It feels like months since I’ve written anything personal and made any personal artwork. All my mind, time, and energy has been dedicated to teaching and finishing my BFA Specialization in Art Education & Teaching License.

My overthinking and imposter syndrome fiercely kicking in during evaluations, which went over with great responses from my mentors and supervisors, and needlessly ruining my digestion & sleep patterns for weeks.

What have I been up to? An 8 week Legacy Mural project for the graduating class where they were to build self-portraits using an assemblage of found objects. Why 8 weeks? Because the process is extremely important in the International Baccalaureate curricula. They started with research on Neo-Expressionism, Graffiti, and Street Art; were instructed to forage for found materials; did a series of sketches to develop ideas that expressed both who they were as individuals and who they were within their high school community; practiced a dozen art elements. and principles through material explorations; then built their assemblages… all finishing with an elaborate process journal which they had collected loads of info for in the previous weeks. In this, I managed to engage a wide diversity of student skills, abilities, learning styles, and personalities. Ah, the reward of being a teacher is connecting and getting to see the amazing potential of one’s students in action!

While doing the Mural project for my Grade 11 classes ( a total of 95 students in 3 different groups), I still had 8 other groups of students to. teach different projects to… Grades 7 & 8 were immersed in a multitude of little projects to teach art elements & principles: types of patterns, types of textures, colour theory, colour values, chiaroscuro, focal points, rule of thirds, etc… The outcome was the personalized cover of an art portfolio for grade 7 & what looks like a large Zentangle for the grade 8s. All this was completed over about 8 weeks. The Grade 8s then dove into sculptural theories and Papier Maché! After sketching and developing ideas, I opted out of using the recommended “cover a balloon” as the first step; instead I guided them into building their armatures from crumpled paper, foil, and scraps of wood or cardboard. On the third class they were ready to get messy and goop-it-up with the paste.

Somewhere in all this I had to guide my grade 10 students through research into Impressionism and Pointillism, so they could do a compare & contrast presentation in front of the class. AND… I was asked to help mentor different groups of students: for a multi-school art show, themes on their experience through Covid; designing logos and shirts for next year’s National Truth & reconciliation day (Orange shirt day). AND… my mentor engaged me in grading everything, parent-teacher meetings, several teacher meetings, school board webinars, IEPs (Individualized Education Plans) for those students that needed them, etc… In a nutshell, this internship was a fully immersive experience of a lifetime!

Of course, there were other day-to-day life events going on with family and friends that have us re-imagining certain goals we had set for ourselves this summer; including relocating to a warmer climate. These plans are still in the works, and we know that we will land wherever we are meant to… more on that as it develops.

Along with the lack of personal creativity, I have scrapped one of the large paintings I was working on… the large T’Hed and got inspired to paint something very different… right now, it looks like it will be an elephant themed painting done in a Bay Area Figurative Movement style. TBD…

I intended this ramble to break my writers block and hope to start giving more substantial content going forward… ideally starting with some lesson plans and student artworks. I say ideally, because I’m so very mentally done with schoolwork right now! Anyway, we shall see…

I

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