Double the prints, double the color!

Both 8th and 6th grades recently completed printmaking units. While techniques were identical, materials and subjects differed greatly . 8th graders looked at the POPart style of Andy Warhol to inspire their own photos turned linoleum block prints.  Color became an important factor as the 4 part images were pulled together.


Meanwhile, 6th graders used rubber instead of linoleum and their focus was the magic of nature displayed in the radial symmetry of a 6 pointed snowflake.  Each student created many prints and while the best was carefully trimmed and mounted, all other prints were used in a group artwork “snowstorm” in the FMS hallways.


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We’re back! Welcome 2018

After a short winter break the students are back at it and with the hub-bub of the holidays passed I can now catch up on the blog. Here are two projects that were finished just at the end of 2017 and will be on display in the FMS hallways.

6th graders completed a classic still life drawing lesson in which they set up their own objects, observed and drew them as carefully and realistically as possible using many different drawing techniques and values.


Meanwhile, in our ever expanding quest to learn about arts from around the world, seventh graders looked at the intricate body art and facial tattooing of the Maori people. (New Zealand’s native population).  Students first studied Maori and Polynesian motifs and patterns, then pressed clay into a face mold. When the clay was leather hard” they carefully carved their tattoo designs into one side of the face. After the clay was fired students mirrored the design with black glaze on the other side.  Students had to consider not only the specific patterns, but also the cultural and personal meaning behind their designs.



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Fifth graders have finished a painting based on the colorful abstract work of Russian-American artist Wassily Kandinsky.  After an initial drawing using geometric and abstract shapes as well as lines students went in with watercolor paint. They needed to use at least 5 of the 9 painting techniques we studied and be as careful as possible with their brushes. While very little of art is truly “color within the lines”, this is one example where neatness counts. The results are beautiful blasts of color as we head into the darkest weeks of the year. Enjoy.


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New work from 3 grades

Once again we have multiple grade levels finishing up art units at the same time. Please enjoy a variety of work in different media and don’t be afraid to share or leave comments, hopefully positive but at least constructive.

Grade 6 just wrapped up a watercolor painting that involved careful observation and painting. 6th graders have been working on their fine motor control this year and the delicate layering of paint for these Georgia O’Keefe inspired pieces was a great opportunity.


7th graders also had a lot of observing to do with their charcoal self-portraits. Students got used to this messy material and focused on correct facial proportions and placed particular emphasis on creating a range of values in their piece. While likeness was not a requirement, many of the students did a great job capturing themselves on paper.


Meanwhile 8th graders have finished a long term ceramic project wherein they meshed form and function, art and utility. These “crazy” teapots DID have to work (ie. pour and not leak) and they all needed to have a spout, handle, and lid, but the designs were limited only by the students’ imaginations. Some truly fabulous sculptures here!


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Bright Lights, Big Cities

5th graders have finished up a unit on cities and architecture. It began with careful drawings using rulers and templates with major consideration of geometric shapes.

Then they traced those drawings and began painting over the new version using a monochromatic color scheme. Students chose one color and created as many tints and shades as they needed to complete their painting.


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Everybody Finished at Once

Last week was a busy one for finishing up art projects. Unsurprisingly, all of the middle school grades have completed an art unit in the same few days. 5th and 7th grades were working three dimensionally with clay while 6th and 8th grades were printmaking. Students worked hard on these lessons and the results (of which there are MANY) are gorgeous to look at.

Grade 5 Ceramic landscapes with a focus on texture and painted detail.


Grade 6 Block printing with Autumn leaves as the inspiration.


Grade 7 ceramic masks based on the style of Indonesian tribal people.


Grade 8 block printed self-portraits in the style of POP artist Andy Warhol



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Welcome to 2017-2018 Year of Art!

It always takes awhile to get the first art on the walls and the first post up on the blog. Students have been working hard in all grades on their first projects of the year. 5th graders are wrapping up a long unit on landscapes. Part of that unit involved drawing landscapes with oil pastel and considering the “illusion of depth”. Using horizon line, for/mid/back grounds, size change and overlapping students tried to create images that the viewer felt they could step right into.


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Last Post of 2017

Another year of amazing art has come to an end and here are the final lessons from each grade.  Please enjoy a couple of classic still life drawing projects, and pen & ink animal study, and a gorgeously colorful painting lesson just in time for summer.

Click the images below to link to the galleries.

Have a wonderful summer.

-Mr. Adams


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8th Graders and Art history

8th grade Artist Pets are on display in the hallways of FMS as well as here on the web.  Students based their work on famous pieces  from art history and had a lot of independent choice in this project; including which artist they chose to emulate, what material they wanted to use to make their piece, and what animal they decided to incorporate into the original work.  This year we have added to the ranks of Artist’s Pets Van Gogh’s alley cat, Miro’s sheep, Marc Chagall’s bouquet of cardinals, and a swimming pool even David Hockney wouldn’t want to swim in.


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Tea and Flags

Grades 6 and 8 have just finished up some colorful projects despite our long, gray spring.

Sixth graders were inspired by the Nigeria celebration of spring known as Ebune. They painted fabric and then carved traditional symbols of power and rebirth from rubber stamp material and printed them on the painted banners.


Meanwhile, eighth graders were working on fabulous crazy teapots. All pots needed to be functional and were tested at a real tea party once the project was complete.  Can you find the Empire State teapot? Or the tentacle teapots (there are 2)?


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