Friday, March 23, 2012

New Student Work!

Happy Spring Break!

Frame of Mind from Steven Alan on Vimeo.

Have a lot of fun this spring break! I hope you get lots of rest, have a great time, and come back refreshed for the last stretch of school!

I got a teacup giraffe - Phil Hansen

Save the Date! Spring Art Show!

At Meeker High School we have lots of exciting events coming up! Prom, the dance recital and the play. We will also be having our Spring Art Show! The reception will take place from 4 pm - 6 pm on Saturday, May 12th. The historic Meeker Hotel has again graciously opened their doors to us for the art show. I look forward to seeing the artwork you have all worked so hard on displayed for the town of Meeker! Invite your family, invite your friends, and make sure you don't miss it!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

David Hockney and Photomontage

David Hockney's artwork, especially his photomontage work, has been especially influenced by the cubist works of Pablo Picasso. Trying to capture all angles of a subject, as Picasso did in his cubist paintings, Hockney produced visually captivating artwork.


Photomontage Project Requirements

1. Use the rule of thirds when placing your subject/focal point.

2. Correct exposures on photos (aperture, shutter speed and ISO).

3. Minimum of 20 images of the same subject, taken at different angles.

4. Be creative! Will all your images be in black and white? A mix of color and black and white? Will you change the colors of the images? Will you use borders on your photos?

5. Use a 16"x20" canvas (copy and paste and rotate images onto the canvas.


7. Turn in both the PSD file and a flattened JPG.

Meet Dr. Brock

Meet Dr. Brock from Vanessa Tam on Vimeo.

My brother's name is Brock! After watching this film, guess what my brother's nickname is!

Info:Venessa Tam's senior year thesis film at Sheridan College.

Directed by: Vanessa Tam
Sound Design by: John Diemer

New Student Work!

Examples of Clay Masks

Salif Keita

Salif Keita - Seydou from DEEN INC on Vimeo.

Since we are learning about masks from all over the world, I thought it would be interesting to include some contemporary African music. I was introduced to Salif Keita by a friend in college. I have been listening to, and loving, his music ever since! He is a singer and songwriter from Mali. He has albinism (lack of skin pigment) which in his culture meant that he had "bad luck". Under the caste system in the Mali Empire, he should never have become a musician. However, his talent and dedication has made him well-known world wide!

Here is an excerpt describing his latest album and the meaning behind his music:
Keita's latest album, La Différence, was produced around the end of 2009. The work is dedicated to the struggle of the world albino community (victims of human sacrifice), for which Keita has been crusading all his life. In one of the album's tracks, the singer calls others to understand that "difference" does not mean "bad" and to show love and compassion towards albinos like everyone else: "I am black/ my skin is white / so I am white and my blood is black [albino] /... I love that because it is a difference that's beautiful..", "some of us are beautiful some are not / some are black some are white / all that difference was on purpose.. for us to complete each other / let everyone get his love and dignity/the world will be beautiful."

Source: Wikipedia

Art I Mask Requirements

Please note that this written work replaces your art proposal. :-)

1. Research Masks: Research and write about masks from three different cultures. Please include a visual of each mask you are writing about and include your source. When writing about the mask, be sure to include the following information:
* Country and Culture
* Purpose of mask
* Are these masks still made?
* Materials mask is made of

2. In the same document write one to three sentences about the mask you will create. What will it look like? Will you be able to wear it? What function will it serve? What forms and textures will you use? Facial expression? Symbolism?

Turn the document into the Share Drive.

3. For your mask you will need the following:
At least three forms
At least three textures
At least one symbolic element
Excellent craftsmanship

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Benin Ivory Mask (African)

African Masks

Halloween Masks

Venetian Masks

Holy Week Mask - Mexico

Mexican Mask

Beijing Opera Mask

African Mask

Tibetan Mask

Mask Information

We wear different masks for different relationships.
In essence, everyone sees a “mask” of us, because nobody knows what we’re really thinking except us.


by: Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906)

We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes--
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile
And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be over-wise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us while
We wear the mask.

We smile, but oh great Christ, our cries
To Thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask!

Research Paul Laurence Dunbar. What is he speaking of when he refers to "the mask"?

To Come Home

To Come Home from Mark & Angela Walley on Vimeo.

In this short film an artist discusses his life and artwork. This is a great opportunity to view an artist at work, an artist's studio/art school and to listen to a description of a meaningful art concept.

Inspired by both his family and his home in Hawaii, ceramic artist Ryan Takaba creates work for his Mums and Water series. This documentary was produced in association with Southwest School of Art. Learn more about their BFA program at Learn more about the artist at

Sketch Travel

SketchTravel from Curio on Vimeo.

