Art Show Poster

This is the best art show poster we've ever had. The Second Chance Room is for students who haven't completed work on time and the AP Art kids are totally owning it in their final celebration of their incredible work. Totally worth all the second chances! 


After reading Kendra's article about Light Painting in this month's School Arts (p24) and Matt's article on the School Arts Room Blog... I have to wonder, is a sequel to  Paint the World with Light in order?


Considered one of the most mysterious books in the world, the 15th century Voinich Manuscript has begun to be deciphered by professor Stephen Bax of the university of Bedfordshire.   So far, he's discovered the meaning of 10 words - it might not sound like a lot, but this is a huge in road into a book that many people thought might just be a bunch of nonsense words or even a hoax. Bax explains his process of discovery in this video. It might not be as engaging as an art history mystery as "Angels and Demons", but if you're as much as a geek as I am for stuff like this, you'll love every second.


I am a bit captivated by Spherical Harmonics, this short film that is a reflection on the nature and state of CGI imagery.   Without words, this film examines the incredible reality - and artificiality of the CGI image. 

Spherical Harmonics from Alan Warburton on Vimeo.

Artist Alan Warburton discusses his ideas behind this film in this interview - touching on the nature of a new artform with a fully unique set of tools, the state of the industry, and ideas about what happens next.

Years ago I posted here about some of my struggles with CGI- its innate coldness and artificiality and a focus on the spectacle over a feeling of humanity or a sense of story.  A lot  has changed in that time.  So much in fact, that I've come to believe that when scholars look back at this time, it will be said that some of the most meaningful art will have been made with these tools.


...or "Butt Music From Hell"? Either title is appropriate, as Tumblr user Chaoscontrolled123 has discovered and transcribed some music found on the backside of one of Bosch's unfortunate residents of hell.

 I'm thinking that between this and the hidden music in The Last Supper, a concept album of music hidden in great art might be in order.  Someone just needs to discover about 8 more tracks. Otherwise we just have a single and B side.  Oh! B side. See what I did there? Didn't even mean it.


Artist Aparna Rau turns everything you know about art on its head in this great TED Talk.  Instead of responding to and evaluating art, her art responds and evaluates you.


3D Animated Gifs

As another follow up to my November School Arts article on GIF animation, I absolutely love these 'split depth' '3D' gifs.   The white bars seem to play with your perception of space and end up with a much more satisfying 3D experience than the wigglegrams.  There doesn't seem to be too many examples of these yet, but Reddit user L77 has listed this quick tutorial on a page dedicated to making these. You'll have to find a short clip of a film to start with.
  1. Open it in Photoshop, find the animation toolbar (Window - Animation)
  2. Click on first frame in animation window and find the active layer in layers toolbar
  3. Make a new, empty layer above active layer, draw the white lines in it.
  4. Copy the white lines layers above each frame (this could be a lot)
  5. With eraser tool remove white lines from parts where [front of image] overlaps them.
  6. Make sure that the right white lines layer is activated for each frame (the eye icon next to layer)
Have fun!


Rotoball 2014!

For those of you on the edge of your seats, still waiting almost a year later to find out what happened to Rotoball 2013... it never got finished.  I was overloaded with work last year, and I had less projects than in previous years, and so my goal this year is to take all the wondeful work that didn't get included and 'roll' it into Rotoball 2014.   

For those of you new to the project, Rotoball is an annual massive multiplayer art project that is made up of 15 second animations of a ball entering the screen from the left hand side and exiting in the right.  What happens in between is up to you and your students. Any form of animation is accepted, and the greater the variety the better (the name rotoball comes from the process of 'rotoscoping', but we've moved away from that limitation a few years ago).

If you'd like further information, please check out the site, and contact me to sign up!



What is five?
What does 5 mean?   
What does it mean to you

It could be…
*   5 exposures of a photograph
*   5 related scenes of a video
*   500 words of self-expression
*   a sculpture in the 5th dimension
*   A 5 panel drawing.
…or you can shock us with your own surprising interpretation of a work of art about ‘5‘.

5 is the latest and most challenging project from The Student Creative. Projects will be due on April 1st.


Last year we started buying Niji Water Brushes for the students to use with their watercolor and watercolor pencil work.  Everyone wanted a water brush after James Gurney came to our school and showed us how it was his go-to tool for doing on-the-spot paintings and sketches.

This artist has found another clever way of using the water brush.  I'm not sure which I like more, the resulting image, or watching the animated gifs over and over.


In an upcoming issue of School Arts, my @r+ column focuses on using TED Talks as a way of opening up a dialogue about the nature and purpose of art with our students.  This playlist includes the videos that will be referenced in that article, as well as some others that I've used repeatedly over the past few years.  This is sort of a top ten list, if you will.  There are, in fact, 11 videos included, but our rule number one here at the revolution is that all rules must be broken.

What I think is most powerful about these talks is that they demonstrate not just the care and love of the included artists' craft, but a humor and playfulness that brings life to much of their work.


Here's a useful page of plugins, assets, and tools for filmmakers

Fun assignment for filmmakers: Using footage found at archive.org (found at the bottom of the page) and the rest of the listed resources, make a short film that creates a specific message through a juxtaposition of surprising images. 


