Ian Sands has taken a new position at South Brunswick HS Check out it out!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Top 10 Artist New Year's Resolution

When making New Year's resolutions, most people think about eating more healthy or exercising.. but we are artists. We need something a little more challenging than simply joining a gym.

So here are your
Top 10 Artist New Year's Resolution!


#10: Set aside one night a week to create art.
You know how you say you want to do something but before you know it the day has gotten away from you? You say you'll do it the next day but pretty soon it's the weekend so you promise to do it next week... The best thing to do is to set aside one night a week to create art.

Pick a day, maybe Tuesday.. every Tuesday, instead of flipping through the channels looking for something to watch, or endlessly scrolling "Most Recent" on FaceBook.. snuggle up with a warm canvas and paint something.


#9: Go Shopping!
One of the best ways to get motivated to make art is to purchase art supplies. Even if you don't like shopping, browsing an art supply store is a totally different experience. you'll see tools your are familiar with and new ones that your not even sure what they do. Bringing home a few new supplies is a great way to start a new year.


#8: Purchase a Sketchbook and Fill It!
It doesn't have to be anything expensive but i would suggest spiral bound.. those glue bound sketchbooks tend to fall apart.

Now take your sketchbook with you all day and draw. Observational drawing is fun and will really enhance your skills. Take your sketchbook to lunch and draw the Taco Bell dinning room!

Remember, your sketchbook is like your diary... you don't have to show it to anyone so don't be intimidated ... just sketch!


#7: Participate in Illustration Friday

You set aside a night to draw and you have a sketchbook.. now what are you gonna draw?

Illustration Friday challenges you to create an illustration based on a single word they provide each Friday. You'll have all week to finish it.

Once you create your illustration, you can post it to your blog and then link your blog to the site. You'll be amazed at how many people from all over the world are participating.


#6: Create a Portfolio of Your Work!
You have a sketchbook and you've been making a new piece of art each week, now its time to get your best work together in one place. A portfolio can be used to present your work to the college of your choice or to the owner of the coffee shop down the street (see #5)


#5: Have an Art Exhibit!
Once you have a portfolio of your best work, there is no need to hide it in the closet. Find a place to display your work! It doesn't have to be a big city gallery. There are lots of local places that would be very willing to display your art. All you have to do is ask. A great place to start is your local coffee shop!


#4: Visit the Art Museum
Viewing great works of art is both inspiring and motivating. You can look at art on the web or in a book but nothing compares to seeing a work of art in real life... it's size, it's true colors, the brushstroke, the texture....


#3: Take a Night Off
Instead of watching reruns of House or Glee, tune to Ovation TV. Pollock and Warhol's Factory People are just two of the many art shows you can catch along with programs about music as well.


#2: Make Art Friends
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
Oldenburg & Coosje van Bruggen
Van Gogh and Gauguin...

OK, maybe not someone who will cut their ear off when you get in a fight but the point is, an artist doesn't have to fly solo.

Whether you enjoy working with a team or if you just want someone to bounce ideas off of, having an art friend is a great way to go.


And Your Number One Artist New Year's Resolution...

Sign up for an Art Class!

I teach Art One, Art History and Computer Art & Animation. :)

Craig Roland Visits Apex HS Art

Several weeks ago, Craig Roland, author and Professor at the University of Florida came to visit Apex High School to obsever our art classes in action. He recently posted about his visit on his blog. THE ART TEACHER'S GUIDE TO THE INTERNET.

Click here to Read the Article.

A Visit with Ian Sands, Art Teacher at Apex High School from Craig Roland on Vimeo.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Acrylic Landscape Paintings

We've been painting acrylic landscapes the last week. Here are a few of the first students to finish. More to come soon...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Best of Apex HS Art 2010


Are students getting what they need from high school art programs? Ian Sands takes a look...


Inspired by Robin Rhode and the Coldplay video for Strawberry Swing, our Art One class tested out creating some stop motion animations....


Typography Portraits created in Computer Art & Animation.. the assignment was simple, create a portrait using text.


After almost nonstop requests to play the 70 Million video by Hold Your Horses, the class decided it would be fun to recreate the video using our own artwork selections.


Kite flying day in art History. We took the kites we designed, Van Gogh, Haring, Dali, Munch and more into the sky... sort of...


Localized Perspective.

Here it is from the right angle. Of course, this would have worked out better if the baseboard and the tape weren't the same color.. but the concept works!


Top Ten Contemporary Artists I'll Teach Alongside of these Traditional Artists


The After Art Jeep that once prowled the streets of Apex, NC is no more. AA Jeep took her last ride to the dealership where she was traded in (for a good price).


Working in teams, we created masking tape murals throughout the school.


16,000 post it notes later....

post it note mural


What would you do with 190 art One Students and 1,840 balloons? Make a giant mosaic of the Mona Lisa... silly.


Chicken Fried Animation. Brought to you by Shelby.. See more of her work at:

Walk... i mean, Fly Cycle

In Computer Art & Animation we create an animation of a walk cycle.. Caroline decided to take it one step further. Check it out -->

See more of Caroline's work here...


