Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Arctic Light ~ A Time Lapse Video

The Arctic Light from TSO Photography on Vimeo.

From Vimeo:

Follow me on for more photos, videos & updates.

This was filmed between 29th April and 10th May 2011 in the Arctic, on
the archipelago Lofoten in Norway.

My favorite natural phenomenon is one I do not even know the name of, even after talking to meteorologists and astrophysicists I am none the wiser.What I am talking about I have decided to call The Arctic Light and it is a natural phenomenon occurring 2-4 weeks before you can see the Midnight Sun.

The Sunset and Sunrise are connected in one magnificent show of color and light lasting from 8 to 12 hours. The sun is barely going below the horizon before coming up again. This is the most colorful light that I know, and the main reason I have been going up there for the last 4 years, at the exact same time of year, to photograph. Based on previous experience, I knew this was going to be a very difficult trip. Having lost a couple of cameras and some other equipment up there before, it was crucial to bring an extra set of everything. I also
made sure I had plenty of time in case something went wrong.
If you can imagine roping down mountain cliffs, or jumping around on slippery rocks covered in seaweed with 2 tripods, a rail, a controller,
camera, lenses, filters and rigging for 4-5 hour long sequences at a time, and then
having to calculate the rise and fall of the tides in order to capture the essence - it all proved bit of a challenge.

And almost as if planned, the trip would turn out to become very
difficult indeed. I had numerous setbacks including: airline lost my
luggage, struggling to swim ashore after falling into the Arctic sea: twice, breaking lenses, filters, tripod, computer, losing the whole dolly rig and controller into the sea, and even falling off a rather tall rock and ending
up in the hospital. As much as I wanted to give up, the best way Out is
always “Through”. I am glad I stuck it through though because there were some amazing sunrises waiting. At 1:06 you see a single scene from day to night to day which is from 9pm to 7am. Think about that for a minute.. 10 hours with light like that.

I asked the very talented Marika Takeuchi to specifically compose and
perform a song for this movie, and what she came up with is absolutely remarkable. Thank you very much Marika!

Follow Facebook:
Follow Twitter:
Follow Google+:

Music: "The Arctic Light" by Marika Takeuchi
Buy it on iTunes

William Kentridge

Stories are told in many ways: written, visual, theatrical, musical. Through film and performance, William Kentridge creates visual narratives that explore both personal and universal themes. Kentridge suffuses difficult historical moments, including the exodus of the Jews from Czarist Russia, with the intimacy of his own lived experience such as the period of apartheid in South Africa. Kentridge’s animated films, History of the Main Complaint (1996) and Johannesburg, 2nd Greatest City After Paris (1991), blend personal and fictional elements. Each film depicts the conditions provoked by apartheid and reflect the brutality of this period in South African history.

* How do films and animation lend themselves to storytelling and narrative differently than a drawing, painting, or sculpture does?

* How does art investigate the past? How do artists interpret history in new ways?

Source: Art21

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Critique

Tips for Speaking

* Give first impressions.
* Make guesses. Ask questions.
* Say what you see.
* Do not judge or say rude things.
* Describe, analyze and interpret.
* Be RESPECTFUL. Don't say anything to others that would hurt their feelings.

Things to discuss about the artwork:

1. What stands out the most when you first see it? Explain the reason you notice it first.

2. What details interest you and why?

3. What seems important? Why?

4. How has color been used?

5. Where in the painting did the artist display great craftsmanship?

6. What do you think the artist's concept is? Why?

7. How were the techniques we learned in class used?

8. What interests you about this artwork?


Constructive Criticism

So that we may improve as artists, we ask others for their constructive criticism. The point of constructive criticism is to point out, in a kind way, things that the artist may consider doing to make their artwork better.

* Avoid at all costs put-downs, negativity and rude comments.

* Constructive criticism is specific.

* The best way to approach constructive criticism is to start with something you like in the artwork and then move to what can be improved.

The critique provides a chance for us to view each others artwork, to celebrate our accomplishments and to receive suggestions that can help us improve ourselves as artists. Let's have a great critique on Friday!

