Welcome back from break, everybody. There was a bit of a hiatus on the blog as the change of term coincided with the business of the holidays, but we haven’t been just sitting around in the art studio. Students have been hard at work since returning from break and there are impressive results in all grades.
Grade 5 finished up their Monochromatic Cityscapes with a focus on pattern, overlapping, and one color with multiple shades and tints.
Grade 6 spent a long time on a block printing unit using the radial symmetry of snowflakes as their artistic inspiration.
7th Graders got in touch with their weird sides for these Surrealist spaces.
And 8th grade students learned that faces are more than just emojis as they sculpted these grotesque planters.
Thanksgiving break marked the end of trimester 1, but there was a great deal of art wrapped up in those last days that deserves to be seen. It is up in the FMS hallways and will be returned, but in the meantime you can see it here.
6th graders worked in the style of American artist Georgia O’Keefe using watercolors to show the large beauty in tiny flowers.
7th grade students also observed their subjects carefully but used charcoal to render these animals in rich blacks, greys, and whites.
And 8th grade students finished up a complex independent project that explored the space and layering found in famous artworks.
The second term is underway and new artwork will arrive in our hallways and online soon.
5th Graders and 6th graders in Mr. Adams’ art room have both wrapped up ceramic projects in the last week. The fifth grade looked at the ups and downs of the global landscapes and created a mini-model of a natural space. The worked hard to create many textures in their landscape. After firing the models were painted with acrylic paint which really brought them to life.
Sixth grade was considering the delicacy of useful pottery, creating a small box to hold their biggest wishes. Students had to build their box, add feet and embossment, then design a simplified animal as a handle. The kids wrote a wish on a tiny scroll that was burned into the ceramic molecules in the kiln to add true magic to the piece. The final sculptures were then glazed and re-fired.
Both the seventh and eighth grade artists in Mr. Adams’ art room have been focusing on twisting and distorting the human face and features.
Seventh graders looked at the work of the Post-Impressionist Italian artist, Amedeo Modigliani. Influenced by the tribal art making its way to Europe from Africa and SouthEast Asia, Modigliani stretched and distorted the faces in his portraits, often painting them with empty eyes to create a mask-like effect. The 7th grade students looked at their own faces and abstracted their self-portraits in a similar style.
At the same time, 8th graders were inspired by the drawings of Renaissance artist, Leonardo Di Vinci as well as medieval gargoyles and grotesques. They sculpted 3D vessels and added deformed and distorted features, noting the physical structures of the human face. After firing, Farmer Deri joined us from the hoop house to help plant seeds and plants in the pots (creating living hair) which now hang on the wall in the FMS hallway.
5th graders looked at the abstract work of Russian-American artist Vassily Kandinsky. Kandinsky claimed to “hear” color and his later work was more about playing with color, shape, and line, than any kind of representation. The students used his style to create beautiful watercolor compositions.
Meanwhile 6th graders were finishing up a long project that focused on leaves and the patterns in nature. After observing real leaves and drawing them realistically, students “stylized” their designs in order to turn them into images they could transfer and carve into rubber blocks. These blocks became the printing plates from which students made many, many prints.
Seventh graders have finished a long term ceramics lesson based on the intricate and elaborate facial tattooing of the Maori people (indigenous people of New Zealand). Different symbols represent different concepts and personal traits and students considered these as they designed their faces. The designs were gently carved into one side of the clay surface and then mirrored with glaze on the other.
Fifth grade students looked at the work of Maine artist Louise Nevelson and considered how abstract sculpture can express emotion indirectly with line, shape, and color choices.
Both 7th and 8th grade students in Mr. Adams’ art classes have just finished up detailed observation drawings in the studio, but using very different methods. Seventh graders looked at the Pointillist style, popularized by Post-impressionist painters like George Seurat, where colors are put down in tiny dots and changes in color and value all happen in the eye of the viewer.
Meanwhile, Eighth graders followed a more traditional path as they observed a large collection of objects and drew them using a range of values achieved with multiple drawing techniques like hatching, smudge, and scumble.
While the concept of both lessons is similar in terms of close observation and realistic images, the results are drastically different depending on the materials and techniques.
Hello art fans. The summer is over, Labor Day is past us, grill tongs and forks are being traded in for rakes, and school is back in session. We are looking forward to another great year of imagination and creativity, with some learning and skill building worked in too. Here is the first lesson completed this year (way to go 5th grade): Insect notan collage.
Students first observed and drew insects from photographs. They then traced the shapes of those bugs carefully as possible and cut 1/2 the shape from white paper. Placed on top of colored paper and flipping the cut image created these beautiful, stark, high-contrast images in the Japanese notan style. Notan is a Japanese term which literally means “light dark harmony”. Artists sometimes use “notan studies” to explore different arrangements of light and dark elements in a artwork, without having the distraction of other elements like color, texture and finer details. They can also just show a beautiful simplicity of contrast as they do with these insects.
Stay tuned for more art and more blog posts as the year continues.
Another school year is coming to an end but the students in Mr. Adams’ art room are still working hard finishing up printmaking projects, abstract sculptures, and still-life drawings. All the work will be coming home so watch for it and hopefully some of these masterpieces will find a place in houses across Falmouth or beyond. Here are the last lessons they completed that have decked our halls these last few weeks. As the work comes down and goes home it is bittersweet: seeing the empty walls but knowing they will be filled again in a few short months. Have a wonderful summer and think about the art all around you as you enjoy the time off.
Grade 5- Coil Pots
Grade 6 – Chinese Dragons
Grade 7 – Self-portraits in the style of Amedeo Modigliani
Grade 8 – Artists’ Pets
As the year draws to a close that means another issue of Motley, our annual Arts & Literature magazine is ready to view online.
Our editorial team worked hard all year promoting and encouraging students to submit work, then looked through everything to decide which work best represented the creative spirit of our school.
Click the image below and head to our online version to enjoy the drawings, paintings, photographs and even origami that our students created this year, not to mention plenty of fantastic poems, stories, and essays.
If you would like to purchase a hardcopy of this year’s issue, click here and go to Blurb.com to order.
As June moves along and you are looking for summer reading, perhaps start with Motley. You can also view past issues here.