Lines and Stripes

So today’s art project was to list different types of lines and line qualities and use them to create animals that were highly patterned. I started by using a very sketchy, scribbley line to create this tiger. I really liked the way he turned out, and I like the lack of outline on him. I did use an image to get the feel for the eyes and nose area but I made up all the stripes and all that and considering I’ve only ever seen real tigers in zoos I’m pretty impressed with myself.

After Mr. Tiger and the fun I had with his eyes (like lighthouses, eyes are another thing that appears regularly in my art) I decided to zoom in on a zebra eye. 


In this one I decided a more bold approach to the lines would be in order so I was very controlled with line placement and thickness and used them almost more like shapes than lines. I really enjoyed these and it made me draw things I’m not normally prone to drawing. 

In other news I had a wonderful day at work yesterday and then my last parent ruined my whole day. She all out screamed at me in front of her kids (cause that’s an awesome thing for my classroom management, thanks). The reason: my staff member made her daughter pick up after herself. This is the same mother who, two months ago, said to her kids in front of me, “If you have a problem with anyone you just punch them as hard as you can, don’t worry about getting in trouble mommy will deal with that, you won’t be punished.” to which I said, “We don’t condone violence in our program.” To which she said, “I am their parent and I will decide what I condone for them.”  So you can understand this woman is not really the flexible teacher friendly kind. I am, however, proud of how I handled myself. I stayed very calm and was able to defuse the situation slightly before she left and I informed my boss, M, of the situation right away, and, for once, she stuck up for me and said she was glad I called. Hopefully the parent is a little more chill today when picking up her kids.


Last Week

So just to show that I wasn’t slacking off COMPLETELY during spring break I wanted to update what I did do. As art goes I used directional lines in this picture of a bird of prey diving through the air. I didn’t love this at first but I do now. It took a lot of light line work to get the shading and the look of feathers but I don’t think I did too bad.  


I also used contour lines to draw a lighthouse. ( I was reading something about trends in drawing and what they mean in your subconscious mind. I have always been drawn to lighthouses in art, and I love doing images of them does this mean I’m looking for direction? Probably.) I don’t think it turned out too bad considering I just made it up. I’ve only been to one lighthouse in my life and it looks nothing like this one, but I think I got all the proportions right and everything so not too shabby.   

And lastly I was on a trip Thursday with my ‘fullday’ kids and the one little girl wanted to sit next to me on the bus because none of her friends had signed up for the fullday let alone for the trip so on the way I let her sketch in my book because she asked, and all my kids know I have a sketch book with me at all times, and it’s a way I encourage them to draw and write on a daily basis. So I couldn’t help but post it here.   

Back to Normal

Okay Spring Break was last week. This week I should be back to my normal posting and art schedule hopefully I’ll have some great stuff coming later today!

Busy Busy Busy

Oh my goodness, it’s already Wednesday and I haven’t posted since Friday! I’ve been a bad blogger! It has been a bit crazy, for example I just stuffed 126 eggs because my bosses decided we should have a “Spring Egg Hunt”. And that’s just today. This weekend my dad and I thought we had band practice so we show up at our band mates’ house and they’re like “We didn’t have practice today but come on in!” The whole band other than the two whose house it was thought we had practice. But we ended up hanging out for like four hours.

I have almost nothing artsy to show for the past few days so I won’t even bother going into it.  And I’ve been in a bit of a funk since my last post, which can’t be helping the creative juices. I did however sign onto a website designed to help child care givers pair up with families who need them, hopefully I can land a summer gig watching some perfect family’s 2.5 wonderful children (yea right). We’ll see how that all goes.

Oh and as an afterthought, it’s spring break for my school this week, except for Wednesday (today) which is a make up for the Bunches of Snow days we got. So I’ve been working what my work calls “full days” which is when my program is open all day at a different school and we get to have the kids when they’re ‘off’ school and their parents still have to work so it turns out that any “break” is not ever really a break for me but more work than usual. This is another reason I really need to get a teaching gig soon, although not the primary, it’s definitely a perk.

Missed Opportunities…

So I am going to post about my weekend tomorrow, but I had to just update on something I just found out. The art teacher at the elem. school I work at is older and I just found out her last day for this school year was about a week ago and that she has a long term replacement sub already. HOW DID I NOT SEE THIS IN INTERNAL POSTINGS? It was no where I went back and checked. There was no e-mail, and no paper trail on this, one day she is the teacher the next she’s leaving for the school year to get her knees replaced… this is EXACTLY the position I’ve been holding out hope for and it’s passed me by. Now if she leaves this kid from who-knows-where is going to get the job that I have been waiting in the wings for for the last two years. I just can’t believe it. This really has made me lose faith in the system… Maybe I just wasn’t meant to be doing this.. Maybe it’s time to bite the bullet and go for a ‘real’ (i.e. ‘office’) job and give up on this whole art teacher thing.

Crazy Parents and Unorganized Bosses

So I hated Everything artsy I did today… guess it’s just one of those days.

