Adventures in Teaching Art

Aanii Folks,

I am a board member of the Belding Arts Council and since our director and teacher retired in December, myself and Lori have been given the task of teaching the art classes at the gallery. So, I have been gearing up for my students and have found that my second class of the week is concentrated with students interested in either comic superheros or manga/anime. 

Well, hmmm, thinking ensued, and I thought we should start out with landscape style sketchbooks so the students can have room to practice drawing figures, character sketches, figures in different positions, culminating in layouts and composition --into a real comic or manga story. So, being that we are a nonprofit operating on a shoestring in a poorer city, I decided to make the student's sketchbooks using Japanese 4-hole book binding technique. I have posted photos on the art portfolio page. I will have them decorate their book covers towards the end of their projects so that the can put their characters on them. I made them out of sketchpaper, colored copy paper, recycled heavier poster board scraps, and cotton thread. Here they are, let me know what you think in the comments. While I was at it, I also made a Coptic bound sketchbook, that I covered with fabric and embellished. (Photos on art portfolio page). I will be using this one as an example and for my step by step lessons. 

On with the step by step figure drawing lessons for me....and a watercolor student too...yay!  Groot and Superman step by steps done....watercolor color wheel, techniques 1,2,3 , and tree done now...Cowboy Bebop.... Bama pii!

DIY ART UPCYCLE 1960s RECORD CABINET

My husband and I have a large record collection that we have been collecting for years, some have been handed down and others we have found at yard sales, Goodwill, Flea Markets, Resale shops and Vintage shops over the years. We have been looking for a reasonably priced storage solution for all these records for quite some time. As I had searched the internet I had found that the popularity of records and record storage had surged due to the interest of young Hipsters, which also made the prices soar :(

However, one day this summer my Hubby and some friends of ours were resale/flea market/ antique/ Goodwill shopping and Bam! We found an ugly brown fake wood laminate, 1960s record cabinet friend! We haggled and brought it home for .... drum roll please.... $17! Score!

So we brought it home and put it in the shed... wait what?

Yeah, the shed, where it waited while I went to the store and bought the following:

Sandpaper medium and fine grain

one pint Kilz

two paintbrushes

1 roll blue painters tape

plastic drop cloths

3 cans Krylon Black Double coat spray paint Matte

3 cans Krylon Turquoise Double coat spray paint Matte

1 can Krylon Metallic Silver

(I had in my possession already 1 can Krylon Acrylic Gloss Spray and bought a second)

1 large stack of newspaper (already had)

ruler and old file folders to draw out the Thunderbird stencil

Finally I returned back home and was so excited I started taking the handles off and sanding them and attaching them to an old cardboard box so I could spray paint them with two coats and leave to dry without touching them...and ...

I forgot to take a "Before" photo... so our original cabinet was dark brown all over including the doors and legs - a fake wood laminate with gold handles and gold foot caps. I could not find a photo on the internet of one exactly like it other than this one below that is more blonde laminate and has black doors, but the cabinet itself is the same.

After I completed the handles, I sanded the entire piece. I then put two coats of Kilz on all surfaces inside and out of the cabinet and doors.  Once completely dry, I taped off the inside and top and spray painted two coats of the black first, then did the opposite for the inside which is turquoise and the top stripe. The next step, was to stencil and hand paint the Thunderbird Chevron design on the top and cabinet doors. Once all of the paint was dry, I painted a double coat of clear acrylic over the entire outside, doubling on the top surface and the doors where they would receive the most wear. I waited one month to make sure that the paint was entirely cured before loading the cabinet with the weight of the records as to not ruin the paint job. Yay! We have a place for our records to call home! If you have any DIY questions about this project, leave a comment below :D




A Call To Action

Boozhoo Aanishinabedog,

I proposed a few years back, while in a meeting working on language revitalization, that the Michigan tribes should approach the state through a legislative proposal to make Aanishinabemowin language one of the official languages of the State of Michigan. At the time, I was told it was not an issue anyone was interested in pursuing.

This is a mistake, I am going to re-propose to all of our Aanishinabeg tribes out there, a call to action for our language. Make a legislative proposal to get Aanishinabemowin made an official language of the State of Michigan. Why? because it legitimizes our language and people as modern and real, and will open up the minds of school boards, funding sources, and legislators on language revitalization efforts both on and off the reservation and reinvigorate our image as modern people in the minds of our Michigan citizenry. Legislative actions such as these have helped greatly in other states such as Hawaii, and countries (Maori of New Zealand - Maori national language), language revitalization efforts.