Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The most wonderful time of the year!

It seems like the art room is ALWAYS busy, but this time of year- it's even MORE busy! We are getting all of our art ready to upload to the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Here is where you can login and learn more about this incredible nationwide award program that recognized students in the area of Visual Arts and Writing. Traditionally, submissions were due after the Christmas but this year they moved the submission date to December 15th. With that said, we have been busy photographing and uploading all of our submissions so that we have everything done on time! Here are just some of the submissions that are going in. We are hoping for some Gold and Silver Key winners this year!
Fingers crossed!

by Matt Gately

by Jessalyn Silveria

by Sara Francis

by Olivia Casey

By Bella Tocantins

by Rachel Nearis

by Alannah Allen

Friday, November 13, 2015

Halloween {insert scream here}

Halloween is the artist's holiday. It's a day to be someone you are NOT. It's creative. It's fun, It's creepy and it's whatever you want it to be. Most of my students know how much I love Halloween. I come in dressed up and I encourage my students to do the same. Last year I took our white wedding dress from our Studio 2 observational drawing and made it into a Zombie Bride costume. We are lucky enough to have a state-of-the-art photography studio in our school and our advanced photo students take full advantage of using it! Halloween is the perfect time to shoot images of anyone and everyone dressed in costume. Last year advanced photography student Vincenzo Dimino took these images of me in my costume and a new tradition was born.

Now, with the help of Vincenzo, Ms. Harney and the photography studio, Halloween is brought to a whole new level. This year Vincenzo, Alannah Allen and I decided we would recreate Frida Kahlo's famous painting, The Two Fridas.

The Two Fridas by Frida Kahlo

If you have taken any of my classes, you know that Frida Kahlo is my favorite artist. I have been planning on being Frida for Halloween for some time now. When Alannah, who is one of my honors students volunteered to be the "other" Frida for this project I nearly jumped out of my skin! We spent most of September plotting out our costumes and painted the background on an old sheet. We had the shop teacher cut the plastic heart I bought at the halloween store in half and painted some rope red for the vein that connects the Fridas and BOOM>>> we did it! Vincenzo worked his magic in the studio and this is how it turned out!

photographed by Vincenzo Dimino

Alannah Allen as Frida

Me as Frida

I just wanted to say THANK YOU again to Vincenzo and Alannah for making this project happen! Not only was it FUN to be Frida for a day, but the process was a creative journey. I have decided that every Halloween, we will tackle a new a new artist and recreate an iconic work of art!
Currently taking suggestions....

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Fall Wrap up and Update

October is such an exciting month in the art room that it's hard to keep up with everything that is happening, while it's happening! I thought I would take a few minutes to post a round-up of October and fill everyone in on what is coming up!

Studio Art 1 has been hard at work since the beginning of the school year. Their first assignment was a collage piece that required them to learn about two very famous collage artists- Romare Bearden and Faith Ringgold. To see some of Bearden's work and learn a bit about him click: HERE.  To see some of Faith Ringgold's work and learn about her life click here: HERE Students enjoyed working in the medium of collage and were challenged by creating a work of art that needed to be a self portrait without drawing themselves or taking a photograph. Take a look at some of the creative works of art they produced!
Molly White

Ashley Sanchez

Kevin Plante

David SanPaolo

Students in my Studio 1 class have since moved on to learning about the color wheel, tinting and shading scales and are now finishing up their painting projects. I will be sure to post those next month when they are all completed! 

Drawing 1 students have been hard at work learning the basics looking and observing. We completed our unit on contour line, which teaches our students how to really look at what we are drawing. It is the difference between drawing what you actually see and drawing what you think you see. We talk a great deal about line quality in this unit. Contour line drawings are my favorite because the line is a very slow detailed line. It sometimes appears exaggerated and can be described as yarn-like. Take a look at the some of the amazing drawings from this unit.

Elizabeth Arias

Marisa Enes

Haley Blanchette

Haille Glaser

Jacqueline Wonson

Jessica Oliver

Kayla Saltonstall

Fulton Cunha

Julia Demarijan

Katey Latassa

Drawing 1 students have now moved on to learning about shading and how to use value. They all received a set of drawing pencils and will soon be working on how to make flat shapes look three dimensional with just a few pencils!
Stay tuned!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Cabinet of Death Observations

Sharks by Rachel Nearis
Thanks to Mr. Enos and his infamous Cabinet of Death our Honors Art students got a special spooky and creepy treat for their observation unit in September. Jars used in the science department for various studies in Marine Biology and Oceanography were borrowed by the Visual Arts department for our students to use as observational drawings. Sometimes drawing a still life, or folded fabric- although very useful as visual exercises- can become trite but a a fresh (or not so fresh) baby shark fetus... well you don't get to see that every day. I think you will enjoy what our students did with these drawings. I think they exceeded everyone's expectations! We had a representative from New Hampshire Institute of Art, Matt Smigiel, come visit our class on October 1 and he was thrilled with the results of this assignment. In his presentation to the class on portfolio preparation he emphasized the importance of observational drawings. He explained to the class why they are so important and how many the college looks for in a portfolio. (at least 5) We have 2 more college representatives coming this month. Hartford Art School will visit us after this long weekend on Tuesday, October 13th and we are going to visit Mass Art as a class on Tuesday, October 20th
If any parent would like to join us on this trip PLEASE let me know! I would love to have you join 
Photo of the actual jar used for Rachel,
Sara, &  Greer's drawings 
Portfolio Day Information
In addition I wanted to remind everyone of some important dates for National Portfolio Day.
The closest one to us is in Boston at the Hynes Convention Center on Sunday, November 1st. from noon to 4. You can get more information from their website at: http://www.smfa.edu/portfolio-day

Hartford Art School is also hosting a Portfolio Day on Saturday, October 31st from noon to 4.
You can find out what venues are hosting Portfolio Days across the country here: http://portfolioday.net/  If you have specific questions regarding your own portfolio come see me. Going to a portfolio day is an excellent way to get feedback on what colleges think you may need to add into your portfolio to make it stronger and secure a spot at the college of your choice. It is an excellent experience. I wholeheartedly recommend going.

by Sara Francis

Snake jar by Matilda Grow

by Danielle Bauke

by Gabby Robertson

by Jacqueline Wonson
by Alannah Allen
by Jadin Aubrey
by Alexis Doyle

by Jayla Lok-Price
By Alexis Orlando
by Olivia Casey
by Matt Gately
by Bella Tocantins
by Greer Viau

by Jessalyn Silveira

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Drawing from Observation

by Fulton Cunha
It's been a long time since my last blog entry, but I am committed this year to keeping you all informed about what is happening in Artroom 3111. We have exciting new students this year and our experienced, honors students, have started the year off with great enthusiasm!

September is all about drawing from observation. Yes, actually looking at what you are drawing- not looking at a picture of what you are drawing. My biggest challenge is always asking students to look up as they draw. Many students think it's "easier" to take a picture of their still life with their phone and draw from the picture, but any artist will tell you that the quality of that drawing will never measure up to a true life drawing from observation. My Drawing 1 students started off with learning about line, qualities of line, space, and composition. They created thumbnail sketches of a still life I arranged with different chairs. They then filled in the negative space in each thumbnail sketch black. After they had completed a page of thumbnail sketches each student picked their most successful compositions to enlarge. The enlarged, final works included zentangle line designs in the negative space or positive space depending on the composition. Check it out!

Thumbnail sketches

by Katey Latassa

on display outside Artroom 3111

By Jessica Oliver

*** all bold highlighted words are vocabulary words that each student is responsible for knowing**