Beginning with a simple question, “Can we make big sculptures?” 6th graders explored the concept of abstraction, organic and geometric shapes, and 3 dimensionality in this latest lesson. After an initial planning stage, student teams began building frame works for out of cardboard, tape and hot glue.  They then covered everything in paper maché, a goopy but very fun process, and once dried, painted their pieces in Monochromatic color schemes.  This was a student driven project from start to finish and the results are stunning.


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One last post from the 1st Semester

As we reach the halfway point of the year, 5th grade is switching classes and saying good bye to art. But before a new class takes their place, please enjoy these beautiful coil pots the students created to finish off the term.


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Some Spring Color in Winter’s Darkest Days

6th and 7th graders have finished up lessons just as we ready for winter break.

7th graders worked long and hard on these charcoal self-portraits. Looking at facial proportions, then erasing the light, adding dark shadows, a day on hair, a day on background… all with a messy and sometimes frustrating material.  The results were worth the effort.


Meanwhile, 6th grade students were looking closely (VERY closely) at flowers. Inspired by American painter Georgia O’Keefe, the students zoomed waaaaaay in on flower photos until they created an interesting and somewhat mysterious composition. After a quick and very light pencil drawing they set to work with watercolor. The focus was on flow and blending to create images that, while based on flowers, became abstract images about shape and color. 


Thanks for following our work. See you in 2017!


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Lots MORE new work

So the new schedule, while infinitely clearer and smoother, has presented me with one unexpected challenge: all of my classes tend to finish lessons at approximately the same time. Which means the the blog is now less of a steady stream of incoming artworks and more of a climate which has long dry spells with the occasional deluge of completed projects.  That said, please get comfortable and enjoy the latest from FMS students. Nothing like a blast of color in these dark winter days.

Grade 5 has just finished an abstract watercolor painting inspired by Russian artist, Vassily Kandinsky.


6th grade finished a 2D and a 3D project.  Chinese wish boxes and a traditional still life drawing project with lots of shading.



7th grade worked long and hard on their ceramic Indonesian Masks.


And 8th graders took a POP art twist to the selfie with their Warhol inspired block prints. 


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All around the World

5th graders take us on a tour of world ecosystems, biomes, and landscapes with their new ceramic sculptures. With a focus on three dimensionality they created landmasses molding clay around newspaper then added texture and surface detail.  After the pieces were fired they went back in with a base coat of paint and then layered on lots of small details to create realistic blends of color.  Some of these are so real you want to watch them until the tiny, hidden inhabitants show themselves.


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Tons of New Work!

So with our new schedule this year, all grades change UA classes at the same time. Which means that all grades completed an art lesson last week. It took me a bit to get everything photographed and I still need to hang work in the halls (don’t worry, all will be returned) but this blog is a great place to see the work students have done in the last several weeks.

There are POP Art inspired self-portrait block prints by 8th graders.


Charcoal self-portrait drawings from the 7th grade.


Not one, but TWO projects from our world traveling 6th grade: Nigerian-style fabric printing and Ceramic Chinese dragons.


And grade 5 finished something up as well, a pastel landscape drawing as part of our larger landscape unit.


WHEW!! Lots to look at. Enjoy.

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New work for 2 Grades!

2 classes have finished extensive projects and they are on display now in the halls of FMS.

5th graders have been focusing on the precise architecture and geometry of cities. Students used rulers and templates to carefully draw cities with lots of patterns of windows and lots of overlapping.  They then traced those drawings onto a new piece of paper to which paint was added. But the challenge didn’t stop there! Students needed to choose a color and paint their cities with a monochromatic color scheme. Many shades and tints were created to separate and add detail to the buildings.


Meanwhile 7th grade was studying the intricate dot patterns of the Lombok tribe from Indonesia. These masks, depicting stretched faces, were made from clay then carefully glazed with spirit animals and patterns of tiny hand-painted dots.  It was a long detailed process but the results are stunning.


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First of the new School Year

The 8th graders have just completed the first lesson of the 2016-17 school year at FMS, a classic project for artists: The still-life drawing.  Students chose and set up the objects to draw and then had to build their drawing with basic shapes.  They looked at value and shading as well as texture and used multiple drawing techniques like hatching, cross-hatching and stipling, to shade and add three-dimensionality to their work.


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Welcome back!

Another new year. One full of potential and excitement for all the amazing art FMS students will create. Will an election year effect the emotional quality of the work?  Will middle schoolers use their art as a platform for change?  We shall see.  In the meantime, while the first batch of art is in progress, enjoy learning about our first Artist of the Month: Vassily Kandinsky.

This piece, Eurographics in Blue, is a great example of Kandinsky’s vibrant, abstract style.


Learn more about this influential artist here.

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Final Post of the Year 2016

So another year of fantastic art making has come to an end. We made many mugs and teapots, paintings and pointilist drawings. Self portraits and animal studies. With a little luck and a lot of effort, students have finished the year stronger in art than they began and will head into the summer looking at the world in a slightly different way.

To take us out, please enjoy a final project from 6th, 7th, and 8th grades.

Grade 6: Greek mugs– students were inspired my mythical beasts just in time for the Greek studies unit in Social Studies. The mugs were decorated in the classic “black on red” style of ancient Greece.


Grade 7: Pointillism– Students used food as their subject and then careful drew using only the stippling method to fill the page with tiny dots. They worked hard to use many colors to create a “visual blend”.  I think Georges Seurat would be impressed with the results.


Grade 8: 3D Fine Art– For the final art project of their middle school career, 8th graders found work in art history that called to them.  They examined the piece for how it used SPACE and then (in an incredibly short time period, I might add) actually made each layer and built the 2D image as a 3 dimensional relief sculpture!  Beautiful!


Until next year, GO ART!

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