This animated short was created as a part of Sketchtravel project which is an international charity art project where one red sketchbook was passed around between 71 artists around the globe for 4 and half years.

The original Sketchbook was sold for 70,000 Euros ($96,200 US) and its entire proceeds will go towards building libraries in the third world countries in partnership with a child literacy non profit Room to Read.

For more info, please go to

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Capitol Christmas Tree Ornaments

This year the 2012 Capitol Christmas Tree will be chosen from Meeker, Colorado! We have been asked to send in hand made Christmas Ornaments to decorate this tree. What an honor!

We will be using our first clay project to create the ornaments. The ornaments (greenware) should be completed by Friday, although we will be starting our next lesson on Thursday.

We will be using score and slip and texture to create the ornaments. Make sure your inner wall is no more than 1" thick in any area and that you poke a hole in the bottom to release air and a form a semi-circle to attach the hook.

The theme for the ornaments is "Celebrating Our Great Outdoors." Ornaments should be between 3 and 7 inches in height and no more than 1/2 pound in weight.

Capitol Christmas Tree Official Site

Capitol Christmas Tree

Forget Me Not

Forget Me Not from Mew Lab on Vimeo.

Monday, March 19, 2012


How To Make A Brilliant Film - We Are What We Do from 12foot6 on Vimeo.

Quote o' the Week

"I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for."
~ Georgia O'Keeffe

"Art is when you hear a knocking from your soul - and you answer."
~ Terri Guillemets

"Art is like a border of flowers along the course of civilization."
~ Lincoln Steffens

Stars as Viewed from the International Space Station

The Stars as Viewed from the International Space Station. from AJRCLIPS on Vimeo.



Timelapse videos depicting the stars from low earth orbit, as viewed from the International Space Station. Images edited using Adobe Lightroom with some cropping to make the stars the focal point of each shot, and with manipulation of the contrast to bring out the stars a bit more.

First sequence star-trails processed using StarStaX:

Music: "Truck out There" by London PM.
Editing by Alex Rivest

Timelapses and images courtesy: The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth. The Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center. One of NASA's best outreach programs, in my opinion.

Dedicated to those who dream of exploring the solar system, and those who are sharing their experiences while doing it.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Stop Motion Deadlines

Script and Storyboards - March 19th
Background and prop assembly - April 6th (one week - remember we get a week off for spring break)
Character creation - April 13th
First 5 seconds (120 shots/photos) - April 27th
30 seconds (720 shots/photos) - May 11th
Editing of images/animation - May 18th
Addition of sound effects and/or music - May 23rd
Addition of end credits - May 24th
Completely edited animation - May 25th

This project will be a great way to work cooperatively with your peers (and have fun while at it). However, for us to accomplish our goal, we must make sure we are 100% on task and that everyone is doing their part. The deadlines above are when a certain element is due, to keep everyone on track. However, if you want to assign two people to create your characters, two people to create the background and two people to create props, this may be a great way to use your time and resources.

Remember when you start shooting to mark where the tripod will be located, as well as mark where your shots are taken so you can have the exact frame as the previous day. If you need help with anything, just ask!

Have a great weekend!

The Move ~ Paper Animation

The Move, Paper Animation from Mandy Smith on Vimeo.

A short story inspired by moving in Amsterdam, illustrated through paper.

Lomography Spinner 360 Review

Lomography Spinner 360 Review! from Kert Gartner on Vimeo.

For all of you photography fans, here is a fun film camera that allows you to take panoramic shots anywhere! This photographer's blog also details how to process and scan the film. Check it out!

Pigeon Pilfer ~ Stop Motion Animation

Pigeon Pilfer from Michael Stevenson on Vimeo.

Pigeon Pilfer is Michael Stevenson's 2008 senior film from San Francisco State University. It was completed in four months with sixty pounds of clay, a digital SLR camera, and one tiny room.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Rule of Thirds

Rule of thirds from Jayne Whitelock on Vimeo.

In our classes learned about, and continually use, the rule of thirds. Here is a video tutorial explaining the rule of thirds. Photography, animation, film, painting, printmaking, drawing: the rule of thirds applies to all!

BLM Art Contest!

In 2012, the BLM is commemorating the 200th anniversary of the General Land Office and the 150th anniversary of the Homestead Act. As part of the commemoration, Kyle Sullivan created an interactive timeline on American History and the role that public lands played in developing our country. The timeline is tied to state education standards for history, geography, economics, reading and writing. In conjunction with the timeline, the BLM, the Public Lands Foundation and the Center of the American West will host a juried art contest for Colorado high school students.

