“In my collection of illustrations, which I call Corn Dog Art, I incorporate elements that are purposefully ambiguous. The colors, mood, characters, setting and other elements may be interpreted in a variety of ways. Look carefully, you may see something you didn’t notice at first glance. It is important to be open to ideas, and listen to the opinion of others…maybe they will sway your opinion.”
Denise Cassano runs the CornDogArt blog, which discusses art, creativity and critical thinking in the classroom. She has had articles and illustrations published in School Arts and Arts and Activities Magazine, Horizons Magazine and Science Stories, Teachers and Children as Science Learners., and more recently Edutopia.org. Sharing her experience, she developed an ebook, Using Art to Inspire Creative Writing, a free resource that can be found on her blog. She is a teacher in the Scarsdale School District, and teaches professional development classes though the Scarsdale Teachers Institute. An artist and educator of over 20 years, Denise is passionate about art, critical thinking and anything having to do with dogs.
Corn Dog Art illustrations and videos are made with the express purpose of inspiring creative writing. I’ve always been amazed at how children can see things adults can’t. In my 18+ years of teaching art, it is always exciting to involve students in observing, then interpreting images. Children love to debate the meaning of a picture, particularly when the image contains ambiguous elements. Ambiguity. Subjectivity. This is my inspiration.
I have always loved to paint, and if I could, I would do it all day, every day. The inspiration for my images come from a variety of places- travel, conversations, museums visits, sketches and dreams. I am always on the lookout for objects that are aesthetically beautiful. I then take these objects and incorporate them into larger images. Once they are conceived, they are physically realized in my sketchbook. Surprisingly, may of my final illustrations started as modest scribbles in my sketchbook. This is why I am a huge proponent of drawing. Drawing is visual thinking. As artists, so many of our conceptual difficulties can be worked out in the drawing process. Check out the Portfolio page on www.corndogart.com to see more of my sketches.
I’m often asked, “What does this mean?” or “What’s the real story?” I take that as a compliment, because that is the whole point of the image. That’s why I tout, “Observe, Interpret,… Create!” That sums it up.