Thursday, June 23, 2011

Crayola Marker Update...

After I wrote my last post, I wrote an email to Crayola about their change in the markers.  I received an email response today.  It sounds like they have gotten the message, so hopefully I can continue to use Crayola markers!

Here is their response:

"Thank you for your recent inquiry.

During our 2010 back-to-school season, we introduced Crayola(R) markers made from plastic bottle caps.  The combination of all different bottle caps resulted in black marker barrels.  This initiative increased the amount of recycled plastic that could be used, giving a second life to more than 1 million pounds of plastic bottle caps.

We greatly value consumer input like yours, and in response, are now introducing our 2nd generation recycled marker with a white barrel and colored graphics, for ease in matching the color with the cap.  Recycled material will continue to be used to manufacture the black end plugs.  Depending on store inventory, you could begin to find the white barrel markers on store shelves by the time you head back to school.  Additionally, this year, we will expand our solar farm allowing a half-billion Crayola markers made in the USA to be produced using power from the sun!

Again, we appreciate your feedback and the opportunity to make changes to better fulfill our consumers' needs.   Best wishes for a colorful future!

Colorfully yours,
   xxxx (She did sign her name...just don't think that is necessary to post here)
Consumer Affairs Representative

Mrs. Macre♥Art 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Change is not always good...Crayola...are you listening?

I love Crayola markers, but I have a complaint.  I may have to write an email complaining about this, which I usually don't complain about a product...I usually just find a replacement.  I may eventually have to do that, but I am going to let them know before I do. So, if you are not aware of this change, Crayola apparently is going green with their Crayola markers.  I read about this in another art teacher blog, which I did not know, until I realized that I had already received some of these 'green' markers.  (See the pictures and explanation below.)

Two Classpacks of Crayola Markers
put together to hold all of the colors.
Some of the colors are displayed on the lids.
I have used Crayola marker classpacks for many years in my high school art class and I love the box that they come in. It allows for me to organize the markers that come in the box, plus add more colors that come in other packages, like the Tropical and Bold colors.  Recently I have added the Multicultural classpacks to my collection of colors for my students to chose from.  The Tropical package has the sky blue marker that is always the first color that runs out.  So, if I could talk to the makers of Crayola markers, I would ask them to add Sky Blue to the Classpack, or start selling them individually. (If they do, I'm not aware of it.)

Crayola Blue Lagoon
Always run out of these!
When using the markers for a current class project, I put two boxes together on top of the cabinet beside my desk, where I can keep an eye on them throughout class time. Students can easily get the colors that they need at the beginning of class and easily put the markers back in the correct place in the box when they are finished or at the end of class. Most of my students are very good about putting them back in the correct spot and aiming in the correct direction, but I straighten them up a little at the end of each class.  It sounds obsessive, but they can get unorganized very quickly if I don't keep an eye on it.  Finding the correct color quickly is important.  Class is only 45 minutes long, so we have to have a routine to get supplies out and cleaned up and still have time to get to the fun stuff!
The 'Green' markers stayed in a box this year.
When I read about Crayola changing their markers to go green, I thought it had to do with the box being a little smaller.  But, unfortunately, I found out that they have changed the actual markers to a black color for all of the colors in the classpack.  I bought an extra classpack of markers last year, so I had a package with the regular markers.  But then I realized that I also had a package with the new markers.  At the beginning of the year, when I opened the box with the black markers, I put the black markers in a box to use later, because I still had lots of good markers from last year, thank goodness.  Then I started wondering how this will affect my marker organization method.  And realized that it will not work at all.   So I took some pictures of the new black markers to compare what they look like and how easy or difficult it will be to match the correct lid to the correct marker color.  It is not easy to do with some of the darker colors.  Knowing my students, there will be mismatched markers, which will be a headache, not just for me, but for the student who picks up a blue marker, expecting to blue color to go on their paper and will be disappointed and mad when that student realizes that it is actually a black or brown marker!  The only two markers that are obvious are the orange (that actually looks red) and the yellow.  Yes, there is a name of the color on the side of the marker, but it is the same color as the rest of the marker. No identification of color on the marker itself.    I hope that Crayola will listen to the people who purchase these supplies.  I understand that many teachers will be switching to another brand.   I don't understand how a black marker is going green.  If that is 'greener', then they need to put the matching color on the marker.  If not, then they may be losing a lot of business.
The darker colors do not look like the color they should be.
Without the caps on them, they are difficult to identify.

