Wednesday, August 22, 2018


paper collage, misc.findings, mounted on Bristol board

These are so tiny but very powerful Self Portraits that my 2-D beginners created
for their First Quarter Final.
They were required to jump thru so many hoops,
incorporating the Design Elements & Principles we had studied.
Yes, we study in art.  Ha ha
Yes, there is a book,
Art Talk,
 in this class & Quizzes 
Oh no!!!!
This is the foundation class for all my others,
and it's the class I recommend the most for my Art Majors so they will be competitive in college.
And it's definitely my most difficult class.
But the learning is FUN!!!

Note:  There is a slight chance I might have gotten a name or two
labeled incorrectly here.
send me a shout-out if that's so.

The theme that senior Jessica Mones worked to on this first well thought out piece 
was about rewinding time. 
Love the Monochromatic & Neutral color scheme.
So many kids do not feel confident about not incorporating color into their works.
I adore the pieces of rust found to help balance corners (a Principle).
You can find pretty much anything you need within my room or gardens 
since I am the ultimate dumpster diver!

This next precious and delicate piece was made by junior Stephanie Reyes.
She is working in a Cool or Analogous color scheme.
The winding pathway adds Movement to the work,
a Principle of Art.

In this next delightful one by 8th grader Summer Lee,
she has used tremendous energy going thru all the nooks and crannies of the bead drawers 
to find buttons, sequins, cording, etc.
For some of the kids going thru these drawers is somewhat intimidating
or just requires to much damn energy.

I really enjoyed the silhouettes that senior Alyson Tam used
So many of the kids think they have to draw in every single detail of the face & bodies 
when all they really need to do is use a silhouette.
This is so much easier,
especially since we hadn't started the drawing unit yet.

But then there was junior Maniska Ranjit,
who enjoys a good challenge.
She also came into the class with technical skills in place and she loves to draw women.
In that tiny area of 2" by 4" she has managed to put in all the details of this very elegant woman.
Plus her message is simple yet conveys a powerful message.
And check out how she designed the tissue collage backdrop,
gorgeous movement and precise craftsmanship!

Talk about powerful,
man oh man,
junior Ellya Gholmieh
packed a punch and grabbed our attention with this outstanding piece!
Can you tell that the figure is projecting out into space?
Another requirement and Element of Art.

In this very telling Self Portrait by 8th grader Madison Plotkin,
you can really see how she is pushing parts of her work into space.
Notice how she achieves Balance as well with those black curved silhouettes. 
They also help your eye move around the work.

Oh my,
check out the interactive portion of this next work by 8th grader Sophia Matthews.
She built a hinge system so that a section opens to revel the works' meaning.

And this next timely one is so important in terms of message,
and how senior David Tung feels deeply invested and concerned about our futures.
It involves China, Korean and the U.S.,
 and our conflicts with each other.

We end with this last soft & atmospheric piece by junior Esther Ahn.
She also chose to make it interactive by actually making two parts that overlap.
Clever girl! 
She calls this Behind the Screen.
Simple yet so powerful.

Thank you young ones for these remarkable and personal pieces.


  1. These are from beginning (!) 2-D art? Incredible. As I have before, I will need some time to digest these before commenting ... they are too rich for one pass.

    In the meantime, is the book you refer to a textbook? What is the title? Of course, I realize to truly learn from a book one also needs to have the experience of an instructor who mediates the understanding of it. Still ... I would love to have your recommendation on a good book to read on design principles.

  2. Hey Liz! Yes the book is a text for Art students grades 7-8, and I've been teaching with it for about 28 years now. Each kid gets a copy to take home to study from. We complete the entire book in one semester with quizzes on each Chapter. And then in all my assignments I make the kids incorporate many of the Design Elements and Principles. There are 14 in all and they are so important when composing a work of art. There are so many great books out there. This one comes from Davis Publications and is called "Art Talk". I'm sure you'd be able to pick up a used copy on Amazon.

    1. I ordered the teacher’s wrap-around edition ... anything with a 1988 pub date that you’re still using is better than fine by me ;)

    2. I hope you like it Liz, a lot of great visuals for the kids and easy to understand explanations.