Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Preliminary Oil Pastels - Student Work

For my Beginning 2-D kids, the 4th Quarter is all about color and learning how to use it with a variety of media.  I start them off with oil pastel because it's user friendly and inexpensive :)
They have several requirements to meet , some of which are range of value in subject as well as back and foregrounds, cast shadows, shading in either a monochromatic, complimentary, or analogous way, and using either hatchure or pointillism techniques or both.  I have them practice for 2 days on small pieces of black construction paper, then off they go on a larger piece of black paper to do their final one for grading.  Unfortunately, I've lost track of the artists on a couple of these, so young ones, help me if you can. 

Taking a guess here but I think these two were done by junior Cathy Luo and 8th grader Annie Oh.
And one last guess on these last two.  How about juniors Justin Hwang and Alex Lee.  Feel free to chime in you guys!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Wood Assemblages - Student Work

These were designed and built by my Advanced 3-D art students.  they had to jump thru quite a few hoops for their specific requirements, starting with a wood foundation, glass shards, wood staining, wood burning, wire, nails, and paper collage.  I might have forgotten a few.  Help Kevin  :)  What's so cool is that they all turned out so differently.  

You are looking at senior Nida Fatima's piece here.  Most students choose to display their work on a wall, but Nida knew she wanted to do a free standing piece.   
I really like how she built her tree with twigs from around the school and wire. Notice the soldered glass piece she made that dangles from the tree limb?  And the bird she made from FIMO clay?  and how the glass shards flow around the work to create a sense of movement.  Lovely Nida!

In this next one by senior Rita Labib, it actually is much larger then it appears her on the post.  I would say it was about 9" wide by 30" high.  Very elongated which I feel is a very pleasing format to work within.  
Rita began with lots of paint and stain on her wood.  I'm pretty sure she changed up the look and colors several times before she allowed herself to actually begin the layout design.  She worked from this huge plastic bag that she had collected tons of magazine pictures in and other misc. goodies that she felt might look good in her art works.  What I  really enjoyed about this piece besides the content (message), was the many layers that she built up with other chunks of wood; so that when you viewed it from the side, it was so interesting to the eye with many levels.  Sorry I didn't think to photo it from the side.  
This piece made a big splash at Open House and was bought by our Dean of Discipline.  I believe she will be hanging it in her office.  I love that our faculty and staff support our young artists.

This last one by senior Kevin Tang was a stunning work and I believe he gave it to his mentor and friend, our beloved Physics teacher, Mr. Z.  So all of us will be able to enjoy it for many years to come.  
Kevin spent a lot of time drawing and cutting out his wood shapes to get everything just right.  
I really like how he put his nails/screws in and wrapped wire around them, and the foil butterflies that he made and embellished with.  And this year Mrs. Z had donated these beautiful colored sands, so Kevin put them to good use by drawing glue spirals and sprinkling the colored sands over top for a very pleasing effect.  Also notice the cooper mesh and netting for the eyes.
These kids worked really hard to make these pieces happen.  Congrats you three!

Mary's Garden of Delights

I've mentioned my friend and co-worker Mary several times recently, and have really wanted to post her garden, but I shot over 50 pictures so it's taken me some time to narrow them down a bit and get them up.  

In early June this year I was invited to see her garden that I'd heard so much about. And it did not disappoint.  It was spectacular in design and color, rich in wild and insect life, and so right up my alley.  Plus they had the sweetest dog ever, a Wheaten Terrier like our Sophie Jean.  Mary's partner in this labor of love is her adorable partner Gary, you'll see him later.  
The view from their sliding door is breathtaking...
I felt as if I had stepped into an enchanted garden.
No matter which way I turned it was crazy wonderful.
And because it was early June, everything was alive with bloom, birds, and butterflies.

One of my favorite areas was the pond Gary built.
So picturesque, with a big Koi fish and lots of babies swimming around.   The nasturtiums were amazing  in bloom and spilling into the water.

But it was this vibrant red tree that really caught my eye as the sun was starting to set and back-lite it so beautifully.  Of course I've forgotten what Mary called it but if you look closely in the middle branch you can see it's flower, it's pink and grows right from the large trunk, very cool.

I showed off this clever idea the other day in my post, how Mary and Gary put the lint from their dryer into this cage so the birds can pull from it to help build their nests.

