Archive for art

Discovering the Power of Their Voices

by Shawna Lee, Clearwater staff member When I was seven years old, I was a chatty person--so chatty, in fact, that my 2nd-grade teacher told me over and over again to stop whispering to my friends in class. My chattiness was such a problem that she pointed it out on all four of my report cards that year. When I was 10 years old, I helpfully corrected my 5th-grade teacher when she said

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Clearwater Profiles – Mara

This is the first in a series of profiles of Clearwater students. Clearwater students range in age from three to eighteen, and include kids who've attended since they were three and others who've enrolled later in their schooling. by Shawna Lee, Clearwater staff member Mara and I arranged to meet at 1:00 PM and talk about her life at Clearwater. When I tracked her down she was deep in a game

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Cosmos: The Graphic Novel

Samadhi has been a student at Clearwater for 9 years--he enrolled when he was four and is now almost 14 years old. He has been drawing since he was six and began making comics two or three years ago.

This year he started writing and illustrating a science fiction graphic novel series titled Cosmos. He has completed 16 pages in the first of seven planned books in the series. Book one is subtitled "Sol System", and will be around 200 pages long. He is using Adobe Photoshop to color the comic.

Samadhi has another comic series in mind, also science fiction. He maintains he cannot make a comic series without outer space in it. He explained that the humor in his comic is inspired by Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which combined sci-fi and comedy so well.

Many graphic novels fill Samadhi's shelves at home. Some of his favorites are Bone, Usagi Yojimbo, Amulet, Missile Mouse and Lackadaisy. He admires the last one because it is well drawn and combines comedy and drama.
Without further ado, here is Cosmos. Many pages are followed by Samadhi's comments. Click on each image to enlarge for reading.

Comic Prologue page 001

Comic Prologue page 002

Page 003 Shipslicer!
(click to embiggen)

Page 004 The Vanishing...
(click to embiggen)
And, now The Title Page!

(Click to embiggen and discover the name of this Opus)
And The first page of the actual comic!

(Click to check out those awesome night time effects close up)

Page 007 (Sodalicious!)

Page 008 (Suddenly, better shading! Wow!)

Page 009 (Lamps with eyes are the best kind of lamps. I’d totally buy that lamp.) 

Page 010 (Oh wait no that’s no lamp. Shocking twist. What is even this guy’s deal with these lamps.)

Page 011 (PLOT!! That’s a sound effect that needs to be used in comics more often.)

Page 012 (Shocking twist #2. Man Lekku what is even up with your mane in that last panel. Brush strokes eternal.)

Page 013 (Motion blur always. I have to draw those couches so many times i will just drop a spaceship on one, which just actually happened. Oh wait now it’s harder to draw. Dang)

Page 014 (See, when you cut something with a sword that looks like a peeled banana it clearly can’t be fixed. This is what happens in my world.)
How many couches CAN I destroy???????? Next on Cosmos!

Samadhi's comic was first published on his mother Roseanne's blog, Breaking Sod, in three installments: one, two and three. 

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Getting Ready for Whistlepig

Many Clearwater students and all four staff members are spending the week in a state of high expectation and preparation for Whistlepig, Clearwater's fourth annual festival of music, food and sun, this Sunday, May 1, 1-6pm. (We hope the sun cooperates and shows its welcome face on Sunday.) Details of all the great things you can see and do at Whistlepig are at the end of this post.

First, here's a sneak peek at two of the performances that will be featured at Whistlepig.

Jacy, Maddy and Keenan are the 1, 2, 3's, who will be performing their latest choreographed spinning routine, Spintastics. I sat in and videoed some of their latest choreography.

As I watched, I was struck by the deep friendship between these three that enables them to work together with ease, honesty and mutual support when creating their spinning choreography. They have been friends for many years and the trust and respect between them is evident.

This mutual trust and their affection for each other is a product of years spent figuring each other out, working hard to understand complicated, difficult feelings, learning to appreciate each others quirks and strengths, and their commitment to honesty.

When they work together on a project such as their upcoming Whistlepig performance, they know each other so well that they can jump right in, communicate clearly without worrying about stepping on each other's toes or feelings, and collaboratively create something they love with efficiency and skill.

Most schools are not equipped to provide uninterrupted time, space and an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect for children to explore and develop honest, rich relationships with each other. Fortunately, at Clearwater, students can devote the fullness of their energy, creativity and time over days, months and years (not just at recess or breaks between classes) to developing relationship skills that will serve them well throughout their lives.

Another amazing performance at Whistlepig will be the Wiggling Monkeys, Clearwater's choreographed hula hooping group. They have been spinning hoops together for several years now, and enjoy the opportunity to create something that is exciting for them and their audiences. This year will be no exception.

Finally, here are full Whistlepig details. We'd love to see you, your family and friends. If you can't come, consider making a tax deductible donation via Clearwater's home page.

Featured performances by:

Kimo Muraki
Clearwater Singers
Zoe’s Fuse – Irish music and dance
We Shadows Theatrical Troupe – scene from Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”
Wiggling Monkeys – choreographed hula hooping
The 1, 2, 3’s – Spintastics (choreographed spinning)

Come hungry! The menu will feature sandwiches made with pulled pork smoked on site and prepared by Clearwater’s Master Chef students; fresh green salad; vegetarian entrées and sides; snacks and beverages.

Then, indulge in homemade scrumptious pastries and yummy desserts made by the amazing bakers in our community.