Quote o' the Week

How it works:
Read the quotes below and write about how one (or more) applies to your life or how you can learn from it (10 points)


Make a visual representation of a quote - drawing, painting, etc. (5 to 100 points depending on quality and effort)

The Quotes:
"Never look down on anybody unless you're helping him up."
~ Jesse Jackson

"When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people."
~ Abraham Joshua Heschel

"The most important trip you may take in life is meeting people halfway."
~ Henry Boye

Carpet Weaving in Morocco

My college friend, Terra, spent two years in the Peace Corps working on an extraordinary project that has touched the lives of many women and families in Morocco. This project is art-related and I thought some of you might want to watch the video that she has made about it. The carpets that the women weave are not only made from materials that come from their surroundings, but they are also extremely vibrant and unique. I hope you enjoy this video!

About the project:

The Moroccan Carpet Caravan in the summer of 2012 will bring 2 carpet weavers and their translator from The Valley of the Roses in Morocco to The Land of Enchantment, Bean Town, the Land of 101 Lakes, and The Crescent City in the USA (New Mexico, Boston, Steuben County Indiana, and New Orleans) for a variety of carpet art events such as weaving workshops, artist talks, carpet exhibitions and cross cultural presentations.

Many of the rural weavers from this valley in Morocco are cave dwelling nomads and subsistence farmers. They may never have been to a formal school or even know how to turn pages in a book or how to use pencils, yet they are creating visual masterpieces of carpet art and maintaining an incredibly rich indigenous culture that make us question many of our Western stereotypes. Beyond the artistic accomplishment of the rag rugs and interdisciplinary art dialogue they encourage, this is a unique opportunity for conversations to take place between American and Moroccan women. The events are special opportunities for Americans to learn from those directly affected by the current political situation across North Africa and the climate of Islamic - Christian relations across the USA and Middle East. The events also will advance the rural Moroccan weavers goals by introducing their artisan products to a new market and, therefore, offer forms of economic independence for women from the developing world.

Mouhou Boussine and Kibira Ait Karrou (the weaving talent), the translator, and “Touria” (the American roadie/manager) start out in New Orleans for two weeks of events at the Ashe Cultural Arts Center that has received support and partial funding from the Arts Council of New Orleans. Mouhou and Kibira will offer carpet weaving workshops, an extensive carpet exhibition and sale and cross cultural presentations that will directly connect North African weavers with African American artists in New Orleans and the community.

The carpet caravan will then travel to Boston where we have been invited to mount a two-month exhibition at Fort Point Arts Community. The exhibition, titled Fallen Cave Paintings: Mouhou, Touria, and Zahra, shows carpets, photographs and video of Terra and the carpets of her two Moroccan carpet weaving mentors Zahra, a cave dwelling nomad, and Mouhou, a subsistence farmer. Referencing Linda Benglass's "fallen paintings," evoking prehistoric cave paintings, and pairing the ancient art of carpet weaving with video and works on paper, this exhibition shows work that is created outside of the traditional gallery environment, attempts to break down the hierarchy of the contemporary art world/art education/art market, and rearranges the common gallery space onto the floor. A very special artist talk by Mouhou will be offered along with carpet weaving classes on wooden looms.

Then, the group will travel to Shipshewana, Indiana (Terra's hometown) via Amtrak where the carpet weavers will have quilt making classes with an Amish quilter and have a rest during a home stay in an Amish family.

Finally, the carpet weavers will continue to the Santa Fe International Folk Arts Market in New Mexico (application pending). They will exhibit and sell their carpets at the largest international folk arts market in the USA during the two day event with over 150 other artisans from all around the world.

Four weeks later, in mid-July and after the multi-city tour has been completed, the weavers and translators will return to their homes in Morocco just in time for the commencement of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting and prayer.

Terra Fuller was a US Peace Corps volunteer for 27 months in their village where she worked with the weaving association to develop its artisan and small business skills. She learned to speak Tashelheit and experienced deep friendships with the women. We have received partial funding from The Arts Council of New Orleans but in order to make these events happen, we need your financial and morale support! We already have passport fees, visa fees, international airfare, and lodging in New Orleans. The additional funding through Kickstarter will pay for lodging in Boston, carpet shipping, small daily stipend to the weavers, and ground (and some air) transportation between cities. I thank you and the weavers say, “Sa’ha bzaaf!!”

This is my friend Terra. This photo is of her with Eveline and Anna. She is currently working in Namibia working with basket weavers. Terra helps them develop income through their traditional crafts so they have money for education and healthcare. One out of four people in Namibia has HIV and girls often get pregnant by 14 and drop out of school.

