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Michael Mize

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Raffle With A Cause

by mize , August 18, 2013—12:00 AM

Topics: Exhibitions, Faith, charity, inspiration, painting, raffle

I am honored and humbled to have been asked to be the 2013 Featured Artist at the 8th Annual Aaron Douglas Art Fair in Topeka, KS. This unique privilege is unquestionably the most attention I have received as an artist to date. I have no doubt in my mind that this is an opportunity given to me by God. As such, it is my intention to take full advantage of this recognition by using it to share my faith in Christ and my belief in the Bible as the infallible word of God. It is also my intention to honor God with the Featured Artwork which I created specifically for the Fair. Because God has given me my artistic talents and this chance to showcase them, it seems to me the proper response is to allow God to have His way with the actual artwork… Continue reading… 1 comment

I wanted to share about an exciting event currently taking place at the high school where I teach. On Friday, Feb. 26th, we hosted our second annual Art Night Lock-In. The Lock-In is an all night event in which 18 students were invited to spend the entire night at school with the art teachers creating original paintings and artwork. All of the paintings created during this one night event will then be auctioned of at Southwind Gallery on March 5 in conjunction with Topeka's (or currently, Google's ) First Friday Art Walk. We were also excited that this year local artist Barbara Waterman-Peters… Continue reading… 0 comments

One of the tasks I__™ve been working on over the summer break is modifying the Daily Dose writing assignments for the painting classes, which are taught by another teacher and me. We are planning to put the entire semesters worth of assignments online at our respective teacher homepages and the students can complete them weekly at their leisure. We will then discuss the each weeks artists every Friday. This should free up a significant amount of class time daily and still allow us to incorporate the invaluable art history component. I__™m pretty excited to see how it all plays out during the course of the semester… Continue reading… 4 comments

The past couple months have been frantic and exciting. It has been a dizzying blur of activity both personal and professional that has often threatened to cause my brain to atrophy into something that closely resembles a raisin. It is the kind of busy that makes you feel as if you need to consciously prevent your eyes from crossing. It should be noted though, that I__™m not complaining. It__™s been an enjoyable frenzy, one that has encouraged and challenged me creatively. However, it also should be noted that I__™m eagerly looking forward to things slowing down a bit in the near future. I continue to prepare for my first real public exhibition, a fact that gives me a big thrill… Continue reading… 1 comment

Featured Artist

by mize , January 16, 2009—12:00 AM

Topics: Exhibitions

I was home sick from work yesterday when I received a most exciting phone call. The manager of the gift shop at the Mulvane Museum of Art wanted to invite me to be the featured artist from April 14 - May 15. I was absolutely stunned, especially when she said my work came highly recommened from no less that the curator of the museum. I wasn't even aware they knew who I was, much less familiar enough with my work to feel compelled to feature me. It's an especially timely opportunity considering this featured spot in the gift shop will run concurrently with the Washburn University Alumni Exhibit in which I will be exhibiting my painting, Abraham & Isaac… Continue reading… 5 comments

Happy Little Afro

by mize , November 29, 2008—12:00 AM

Topics: Oddities, photoshop

All of us in the art department, and oddly enough, one member of the math department, eat together during the lunch period. It is not uncommon for us to run out of time eating because we've found our way into some completely ridiculous conversation and taken it further than it probably needed to go. Somehow last week, and I can't recall now how it got started, we were discussing the cult status of the late Bob Ross . We were all doing our best impressions and citing our favorite quotes. (Personally, I always enjoyed how he'd get all giggly whenever he'd "beat the devil" out of his brushes against his easel after washing them out.) Anyway, we started assembling an improptu pro and con list of Bob's overall effect on the art world in general… Continue reading… 2 comments

A little over a week ago I posted a blog about a Post-It Note Mural I was working on for Topeka Bible Church where I attend. I was surprised and flattered at the feedback I received in response to the blog, and in support of my efforts in creating the mural. It is because of that interest that I thought I would offer an update about the now finished product, which you see pictured here. First off, let me address some of the FAQ 's I've received about the project. The final mural ended up being just over 3 feet tall by 5 feet wide and incoporated approximately 670 Post-It Notes. My best estimate is that I put in about 25 hours of labor producing the work… Continue reading… 9 comments

