Fall Art Enrichment

St Andrew1
I enjoyed a 4th season of the 8-week after school art enrichment program at St. Andrew Nativity School. We, a group of nine: 6th, 7th and 8th grade and a high school helper, started with observational drawing that addressed a light source and cast shadow using strong contrasting shapes. Next we tried a multi-step project that experimented with a new powdered watercolor pigments and a spray bottle.Students struggled through a free draw, had some fun with basic animated flip books and then learned some illustration techniques.

Expressive Charcoal Drawing

I had a great group of students at the Gregory Heights Library. While the class was titled expressive charcoal drawing I typically form fit my teaching to the group. When I started teaching my intention was to bring forth a bit of the studio practice. As artists we are constantly influenced by everything around us. For many students the idea of free expression is learning basics of drawing to express what is in their minds eye or in this case in the mirror. I often bring a mirror for each student-as subject matter most people have looked at their own face more than anything. I let students try and choose from a variety of paper textures and colors as well as a mix of charcoal pencils, vine, stick and blocks. The students did excellent work.


Who Am I? Now showing on the 3rd floor of the North Portland Library

St. Andrew Nativity School, Oregon’s only tuition-free private middle school, partnered with local artist Joanne Radmilovich Kollman for a portrait project titled “Who Am I?” Kollman was awarded a Regional Arts & Culture Council Arts-In-Schools project grant. This allowed 26 8th grade students, to work directly with Kollman, a local professional portrait artist, to create individual self-portraits as well as a collaborative work of art on repurposed panels.

Last Monday Night at the artist’s reception for the St. Andrew Nativity School 8th graders, students had an opportunity to talk about their painting process. Jarod and his mother told about their ancestor Emiliano Zapata who was the main leader for the peasant farmers in the Mexican revolution. This student discussed his pride in his heritage and his passion for modeling his self portrait after his great grandfather.





Homeroom teacher Ms. Petticrew brought her new baby girl and students and teachers gathered in front of the group project created with artist Chris Haberman.

Art In The Schools Grant

I am pleased to announce that I was awarded a Arts In Schools project grant to work with the St. Andrew Nativity School 8th grade class on a portrait project, “Who am I” in 2015. We will mount several neighborhood exhibits giving the school visibility and providing students with a rich arts experience.

I have been working with these students for that past 2 years in their after school enrichment program. In this program a few students have just 1 hour to set up, make art and clean up once a week for 8 sessions twice a year. Thank you Regional Arts and Culture Council for creating an opportunity for students to really engage in the process of making and showing art.

Portrait Art Camp

Valley Catholic
The group

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LINE, SHAPE, VALUE, some TEXTURE, and a little COLOR were the themes for the week as students learned to identify how to ORGANIZE, CLARIFY and ENERGIZE the picture space.

Students were tuned in to learning to see. It is a hard habit to break to teach people to look and draw. They create habits of spending far to much time looking at the picture they are drawing. There is a time for that but it is most certainly not in the organizing and the clarifying in a realistic and representational painting or drawing.

This week long portrait art camp was the brainchild of Sr. Krista Von Borstel. Together Kollman and Von Borstel collaborated over the past year to identify and create the essence of Kollman’s portrait art practice. 30 plus years of experience culminated into what Kollman coined as art boot camp for kids, hopefully providing them with at the very least with the awareness of the structural foundation to art making.

“I have a clay animation background and with Sr. Krista’s art and Industrial Design background the wheels are turning for what might be in store for next year”

“My students created watercolor paintings of the main building out at Valley Catholic. I’m planning a Plein air outing some morning around 8am…stay tuned.”

“The pool a definite plus for an art camp. Students were able to have a daily swim break”

“Working within the school year classroom curriculum I often feel like I am on a game show working as fast as I can so that students can generate the prize, when art making is really an intellectual and spiritual practice and discipline.”

St. Andrew Nativity

I am just wrapping up an 8-week after school arts enrichment program at St. Andrew Nativity. I am working with 6th. 7th and 8th grade. We have about an hour each week to make some art. The focus has been independent study in black and white. We started out with white Prisma pencil on black paper to get the idea of thinking drawing from light to dark, the opposite of how we are thinking when drawing with a dark pencil on white paper. This exercise prepared students a little before trying scratch board for the first time. Some students drew free hand while others traced and transferred to work on technique and simplification of complex imagery from photographs. Students have also tried pencil and charcol drawing, some inking and one 6th grader created a monochromatic under-painting of her father painting directly on the canvas while looking at a photograph.

Artistic challenges remain the same regardless of skill level: What do I draw? And learning how to see in terms of simple shape and design. I will post a few more images as I get ready for the student art show in April.

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Fall 2013 with Fine Art Starts

Students ages 5-8 found inspiration from Mt. Hood and Local Artist Lucinda Parker's images from her November Mt. Hood series at the Laura Russo Galley.

Students ages 5-8 found inspiration from Mt. Hood and local artist Lucinda Parker’s images from her Mt. Hood series exhibited in November at the Laura Russo Galley.

