Thursday, December 9, 2010

Artistic Dresses!

This video is One Republic's "All the Right moves"

I secretly would love to go to a masquerade and wear one of those amazing dresses. I love the white one!

Friday, November 5, 2010


A lot of days I wake up MOTIVATED. Today is one of those days.

"Schools offering students the most access to arts education have the highest graduation rates."
-staying in school, study done by the NYC Public Schools

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Funny students

Of course I have a collection of funny things students do and say, but since teaching sixth grade, the stories are mostly innocent, which of course is precious, but sometimes ignorant, which is hilarious and also very precious.

Next to my desk there is a full sized skeleton (imagine one you might have seen in a science class) which is used every once in a while for learning to draw the human figure or as an example of bone structure. It is decorated with a straw cowboy hat, beads, and even a bird usually sitting on it's shoulder. Every term, without fail, a young sixth grader will come over to my desk as I'm putting in attendance and ask me in a serious and sometimes with underlying concern, "um, Miss McCoy? Is that skeleton...real?"
"Oh, don't worry honey, it's not real. You would smell it if it was!!"
A look of relief goes over the student's face and with a smile they usually say "Oh, yeah, I knew that!" And they skip off to their table to report that "the skeleton is NOT real and you would smell it if it was. Duh, people!"

Just yesterday I had another moment where I giggled a little in my head but did not let it out, of course. We are drawing neighborhoods and cities in One-point perspective (I will post pics soon). Students are required to look up pictures in magazines and books to add two challenging elements to their drawing. I usually suggest to students to look up trees after their practice drawings are filled with "broccoli trees." One little girl, one of the most innocent, 4-foot tall freckle faced girls with a special needs older brother, shows me her drawing yesterday. For bushes, all around her drawing are large five fingered plants with no depth. If you are imagining this correctly, yes, they look like straight up marijuana plants ALL over her drawing!! Hahaha!
After the initial shock of seeing mary jane plants all over, I suggested she look up pictures of bushes to see how to thicken out the plants. I will see today if the five fingers are masked enough to let her take that drawing home! Poor little girl will probably NEVER know what her original plants resembled with incredible accuracy for being straight from her 11 year old imagination.

Fun times as the middle school Art Teacher :)

Saturday, October 30, 2010


I told you I'm a teacher, right? I teach Art at a middle school and it really is my dream job, as far as hanging out with students all day making artwork and having unlimited access to materials to experiment with my own artwork. Yesterday, I played "The Nightmare before Christmas" during class while they were working on their one-point perspective drawings that I affectionately call "View from your window." It can be a view from ANY window they choose. Not surprisingly, by the end of class, there were tons of pumpkins and a few skeletons added to the drawings.

Tim Burton's artwork remains my favorite of all Halloween artwork because of the twists and turns and patterns and the way it fuels your imagination. I have resisted showing students this drawing before they start their perspective drawings, because I am teaching them the techniques of drawing realistically first. It's like learning boring Algebra before the more abstract lessons of geometry (with the pretty shapes). ""Did I just compare Art to Math???"" But, secretly, I prefer the style of imaginative "breaking of the rules for the sake of design." It's like a sassy sentence that starts with "So, I was thinking..." Not grammatically correct, but like an invitation into the writer's thoughts.

P.S. I think it's really fun to play up every holiday that you can and just be a full participant. So, here are this years' pumpkins. Brad carved the Bears logo and I was dreaming of Florida again and so that's where my palm tree comes from.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Yoga is one of life's treasures, for sure. But I was wondering today... yoga, for a way to quiet and relax the body, is very active. I guess it's similar to the way I need to be DOING something to be relaxing, like reading or chillen in a hot tub or walking my dog. I pretty much never sit and do nothing. I think that even though cultures can seem very different, humans are mostly similar, all of us. And I also think everyone's life would be enriched by a practice in yoga... and some time chillen in a hot tub.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Life's Treasures

I am an Artist, bookie, Art Teacher, world traveler and easily inspired by life's small treasures.

One treasure I thoroughly enjoyed this week was, "The Botany of Desire" by Michael Pollan. I learned (well, quite a few things), but one of them being that our brains manufacture a THC-like chemical which triggers short term memory loss. It creates episodes, much like smoking pot would, to trigger short term memory rapidly on a daily basis... on purpose! It didn't seem to make sense until this statement. "Would you really like to remember the NYC subway this morning and every face you saw during the ride to work?"

There are so many things we take for granted, like the ability to quickly forget every tree, sign, and face we see during the day, never to return back to the thought, so that our brains are not constantly crammed and overstimulated.


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