Category Archives: Student Work

Strawberry Bowl


This artist didn’t exactly give me this piece. In fact she’s not really even my student, although I did have her in study hall this year. She was in there sometimes. And sometimes she was off doing other things (socializing). I acquired this piece because my daughter was in the art room at the end of the year when everything was being cleaned out. The artist held this bowl up and said, “Who wants this?” Maly snatched it. It’s not perfect. The glaze is uneven; there are parts the glaze doesn’t cover at all. But look how pretty it is holding some fresh-picked strawberries. For that job, it is perfect.

Toaster Wars

Remember when Mad Magazine used to (probably still does) illustrate how ahead of the curve they were by showing one of their magazine covers being ripped off by another more prestigious magazine?  Here’s what I’m talking about.


The Real Matt Show has finally joined the likes of Mad Magazine.  The writer of one of the comics I read online–Brevity–is clearly a reader of this blog.  The proof of this is presented below.

Brevity, March 19, 2015


The Real Matt Show, January 6, 2015


Pretty cool.  Brevity Facebook.  Brevity at GoComics.

Original Toast-Mobile post

Two Birds


This one, two birds, is I believe a linocut, like a woodcut, where you carve a picture into the block and then ink it and stamp it onto paper or something else, but with linoleum instead of wood. I like that it’s like when someone says “see those two bird in that tree,” and you have to look for them to see them, and even then you’re still not sure if you’re seeing what your friend sees. The artist here is by an actual artist. She’s a performing artist rather than a visual artist. But she pretty talented at whatever she puts her hands to. What she mostly does is dance. It’s interesting.  I’d like to tell you she’s a great dancer, and I really believe she is. But other than at prom a few years ago, and at an elementary school talent show several years before that, I’ve never seen her dance. My opinion that she is a great dancer is based on my opinion of her as a person (she’s kind and generous and fun), her work ethic (you can read about it here–I added her blog to my friends list there on the right of this page), and the amazing photos of her dancing. Someday she’ll be a New York City Rockette or dance for some other cool dance company. And she was my student and my kids’ baby sitter, so no big deal.

So I’m bragging on this kid a bit, but truth be told, this is how I feel about many (most?) of my past students. After teaching *cough* years, one acquires a fair sized collection of past students. And mine is an amazing group–teachers, engineers, waitresses, cops, welders, counselors, security guards, moms, dads, writers and musicians.  To be honest I don’t even know what most of my past students do.  But the things I said about the two-bird dancer would apply to them as well. Except I don’t believe any teacher or engineer has looked this cool teaching or engineering.




I admit it. Sometimes I tell made up stories to my students.  Made up stories about my past.  Why do I do this? Partly because my stories are so ridiculous that surely they won’t believe me. And partly because my stories are so ridiculous that it will be amazing if they believe me.  So it’s possible that during my many years of teaching I may have briefly discussed with my students the rapping scene that I was part of back in the 80’s.  I rapped like no other, broke rapping ground, single handedly created rap sub-genres. In my rapping history I had at least two aliases.  One was “E-Z P-Z.” E-Z P-Z was the fun, nonthreatening party rapper who rapped about having fun, busting moves, talking to nice girls, and going to church.  As often happens though, I lost my way.  I harkened the call of the gangsta side of the street.  I began to spit out the nastiest raps about the nastiest parts of life–nasty parties, nasty girls, doing crimes, and not going to church.  I became “ICE-3” aka “ICE-TREY,” and totally lived the thug life on the mean streets of Abilene.  The stories I could tell, both good, and nasty, would make your eyes pop out.  If you don’t believe me, just ask my students.  They know it’s true.



I realize now that I missed an opportunity a couple Sundays ago to illustrate the zombie communion. This one was done recently by the same boy that drew the Spiderman, the one who fell in the lake. It’s another in the series “I should be working on yearbook, but doodling is more fun, if less productive.” I think I could fill a gallery with such a series. It was originally done with just pencil. It looked really good. I suggested some color. The artist wasn’t sure, but gave it a shot. I don’t think either of us were happy with the results, but neither of us wanted to tell the other. I had in mind more of a light shading. The artist of course had in mind his original black and white. There’s a moral there about sticking one’s nose where it doesn’t belong, or about deferring to others one’s own artistic vision. Still I got a zombie drawing out of the whole deal. So that’s nice.

Live 4 Now


I just got this one last year.  I have now idea what inspired it.  We weren’t working on satire, although that clearly seems to be going on here.  I don’t think it was a not-so-subtle hint for me to cut down on the calories.  I believe it was just one of those inspirations that happens when you should be working on yearbook pages. Maybe everyone should have a hobby that they hate.  That way when they tell themselves it’s time to get to hobby-ing, they will become inspired to make some great, or at least some fun, art.  In thinking about it, I guess we all have that.  It’s called housework, the chore list, the chore jar, etc.