Thursday, 6 December 2012

Self Portraits

Some self portraits done recently - students could work in any medium and had to decide what they would reveal, how representational it would be of their physical features or they could take a symbolic approach etc.  It was wide open and I never know what to expect.  Students stood beside their work and sketchbook while senior students, teachers and administration walked around and asked them questions about their process, inspiration, sketchbook research, artist influence, what they saw as their technical weakness/strengths and so on.  Students had lots of opportunity to practice talking about their work and process to a variety of people and overall there was a great energy and buzz in the room with everyone talking and looking at the artwork.

Work in Progress

Students are working on a colour theory painting, inspired by one of my favorite art teacher blogs - Artisun.  They have to include a colour wheel, both a monochromatic and achromatic scale, and analogous and complementary relationships.  Prior to starting their painting we discussed some compositional strategies to add depth, visual interest and/or movement to their drawings.  We spent a long long time in the sketchbook doing color charts - primary, secondary, tertiary colours as well as tints,shades - and planning their drawing and how they were going to execute all 5 colour schemes.  I'm pleased with the direction their paintings and look forward to seeing their final work.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Stories - IB 11

Students are required in IB Art to research artists that are relevant to their own work along with other documentation of their process such as technical practice, preliminary drawings, reflections etc.  For this project the theme was story and the artists that we looked at thanks to Art 21 (amazing site!) were Kiki Smith, Trenton-Doyle Hancock, Kara Walker and Do-Ho Suh.  I have them research two of the four artists after watching the videos by Art 21 and then produce a work of art in a medium of their choice that implies a story. Their final piece should suggest a narrative but leave room for the viewer to enter and create their own interpretation as to what the work is really about.  The story is just the starting point and students are encouraged to not illustrate a scene from a story but make art that has visual impact that is rich with narrative possibilities.  Their story can be autobiographical, fictional, satirical, mythological, fantastical, fact and/or fiction etc.  Here I'm showing two students work along with a couple of their sketchbook pages that are connected to their final pieces.


Thursday, 1 November 2012

Cardboard Sculpture

They took a long time but finally we're done!  Tiffany and Chris worked on the first one - a camera and they managed to have it so that the zoom lens actually turns and slides back and forth.  Impressive!

A rice cooker!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012


I have a class that is a mix of ages and technical ability and we started off this year with a cardboard sculpture project.  To begin I had the students explore the medium of cardboard and record their findings in their sketchbook.  They were to try to weave, braid, tear, crumple, twist, curl, score, fold etc. cardboard to help them thinking about how to use cardboard in a different way.  They also looked at a number of cardboard artists to find inspiration and to see the endless possibilities with this material.  Once they chose what they wanted to build they could only use glue, interlocking pieces or use tabs to keep the sculpture together.  No glue guns and no tape.  They were to also find images or prepare life drawings of their object so that they weren't trying to build this from memory and omit key details.  For some reason I'm fascinated by how students organize and record notes in their sketchbooks.

I decided to have the students work in pairs which proved to be beneficial as they have really found this project to be challenging.  But working together they figured out how to construct their sculpture within the restrictions that I gave them which was that they could only glue (white or carpenters), interlocking pieces or use tabs to keep their sculpture together.  No glue guns and no tape.

Here are some images of their sketchbook notes and I will post the completed sculptures later ... they are taking forever to finish!