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Zonkey Rescue

In today's Zonkey adventure, Zonkey walks right in the way of oncoming traffic... Oh no Zonkey! Watch out for that car!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Zonkey Goes for a Walk

Today, Taylor and Mike took a Critter Cube out for a stop motion test run. They used one of the cubes with a zonkey in different walk cycle positions painted on the sides. Take a look -->

This one was to see if they could get Zonkey to climb.

This one they were testing out how often to turn the cube in relationship to how far the cube is moved.

This is a photo of the cube so you can see how it was painted.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Top 10 Christmas Presents Every Art 1 Student Should Ask For

#10. The Rubiks Cube Mosaic Puzzle: For those quiet moments between sketchbook assignments..

#9. A Noma Bar Poster: It won't be long before you'll need something to hang on that drab dorm room wall.

#8. Your own stack of Post-it Notes: Because you never know when you'll be inspired to create a 9 foot portrait.

#7. Banksy Book Wall & Peace: Because if you don't like it you can always re-gift it to me!

#6. The Andy Warhol Doll: A great companion to your Edie Sedgwick action figure.

#5. Ha! LOL!

#4. K. Haring T Shirt: Available at Urban Outfitters

#3. Turtle: Because I like Turdles. Also great for observation drawing.

#2. Glow Sticks: For all your contour line drawing with light needs.


And the Number One Christmas Presents That Every Art 1 Student Should Ask For....


#1. Chick!!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

After Art on Tumblr

We take a lot of photos here at Apex but not all those pics make the blog.

I was thinking... just because they don't make the blog, doesn't mean there isn't a place for them in cyberspace.

Enter After Art on Tumblr


Sister School Perspective Drawings

Our most recent Sister School project was to draw a room using one point perspective based only on a written description sent by a student from our sister school in Canada. Trying to draw a room that you have never seen based only on a written description is no easy task.

After the Apex students completed the drawings, we posted them on our Facebook page. Now the students in Canada have started posting actual photos of the rooms so our Apex artists can see how close they were!

Want to try it??

The room is of two walls that meet at offcente, left, to the middle. Where the walls meet there are two windows on both sides. the window go about a foot from the floor and right to the ceiling. They have two panels of shutters on each window that are white. In the corner there is a two person couch on the left wall. The couch is rounded and grass green. the legs are short and rounded wood. there are two pillows on the couch one is the same colour green the other is beige. over the sholders of the couch is a hexagonal, quilted, dark purple with white rimming each purple hexagon, blanket.

Room description : colour hot pink. Theme of the room : princess & butterflys , flowers in a vase .. white cubby and white bookshelf one little night table with a white lap on it pink princess dresser computer desk beside the window a little horse stick red fluffy , furry carpet a hamper hanging up from the ceilinghalf of a window and hot pink stero when you walk into the room : theres the bed in the middle of the room with a carpet right infront of it which is red and on the left is the tall bookshelf . right beside the bookshelf is the princess dresser . right above the bed is a flower vase with the hot pink stero beside it at the far corner is the computer desk with nick-nacks on it .

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sister Schools

Since September, Oakridge Secondary in London, Ontario and Apex High School in Apex, NC have been sister art schools! We have been working on the same sketchbook assignments and even collaborating on projects.

One day we learned that Oakridge had been stalking us on google maps so we decided to return the favor.

One of the easier ways to work together with a sister school is to both work on the same sketchbook project. One of the first sketchbook projects we choose was the no portrait self portrait. For this sketchbook assignment each student created a work that represented themselves.

In order to share the assignments between the two countries, we set up a joint Facebook page and called it OPEX ART. This way we could all join, post photos, and share comments about each other's projects.

Here is an example of another joint sketchbook assignment. The students were given an unfinished K. Haring drawing that they then had to complete.

The first true project swap we did was portraits. Apex was working on value scale so Oakridge took photos of their students using strong lighting for us to use as references. We shared files using the free file hosting service Mediafire. Afterwards we posted our drawings on the Opex Art page.

Later, when Oakridge was ready to work on portraits, Apex provided the photos. Oakridge used pastels to create expressive impressions.

Another project was a postcard exchange. Both schools created postcards about their town, state or country. Then we filled envelopes and snail mailed them to each other.

Thanks to the Apex PTSA, we also were able to send Oakridge some Apex swag. Here you see Oakridge looking pretty sweet in their new Apex gear.



Friday, November 19, 2010


balloon mosaic mona lisa

What would you do with 190 art One Students and 1,840 balloons? Make a giant mosaic of the Mona Lisa... silly.

This project took all day. All three art classes, Ms Brokke, Ms Bate and Mr. Sands, worked all day long to create the mosaic.

balloon mosaic mona lisa

I think this photo, showing the trailer and cars in the parking lot gives a better idea of just how large this work of art is. 40 feet across and 46 feet down.

Special thanks to Kate who was this week's blogger and tweeter. If you read a tweet or post about this project, it was Kate behind the keyboard.
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