Cubist Self Portraits

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Cubist art usually includes seeing more than one plane (for example, you may see a profile view and a front facing view of the face simultaneously) and focuses on geometric shapes. There is sense of freedom when creating art in this style because realism in abandoned. 2D Art students created this vibrant self portraits after studying the Cubist works made by Picasso and George Barque.

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Endangered Animals: A Drawing and Printmaking Project

Visual Art students began their drawing project by learning to use a grid. A grid enables students to gain confidence by breaking down complex images into simple (smaller) parts. Each of these images are hand drawn, using a small photo for reference. Students completed the drawing portion of this project by using a Sharpie marker to create contrast (similar to the notans they previously created). Color was added by using a simple printmaking technique. Students colored a piece of tin foil with markers, sprayed it with water and then pressed their drawing on the foil. The watercolor-esque result is beautiful and hard to control.

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Wonderful, Gorgeous Weavings

2D Studio students have been hard at work learning about textile art and creating with fibers! These modern weavings are absolutely breathtaking. Maybe, I am a little bias, but they are so stunning I want to steal them ALL and hang them around my home (not to worry, I would never actually do that, but it’s fun to dream). Students used a variety of weaving techniques (Raya Knots, Tabby Weaving, and Soumak Weaving) to create patterns and used a variety of shapes and lines (cough, cough… The Elements of Art). Some students wanted their masterpieces to be functional (sewn on a tote) while others opted to hang theirs on a wall!

Basic Weaving Techniques: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nu_8OaVI4_w

Setting Up the Loom: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGBKwC0QZvE

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Pottery Wheels!

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The last month has been busy in the art room on many fronts, students have been busy creating and I have been feverishly writing grant proposals to get our ceramics programs up and running. Thanks to a generous donation by our PTO, we were able to order 5 pottery wheels. Last week, the Brevard Schools Foundation was kind enough to select our art room grant for funding, meaning we will now have all the supplies needed to teach students how to throw on the wheel and create functional pieces of stoneware (that means it’s not a paperweight, you’ll actually be able to put it in the microwave and dishwasher)!

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One of the reasons I feel learning pottery skills is so important in the middle school art room is that it requires patience,  teaches that small movements can have huge impacts and most importantly, when you your hands are full of clay you can’t use your cell phone (kidding, well…kind of)! In a world that moves with lightening speed, slowing down and creating functional pottery allows you to appreciate everyday items a little more.  Many of our surrounding high schools have wonderful ceramics programs so students leaving our art program will leave with necessary skills for success in upper level ceramics programs (and hopefully a lifelong love and appreciate for the arts).

PARENTS: Please keep a look out for a pottery flyer heading home with students next month (December). There will be a sign up for Friday evening pottery where your students can teach you how to throw on our wheels. Spaces are limited. 

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Notans: The Study of Dark and Light

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Notan is a Japanese word meaning dark and light. These Notans were created to increase the understanding  and awareness of positive (dark) and negative (light) space. Playing with positive and negative shapes creates dramatic results.

Students began with a 6×6 inch square of black paper, from there, they drew shapes (using a continuous line format) in each quadrant. Being careful not to lose any small pieces, the cut shapes were flipped onto white paper (creating a negative space on the black square and a positive space on the white paper). The process is simple but the results are nothing short of beautiful!

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Sculptures inspired by the Tijanpi Desert Weavers

The Tijanpi Desert Weavers are a group of indigenous people who reside in the remote deserts of Central Australia. These weavers are known for their intricate fiber art created from natural materials.

In class, students created sculptures using limited materials (paper, tape and yarn). The project required lots of problem solving, continuous modifications and a few restarts but the results are nothing short of amazing…

It’s Hip to be Square: Self Portraits

Understanding facial proportions and facial planes is not always easy, but that doesn’t mean it cannot be fun! These 3D self portraits are the introduction to portraiture and help students understand where facial features are located and that the face is comprised of many planes. Check out these fun selfies completed by 2D Studio Art Students.

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Mixed Media Animal Eyes

Everyone seems to love doodling eyes, whether they are human, animal or even cartoon. For this project 2D Studio students tackled creating enlarged animal eyes using a variety of processes and materials.

Students began this project by creating a test sheet of different visual textures. They experimented creating using….

  • Wax Resist
  • Oil Scrapping
  • Stamping
  • Mixing Salt & Watercolor
  • Watercolor & Colored Pencil
  • Marker & Water
  • Chalk Rubbings

Once they experimented and looked at possible textures, they selected an animal eye and got to work creating a grid.

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Planning Exercise Focusing on VALUE

 

Completed Works of Art

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James Prosek Inspired Paintings

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I was first introduced to the work of James Prosek after his work was exhibited at the Vero Beach Museum of Art. Artist, Author and Naturalist, Prosek is often referred to as the  “Audobon of the fishing world.” One of the most powerful elements of his art is that his work forces the viewer to look at each fish (or animal) in a way they may have never had the opportunity, up close and personal.  Prosek seeks to paint each fish, the moment is exits the water, when their colors are pure and vivid. He is one of my favorite artists to introduce students to because many share is love of nature.

After looking at Prosek’s work, we examined the wildlife of our own Indian River Lagoon. Like many of the animals that Prosek painted, the fish and birds of our Lagoon are in peril due to human pollution. Each student selected one fish or bird then using a grid, created their drawing. The grid allows students to draw more accurately and break down each complex photograph into small, more managable parts.

These paintings were completed in the first 8 days of school….

 

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Cardboard Self Portraits

Incorporating recycled materials is an important component to our art curriculum because it forces students to see possibilities, were they may otherwise see limitations. As a material, cardboard is interesting because it varies in thickness, texture, color and it is usually free.

Despite the positive attributes that cardboard boasts, its shortcoming is that it is incredibly difficult to work with. Kids scissors need not apply here! One contemporary artist that successfully tackles the challenges of cardboard is artist, Ali Golzad. Golzad brings cardboard to life by creating beautiful portraits of what he calls, invisible people. Starting with a contour drawing he turns his work into large, life like portraits. In class, we applied his process and started by drawing contour self-portraits. Turning a 2D design into a 3D sculpture is always fun and challenging!

Students worked with a variety of thicknesses of cardboard, learned to soften it by bending and twisting and even discovered unique textures by peeling it apart. Taking the time to examine, experiment and explore before creating with cardboard was an element that sparked a lot of creative thinking and saved students from a few classes of frustration. Examining color was also an essential element to study because it was easy for facial features to get washed away in all those shades of brown. Students used a variety of layering techniques to create shadows and raise the facial features that they deemed the most important.

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This project gave students a new appreciation for a unique material. They learned, shared and discovered new techniques while creating. Circling back to Golzad’s work at the completion of this project allowed students to gain a deeper respect for both his work, the material and his process.