Sunday, June 27, 2010

More Boxes

While you were out and about, I was inside painting boxes all day. Painting them white.. then painting critters on them.. critters from two angles...

If you turn the boxes you still see a critter because they all match up...

I'm going to add few more dimensions to this as well.. so you will be able to interact with more than just one side and also vertical as well as horizontal...


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Localized Perspective!

This is a test for a project I want to do next year with the Art One students. It's called Localized Perspective. The idea is to create an image on a non flat surface that looks correct but only from one point of view.

We started by writing our words on a transparent viewfinder. Even though we wrote UP using block letters, we decided to start by only creating the P.

One person looks through the viewfinder and gives directions to the other person who lays the guide tape.

After all the guide tape is in place, duct tape is laid on top. In the future I'd like to use different colored duct tape... red, blue, pink.. something more colorful.

Here you see the "P" from the wrong angle...

Here it is from the right angle. Of course, this would have worked out better if the baseboard and the tape weren't the same color.. but the concept works!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Different Sides to Art

Here are a few more angles of the Boxes for the Interactive Room.

Each side of the box has a different critter part. With each turn of the box, the audience decides which art will display and which will not.

This is only the beginning of the Boxes....

See more of the Interactive Room!


Saturday, June 19, 2010


A few more boxes for the Interactive Room. I've also got a couple of duck boxes and a goose box in the making.

Although there is only one side completed right now, there will be a way to turn the boxes to see the other sides soon!

See more of the Interactive Room!


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Must Have Summer Reading!

These turtles will cause a Ripple!

The Metal Marble

Tucker’s Aunt Nyce is his mom’s little sister only she isn’t that little and she isn’t that nice. He has to get used to it though because he’s stuck working at her beach restaurant The Crab & Grab for the next two weeks.

While hauling boxes of stinky fish from the dock, Tucker and his 11-year-old cousin Trist discover a golf ball size, transparent metal "marble" floating in the sea.

Ignoring the warnings from salty dog Chef, Tucker and Trist leave the marble in the sunshine until it dries. The marble hatches into a half real, half robotic mechanical turtle.

From the moment the marble opens, Aunt Nyce places Tucker in charge of the turtle. He soon realizes the biggest threat comes from his aunt’s schemes to use the unique creature to draw customers.

Tucker may be scrawny and shy on the outside, but he knows the difference between right and wrong. He names the turtle, Gearbox and together with Trist, faces a constant challenge to foil Aunt Nyce's plans.

Tucker’s solutions only lead Aunt Nyce to generate more horrible ideas. Will it all boil to a head when his aunt decides to add turtle to a special buffet dinner menu??

Nothing says summer like a good book and a wind up turtle!

Aprox 5,000 words. Third Grade.

Grab your copy of The Metal Marble on Amazon!

Looking for more summer reading? Check out our Summer Reading List!


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Top Ten Things I Learned This School Year

10. PLN’s Rock!
This year I fully emerged myself in the online PLN thing. I joined Art Ed 2.0 and the NAEA. I signed up for Twitter and participated in #edchat.

Previously, I was limited to seeing what other art teachers had posted to there websites. Participating in these PLN’s opened a two-way door. It was great to discover that I wasn’t the only one who felt the same way about the next 9 items.

9. Don’t Teach The Tool.
One of the biggest mistakes I made when I first started teaching my Computer Art class was teaching Flash. I taught my students how to tween and even how to write actionscript. Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with teaching a tool. However, this should be a means not an end.

I would never teach a painting lesson on the correct way to hold a paintbrush. In fact, I probably shouldn’t even teach a lesson on how to paint. I might however, teach a lesson on complimentary colors. In order to teach that lesson, I might decide to have the students create a work of art using paint. Then, while teaching this lesson I might discover that my students don’t know how to correctly hold a paintbrush.

8. Don’t Get Bogged Down by Standards.
While I’ve learned that I should teach the concept and not the tool, I’ve also discovered that the creativity in my teaching can be held prisoner by standards. i.e. If the standard says I am to teach the elements of art, that doesn’t mean I have to stand in front of the class with a chart that lists the elements of art. In fact, I could make a good case that the common current list of art elements is at best incomplete and in some cases obsolete. The standards should be a guideline, not a stop sign.

7. What’s a Watch?
Students don’t own watches, they don’t own cassettes, and they don’t know what a floppy disk is. They’ve probably have never seen or used a typewriter. However, they can name more fonts than most teachers can.

As a teacher, I need to stay current as well. I need to change and adapt my lessons to align with today’s reality. I have to ask myself, is what I’m teaching relevant to what my students need to learn?

i.e. When I teach color, should all my focus be on mixing primary colors? Outside of art class, my students never mix primary colors. Instead, they mix RGB and CMYK… and on a daily basis.

