I love to give September and October studio projects a fall twist. This week, my elementary students completed their collaged loon-scapes, their Flapdoodles landscape rocks, and they learned how to artistically use chalk pastels to build layers as they created pumpkins on black paper. Striking!
I like to give students the opportunity to come up to the overhead camera and talk about what they liked about their work. Here, Mataya is sharing her pastel with the class on the TV screen.
The loon collages turned out so well that I decided to turn them into a "Cry of Loons" poster to sell, with proceeds going to scholarships for Riverwood Studio classes. Let me know if you'd like to place an order. They are 20x24 inches (standard frame size) and cost $18 plus tax.
My online elementary students did an elephant collage on their sketchbook covers instead of loons. Here are a few of their wonderful projects.
My intermediate students worked hard on drawing exercises, including individual still lifes. We are also discussing the major movements in art history, which explains the Egyptian photo on the computer screen. If you could hear this picture, you would hear ancient Egyptian music playing in the background. My online intermediate class began this week. I'll share pictures of their work in the future.
I'll be placing these adorable rocks in the landscape at Flapdoodles North today. My 17 year old daughter painted the large bench and boulders around the building this summer, and the owners of Flaps thought these little rocks would add even more fun! Thanks to the Tierneys for their ongoing partnership with my studio and generosity for always rewarding us with free ice cream!
Friday evening was a time for teaching watercolor over Zoom to my teen and adult class. We used a fall palette of colors to create ink & wash florals.
Completed work by my student, Amber (who is an elementary teacher).
Finally, here are a few fall photos I took on my walk around my neighborhood Friday morning. Everything was bathed in gold and fluttering. I had my curated "Fall Vibes" Spotify playlist, with everything from James Taylor to Maroon 5 filling my ears, and was definitely in my happy place...
As I sit on the couch next to my curled up cat this morning, I reflect on all that has transpired since last March when the globe seemed to tilt a little too far on its axis, throwing the world off-kilter. It's mind boggling to think a microscopic virus that is not even a living thing could steal lives, livelihoods, unity, and the sense of peace and security that normal routines bring.
I try to remember that we are not promised anything. If we're wise, we hold gifts and sorrows with open palms and gratitude, being careful what we cling tightly to. For me, that has meant holding loosely to my art studio plans, being flexible and creative in approach to problems, and most of all just being grateful for those who choose art alongside me as an antidote to the chaos.
This week I welcomed around 50 kids back to my studio, albeit masked and distanced. Depending on the class, we dabbled in printmaking, collage, rock painting, drawing exercises, and burning energy in my backyard. Everyone received a new sketchbook to fill this year with drawings, ideas, color swatches, value scales, and who knows what else! All my classes played a funny ice-breaker game of "Would You Rather" using famous pieces of art. I love when students point to a piece of art and say excitedly, "I've seen that one before!" I don't know why the act of recognizing masterpieces of art is so magical, but alas, it is.
Here are a few of slides from our game...
And here are some pictures from classes this week...
I enjoyed sharing this short video about collage artist "MarcPaperScissor" with my elementary students.
This coming week I will add three online classes consisting of over 60 students, from elementary to adult, and the following week I will be taking my supplies to Rosa Parks charter school to teach an art class to the high schoolers on Fridays as a volunteer. COVID could disrupt the whole shebang, of course! However...this:
Jill Pearson, owner & instructor at Riverwood Studio, Oronoco, Minnesota