For the birds they also put out this lovely crystal dish full of grape jelly.  The color and sweetness also draws in birds to their yard.

Right next to their slider is the smallest nest I've ever seen, it belongs to the mama hummingbird below.  If you look closely you can see her 2 babies peeking their heads over the edge of the nest, above.  She is very territorial Mary said.
Here is Gary with a birdhouse he built with his grandson.
And they've put out several water features throughout the yard.  The sound is lovely and they also attract the birds.

Behind the red tree was a telephone pole that Mary's packet of seeds grew up to cover the whole thing.  It was quite a site!
And what a clever idea Gary had for their empty wine bottles, using them as decorative edging, complete with labels intact.  Loved it!  Especially how the grasses and mosses are starting to grow around them.  What a great look.

Besides all the variety of trees and plants, they also have an extensive fruit and vegetable garden.  I'm thinking these are figs above, and tomatillos  below.

And look at this unusual avocado above, it's a special variety that they bought because it fruits all year.
Here are some of the plants that caught my eye.  This bog plant above called a Pitcher Plant.
And these two colorful ones that Mary said really attract the humming birds.

And check out those glorious artichokes below.  Yummy!
And this healthy clematis below.  I've been trying to get mine to bloom for the past two years.  No such luck, but Mary and Gary have the magic touch with their green thumbs.
Thank you both so much for allowing me to see your amazing garden.  It was truly inspiring!

This shot was my favorite of them all, but I have no idea was these flowers are called.  Help Mary??   :)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Linoleum Printing - Student Work

Back to senior Laura Kadi for these adorable linoleum prints.  I changed up the assignment from years past, and I know Laura rally enjoyed the challenge.  It's a little tricky to explain but here goes.  
Instead of carving the complete design into the plate then printing the whole thing at once, you carve out a bit at a time, roll your first color on (Laura is using a yellow), print, carve some more, re-register, print your next color (Laura used brown), carve away one last time, re-register, and print (black).
This way of printing involves using a lot of critical thinking to plan out your design and where each color is going to go.  But as you can see, so worth it and satisfying.  I also required Laura to print on different papers as you can see in the first photo.  and then she had to matt her favorites. 

Thank you Laura for being the first to try this difficult technique.  Fantastic job! 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Negative Space Op Art - Student Work

These were done by my Beginning 2-D students as an exercise during their Right Brain Drawing lessons.  We worked on large sized paper (18 x 24), and started the pieces off with a silhouette.  In the piece above, junior Cathy Luo drew the silhouette of the young girl running thru the trees.  
The second part of the assignment was to draw from the plants I brought into the room or to go outside and draw from real life trees, branches and leaves; and to draw those over top the first silhouette.  I believe Cathy drew from both, the plants I had inside as well as falling leaves outside.  A bit complicated but it creates a really cool optical illusion.  Then of course, they decide what is going to stay white and what they will ink in with brush and India ink for the black areas.  It's super labor intensive but so worth the effort as you see in these finished pieces.   Several of these kids spent well over 25 hours on these.  We had 10 days in the classroom to complete them; so of course that means for the more complex and detailed ones, they had to be taken home for extra working hours.        
This year the kids were inspired and required to take their pieces even farther as you will see after they viewed the work on the blog from last school year.

A great example is by senior Sheila San Agustin, who, in addition to her incredible design, used collaged paper and stitch to make her work really pleasing to the eye.

And look at 8th grader Annie Oh go, yes 8th grader!  I know it's kind of hard to see but she has attached silver chains to her paper that flow so well with her design.

And below we have senior Sally Choi, who literally spent a good 50 hours perfecting her work.  These children give me so much.  It just makes teaching such a joy!

In this next lovely work we have senior Ashley Chowdhury using watercolor to bring her piece to life and really make it pop.

And below one of my favorites from this year, 8th grader Nathan Lam is really showing us his up and coming talent.  Love how the man is morphing into the tree roots.  So clever Nathan, really well balanced and then with that small touch of the Little Red Riding Hood.  Super effective!

Junior Justin Hwang rocked his piece with sequins, and junior Deena Younan created this really striking piece below with a touch of watercolor.

And our last one was done by junior Judy Shih below.  Putting red tempera in the background really makes her piece pop, and then by placing additional color in the interior helps to balance that.  Very creative Judy!