Wednesday, May 30, 2007

part 2

The photos in this post and the one below are from this semester's Middle School students. We wove functional bags (the boys don't like me to call them purses) in the 6th grade (some are photographed with flaps open) and the 7-8th graders went completely crazy making sculptural figures from wire, masking tape and newspaper. I'll add more of those tomorrow, my school computer has no way to rotate images. (hard as that is to believe!) The bag to the right shows blending, egyptian knot, vertical stripes, and joining (the triangle), all required patterns, but of course they can make those patterns do whatever they want. This boy created his own pattern, using the yellow black and green in a very interesting way between the stripes and the triangle. I especially like the skull bag. The red eyes are a nice touch.

As for the figures below, there is a Sumo champion and a moment of drama between a smurf and a giant caterpillar that is attacking the smurf's toadstool home.

A few good pieces

Monday, May 28, 2007

International connections

Although it might not be a normal thing for an art class to do, this semester some of my students have been "epals" with a class in Italy. One of my students from last semester, Josh, used to talk all the time about the Food Network, so when one of the Italian students began his first letter "My name is Francesco and I love food!" I knew I had a match. Recently, Francesco sent along a recipe for Spaghetti Alla Carbonara. Josh isn't in my class anymore, but conveniently he is now in Home Ec - so I brought the ingredients and this week he cooked the dish in Mrs. McGill's Home Ec. class. I was lucky enough to have a plate delivered to me as well. It was delicious!

Friday, May 25, 2007

end of the year

I only have a couple of days with my current students before I turn them over to whatever summer means to them. For some it is holidays in nice places, for some it means endless hours at computer games, and for others it means untold abuse and/or no hot meals until their nasty but free school lunches start again. It always astonishes me that they suddenly want to start projects now, three school days before the end. It kills me to say no, but I must. whatever variety of prayers you make, make them for public school teachers now. Whatever the news says about us, our hears are breaking right now.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Playing with pictures

I've been playing with some of the photos I took in Italy last summer. I want to be able to frame a few that I especially like.

I have several good excuses for letting a year pass. The day we got home we discovered that my mother (who lived with me) had fallen the night before and was hospitalized (and sadly, died a month later). Also, a close of Kent's had died that same day, at the same hospital. Basking in travel memories was not on the agenda.

So as summer approaches, I find myself thinking about the trip.I took a 120 Agfa Clack that I had converted into a pinhole camera. Kent took a digital Nikon. I also too a very carefully planned sketching kit, but only got one drawing done the whole time.

The two photos above are from Tivoli, both digital. I've posted the roses before, but now I've made them into sepia and have been trying to tint the roses softly. Not successfully yet. The photos below are pinhole photos I took with the converted Agfa Clack. Left is a window on the inside of the Coloseum in Rome, looking out, with the light streaming in. The one on the right is also a pinhole from the Coloseum, of one of the capitals. For someone like me, an artist but not a photographer, a pinhole camers is a lot of fun. My goal was to come back with one photo I liked, but I got about eight. I keep meaning to make a section of my website for them. (a summer project). These are actually scans from the contact sheet. The photo company I was using closed its doors before I got prints made, so I need to find another place - especially since I still have film in the camera from Galveston beach at Christmas.

Monday, May 14, 2007

shipping to London

Well, my first efforts at Etsy were, literally, instantly successful. I put on some tiny collages out of the good bits of failed woodcuts....I sometimes chine colle in reverse, and stepped away from the computer, came back ( I was one room away) and had sold three to a buyer in London! I won't be able to retire on these prices, but it is fun to think of my little pieces being in one of my favorite places in the world.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Etsy, here I come!

Tonight I started working on my Etsy store. I have a website and paypal and all that, but I think it is a good idea to have this as well. Also, I think it might be a good place to offer all the little things I make on a whim that I really don't want on my website, and some simple lower priced things as well, so expect some little landscapes, altered books, experiments, who knows what. I've been thinking about printing some of my woodblocks on tea towels, so there's just no telling. I'm listed under Betty C Bowen Fine Art, unless somebody thinks of a better name. You have to search with no spaces - BettyCBowen - will do.


It have been an entire week since I last posted, so I may have some catching up to do. My 6th grade students are happily weaving purses, and I will post some of their work later. I haven't let them take the looms home until today, they were very frustrated with me. They are doing a great job. The 7-8th graders are making people out of wire. We used our thumbprint as a standard measure, and it worked great. They are building up the forms with newspaper and masking tape, and they completely wiped me (and the store room) out of tape. Some of the boys get so involved up in playing with their figures that they forget to work on them! One figure in particular has such grace and elegant proportions that I have been taking photographs of it. It will be an elfin archer when finished. It is gorgeous in a way that only something made of worthless materials but a beautiful form can be. Today the student paper mached brown paper towels all over it, which will give it a nice overall tan color, and then next week we will dress it. Of course, I liked it the way it was, but won't say so.

A couple of weekends ago friend Kelly held her annual tie-dye party, and I dyed a few things. I never quite know what to do with the large silk square that I sometimes dpaint or dye. There is no possible way for them to look good on me, and I'm not a "little tablecloth" sort. Then today I found this on You Tube - perfect! This is a Japanese carrying bag made from a square of cloth

Friday, May 4, 2007

pattern tester, Print & Pattern

I just discovered an amazing site, the Pattern Tester! I think it will be a great tool for me. I make woodcut prints, so when I am finished editioning them, I hate to throw them away, and I looovveee textiles, so often wonder how I could pass them along to a real textile printer. At least this Pattern Tester will let me try out my block images and see how they might look as a textile!

I found this site via the worth-visiting-daily Print & Pattern blog, which, in turn, I found via Decor8.