This video is a large scale wall drawing created by the NHS Drawing Intensive students. These students spend several weeks turning their sketches into reality. Using non-traditional materials such as string, yarn, tissue paper, and push pins large scale works were created in the lower level of NHS. Ideas varied, but one thing that unified my students’ ideas was to create some type of cityscape. Through their collaboration they created a vibrant city full of energy, individuality, and originality.
A few days ago I noticed a semi-finished painting by senior Mikayla resting on her work table. The painting had a series of legs collaged at the top of her canvas and a woman resting towards the bottom. To the left of this canvas was a sketch of an idea, “What’s the Point?” Although we talk on a daily basis how often does a teacher really inquire about a student’s process? After all, haven’t we seen it all? I have found that students tend to shy away from sharing their personal thoughts, but are willing to share their ideas. I was curious as to how she went from this sketch to her collaged painting. Here is what she had to say about her process.
Before I started this piece I had already cut out the girl on the bottom I thought that could possibly use it later in another piece. I then chose it for this particular piece because the girl was in the water; it reminded me of the Little Mermaid. I cut the swimming cap off of the original picture and set it in my sketchbook. Lately, I have been interested in simple line drawings, so I started adding her red hair in. To go with my theme, I looked up “the dark side of the Little Mermaid.” There I found that in some version of the story Ariel was turned into a human so the Prince would love her, but it did not work. He loved some other girl. Ariel became depressed and jumped back into the sea where she died (when mermaids die they become sea foam). After having that in my mind, I look at my sketch. I still wanted to have some collage aspect to it. I thought, “what was a big thing in the story?” Legs. The Little Mermaid wanted legs.
I got to work. I started cutting out all these legs. I placed them in a row overlapping each other. I liked the idea, “How far away should she be from these legs?” I thought. I was thinking that some distance between her and them showed some sort of representation. That she could never really be human, the Prince would never love her. I created a large canvas and went straight to painting. I added the sea foam at the bottom from the story I read. I wanted this piece to evoke sadness and I think, “What’s the Point?” really adds to it. – Mikayla
The Art Foundations 1 and Senior Art 1 students just wrapped up a fun unit on abstracting the self/portrait. This was part of a 6-week unit where students learned how to draw a realistic self/portrait using a grid and revisiting the wonderful world of color. This is probably one of the best units taught since it gives students structure and freedom to create when they dip that brush in some paint.
Gallery of student work
The past month has been so busy that I neglected to write much of anything down!
I prepared and hung artwork in 2 separate exhibitions, one of which I had approximately 10 studio days in which to build and paint 12 panels before the day of installation.
I also was able to lend some helpful suggestions to Mr. Soik’s 4th hour humanities class, as they were doing another “Artplosion” project based on a wide array of interconnected topics. The class ended up using a storyboard format to express their topics of interest.
Last Thursday I had a fantastic time hosting one of the Brown Bag Lecture Series lunch talks right here in the studio! It is a chance for faculty and staff to get to know what I’m doing here, when they might not otherwise have been able to deviate from their busy schedules and routines.
We sat around the studio tables and I gave a little background about myself then opened up to questions. I really enjoyed being a part of this program.
On Friday evening (December 11th), I will be taking down my exhibit at Lakeland College. As a 2010 alum it was an honor to come back as a visiting artist and exhibit in the same space I hung my senior exhibit, as a student then, nearly 6 years ago.
Next week I will be meeting with Carrie McGoldrick‘s classes on Monday and Tuesday to help the students approach a political cartooning assignment. I hope to draw on a bit of my graphic communications knowledge to help the students transfer their ideas to paper.