The art contest is open to all art, including but not limited to: animation, sculpture, painting, drawing, dance, photography and graphic design. The art will be judged in three categories with each first place winner receiving $500 cash. Winning entries will be displayed at the General Land Office Symposium/Student Congress in Boulder, CO, Sept. 11-14. Winning entries will also be featured on BLM Colorado’s website.

Information about the art contest and entry forms can be found:
The deadline for submitting entries to the art contest is May 31, 2012.

Kyle Sullivan will be visiting our classes to go over this exciting contest and project!

Drawn Stop Motion - Music Video

Firekites - AUTUMN STORY - chalk animation from Lucinda Schreiber on Vimeo.

Firekites - AUTUMN STORY - Chalk animated music video directed by Lucinda Schreiber and Yanni Kronenberg.

Music available from Spunk Records

Another great Phil Hansen artwork

Storyboard Tutorial by Carleton Torpin

Chapter 2 - Storyboarding from Carleton Torpin on Vimeo.

Stop Motion Animation Requirements

1. At least 30 seconds of completely edited animation.

2. A complete and well thought out background/set.

3. Props.

4. Minimum of one developed character.

5. Plot/Theme/Climax/Storyline.

6. Voice over and/or sound effects.

7. At least three different shot angles (close up, panning, long shot, etc.)

8. Craftsmanship - Well-made characters, set, props. No "shaking"/movement in the movie. Smooth editing. Interesting story. Overall - BEST EFFORT.

9. Ending credits.

You will be graded on your individual effort as well as the final group project. Every person should be participating cooperatively. It's all about the teamwork! This should be loads of fun! Let's get started!

Making of 2011 a stop motion odyssey

Making of 2011 a stop-motion odyssey from Simon Gesrel on Vimeo.

Animation Tutorial by Carleton Torpin

Chapter 6 - Stop-Motion Animation from Carleton Torpin on Vimeo.

Coffee or Not - Dear Moon (animation)

Coffee or Not - Dear Moon (Official Video Clip) from PIKABOO on Vimeo.

Notice the animators creating the set in the beginning. As the animation progresses you are drawn into the story and the characters. Dissect the animation: What materials did they use to create the set and props? What is the storyline? Is symbolism used and how?

The video below is a time-lapse of how the video was created:

Coffee or Not - Dear Moon (Making of) from PIKABOO on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Craig & Walter

Craig & Walter (2005) from Kirsten Lepore on Vimeo.

Here is a quick stop-motion animation.

Break it down:

How important is character development?


Background, props, sound?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Making a set

Timelapse: Building set for "sweet dreams" from Kirsten Lepore on Vimeo.

Notice how the animator builds her set.

What is needed:

Ground area
Background (sky, buildings, forest?)
Details (buildings, trees, benches, houses, etc.)

We can make our sets out of paper, clay, found objects or other materials found in the art room. Let's use our imaginations and create some great sets for our films!

Information on animator:

Timelapse by Kirsten Lepore

One photo taken every 30 seconds for 3.3 hours during the construction of "beach set 1" for the animated film "sweet dreams"

Music - "Magnum Opus" by Thrust Lab

Cinematic Terminology

We will be using this terminology and these techniques while creating our stop-motion animations.

When we create art, we "compose" the images visually within the frame. The same is true with animation. However, since multiple views and angles are used to give visual interest, we have names for them:

Aerial Shot: A shot taken from a crane, plane, or helicopter. Not necessarily a moving shot.

Bridging Shot: A shot used to cover a jump in time or place or other discontinuity. Examples are falling calendar pages, railroad wheels, newspaper headlines, and seasonal changes

Extreme Long Shot: A panoramic view of an exterior location photographed from a considerable distance, often as far as a quarter-mile away. May also serve as the establishing shot.

Fade in:
A punctuation device. The screen is black at the beginning; gradually the image appears, brightening to full strength. The opposite happens in the fade out

Dollying: A tracking shot or zoom which follows the subject as it moves.

Master Shot: A long take of an entire scene, generally a relatively long shot that facilitates the assembly of component closer shots and details. The editor can always fall back on the master shot: consequently, it is also called a cover shot.

Medium Shot:
A shot intermediate between a close-up and a full shot.

Pan: (abbreviation of panorama) Movement of the camera from left to right or right to left around the imaginary vertical axis that runs through the camera. A panning shot is sometimes confused with a tracking shot.

