A Whole New Level

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When you see Monica S’s (S6/OLSP) work it just makes you want to take all your pencils and paints and throw them in the bin. Don’t!!! There’s only one way of being this good… practice. Her paintings are absolutely exquisite. She has been working on a series of portraits for her Adv. Higher course. Taught by Mr Kelly (the PT of OLSP and my boss), she has been focusing on getting an element of photo realism along with a little touch of Impressionism. These few paintings of her sister are just a small glimpse into her talent. I worked with her in developing her digital portfolio and will publish it here as soon as I get a chance.

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Holey Moley

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I created an exemplar for my S1’s Fanelli/mental health unit. It focused on the idea of taking something bad and turning it into a good thing. Quite a hard concept for S1 pupils to digest, though I think it opened up the ideas for them to be able to conceive their own work. We discussed looks and how their lives were much more focused on image and status through social profiles and networking. We also discussed how bad moments can linger and stay with us, but if you create an artwork about it, it can sometimes help deal with the situation.

My example was focused on my obsession with being too moley. I explained that I hated my skin for being too moley, but that I also love the cosmos. I explained that one day I was looking at my moles and hating them, then spotted that some of them looked exactly like the Big Dipper and other constellations. When I discovered this, I wasn’t upset about my moles anymore.

Art can be an outlet to help us deal with tragic, stressful or embarrassing times in our life. It can help us see the beauty in all moments and things by addressing them with skill and visual beauty.

This unit and exemplar were extremely successful and helped my pupils not only deal with such a moment themselves, but also let them create a beautiful, skilful piece of art. If you are a teacher, it’s worth purchasing a Fanelli book, some pattern and graph paper and giving it a go yourself.

Fanatical About Fanelli

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Sarah D (S1/OLSP) has been working on the amazing piece above. She was creating it for a challenge focusing on mental health and art therapy. Inspired by Sara Fanelli, she was able to finish the work in under two hours. It has been created using old papers, charcoal pencil, pens, paper off cuts and small photos of holocaust victims. It can be taken at face value for being the very sweet image that it is, or if the viewer thinks about the work, it can leave a very poignant impression fairly wedged in your mind. I actually think it’s better than Sara Fanelli…

BBC NEWS Games Special

The Art Clast team have been working very hard in completing a report for the BBC News School Report. They focused on games this year, highlighting addiction, underage gaming and the effects of violence and sexual imagery on players. It was quite a dark subject, so they tried to do it as a more light-hearted feature piece. You can watch the ‘rushed for air’ version here. There will be a longer, tighter edit posted up on YouTube soon.

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The Art Clast BBC NEWS School Report Games Special

Fans Of Fanelli

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I am working with my S1 classes at the minute, trying to rush finished pieces for their whole school ‘Fit 4 Life’ unit. My pupils looked at the artist Sara Fanelli and took inspiration from her to make up their own personal art work based around a good or bad moment. I focused the unit on mental health and art therapy, so a lot of the pupils had a chance to air their grievances and vanquish their demons. I just love the work above by Danielle N (S1/OLSP). It sums up the quirky look and raw vibe that Fanelli brings to her work. More pieces to follow soon.

Laura’s Creepy Crawley

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This week’s ‘AOTW’ comes from Laura H (S2/OLSP). She is working on an environmental building based on a house centipede. She is making a maquette of the centipede first and then developing some of the 3D elements into a factory building. This is part of a new engineering promotion initiative and her class is entered into a competition to try and win. If they all continue to be this good, I think we just might win it. Well done Laura!

Sophie’s World

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Sophie (S2/OLSP) creates beautiful little jewellery pieces at home. The little silver cast charms are expertly collected together to form rings, ear-rings, necklaces and bracelets. What I like about the charms is the fact that a lot of them are modern items, not little horse shoes, bears or hearts as you would expect. Instead, Sophie combines little toothpastes and bottle tops, charms based on modern objects, all collected together to form these exquisite little pieces of art.

Just Like Shannon!

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I just love this pencil portrait from Shannon H (S3/OLSP). She was asked to draw an expressive and detailed self-portrait. Usually when female pupils are asked to draw a portrait they end up drawing few features and think it’s for the cover of Vogue Magazine. So it’s a real treat when you see a drawing like this, showing emotion, expressive lines, warts and all. I absolutely love Shannon’s style, it’s very tangled and sketchy, like threads loosely wrapped around an object. You could easily compare it to the likes of Peter Howson or Edvard Munch. It’s now one of my most favourite pupil pencil drawings of all time.