which was supposed to be the last!) that things were not pulling together as well as I wanted.  I decided to turn to the chine colle technique to see if adding shaped paper into my print would do the trick! It did... ;) See my steps below!

 Take a preferably dry print and cut out the shape you want to add into the print.  I decided I wanted the wings and a small semi-circle to be added in paper to my print.

Take a preferably dry print and cut out the shape you want to add into the print.  I decided I wanted the wings and a small semi-circle to be added in paper to my print.

 Place the cut-outs upside down onto the BACK of the paper you wish to add into your print.  In this case, I was using a color that had a pattern on the back of the paper.  Make sure the paper that you select is not too thick.

Place the cut-outs upside down onto the BACK of the paper you wish to add into your print.  In this case, I was using a color that had a pattern on the back of the paper.  Make sure the paper that you select is not too thick.

 Cut out that shape!

Cut out that shape!

 Check your cut-out shapes in a print.  Make sure they fit where you want them, and the sides match up.

Check your cut-out shapes in a print.  Make sure they fit where you want them, and the sides match up.

 Ink up your printing plate to prepare for printing your last layer and your chine colle layer.  I use small brayers sometimes because I like to "paint" my ink on to the surface of my plate. 

Ink up your printing plate to prepare for printing your last layer and your chine colle layer.  I use small brayers sometimes because I like to "paint" my ink on to the surface of my plate. 

 All inked up! Ready for chine colle....

All inked up! Ready for chine colle....

 Add glue to the back of your chine colle paper (remember, the back of mine had a pattern).  I use yes glue, rolex glue, spray mount, and traditional wheat or rice glue for this step.  Use an archival glue always!  Don't use too much, or get the glue too close to the edges of the shape.

Add glue to the back of your chine colle paper (remember, the back of mine had a pattern).  I use yes glue, rolex glue, spray mount, and traditional wheat or rice glue for this step.  Use an archival glue always!  Don't use too much, or get the glue too close to the edges of the shape.

 Carefully, place your paper on to your printing plate, glue side UP!  Make sure not to let the paper slide; once it's down, it's down!

Carefully, place your paper on to your printing plate, glue side UP!  Make sure not to let the paper slide; once it's down, it's down!

 Lay the printed paper over your inked up block and the chine colle paper, and run this through the press.  You can see part of my "reveal" in this photo with the chine colle paper now attached and printed within my print.

Lay the printed paper over your inked up block and the chine colle paper, and run this through the press.  You can see part of my "reveal" in this photo with the chine colle paper now attached and printed within my print.

 The print works now!

The print works now!

 These are 4 out of 8 prints from this varied edition series. 

These are 4 out of 8 prints from this varied edition series. 

What do you do with middle school students who are tired of being cooped up all winter!?

Inspired by HOT TEA's street art, I decided to have BMMS students create a piece to fill the gap in our hallway space upstairs.  They enjoyed throwing the yarn back and forth, and seeing the rest of the school's enthusiastic reaction to their piece.  I am grateful for artists like HOT TEA who can show our youth safe, non-destructive ways to show their art in public spaces, and how that art makes a difference to those in the community.

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Paint Night at Burleigh Manor!

In November of 2014, I challenged myself to lead 60 participants in our school's cafeteria in a Paint Night in order to bring our community together through art.  I asked our local high school's National Art Honors Society students to help as volunteers, and together we led our community in coating a canvas with newspaper, and painting a table scene of Marylander's enjoying a summer crab feast!  The newspapers made everyone's paintings so unique, and the younger students had a good time with dressing up their crabs too.  :)

Murals through the history of Burleigh

Burleigh Manor opened up in 1992, and I attended the middle school myself as a 7th grader! The murals started my 8th grade year, although I wasn't chosen to work on it- my skills were in athletics then.  Two years later, the murals started to become paintings on wood panels hung in the 2nd story of the Media Center, wrapping around it giving the space so much color, life, and energy! The murals are anywhere from 8 x 8 feet to 7 x 11 feet with sometimes extra pieces and three-dimensional elements.  Below are some of the murals that I had the privilege of leading anywhere from 20-40 8th graders in idea generation, execution, and completion.