Point of view shot:
(Often abbreviated as 'pov'). A shot which shows the scene from the specific point of view of one of the characters.

Pull back shot: A tracking shot or zoom that moves back from the subject to reveal the context of the scene.

Visual Grammar | The 4 Basic Elements | The Big Picture from Birth of Image on Vimeo.

Other important terminology:

Camera Angle:
The angle at which the camera is pointed at the subject: Low High Tilt

Cut: The splicing of 2 shots together. this cut is made by the film editor at the editing stage of a film. Between sequences the cut marks a rapid transition between one time and space and another, but depending on the nature of the cut it will have different meanings.

Continuity cuts: These are cuts that take us seamlessly and logically from one sequence or scene to another. This is an unobtrusive cut that serves to move the narrative along.

Deep focus: A technique in which objects very near the camera as well as those far away are in focus at the same time.

Editing: Editing refers literally to how shots are put together to make up a film. Traditionally a film is made up of sequences or in some cases, as with avant-garde or art cinema, or again, of successive shots that are assembled in what is known as collision editing, or montage.

Flashback: A scene or sequence (sometime an entire film), that is inserted into a scene in "present" time and that deals with the past. The flashback is the past tense of the film.

Flash-forward: On the model of the flashback, scenes or shots of future time; the future tense of the film.

Focus: The sharpness of the image. A range of distances from the camera will be acceptably sharp. Possible to have deep focus, shallow focus. Focus in, focus out: a punctuation device whereby the image gradually comes into focus or goes out of focus.

Framing: The way in which subjects and objects are framed within a shot produces specific readings. Size and volume within the frame speak as much as dialogue. So too do camera angles. Thus, for example, a high-angle extreme long shot of two men walking away in the distance, (as in the end of Jean Renoir's La Grande Illusion, 1937) points to their vulnerability - they are about to disappear, possibly die. Low angle shots in medium close-up on a person can point to their power, but it can also point to ridicule because of the distortion factor.

Scene: A complete unit of film narration. A series of shots (or a single shot) that takes place in a single location and that deals with a single action. Sometimes used interchangeably with sequence.

Shot: In terms of camera distance with respect to the object within the shot, there are basically 7 types of shots;

* extreme close-up
* close-up
* medium close-up
* medium shot
* medium long shot
* long shot
* extreme long shot or distance shot

* Source: Wikipedia

Writing the script for your stop-motion animation

A Script Should Contain:

- Short character descriptions
- Dialogue
- Words to describe how dialogue should be spoken (ex. angrily)
- Actions/movement
- Sound effects
- Description of how the scenes will be framed (close up, long shot, panning, etc.)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Equipment Needed for Animation by Carleton Topin

Chapter 1 - Gear from Carleton Torpin on Vimeo.

We're in luck! We have two out of three of the basic items needed. What are we missing? Hmmmm...

Quote o' the Week

"I don't care how much power, brilliance or energy you have, if you don't harness it and focus it on a specific target, and hold it there you're never going to accomplish as much as your ability warrants."
~ Zig Ziglar

"The best angle from which to approach any problem is the try-angle."
~ Author Unknown

"How am I going to live today in order to create the tomorrow I'm committed to?"
~ Anthony Robbins

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Contemporary Ceramic Sculptor - Bill Abright

Bill Abright

Explore Bill Abright's website:

Bill Abright compliments of his website:

Bill Abright

Bill Abright
The Three P's Plague (Pestilence and Pollution)

Bill Abright
The Mariner

Bill Abright
Old Growth

Bill Abright
Bird Watcher

Throughout the year, we have been discussing concepts, as well as how to write an artist's statement. Enjoy viewing this amazing artist's artwork, and read his artist's statement as well.

Bill Abright's Artist's Statement:

"The twist of an individual’s imagination is one trait that accounts for our different perceptions of reality. As a child I would fall asleep seeing faces in the woodgrain wallpaper of my bedroom. Throughout my education artists who were unique in their approach to creating unusual and somewhat dark work inspired me. From the writings of Edger Allen Poe to early monster movies, I have always been interested in the things of Art and life that are mysterious and unusual. Heironymous Bosch’s and Giuseppi Archemboldo’s bizarre paintings, Leonardo Da Vinci’s grotesque faces and the bold expressions of Francisco Goya make it clear to me that “Art” does not have to be tame stuff. Later, I was attracted to the surrealists for their pulsing atmospheric landscapes and to Francis Bacon, for his gutsy emotionally twisted portraits. I became interested in psychology, the Rorschach inkblot test, caves, and Mauritz Escher’s reversals of space and form. For the last 32 years, I have been teaching Art and producing ceramic sculpture in an abstracted figurative style. I work with graphite on paper for the directness of process while I love working with clay for its skinlike plasticity and pyromanic produced permanence."