Post-It Note Mural

by mize , November 7, 2008—12:00 AM

Topics: Christianity, Faith, community, inspiration, involvement, technique

This week and next I'm working on a mural project with a rather unexpected media: Post-It Notes. The worship arts pastor at my church (Topeka Bible Church) challenged me with this task after seeing Iowa artist Shay Hovell's Post-It Note Mona Lisa . Last Sunday Post-It Notes were included in all of the bulletins passed out at the three worship services, and the congregation was asked to write the names of three people in their life that needed prayer, especially if they were nonbelievers. To add a nice element of intrigue, everyone was not told what we had planned to do with all the notes, just that we had something special in mind. All the notes were collected, counted, and photo copied… Continue reading… 6 comments

Peter's Doubt

by mize , September 9, 2008—10:30 PM

Topics: Christianity, Faith, inspiration, painting

This painting is inspired by the account of Peter walking on the water found in Matthew 14:25-33. In the story, which immediately follows Jesus feeding the five thousand, the apostles are fighting their way through a storm as they cross the Sea of Galilee to the shores of Gennesaret. They are terrified when they discover the figure of Jesus approaching the boat and walking on the water. (verse 26) Jesus reassures the disciples, and Peter, in a statement that comes dangerously close to challenging Jesus, says, "Lord, if it's you, tell me to come to you on the water." (verse 28) Peter takes a few cautious steps and finds that he is indeed walking on the water. This is the point of the story which seems to get the most attention… Continue reading… 2 comments

Summer Class

by mize , July 9, 2008—09:42 AM

Topics: Christianity, Drawing, art education, painting, technique

This summer I've been taking a class at the local Univeristy so I can get enough credits to re-certify next January. The class is actually a workshop in drawing, but I know the professor and he was agreeable with allowing me to paint primarily. So in essence I get college credit for doing what I would have been doing in my own studio anyway! The return of deadlines, however, has been a mixed blessing. I obviously work faster, but the stress associated with it is never terribly enjoyable. I'm embarking tonight on another canvas that has to be finished by next Thursday. Yikes! This painting did mark and change in methodology for me as well… Continue reading… 0 comments

Getting Involved

by mize , May 16, 2008—12:00 AM

Topics: Christianity, community, inspiration, involvement

I've been meaning to write this blog for a few weeks now but haven't managed to find the time. After reading Caroline Henry's astute observations about the importance of art communities, I felt compelled to make the time today. (And it has nothing to do with the fact that this is the last Friday of the school year! Woohoo!) I can remember vividly the night I set up my initial free Artid account. The excitement and anticipation over the visibility my work might receive on the World Wide Web; the thought that something might even sell! I remember praying and asking God to please bless the effort that I was making to become more actively involved in promoting my art… Continue reading… 5 comments

This was the title of a fascinating documentary I watched last night that followed the "career" of the then four year old artist Marla Olmstead. (pictured at right) The toddler was producing abstract paintings of remarkable quality and sensitivity. The canvases attributed to Marla would be significant no matter what the age of the artist, however, the fact that she was so young certainly added to the sensational aspect with which her story was pursued.… Continue reading… 2 comments

Learning to See

by mize , April 17, 2008—12:00 AM

Topics: Drawing, Seeing, art education, originality, teaching art

It seems that a large portion of my work in teaching kids art is trying to convince students of the validity of concepts that, on the surface, seem quite contrary. Often times, it is only after these paradoxical notions are fully understood that a student will begin to see any real progress in their work. Add to this conundrum the fact that, in art, many of the significant lessons are not entirely logical or concrete. They are really more like intangible perceptions to reflect upon during the creative process; allowing them the opportunity to influence and inspire the direction of a piece. Perhaps my favorite of these vague theories is the importance of learning to see. … Continue reading… 1 comment

