Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Art Blog: The Final Analysis

As I type this, I am running the risk of sounding smaltzy or over the top. Some might read this post and think “OMG!! Sheree has found JESUS!”. Well. I have always known Jesus. I have always had faith. It just isn’t in the same form as some people. That is OK. Whatever works for you should be applied. I will do the same. This works for me.

As many of you know, I am going through a PASSAGE. At first, I balked. Now, I realize it is the best thing that could ever happen to me. I am seeing the flow. I am seeing there is a future. I am seeing good will be done. No matter what is happening around me, it is all good. Sheree will still be here (God willing) and Sheree is going to keep being Sheree!

That said I have to tell you a little story. I was walking down the hall at my “day job” a few days ago and one of my colleagues stuffed a paper in my hand. I just continued walking and shoved it in my pocket. Later in the day, I pulled it out and started reading. It was a copy of Mother Teresa’s “Final Analysis”. As I read it, I wanted to highlight key points. However, I realized the whole thing was a KEY point! I tacked it to my bulletin board and went on with my business.

Every day this week, I have thought of one or the other points. Mother T’s words echo in my mind. Today, I had one of the best teaching days in my life. On the drive home, I realized her words are so honest and true. I am doing the very best I can do and it shows on my student’s faces. This is not about other people or their opinions or they problems. It is just about me and what God knows about me. That is it.

BTW. He knows I am doing just fine.

What is the "FINAL ANALYSIS"?
Click pic to watch the video. Then, THINK.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Art Blog: ART Trips

Yes, I am from the hippie generation. However when I say “art trips”, I am not talking about those kind of trips. I am speaking of not tripping over yourself. I was just sitting here thinking about how happy I am right now. It is so bizarre. I haven’t felt this way in a while and I guess it seems foreign. Like I said in the last post, things are going well despite all kinds of weird trials, tests, and turmoil. I made the decision to “just keep moving” and I am going forth to do what I do.

I am doing that now and I am happy because I feel like I am moving forward and making progress. Things are going well despite me and my tendency to worry about stupid stuff. LOL LOL LOL

Like I told you our next Git Outta My Face portrait show titled “Face It 5” has been organized and will open April 1, 2010. I am already so proud of this show. The five artists are spectacular, real, and great in my opinion. I cannot wait until the show opens. I know it will look oh so good! I know already my online “gallery” is going to be a great endeavor!

Day job wise:
I spent the past weekend creating the wackiest, most informative, and terrific lesson plans I could think of doing. This is why I have been known as a great teacher. I push things to the limit, create scenarios that make memories for the students, and all my lessons are very academically viable (I do the paperwork, believe me!) This week’s lessons are like events! It is going to be so much fun. We are going to make ooey, gooey goop, discuss the scientific properties of this substance, play with it, create with it, and then, describe and draw about it. I can’t wait to do these lessons. The students are going to freak out in a GOOD way! BTW, all the while I will be dressed in a “Cat in the Hat” costume. LOL Like I said, I take it to the limit!!!! LOL

Also, a dear friend has been emailing me giving me life advice. He has faith in me and I realize this. This will be all good. The cream rises to the top. I know this.

Therefore, I leave you with my piece “Last Gasp”. That is what it is really all about. If you read from the bottom left and go round and round, my honest thoughts about life are revealed. To put it bluntly, all I care about is that people remember I was here on earth and did a good job. Whatever that takes, so be it.

My best words to all of you are to remember:
There are people in this world that don’t respect art.
There are people in this world who don’t understand art.
There are people in this world who don’t think art is important.

Well…….WE know they are wrong! We just shouldn’t have doubts and let their issues cause us to trip over ourselves.

“Last Gasp”
Sheree Rensel
Click Pic for larger view (Scroll down)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Art Blog: Creativity Calls!

First, I want to apologize. I had a little cadre of devoted blog readers and I feel guilty now. I have let my blog slip through my fingers. There is a good reason. Things have been so wild and wooly lately, I have to go back to “day job mode”. This is when I become a maniac teacher and work all week and weekends on teaching stuff. My art self gets shoved to the back burner. Sad, but true. I have to do this because I want to make change. Hey!! Obama is president, so I am jumping on that boat. I have to prove my worth all over again. It is stressful and draining, but I love every minute of it.

FLASHBACK: I can remember trying to survive as an artist on nothing and nothing more. I would actually go from house to house asking neighbors for any scrap materials with which to make art. It worked too! I had all kinds of stranger people giving me half cans of latex paint, scrap wood, and miscellaneous. It was so wonderful. There is a kind spirit in the world if you look for it.
Likewise, I had “day jobs” at that time that required materials to teach lessons. I would ask the teaching venue about the supply budget. They would look at me like I was an alien. “Supplies?” “Budget?” Aaaa-huh. So I got accustomed to doing GREEN art before it was fashionable.

FLASH FORWARD: I am in a similar position today. I am teaching all over the place and at some jobs don’t have enough supplies. Therefore, I called back my “creative magic”. I have been head deep in dumpsters and beating my brain for ideas. The weird thing is I am trying to put together meaningful, academic, artistic lessons for my youngerlings to learn and remember.

I realized today that this is the BEST thing that could ever happen to me. I love just about every academic subject. Years ago, I taught at a science center. The brain cells started moving and shifting. I realized this is the week of Dr. Seuss’s birthday. One brain cell met another brain cell and “GOOP” came to the front of my mind. “Bartholomew and the Oobleck” is a Dr. Seuss book. It talks about a strange emulsion called oobleck. It is the same as “goop”. I remember making goop for the science center projects. It is not expensive to make. It is weird and the kids LOVE it.

So I spent today making batches and batches of Oobleck. I am so happy I had hoarded an old gallon of Elmer’s glue someone gave me years ago. It was thickened and worked out so great!!

After making the oobleck, I started thinking of the lesson I would do with the kids. Of course, they are going to be all over the goop! That is the science part: emulsion! Then there is the literary component: the book. What about the art part? I thought and thought. Then came a spark of inspiration! A birthday card to Dr. Seuss is in order. Every kid will get a printed card with a birthday greeting. On the inside of the card, the students will describe with words and pictures what it was like to play with the oobleck!! YES YES YES!!
Each card has an envelope (thanks to someone long ago that donated about a ton of envelopes to me).

This past week has been a whirlwind of events. I have succeeded in making two science assessment videos noted by the school district. I have pleaded my case for more technology to administration (to no avail), but I tried my best, and I have come up with some great ideas for future projects that will make memories for my students.
Thank you GOD. I can’t ask for more than that.

OH! I forgot! On the ART LIFE scene, I also got my next exhibition "FACE IT 5" to be shown soon on my online gallery "Git Outta My Face" organized this week AND I am in a wonderful art exhibition at the Scarab Club in Detroit that just opened......
Aaaahhhhhhhh, Sheree?
I think you are doing just fine!! LOL