Sunday, September 13, 2015

ArtsFest 2015

I am really fortunate that I have had several opportunities to show my work over the last few years. About three years ago, I took my first painting class (more of an exploration of oils with a few tutorials). That fall, I attended the local art association's annual art show and realized that I should be showing my work! While I have had no formal training, and my "studio" sessions are sporadic, I am pretty proud of how far I have come.

Below is some underpainting I did in January of 2014. The final image is above and I only finished it this weekend! To be fair, I have completed several other paintings in between, but this one just kept taking a back seat.

That painting, "From the Beach" (8"x 10") and this one, "Nantucket 2" ( 11" x 14") will be shown this weekend at the 18th Annual ArtsFest in my city. This is my fifth show in two years and I am ready to sell some work!

The art association tends to be a little more traditional, so I have entered my landscapes. I'd really like an opportunity to show a couple of my more abstract works in the future. In fact, I have a handful of other ideas for abstract paintings, with a few completed sketches. It is just finding the time and energy to get them started! 

Oil on Canvas
22"x 28"

Mixed Media Collage
18"x 24"
Thanks for dealing with iphone pictures! 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Sweet, Sweet Organization

I feel like every summer I tackle the supply closet...
Apparently not last summer though. Or at least there are no pictures as evidence. 

But you almost have to. Last school year about four different people were sharing my closet. By June 30th, I didn't want to look at anything school related and I knew it would still be here in August, so I left it alone. You do your best to put things back, but I feel like if you don't have a system, that is easier said than done.

One of the biggest things I have noticed over the last couple of years at the high school are piles of random sized paper getting tossed back on the shelf. We don't allow students in this closet, so we take out the paper we need when we need it. And then somehow piles accumulate. With better organization, maybe I/we can take that extra step to put it back in the appropriate spot.

I also moved the things we use most often to the front of the closet for easy grab and go. A shoe box full of glue is easy to move in and out for a class or two and if you run out of erasers, they are at eye level right inside the door.

And if that door is propped open, you will be greeted by John Adams, his skateboard and some handy T squares!

Now if only I could find my desk...
I have two more days.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Always Be Hoppy

from today is the first day back for teachers!

I feel like we are the last district in the universe to start. Even after such a disastrous winter and ELEVEN snow days, parents in my community still wanted to start after Labor Day...

And despite the late start, this felt like the fastest summer since I started teaching. In the past, I was working or in graduate school or traveling, and this summer I did very little of any of those things! Yet some how it feels like it flew by.

One of the most exciting events was this pop up gallery where I was able to show some of my work. It was up for about six weeks, featured over 40 local artists, and provided space for different vendors each week. AND, the night of our end of the year staff gathering, our band teacher was performing with his jazz group. It was super cool.
I think The Gallery was an awesome first step in the right direction for the Arts in my city. I look forward to where we will go and hope that I can be a part of the process.

I did a bunch of other things too:

For a while I tried to walk the beach at the end of my street each morning. Yes, that is the Boston skyline! I am one lucky girl! By mid July my efforts kind of petered out. I'll get back into it, I hope, when the routine of the school year gets into gear. 

I tried a bunch of new recipes including Tofu Banh Mi, being prepared above. Summer cooking provided the great challenge of how NOT to turn on the oven!

We saw the Pixar exhibit at the Science Museum. I stinkin' LOVED it! I was glowing with excitement by the end of our visit. I have always loved the art, but to see the science and engineering and match in action, my art teacher self could hardly be contained!

Going along with my art teacher-ness, I attended my first ever Art of Education online conference! It was an intense day that also went by really fast. Lots of great ideas to consider as we head into the new school year. Really loved the Swag Box and the six month access to the After Pass.

After a super, wedding planning intense week visit with my mom (I bought a dress!) we traveled to the City of Brotherly Love for a college friend's wedding. I wish I had more pictures, but I was too busy eating my way through Old City and Reading Terminal.

The picture above was taken from our hotel window. It was perfect walking distance to Independence Hall and many other attractions.

The wedding was lovely and super cool. We rounded out of weekend trip with brunch with some great, old friends and their little one. 

After all the rushing around traveling and family visits, we snuck up to Vermont for a week. The picture above was taken on a trail at VINS, Vermont Institute for Natural Science. We also did some kayaking, grilling, hiking and painting, well at least I did that last part.

We are very fortunate to have spent some of our free time this summer lounging by our pool reading, planning our wedding or grilling. I've tried to keep the lawn green. I planted a little vegetable garden and put in some new flowers in the backyard. It has been a great first year in our home.

We did give ourselves one goal this summer.
Nothing too taxing or difficult, it was vacation after all...
We attempted to go to a brewery a week, some weeks we doubled up, others we didn't get there, but I am fairly certain that we met our goal in numbers.

Between the two of us, we visited these breweries:
  • Nightshift Brewing
  • Cambridge Brewing Company
  • Samuel Adams
  • Harpoon- Boston
  • Trillium
  • Long Trail
  • Harpoon- Windsor Vermont
  • Wormtown

I just love this beer and logo. It makes me so happy and I know thats the point, but it was very fitting as the last brewery of the summer.

Thank you summer 2015
I am going to call it now, summer 2016 will be one to remember!
Here's to the new school year!!