A New Year: Week 9, the good life.

Whether you broke or rich you gotta get this havin’ money is not everything. Not havin’ it is.

Kanye West, Good Life

There are so many things to say about the Kanye West video, aside from the good music with T-Pain. Visually interesting with the main characters (West, T-Pain and the girl) shot in black and white, with bits of color animation thrown in (the roller coaster and the early part when he throws his hands out and blue bubble like things come out, especially). It also combines lettering well. There is a wonderful scene where West and T-Pain hold up a frame and become color animations, while outside they remain black and white cinematography. I like the look of the long shots which work as well as Calabria Destination Unknown and Chris Brown’s Transform Ya (which openly borrows from West’s video).

Shirley Maclaine in the ’70 said she once lectured, and she was trying to get across, to this group of Democratic women, that materialism isn’t everything. I thought to myself then, how funny. You got everything, but you are trying to tell somebody who wants what you have, to stick to nothing. West puts it best in the lyric above. Having it isn’t everything, not having it is. Which brings me back to my favorite thing: schools.

I was listening how wonderful some corporation is for “donating” money to schools (probably of their choices). Perhaps they would do better to get their corporate lobbyists, to promote equity in the corporate tax structure, so schools (and especially teachers) through “grants,” wouldn’t have to pass around the cup! People like Bill Gates, ought to be ashamed of himself, after providing to schools for years, at a big licensing fee junk, sub rate operating systems (exception XP). When I think of 95, and that other horror story, Vista, he should have given everyone that every used Microsoft a free operating system. Oprah is supposedly giving away tons to a charter school. This from the woman who shook down car dealers, to give away free cars.

The only thing better than s still life by Cezanne, is an unfinished Cezanne. Still Life with Apples at the MoMA is one of those pleasures in life, you can spend hours looking at. Are we studying shape or form here?

We have started to move into shape or form in the elements, and it is an interesting transition. I don’t know why I picked up on either Mondrian or Matisse, but both seemed to have components which fit in well with that ppt I had started. Matisse is interesting for almost anything (color, form, drawing, painting, sculpture, collage), and gave me a good excuse to get rid of scrap paper for collage. The third grade had fun cutting organic shapes, some were quite interesting, and it brought me full face to why there was so many weird things in the ’50s with furniture and house design.

This is a store front in Long Island City. It is a take off on those bad old 1950s shapes, common as architectural embellishment and furniture design.

Since I liked the boldness of using intersection of line to create shape, Mondrian kind of popped out. (No, I am not one of those teachers that has kids just copy paintings). Mondrian really is the master of balance, especially asymmetrical, it was fun to have to try to get kids to use his example. A few actual did in this first session. It was hard for them not to use diagonals and partial lines, but a few did beautifully. I found out that the ones who produced better work for that class, were actually good math students. That is not uncommon, when I have taught certain things (geometry, perspective and mobiles) all require mathematical heads.

When I knew I was having the Mondrian class the following day, I came home and put this together fast. Like I have said, I am a night owl. So between 11 and 2:30, it was good enuf  to put together to present.

I am so happy I did. I presented to the extra class I was doing that day, and I loved the results of the sketches Anthony and Chrissie came up with!!!!


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