What better way to start my new fresh faced blog than to focus on a great artistic pupil who I have been working with for the past year. Chantelle M (S5, OLSP) is an amazing artist on every level; driven, full of emotion and substance, observant and taking everything in – like a human sponge.
For her Higher Expressive Unit this year she focused on self portraiture and explored the idea of morphing faces, emotions and body parts fading in and out of consciousness. Her final piece (above) looked at the idea of what exists and doesn’t, is the subject fading from view or is she trying to obscure herself from us, but remains in sight. It is an enigmatic and thought provoking image.
Chantelle M received great praise when her unit was first verified at the start of the year and should do well when the results come back tomorrow morning. The final piece (a collage of book paper, tracing paper and mixed media including acrylic paint, pencil, charcoal) also won a local competition to design a school library card.
Conor T (S4/Holyrood Secondary) has created this great unit for his National 5 Expressive looking at self portraiture and distortion caused by a magnifying glass. He has used the paint very confidently and stylistically to create a sense of closeness and inspection. We find ourselves examining the subject as he is seen to be examining us.
I really like the sketch work on top of the maps on his development sheet. It’s a nice juxtaposition of the idea of examining and it being drawn on paper that may be peered at through a magnifying glass. It also adds a great background pattern for Conor to work on top of.
Conor’s final piece is really strong, combining many concepts of audience, of subject and of meaning. It’s really nice to see pupil work tackle artistic meaning on a variety of different levels. Great Work Conor and a well deserved Artwork of the Week.
Monica L’s (S4/OLSP) Standard Grade Exam image is such a beautiful image. The warm luxurious purples in the red onions draw your eyes to the right of the image, then after being awed by the detail of the skin and the flesh, the viewer can cast their eye around the muted colours of the garlics, cloth and cardboard background. Monica worked none stop during her class time and put a lot of after school time in to fine tune this image to look its absolute best. It’s what art is about… mastery, skill and beauty. Monica was awarded my S4 Art Pupil of the Year award.
I’ve been typing too much lately, so here’s some more great images from our Fanelli inspired project.
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…
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.
Mia B (S4/OLSP) has been experimenting and practicing for her Standard Grade expressive exam in a few weeks. She’ll be among the last of all Scottish Pupils this year to sit the exam as the qualifications change next year.
The pastel drawing above was actually of a different girl, though when we draw portraits we seem to project ourselves into them and now the image looks a lot like Mia, in fact, more so than the original model.
One of the last Standard Grade topics is ‘reflections’, so instead of going for the obvious light reflections, Mia has chosen to go with thought reflections and I think that really comes across. I love the use of subtle blues and purples that express an air of worry or concern.