The Creative Cog Art Department Newsletter
Fall 2006

Dear Karl,

"To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

-Pablo Ruiz Picasso
born October 25, 1881

Welcome to the Creative Cog! This newsletter is designed to provide communication, resources, support and connection for the art educators of Neshaminy. Art is the creative cog that turns the wheels of the mind and connects us in vast ways with higher realms of thinking, providing unique learning opportunities and exquisite expressions of life, our selves and our humanity.

Each issue of Creative Cog has three regular featured areas to which the art staff can contribute. From the Staff, creates a way for the art staff to feature a course, project, student or exhibition that has motivated or inspired them. Creative Murals of Neshaminy (CMON) offers a format to showcase mural projects across the district. Acknowledging the dedicated staff and students that meet after school is the venue that Neshaminy's Art Clubs address. Some staple components of the newsletter include a featured article on Emotional Intelligence, Book of the Month, PAEA News and Technology Tidbits.

Issues of the Creative Cog will be available three times a year, fall, winter, and spring. Please enjoy reading about your talented colleges as you consider your contribution to the next Creative Cog.

Cheryl Soltis
Lead Teacher For Art

in this issue
  • From The Staff
  • Take A Playful Approach To Life by Cheryl Soltis
  • Book Of The Month: Thinking With A Line
  • Creative Murals Of Neshaminy (CMON):
  • Neshaminy's Art Clubs:
  • PAEA Regional News:
  • Technology Tidbits

  • Take A Playful Approach To Life by Cheryl Soltis

    Lighten up to Life. The denseness of the times we live in tends to give life an air of seriousness. When your attention is engulfed by matter (objects) and the matters of life (situations) remember it is time to lighten up. Do your best to shift your attention to a more playful and spontaneous approach to the matters at hand.

    I invite you to bring aspects of play into the work place, into the classroom and into your present life situation. To be playful and childlike is to be open and free to the unfolding of events. It is not meant as an invitation to be juvenile, foolish or irresponsible. To be light hearted and to make friends with life, meeting life with enthusiasm, and appreciation, open to all possibilities.

    Here are some suggestions for playful tools that can lighten up your day. You can be playful in action by adding movements (such as a dance step) into your regular walking stride. Be playful with your self talk, keeping your thoughts positive and upbeat. Create a playful game out of the task at hand. Begin to look at situations from a different or child-like point of view, daydream, or think outside of the box throughout your day. Be open to playing words games with yourself and students. Designate a word for the day that when heard or read serves as a signal to send yourself positive encouragement. You can also practice changing words in your vocabulary. You might choose to take a word like "WORK" and substitute the word "PLAY" in its place. Do your best to stay open hearted throughout your day, this will serve as a way to be playful with your emotions.

    The practice of being playful or to lighten up will assist you in offering far less resistance to the matters at hand. You will be less resistant to your life situations as your playfulness helps lift the stress and melt the seriousness of matters away. You will begin to look for things that cause you to feel good and positive about your day.

    Cheryl Soltis
    Lead Teacher For Art

    Copyright 2006 Cheryl Soltis, All Rights Reserved.

    Book Of The Month: Thinking With A Line

    Thinking With A Line is an interactive CD-ROM and Teacher's Guide. It introduces a new art and literacy tool. The "pages" of the CD-ROM look like they would be in a book. But there is a difference. Many of the images are actually short video clips that show teachers and children at key moments of teaching and learning. Both video and audio clips suggest ways to set up, introduce and extend a variety of projects about line - the most basic of all art elements and a vital pre-reading, writing and construction tool. My purpose in creating Thinking With A Line is to help teachers feel comfortable with the art materials and to demonstrate a variety of strategies for using materials to foster, extend and deepen understanding.

    Creative Murals Of Neshaminy (CMON):

    Bill Bech
    Neshaminy High School
    The Advanced Art Prep students under the direction on Bill Bech have been designing murals to be painted on the temporary walls that have been set up due to the construction at Neshaminy High School. There are six walls in total and after a tour of the sites the students designed mural sketches for their selected site. These sketches are going to be juried by art teachers and administrators to select the designs and locations to be painted.

    Bill Fell
    Lower Southampton Elementary
    Our mural at Lower South is based on the habitat in the middle of the school's quadrangle. I took pictures this Summer and incorporated them in a mural-shape on black paper. We have located a space for the mural- 50'X 5' on the brick wall between our library and gym.. It will be seen upon entering the building by all. So far we have prepped the wall with primer and put on the black background. Our next step is to color the border, and start to project the images onto the wall. The border will contain a poem by a student.

    Neshaminy's Art Clubs:

    Justin Bursk
    NHS Art Club:The Art Club at NHS did temporary tattoos and caricatures at the homecoming fair. We made a little money and brought a lot of character to this event. We will be organizing a field trip to First Friday in Philadelphia soon and all are welcome to join us you can email Justin Bursk. Soon our robot army will be complete and we can begin our quest for world domination.

    Stacy Potter & Mary Barbera
    Maple Point's Art Club is Creating pieces that are Out of Sight! The art club is having a great time creating wonderful pieces of art. The students are currently working independently with a variety of art media. Students are assisted on a one to one basis with mini tutoring to maximize their effectiveness in their personal explorations. Several students are also working in groups and assisting one another with the concepts surrounding their areas of interest. Some of the current projects include basket weaving, painting with acrylics and watercolor, and drawing skills using colored pencils, oil pastels, and charcoal. We have had a wonderful turn out this year in enrollment with a full group making the classroom a wonderful and diverse learning environment.

