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


Erika Allison said...

You've provided PROOF that artists are packrats for good reason! The rest of the world seems to find this trait a negative thing. We know better! And, your project looks like a hit!

artjas said...


Sheree Rensel said...

Isn't that right!!! It is so weird because I am a packrat but when it comes to my house and studio I'm a neat, freak too. This is a difficult combination. I organize things so well and pack so tightly, I cause myself frustration trying to find something I have saved for ten years! My whole studio is full of weird, broken pieces of wood and odd metal parts. I keep them because as you know, there will come a time when you need them for that special piece of art.
The same goes for that old gallon of thick glue. I have looked at it every time I walk into my studio and have been tempted to just toss it. However, yesterday I used it all gone making my batches of "GOOP". It is going to a good cause after all these years!!
Thanks so much for reading and commenting! I truly appreciate it!

Sheree Rensel said...

LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL When I saw this comment this morning, I laughed out loud. You hit the nail on the head. Yesterday after writing this post, I realized SHEREE IS BACK! Actually, I never went anywhere. I just had to sort some things out in my head and heart. I realize now, I am not going to worry about all the trials and tribulations going on. I am just going to keep doing what I do and do well. I remembered this morning, the CREAM always rises to the top!
P.S. Thank you SO MUCH for the sweet email you sent to me the other day. You touched my heart!
Thank you!

bob ragland said...

Hey Sheree, Good blog stuff as usual.

I have a new email address-
Please test it.


williamhessian said...

enjoyable blog. i like what you are doing with it. dr. seuss is a constant inspiration. that goo looks greats