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Elise worked on a printmaking and college piece that explores different modes of communication. She has yet to upload the work to Artsonia, but I wanted to make sure to include it on this post.
As we finished up our last project of the calendar year, I looked around the room at my students feeling very proud and thankful that I get to do what I do on a daily basis. 2014 has been an awesome year and here are some responses from my students who were simply asked to make something for their last assignment. I am particularly impressed with the level of thought and diversity in outcome as they selected the theme, material, and given only a week to complete. You can see the full gallery of work on Artsonia. Here are some highlights: 
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Gabe: For project five I chose to make a landscape in Photoshop. Recently Ive been studying photoshop art and design so I decided that I'd start a landscape project. For each layer of depth I used a new layer to make editing easier. The tools I used most were the brush to draw and the burn tool to add shadow and depth.
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Colton: I wanted to use a lot of texture in my painting of spiderman so I layered the paint and for the background I used oil pastel. I then scraped off most of the oil pastel making the background look cool. I couldn't really come up with an idea for the this project at first but then I though of another work I made earlier in the year. That helped me come up with this Spiderman painting for the project "Make Something" and because of the theme I though it was a perfect opportunity to make this. Like I already said, I based this off one of my other works. That work that inspired me is hanging on my wall and makes me think how great of an artist I am.
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Jayson: For my “Create Something” project, I decided to do a project based around music since it has been a big part of my life. Growing up, I listened to a lot of music. I have learned to play both the piano and cello. Music is something that my family, including myself, enjoys. I feel like this is something that represents me and has had a big impact on my life.
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Bre: The theme of my artwork is cancer survivors. When you look at my artwork you will see a cancer ribbon with a bunch of different colors coming off of it, and words in the ribbon. In my artwork I used color as my Element of Design, because I have a lot of different vibrant colors and they are outlined in a black sharpie. I also used emphasis as my Principle Of Design, because the focal point of my artwork was the cancer ribbon. This artwork goes with the theme of using family connections, because I love my Grandma very much and she suffered from cancer, but she is now a survivor. In conclusion, this is by far my favorite project that we had to do because we didn’t have a theme and we could make anything we wanted.
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Rhiannon: In this piece i titled, "Rose", i met all of the requirements because i drew this rose, drawing itself and the things around it. The background behind the rose shows colorful streaks and blobs. This piece is beautiful because roses are nature and the colors in the background make it pop.
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Nolan: This photoshop image has many personal connections to me. The daily struggles of school often distract me from the beauty of nature. On the off chance that I get the opportunity to go up north to my cabin, I always go into the woods and admire it's beauty. I can't help but think how much more relaxing and easy it would be to be a tree. In my work I contrasted my name from the background by making the letters colorful and the background black and white. Also, the fallen down tree form in the background takes up the space around my name in an efficient way. This piece was very successful and enjoyable to make.
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Lauren: I use many factors of elements and principles of design. One is I use the same over all colors for my piece. I use a grey scale. I also use form. My piece has the main focus on the people, which are in the foreground. Each person is placed in the same way and the place. This shows rhythm in the piece. This can show how people feel about each other and how they feel about themselves. These people are all around us and come in many different shapes and forms.
 
 
7th grade students worked on finishing their clay pieces as we prepared for Winter Break. We started with hollow clay balloons, that some students turned into rattles by inserting clay pebbles inside of paper towel (so it does not stick to the side of the clay body). Then students planned out their creatures and got to work making the needed forms and applying it to their work. It will be fun to fire these over break and get to finishing them off before the end of the semester. 
 
 
My 8th grade students are working on a new project this week, as we finish out 2014. I gave them very open perimeters to venture as they were told to simply make something for this project. It has been fun to see them search for ideas as they planned and began their works. From abstraction to landscapes, to portraits and popular culture, students are working away with their choice of 2D media. Here are some works in progress:
 

Notans

12/13/2014

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7th grade students explored the concepts of positive and negative space and symmetry as they created Notans with paper and digitally. You can see the full results on Artsonia

Cut Paper

Students started with a square sheet of paper and cut in a variety of shapes along the four sides before turning them outward and glueing it down on a contrasting sheet of paper, twice as big. 
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Caiden B.
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Toby B.
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Jacob D.

Digital Notan

Students followed along with a tutorial I made and posted here to reimagine their works posted to Artsonia as digital Notans. Here are a few of the results:
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Colton B.
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Josh S.
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Brandon B.
 
 
This week has been an eventful one. So much so, I have not really had a chance to post until now. It started with our Annual Winter Art Show at the VanSingel Fine Arts Center and ended with me rounding up the last of the Scholastic Entries to be handed in on Monday. 