My colleague Jerry just sent me this link.  It's a little pricey right now, and it hasn't technically come out yet, but I have just realized that my life is not complete without a pixelstick.


Elizabeth Gilbert's TED talk, "Your Elusive Creative Genius" is focused on her work as a writer, but has powerful implications for all kinds of creative endeavors. This discussion imagines that creative genius manifests itself in the world around us, blowing by or visiting us capriciously. Even though it is just a tangential point to her larger narrative, my big take away from this discussion was that while inspiration can strike at any moment, it comes to us most frequently and most usefully, when we are working at our craft.


I'm just floored by this powerful video about a designer in Kabul whose' landmine sweeping ball grew out of his childhood obsession with making wind-powered toys. Here is one powerful example of design to change the world.

Mine sweeper from robertanderson on Vimeo.

In my November School Arts column, I wrote about Gif as a form of emerging new media. In that article I highlighted the work of Yuriy Mironoff, also known as MiRon - a Gif artist whose work seems to pop off the screen by rapidly interpolating frames.   Since that article was written, this great mini documentary about him was produced.  If you'd like to find out a little more about the guy behind some of the most compelling Gif art out there, check this out:

MiRon. The documentary short from Miron on Vimeo.


Its been a while since I've posted, and I keep meaning to write something interesting and informative but for now, I'll let this awesome film that my art teacher friends keep posting to our various social media sites speak for itself.

Its got Kirby in it.  If you don't know Kirby, you should get to know him.

 Seen it already? I know, I'm late to the party on this one.


I'll start with the punchline.  I've opened my own Teachers Pay Teachers shop, and you can visit it here.

Here's the thing though.  I've been gong back and fourth about how I feel about this for a while now.  On the one hand, I think its an excellent way for teachers to receive some compensation for all the great ideas that we share together online.  On the other, it does not click with my intrinsic desire that all kids be educated equally.  That is to say, if I develop what I think is a good lesson plan that will help students understand an art concept in an exciting an innovative way, my instinct is to share it so as many kids have access to it as possible.  The late nights I spend scouring art education websites or artists' pages for inspiration is thanks to others who share that same philosophy.

There is, however, another voice in my ear.  It's the voice of my mentor Renee Darvin at teachers college.  When I started my student teaching, the school I went to offered me two of my own middle school classes.  I thought that would be an excellent opportunity for me to have 'teaching experience' before even putting myself out there for job interviews.

When I excitedly told Renee, she told me "No.  You are a trained professional.  You don't give away your skill set for free, it demeans what you've achieved.  You go back tomorrow and say that you'd be happy to teach any classes for which you are appropriately compensated".

Renee's point not only gave me an important perspective at the time, but it also made me more confident and determined in my career.

I don't know if the point holds up for sharing online resources.  I don't think it does.  Some of the most valuable resources that I use in my classes come from the teachers that I've never met and shared with online, and that is getting an invaluable return on the investment of sharing my own work.

On the other hand, some people might have time to share, or have no interest in sharing, or maybe this commodified site is another way that people are exploring the idea of sharing.  

So to rectify these competing ideas in battling it out in my head, I've decided on an experiment - to open a shop with this very important caveat - anything that I'm selling on the site, I'll also give away for free. I'm proud of (most) of my work and very proud of all of Kim's work (also available at the store) and I want to share it with you. Its yours if you want it.   If there's anything you see on my TpT store that you'd like, I'll email it to you for free (and maybe when I get around to it, I'll create an online database of my materials).  However, if you'd like to buy me a cup of coffee (or a cup of tea for Kim), feel free to purchase something at the Carrot Revolution store.


Although this is only tangentially related to art education (at least in the classroom), I absolutely love this post by The Busy Mockingbird.  She is apparently experiencing the same frustration that I am about 'drawing time' with our respective daughters.   

When we sit down to draw and paint, I have my sketchbook and Amaya has hers.  Its not that I don't want to work together with her, but I do want her to develop a sense of ownership of her work. I'm also haunted by the golden rule of art teaching: THOU SHALT NOT TOUCH THY STUDENTS' ART.  

Ok, well maybe that's not the golden rule.  For me the golden rule is just "MAKE ART", but let's say its like a 'silver level' rule with a few others. 

Amaya isn't big on rules.  I understand that this is something that may be fairly common for three year olds.  I also understand that she may have inherited this trait from me.  Amaya is always asking me to draw on her page when she 'can't' do something, or draw in my sketchbook just because its another surface to manipulate.
I don't share well.
And of course, the other piece of it is that it's my sketchbook.  Mine.  I share everything with my daughters.  They can even play with my old star wars toys.  Everyone has to draw a line somewhere though, right?

So what does the Busy Mockingbird do?  After she draws some faces in her sketchbook, she hands it over to her daughter to give it some context. These collaborations are pretty incredible, and now I'm looking to my own daughter to add some much needed enthusiasm and new life to my own sketchbook!

Hat tip to Nancy Walkup for the link! 


What is Art?

Ken Tanaka finds a satisfying answer to this age old question.

We're back in Shanghai (for our 8th year.. can it be?)where we're continuing to look for answers to that question. Wishing everyone a great school year, and an exciting journey in your own endeavors to answer that question as well.