6. New Media
I don’t like Christmas songs. I might not mind them so much if there were some new ones however, it seems I hear the same old tired Christmas songs every year. People often disagree with me, labeling it tradition. I don’t have anything against tradition unless tradition becomes a roadblock.

Art teaching can become very traditional. I teach contour line drawing in pencil in 2010 because my art teacher taught contour line drawing in pencil in 1985. She probably taught contour line drawing in pencil because her art teacher taught her it back in 1965.

The question becomes, do I teach contour line drawing in pencil because it is the way to teach or because it is tradition? Is there any other media I could use to teach the same lesson? What about masking tape, or an etch-a-sketch, or a dirty car window? These might seem silly until you Google those topics and see the incredible art being created using those media.

5. Vocabulary Can Suck
The Purpose of Vocabulary is to help us understand and communicate our world. Not the other way around. The teacher temptation is to provide a list of vocabulary and expect our students to memorize an exact dictionary sentence that defines the word. The student temptation is to rote memorize the definition to please the teacher and receive an A on the quiz.

What I’ve learned is to let go of the dictionary. I provide the words but let the students write their own definitions so they in turn can use their words to understand and communicate their world.

4. Teaching Dead White Guys
I started a forum on Art Ed 2.0. titled The Top Ten Artist Every Art One Student Should Know. The discussion became divided into 3 sections:

1. Old dead white guys
2. Hip new people that you’ve probably never heard of
3. Women and minorities

What I’ve learned from this discussion is that we need to stop categorizing artist by age, gender, race or anything other than their artwork.

3. Visual Connections and Renoir’s Red Hats
Kandinsky was born in 1866. I have always thought Kandinsky’s art looks like candy. In fact, that is how I teach it. Kandinsky looks like kandy. I sometimes have a hard time telling Miro and Kandinsky apart. I think their works tends to look similar. It could just be me.

At the end of the year, I ask my Art History students what they feel worked best in the class to help them learn. This year the answer I received back the most was more stories and more visual connections.

i.e. when learning about the impressionists, I point out that you can usually tell a Renoir because he painted a lot of people in red hats. If I show an impressionist painting and there is a red hat, it’s probably Renoir.

If you don’t believe me, try a Google image search for Renoir. You will see all of Renoir’s red hats. If you don’t believe my students are right about visual connections, then answer these two questions without looking back at what I wrote.

1. When was Kandinsky born?
2. How can you recognize a Kandinsky?

Were you able to remember the answer to number two but not number one? That’s the power of visual connections.

2. Web 2.0. is Not a Part-Time Gig
My wife is a Realtor. She has many conversations with people who are thinking about going into selling real estate to supplement their income. That’s not possible. Being a Realtor is not a part-time job.

Teaching is not a part-time job, even if you are a part-time teacher. I’m sure that comes as no surprise to anyone reading this post. Likewise, Web 2.0. is not a part-time gig.

To use Web 2.0. tools means you need to live Web 2.0. tools. If you use Twitter, you use it everyday and in more than one way. You can’t come to school Monday morning, explore Twitter during your planning period, and then expect to teach a class on Twitter to your second period. Web 2.0 is fulltime.

1. There is No Number One
I started by saying PLN’s rock. If I filled in number one it would defeat the purpose.

ian sands
Zonkey Street

Monday, June 07, 2010

But Always A Painter

Sat looking at this piece before I added the color. I was thinking to just leave it black and white. Leave the color to the audience. let them take the markers up, scribble, write, whatever.. color in the space.

I couldn't do it.

Always a painter. I love the feel of the brush, how the paint flows... everything about it.

So I did the next best thing. I squared off areas and left space for the audience. How very nice of me.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Story Art

ian sands story art

What does a zonkey sculpture, a roll of toilet paper, painted books and paper mache boxes all have in common? I don't know but I'm going to find out.

ian sands story art

For the Halle Exhibit in October 2010 I'm creating an interactive room. The Interactive Room will present all the things you would find in a room and allow the visitors to add, take away or change anything. By the end of the show, the Room will be a portrait of everyone that has visited. A Story.

ian sands story art

I like the idea of Story Art. However, I wonder if just letting things randomly happen is enough to call the Interactive Room, Story Art. Would it be better if I scripted the story? At least started the story??

Please feel free to comment below and leave your opinion!

ian sands story art

View more photos from the Interactive Room.


Tuesday, June 01, 2010

The Balloon Mosaic

This was our last Art History project. The idea was to create a 40' x 46' mosaic of the Mona Lisa out of balloons. We created a grid using yarn then started blowing up the 2,000 balloons.

Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate. The wind kicked in by afternoon, twisting our grid and popping our balloons. In the end we decided to dismantle. However, we will try again with a new approach... stay tuned!