Art Show Highlights

Our annual k-12 District show is one of my favorite exhibitions of the year. Luckily, we do this twice annually and showcase the best our students offer in the Visual Arts. I display one work from each of my students who make the selections of which pieces they would like on display. It is also fun to attend the reception and see the students react to their work on display, visit with former students and see how they have progressed, as well as meet upcoming students who I will get to teach in the future. 

Art about Issues

8th grade students worked on making work that dove into an issue or concern they were interested in exploring visually. Here are some process photos of their work and finished outcomes. You can see the full gallery on Artsonia. 
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Shaylen J. - Bullying and Social Media
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Colton K. - Addiction
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Tanner M. - Sports Injuries
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Brad R. - The Holocaust
 
 
7th grade students studied Greek and Pop Art this week with a look at how contemporary Artists are inspired by the past. First, we looked at work in the following Prezi that showed some contemporary connections to Ancient Greek and Roman Art: 

Students then worked on prints based of off activities they like and included at least 3 designs around the figure. 
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Corey B.
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Lukas I.
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Nathan R.
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Jake D.
After working with printmaking on paper with ink, students moved to a digital work in the style of Andy Warhol. It was fun to see students take the concept and apply it in a new way. 
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Cari S.
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Zach F.
 
 
8th grade students spent this week brainstorming, researching, and sketching out designs for their next project theme: Issues and Concerns. Many artists are interested in reflecting current and historical events in their work as well as questioning how things work, how they could work, and what the future might bring. I challenged my students to select and issue or concern they have and use PBS LearningMedia Student Portal to find images, articles, videos, and other helpful resources to inform their position on a topic of their choice. 
Students selected topics ranging from the environment, to tolerance, to disease, to student stresses and began to think of images and symbols that could help them visually communicate their ideas, feelings, and research on the topic. Once completing some sketches of their work, they did three minute critiques in small groups to get and give "stars and wishes" about the ideas and plans presented. This offered students valuable feedback to their peers to help narrow down their ideas and rework any unclear plans they may have had. 
Some students finalized their concepts today and started getting to work on their images. The only limitation to the work is that they had to use 2D media (which you will see is even a little bit bendable). 
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Gabe is working on a digital drawing in Photoshop about Technology. He is illustrating the journey of a computer virus.
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Nolan is working on a drawing that illustrates the stresses of school. He is using the image of a brain as a "stress ball" being squeezed by a hand. Surrounding the hand will be a chaotic arrangement of what causes stress to students.
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Lauren is creating 3D figures that she will photograph and then edit into a comic strip on Photoshop, illustrating issues around friendship, belonging, and being yourself.
 
 
Emma has finished her dress! I am very excited to submit this origami wonder into the Scholastic Art Awards on her behalf. This is the first time I have had a student design and complete a piece of fashion for the competition. It is going to be exciting to see what happens, although I think it is great even if it doesn't get the recognition. She is currently working on another series of designs that she will also submit to this competition as well as one done through a University.
 
 
There are 14 days left to get work ready for the 2015 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. I have submitted student work to this competition for the past 8 years and have students recognized both at the regional and national level. I am excited about the work coming in for this year's competition and anticipate the wait for award announcement, which does not take place until January 8th. Here are a few of the works we plan to submit this year: 

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Anna P.
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Dalton V.
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Josh S.
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Blake P.
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Gwen P.
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Lauren D.
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Lauren D.
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Emily B.
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Emily B.
 
 
Since I am mostly teaching 8th graders this semester, I have not spent much time blogging about what 7th grade students have been creating during our one class together (next semester will be the opposite of this semester). So, as to not forget about the great work these guys are doing, here is an overview of the ways in which we explored perspective for the last project. 

I have been teaching perspective for a while now. It can be a tough concept to teach at times because it is very rule-based and I always tell my students that in order to be successful at it, you kind of have to turn your brain off and accept that you are limited to the rules of drawing either vertical, horizontal, or orthogonal lines. I also try and reinforce those concepts using more than one kind of method. So, here are some of the works we did while playing around with the concept of perspective, but you can always view the full gallery here. 

Hallway Drawings

When we do this drawing exercise, I have students go into the hall to pick their point of view. Beforehand we go through various ways to use perspective by creating a generic hallway. Here are the results of putting that practice to work: 
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Colton B - area by Mrs. Gustafson's room
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Caiden B. - area by the gym and cafeteria
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Jordyn M. - area by Mrs. Stevenson's room

Name Drawings

Students were also asked to use perspective to draw their name. Here are some of the results. 

Photoshop Hallways

The last way students were asked to explore perspective is through digital means. They used images I had taken of the various hallways and using the pen and brush tools in Photoshop, they outlined the vertical, horizontal, and orthogonal lines. They then used various fill tools to complete the pieces. 
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Joey S.
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Eli G.
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Phat P.