Terra's life exemplifies the quote:
"You must be the change you want to see in the world."
~ Mahatma Gandhi

Monday, November 21, 2011

Quote o' the Week

How it works:
Read the quotes below and write about how one (or more) applies to your life or how you can learn from it (10 points)


Make a visual representation of a quote - drawing, painting, etc. (5 to 100 points depending on quality and effort)

The Quotes:

"To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting."
~ e.e. cummings, 1955

"It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are."
~ e.e. cummings

"Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life; define yourself."
~ Harvey Fierstein

"Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for the truth."
~ Benjamin Disraeli

"Like the sky opens after a rainy day we must open to ourselves.... Learn to love yourself for who you are and open so the world can see you shine."
~ James Poland

"It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for something you are not."
~ Andre Gide

"Once conform, once do what others do because they do it, and a kind of lethargy steals over all the finer senses of the soul."
~ Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

Friday, November 18, 2011

Student Artwork ~ Computer Graphics Albums

Respect ~ Appropriate Language

Why? Why is it important to not use offensive words in class? We, as teachers and a school, are preparing you for the world. It is not appropriate to use words like "gay", "fag", "queer", "retarded" and so on in class or any other words that offend another person's race, nationality, religion, gender, class or so on. It is my job as a teacher to provide a learning environment that is peaceful, conducive to learning and sharing, a place where all feel welcome and where all students are respected. Please respect yourself and others by refraining from using offensive words, even in jest. Thank you for honoring my classroom and your classmates.

Thank you,
Ms. Burnell

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Reaching the Impossible: Chad Hymas

We were so honored to have CSP, CPAE Hall of Fame Speaker, Chad Hymas speak at Meeker High School today. His message was sincere and he touched on so many subjects that apply to each and every one of our students. Be kind to each other, make good decisions, honor yourselves and others, don't judge others, respect people that are different than yourselves, include everyone, make "that phone call", give it your all, don't give up... What did YOU get from today's assembly?

For more information on Chad, visit any of these websites:



Thank you, Chad Hymas, for sharing your amazing and touching story with us! You are truly an inspiration!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Computer Graphics: Wacom Tablet

For our Digital Painting Project we are using the super-dooper Wacom Tablet! Many creative professionals use the Wacom Tablet in their work. To learn more about the Wacom Tablet, visit their website: Wacom

Monday, November 14, 2011

Quote o' the Week

How it works:

Read the quotes below and write about how one (or more) applies to your life or how you can learn from it (10 points)


Make a visual representation of a quote - drawing, painting, etc. (5 to 100 points depending on quality and effort)

The quotes:

"Gratitude is the best attitude."
~ Author Unknown

"Gratitude is the least of the virtues, but ingratitude is the worst of vices."
~ Thomas Fuller

"The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you."
~ John E. Southard

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Yearbook - Story Writing

What’s Your Story?

Analyze your spread for storytelling quality considering all aspects of coverage and content.

Is the story meaningful to readers?

Have you included guys and girls; all grade levels; different cultures; and at least one person not covered in the book elsewhere? Is there a sense of relationship developed?

INTERESTING: Does the story offer “something for everyone” angles to content such as family, friends, faith, entertainment, etc?

INFORMATIONAL: Do details date the experience specifically for this year? Have you included facts and figures?

INSIGHTFUL: Are there unique angles of the story that compel readers to see something new or from a different perspective?

INTERACTIVE: Does an element on the spread make the reader “do something” like answer a question or match up items?

Is the story documented with facts, figures and feelings answering the 5Ws and H?

Who, What, Where, Why, When & How!

Do the words and pictures harmonize to tell the story without repeating stories?

Does a primary/secondary headline package capture and keep readers’ attention with story highlights and cool words?

Does a single news feature or a combination of story packages present the story in an informative and entertaining way?

Do captions continue where the story of the photographs end giving readers the benefit of knowing the before/during/after of the pictured moments?

Does your collection of photos showcase the action, reaction, scrapbook moments and personality portraits of the activity or event story?

Have you captured the photo stories from single-subject, multi-subject and larger group perspectives?

If used, does artwork enhance the story with additional information and/or insights?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Photo Transfer & Mixed Media Steps


1. Spread an even layer of gel medium on a photocopy of your image.

2. Lay the image face down onto your canvas.

3. Rub a clean rib over the back of the photocopy.

4. With a clean and wet sponge, wet the back of the photocopy once.

5. Let the transfer dry overnight.

6. Gently rub the transfer with a wet sponge to peel away the paper. This may take several days. Be careful to not peel away the image.