More favorite activities:
  • Tap into your inner wisdom with palm, aura and tarot readings
  • Be part of Whistlepig’s carnival vibe and pick up a mask, mardi gras beads, head dress and other festive gear
  • Make a one-of-a-kind button you can wear proudly at any occasion
  • Decorate yourself with divine body art

$10 suggested donation

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Potluck & Craft Night

Clearwater's Community Building Committee plans and organizes regular evenings for our community of parents, students and staff. The events always include a potluck combined with an activity such as discussing a topic of concern to parents, playing games together or making crafts.

On December 1, the committee organized a holiday craft night that a number of families attended. Members of the committee set up different craft tables and most people made crafts of every kind to take home.

Making paper snowflakes

Designing melted bead ornaments

Yarn for pom poms

Trimming a pom pom

After working up an appetite, everyone gathered in the kitchen for some delicious potluck food.

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Holiday Greeting

Sam, a Clearwater student who is almost 12, made these delightful images as Christmas cards that he distributed by email over the break. With his permission I am reprinting them here.

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Rain Garden Poetry

Last week, a ten-year-old Clearwater student composed a poem about Clearwater's new rain garden.

Without further ado, here's his poem.

The Swale
by Arlo

We have a swale on the side of our school.
Water runs in it and people run on it.
I think it’s cool and so do my friends
So we’ve managed to not hurt it—-not a dent.
Not a hit
Not a smack
Not a slap
Not a bang.
So I think it’s cool and so do my friends
So this is where my poem ends.

Arlo and the rain garden

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Robert and poi–Video by Shane

If you were following the blog last year, you may have seen photos of Gabe, one of our graduates who demonstrated his skill with poi as part of his diploma presentation . Robert, who also plans to get his diploma this year, has become Clearwater's resident poi master and can do some amazing and beautiful things. His hours of practice really show.

Shane, a new Clearwater student and avid videographer, filmed and edited footage of Robert in a recent performance to produce the video below.


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Clearwater Is a Swirl of Activity

The new school year is well underway and characterized by great excitement, a mature culture and a wealth of activity. Everyone is happy to be back at school and enters into interactions and activities with focus and anticipation. The days feel very full and fun.

A subset of students initiated and joined in on a number of organized group activities and projects, to the extent that we had to create a weekly schedule just to make sure that activities wouldn't conflict and preclude students involved in more than one from doing all or most of the things they want to do. The master schedule looks like this, for now, with an addition of singing two mornings a week.

In addition to these activities, a large number of students are involved in the cooking class which has created the Clearwater Cafe, the playwriting/acting class and a movement class inspired by student interest in martial arts. Individuals are also involved in guitar, drum, math and French classes, sewing and piano practice. The Clearwater Singers are rehearsing for a December concert. Magic, the Gathering and Settlers of Catan are played on a regular basis again this year.

The newest sport is Whiffleball and an invented variant that can be played in the Active Room. A bus load of students travels to a nearby soccer field at least one day a week. As in all previous years, many students continue to create and develop rich worlds, stories and characters as part of live-action roleplaying games that reflect their particular styles and interests. A film committee selects older or lesser-known movies for movie Fridays. The current movie theme is visions of the future. (More about many of these activities in later posts. Stay tuned.)

The list of specifics doesn't even begin to give a sense of the heart of Clearwater education--the daily work and rewards of creating and re-creating relationships with fellow students and staff members and making constant decisions about how to prioritize one's time, where to focus one's efforts and what it means to be responsible in any given situation.

Students spend time in the art room on a daily or occasional basis.

In the waning days of late summer, intrepid young students braved the creek water, which is much cooler than it was during the summer. Their tolerance for cold water is truly impressive.

To see more photos and snippets of the first weeks of school, click on the link below.

A Magic game in full swing.

Selling delicious homemade chocolate chip cookies to benefit equally the school and themselves.

Working on a sewing project.

Putting the new drum set through it's paces. (More on the new set in a later post.)

Caring for a lame hen.

A monumental, multi-day Lego creation. (More on this later.)

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More Clearwater Art

Drawing is something many students do everyday at Clearwater. A parent's birthday or some public occasion often inspires younger students to create and present a piece of art to parents and sometimes staff members. Some students are dedicated and disciplined artists whose daily routine includes drawing many and varied images. Others put pen or pencil to paper to draw maps of the school or imaginary worlds, which become props or references in creative games. Young girls are often fond of drawing princesses or fairies with lovely clothes and flowers.

Niya, an 11-year-old student, draws frequently at home, but recently has been drawing more often at school. Recently, I was delighted to notice a couple of wonderful, fantastic creatures she whipped out. There is something about the personality and weight of the creatures that captured my imagination. Niya graciously signed and dated the pieces and permitted me to publish them on this blog. Thank you, Niya!

You'll notice that the drawings are on ancient, lined dot-matrix paper, donated to the school for scratch paper. One of the things I find fascinating and inspiring about all the drawing that goes on at Clearwater is that most of it is done for the student's satisfaction, out of a need to express something graphically. Clearwater students don't draw because it's art time, and they usually don't start drawing with the intent to produce something to display. They draw because they feel impelled to, which is often. People such as Niya draw for the love of it, while also consciously working to improve their skills. I often wonder how natural and common drawing would be for most of us if we had all had the time and space to draw for our own pleasure and need.

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