They all look black to me. 

This summer, as I make out my supply list and order for next school year, I need to decide if I want to switch brands or try to work out a new system with these black markers. If any art teachers have any suggestions, I would love to hear from you.

Mrs. Macre♥Art   

All That Jazz ~ District Fine Art Show

High School Art
Our District had another successful Fine Art Show in April.  We call it 'All That Jazz'...because it is not only Art from the Elementary level up to the High School level, but it is also choir performances from all levels, band performances from all levels, and it is even catered by our own Food Service program that teaches students about preparing, serving, and other aspects of the business side of working in the food service industry. I posted a few of these photos on my own Art Journal Blog, but now that I have this new blog for teaching side of my Art Life, I will share on this blog.

High School Art 2

High School Art 1

Middle School Art

Middle School Art

Middle School Art 

Intermediate School Art

Elementary Art

Elementary Art

Mrs. Macre♥Art 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Doodles can be fun...

Pen and Ink and Colored Pencil
Line Designs in Pen and Ink and Colored Pencil Sample

Digital Download Available through Etsy here:
Mrs. Macre♥Art 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Celebration for Graduating Seniors

Watching animated movie and eating
Being the only art teacher at my high school, I get the opportunity to teach some students for 3 or 4 years. The students who love art and want to continue learning about Art, can take it up to 4 years, 9th through 12th grades. So, those students who take 3 or 4 years of art, become a special group to me. We get to know each other very well over the years.  We have many very interesting discussions while we work on art projects!  Its really nice to see these students learn and grow and become adults who are ready to move on to the next chapter of their lives.  Seniors get out a little bit earlier than the rest of the students, because of graduation.  So the week before they were to be finished, we had a going away party for the Seniors.  This class had quite a few seniors in it. And they like to have parties.  So they got busy planning what food items that they would bring for their party.  Their request from me was to bring my homemade chocolate dream pie.  They also wanted to watch a movie, so Katie wanted to bring one of her favorite movies 'Finding Nemo'.  Yes, even Graduating Seniors love to watch animated movies and eat!

Advanced Art Seniors Class of 2011
  (a few shy ones didn't get in the photo)
Mrs. Macre♥Art 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Its Officially over for the year...

Art 1 Student
Abstract painting

...but unofficially, I still need to go back to my room and finish putting away some things and getting some things reorganized for next school year.  I have made a promise to myself to purge and get my classroom better organized over the summer, so I will be visiting my classroom, at least, once a week.  That is my plan.  Being in the same classroom for a long time can be a good thing and a bad thing.  Good, that it feels like home away from home, bad that I don't always get rid of things that I should.  And I am very lucky to have a large art room, so there are plenty of places to put things.  I started at the beginning of this year throwing away things that have not been used in awhile.  But as the year went on, I got busier and busier, so I didn't have any time to continue with the clean out process and as always, I ended up with stacks and stacks of student artwork.  Eventually that artwork must be passed back out to the students, but it becomes a big chore.  I stack them by class period and by projects.  But some pieces get chosen to be displayed in the art room or in the end of the year art show, so they don't stay in the original stack.  That doesn't sound that difficult to most people, but when you have 140-150 students x 20 stacks of papers/canvases/3D artwork, per semester (at least), then those stacks of papers/artworks, become mounds of papers.  So, I am determined to get a hold of this monster this summer with a plan.  I'm still thinking about that plan and looking for some type of storage unit for student portfolios that will be poster paper size portfolios. So if any art teachers out there, have any ideas, please feel free to share...or direct me to a good blog or website that has some good ideas for storing artwork during the school year.

Being my last official day of work for the year, today I am showing a few more of the abstract paintings that my beginning Art students created last month.   Keep in mind that these are high school students, many of whom take art because they have to have the credit to graduate.  Some of them realize after they take the class that they are a little creative!  And some go on to take Art 2, Art 3, and even some on to Art 4.  

And a few clay sculptures by one of my Art 3 students: 

Looking forward to a productive and relaxing summer break...

Mrs. Macre♥Art 

DIY Painted Pumpkin on Canvas

How to Paint a Pumpkin For Art Teachers and Personal Use I decided I needed a few more Fall decorations but I didn't want to spend too...