PLEASE NOTE: Do NOT use images from the internet. Make sure you choose images that are clear and have contrast. Your artwork must have a narrative, focal point, symbolism and use the 2/3rds rule.


1. Take a palette knife and spread the modeling paste on top of your canvas.

2. Create desired texture.

3. Let the modeling paste dry before you paint.


If you want to create a hand-painted look over your photo transfer you can dilute the acrylic paint with water and paint over the transfer. The more water you add, the more the paint will appear like watercolor. You can also add paint, then put paper towels on top of the paint and pull off (see the red flowers for an example).

The horse in the picture below was traced using transfer paper. To use this technique you need transfer paper. If you will be tracing onto a light surface, use the black transfer paper. If you will be tracing onto a dark surface, use the white transfer paper.

1. Pick the image you will be tracing.

2. Lay the transfer paper, coated side down, onto your canvas.

3. Lay the image onto the the transfer paper.

4. Trace the image, outline only (no value/shading), with the end of a paintbrush or a pencil.

5. Remove and then paint over your lines.


Artwork by Miz Burnell
Copyright 2011

Artwork by Miz Burnell
Copyright 2011

Monday, November 7, 2011

Quote o' the Week

This week in our Pop Art lesson we discussed Jasper John's artwork. We see the flag every morning as we say the Pledge of Allegiance and yet, do we really SEE the flag? Do we contemplate it? We are often too caught up in other thoughts to really see what is around us. To really know, to observe, to appreciate, to understand. The artist observes, brings to light, forms ideas. That is why an artist's concept is so important. Your concept for your artwork is so important! Our quotes this week are about observing, seeing and imagination. I love these quotes!

How it works:

Read the quotes below and write about how one (or more) applies to your life or how you can learn from it (10 points)


Make a visual representation of a quote - drawing, painting, etc. (5 to 100 points depending on quality and effort)

The quotes:

"I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free."
~ Michelangelo

"A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral."
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Flight to Arras, 1942

"I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life's realities."
~ Theodore Geisel

"I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them."
~ Pablo Picasso

"Trust that little voice in your head that says "Wouldn't it be interesting if..." And then do it."
~ Duane Michals, "More Joy of Photography"

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed."
~ Albert Einstein

Friday, November 4, 2011

All about Color

Hue: Another word for color.

Primary Colors: Colors that you have to "buy" (you cannot "make" by mixing). Red, Yellow and Blue.

Secondary Colors: Colors that are made from primary colors. Green, Orange and Violet (purple).

Complementary Colors: Colors opposite of each other on the color wheel. When next to each other they "pop". When mixed they create brown.

Red and green (think Christmas)
Blue and orange (think Broncos)
Yellow and purple (think Lakers)

Neutral Colors: Grays, browns, white and black.

Shades: A hue plus black.

Tints: A hue plus white. Pink, baby blue, peach...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Extra Credit: Jasper Johns and The Flag!

Read this exciting article about Jasper Johns and the flag. It even has references to The Simpsons! I loved this article and so will you! Summarize this article in your own words. Remember the higher the quality, the more points. Easy extra credit!

Jasper Johns Article

Pop Art!

Eduardo Paolozzi
"I was a Rich Man's Plaything"


Pop Art is an art movement that emerged in the 1950s in the United States. Artists such as Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg took mass-produced visual material such as advertisements and images from television, newspapers and magazines and used them in their artwork. Other artists that are associated with the movement are Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein and Richard Hamilton.

The term "Pop Art" comes from two things:

1) Popular culture. Many of the artists involved in the movement used elements of popular culture in their artwork.

2) The word "pop". This word was displayed in the collaged artwork by Eduardo Paolozzi: I was a Rich Man's Plaything (1947). See the artwork above.

Please Note:
Many of the "pop artists" “appropriated” images to make a painting. Appropriation refers to the use of someone else’s art in their work. While you may "appropriate" in your artwork for this project, you MUST MAKE IT "YOUR OWN" AND make sure it is not copyrighted material!
WHY are you including it in your artwork?
What is YOUR message?

Andy Warhol

Robert Rauschenberg

Jasper Johns