Yesterday work was nice, but the review I have been stressing over this morning NEVER HAPPENED. Why you may ask? Well let me tell you a little story:

Around 6:20pm I get a phone call from a parent, one who is convinced that if her child is tormented on a daily basis, which he is not (I know because I now keep a staff member or myself close to him at all times). So this parent proceeds to tell me her son told her he got hit by another little boy in our program and she is very upset. This surprises me because my staff hadn’t said anything to me about anything occurring between the two boys that day. So I assure her I will speak with my staff and both boys to see what happened and how this can be resolved. I call the other little boy over (he is still at my program as he is picked up later in the evening) he said the only thing he did with this other boy today was help him do homework and play tag outside, but that this other little boy was it more often than others. Okay. So then I talk to my staff member who said he was with the two all day and that yes he did see them playing tag, and told them to stop because they were running on the playground equipment, but no, no one was hit or hurt.

So because this parent has been difficult in the past I call my boss, M. I give her the run down and she thanks me for calling and asks if I can bring in a write up this morning. I say sure and I’ll see her tomorrow in my review. She says, “Oh, about that, we need to reschedule because m is out tomorrow and wants to be involved in the review process.”

This is a great example of my boss being herself and unorganized. This was scheduled two weeks ago, when was she going to tell me I didn’t have a meeting with her?

So I go in this morning and M is a half hour late we meet for five seconds I give her my write up and we reschedule for April 5. Whoo hoo.

Brush Pens, Continuous Lines and Budget Worries…


Originally uploaded by CrissyZart


So today I bought myself more art stuff that I cannot afford this time in the form of Bienfang Watercolor Brush Pens cause I couldn’t resist. I’m a big marker fan in my sketch book (mostly because they don’t smudge and have such a wide variety of BRIGHT colors). My first experiment with them was this little fictional flower I’ve decided to call Morana after the Slavic Godess of Death. It’s so bright I decided it had to be poisonous. As far as the pens go I’m not sure I if i like them yet or not.  

I also continued my sketching from 200 Projects, and today was continuous line. I’ll only waste your time with one of them because I didn’t like the others so much, but this one was fun. I listened to the playlist of songs my band is doing at this retreat that’s coming up so the title is the name of the song.  

 So yesterday the kids weren’t too fond of the writing in afterschool, although I did see some covertly writing in their Journals outside (It was a beautiful day out so we let them loose on the playground for a bit). I also had 20 more students want to make one and I still have more who are going to make them today! That’s 40 and counting! I only have 80-90 students attend everyday so this makes me feel pretty good that over half have chosen to participate in my project. After today I will post some pictures of how they’ve been turning out.   

The Full Staff Meeting was WAY too long last night, but that’s because we joked around for half of it. I almost think my co-workers plan on how to get my boss’s as far off track as possible, and knowing  M&m that’s not hard. I also perked up a bit because there are a lot of people who are going to be retiring in the district because of the budget, so I’m hoping one of them is an art teacher so i can try to weasle my way in. I’m a little worried though because a district near ours (and more financially stable) has eliminated their afterschool program because of budget and if that happens to me I’m staring at a lot of student debt and no way to pay it.  I worry too much though, I’m going to try loosing myself in having a good time with the kids today and hopefully M won’t show up to ruin my day.  

Gestures, Crafty Kids, and Scary Bosses


Originally uploaded by CrissyZart


So I’ve been reading up in a couple of books I have lying about (I am a compulsive art/craft book buyer because I used to work at a Barnes and Noble) and I stumbled upon one: “200 Projects to Strengthen Your Art Skills” I am going to TRY to go through the whole book and project 1 was gesture drawings. Now I used to LOVE these in college, but I haven’t done them in a couple years now so these were a few of my first attempts… not great, but not bad either I don’t think. 

Other News: My boyfriends car is TOTALED. This is both bad and good. Bad because it’s a bit of a blow and he still hadn’t paid it off but good because he hated the thing and now can proceed to get a truck that he will love much more.  

Yesterday in our afternoon session at work I did a project with the kids. We decorated the covers of journals that they then can keep and journal in. We did this by opening them up with the pages down and coating the outside with glue, then collage-ing on tissue paper in layers to get some color mixing going on. After that I had some fancy scrapbook paper that I handed out so that they could cut out shapes and attach them. After they all dried I covered all the journals in clear packing tape (adhesive laminating paper would have worked better but you work with what you have) so that nothing would fall off and they could be nice and smooth like real books. I plan on handing out their finished products today and having a writing session while people who didn’t get to the project yesterday make theirs but we’ll see how well that goes over.  

Also I have a feeling I’m going to either hate or love my job again real soon. Today we have a Full Staff Meeting with all my staff (well the ones that can come) and all the staff from other schools and Friday I have a meeting with my boss for my ‘review’. My bosses (i.e. M&m) said they were going to visit before this meeting. m has visited but M has not, so now I don’t know whether to expect a second visit today or tomorrow or not and this concerns me because M is not only my boss but m’s too and she is a very negative person. I do not take criticism very well especially when I know it is not aimed at improving my program but aimed at ‘keeping me in my place’. When m comes to visit she is normally helpful and excited to see what’s going on, but M usually comes with the intent of finding things wrong (and I already know I’m not perfect) so hopefully my review will be based on m’s visit but I always plan for the worst right?  

