This week’s AOTW comes from Kat M (S5 OLSP). Unfortunately, Kat has now left school to move onto college. Some people enjoy their senior years of school, others grow impatient and can’t wait to get out.
I’m always against pupils leaving school for college, it lacks the support, the authority and the strong planning that school provides. For me, it is a rare occurrence to hear that someone has completed their college course, they normally drop out before completion, but I know Kat has the drive and the talent to see it through and make her leaving a good decision.
This piece is a collaged background painted with oil paints. It is created in a similar fashion to how Dave McKean (artist for Batman and Sandman) would paint his covers. I’ve tried to talk Kat into letting me keep this work when it comes back from marking, though she won’t let it go.
This week’s piece comes from the mind of Kirstie G (S3,OLSP). At first you may not understand it, but continue to look at it… You will soon start to see the fractured image of still life objects. Bottles and vases, jugs and bowls. These are rendered in a variety of media from acrylic and watercolour paints to pencil and charcoal. Some are rushed, some are painstakingly worked on. Each of these works have been completed in full and then sliced apart; artistic vandalism. It was tough for Kirstie to make the decision to do it and to then actually do it, but I think it was the right decision.
Her work reminds me of the likes of Braque (Picasso’s underestimated co-creator of cubism). Your eye is forced around the work to make sense of it. Little sections are painted well to prove that she can paint. Though that’s not the point. Painting has become snobbish in schools. It’s all about realism and copying. There is little time given to expression and experimentation. It is for this very reason that I feel that this piece is extremely strong. It’s taking chances. It’s not a piece created to pass an exam. It’s created to be a good piece of art and that’s what counts isn’t it?
There’s also great aspects of Leger in her work. The lines that dissect the work into a living three dimensional jigsaw. Kirstie’s work is relief, it sits on many levels and the observer is able to lean around foreground objects to view more of the background objects. It’s like four or five paintings in one. It is just so refreshing to see pupils take on something as hard to understand as abstraction and cubism and learn about it practically instead of remembering about it critically. A well deserved ‘Artwork of the Week’.
Kirstie’s relief piece before the dissection lines were painted in
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.
I haven’t taught Paula H for nearly a year now, so when I saw the higher work she had been creating with my friend and colleague, Miss McInnes, my mouth dropped open. Last year, she fought so hard to achieve a good result in her Standard Grade exam, getting a ‘1’ for her oil pastel self-portrait. The work she is creating now, makes her older work look like a monkey drew it. Below are just some highlights of her new painting skills and her highly analytical pencil drawings. Truly amazing.
UPDATE: She’s also just finished the painting below, I had to take another photo and show it off. Great work.
Here is the news programme that my S2 classes made for their ‘Disaster and Emergency’ unit. The project was part of an ‘Integrated Learning Challenge’ which every subject took part in. The animations were created by making moving paintings that were either stop animated or by way of puppets. I’d also like to thank Kerry and Scott that were kind enough and talented enough to present the programme.
I’ve been posting some submissions from my school’s Art Department to TESS (Teaching Supplement), to feature in their Art Section. I couldn’t give up the chance of letting you see some of the pupil work my colleague, Mrs Hull (OLSP), has been supervising across the corridor. These submissions were pre-lim examples for the S4 Standard Grade expressive exam last year. Pupils usually sit the exam with objects in front of them, or a photo along with a pre-trial version of their exam composition. This gives them the biggest chance to succeed, as it is asking a lot for a pupil to be at their artistic best on the day. Lots of things can go wrong and the pupil could have artistic block or an ‘off day’.
At the very top Emma H and Patrick McC (S4, OLSP) show off their painting skills with beautiful studies of fruit, bottles and a basket. Mrs Hull’s still life resources are very luxurious, it makes the pupils’ work look a lot more mature, even professional. Her teaching methods help the pupils focus on capturing pockets of colour in an expressive, yet controlled manner. If you can observe and record the right reflections and perfect your eclipses in your work, like Holly McP‘s (S4, OLSP) pastel study below, you can produce impressive work, though this would be a lot easier if you have a great mentor like Mrs Hull.
A few months ago I asked Art Classroom readers to vote on the best artwork ever featured on the blog. The polls (blog poll, twitter poll, Facebook poll and email suggestions) are now closed and the votes have been counted. It was a close contest for the first few weeks, but in the end, Anna C’s ‘Fail’ (Oban High) topped the polls by over 23 votes and showed itself as the clear winner. It is very rewarding seeing the talent and quality of the work that has been displayed on the blog in the past two years and I love the ironic twist that a painting named ‘Fail’ is the winning piece. Congratulations to Anna, an iTunes Gift Card will be on its way to you this week.