Seventh Grade Sense of Self

Seventh graders have recently completed an intense charcoal self-portrait lesson. They began by studying the proportions of the face using pencil. Then spent a whole class simply exploring how charcoal can be used to show a wide range of values from dark to light. They then toned large paper with charcoal and a chamois and proceeded to slowly and carefully produce detailed portraits with dramatic lighting and precise drawing. It was a messy, challenging, and sometimes frustrating process, but the final drawings are beautiful.

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Dragons Dragons Dragons

6th graders have completed a unit exploring the details and parts and pieces of Chinese dragons. We looked at the elements that make up a Chinese dragon as well as the differences from “western” dragons. Students sculpted their creatures out of clay adding many details and textures. When they were fired we used acrylic paint to finish them with a well considered color-scheme. Some are “complimentary”, some “warm” or “cool”. Some “monochromatic”.  Take a peek at them all.

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5th Grade Metropolis

The 5th graders in Mr. Adams’ class have just finished a unit exploring the beginnings of architecture. After looking at many images of cities and noting the patterns and shapes, students set about drawing their own cities using rulers and shape templates. No free hand drawing was allowed. They filled their cities with windows and balconies, smoke-stacks and stairs and then used light boxes to trace their creations onto a new piece of paper. The new piece became a painting in which students were only able to use one color but with as many shades and tints as they could create within their monochromatic world. 

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Student Artists Honored at State House

Falmouth students artists (alongside students from Brunswick and Bucksport) had the chance to meet the First Lady and received a certificate of excellence for their artwork in Augusta yesterday.  The Excellence in Visual & Performing Arts exhibition is showcasing work from the three districts in government buildings until the end of May.  Students from all grades (K-12) are featured in the show.  Mr. Adams did a lot of organizing of the pieces and parts but wants to thank all the teachers in the district not only for helping choose student works but for their continued efforts in the arts and the amazing work they draw out of their students. These art teachers inspire daily and the spectacular collection hanging now in the capital couldn’t happen without you.

There was also a great musical element to the event featuring the Falmouth Jazz Singers and some truly excellent high school actors.  Thank you also to Beth Lambert (who was the amazing contact person from the Dept. of Ed. through the entire process) and Argy Nestor (director of Art Ed. at the Maine Arts Commission). A lot of people put a lot of time and effort into pulling this all together and the final results were stunning.   If you can get up to Augusta and check it out I highly recommend it.

Students with the First Lady are below, and their artwork is below that.

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Sense of Self

Despite many hours in front of the mirror, the self-portrait can be an intimidating project for an adolescent. But just look at the awesome results of a long and complicated screen printing lesson inspired by Pop artist Andy Warhol.

Students photographed themselves, printed the photo and carefully cut 3 stencils for the light, middle, and dark values in their face. Then they printed each color in turn to create a tri-tone portrait with the extreme contrast that Warhol’s work was famous for.

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Visions of the other coast… oh, and food.

Seventh graders have just finished a ceramic mask project based on the artwork of the native tribes from the Pacific Northwest. The style in that region reflects the awesome power and liquid beauty of the coastline and ocean.  Students had to incorporate designs from the native tribal styles and use both additive and subtractive sculpture to create their 3D pieces.  They then glazed them with a limited (6 or fewer) palette.  Many north American animals are represented here. Can you find a moose?  A turtle? A bobcat?IMG_1870

The same classes have simultaneously completed small pointillist drawings of food.  Note how the collection of tiny, individual dots of color comes together in our vision to create a cohesive image with light and shadow.  The drawing takes patience but the results are delicate and beautiful.

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Spring has Sprung! At least in the FMS Halls

Inspired by the work of American abstract artist Georgia O’Keefe, the 6th graders have explored the detail of flowers. They zoomed in on small sections of larger images and then blew those small sections up using a light pencil drawing. They then went over those light sketches with watercolor, focusing on blending and tone over realism. The results are a beautiful burst of color in our very grey March.  Enjoy.

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5th grade Sculpture

Mr. Adams’ 5th grade classes looked at the found object sculpture of Maine artist Louise Nevelson. 

They then explored the many ways that emotion can be expressed with abstract shapes. 

Students used many different kinds of objects to create their abstract compositions, then invented creative and subtle titles for their work.

Mr. Adams finished them off with spray paint.

What do these sculptures make you feel?

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Student art at the PMA

Three cheers for FMS seventh grader Emily Charest who has a painting on display at the Portland Museum of Art for their 2017 Youth Art Month exhibition. Students art work from around the state of Maine will be on display until April 7th on the bottom floor of the museum. All grades and mediums are represented and the show is beautiful. Student artists were recognized on Saturday evening and received a certificate from the director of the MAEA and a large crowd of parents and teachers.

Emily’s piece “Reflected Bird” was inspired by the work of Maine artist Dahlov Ipcar. Ipcar’s work is featured prominently at the PMA and I think the artist (who passed away just last month at age 99) would have been pleased to see Emily’s painting.

I encourage all to go see the wonderful art created by Emily and other Maine Youth Artists.

*(for the record, that guy with the scruffy hair in the last photo is Emily’s art teacher. )

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Final Projects from Last term

As we return from break lets start the final term of art with some creativity and bright color. The students in the last term finished up some beautiful pieces including 8th grade teapots that had to both function (perhaps not easily) and showcase creative spirit. They ranged from fruits and veg to animals to movie themes. And they all hold water and pour tea!

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Meanwhile, 7th graders were completing paintings of animals inspired by the work of Maine artist and children’s book illustrator Dahlov Ipcar. Ms. Ipcar passed away while the students were immersed in this lesson but I think she would be impressed by their use of warm and cool colors as well as how they expressed the abstract style of the artist. Dahlov Ipcar was a Maine institution and inspiration and will be truly missed.

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