So, I was thinking that this 7th grade portrait looked very similar to Mona Lisa... then, after it was hung up in the library, one of the maintenance men said to me, "Hey, one of those paintings in the library looks just like the Mona Lisa!" - and I knew exactly which one he was talking about! What do you think?

And then there's this painting reminded me of the Francis Bacon painting Figure with Meat from the Art Institute in Chicago. How weird, since both student's paintings are self-portraits?!


Art Show!

I'm going to be in an art show soon. Elmhurst College has an art show with artwork from former students (alumni) that they host during their homecoming festivities.

Today, I framed and matted my artwork for the show. Here's a preview:
It's a drawing I actually made last year, but I finally framed it and matted it. Sorry about the glare from the glass (I took the photo with my iPhone), but if you come to the show you can see it in person. Actually, if you come into my classroom you can see it right now because it's there!

Here are the details of the Elmhurst College show (I borrowed this right off of their website):

Reception for the Fifth Annual Alumni Art Exhibition
36th Birthday Celebration of the Accelerator
Sat. October 10th 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Barbara A. Kieft Accelerator Art Space

The Art Department presents its 5th Annual Alumni Art Exhibition in the Barbara A. Kieft Accelerator Art Space throughout Homecoming weekend. The show will feature work in a variety of media including photography, painting, drawing, printmaking and sculpture. The reception on Saturday evening also marks the 36th ‘birthday’ of the Kevatron machine (Accelerator). The event hosted jointly by the Art Department and the Physics Department is both an art exhibition and Physics Department reunion and reception.


Where the Wild Things Are...

Sixth grade classes are completing a project insipred by the children's book, "Where The Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak. We're making black and white sharpie drawings of monsters using lots and lots of texture, crosshatching, and stippling. You'll be able to check them out soon on our Artsonia gallery.

This project is fun because it makes me look forward to the movie version that's coming out soon! Today, I found this article on Wired.com that talks about the monsters in the movie and how the moviemakers combined costumes, animatronics, and computer-generated effects to create the incredibly realistic monsters in the movie. You can check it out here:

The official website for the movie is really awesome, because you can check out the trailer and look at photo galleries from the movie. Here's the official site: http://wherethewildthingsare.warnerbros.com/



This weekend, I bought a new game for my Nintendo DS called "Scribblenauts." You're probably wondering, "Why is Mrs. Leban talking about a video game on her art blog?" But here's why: this is one of the most CREATIVE games I've seen in a long time - and it's way fun, too.

There are these puzzles that you have to solve by writing words that then appear in the game. For example, write "T Rex" and a huge T Rex appears. The problem is witing down the right objects to solve the puzzle. Usually, a T Rex just means trouble because as soon as he appears, he's angry and hungry and destroys all the people and animals - game over. The more creative your solution is to the puzzle, the more "ollars" you earn (ollars are like points, which you can use to buy objects and levels later on).

Currently, I'm trying to figure out how to get an injured patient to the top of a mountain where the hospital is. So far, the ladder isn't tall enough, and all of the vehicles I've tried (hot air balloon, plane) won't fit both me and the patient. Maybe I need to try tethering him to the plane... hmm... gotta go try it out!



Today Mrs. Lazzaro showed me how to use Photoshop to take the foreground of one picture (the puppy) and superimpose it onto a different background. I made this sweet puppy house gargoyle image.
Soon, we'll be using Photoshop in 8th grade to put our clay gargoyles onto castles and other buildings.


iPhone photo apps.

Mr. Leban is way into iPhone apps, particularly ones for the iPhone camera. I thought I’d go over some of our favorite ones that we use. If you try them out and come up with some cool photos, I’d love to see them!

Here are some of our favorite photo apps:
  1. OldCamera – this camera app makes photos look like they were taken with an “old” camera – black & white, high contrast, grainy, and soft. My favorite is to change the setting so that all of my photos are square instead of the standard rectangle shot.
  2. iPhotoBooth – (see below and to the right) this app lets you take 4 photos and puts them into a photo strip, just like a photo booth.
  3. Polarize – this very simple app puts your picture into a “Polaroid” frame. You can add writing on the bottom strip if you like, too.
  4. UFO Camera GOLD – this one is great fun. Add your own UFOs to any photo and adjust it to make it look like they’re really there.
  5. TiltShiftGen – we use this app to focus on a particular part of a photo, and make the rest blurry. It gives a photo an old-fashioned effect, but really draws the viewer’s eye into the subject of the photo.
  6. ColorSplash – make a photo black & white. Then restore color just to the parts that you choose. Fun!
  7. KittyCamera – ok, this one just might be my favorite. The sample image really says it all. Add Hello Kitty cartoon details on top of your existing photo (this is my brother, Mr. Miller, who works at Bryan Middle School). The cartoon changes each time - I like the fact that I never know what to expect each time, and it's usually pretty funny!



On 09.09.09, I went and saw the movie "9" with my husband and my mom. We went to the premium cinema, which has cool recliner chairs and waiters and waitresses to take your order. (There's me and my mom in our seats!)

It's neat because the entire theater only seats around 60 people, so you need to have reservations. The bad news (for middle school students, at least) is that they only allow adults in (21 and over) and it costs more, too.

But since the movies are so expensive nowadays, I figured a few dollars more for a cushy seat was worth it. And this theater usually plays movies that are drama or action or suspense-type movies - not usually PG-13 stuff, let alone an animated movie! So I jumped at the chance to go this time.

The movie itself was pretty good, but kind of dark for a "kids" movie (so was Coraline, though, and I LOVE that movie!) - but it is also a film that Tim Burton helped produce, so I kind of expected that. He's the guy who made "Nightmare Before Christmas" and "Corpse Bride."

(There's Mr. Leban... he approves of this film - thumbs up!)
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