When Things Go Wrong

by mize , March 29, 2008—12:00 AM

Topics: Mistakes, art education, teaching art

I have found that one of the unexpected by-products of being a professional educator is that I__™m also afforded the unique opportunity to be a professional learner. It has been my experience when teaching kids art, that with a sufficiently open mind and a healthy amount of humility, I have a chance nearly everyday to learn something from the same students I__™m there to teach. What__™s even more fascinating is the variety with which these occasions present themselves. Sometimes it will be in the unique perspective and clever thinking of an individual student. Or it might be something I overhear while two kids exchange ideas and offer each other advice. Very often, student performance on various projects is a great venue for gaining valuable information… Continue reading… 3 comments

Rejection Acception

by mize , March 28, 2008—12:00 AM

Topics: Exhibitions, inspiration

Early last month I noticed a "Call for Artists" on the homepage or our local public library. The proposed juried exhibition was for all varieties of printmaking. I've typically not been one to submit entries to juried exhibitions, due largely to a lack of confidence in my older work. Or perhaps more specifically, confidence that no one in my small midwestern city will appreciate what I have to offer. However, this time it was different. Right away I felt compelled to participate. I've always enjoyed printmaking and I thought the new direction in my work, of which I'm fairly confident, would translate well into a block print… Continue reading… 7 comments

Teaching Originality

by mize , March 4, 2008—12:00 AM

Topics: art education, originality, teaching art

___When do we get to do what we want?___ I__™ve been teaching kids art, specifically teenagers, for eight years. I__™ve taught at three different schools and in two separate cities, and yet I__™ve always been haunted by this query. ___When do we get to do what we want,___ is the battle cry of the creatively suppressed adolescent who has lurking deep within them an artistic arrangement that would redefine society as we know it. If only their tyrannical art teacher would release his aesthetic strangle hold and allow them to share it with the world. The real issue here, as art teachers worldwide already know, is that should you concede, this question will instantaneously be followed by the equally frustrating statement, ___I don__™t know what to draw… Continue reading… 3 comments

Making the Grade

by mize , February 16, 2008—12:00 AM

Topics: art education, grading art, teaching art

I love teaching kids art. There are so many aspects about it that give me a strong sense of purpose and satisfaction. I simply adore art, and the opportunity to get to talk about it everyday is ideal for me. I really enjoy teenagers and the challenge of inspiring and exciting them about my subject. Much of the philosophy of teaching continues to fascinate me. And I still get excited about constantly updating, changing, and improvising my curriculum with each new semester. However, as much as there is to love about my vocation, there is one chore that time and time again fills my soul with a sense of dread and injustice: Grading.… Continue reading… 4 comments

The Daily Dose

by mize , February 2, 2008—12:00 AM

Topics: art education, teaching art

CONTINUING THE ADVENTURES OF TEACHING KIDS ART ! Mondays through Thursdays as students enter my classroom they find an image waiting for them on the overhead screen. Along with this image are a few questions for them to spend five minutes considering and answering on paper. This is their Daily Dose. While I busy myself with taking roll and checking passes, the students are getting into their art frame of mind. After they__™ve spent some time writing about the artwork of the day, we spend another five minutes or so discussing the piece and asking questions. What did they notice, think, or feel? How does the piece relate to the concepts were currently covering in class? And did a five year old paint this, because it sure looks like it.… Continue reading… 2 comments

What is Art?

by mize , January 21, 2008—12:00 AM

Topics: art education, defining art, teaching art

TALES FROM THE ART SIDE (no. 1) Random Thoughts from a High School Art Teacher Each semester I teach anywhere from three to five sections of the introductory art class which my school has dubbed, ___Art Experiences___. Now something to note about teaching kids art is that most art teachers seem to view the intro courses with a sort of reserved contempt. They will admit that the beginning classes are a curricular necessity, but they want nothing to do with them. Intro classes are very much the grunt work of the profession. … Continue reading… 8 comments

Get Out There and Look!

by mize , January 16, 2008—12:00 AM

Topics: inspiration

It__™s about that time of the semester when I give my high school art students their one real homework assignment. They are required to visit a local gallery or museum and write a paper about their encounter as well as reflect on five pieces of art. They usually groan and complain about this at first and then many of them will admit, in the safe confines of their final paragraph, that they actually enjoyed the assignment.… Continue reading… 1 comment