Wow, I can’t believe we are heading into 2014 in a few days. How can I begin to recap the fall term at Christ the King and Holy Cross in their Fine Art Start after school program? I guess the beginning is a good place to start. 2013 welcomed me with a generous Artistic Focus Project Grant award from the Regional Arts and Culture Council that immersed me completely in the theme of our local Northwest Community.

I was invited to join the Fine Art Starts team in the summer of 2013, which further extended my community involvement. I have been teaching in local libraries, and art literacy programs for many years. Over the past few years I have offered 1-2 elementary school residencies integrating art into the academic curriculum in collaboration with the classroom teacher. This fall was my first experience with Fine Art Starts.

What sets this program aside from my previous experience is the ability to work weekly with the same group of students for 8 weeks and some students for an entire school year. The elements of art: line, shape, value, texture and color, are the reoccurring themes throughout the sessions as new materials and techniques are introduced to help the student learn to see and understand how these elements work together. I am a dedicated studio artist and that devotion also involves my personal commitment to touch a few young lives with the mindset in this studio practice. The small class sizes that Fine Art Start provides allows me to introduce a lesson and then help each student individually find their creative solution.

A handful of artists in our west coast community have had a profound effect on my own artistic development. I can only hope for my time with these young artists to be as memorable. I too continue to learn from them.

Ardenwald Elementary! You are Amazing!

What a lovely school. What a great 5th grade class. Your school is like walking into another world. And your art ROCKS 5th grade!

Ardenwood 5th Grade Watercolor Residency

Ardenwood 5th Grade Watercolor Residency

Teaching art to elementary school students first sparked my intellectual interest to collaborate with the classroom teacher to integrate art into the academic curriculum. My challenge with Ardenwald was to figure out how to do this in 50 minutes with 30 fifth graders and demonstrate watercolor nonetheless.

My personal goal for teaching is to always bring into the classroom what is currently going on in the studio. This year has been a year of 30”x 40” figurative oil paintings as part of an Artistic Focus Grant generously funded through the Regional Art and Culture Council.

Prior to coming, teacher Jenny and I determined through email correspondence, that the students recent reading of tall tales would be a good launching point for subject matter. I chose to show them the work of artist David Levine known mostly for his caricatures and lesser known for his extraordinary handling of the figure in watercolor.

To start the class, I brought in one large unfinished painting discussing how unfinished could be called finished. The long and the short of it was that one student successfully completed his watercolor painting in one session by integrating his pencil drawing with the translucency of watercolor. The rest of the class was ready for their backgrounds. Their teacher said they could finish up on their own the next day.

I emailed teacher Jenny some watercolor samples to help along the great progress that had occurred, and I was invited back to help in person. The next session produced finished paintings for nearly everyone. I was able to demonstrate some reductive methods of painting, transparent washes and layered color mixing. And they began to understand that while many of the watercolor methods are immediate, others are methodically time consuming.

When asked what they learned, students recognized the importance of drawing, drawing large, and thinking in terms of shapes and not worrying about erasing or perfection.

I hope the principal reads my blog. Teacher Jenny is awesome, the 5th grade kids so kind and responsible… and in your hallways, everyone was so happy, well mannered and friendly. It was a pleasure to work at your school. I am sorry I could not post everyone’s work; it was all so good.

Student Art Exhibit

During the 2012/2013 school year I worked with Groner Elementary 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders, All Saints Elementary 6th graders and 5-12 year-olds in Kateri Parks Get Artsy program. The projects included lessons in, minds-eye drawing distinguishing the difference from thinking of an object in your mind, imagination and observational drawing from a reference source or actual observation. Graphics were created on panel for the 6th grade Byzantine Icon art using sharpie marker and acrylic paint. Charcoal vines, pencils, kneaded eraser, blending stomp and a variety of found objects were the primary materials for drawing on a variety of papers and pizza boxes. The highlight of the work is always avobout the process and journey for me and I stress this to my students: process over product. But the final product for many of these students was an art exhibit on the 3rd floor of the Beaverton City Hall, The show is up through the end of August and worth the visit! Their show coincides with Northwest Neighbors Who Are We? an exhibit of 11 of my paintings funded by an Artistic Focus Grant Award from the Regional Arts and Culture Council. July 19th I chaperoned four Kateri Park students to visit their art, see the fountain at the Beaverton Library and get an ice cream sundae before returning home.

Four students visittheir art exhibit and one students gets the surprise of her work on a pizza box marked SOLD!

Four students visit their art exhibit and one student gets the surprise of her work on a pizza box marked SOLD!

Anime and Manga Drawing

We started the class off with a dozen visitors from Taiwan followed by neighborhood kids who sat on the floor squeezing as many interested students as the room would hold. I grew up “learning to draw comics the marvel way” and I still highly recommend the book How to Draw Comics The Marvel Way. Armed with a stack of Manga books, graphic novels and “how to Draw Manga” books, I demonstrated the principles of drawing a figure and character design with a pencil followed by a variety of marker points and finally pen and ink. This was definately a popular class and the results amazing, a perfect fit for any library program!

Students learn inking techniques after mastering their pencil drawings.

Students learn inking techniques after mastering their pencil drawings.