Anyway, back to the kids: I’m actually really excited by their interest in this crafty business and I want to get more low cost things to do (I kind of stumbled across this one when I found little journals on sale for 50 cents in my local Michael’s store) because generally I just pay for supplies myself if we don’t already have them (yet another result of budget cuts and scary bosses). I may see if I can adapt some of the stuff from my art books so that they are elementary friendly.  

I think I need to add a page on here of all my activity ideas but that is for another day. Wish me luck.  

Car Accidents, Job Hunts, and the Letters D and E


Originally uploaded by CrissyZart

So I was a bit lazy today, I only completed letters D and E, and I have no better pictures to post at the moment so here they are. I’m big into the swirls if you hadn’t noticed so you’ll see more of them around here. I also love paisley so that should pop up soon too.

In other news my boyfriend called me freaking out on Sunday on his way home from a Craft Beer Festival saying he rear ended someone on the highway. (No he wasn’t drunk driving, he is not so stupid. He only had a couple of beers and those were hours before he drove.) The cops didn’t give him a ticket and everyone is okay (except the cars of course). He drives(/drove/may-one-day-drive-again) a PT Cruiser and it may be totaled because of the cost of repairs. This makes me sad because as of right now my car is not in working order either and we do not live in the same house. I’m worried for him because life has just really been getting both of us down lately and not cutting us any breaks. Hopefully something good happens in the next week to counter balance all the negativity lately.

Me getting another job would be nice. As I mentioned before I work in a before and afterschool program. I actually run one of the sites (an elementary school with k-3 graders). It is a job, on one hand I love the kids and the freedom to plan whatever I want to do with them, and on the other, I never meant to manage anyone else this early in my career and I currently am above 7 staff members almost all of which are older and more experienced than I am and my boss’s make my job more complicated than it really needs to be by virtue of just getting involved when they have no idea what’s going on and are an unorganized mess. (Run on sentence much?) So for the past two years, since I’ve been out of college and in this job, I’ve been looking for a position teaching art. Any grade, any level, doesn’t matter as long as it is art. Unfortunately the interview gods have not favored me and the few interviews I have had I think I came across as a little desperate (which I unfortunately am, but not for the reasons my interviewers may think). My whole life I’ve wanted to teach art, everything I’ve ever done has lead up to this and now I find myself at a bit of loose ends trying to find where I fit.

I think that may be why I find the idea by Allan McCollum so interesting, it gives everyone a place where they belong and are comfortable and my life right now is nothing like that at all.



Originally uploaded by CrissyZart

This weekend I got around to watching one of my favorite shows, Art 21. I own Season’s 1-5 on DVD because I find them inspiring and interesting. In particular I was caught by one of the ideas expressed by Allan McCollum in the season 5 Episode Systems. He had this idea that with a certain kind of logic you could create a system that would give everyone in the world a symbol, similar to heraldry. I love looking at works that have a lot of components to them and series in particular so this intrigued me and i began work on my own alphabet of illuminated letters. These are the first three. I’m note sure why I chose the colors I did except for the fact that they were bright and I wanted something to Contrast with the Black and White. Hopefully they are enjoyed. I really can’t wait to finish out the set but I think I’ll reserve the rest for my Flickr account. 

 This weekend was really just jam packed with stuff for the band but I also enjoyed some free Rita’s WaterIce this weekend as it is their tradition to give out a free small ice on the first day of spring and if you’ve never had Italian Ice I can’t describe to you how excited this makes me. For the first time in a long time it was warm enough to walk around outside without a jacket and I did so. We had Band practice in the dance studio a couple of doors down from the Rita’s and it actually went really well.  I am part of a christian praise band (I play bass guitar, though I am still learning) whose 7 members range from my 50-something year old father, to a 15 year old highschooler and a couple of 30 and 20somethings thrown into the mix. We rock out pretty hard for christians and so we had a bit of an audience from the free Rita’s crowd peeking in the dance studio windows. This actually worked out kinda nicely for us because we were practicing for when we perform at a high school christian youth retreat in April and we really need to work on our stage presence.  When we were breaking down all the equipment the next day the Rita’s Employees said they really liked our sound so at least we have that going for us! 

After all the band stuff and the loading and unloading of equipment (alas we are not popular enough for roadies) I just want to take today and chill, maybe work on a couple of letters for my series and then off to work again this afternoon. 


After perusing the blogosphere I’ve decided I want to do some kind of challenge for myself, weekly, daily, whatever. I haven’t decided what that is to be yet, but after reading about somebody who posts their fav. photo from the week every Monday I think having that kind of challenge will give me an excuse to keep creating and a direction in which to go. I think I’ll take some time and mull over exactly what kind of challenge, or schedule to give myself for a little while and get back to it later. 

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