Quality Over Quantity

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Now that it’s hit the Summer Holidays a lot of you will probably not even be reading this anymore. You’ll be switched off from school and switched on to television, or dragged off to some foreign land. While you are all enjoying this very short time of being completely responsibility free, please remember those of you that are working. Like Katherine M, many S3 pupils will be trying to complete some of the work they didn’t get finished in normal class time due to their aim for quality and detail. Most units will fit into the time allowed, though a few will have many more hours of work needed to complete.

I do understand what’s going through the heads of those pupils, as I continually work through. I do not shut off. If you let things drift away from you, especially for seven weeks, you can become rusty and then it’s a challenge to get back to the same mind state you were before you started getting lazy. Here’s some advice for all the pupils that have work to complete over the summer.

1) Shorts frequent bursts, an hour every few days works best. Work completed in one long haul can sometimes look terrible after a few days… you won’t have noticed the drop in quality due to sitting down too long with the piece and it becomes too familiar.

2) Try and get the work completed earlier rather than later. The sooner you complete the work, the better you will feel having done it. Don’t leave it to the night before returning.

3) It is not a bad thing to be slow, but remember that the stress will be greater when aiming for the absolute best you can achieve. No artwork will ever be finished, you need to decide when you have had enough. Artwork morphs and changes, you could work on a piece for the rest of your life if you wished… but don’t.

4) Lighten the mood, art does not have to be completed on a dining room table in the dark while you’re feeling depressed. Listen to music, do it in the sun, while talking with friends. All you need is your materials and a sturdy surface (a piece of board or a tray might suffice), art should be enjoyable.

5) Don’t stress and rush your work to finish it… ‘all good things comes to those who wait’.

Book Publishing

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S2 completed their Jekyll and Hyde Book Cover unit with over 150 books being produced. Almost all pupils decided to keep their books, those that didn’t, gave their books over for donation to the Gleniffer High School library (6 in total), I then kept 4 that I really liked including Beth W‘s and Ainsley G‘s.

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Above Hannah and David C show the variety of choice that was allowed when creating the cover. Choice was the important factor in this project, as pupil decisions helped to benefit or disadvantage the success of their cover.

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Pupils where given the task to write a quote and the blurb for the back cover. Ben, Bronwyn, Courtney and Heather where the talented winners. Each pupil had to add colour with colouring pencil to the back cover that didn’t interfere with the type, though married itself with the front cover.

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Pupils had to combine the collage cover, using scalpels and spray glue, they planned out the cover, the spine and the back. Each element had to be a perfect fit or the cover would not have worked. The covers were laminated and scored by the pupils and attached to a free Jekyll and Hyde book that had been given away at the Edinburgh book festival.

See-Through Me

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Creeping into the Summer Holidays, I thought it was the perfect time to introduce you to Heather’s (S3) final piece for her expressive intermediate unit. Painted with powder block paints, Heather had spent a lot of classroom time (as well as lunch times and after school) to get this image ‘expressive and right’. The colours are similar to those used by artist Jenny Saville, though the style is much more impressionistic. Heather was not concerned with realistic or ‘correct’, the image was more about capturing a weird moment, a moment of self reflection or thought. The right eye gives us a sense of strangeness, something abstract, peering through the hand reminding us of Peek-a-boo games or hide and seek. An image that has been used quite regularly in Japanese cinema in films like ‘The Grudge’ or ‘Shutter’.

The background is printed with polystyrene tiles, the blue halo around the portrait bringing out the blue tints in the skin, reminding us of veins showing through. It makes us realise that our skin is see-through… we are transparent, we cannot hide behind make-up and clothes… nor behind our hands.

Democracy At Work

Lots of adults aren’t happy at the minute with the results the recent Election has delivered, but here in ‘The Art Classroom’, where we also work towards the majority win, the results of our poll are very pleasing. April H has been finishing her piece as voted by you, the audience, by a majority cut of 70/30. The poll had over 300 votes within a three week period and started arguments on both sides of the bench. In the end the ‘irregular choice’ won by a massive landslide. The happy majority can view the outcome of their voting power below. Well done to April for delivering on her promises to her voting public.

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