Sunday, November 15, 2009

Art Blog: Mad Scientist, Mad Artist!

First, let me get this straight. I am a happy person. Some might think after reading this blog, I am negative. Nothing could be more untrue. In fact, I am a realist. I don’t live in a Pollyanna world and only express my gumdrop and rainbow thoughts online. I tell it like it is. I am honest. I think we can use more of the truth lately. Therefore, if you think I am a downer, don’t read this blog. It is that simple.

Ever since I started this blog a few years ago, my mission was to express my every day thoughts in a truthful manner. Nobody I know has a great day, week, month, or year, all the time. NOBODY. If someone is online and only talks about their cushy, kitten fur life, I think they are either a liar or in denial. I am neither.

All this crap going on in my life right now is such a bad thing but it is a good thing too. After doing research this weekend on topics such as emotional survival and maintaining sanity during hard times, I came across a simple line of text that really hit me hard. It said something like

“While you are dealing with traumatic life circumstances, it might be difficult, but you will learn a lot too.”

I read that and read it again. I responded “YES!”

Today after doing some house chores, I started working on an upcoming project I am planning for a couple of my classes. I am doing a science experiment and having the students interpret the results via art. I am not only going to do the experiment, but I am dressing up like a MAD SCIENTIST with lab coat, goggles, gloves, and my own MESSY hair! While gathering all the supplies for the experiment and art project, I realized this reminds me so much of when I was an “artist-in-the-schools”. Back then, I was a “free agent” and would go visit schools to work with the kids as an artist. I would plan and plan and go all out back then. I would love making the presentations a performance. I am back to doing that again. I LOVE IT!

I never intended to teach. That was never my goal. Being an artist-in-residence was the thing that made me realize I was so good at art instruction. This is how I got from that point A to this point B. So due to my current situation, I am learning. I am making adjustments. I am finding what I love to do all over again.
Now does that sound negative? Far from it!

I love prepping for silly, but exciting art projects. I love making memories for kids. They DO remember too!!!


JafaBrit's Art said...

I prefer you to say it like it is and recognize the difference between being negative and being a realist. Unfortunately (and I see this a lot in the usa) if one isn't jolly all the time, or confronts difficult issues one is thought of as depressed or negative.

I can't teach for toffee, but I sure love seeing the joy in a kids face when they see something I have done or they see I really like something they did. You are a gem.

namastenancy said...

I wish I'd had an art teacher like you - I know that this is a very difficult time for you but the creative ways that you tackle these issues is very inspiring.

Sheree Rensel said...

Nancy, Thanks for your input, but please don't call me an "ART TEACHER". That doesn't sit right with me at all. I am artist who teaches. I don't have an Art Ed degree and I don't want one. I am an ARTIST. I am an ARTIST. I am an ARTIST who teaches.
Sorry I sound so berserk. It is just that the label "art teacher" give me an instant case of the hives.!!!! LOL LOL

Sheree Rensel said...

You know, I was sent a comment today that suggested I was too negative. WELL...........This person has a cushy, upscale life and she doesn't have to work to pay bills. Her husband does all that while she makes art. In other words, she and I have totally different lives.

I don't mean to sound negative EVER. I just want to speak about my own reality. Like you say, life is NOT jolly all the time. The fact I am willing and able to speak to the good and bad in life is a POSITIVE thing in my eyes. We live a Yin/Yang life!

When I am given the FREEDOM to teach kids the way they should be taught, really great things happen. Unfortunately, the US education system is very screwed up right now. Therefore, I will take my weird little moments and really teach the kids. I feel like I am doing it on the sly! LOL LOL
LOVE YOU JAF!!!! :-)

namastenancy said...

sorry, sorry, sorry. I didn't know. Of course, you are an artist who teaches. I never thought otherwise. But then, most of my artist friends in SF also are art teacher (or artists who teach art) in order to pay the rent so I didn't know I was pushing your buttons.
Please - no harm, no foul?

deb said...

when I read your quote I thought of Winston Churchill's famous one, "when you are going through hell keep going"
Like Jafa I admire your honesty, it's the reason I am still reading this blog when many others have fallen by the wayside. That and your feisty sense of humor!
I agree that the teaching of art in the US school system has been reduced to nonsense, I used to get incensed when my kids would come home and tell me what they had done in art class, even more so when a teacher told them they had expressed themselves "wrong". I wish there were more artists teaching in schools, & fewer art teachers

kathy casey said...

so what's the science art lesson?...sounds fun!
(yes, I'm still around:)