Friday, March 11, 2011


As many of you know, I have been focused on painting with beeswax using image transfers in many of my new works. In order to maintain 100% copyright, I have been taking photographs on a regular basis. I decided to print and frame one of my favorite photos and was pleasantly surprised when I found out it was accepted to the "Capturing Time" show at Lynn Arts, Inc.

"Winter Wonderland", 23" x 27" framed photograph 

A short vignette in the life of a substitute teacher....

Front cover of my recently purchased book

I was asked to come in as the music teacher at the local elementary school yesterday. Because the music room is also the art room, I knew I would be allowed to incorporate art in my lesson plan if nothing specific was left for me to do so I brought in my ipod and speakers along with one of my new Matisse art books. I used music to help inspire the students with their color choices, also using templates I cut of dancing figures. We used crayons to create brightly colored drawings, very similar to the lesson from middle school used last week (simplified and age appropriate).

The book cover was not displayed for students to see; I used several pages in the book with examples of the cut-outs Matisse created later in his life.

My figure templates

As I was sharing facts about Matisse's life, I was holding the book and some of the boys started laughing... I asked why.... they said it was because of the book.... I then looked at the back side of the book and see a graphic black and white photograph of Matisse sitting in his studio drawing a nude model. I didn't even realize the photograph was there because I was only focused on the art! I continued with the lesson and everyone had fun drawing. Soon into the next class, the 4th grade teachers came to see the book and the photo, followed by the school principal. The principal said she had to send home a letter explaining to the parents that "inadvertently" the students were exposed to an "inappropriate photograph". I felt horrible that my passion and love for Matisse turned into a "damage control" letter.

Back cover

(*footnote: I did not display the back of the book at any time, but was simply holding it as I was talking about the artist)

Live and Learn.


  1. Lol, omg! The whole time you were telling your story I thought the "photograph everyone was so excited about" was the cut-out at the top of this post. Then I scrolled down~~~ooops! Maybe you should make some book covers? You could decorate them in the style of the chosen artist. Hey! That would be totally cool and then no ooops. I hope this doesn't turn into some big scandal and you can continue your substitute teaching. America needs good subs! Oh yeah! Grats on your photo being picked for a show!!! It's a beautiful photo. Connie :)

  2. Hi Connie, I sure hope this doesn't turn into a big scandal too! And let me just say I was not called to teach today, although I am not called every day. (I love the idea of making book covers although I don't have the time required to pursue something like that right now.)

  3. Book covers aren't a bad idea--brown craft paper and glue copies of your work on back and front. This is a class your students will remember! Hopefully, the school will realize that your teaching skills outweigh this small oversight. Congratulations on the photograph.

  4. Oh dear. I'll bet that incident rather sucked a bit of the joy from your day. I personally am uncomfortable with nudes, but I also realize what a valuable subject they are to artists. I think that would have been a perfect time to tell the students of the natural beauty and elegance of the human body (mine excluded! LOL). Emphasizing lines and grace, angles and curves, of course. Anyway, congratulations on your photo being accepted. It truly is a stunning photo!

  5. Hallie, I love the idea of making book covers with the students! (Honestly, I don't think this "mistake" will prevent me from being called to substitute in the future).

    Sherry, I rarely draw or paint figures (nudes) but have found Matisse's style using simplified form easy to grasp. Because I was teaching in the elementary school, I don't think any discussion about the human body is appropriate (for an art teacher and sub) and in the future I will leave my art books at home!

  6. Oopsy!

    I wish you would have been a substitute teacher when I was in fourth grade. :-)

    I hope everything blows over quickly and quietly.