Something Blue

‘Tis the season of Fall weddings and various celebrations abound.
That has nothing to do with what I made. I guess since what I made is predominantly blue….well, I’ve never claimed my mind to be a one tracked kind of place.
It’s been a while, but recently I’ve been inspired to do work that I am interested in or excited about. Don’t miss understand, I love my job teaching, but, at the end of the day, I miss working on my own ideas. Trying to guide between 25-32 students to find their creative voice and to be successful in their work is tiring to say the least. By the end of the day, I really just want to sit down, stare at a wall, and hope my cat doesn’t try to smother me.


She’s tried before….

The last few weeks have been pretty great though, despite the constant frustration of feeling like you are doing your best, trying to do the right thing, and it just not working out.

Why can’t it just work out?!

Finally, after much thought, I’ve decided to try and make myself follow the advice of the amazing Jim Foose (Robert Foose to those who want to look up this amazing artist, teacher, and friend of mine) and treat my art making as a job. A job where I set my hours and expectations, but a job none the less. So, looking in my box of shirts I’ve planned on using as parts of mixed media pieces, I cut out a printed TARDIS and got to work.

I didn’t plan the composition so much as I just played with the materials. Starting off, I reduced the size of the TARDIS (realizing not everyone may know what the TARDIS is, it’s the Doctor’s mode of transportation in Doctor Who. The acronym stands for Time And Relative Dimension In Space) and cut it apart. I then arranged the pieces slightly apart, adhering them to the canvas with paint. I then just kept layering colors on top. The result thus far is this:
This is a bit further away from the start of the project which looked like….

I like where this is going, but I’m looking to add some text to the background as a final detail.

It’s just nice to be “working” again.


Brad’s First Experiment with the Bamboo Splash

Brad's First Experiment with the Bamboo Splash

For Christmas I gave Brad a drawing tablet called the Bamboo Splash. This is his first creation, Squigy, the Christmas Squig. More creations to come!


Bamboo Splash Experiment 1 by Cryptotox

Bamboo Splash Experiment 1 by Cryptotox

Brad is at work so I played with his Christmas present! I mostly played around with the oil paint brush and the palette knife features. The background is roller brushed on and the bubbles are paint tubed. Further experiments to come!


Ready for School? Not Really

A student of mine that is in college did this portrait of me - it cheers me up. Thank you Brandon

It’s been a crazy week for me. I’ve been thrown into “back to school” mode due to a recent re-hire (last minute as usual), and I’m so excited to know I’ll be working with my kids another year. It’s hard being a teacher anyways, but when you teach Art your job feels as if it is always in flux. Due to funding cuts, other teachers that could teach your subject within their own, and testing requirements that schools have to meet, one can just never really know where they are going to be when one is not tenured.

This is where the test of Errant Easel will be for me. I’ll need to make sure I allow time for myself to be creative in another outlet other than teaching. I find myself already caught in a never ending search for one more interesting video to round out future lesson plans not even written while at the same time having an idea for an artwork and putting it off. I’ve decided for myself that life is too short to just focus on one area of it.

That happened to me before when I first got out of school. Work took over and by the end of it all, everything suffered for lack of differentiation. I can’t just worry about work because all the other areas will falter and I won’t be the teacher, or person, I want to be. A more holistic approach to life, career, and even love is better for me. If one area is ignored the other areas suffer. Believe me it’s not an intentional thing, it sorta just happens.

Too often it seems that we continually put off saying something or doing something because we can do it tomorrow. Now, I’m not talking about not getting milk or mowing the yard. In my own life it seems as if decisions get put off, dreams get put off, life itself gets put off because tomorrow sounds better than possibly being upset today. I hate that I’m guilty of that. I’m going to do my best to change that way of thinking in myself. If I think I’ll be a better teacher for it, I KNOW I’ll be a better fiance’ for it, a better daughter and sister for it – I’ll just be a better person for it. If things don’t work out the way I would like, it won’t be for lack of trying. This is a promise to myself and a hope for a great school year all wrapped in a confusing ball, but it’s been a confusing day or so.

When I started this blog, I had no intention of getting too deep or rambling on. A quick note about school starting and my getting ready to do it and make Art. While I was working, I found out a student of mine had passed away. He was going to be a freshman in high school this year. Now, I didn’t know him very well, but we had a really good nine weeks together. I thought he was funny and hated seeing him waste his potential by being a goof off and staying in trouble. I don’t even know really what happened to him, and won’t until I go to his visitation, but it doesn’t matter. He’s gone, and that’s all I can think about. My mind doesn’t just stop there though. It goes from how sad it is that he is gone, to how sad it is so many people I know are gone. Then I feel bad because this is a lesson I re-learn each time someone I care about dies and I can’t seem to retain it: life is precious and not a given, make the most of each day.

So here I am – sad for a life gone and afraid of a life wasted. I hate that my other kids (students) are upset and I can’t help them. There is really nothing I can say, but I can be there if they need me. Hopefully I’ll learn the lesson and not dwell on the bad things, of varying degrees, that happen throughout the day. I’ll remember that tomorrow’s not given as a promise, but as a possibility. I’ll just remember that everything has importance, it’s about choosing what’s the most important to you and being balanced. There is too much to think about now, and if I let it have a toehold, I can’t stop myself from crying.