Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Air Stream

The landscape below our Southwest flight is brown, khaki, taupe. Ochers dominate the desert below. Seemingly barren save for hills, valleys, mountains and surprising canyons. I wasn't tuned into the landscape. San Fracisco was miles to go, so I'd tuned in to Twitter for #edcampLdr and #edcampLdrFL.

WiFi enabled airplane=amazing.

EdCamps are free professional learning opportunities for educators, students, administrators, sometimes even parents. Free! Sessions, conversation topics, are built the morning of camp over coffee and sometimes continental breakfast. Though the session board is typically built live on site with post-it notes on a paper grid, someone often types it and shares or tweets it. Such quick follow through edcampers have. Reason number eight hundred and seventy two why I love them. Edcampers areassionate about teaching and learning. Campers leverage tools--digital and traditional-- to maximize joy, passion and expression.

Prizes and refreshments are donated. An "App Smackdown" (think ignite-style sharing session on steroids) is a staple of EdCamp. 

Yanya Aveith co-planned #EdCampOrange with me, Beth Scanlon and Alina Davis. We ran the smackdown during the last half of our pizza feast, but #edcampLdrFL ran theirs the last hour of the day. I know the energy in the room sizzled! I could feel it even from thirty thousand feet half a continent away!

Are you an EdCamper? I am!  I am hooked on the conversations and opportunities for learning. Dipping into the stream, following a hashtag and tweeting with attendee friends, makes learning possible anytime, anywhere.  Even from the air. Last year  was our first #EdCampOrange. 

We're planning to do it again come January. Maybe we'll *virtually* see you there.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Sweet Summer

Thank you to Stacey, Betsy, Dana, Tara, Beth, Anna, Kathleen & Deb
for crafting such a welcoming writing community.
Share your own slice or stop by Two Writing Teachers for seconds.

Today's slice of life comes to you in three sweet-summer parts.

Part one, project get organized. The studio reorganization project is complete. Cleaning out the clutter was a week long process, but boy it feels good to create in a clean, well-organized space. My son was a great help moving books and organizing Goodwill donations. We share the big desk and work (or play) across from each other. Admittedly he had much less "stuff" in the room than I did, but now it's cleared out and his work space is ready for high school.

Part two, project create. One goal for my summer is to create more. Write more. Paint more. Create more. I scheduled several weeks of writing camp (they were fantastic) and got the studio organized, so I've made good progress there. I have several art pieces in the works--a "school," a herd, some zen tangle-ish cards I've had fun sketching, several animal collages.

Part  three, rework the art of analysis project. I wrote a bit about this during my time at the Atlantic Center for the Arts. It became part of my problem of practice (number 12 in this post). I've done a lot of thinking about the project and how I give feedback.

I've also thought about and started to create additional models to use next year. One is an altered book of poems about poetry where I interpret the poem through the stylistic lens of an art movement. The other are two stand up words in the style of pop artist, Romero Britto. I will use the models to introduce key ideas and artists from the movement to build students' background knowledge and engage them in creative work. I love the art play and time I have to indulge in it now.

Daisy, now three,  curls up under my painting table. 

Work in progress, I will add layers and coats of color as well as outlines soon.

Happy summer, Slicers! Sweet isn't it?

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Clutter Clean Up

Ten trash bags are dump-ready. My son and I are reorganizing our studio-office space. The last few weeks away have inspired me to get creating but there's no way in this over stuff-cluttered space. It's due a deep clean. Today I give you a photo slice documenting the messy wreck of the room.  Consider these our before photos. 

First we moved most of the books out to the birthday shelves my husband built in the front room.

The books are not in any order yet, but they are single shelves! Big improvement.

Next to move the bric-a-brac so that we could clear and clean. The art table became a landing zone. 

Oh the binders of workshop overheads! Had to go.

My assistant took a computer break.  There are so many stories on this table: meeting Nikki Giovanni, meeting my cousin Lynn, finding new and old book favorites. There are programs from Vid Con and book quilt squares and Goodwill box finds, now sorted or filed or discarded.

Art cards and acrylic mediums, a roll of cork, a spool of copper wire now shifted off shelf to desk top.

Bottom shelves cleared and cleaned. Six shelves left to go (then maybe we'll think about the closet). Notebooks (these are full) dusted and soldiered across the shelf. 

I've got room for fezzes and yearbook finds. This section nearly done. Poetry and art books and all the little Knicks knacks need arranging still. The top two shelves are in a holding pattern.

We made a lot of progress. We've got lots of bags to haul away.