I had the pleasure of attending a great workshop at the NJ Center for the Visual Arts this week. We started our day with artist Alice Momm. She shared her nature inspired art and discussed her process of creating art with natural materials. Afterwards we toured the galleries and looked at work from other New Jersey based artists. After lunch we walked and we gathered our own bits of nature outside to use to create an original artwork. I created a small handmade book that incorporated some swirly twigs, strung, book pages and watercolor. It was a great day and I walked away with some great ideas to bring back to the classroom.
This is probably one of my most favorite lessons to teach..data inspired art. We look at the work of artists who create what appears to be seemingly abstract art but come to find out it is inspired by data. The data can be as simple as a heart rate or as complicated as the pressure readings inside of a hurricane. This data is represented visually using some art medium. In class, we worked from data we created on site using a die to roll numbers and creating marks using system/key as a guide. Then students, working in small groups, created their own systems to work from. The final project for this lesson is a collaborative data painting. Each student completed a survey about their learning preferences in regards to being right brained or left brained. We represented these answers using a color key. The visually represented data will be put together to create a large painting. Looking at the final artwork, we can investigate the data and look for trends in answers, determine who is more right or left brained and look for similar data profiles.
G115 is full of art! Each AP art student returned from break with their completed portfolio, 7 months of hard work. 24 + pieces of art for each student. Every surface in the room is covered with artwork as they measure, photograph, mat and wrap their work for the AP Exam. We just 3 more class block so to finish up it is a mad dash to the finish line.
Drawing & Painting I students just finished up their second acrylic painting project. They worked on mixed media paper and gridded their reference photo to enlarge the image first. Then using a variety of acrylic techniques, students worked to create a wide range of values and textures while focusing on the subtle changes in highlights and shadows.
Working with our contour line portraits, students are adding colors and adjusting to working on top of black gesso. The first things students notice is how bright the colors can appear when white is added and when they water down the pure hue they create subtle shadows and shades. Everyone's approach is different, some more expressive with color than others. Overall, a fun project to watch develop.
Congratulation to PHS senior, ChrissyI Chrissy was nominated for the Art Educator's of New Jersey High School Scholarship. After completing the application and submitting her visual arts portfolio she just found out that she was awarded the scholarship. Chrissy will be pursing a career in the visual arts upon graduation.
Special thanks to the AENJ for making great opportunities available for students who care deeply about the visual arts. It is so important for our students to see that there are professional organizations and people beyond our community that feel art is important and valuable.
Drawing & Painting II students are on to the next step in their contour line portraits. They began by using the blind contour drawing technique to draw one another. After completing a series of drawing students in class, students had the opportunity to draw friends and family outside of class to use for the project. Using either a single subject or a mash up of portraits, student worked on top of black gesso, using white lines, to create contour line portraits. Next up, adding the color and adjusting to the darker ground when painting.
Youth Art Month (YAM for short) is just two weeks away. Each year the art teachers at our school work together to create a department wide (sometimes school wide) art activity. Here is a sneak peek of "Art Radiates". This is our 2017 YAM activity that will be turned into a special display that will be exhibited throughout the month of March. Check back soon to see the finished results.
"The arts celebrate multiple perspectives. One of their large lessons is that there are many ways to see and interpret the world."
Mrs. Dorothy Amme
Visual Arts Teacher
Piscataway High School