Wednesday, 10 February 2016


Grade 9 students are beginning to create designs for their linocut projects.  Yesterday, Mrs. Rose demonstrated how to print using a carved piece of linoleum (courtesy of former students who left their designs in the classroom):

A photo posted by Colleen Rose (@colleenkr) on
The class is learning how to use lines to design a small composition, transfer it onto linoleum and carve.  These designs will be printed multiple times, in order to create note cards for our upcoming Community Tea on Wednesday, February 24th.

Check out this artist's work:

A video posted by @kristen10_smith on


On a related note, let's take a look at the value of a work done by Albrecht Durer (not a linocut):


Shepard Fairey is a very popular contemporary artist, whose work might seem familiar if you check out his posts on Instagram.  Here, he signs a number of new silkscreen prints:

Shepard signing the Power and Glory letterpress prints. #obeygiant #shepardfairey #letterpress

A photo posted by Shepard Fairey (@obeygiant) on


Sunday, 17 January 2016

End-of-the-Semester Stop Motion

#NipRockArt students, it's time to play a bit.  Do you know what Stop Motion is?  Have you watched stop motion videos or movies?  Take a peek at a few that I created last night as examples for you:

A video posted by Colleen Rose (@colleenkr) on

Want to see the high-tech equipment I needed to make the videos?

A photo posted by Colleen Rose (@colleenkr) on
Now, enjoy these examples of great stop motion videos:

Moving On from ainslie henderson on Vimeo.


What do you think it takes to make a good stop motion video?  Here are a few things you need to get started:

  • a camera & software (OR) a stop motion app:  (mini, experimental videos can be made using Vine & Instagram, but for more control, try iMotion or another noteworthy app)
  • a tripod (or anything that will hold your phone/camera steady while you take your photos
  • lighting:  nothing special, just make sure that your lighting doesn't change, or that shadows are where you want them...
There are more things you can use, but this is a really nice way to begin.  Keep it simple.  Play.  

Oh, and find out what "fps" means.  It will help you make a smooth video.



Sunday, 3 January 2016

Artists Support Other Artists

There is a sense of community within the art world; a comradery of sorts, between people who share common passions, experiences and understanding.  Artists are gifted with the ability to see their world differently -- through a different lens.  We offer fresh perspectives and insights that others may have otherwise overlooked.  We are creative, dynamic and innovative.

Creativity is hard work, and we need support to fuel our fire.  Who best to support artists than other artists?  In the image above, take your time to click on each link to gain an appreciation for a variety of ways that artists support other artists.  Consider the spectrum of support; individuals, communities, and international organizations.  Are you familiar with everything that has been shared?  Is there anything missing?

You are presented with the task of increasing your knowledge and appreciation for ways that artists support other artists.  Your thinking will be shared using your blog (and possibly other media).  I want you to think of the reasons why this awareness is important for art students, as well as the general public.  We will also connect with some of the organizations profiled, and hopefully they will help to describe their role in the lives of artists and communities.

**Here is the link to your project.

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Artists Tell Stories

You are an artist.  You also have a story to tell.  It's time to combine these two aspects of your life.

Browse through the links provided in the image above.  How have artists used their materials, techniques and craft to tell stories?  What stories did they tell?  Why did they tell these stories?  Who was their audience?  Are all stories meant to be shared, or are some reserved for certain people?  Are some stories affected by time?  How important is context?

Let your mind wander through these questions, and consider how they might relate to you and the stories you could tell.  What stories could you tell?  Would your stories reflect an aspect of your life, or would you rather observe life around you?  Do you connect to a story created by someone else? How could you re-tell another person's story?  Is it appropriate to remix someone else's work?

Think about the way you could share this story.  Do you think you could convey a story using traditional materials (like Caravaggio)?  Would you rather consider unconventional techniques to add layers to your narrative, such as transparencies?  How might your intended audience best understand your message?  How important is clear communication?

We will discuss these questions in class, along with multiple possibilities for your project.  I can't wait to see what ideas you come up with!

**Link to your assignment:  "Artists Tell Stories"

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Laugh Out Loud

Humour + Art = ???

Image via OSSTF

OSSTF's annual Student Achievement Awards' theme, "LOL," prompted a new assignment for grade 11 art students.  The idea of a writing and art competition seems fairly serious, but with this year's theme, we are encouraged to take a look at a brighter, lighter side of things...

Image via Amazon

It was difficult for our class to think of art that was based on humour or laughter, so we began to discuss some options.   How can jokes influence our art without our art becoming a joke?

Bruce MacKinnon's editorial cartoons are funny, sarcastic and insightful.  His work is shared on social media because the images help us understand and appreciate events as a Nation (consider the profound imagery, dedicated to Cpl. Nathan Cirillo).  

But how can our class create art that is funny, or that captures humour in some way?  One or two students are tempted to try creating caricatures, while others aren't sure how humour might influence their art.  Is it ok to keep it simple?  What about cartoons?  What about jokes?  What about videos of pranks?  

I want to encourage my students to remember that, while this artwork can be very funny, they need to recognize the need for craftsmanship.  If an artwork is created without consideration for their material (or technique), the final product will not be successful because the idea will be lost in translation.  The audience will be too distracted by the poor craftsmanship to appreciate the humour.

Now it's time to have a little fun with our art...

**if you want to give some ideas to our class, please leave a comment below!**


Monday, 5 October 2015

An Update for Grade 11 & 12 #NipRockArt Students

Grade 11 & 12 art students have been busy since the beginning of September!  Even though we're only in the second week of October, we know that mid-term reports are just around the corner.  We need to be very organized if we are going to make sure that all of our assignments are complete.

The entire class shared a few projects.

    Grade 11:

    Grade 12:

    **Remember to consider the Critical Analysis process when responding to artworks.