Monday, January 30, 2012

Annual High School Teacher Retreat fall, 2011, carved brick relief

I had a special treat this fall for the annual High School Teacher Retreat.  Mara Smith, one of the artists who carved the Whole Wall Project, was in Concordia working on a new project.  She is from Seattle, WA and has over 35 years experience in carving brick.  She consented to be our guest speaker at the Retreat.  The high school teachers were asked to bring an idea for a one brick relief or sculpture and we would spend a day learning from Mara how to carve a brick relief.

I hold the retreat every year to thank our hard working high school teachers for the fantastic job they do keeping art alive in our rural areas.  They work long hours on low budgets to bring the arts and creative thinking to students of all age levels.  I always invite a professional artist to give a lecture/demonstration so that the teachers, who rarely get to work on their own art or talk with other artists, have a chance to visit, relax, have fun as well as learn something new.  It is always a great success, as well as helping the teachers gain a one credit hour recertification credit if they choose.

Here are some photos of the teachers who participated this year and the work they produced.

Mara getting the class started

CCCC President Dr. Dannette Toone visited our workshop.  She is pictured here on the left, Mara Smith center, and a former relief sculpture student and Concordia community member, Richard Cyphers on the right.  

Republic County art teacher, Bellville, Connie Levendofsky blocking in her design.

April Spicer, Marysville's art teacher, working on lettering sculpture

Smith Center's art teacher, Jerry Blank, is almost done with his indian relief.

Rachel Cole, Minneapolis' art teacher, working on a relief of a horse.

Jennifer Wolff, Beloit art teacher, works on her spider web relief.

Hanover's art teacher, Joni Steffes, works on her turtle sculpture.

Bennington/Tescott's art teacher, Tamara Constable, works on a relief combining lettering and relief sculpture.

Connie Levendofsky's partially completed buffalo.

April Spicer's creative lettering!

Jerry Blank's indian relief completed.

Rachelle Cole's horse relief, partially complete.

Jennifer Wolff's spider web completed.

Joni Steffes' turtle sculpture completed.

Tamara Constable's name block completed.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Watercolor class, fall 2011, projects

Here are a few samples of the completed work by the watercolor students.  Remember some are first time art students with no background in drawing or foundations.   The beginners were able to hold their own in the class and do some wonderful work right along with the students with more art background.  I am proud of the courage and perseverance it took on their part to accomplish all they did in one semester.  I think you will find that everyone did a wonderful job with their first landscape!

Denise Dove

Doug Cox

Eileen Sutton

Susan Regan

Theresa Gram

The students' first watercolor faces.

Denise Dove

"Lily" Yi Xiao

Other work

Denise Dove

Denise Dove, some negative space painting

Denise Dove, looser style using water bottle spray for the water and wet sand affect

The following is work by James Deckertt.  He is very advanced and I am proud to announce that one of the things that came out of his taking this class was that I had him work on contacting galleries.  He has made some contacts with promising results.  I look forward to seeing his work in some Kansas City galleries soon.  I will keep you posted on where you can see his work.

Remember that James like to add a little twist, a visual conundrum, in most of his paintings.  It makes them fun to look at and adds a level of complexity to the composition.

A Poor Reflection

Audrey Wagner

What is Art?

Cool Heat

Inside Out

Watercolor class, fall, 2011

The watercolor class had a variety of students from total beginner art students to very advanced artists.  It posed quite a challenge for teaching, but with patience from the students and hard work and help from everyone, the class was a great success.  (Not shown, Yi Xiao)

James Deckert

Susan Regan

Theresa Gram

Aundrea Gardner

Denise Dove

Doug Cox

Eileen Sutton

James Deckert, graphite/watercolor
James incorporates trompe l'oeil in his work.  The "plywood" and "matt" are all watercolor.  The paper that appears loose on the plywood, is merely painted to look as if it is stapled and stretched on the plywood base.  Even up close, it is hard to tell that the "paper" is not stapled onto the wood.  Notice the point where the foot emerges from the black and white drawing into a "real" full color and apparently three dimensional toe! A wonderful piece that James was kind enough to bring from his home, where he worked on this piece, to show the class.  For more of James' beautiful work go to or for an interesting video of his process go to 

Drawing I & II beginning spring semester, 2012

We are off to a great start to the semester with eight Drawing I students and five Drawing II students signed up for our 8:30-10am drawing class.  They are already showing themselves to be hard-working and dedicated students.  I'm looking forward to an exciting semester of exploring possibilities!  Keep watching to see where their creativity takes them!

Kayla Bartlett-Steede, Drawing I

Andrew Horn, Drawing I

Courtney McConnell, Drawing I

Kevin Shaffer, Drawing I

Dakota Webber, Drawing I

Tasha R. Young, Drawing I

Aundrea Gardner, Drawing II

Shane Hubert, Drawing II

Kelsey Kahrs, Drawing II

the mysterious Kelby Kopfer, Drawing II

DenRay Ottey, Drawing II