Sunday, March 20, 2016

Spring Break 2016

As of right now, I have about an hour before I go to bed. Then, for me, spring break will be over. But, it was great. Before I reflect on the past week, let me share with you what some of my students did the Friday before spring break. 

This was a bit of a relaxed day, as I did not see all of my classes, and it was part of our rotating Friday schedule. So, we had a fun day. 1st and 2nd grade students were allowed to use markers and crayons to create a quick drawing of what they planned to do for spring break. However, they were warned that they could not tell anyone what there plans were, as the plan was to share our drawings for the last half of class, and allow others to guess what we planned to do. We talked about how success can sometimes be judged on how well you can convey a message without words. In keeping with the instructions I gave them, I will not say what there drawings were about, with the exception of maybe one.

Below is the one that I will talk about.
This student said that his family was going on a hunting trip for spring break. I love the details he added; chopping firewood, camping, camp fire. It reminds me of a great many of hunt artwork that I have seen from cave art, to Native American Art, to medieval European art. Too cool.

Now for a bit of personal reflection about spring break.

When my students were creating their artwork of what they planned to do for spring break, I created my own. Yep, plans of backpacking. 

Two years ago, I went to Boston and New York City for spring break. I came back completely rejuvenated and excited for the rest of the school year. Last year I simply stayed at home. I enjoyed my time at home, but did not feel that I was as refreshed after spring break as the previous year. This year, I had plans yet again to get away, this time, completely away. I spent 4 days backpacking the Ouachita Trail in Oklahoma. No computer, very few people, no traffic, no walls, no phone. I even went so far as to not even bring a camera on this backpacking trip. I instead decided to bring only a sketchbook to record my journey. The whole experience was very refreshing. As yet another way to get away from the norm, I decided to only make observational drawings, since I have been working strictly in abstraction with my own artwork this year. Here are some of my results.

The above sketch was of one of my fellow backpackers resting after we retrieved one of our water catches by the roadside.

The one above got interrupted by a brief rain storm. I was working on adding a great many trees to the foreground. This was in water soluble pencil. Perhaps I should have let it get rained on to see what it would do. Oh well, I saved it from the rain instead.

The last one is yet another drawing that got interrupted by the rain. Mostly linear here.

How do you spend your spring breaks? Do you think it is better to get away, or simply to take some down time?


  1. Great observational drawings on your trip! Looking forward to doing camping up in Nevada on our break soon!

    1. Thanks. It was a nice change that has actually led to some new directions for the works I have been doing. It's good to change things up a bit sometimes. Enjoy Nevada.