    PAEA Regional News:

    Kris Troxell
    Region 11 Representative for PAEA
    On Saturday, November 4th, 2006 an art teacher in- service/workshop will be offered at the Philadelphia Museum of Art -Tesoros. The day will include teacher resource materials, a presentation of a PowerPoint about the exhibit from 11am-12 noon and then we have tickets for the TESOROS, Treasures, Tesouros: The Arts of Latin America at 12 noon. NAEA/PAEA members cost: $5.00, non-members cost: $25.00 (fees cover entrance to the Museum and Tesoros exhibition). Act 48 credit will be awarded.Please reserve your spot my emailing me at [email protected] by October 22. Include your name, address, phone number with your reservation email. Transportation is on your own. Contact [email protected] Region 11 Representative for PAEA.

    Technology Tidbits

    Syd White
    Electronic Arts: Neshaminy High School
    Have you ever considered creating a professionally printed book? You can easily create a single book with your digital photographs, an apple computer and apple's iPhoto software. Just choose a photo album, click an Apple-designed template and let iPhoto work its magic. Add captions, fine-tune your layout, then click to order - your professionally printed masterwork is delivered right to your door. The average cost is between $15 and $50 - depending on the options you select. For more information click on the Apple Link below.

    You can also download PC software and to publish your books at or you can take your photographs to a camera shop and have them do it for you.

    From The Staff

    Ms. Gloria Rautman
    Neshaminy High School's Student Teacher
    Currently I am attending Tyler School of Art and Design. In December I will acquire my B.F.A. in Graphic Design/ Illustration with Art Education certification, and a minor in Art History. Yes, I know that is a lot of art stuff. But I figured that if I was going to do art, I might as well know the future, present, and past of the creative thought process. It has always been a dream of mine to share my art knowledge, with the world.

    Ms. Gretchen Egelkamp
    Maple Point Middle School's
    Student Teacher

    Ms. Egelkamp is from Tyler School of Art. She has been co-teaching with Mary Barbera and will teach until December 3rd of this year. Ms. Egelkamp brings a diverse background to the classroom. She is the oldest of seven and currently coaches the marching band at Truman High School.

    Kris Troxell
    Maple Point Middle School

    As part of the Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Program here at Maple Point, sponsored by the USDA, the students in art classes will be enjoying "the fruits of their labors" in more than one way. Students view and discuss the artwork of artists who have used fruits and vegetables as subject matter. The students then use the fruits and vegetables as inspiration for artwork. When the artwork is completed, students get to sample the fruits and vegetables! Therefore, they not only get to eat fresh, nutritious snacks, but have completed artwork of those healthy snacks "the fruits of their labors"!

    Justin Bursk
    Neshaminy High School
    The Advanced art three students will be having an exhibition of Historically based self portrait drawings and paintings at the Middletown municipal building starting on December first. We will be sending out announcements and invitations to a reception when we settle on a date. I hope you can make it out to see what your former students have done they would be honored by your presence.

    Stacy Potter
    Maple Point Middle School
    The art department would like to take the 9th grade Art Majors to an open, outdoor environment for a morning of drawing and painting. Fall is the perfect season to do just that! The landscape offers many inspirational compositions with the beautiful color changes, morning dews, and brilliant sunrises. Students will be exploring compositional strategies to create a painting reflective of a particular style or art movement. They will engage in a series of activities prior to this adventure on the fundamental techniques associated with acrylic painting such as initial sketches, under-painting and laying in value, and placing color.

    Louanne Lemke
    Ferderbar Elementary
    In August I spent two days in a workshop with Jessica Liddell, mosaic artist with the Mural Arts Program of Philadelphia, in her studio in Mt. Airy. The workshop covered vtools, interior and exterior mosaics, various materials including glass, stone, tile and Venetian glass tiles. We covered information on vertical as well as horizontal surfaces, adhesives and grouting techniques. After the two days we came away with a wealth of information plus two completed projects. On Saturday, October 28th I'll be attending a workshop at the Baltimore Museum of Art. I have attended these art teacher days for a number of years and have found them to be very well done. This one will be on African American artists . The workshop will include food( always a good thing) and a CD of 25 art works from the museum.

    Justin Bursk
    Neshaminy High School
    I have three sculptures in an group exhibition at Seton Hall University called Interactive which runs from November 8th - December 15th. I will also be in a group show at the Texas fire house in Queens NY in December.

    Terry O'Neill
    Neshaminy High School
    Student Matt Kessler has artwork scheduled to be published in the March 18th edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer, a drawing from Mrs. O'Neill class. His artwork was chosen to hang in the Congressional Art Competition sponsored by PA. Congressman Fitzpatrick.

    Kate Storck
    Everitt Elementary
    Student artwork from Everitt Elementary will be on display on November 13th at Barnes and Noble for the PTO Read-Aloud Event. I will be reading at about 6:30pm.

    Quick Links...



    Neshaminy Fine Arts

    MAP: Mural Arts Program

    Blick Art Materials

    Grounds For Sculpture

    James A. Michener Art Museum

    Philadelphia Museum of Art

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