Tuesday, October 28, 2014

George R.R.Martin's latest world history unveils Michael's maps

Today is the launch day of the new book- The World of Ice and Fire, by George R.R. Martin. Michael's illustrations have been over 7 years in the making! He finished them last year and has been waiting to see how they look in the new book. There are eleven maps all together. We are all so very excited!!! Hurray for Michael, Hurray for Michael!!! The maps are beautiful. You are going to love them.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Torn self portraits

Four of the AP paper collage portraits are turned in. Nice exercise in gray scale.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A little Fresco Secco

Student work on plaster and burlap to portray the still life. After finishing the painting, they cracked and aged the works for an antique appeal.

Plastered and pounced

Now the sketches are transferred (using the age old pouncing method) to the plaster surface.

I love teaching this stuff! And my fingers were well crossed because it rained all week, and yet the plaster dried well enough. You never know...

Friday, October 24, 2014

Highwaymen in South Miami

In the 1950's, 1960's, and into the 70's the Jim Crow laws kept African American artists from exhibiting in galleries. This band of 26 men and one woman, were self taught and sold their paintings out of the backs of their cars along highway A1A and Interstate 95. Hence the name: the Highwaymen. After painting quickly, they would use salvaged wood to build frames. Often the work was bought for $20-$25 a canvas by hotels in and around Miami and the everglades. The income saved the artists from a common destiny of having to labor in the citrus groves. Today the paintings sell from $300 a canvas up to the thousands.
Tonight we visited an exhibition in south Miami of a small sale of a private collector's. The show, at the Archive Fine Art & Collectibles (1559 1/2 Sunset Drive) included a live painting demonstration by the son of one of the original 26, the son of Sam Newton! Needless to say, it was fascinating.
He was painting with OLIVE OIL!

One of the original founders of the group, Alfred Hair, now deceased, was well represented in the collection.
One of my personal favorites was by James Gibson, ...moody like my mood tonight.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

playing with food

Always a good subject for a painting, food takes the center stage for our next project.

We are preparing to paint in fresco secco, somewhat like da Vinci with his Last Supper
But somewhat smaller than his almost thirty foot wide painting. These will be about 8 x 8 inches.
And the spirit is somewhat secular.
I am in total gratitude to my mother for providing the food sculptures as still life objects. 
With these realistic sculptures my students could study a cup of tea or a bowl of cereal without fear of it changing over time, or attracting bugs to the classroom.
Every art teacher should have these kind of props, though they are rare and precious to find.
I even have a broken egg!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

We have a coral lab at the school

I love taking my art students in there to sketch and paint. The dim lights and the gurgling water puts them in a trance. Each of the four tanks holds a different experiment. Some of the students imagine their own.

We see how the students are growing coral, and making studies of the invasive Lion fish. It is an awareness needed in this part of the world. The sad and shocking fact is our seas are in peril. Below is a picture off shore Ft. Lauderdale.