Faces & Found Objects

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.


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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.

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Welcome Back!

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.


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Last Post of 2019!

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


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Motley ready to view!

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.

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As June moves along and you are looking for summer reading, perhaps start with Motley. You can also view past issues here.

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More More More

Please enjoy the latest work from all four grade levels at FMS.

Boy, this spring is moving fast!

6th graders looked at the Cubist style of Picasso, broke their faces into geometric shapes, then layered up the painted pieces to create these 3D relief sculptures.


8th grade students used carefully cut stencils and three colors of ink (with the silkscreen method) to recreate the POP Art style made famous in the 60s and 70s.


5th graders did some careful observation and learned about different drawing materials in these animal portraits. 


7th grade students examined the design motifs of the indigenous people from the Pacific Northwest region of America.  They incorporated these designs into their ceramic animal masks. 




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Tis the season for GREEN

8th Grade students are helping brighten up this gloomy start to spring with green growth in the FMS hallway. We studied the “grotesque” drawings of Leonardo DaVinci and then drew our own. We used the drawings as a starting point for our ceramic faces which focused on 3D modeling and exaggeration of the human features.  These faces were added to a backing slab with a hanging hole.  We headed to the hoop house to see Farmer Deri and he helped us plant chard, radishes, and chives in our heads to give them green growing hair!  Find these characters in our sunniest hallway, down near the gym.


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Long Time Gone

Hello, Faithful Middle-school Art appreciators,

Apologies for the long hiatus.  I won’t go into details but needless to say, extra time for posting work on the blog was hard to come by for the last several weeks. But as April vacation approaches, I hope everyone has time to look at some great new work from the FMS students. Sit back and enjoy this ART OVERLOAD!!!

Grade 5 Cityscapes


Grade 5 Pastel Landscapes


Grade 6 Chinese dragons (Trimester 2)


Grade 6 Book Illustrations (Trimester 3)


Grade 7 Modigliani Self-Portrait (Trimester 2)


Grade 7 Pointillism Food (Trimester 3)


Grade 8 POP-Art self portrait


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Tons of New Art

As the winter rolls along students in Mr. Adams’ art classes have been working hard creating a new batch of beautiful, inspired art work.

Eighth graders completed a major lesson with many independent elements. They started by choosing a famous piece from art history which they felt showed a good example of the art elements Space. They then chose the appropriate materials to recreate the work and had to consider fore/middle/backgrounds.  Each “ground” was created separately and then the piece was built with foam bumpers off-setting the layers to create a three dimensional diorama effect. 


Seventh grade students harnessed their inner weirdness and in the spirit of the Surrealists, transformed everyday objects into bizarre creatures or fantastic vehicles.  These transformed creations were then put into well considered images with depth and composition.


And 6th grade students stretched their vision by trying to see themselves as Picasso might have.  They considered the Cubist concept of looking at things from multiple angles/perspectives at once and broke their faces into painted shapes. They then rebuilt themselves abstractly by piecing their faces together using bumpers to separate layers in a relief sculpture.  Take a peek at these wild portraits!




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Ceramics 2 ways

Ceramic tends to fall into one of two categories: Sculpture (art for art’s sake) or Pottery (a utilitarian vessel). This post showcases one of each from 5th graders and 7th graders.

Fifth graders completed a coil pot lesson that needed to include a repeated pattern both in the building stage and the glazing stage.


Seventh graders, meanwhile, worked on decorative ceramic masks based on the motifs of the First Nations people of the Pacific Northwest.


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