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On my walk to Kentler International Drawing Space this week I happened upon this window display:

As I paused to take this photo, the owner of the shop came out to ask if perchance I teach. I said “Yes, I am on my way to work with middle school students in my exhibition down the street at Kentler!” He enthusiastically explained that he designed and printed the shirts himself. Inspired to do so by his pride in his mother and the work she does as a teacher.

Sixth graders from MS 226 in South Ozone Park returned for their second session in the gallery enthusiastic and raring to go. Students first worked to complete their drawings from last week in colored pencil.

There was a hum of energy in the Gallery as students and teachers worked from observation.

Then after a lesson on observation and watercolor techniques with an emphasis on color and layering wet-on-dry and a demonstration of brushwork, Intern Leslie Ramirez made sure all students had the necessary materials and tools to begin a new piece in watercolor on professional watercolor paper.

Coincidentally, during the session I received notification that my piece Inside/Outside: London (Violins) on display in this exhibition was an award winner in the Circle Foundation for the Arts, Lyon, France Artist of The Year competition!


"Friends" at PS 770 in Crown Heights added another element to their Stages of Life cycles thereby making them officially mixed medias works. Teaching Artist Fatima Traore demonstrated various watercolor painting techniques which included 'wet on wet' and 'wet on dry'.

Students painted their animal's (or ... whatever) environment using a brand new batch of watercolor pans and brushes to complete their assignments. This week's critique showed how students had progressed in their observations and ability to express their thoughts positively and politely.

Vocabulary words for this week: habitat, environment, living quarters, mixed media, and technique.

Teaching Artist Rachel Rath was back to lead our other section of third and fourth grade students in the completion of their pencil filled drawings and a bonus Zentangle drawing exercise for our last class of the day.

Rachel and I noticed that all of our classes had become more focused in their artmaking and comfortable speaking about their work.

Our fifth grade class moved on to mural design. We started by looking at work by Glendalys Medina which will be where we take our visual inspiration:

The site of our public mural was selected by Head Master Jessica Saratovsky. Located across from our gallery along the length of the classrooms, it has a unique long and narrow shape which we needed to keep in mind. Most importantly we needed to find a way to express the concept of transformation! (I was so busy being inspired by these Mural Designers I forgot to take photos, woops.)

Over our lunch break intern Kyra Novick and I walked in the deluge over to the closest hardware store to get our initial supplies. Kyra, Fatima and Leslie taped out the area for our first layer of paint.

Keep alert to those surprising sights along your journey... you never know where you might find inspiration and joy!

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