Bill Abright in his studio

Ceramics Basics


Low Fire Clay is usually for form (or sculpture)

High Fire Clay is usually for function (dishes or outdoor sculpture)

Why? Earthenware clays (low fire) melt at such low temperatures that they seldom become fully vitrified. Because of this, the fired piece will continue to absorb liquids.


Vitrified: To change a substance so it becomes glass or a glassy substance, usually through heat fusion.

Clay: Alumina + silica + water


Wedging: A method of kneading clay to prepare it for use. Wedging presses the air bubbles out of the clay. If you have air bubbles in your clay it will explode during firing.

Leather Hard:
Stage of the clay between plastic and bone dry. Clay is still damp enough to join it to other pieces using slip. For example, this is the stage handles are applied to mugs.

Bone Dry: Completely air dried.

Greenware: This refers to ceramic ware that has not been fired.

Firing: This is the process of heating the pottery to a specific temperature in order to bring about a particular change in the
clay or the surface. Clay is fired in a kiln. Do NOT touch the kiln!

Bisque: The term bisque refers to ceramic ware that has been fired once without glaze.

Glaze: A glass-like surface coating for ceramics that is used to decorate and seal the pores of the fired clay.


Score and Slip:
Score and slip refers to a method of joining two pieces of clay together. First, score the clay; this means that you make scratches in the surfaces that will be sticking together. Then you slip it; that is you wet the surface with some slip, using it like glue. Next, you press the two pieces together. It is very important to always score and slip clay that is leather hard. If you do not, the pieces will likely pop apart when they are fired.

Coil: This is the technique of building ceramic forms by rolling out coils, or ropes, of clay and joining them together with the fingers or a tool.

Pinch: "Pinch" in ceramics is a method of shaping clay by inserting the thumb of one hand into the clay and lightly pinching with the thumb and fingers while slowly rotating the ball in the palm of the other hand.
Pots made in this manner are called "pinch pots".

Handbuilding: This term refers to the one of several techniques of building pots using the only the hands and simple tools rather than the potters wheel.

Molding: In this technique, flat slabs of clay are pressed into molds in order to create various shapes or forms.

Throwing on the Potters Wheel: A device with either a manual (foot powered) or an electric rotating wheel head used to sit at and make pottery forms. Potters create vases, pots, bowls, platters and so on by throwing on the potters wheel.


1. Put excess clay in a bowl. At the end of the class period wedge the clay and put back into your bag. If clay is excessively wet you may put it on the plaster for the class period and put it in the bag at the end of class.

2. Clean your area by scraping off clay from the table.

3. Finish cleaning your work area by using a sponge to wipe the table off.

4. Scrape clay off of your hands and put into your bag or the large clay bin.

5. Rinse remaining clay off of your hands in the bucket.

6. AFTER you have gotten the clay off in the water bucket THEN you can wash your hands in the sink.

7. Put tools and materials away.



Students that clean up improperly will be assigned to cleaning up the whole room.

6th Period is to dump the water bucket 5 minutes prior to the end of class each day.

1st Period is to put fresh water in the bucket every day.


Demo on throwing first

Students will sign up to throw a pot. Each student will have 3 to 7 class periods to throw, depending on class size and wheel availability. Throwing a pot may count as a project, but is not required due to lack of sufficient number of wheels. So if you are interested in throwing, please try it!

THROWING: COPS = Center, Open, Pull, Shape.
Once leather hard you trim the bottom.

Project One: Musical Spheres or Christmas Ornament for Washington Tree Project
Score and Slip

Project Two: Subtractive Sculpture
Negative and Positive Space

Project Three: Mask
Score and Slip

Project Four: Vessel Construction
Hand building
Score and Slip

It's important to never have clay over 1" thick and that there are no air bubbles in the clay! Enclosed sculptures MUST have a hole to let out hot air. If the clay is too thick or there are air bubbles in the clay, it will EXPLODE during firing! This will ruin not only your work of art, but everyone else's as well.
If your work explodes you must redo the assignment and apologize to everyone else that had damage done to their artwork.

Each student will get 25 pounds of clay (one bag).

This is enough to finish all of your projects.

Do not punch or poke holes into your clay.

Wrap back up after each use!

Clean up your work area every day!

Students no responsible with clay usage will be assigned to other projects for the rest of the semester.