Form and Function

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.


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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.


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Color Color Color

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.


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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 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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